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    The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:23 am

    How is that God-Off coming?? Everything ends up being some sort of a struggle for Fame, Fortune, Power, and Pleasure -- doesn't it?? Does Humanity Want a God or Not?? Does Humanity Wish to be Told What to Do?? Did Humanity Tell God to Go to Hell in Antiquity?? Is Humanity in the Final Stages of Rejecting God -- One Last Time?? Perhaps There Will be Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth When Humanity Sees What Those Who Were Loyal to God Got. Perhaps We Are Rebels Without a Clue. Perhaps a Rude Awakening Awaits Us. More Martin Heidegger. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/

    2.4 Realism and Relativism in Being and Time

    One might think that an unpalatable relativism is entailed by any view which emphasizes that understanding is never preconception-free. But that would be too quick. Of course, if authentic Dasein were individualized in the sense of being a self-sufficient Cartesian subject, then perhaps an extreme form of subjectivist relativism would indeed beckon. Fortunately, however, authentic Dasein isn't a Cartesian subject, in part because it has a transformed and not a severed relationship with the ‘they’. This reconnects us with our earlier remark that the philosophical framework advocated within Being and Time appears to mandate a kind of cultural relativism. This seems right, but it is important to try to understand precisely what sort of cultural relativism is on offer. Here is one interpretation.

    Although worlds (networks of involvements, what Heidegger sometimes calls Reality) are culturally relative phenomena, Heidegger occasionally seems to suggest that nature, as it is in itself, is not. Thus, on the one hand, nature may be discovered as ready-to-hand equipment: the “wood is a forest of timber, the mountain is a quarry of rock; the river is water-power, the wind is wind ‘in the sails’?” (Being and Time 15: 100). Under these circumstances, nature is revealed in certain culturally specific forms determined by our socially conditioned patterns of skilled practical activity. On the other hand, when nature is discovered as present-at-hand, by say science, its intelligibility has an essentially cross-cultural character. Indeed, Heidegger often seems to hold the largely commonsense view that there are culture-independent causal properties of nature which explain why it is that you can make missiles out of rocks or branches, but not out of air or water. Science can tell us both what those causal properties are, and how the underlying causal processes work. Such properties and processes are what Heidegger calls the Real, and he comments: “[the] fact that Reality [intelligibility] is ontologically grounded in the Being of Dasein does not signify that only when Dasein exists and as long as Dasein exists can the Real [e.g., nature as revealed by science] be as that which in itself it is” (Being and Time, 43: 255).

    If the picture just sketched is a productive way to understand Heidegger, then, perhaps surprisingly, his position might best be thought of as a mild kind of scientific realism. For, on this interpretation, one of Dasein's cultural practices, the practice of science, has the special quality of revealing natural entities as they are in themselves, that is, independently of Dasein's culturally conditioned uses and articulations of them. Crucially, however, this sort of scientific realism maintains ample conceptual room for Sheehan's well-observed point that, for Heidegger, at every stage of his thinking, “there is no ‘is’ to things without a taking-as… no sense that is independent of human being… Before homo sapiens evolved, there was no ‘being’ on earth… because ‘being’ for Heidegger does not mean ‘in existence’?” (Sheehan 2001). Indeed, Being concerns sense-making (intelligibility), and the different ways in which entities make sense to us, including as present-at-hand, are dependent on the fact that we are Dasein, creatures with a particular mode of Being. So while natural entities do not require the existence of Dasein in order just to occur (in an ordinary, straightforward sense of ‘occur’), they do require Dasein in order to be intelligible at all, including as entities that just occur. Understood properly, then, the following two claims that Heidegger makes are entirely consistent with each other. First: “Being (not entities) is dependent upon the understanding of Being; that is to say, Reality (not the Real) is dependent upon care”. Secondly: “[O]nly as long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an understanding of Being is ontically possible), ‘is there’ Being. When Dasein does not exist, ‘independence’ ‘is’ not either, nor ‘is’ the ‘in-itself’?”. (Both quotations from Being and Time, 43: 255.)

    How does all this relate to Heidegger's account of truth? Answering this question adds a new dimension to the pivotal phenomenon of revealing. Heidegger points out that the philosophical tradition standardly conceives of truth as attaching to propositions, and as involving some sort of correspondence between propositions and states of affairs. But whereas for the tradition (as Heidegger characterizes it), propositional truth as correspondence exhausts the phenomenon of truth, for Heidegger, it is merely the particular manifestation of truth that is operative in those domains, such as science, that concern themselves with the Real. According to Heidegger, propositional truth as correspondence is made possible by a more fundamental phenomenon that he dubs ‘original truth’. Heidegger's key thought here is that before (in a conceptual sense of ‘before’) there can be any question of correspondence between propositions and states of affairs, there needs to be in place a field of intelligibility (Reality, a world), a sense-making structure within which entities may be found. Unconcealing is the Dasein-involving process that establishes this prior field of intelligibility. This is the domain of original truth—what we might call truth as revealing or truth as unconcealing. Original truth cannot be reduced to propositional truth as correspondence, because the former is an a priori, transcendental condition for the latter. Of course, since Dasein is the source of intelligibility, truth as unconcealing is possible only because there is Dasein, which means that without Dasein there would be no truth—including propositional truth as correspondence. But it is reasonable to hear this seemingly relativistic consequence as a further modulation of the point (see above) that entities require Dasein in order to be intelligible at all, including, now, as entities that are capable of entering into states of affairs that may correspond to propositions.

    Heidegger's analysis of truth also countenances a third manifestation of the phenomenon, one that is perhaps best characterized as being located between original truth and propositional truth. This intermediate phenomenon is what might be called Heidegger's instrumental notion of truth (Dahlstrom 2001, Overgaard 2002). As we saw earlier, for Heidegger, the referential structure of significance may be articulated not only by words but by skilled practical activity (e.g., hammering) in which items of equipment are used in culturally appropriate ways. By Heidegger's lights, such equipmental activity counts as a manifestation of unconcealing and thus as the realization of a species of truth. This fact further threatens the idea that truth attaches only to propositions, although some uses of language may themselves be analysed as realizing the instrumental form of truth (e.g., when I exclaim that ‘this hammer is too heavy for the job’, rather than assert that it has the objective property of weighing 2.5 kilos; Overgaard 2002, 77; cf. Being and Time 33:199–200).

    It is at this point that an ongoing dispute in Heidegger scholarship comes to the fore. It has been argued (e.g., Dahlstrom 2001, Overgaard 2002) that a number of prominent readings of Heidegger (e.g., Okrent 1988, Dreyfus 1991) place such heavy philosophical emphasis on Dasein as a site of skilled practical activity that they end up simply identifying Dasein's understanding of Being with skilled practical activity. Because of this shared tendency, such readings are often grouped together as advocating a pragmatist interpretation of Heidegger. According to its critics, the inadequacy of the pragmatist interpretation is exposed once it is applied to Heidegger's account of truth. For although the pragmatist interpretation correctly recognizes that, for Heidegger, propositional correspondence is not the most fundamental phenomenon of truth, it takes the fundamental variety to be exhausted by Dasein's sense-making skilled practical activity. But (the critic points out) this is to ignore the fact that even though instrumental truth is more basic than traditional propositional truth, nevertheless it too depends on a prior field of significance (one that determines the correct and incorrect uses of equipment) and thus on the phenomenon of original truth. Put another way, the pragmatist interpretation falls short because it fails to distinguish original truth from instrumental truth. It is worth commenting here that not every so-called pragmatist reading is on a par with respect to this issue. For example, Dreyfus (2008) separates out (what he calls) background coping (Dasein's familiarity with, and knowledge of how to navigate the meaningful structures of, its world) from (what he calls) skilled or absorbed coping (Dasein's skilled practical activity), and argues that, for Heidegger, the former is ontologically more basic than the latter. If original truth is manifested in background coping, and instrumental truth in skilled coping, this disrupts the thought that the two notions of truth are being run together (for discussion, see Overgaard 2002 85–6, note 17).

    How should one respond to Heidegger's analysis of truth? One objection is that original truth ultimately fails to qualify as a form of truth at all. As Tugendhat (1967) observes, it is a plausible condition on the acceptability of any proposed account of truth that it accommodate a distinction between what is asserted or intended and how things are in themselves. It is clear that propositional truth as correspondence satisfies this condition, and notice that (if we squint a little) so too does instrumental truth, since despite my intentions, I can fail, in my actions, to use the hammer in ways that successfully articulate its place in the relevant equipmental network. However, as Tugendhat argues, it is genuinely hard to see how original truth as unconcealing could possibly support a distinction between what is asserted or intended and how things are in themselves. After all, unconcealing is, in part, the process through which entities are made intelligible to Dasein in such a way that the distinction in question can apply. Thus, Tugendhat concludes, although unconcealing may be a genuine phenomenon that constitutes a transcendental condition for there to be truth, it is not itself a species of truth. (For discussions of Tugendhat's critique, see Dahlstrom 2001, Overgaard 2002.)

    Whether or not unconcealing ought to count as a species of truth, it is arguable that the place which it (along with its partner structure, Reality) occupies in the Heideggerian framework must ultimately threaten even the mild kind of scientific realism that we have been attributing, somewhat tentatively, to Heidegger. The tension comes into view just at the point where unconcealing is reinterpreted in terms of Dasein's essential historicality. Because intelligibility, and thus unconcealing, has an essentially historical character, it is difficult to resist the thought that the propositional and instrumental truths generated out of some specific field of intelligibility will be relativistically tied to a particular culture in a particular time period. Moreover, at one point, Heidegger suggests that even truth as revealed by science is itself subject to this kind of relativistic constraint. Thus he says that “every factical science is always manifestly in the grip of historizing” (Being and Time 76: 444). The implication is that, for Heidegger, one cannot straightforwardly subject the truth of one age to the standards of another, which means, for example, that contemporary chemistry and alchemical chemistry might both be true (cf. Dreyfus 1990, 261–2). But even if this more radical position is ultimately Heidegger's, there remains space here for some form of realism. Given the transcendental relation that, according to Heidegger, obtains between fields of intelligibility and science, the view on offer might still support a historically conditioned form of Kantian empirical realism with respect to science. Nevertheless it must, it seems, reject the full-on scientific realist commitment to the idea that the history of science is regulated by progress towards some final and unassailable set of scientifically established truths about nature, by a journey towards, as it were, God's science (Haugeland 2007).

    The realist waters in which our preliminary interpretation has been swimming are muddied even further by another aspect of Dasein's essential historicality. Officially, it is seemingly not supposed to be a consequence of that historicality that we cannot discover universal features of ourselves. The evidence for this is that there are many conclusions reached in Being and Time that putatively apply to all Dasein, for example that Dasein's everyday experience is characterized by the structural domains of readiness-to-hand, un-readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand (for additional evidence, see Polt 1999 92–4). Moreover, Heidegger isn't saying that any route to understanding is as good as any other. For example, he prioritizes authenticity as the road to an answer to the question of the meaning of Being. Thus:

    the idea of existence, which guides us as that which we see in advance, has been made definite [transformed from pre-ontological to ontological, from implicit and vague to explicitly articulated] by the clarification of our ownmost potentiality-for-Being. (Being and Time 63: 358)

    Still, if this priority claim and the features shared by all Dasein really are supposed to be ahistorical, universal conditions (applicable everywhere throughout history), we are seemingly owed an account of just how such conditions are even possible, given Dasein's essential historicality.

    Finally, one might wonder whether the ‘realist Heidegger’ can live with the account of temporality given in Being and Time. If temporality is the a priori condition for us to encounter entities as equipment, and if, in the relevant sense, the unfolding of time coincides with the unfolding of Dasein (Dasein, as temporality, temporalizes; see above), then equipmental entities will be intelligible to us only in (what we might call) Dasein-time, the time that we ourselves are. Now, we have seen previously that nature is often encountered as equipment, which means that natural equipment will be intelligible to us only in Dasein-time. But what about nature in a non-equipmental form—nature (as one might surely be tempted to say) as it is in itself? One might try to argue that those encounters with nature that reveal nature as it is in itself are precisely those encounters that reveal nature as present-at-hand, and that to reveal nature as present-at-hand is, in part, to reveal nature within present-at-hand time (e.g., clock time), a time which is, in the relevant sense, independent of Dasein. Unfortunately there's a snag with this story (and thus for the attempt to see Heidegger as a realist). Heidegger claims that presence-at-hand (as revealed by theoretical reflection) is subject to the same Dasein-dependent temporality as readiness-to-hand:

    …if Dasein's Being is completely grounded in temporality, then temporality must make possible Being-in-the-world and therewith Dasein's transcendence; this transcendence in turn provides the support for concernful Being alongside entities within-the-world, whether this Being is theoretical or practical. (Being and Time 69: 415, my emphasis)

    But now if theoretical investigations reveal nature in present-at-hand time, and if in the switching over from the practical use of equipment to the theoretical investigation of objects, time remains the same Dasein-time, then present-at-hand time is Dasein-dependent too. Given this, it seems that the only way we can give any sense to the idea of nature as it is in itself is to conceive of such nature as being outside of time. Interestingly, in the History of the Concept of Time (a text based on Heidegger's notes for a 1925 lecture course and often thought of as a draft of Being and Time), Heidegger seems to embrace this very option, arguing that nature is within time only when it is encountered in Dasein's world, and concluding that nature as it is in itself is entirely atemporal. It is worth noting the somewhat Kantian implication of this conclusion: if all understanding is grounded in temporality, then the atemporality of nature as it is in itself would mean that, for Heidegger, we cannot understand natural things as they really are in themselves (cf. Dostal 1993).

    3. The Later Philosophy

    3.1 The Turn and the Contributions to Philosophy

    After Being and Time there is a shift in Heidegger's thinking that he himself christened ‘the turn’ (die Kehre). In a 1947 piece, in which Heidegger distances his views from Sartre's existentialism, he links the turn to his own failure to produce the missing divisions of Being and Time.

    The adequate execution and completion of this other thinking that abandons subjectivity is surely made more difficult by the fact that in the publication of Being and Time the third division of the first part, “Time and Being,” was held back… Here everything is reversed. The division in question was held back because everything failed in the adequate saying of this turning and did not succeed with the help of the language of metaphysics… This turning is not a change of standpoint from Being and Time, but in it the thinking that was sought first arrives at the location of that dimension out of which Being and Time is experienced, that is to say, experienced from the fundamental experience of the oblivion of Being. (Letter on Humanism, pp. 231–2)

    Notice that while, in the turning, “everything is reversed”, nevertheless it is “not a change of standpoint from Being and Time”, so what we should expect from the later philosophy is a pattern of significant discontinuities with Being and Time, interpretable from within a basic project and a set of concerns familiar from that earlier text. The quotation from the Letter on Humanism provides some clues about what to look for. Clearly we need to understand what is meant by the abandonment of subjectivity, what kind of barrier is erected by the language of metaphysics, and what is involved in the oblivion of Being. The second and third of these issues will be clarified later. The first bears immediate comment.

    At root Heidegger's later philosophy shares the deep concerns of Being and Time, in that it is driven by the same preoccupation with Being and our relationship with it that propelled the earlier work. In a fundamental sense, then, the question of Being remains the question. However, Being and Time addresses the question of Being via an investigation of Dasein, the kind of being whose Being is an issue for it. As we have seen, this investigation takes the form of a transcendental hermeneutic phenomenology that begins with ordinary human experience. It is arguable that, in at least one important sense, it is this philosophical methodology that the later Heidegger is rejecting when he talks of his abandonment of subjectivity. Of course, as conceptualized in Being and Time, Dasein is not a Cartesian subject, so the abandonment of subjectivity is not as simple as a shift of attention away from Dasein and towards some other route to Being. Nevertheless the later Heidegger does seem to think that his earlier focus on Dasein bears the stain of a subjectivity that ultimately blocks the path to an understanding of Being. This is not to say that the later thinking turns away altogether from the project of transcendental hermeneutic phenomenology. The project of illuminating the a priori conditions on the basis of which entities show up as intelligible to us is still at the heart of things. What the later thinking involves is a reorientation of the basic project so that, as we shall see, the point of departure is no longer a detailed description of ordinary human experience. (For an analysis of ‘the turn’ that identifies a number of different senses of the term at work in Heidegger's thinking, and which in some ways departs from the brief treatment given here, see Sheehan 2010.)

    A further difficulty in getting to grips with Heidegger's later philosophy is that, unlike the early thought, which is heavily centred on a single text, the later thought is distributed over a large number and range of works, including books, lecture courses, occasional addresses, and presentations given to non-academic audiences. So one needs a navigational strategy. The strategy adopted here will be to view the later philosophy through the lens of Heidegger's strange and perplexing study from the 1930s called Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), (Beitrage zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)), henceforth referred to as the Contributions. (For a book-length introduction to the Contributions, see Vallega-Neu 2003. For a useful collection of papers, see Scott et al. 2001.) The key themes that shape the later philosophy will be identified in the Contributions, but those themes will be explored in a way that draws on, and make connections with, a selection of other works. From this partial expedition, the general pattern of Heidegger's post-turn thinking, although not every aspect of it, will emerge.

    The Contributions was written between 1936 and 1938. Intriguingly, Heidegger asked for the work not to appear in print until after the publication of all his lecture courses, and although his demand wasn't quite heeded by the editors of his collected works, the Contributions was not published in German until 1989 and not in English until 1999. To court a perhaps overly dramatic telling of Heideggerian history, if one puts a lot of weight on Heidegger's view of when the Contributions should have been published, one might conceivably think of those later writings that, in terms of when they were produced, followed the Contributions as something like the training material needed to understand the earlier work (see e.g., Polt 1999 140). In any case, during his lifetime, Heidegger showed the Contributions to no more than a few close colleagues. The excitement with which the eventual publication of the text was greeted by Heidegger's readers was partly down to the fact that one of the chosen few granted a sneak preview was the influential interpreter of Heidegger, Otto Pöggeler, who then proceeded to give it some rather extraordinary advance publicity, describing it as the work in which Heidegger's genuine and complete thinking is captured (see e.g., Pöggeler 1963/1987).

    Whether or not the hype surrounding the Contributions was justified remains a debated question among Heidegger scholars (see e.g., Sheehan 2001, Thomson 2003). What is clear, however, is that reading the work is occasionally a bewildering experience. Rather than a series of systematic hermeneutic spirals in the manner of Being and Time, the Contributions is organised as something like a musical fugue, that is, as a suite of overlapping developments of a single main theme (Schoenbohm 2001; Thomson 2003). And while the structure of the Contributions is challenging enough, the language in which it is written can appear to be wilfully obscurantist. Polt (1999, 140) comments that “the most important sections of the text can appear to be written in pure Heideggerese… [as Heidegger] exploits the sounds and senses of German in order to create an idiosyncratic symphony of meanings”. Less charitably, Sheehan (2001) describes it as “a needlessly difficult text, obsessively repetitious, badly in need of an editor”, while Schurmann (1992, 313, quoted by Thomson 2003, 57) complains that “at times one may think one is reading a piece of Heideggerian plagiarism, so encumbered is it with ellipses and assertoric monoliths”. Arguably, the style in which the Contributions is written is ‘merely’ the most extreme example (perhaps, the purest example) of a ‘poetic’ style that Heidegger adopts pretty much throughout the later philosophy. This stylistic aspect of the turn is an issue discussed below. For the moment, however, it is worth noting that, in the stylistic transition achieved in the Contributions, Heidegger's writing finally leaves behind all vestiges of the idea that Being can be represented accurately using some pseudo-scientific philosophical language. The goal, instead, is to respond appropriately to Being in language, to forge a pathway to another kind of thinking—Being-historical thinking (for discussion of this term, see Vallega 2001, von Herrmann 2001, Vallega-Neu 2003, 28-9). In its attempt to achieve this, the Contributions may be viewed as setting the agenda for Heidegger's post-turn thought. So what are the central themes that appear in the Contributions and which then resonate throughout the later works? Four stand out: Being as appropriation (an idea which, as we shall see, is bound up with a reinterpretation of the notion of dwelling that, in terms of explicit textual development, takes place largely outwith the text of the Contributions itself); technology (or machination); safeguarding (or sheltering); and the gods. Each of these themes will now be explored.

    3.2 Appropriation, Dwelling and the Fourfold

    In Being and Time, the most fundamental a priori transcendental condition for there to be Dasein's distinctive mode of Being which is identified is temporality. In the later philosophy, the ontological focus ultimately shifts to the claim that human Being consists most fundamentally in dwelling. This shift of attention emerges out of a subtle reformulation of the question of Being itself, a reformulation performed in the Contributions. The question now becomes not ‘What is the meaning of Being?’ but rather ‘How does Being essentially unfold?’. This reformulation means (in a way that should become clearer in a moment) that we are now asking the question of Being not from the perspective of Dasein, but from the perspective of Being (see above on abandoning subjectivity). But it also suggests that Being needs to be understood as fundamentally a timebound, historical process. As Heidegger puts it: “A being is: Be-ing holds sway [unfolds]”. (Contributions 10: 22. Quotations from the Contributions will be given in the form ‘section: page number’ where ‘page number’ refers to the Emad and Maly English translation. The hyphenated term ‘be-ing’ is adopted by Emad and Maly, in order to respect the fact that, in the Contributions, Heidegger substitutes the archaic spelling ‘Seyn’ for the contemporary ‘Sein’ as a way of distancing himself further from the traditional language of metaphysics. This translational convention, which has not become standard practice in the secondary literature, will not be adopted here, except in quotations from the Emad and Maly translation.)

    Further aspects of the essential unfolding of Being are revealed by what is perhaps the key move in the Contributions—a rethinking of Being in terms of the notion of Ereignis, a term translated variously as ‘event’ (most closely reflecting its ordinary German usage), ‘appropriation’, ‘appropriating event’, ‘event of appropriation’ or ‘enowning’. (For an analysis which tracks Heidegger's use of the term Ereignis at various stages of his thought, see Vallega-Neu 2010). The history of Being is now conceived as a series of appropriating events in which the different dimensions of human sense-making—the religious, political, philosophical (and so on) dimensions that define the culturally conditioned epochs of human history—are transformed. Each such transformation is a revolution in human patterns of intelligibility, so what is appropriated in the event is Dasein and thus the human capacity for taking-as (see e.g., Contributions 271: 343). Once appropriated in this way, Dasein operates according to a specific set of established sense-making practices and structures. In a Kuhnian register, one might think of this as the normal sense-making that follows a paradigm-shift. But now what is it that does the appropriating? Heidegger's answer to this question is Being. Thus Heidegger writes of the “En-ownment [appropriation] of Da-sein by be-ing” (Contributions 141: 184) and of “man as owned by be-ing” (Contributions 141: 185). Indeed, this appropriation of Dasein by Being is what enables Being to unfold: “Be-ing needs man in order to hold sway [unfold]” (Contributions 133: 177). The claim that Being appropriates Dasein might seem to invite the adoption of an ethereal voice and a far-off look in the eye, but any such temptation towards mysticism of this kind really ought to be resisted. The mystical reading seems to depend on a view according to which “be-ing holds sway ‘for itself’?” and Dasein “takes up the relating to be-ing”, such that Being is “something over-against” Dasein (Contributions 135: 179). But Heidegger argues that this relational view would be ‘misleading’. That said, to make proper inroads into the mystical reading, we need to reacquaint ourselves with the notion of dwelling.

    As we have seen, the term ‘dwelling’ appears in Being and Time, where it is used to capture the distinctive manner in which Dasein is in the world. The term continues to play this role in the later philosophy, but, in texts such as Building Dwelling, Thinking (1954), it is reinterpreted and made philosophically central to our understanding of Being. This reinterpretation of, and the new emphasis on, dwelling is bound up with the idea from the Contributions of Being as appropriation. To explain: Where one dwells is where one is at home, where one has a place. This sense of place is what grounds Heidegger's existential notion of spatiality, as developed in the later philosophy (see Malpas 2006). In dwelling, then, Dasein is located within a set of sense-making practices and structures with which it is familiar. This way of unravelling the phenomenon of dwelling enables us to see more clearly—and more concretely—what is meant by the idea of Being as event/appropriation. Being is an event in that it takes (appropriates) place (where one is at home, one's sense-making practices and structures) (cf. Polt 1999 148). In other words, Being appropriates Dasein in that, in its unfolding, it essentially happens in and to Dasein's patterns of sense-making. This way of thinking about the process of appropriation does rather less to invite obscurantist mysticism.

    The reinterpretation of dwelling in terms of Being as appropriation is ultimately intertwined with a closely related reinterpretation of what is meant by a world. One can see the latter development in a pregnant passage from Heidegger's 1954 piece, Building Dwelling Thinking.

    [H]uman being consists in dwelling and, indeed, dwelling in the sense of the stay of mortals on the earth.

    But ‘on the earth’ already means ‘under the sky.’ Both of these also mean ‘remaining before the divinities’ and include a ‘belonging to men's being with one another.’ By a primal oneness the four—earth and sky, divinities and mortals—belong together in one. (351)

    So, human beings dwell in that they stay (are at home) on the earth, under the sky, before the divinities, and among the mortals (that is, with one another as mortals). It is important for Heidegger that these dimensions of dwelling are conceived not as independent structures but as (to use a piece of terminology from Being and Time) ecstases—phenomena that stand out from an underlying unity. That underlying unity of earth, sky, divinities and mortals—the ‘simple oneness of the four’ as Heidegger puts it in Building Dwelling Thinking (351)—is what he calls the fourfold. The fourfold is the transformed notion of world that applies within the later work (see e.g., The Thing; for an analysis of the fourfold that concentrates on its role as a thinking of things, see Mitchell 2010). It is possible to glimpse the character of the world-as-fourfold by noting that whereas the world as understood through Being and Time is a culturally conditioned structure distinct from nature, the world-as-fourfold appears to be an integrated combination of nature (earth and sky) and culture (divinities and mortals). (Two remarks: First, it may not be obvious why the divinities count as part of culture. This will be explained in a moment. Secondly, the later Heidegger sometimes continues to employ the sense of world that he established in Being and Time, which is why it is useful to signal the new usage as the transformed notion of world, or as the world-as-fourfold.)

    There is something useful, as a preliminary move, about interpreting the fourfold as a combination of nature and culture, but it is an idea that must be handled with care. For one thing, if what is meant by nature is the material world and its phenomena as understood by natural science, then Heidegger's account of the fourfold tells against any straightforward identification of earth and sky with nature. Why this is becomes clear once one sees how Heidegger describes the earth and the sky in Building Dwelling Thinking. “Earth is the serving bearer, blossoming and fruiting, spreading out in rock and water, rising up into plant and animal… The sky is the vaulting path of the sun, the course of the changing moon, the wandering glitter of the stars, the year's seasons and their changes, the light and dusk of day, the gloom and glow of night, the clemency and inclemency of the weather, the drifting clouds and blue depth of the ether” (351). What Heidegger's language here indicates is that the earth-as-dwelt-on and the sky-as-dwelt-under are spaces for a mode of habitation by human beings that one might call poetic rather than scientific. So, the nature of dwelling is the nature of the poet. In dwelling we inhabit the poetic (for discussion, see e.g., Young 2002, 99–100).

    How does this idea of dwelling as poetic habitation work for the cultural aspects of the fourfold—dwelling among the mortals and before the divinities? To dwell among the mortals is to be “capable of death as death” (Building Dwelling Thinking 352). In the language of Being and Time, this would be to enter into an authentic and thus non-evasive relationship with death (see above). However, as we shall see in a moment, the later Heidegger has a different account of the nothing and thus of the internal relation with the nothing that death involves. It is this reworking of the idea of the nothing that ultimately marks out a newly conceived non-evasive relationship with death as an aspect of dwelling, understood in terms of poetic habitation. The notion of dwelling before the divinities also turns on the development of a theme established in Being and Time, namely that intelligibility is itself cultural and historical in character. More specifically, according to Being and Time, the a priori transcendental conditions for intelligibility are to be interpreted in terms of the phenomenon of heritage, that is as culturally determined structures that form pre-existing fields of intelligibility into which individual human beings are thrown and onto which they project themselves. A key aspect of this idea is that there exist historically important individuals who constitute heroic cultural templates onto which I may now creatively project myself. In the later philosophy these heroic figures are reborn poetically as the divinities of the fourfold, as “the ones to come” (Contributions 248–52: 277–81), and as the “beckoning messengers of the godhead” (Building Dwelling Thinking 351). When Heidegger famously announces that only a god can save us (Only a God can Save Us), or that “the last god is not the end but the other beginning of immeasurable possibilities for our history” (Contributions 256: 289), he has in mind not a religious intervention in an ‘ordinary’ sense of the divine, but rather a transformational event in which a secularized sense of the sacred—a sensitivity to the fact that beings are granted to us in the essential unfolding of Being—is restored (more on this below).

    The notion of dwelling as poetic habitation opens up a path to what Heidegger calls ‘the mystery’ (not to be confused with the kind of obscurantist mysticism discussed above). Even though the world always opens up as meaningful in a particular way to any individual human being as a result of the specific heritage into which he or she has been enculturated, there are of course a vast number of alternative fields of intelligibility ‘out there’ that would be available to each of us, if only we could gain access to them by becoming simultaneously embedded in different heritages. But Heidegger's account of human existence means that any such parallel embedding is ruled out, so the plenitude of alternative fields of intelligibility must remain a mystery to us. In Heidegger's later philosophy this mysterious region of Being emerges as a structure that, although not illuminated poetically in dwelling as a particular world-as-fourfold, nevertheless constitutes an essential aspect of dwelling in that it is ontologically co-present with any such world. Appropriation is necessarily a twofold event: as Dasein is thrown into an intelligible world, vast regions of Being are plunged into darkness. But that darkness is a necessary condition for there to be any intelligibility at all. As Heidegger puts it in The Question Concerning Technology (330), “[a]ll revealing belongs within a harboring and a concealing. But that which frees [entities for intelligibility]—the mystery—is concealed and always concealing itself…. Freedom [sense-making, the revealing of beings] is that which conceals in a way that opens to light, in whose clearing shimmers the veil that hides the essential occurrence of all truth and lets the veil appear as what veils”.

    It is worth pausing here to comment on the fact that, in his 1935 essay The Origin of the Work of Art, Heidegger writes of a conflict between earth and world. This idea may seem to sit unhappily alongside the simple oneness of the four. The essay in question is notoriously difficult, but the notion of the mystery may help. Perhaps the pivotal thought is as follows: Natural materials (the earth), as used in artworks, enter into intelligibility by establishing certain culturally codified meanings—a world in the sense of Being and Time. Simultaneously, however, those natural materials suggest the existence of a vast range of other possible, but to us unintelligible, meanings, by virtue of the fact that they could have been used to realize those alternative meanings. The conflict, then, turns on the way in which, in the midst of a world, the earth suggests the presence of the mystery. This is one way to hear passages such as the following: “The world, in resting upon the earth, strives to surmount it. As self-opening it cannot endure anything closed. The earth, however, as sheltering and concealing, tends always to draw the world into itself and keep it there” (Origin of the Work of Art 174).

    Because the mystery is unintelligible, it is the nothing (no-thing). It is nonetheless a positive ontological phenomenon—a necessary feature of the essential unfolding of Being. This vision of the nothing, as developed in Heidegger's What is Metaphysics?, his 1929 inaugural lecture as Professor of Philosophy at Freiburg, famously attracts the philosophical disdain of the logical positivist Carnap. Carnap judged Heidegger's lecture to turn on a series of unverifiable statements, and thus to be a paradigm case of metaphysical nonsense (Carnap 1932/1959; for an nice account and analysis of the disagreement between Heidegger and Carnap, see Critchley 2001). But placing Carnap's positivist critique to one side, the idea of the nothing allows Heidegger to rethink our relationship with death in relation to poetic habitation. In Being and Time, Being-towards-death is conceived as a relation to the possibility of one's own non-existence. This gives us a sense in which Dasein has an internal structural relation to the nothing. That internal structural relation remains crucial to the later philosophy, but now ‘the nothing’ is to be heard explicitly as ‘the mystery’, a kind of ‘dark matter’ of intelligibility that must remain concealed in the unfolding of Being through which beings are unconcealed. This necessary concealment is “the essential belongingness of the not to being as such” (Contributions 160: 199). In Being-towards-death, this “essential belongingness” is “sheltered” and “comes to light with a singular keenness” (Contributions 160: 199). This is because (echoing a point made earlier) the concealing-unconcealing structure of Being is ultimately to be traced to Dasein's essential finitude. Sheehan (2001) puts it like this: “[o]ur finitude makes all ‘as’-taking… possible by requiring us to understand things not immediately and ontically… but indirectly and ontologically (= imperfectly), through their being”. In Being-towards-death, the human finitude that grounds the mystery, the plenitude of possible worlds in which I am not, is highlighted. As mortals, then, our internal relation to death links us to the mystery (see The Thing). So dwelling (as poetic habitation) involves not only embeddedness in the fourfold, but also, as part of a unitary ontological structure, a necessary relationship with the mystery. (As mentioned earlier (2.2.7), it is arguable that the sense of the nothing as unactualized possibilities of Being is already at work in Being and Time (see Vallega-Neu 2003, 21). Indeed, Heidegger's explicit remarks on Being-towards-death in the Contributions (sections 160–2) suggest that it is. But even if that is so, the idea undoubtedly finds its fullest expression in the later work.)

    If the essence of human Being is to dwell in the fourfold, then human beings are to the extent that they so dwell. And this will be achieved to the extent that human beings realize the “basic character of dwelling”, which Heidegger now argues is a matter of safeguarding “the fourfold in its essential unfolding” (Building Dwelling Thinking, 352). Such safeguarding is unpacked as a way of Being in which human beings save the earth, receive the sky as sky, await the divinities as divinities, and initiate their own essential being as mortals. Perhaps the best way to understand this four-way demand is to explore Heidegger's claim that modern humans, especially modern Western humans, systematically fail to meet it. That is, we are marked out by our loss of dwelling—our failure to safeguard the fourfold in its essential unfolding. This existential malaise is what Heidegger refers to in the Letter on Humanism as the oblivion of Being. As we are about to see, the fact that this is the basic character of our modern human society is, according to Heidegger, explained by the predominance of a mode of sense-making that, in the Contributions, he calls machination, but which he later (and more famously) calls technology.

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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:27 am

    I will attempt to internalize this thread -- but don't hold your breath -- waiting for me to morph into a Telegenic-Genius. I'll probably just continue to Lurk, Shirk, and Smirk!! It takes all kinds -- but why?? There is no resolution to my quest. Things continue to worsen -- on all levels. Is there some legitimacy to a Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John centered approach to Theology and Biblical Studies?? Think about it -- but don't strain yourselves. Perhaps most of us prefer football and beer!! O'Douls Amber on the Rocks for me!! Here is a video which I don't endorse -- but which some of you might find interesting. The second video sort of counterbalances the first!! Enjoy!!



    I simply wish for many (if not all) of you to struggle with theological issues. Again, I'm trying to be on everyone's side -- even though this is probably naive and impossible. "To dream the impossible dream!" I think I'd like to see a combination of the Old Avalon (without the drama) combined with the Mists of Avalon (with more members). It seems as if there are really only a couple of dozen regular posters here -- and most everyone has stopped talking to me (or perhaps I have stopped talking to them). I liked the white print on blue background. I liked the Bill and Kerry interviews (despite the criticism -- especially of Kerry). I keep envisioning getting briefed by someone who really knows everything about everything -- and I imagine this person (or other than person) being completely different than what I've been exposed to thus far. I seem to end up briefing myself -- with a composite of everyone and everything I've been exposed to. Perhaps this site is just fine -- as is -- because it forces me to be a Galactic Lone Ranger. Sherry Shriner keeps talking about 'them' being very, very angry. She also keeps talking about the New World Order Cabal in conflict with the New-Age Alien-Agenda. She seems to be saying that BOTH of these factions are in serious trouble. I tend to think that EVERYONE is in serious trouble. I'm seriously trying to figure out what to do -- without regard to which faction is in or out of power. I continue to think that a bad@ss faction is required to gain and retain power -- but that such a faction always ends up misusing and abusing the commoners. I continue to sense that some sort of a meltdown is immanent in this solar system -- regardless of who rules -- and regardless of how they rule. Too many dark secrets are being exposed -- and we may be facing revolutionary change -- rather than the preferred evolutionary change. I just hope that we survive the coming changes. The technological advances seem to be making humanity obsolete. Is there a way to properly combine Socialism and Capitalism in sort of a Responsible Enterprise (as opposed to Free Enterprise or Laissez Faire Capitalism)?? Sorry for the tangential rant. Anyway, here is more Martin Heidegger. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/

    3.3 Technology

    In his 1953 piece The Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger begins with the everyday account of technology according to which technology is the vast array of instruments, machines, artefacts and devices that we human beings invent, build, and then exploit. On this view technology is basically a tool that we control. Heidegger claims that this everyday account is, in a sense, correct, but it provides only a limited “instrumental and anthropological definition” of technology (Question Concerning Technology 312). It depicts technology as a means to an end (instrumental) and as a product of human activity (anthropological). What needs to be exposed and interrogated, however, is something that is passed over by the everyday account, namely the essence of technology. To bring this into view, Heidegger reinterprets his earlier notion of intelligibility in terms of the concept of a clearing. A clearing is a region of Being in which things are revealed as mattering in some specific way or another. To identify the essence of technology is to lay bare technology as a clearing, that is, to describe a technological mode of Being. As Heidegger puts it in the Contributions (61: 88), “[i]n the context of the being-question, this word [machination, technology] does not name a human comportment but a manner of the essential swaying of being”.

    So what is the character of entities as revealed technologically? Heidegger's claim is that the “revealing that holds sway throughout modern technology… [is]… a challenging… which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy which can be extracted and stored as such” (Question Concerning Technology 320). The mode of revealing characteristic of modern technology understands phenomena in general—including the non-biological natural world, plants, animals, and indeed human beings—to be no more than what Heidegger calls standing-reserve, that is, resources to be exploited as means to ends. This analysis extends to regions of nature and sections of society that have not yet been harnessed positively as resources. Such unexploited elements (e.g., an unexplored jungle, this year's unemployed school leavers) exist technologically precisely as potential resources.

    Heidegger's flagship example of technology is a hydroelectric plant built on the Rhine river that converts that river into a mere supplier of water power. Set against this “monstrousness” (Question Concerning Technology 321) is the poetic habitation of the natural environment of the Rhine as signalled by an old wooden bridge that spanned the river for hundreds of years, plus the river as revealed by Hölderlin's poem “The Rhine”. In these cases of poetic habitation, natural phenomena are revealed to us as objects of respect and wonder. One might think that Heidegger is over-reacting here, and that despite the presence of the hydroelectric plant, the Rhine in many ways remains a glorious example of natural beauty. Heidegger's response to this complaint is to focus on how the technological mode of Being corrupts the very notion of unspoilt areas of nature, by reducing such areas to resources ripe for exploitation by the tourist industry. Turning our attention to inter-human affairs, the technological mode of Being manifests itself when, for example, a friendly chat in the bar is turned into networking (Dreyfus 1993). And, in the light of Heidegger's analysis, one might smile wryly at the trend for companies to take what used to be called ‘personnel’ departments, and to rename them ‘human resources’. Many other examples could be given, but the general point is clear. The primary phenomenon to be understood is not technology as a collection of instruments, but rather technology as a clearing that establishes a deeply instrumental and, as Heidegger sees it, grotesque understanding of the world in general. Of course, if technological revealing were a largely restricted phenomenon, characteristic of isolated individuals or groups, then Heidegger's analysis of it would be of limited interest. The sting in the tale, however, is that, according to Heidegger, technological revealing is not a peripheral aspect of Being. Rather, it defines our modern way of living, at least in the West.

    At this point one might pause to wonder whether technology really is the structure on which we should be concentrating. The counter-suggestion would be that technological thinking is merely the practical application of modern mathematical science, and that the latter is therefore the primary phenomenon. Heidegger rejects this view, arguing in contrast that the establishment of the technological mode of revealing is a necessary condition for there to be mathematical science at all, since such science “demands that nature be orderable as standing-reserve” by requiring that “nature report itself in some way or other that is identifiable through calculation and that it remain orderable as a system of information” (Question Concerning Technology 328). Either way, one might object to the view of science at work here, by pointing to analyses which suggest that while science may reduce objects to instrumental means rather than ends, it need not behave in this way. For example, O'Neill (2003) develops such an analysis by drawing explicitly on (one interpretation of) the Marxist (and ultimately Aristotelian) notion of the humanization of the senses. Good science may depend on the capacity for the disinterested use of the senses, and so foster a non-instrumental responsiveness to natural objects as ends rather than as means. This is a ‘humanization’ because the disinterested use of the senses is a characteristically human capacity. Thus to develop such a capacity is to develop a distinctively human virtue, something which is a constituent of human well-being. Moreover, if science may sometimes operate with a sense of awe and wonder in the face of beings, it may point the way beyond the technological clearing, an effect that, as we shall see later, Heidegger thinks is achieved principally by some great art.

    By revealing beings as no more than the measurable and the manipulable, technology ultimately reduces beings to not-beings (Contributions 2: 6). This is our first proper glimpse of the oblivion of Being, the phenomenon that, in the Contributions, Heidegger also calls the abandonment of Being, or the abandonment of beings by Being (e.g., 55: 80). The notion of a not-being signals two things: (i) technological revealing drives out any sense of awe and wonder in the presence of beings, obliterating the secularized sense of what is sacred that is exemplified by the poetic habitation of the natural environment of the Rhine; (ii) we are essentially indifferent to the loss. Heidegger calls this indifference “the hidden distress of no-distress-at-all” (Contributions 4: Cool. Indeed, on Heidegger's diagnosis, our response to the loss of any feeling of sacredness or awe in the face of beings is to find a technological substitute for that feeling, in the form of “lived-experience”, a drive for entertainment and information, “exaggeration and uproar” (Contributions 66: 91). All that said, however, technology should not be thought of as a wholly ‘negative’ phenomenon. For Heidegger, technology is not only the great danger, it is also a stage in the unfolding of Being that brings us to the brink of a kind of secularized salvation, by awakening in us a (re-)discovery of the sacred, appropriately understood (cf. Thomson 2003, 64–66). A rough analogy might be drawn here with the Marxist idea that the unfolding of history results in the establishment of capitalist means of production with their characteristic ‘negative’ elements—labour treated merely as a commodity, the multi-dimensional alienation of the workers—that bring us to the brink of (by creating the immediate social and economic preconditions for) the socialist transformation of society. Indeed, the analogy might be pushed a little further: just as the socialist transformation of society remains anything but inevitable (Trotsky taught us that), Heidegger argues that the salvation-bringing transformation of the present condition of human being is most certainly not bound to occur.

    To bring all these points into better view, we need to take a step back and ask the following question. Is the technological mode of revealing ultimately a human doing for which we are responsible? Heidegger's answer is ‘yes and no’. On the one hand, humankind is the active agent of technological thinking, so humankind is not merely a passive element. On the other hand, “the unconcealment itself… is never a human handiwork” (Question Concerning Technology 324). As Heidegger later put it, the “essence of man is framed, claimed and challenged by a power which manifests itself in the essence of technology, a power which man himself does not control.” (Only a God can Save Us; 107, my emphasis). To explicate the latter point, Heidegger introduces the concepts of destining (cf. the earlier notion of ‘destiny’) and enframing. Destining is “what first starts man upon a way of revealing” (Question Concerning Technology 329). As such it is an a priori transcendental structure of human Being and so beyond our control. Human history is a temporally organized kaleidoscope of particular ordainings of destining (see also On the Essence of Truth). Enframing is one such ordaining, the “gathering together of the setting-upon that sets upon man, i.e., challenges him forth, to reveal the actual, in the mode of ordering, as standing-reserve” (Question Concerning Technology 325). This is, of course, a way of unpacking the point (see above) that technology is “a manner of the essential swaying of being” (Contributions 61: 88), that is, of Being's own essential unfolding.

    Enframing, then, is the ordaining of destining that ushers in the modern technological clearing. But there is more to it than that. To see why, consider the following criticism of Heidegger's analysis, as we have unpacked it so far. Any suggestion that technological thinking has appeared for the first time along with our modern Western way of living would seem to be straightforwardly false. To put the point crudely, surely the ancient Greeks sometimes treated entities merely as instrumental means. But if that is right, and Heidegger would agree that it is, then how can it be that technological thinking defines the spirit of our age? The answer lies in Heidegger's belief that pre-modern, traditional artisanship (as exemplified by the old wooden bridge over the Rhine), manifests what he calls poiesis. In this context poiesis is to be understood as a process of gathering together and fashioning natural materials in such a way that the human project in which they figure is in a deep harmony with, indeed reveals—or as Heidegger sometimes says when discussing poiesis, brings forth—the essence of those materials and any natural environment in which they are set. Thus, in discussing what needs to be learnt by an apprentice to a traditional cabinetmaker, Heidegger writes:

    If he is to become a true cabinetmaker, he makes himself answer and respond above all to the different kinds of wood and to the shapes slumbering within wood—to wood as it enters into man's dwelling with all the hidden riches of its essence. In fact, this relatedness to wood is what maintains the whole craft. Without that relatedness, the craft will never be anything but empty busywork, any occupation with it will be determined exclusively by business concerns. Every handicraft, all human dealings, are constantly in that danger. (What is Called Thinking? 379)

    Poiesis, then, is a process of revealing. Poietic events are acts of unconcealment—one is tempted to coin the ugly neologism truth-ing—in which entities are allowed to show themselves. As with the closely related notion of original truth that is at work in Being and Time, the idea of entities showing themselves does not imply that what is revealed in poiesis is something independent of human involvement. Thus what is revealed by the artisanship of the cabinetmaker is “wood as it enters into man's dwelling”. This telling remark forges a crucial philosophical link (and not merely an etymological one) between the poietic and poetic. Poietic events and poetic habitation involve the very same mode of intelligibility.

    By introducing the concept of poiesis, and by unearthing the presence of the phenomenon in traditional artisanship, Heidegger is suggesting that even though technological thinking was a possibility in pre-modern society, it was neither the only nor the dominant mode of bringing-forth. So what has changed? Heidegger argues that what is distinctive about enframing as an ordaining of destining is (i) that it “drives out every other possibility of revealing” (Question Concerning Technology 332), and (ii) that it covers up revealing as such (more precisely, covers up the concealing-unconcealing character of appropriation), thereby leaving us blind to the fact that technology is, in its essence, a clearing. For Heidegger, these dual features of enframing are intimately tied up with the idea of technology as metaphysics completing itself. He writes: “[a]s a form of truth [clearing] technology is grounded in the history of metaphysics, which is itself a distinctive and up to now the only perceptible phase of the history of Being” (Letter on Humanism 244). According to Heidegger, metaphysics conceives of Being as a being (for more on the reduction of Being to a being, see section 2.2.1 above). In so doing, metaphysics obscures the concealing-unconcealing dynamic of the essential unfolding of Being, a dynamic that provides the a priori condition for there to be beings. The history of metaphysics is thus equivalent to the history of Western philosophy in which Being as such is passed over, a history that, for Heidegger, culminates in the nihilistic forces of Nietzsche's eternally recurring will-to-power. The totalizing logic of metaphysics involves the view that there is a single clearing (whatever it may be) that constitutes reality. This renders thought insensitive to the fundamental structure of Being, in which any particular clearing is ontologically co-present with the unintelligible plenitude of alternative clearings, the mystery. With this totalizing logic in view, enframing might be thought of as the ordaining of destining that establishes the technological clearing as the one dominant picture, to the exclusion of all others. Hence technology is metaphysics completing itself.

    We are now in a position to deal with two items of unfinished business. First, recall the stylistic shift that characterizes Heidegger's later work. Heidegger not only increasingly engages with poetry in his later thinking (especially the works of the German lyric poet Hölderlin), he also adopts a substantially more poetic style of writing. But why? The language of metaphysics, which ultimately unpacks itself as technological, calculative thinking, is a language from which Heidegger believed he did not fully escape in Being and Time (see quotation from the Letter on Humanism at the beginning of section 3.1 above, and Vallega-Neu 2003 24–9 for discussion). What is needed to think Being historically, to think Being in its essential unfolding, is a different kind of philosophical language, a language suggested by the poetic character of dwelling. It is important to realize that Heidegger's intention here is not to place Being beyond philosophy and within the reach of poetry, although he does believe that certain poets, such as Hölderlin, enable us to glimpse the mysterious aspect of Being. His intention, rather, is to establish that the kind of philosophy that is needed here is itself poetic. This explains the stylistic component of the turn.

    Secondly, recall the loss of dwelling identified by Heidegger. Modern humankind (at least in the West) is in the (enframed) grip of technological thinking. Because of this promotion of instrumentality as the fundamental way of Being of entities, we have lost sight of how to inhabit the fourfold poetically, of how to safeguard the fourfold in its essential unfolding. Such safeguarding would, in a sense, be the opposite of technological thinking. But what ‘opposite’ amounts to here needs to be worked out with care. Given contemporary concerns over deforestation, global warming and the like, it is tempting to think that Heidegger's analysis of technology might provide the philosophical platform for some sort of extreme eco-radicalism. However, while there is undoubtedly much of value to be said about the contribution that Heidegger's thinking may make to contemporary debates in environmental ethics (see e.g., Zimmerman 1983, 1993, 2002), Heidegger was no eco-warrior and no luddite. Although he often promoted a romantic image of a pre-technological age inhabited by worthy peasants in touch with nature, he did not believe that it is possible for modern humankind to forge some pastoral Eden from which technology (in both the everyday and the essential sense) is entirely absent. So we should neither “push on blindly with technology” nor “curse it as the work of the devil” (Question Concerning Technology 330). Indeed, both these options would at root be technological modes of thinking. The way forward, according to Heidegger, is not to end technology, but rather to inhabit it differently (see e.g., Vallega-Neu 2003 93 note 15). We need to transform our mode of Being into one in which technology (in the sense of the machines and devices of the modern age) is there for us to enjoy and use, but in which technology (in the sense of a mode of Being-in-the-world) is not our only or fundamental way of encountering entities. And what is the basic character of this reinhabiting? It is to shelter the truth of Being in beings (e.g., Contributions 246: 273), to safeguard the fourfold in its essential unfolding. In what, then, does this safeguarding consist?

    3.4 Safeguarding

    Heidegger argues that if humankind is to enter into safeguarding, it needs to learn (or perhaps to learn once more) to think of Being as a gift that has been granted to us in history. Indeed, to think properly is precisely to be grateful for the gift of Being (see What is Called Thinking?). (Terms such as ‘gift’ and ‘granted’ should not be heard theologically, but in terms of secularized sacredness and destining.) In this learning process, certain artworks constitute ontological beacons that disrupt the technological clearing. Thus recall that Heidegger identifies a shared form of disclosure that is instantiated both by the old wooden bridge over the Rhine and by Hölderlin's poem “The Rhine”. We can now understand this identification in terms of the claim that certain artworks (although of course not those that themselves fall prey to technological thinking) share with traditional artisanship the capacity to realize poiesis. In so doing such artworks succeed in bringing us into contact with the mystery through their expression of dwelling (poetic habitation). In listening attentively and gratefully to how Being announces itself in such artworks, humankind will prepare themselves for the task of safeguarding.

    But what exactly would one do in order to safeguard the fourfold in its essential unfolding. Recall that in Building Dwelling Thinking Heidegger presents safeguarding as a four-dimensional way of Being. The first two dimensions—saving the earth and receiving the sky as sky—refer to our relationship with the non-human natural world. As such they forge a genuine connection between the later Heidegger and contemporary environmentalist thinking. However, the connection needs to be stated with care. Once again the concept of poiesis is central. Heidegger holds that the self-organized unfolding of the natural world, the unaided blossoming of nature, is itself a process of poiesis. Indeed it is poiesis “in the highest sense” (Question Concerning Technology 317). One might think, then, that saving the earth, safeguarding in its first dimension, is a matter of leaving nature to its own devices, of actively ensuring that the conditions obtain for unaided natural poiesis. However, for Heidegger, saving the earth is primarily an ontological, rather than an ecological, project. ‘Save’ here means “to set something free into its own essence” (Building Dwelling Thinking, p.352), and thus joins a cluster of related concepts that includes dwelling and also poiesis as realized in artisanship and art. So while, say, fiercely guarding the integrity of wilderness areas may be one route to safeguarding, saving the earth may also be achieved through the kind of artisanship and its associated gathering of natural materials that is characteristic of the traditional cabinetmaker. The concept of saving as a setting free of something into its own essence also clears a path to another important point. All four dimensions of safeguarding have at their root the notion of staying with things, of letting things be in their essence through cultivation or construction. Heidegger describes such staying with things as “the only way in which the fourfold stay within the fourfold [i.e., safeguarding] is accomplished at any time in simple unity” (Building Dwelling Thinking 353). It is thus the unifying existential structure of safeguarding.

    What now of safeguarding in its second dimension—to receive the sky as sky? Here Heidegger's main concern seems to be to advocate the synchronization of contemporary human life with the rhythms of nature (day and night, the seasons, and so on). Here safeguarding is exemplified by the aforementioned peasants whose lives were interlocked with such natural rhythms (through planting seasons etc.) in a way that modern technological society is not. One might note that this dislocation has become even more pronounced since Heidegger's death, with the advent of the Internet-driven, 24-hours-a-day-7-days-a-week service culture. Once again we need to emphasize that Heidegger's position is not some sort of philosophical ludditism, but a plea for the use of contemporary machines and devices in a way that is sensitive to the temporal patterns of the natural world. (For useful discussion see Young 2002, 110–113. Young makes an illuminating connection with Heidegger's eulogy to van Gogh's painting of a pair of peasant shoes to be found in The Origin of the Work of Art.)

    Of course, these relationships with nature are still only part of what safeguarding involves. Its third and fourth dimensions demand that human beings await the divinities as divinities and “initiate their own essential being—their being capable of death as death—into the use and practice of this capacity, so that there may be a good death” (Building Dwelling Thinking 352). The latter demand suggests that we may safeguard each other as mortals by integrating a non-evasive attitude to death (see above) into the cultural structures (e.g., the death-related customs and ceremonies) of the community. But now what about the third dimension of safeguarding? What does it mean to await the divinities as divinities?

    Let's again approach our question via a potential problem with Heidegger's account. Echoing a worry that attaches to the concept of heritage in Being and Time, it may seem that the notion of destining, especially in its more specific manifestation as enframing, involves a kind of fatalism. Despite some apparent rhetoric to the contrary, however, Heidegger's considered view is that destining is ultimately not a “fate that compels” (Question Concerning Technology 330). We have been granted the saving power to transform our predicament. Moreover, the fact that we are at a point of danger—a point at which the grip of technological thinking has all but squeezed out access to the poetic and the mystical—will have the effect of thrusting this saving power to the fore. This is the good news. The bad news is that:

    philosophy will not be able to effect an immediate transformation of the present condition of the world. This is not only true of philosophy, but of all merely human thought and endeavor. Only a god can save us. The sole possibility that is left for us is to prepare a sort of readiness, through thinking and poetizing, for the appearance of the god or for the absence of the god in the time of foundering [Untergang]; for in the face of the god who is absent, we founder. (Only a God can Save Us 107)

    That is what it means to await the divinities as divinities.

    3.5 Only a God can Save Us

    Heidegger sometimes uses the term ‘god’ to mean the secularized notion of the sacred already indicated, such that to embrace a god would be to maintain due sensitivity to the thought that beings are granted to us in the essential unfolding of Being. When, in the Contributions, Heidegger writes of the last or ultimate god of the other beginning (where ‘other’ is in relation to the ‘first beginning’ of Western thought in ancient Greece—the beginning of metaphysics), it often seems to be this secularized sacredness that he has in mind (cf. Thomson 2003; see Crownfield 2001for an alternative reading of the last god that maintains a more robust theological dimension, although one which is concrete and historicized). However, Heidegger sometimes seems to use the term ‘god’ or ‘divinity’ to refer to a heroic figure (a cultural template) who may initiate (or help to initiate) a transformational event in the history of Being by opening up an alternative clearing (for this interpretation, see e.g., Young 2002, 98). These heroic figures are the grounders of the abyss, the restorers of sacredness (Contributions 2: 6, see Sallis 2001 for analysis and discussion). It might even be consistent with Heidegger's view to relax the requirement that the divine catalyst must be an individual being, and thus to conceive of certain transformational cultural events or forces themselves as divinities (Dreyfus 2003). In any case, Heidegger argues that, in the present crisis, we are waiting for a god who will reawaken us to the poetic, and thereby enable us to dwell in the fourfold. This task certainly seems to be a noble one. Unfortunately, however, it plunges us into the murkiest and most controversial region of the Heideggerian intellectual landscape, his infamous involvement with Nazism.

    Here is not the place to enter into the historical debate over exactly what Heidegger did and when he did it. However, given his deliberate, albeit arguably short-lived, integration of Nazi ideology with the philosophy of Being (see above), a few all-too-brief comments on the relationship between Heidegger's politics and his philosophical thought are necessary. (For more detailed evidence and discussion, as well as a range of positions on how we should interpret and respond to this relationship, see e.g., Farias 1989; Neske and Kettering 1990; Ott 1993; Pattison 2000; Polt 1999; Rockmore 1992; Sluga, 1993; Wolin 1990, 1993; Young 1997). There is no doubt that Heidegger's Nazi sympathies, however long they lasted, have a more intimate relationship with his philosophical thought than might be suggested by apologist claims that he was a victim of his time (in 1933, lots of intelligent people backed Hitler without thereby supporting the Holocaust that was to come) or that what we have here is ‘merely’ a case of bad political judgment, deserving of censure but with no implications for the essentially independent philosophical programme. Why does the explanation run deeper? The answer is that Heidegger believed (indeed continued to believe until he died) that the German people were destined to carry out a monumental spiritual mission. That mission was nothing less than to be at the helm of the aforementioned transformation of Being in the West, from one of instrumental technology to one of poetic dwelling. In mounting this transformation the German people would be acting not imperialistically, but for all nations in the encounter with modern technology. Of course destining is not a fate that compels, so some divine catalyst would be needed to awake the German nation to its historic mission, a catalyst provided by the spiritual leaders of the Nazi Party.

    Why did Heidegger believe that the German people enjoyed this position of world-historical significance? In the later writings Heidegger argues explicitly that “[t]hinking itself can be transformed only by a thinking which has the same origin and calling”, so the technological mode of Being must be transcended through a new appropriation of the European tradition. Within this process the German people have a special place, because of the “inner relationship of the German language with the language of the Greeks and with their thought”. (Quotations from Only a God can Save Us 113.) Thus it is the German language that links the German people in a privileged way to, as Heidegger sees it, the genesis of European thought and to a pre-technological world-view in which bringing-forth as poiesis is dominant. This illustrates the general point that, for Heidegger, Being is intimately related to language. Language is, as he famously put it in the Letter on Humanism (217), the “house of Being”. So it is via language that Being is linked to particular peoples.

    Even if Heidegger had some sort of argument for the world-historical destiny of the German people, why on earth did he believe that the Nazi Party, of all things, harboured the divine catalyst? Part of the reason seems to have been the seductive effect of a resonance that exists between (a) Heidegger's understanding of traditional German rural life as realizing values and meanings that may counteract the insidious effects of contemporary technology, and (b) the Nazi image of rustic German communities, rooted in German soil, providing a bulwark against foreign contamination. Heidegger certainly exploits this resonance in his pro-Nazi writings. That said there is an important point of disagreement here, one that Heidegger himself drew out. And once again the role of language in Being is at the heart of the issue. Heidegger steadfastly refused to countenance any biologistic underpinning to his views. In 1945 he wrote that, in his 1934 lectures on logic, he “sought to show that language was not the biological-racial essence of man, but conversely, that the essence of man was based on language as a basic reality of spirit” (Letter to the Rector of Freiburg University, November 4, 1945, 64). In words that we have just met, it is language and not biology that, for Heidegger, constitutes the house of Being. So the German Volk are a linguistic-historical, rather than a biological, phenomenon, which explains why Heidegger officially rejected one of the keystones of Nazism, namely its biologically grounded racism. Perhaps Heidegger deserves some credit here, although regrettably the aforementioned lectures on logic also contain evidence of a kind of historically driven ‘racism’. Heidegger suggests that while Africans (along with plants and animals) have no history (in a technical sense understood in terms of heritage), the event of an airplane carrying Hitler to Mussolini is genuinely part of history (see Polt 1999, 155).

    Heidegger was soon disappointed by his ‘divinities’. In a 1935 lecture he remarks that the

    works that are being peddled (about) nowadays as the philosophy of National Socialism, but have nothing whatever to do with the inner truth and greatness of this movement (namely, the encounter between global technology and contemporary man), have all been written by men fishing the troubled waters of values and totalities. (An Introduction to Metaphysics 166)

    So Heidegger came to believe that the spiritual leaders of the Nazi party were false gods. They were ultimately agents of technological thought and thus incapable of completing the historic mission of the German people to transcend global technology. Nonetheless, one way of hearing the 1935 remark is that Heidegger continued to believe in the existence of, and the philosophical motivation for, that mission, a view that Rockmore (1992, 123–4) calls “an ideal form of Nazism”. This interpretation has some force. But perhaps we can at least make room for the thought that Heidegger's repudiation of Nazism goes further than talk of an ideal Nazism allows. For example, responding to the fact that Heidegger drew a parallel between modern agriculture (as a motorized food-industry) and “the manufacturing of corpses in gas chambers and extermination camps”, Young (1997) argues that this would count as a devaluing of the Holocaust only on a superficial reading. According to Young, Heidegger's point is that both modern agriculture and the Final Solution are workings-out of the technological mode of Being, which does not entail that they should be treated as morally equivalent. (Heidegger draws the parallel in a lecture called The Enframing given in 1949. The quotation is taken from Young 1997, 172. For further discussion, see Pattison 2000).

    Heidegger's involvement with Nazism casts a shadow over his life. Whether, and if so to what extent, it casts a more concentrated shadow over at least some of his philosophical work is a more difficult issue. It would be irresponsible to ignore the relationship between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics. But it is surely possible to be critically engaged in a deep and intellectually stimulating way with his sustained investigation into Being, to find much of value in his capacity to think deeply about human life, to struggle fruitfully with what he says about our loss of dwelling, and to appreciate his massive and still unfolding contribution to thought and to thinking, without looking for evidence of Nazism in every twist and turn of the philosophical path he lays down.

    Bibliography

    Primary Literature

    The Gesamtausgabe (Heidegger's collected works in German) are published by Vittorio Klostermann. The process of publication started during Heidegger's lifetime but has not yet been completed. The publication details are available at the Gesamtausgabe Plan page.
    An Introduction to Metaphysics, translated by R. Manheim, New York: Doubleday, 1961.
    Becoming Heidegger: On the Trail of His Early Occasional Writings, 1910–1927, T. Kisiel and T. Sheehan (eds.), Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2007. A collection of English translations of the most philosophical of Heidegger's earliest occasional writings.
    Being and Time, translated by J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962 (first published in 1927).
    [NB: Page numbers in the article refer to the Macquarrie and Robinson translation. A more recent translation of Being and Time exists: Being and Time, translated by J. Stambaugh. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1996. The Stambaugh translation has many virtues, and is certainly more user-friendly for the Heidegger-novice, but it is arguable that the Macquarrie and Robinson translation remains the first choice of most Heidegger scholars.]
    “Building Dwelling Thinking”, translated by A. Hofstadter, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 217–65.
    Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), translated by P. Emad and K. Maly, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.
    History of the Concept of Time, translated by T. Kisiel, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
    Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, translated by R. Taft, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1929/1997
    “Letter on Humanism”, translated by F. A Capuzzi and J. Glenn Gray, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 217–65.
    “Seminar in Le Thor 1968”, translated by A. Mitchell and F. Raffoul, in Four Seminars, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.
    “Letter to the Rector of Freiburg University, November 4, 1945”, may be found in K. A. Moehling, Martin Heidegger and the Nazi Party: An Examination, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University, 1972. Translated by R. Wolin and reprinted in R. Wolin (ed.), The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993, pp. 61–66.
    “On the Essence of Truth”, translated by John Sallis, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 115–38.
    “?‘Only a God can Save Us’: Der Spiegel's Interview with Martin Heidegger”, Der Spiegel, May 31st, 1976. Translated by M. O. Alter and J. D. Caputo and published in Philosophy Today XX(4/4): 267–285. Translation reprinted in R. Wolin (ed.), in The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993, pp. 91–116.
    The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, translated by A. Hofstadter, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.
    “The Origin of the Work of Art”, translated by A. Hofstadter with minor changes by D. F. Krell, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 143–212.
    “The Question Concerning Technology”, translated by W. Lovitt with revisions by D. F. Krell, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 311–41.
    “The Self-Assertion of the German University”, translated by W. S. Lewis, in R. Wolin (ed.), in The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993, pp. 29–39.
    “The Thing”, translated by A. Hofstadter, in Poetry, Language, Thought, New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
    What is Called Thinking?, translated by F. D. Wieck and J. Glenn Gray, New York: Harper & Row, 1968. Excerpt published under the title “What Calls for Thinking?” in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 369–91, from which the page number of the passage reproduced above is taken.
    “What is Metaphysics?”, translated by D. F. Krell, in D. F. Krell (ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, revised and expanded edition, London: Routledge, 1993, pp. 93–110.
    Zollikon Seminars: Protocols—Conversations—Letters, translated by F. Mayr, Northwestern University Press, Illinois: Evanston, 2001.

    Other Cited Words

    Adorno, T., 1964, The Jargon of Authenticity, London: Routledge, 2002.
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    Brandom, R., 1983, “Heidegger's Categories in Being and Time”, The Monist, 66(3): 387–409.
    –––, 2002, Tales of the Mighty Dead. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    Cappuccio, M. and Wheeler, M., 2010, “When the Twain Meet: Could the Study of Mind be a Meeting of Minds?”, in J. Chase, E. Mares, J. Reynolds and J. Williams (eds.), On the Futures of Philosophy: Post-Analytic and Meta-Continental Thinking, London: Continuum.
    Caputo, J., 1984, “Husserl, Heidegger and the Question of a ‘Hermeneutic’ Phenomenology”, Husserl Studies, 1: 157–178.
    –––, 1993, “Heidegger and Theology”, in C. Guignon (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 270–88.
    Carel, H., 2006, Life and Death in Freud and Heidegger, New York & Amsterdam: Rodopi.
    Carman, T., 2002, “Review of Steven Galt Crowell, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths Toward Transcendental Phenomenology”. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2002.02.03. URL=http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=1248
    Carnap, R., 1932, “The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language”, in A.J. Ayer (ed.), Logical Positivism, Glencoe, Scotland: Free Press, 1959.
    Christensen, C. B., 1997, “Heidegger's Representationalism”, The Review of Metaphysics 51(1): 77–103.
    –––, 1998, “Getting Heidegger Off the West Coast”, Inquiry 41(1): 65–87.
    Critchley, S., 2001, Continental Philosophy: a Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Crowell, S. Galt, 2001, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths Toward Transcendental Phenomenology, Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
    –––, 2005, “Heidegger and Husserl: The Matter and Method of Philosophy”, in H. L. Dreyfus and M. A. Wrathall (eds.) A Companion to Heidegger, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 49–64.
    Crowell, S. Galt. and Malpas, J. (eds.), 2007, Transcendental Heidegger, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    Crownfield, D., 2001, “The Last God”, in Scott et al., pp. 213–228.
    Dahlstrom, D.O., 1994, “Heidegger's Critique of Husserl”. In T. Kisiel and J. van Buren (eds.) Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought, Albany: State University of New York Press.
    –––, 2001, Heidegger's Concept of Truth, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Dostal, R. J., 1993, “Time and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger”, in C. Guignon (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 141–169.
    Dreyfus, H. L., 1990, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    –––, 1992, What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    –––, 1993, “Heidegger on the Connection between Nihilism, Art, Technology and Politics”, in C. Guignon (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 289–316.
    –––, 2008, “Why Heideggerian AI Failed and How Fixing It Would Require Making It More Heideggerian”, in P. Husbands, O. Holland, and M. Wheeler (eds.), The Mechanical Mind in History, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, pp. 331–71. (A shortened version of this paper appears in under the same title in Philosophical Psychology 20/2: 247–268, 2007. Another version appears under the same title in Artificial Intelligence, 171: 1137–1160, 2007.)
    Edwards, P., 1975, “Heidegger and Death as a ‘Possibility’?”, Mind 84(1): 546–66.
    –––, 1976, “Heidegger and Death: a Deflationary Critique”, The Monist 59(1):161–86.
    –––, 2004, Heidegger's Confusions, New York: Prometheus.
    Farias, V., 1989, Heidegger and Nazism, Temple University Press.
    Gallagher, S., and Jacobson, R.S., forthcoming, “Heidegger and Social Cognition”, in J. Kiverstein and M. Wheeler (eds.), Heidegger and Cognitive Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Gelven, M., 1989, A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Revised Edition, De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press.
    Guignon, C., 1993, “Authenticity, Moral Values, and Psychotherapy”, in C. Guignon (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 215–39.
    Haugeland, J., 2007, “Letting Be”, in Crowell and Malpas 2007.
    –––, 2005, “Reading Brandom Reading Heidegger”, European Journal of Philosophy 13(3): 421–28.
    Hinman, L., 1978, “Heidegger, Edwards, and Being-toward-Death”, Southern Journal of Philosophy XVI(3): 193–212.
    Husserl, E., 1900, Logical Investigations, translated by A.J. Findlay, London: Routledge, 1973.
    –––, 1913, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology Book 1, translated by F. Kersten, Berlin: Springer, 1983.
    Kant, I., 1781, Critique of Pure Reason, translated by P. Guyer and A. Wood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
    Kisiel, T., 1993, The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time, Berkeley: University of California Press.
    –––, 2002, Heidegger's Way of Thought: Critical and Interpretive Signposts, A. Denker and M. Heinz (eds.), London: Continuum.
    Kisiel, T. and van Buren, J. (eds.), 1994, Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought, Albany: State University of New York Press.
    Kiverstein, J. and Wheeler. M. (eds.), forthcoming, Heidegger and Cognitive Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Löwith, K., 1928, Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen, in K. Stichweh (ed.), Sämtliche Schriften, Vol. 1. (9–197), untranslated, Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1981.
    Malpas, J., 2006, Heidegger's Topology, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    –––, forthcoming, “Heidegger, Space, and World”, in J. Kiverstein and M. Wheeler (eds.), Heidegger and Cognitive Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Mitchell, A. J., 2010, “The Fourfold”, in B. W. Davis (ed.), Martin Heidegger: Key Concepts, Durham: Acumen, pp. 208–18
    Mulhall, S., 2005, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Heidegger and ‘Being and Time‘, (second edition), London: Routledge.
    Murray, M. (ed.), 1978, Heidegger and Modern Philosophy: Critical Essays, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
    Neske, G. and Kettering, E., 1990, Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers, translated by Lisa Harries, New York: Paragon House.
    Olafson, F., 1987, Heidegger and the Philosophy of Mind, New Haven: Yale University Press.
    O'Neill, J., 1993, Ecology, Policy and Politics: Human Well-Being and the Natural World, New York: Routledge.
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    Ott, H., 1993, Martin Heidegger: a Political Life, London: Harper Collins.
    Overgaard, S., 2002, “Heidegger's Concept of Truth Revisited”, Nordic Journal of Philosophy, 3(2): 73–90.
    –––, 2003, “Heidegger's Early Critique of Husserl”, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 11(2): 157–175.
    Pattison, G., 2000, The Later Heidegger, London: Routledge.
    Pöggeler, O., 1963, Martin Heidegger's Path of Thinking, translated by D. Magurshak and S. Barber, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1987.
    Polt, R., 1999, Heidegger: an Introduction, London: Routledge.
    Ratcliffe, M., 2008, Feelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychiatry and the Sense of Reality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Richardson, W. J., 1963, Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought, The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishing.
    Ricoeur, P., 1992, Oneself as Another, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Rockmore, T., 1992, On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, London: Wheatsheaf.
    Rorty, R., 1991a, Essays on Heidegger and Others (Philosophical Papers, Volume 2), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    –––, 1991b, “Heidegger, Contingency, and Pragmatism”, in his Essays on Heidegger and Others (Philosophical Papers, Volume 2), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 27–49. Also in H. L. Dreyfus and H. Hall (eds.), Heidegger: a Critical Reader, Oxford: Blackwell, 1992, and H. L. Dreyfus and M. A. Wrathall (eds.) A Companion to Heidegger, Oxford: Blackwell, 2005, pp. 511–32.
    Sallis, J., 2001, “Grounders of the Abyss”, in Scott et al., 2001, pp. 181–97.
    Sartre, J.-P., 1956, Being and Nothingness, New York: Philosophical Library.
    Schoenbohm, S. M., 2001, “Reading Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy: an Orienation”, in Scott et al., 2001, pp. 15–31
    Schurmann, R., 1992, “Riveted to a Monstrous Site: on Heidegger's Beitrage zur Philosophie”, in T. Rockmore and J. Margolis (eds.) The Heidegger Case: on Philosophy and Politics, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
    Scott, C. E., Schoenbohm, S. M. Vallega-Neu, D. and Vallega, A. (eds.), 2001, Companion to Heidegger's, Contributions to Philosophy, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    Sharr, A., 2007, Heidegger for Architects, London: Routledge.
    Sheehan, T., 1975, “Heidegger, Aristotle and Phenomenology”, Philosophy Today, XIX(Summer): 87–94.
    –––, 2001, “A Paradigm Shift in Heidegger Research”, Continental Philosophy Review, 32(2): 1–20.
    –––, 2010, “The Turn’, in B. W. Davis (ed.), Martin Heidegger: Key Concepts, Durham: Acumen, pp. 82–101.
    Sluga, H., 1993, Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    Stiegler, B., 1996, Technics and Time, 2: Disorientation, translated by Stephen Barker, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2003.
    Thomson, I., 2003, “The Philosophical Fugue: Understanding the Structure and Goal of Heidegger's Beiträge”, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 34(1): 57–73.
    Tugendhat, E., 1967, Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger (The Concept of truth in Husserl and Heidegger), untranslated, Berlin: de Gruyter.
    Vallega, A., 2001, “?‘Beyng-Historical Thinking’ in Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy”, in Scott et al., 2001, pp. 48–65
    Vallega-Neu, D., 2003, Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy: an Introduction, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    –––, 2010, “Ereignis: the Event of Appropriation”, in B. W. Davis (ed.), Martin Heidegger: Key Concepts, Durham: Acumen,pp. 140–54
    van Buren, J., 1994, The Young Heidegger: Rumor of the Hidden King, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    –––, 2005, “The Earliest Heidegger: a New Field of Research”, in H. L. Dreyfus and M. A. Wrathall (eds.) A Companion to Heidegger, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 19–31.
    von Herrmann, F.-W., 2001, “Contributions to Philosophy and Enowning-Historical Thinking”, in Scott et al. 2001, pp. 105–26
    Wheeler, M., 2005, Reconstructing the Cognitive World: the Next Step, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    Wolin, R., 1990, The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    –––, 1993, The Heidegger Controversy: a Critical Reader, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    Young, J., 1997, Heidegger, Philosophy, Nazism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    –––, 2002, Heidegger's Later Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Ziarek, K., 1989, “The Reception of Heidegger's Thought in American Literary Criticism”, Diacritics, 19(3/4): 114–26.
    Zimmerman, M. E., 1983, “Toward a Heideggerean Ethos for Radical Environmentalism”, Environmental Ethics, 5(3): 99–131.
    –––, 1993, “Rethinking the Heidegger—Deep Ecology Relationship”, Environmental Ethics, 15(3): 195–224.
    –––, 2002, “Heidegger's Phenomenology and Contemporary Environmentalism”, in T. Toadvine (ed.), Eco-Phenomenology: Back to the Earth Itself, Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 73–101.

    Additional Reading

    Carman, T., 2003, Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse, and Authenticity in ‘Being and Time’, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Clark, T., 2001, Routledge Critical Thinkers: Martin Heidegger, London: Routledge.
    Dreyfus, H.L. and Hall, H. (eds.), 1992, Heidegger: a Critical Reader, Oxford: Blackwell.
    Dreyfus, H.L. and Wrathall, M. (eds.), 2002, Heidegger Reexamined (4 Volumes), London: Routledge.
    Gorner, P., 2007, Heidegger's Being and Time: an Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Guignon, C., 1983, Heidegger and the Problem of Knowledge, Indiana: Hackett.
    –––, (ed.), 1993, The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Macann, C. (ed.), 1992, Heidegger: Critical Assessments (4 Volumes), London: Routledge.
    –––. (ed.), 1996, Critical Heidegger, London: Routledge.
    Marx. W., 1970, Heidegger and the Tradition, translated by T. Kisiel and M. Greene, Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
    Wrathall, M., 2003, How to Read Heidegger, London: Granta.
    Wrathall, M. and Malpas, J. (eds.), 2000, Heidegger, Authenticity and Modernity: Essays in Honor of Hubert L. Dreyfus, Volume 1, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    –––, (eds.), 2000, Heidegger, Coping and Cognitive Science: Essays in Honor of Hubert L. Dreyfus, Volume 2, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.


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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:34 am

    If I fail to save the solar system -- perhaps I can save Madagascar!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madagascar Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar (Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara [republi'k?an madagas'k?ar??]; French: République de Madagascar) and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

    Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around AD 1000 by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into eighteen or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.

    Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-political alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed Republics. Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a coup d'état. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014 when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.

    In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana these investments produced substantial economic growth but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class. As of 2014, the economy has been weakened by the recently concluded political crisis and quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population.

    In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara [madagas?'k?ar??] and its people are referred to as Malagasy.[3] The island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans.[10] The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and christened it São Lourenço, but Polo's name was preferred and popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited.[11]

    At 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi),[12] Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country[5] and the fourth-largest island.[12] The country lies mostly between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, and longitudes 43°E and 51°E.[13] Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west. The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west.

    The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India about 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation.[14] Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest.

    To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m (2,460 to 4,920 ft) above sea level. These central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that formerly covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the increasingly arid terrain gradually slopes down to the Mozambique Channel and mangrove swamps along the coast.[15]

    Madagascar's highest peaks rise from three prominent highland massifs: Maromokotro 2,876 m (9,436 ft) in the Tsaratanana Massif is the island's highest point, followed by Boby Peak 2,658 m (8,720 ft) in the Andringitra Massif, and Tsiafajavona 2,643 m (8,671 ft) in the Ankaratra Massif. To the east, the Canal des Pangalanes is a chain of man-made and natural lakes connected by canals built by the French just inland from the east coast and running parallel to it for some 600 km (370 mi). The western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to dry deciduous forests, spiny forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. Due to their lower population densities, Madagascar's dry deciduous forests have been better preserved than the eastern rain forests or the original woodlands of the central plateau. The western coast features many protected harbors, but silting is a major problem caused by sediment from the high levels of inland erosion carried by rivers crossing the broad western plains.[16]

    The combination of southeastern trade winds and northwestern monsoons produces a hot rainy season (November–April) with frequently destructive cyclones, and a relatively cooler dry season (May–October). Rain clouds originating over the Indian Ocean discharge much of their moisture over the island's eastern coast; the heavy precipitation supports the area's rain forest ecosystem. The central highlands are both drier and cooler while the west is drier still, and a semi-arid climate prevails in the southwest and southern interior of the island.[15] Tropical cyclones annually cause damage to infrastructure and local economies as well as loss of life.[17] In 2004 Cyclone Gafilo became the strongest cyclone ever recorded to hit Madagascar. The storm killed 172 people, left 214,260 homeless[18] and caused more than US$250 million in damage.[19]

    As a result of the island's long isolation from neighboring continents, Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.[20][21] Approximately 90 percent of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic,[22] including the lemurs (a type of prosimian primate), the carnivorous fossa and many birds. This distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent",[23] and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.[20]

    More than 80 percent of Madagascar's 14,883 plant species are found nowhere else in the world, including five plant families.[24] The family Didiereaceae, composed of four genera and 11 species, is limited to the spiny forests of southwestern Madagascar.[15] Four-fifths of the world's Pachypodium species are endemic to the island.[25] Three-fourths[26] of Madagascar's 860[24] orchid species are found here alone, as are six of the world's eight baobab species.[27] The island is home to around 170 palm species, three times as many as on all of mainland Africa; 165 of them are endemic.[26] Many native plant species are used as herbal remedies for a variety of afflictions. The drugs vinblastine and vincristine, used to treat Hodgkin's disease, leukemia and other cancers, were derived from the Madagascar periwinkle.[28] The traveler's palm, known locally as ravinala[29] and endemic to the eastern rain forests,[30] is highly iconic of Madagascar and is featured in the national emblem as well as the Air Madagascar logo.[31]

    Like its flora, Madagascar's fauna is diverse and exhibits a high rate of endemism. Lemurs have been characterized as "Madagascar's flagship mammal species" by Conservation International.[20] In the absence of monkeys and other competitors, these primates have adapted to a wide range of habitats and diversified into numerous species. As of 2012, there were officially 103 species and subspecies of lemur,[33] 39 of which were described by zoologists between 2000 and 2008.[34] They are almost all classified as rare, vulnerable, or endangered. At least 17 species of lemur have become extinct since man arrived on Madagascar, all of which were larger than the surviving lemur species.[35] A number of other mammals, including the cat-like fossa, are endemic to Madagascar. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded on the island, of which over 60 percent (including four families and 42 genera) are endemic.[20] The few families and genera of reptile that have reached Madagascar have diversified into more than 260 species, with over 90 percent of these being endemic[36] (including one endemic family).[20] The island is home to two-thirds of the world's chameleon species,[36] including the smallest known,[37] and researchers have proposed that Madagascar may be the origin of all chameleons. Endemic fish of Madagascar include two families, 15 genera and over 100 species, primarily inhabiting the island's freshwater lakes and rivers. Although invertebrates remain poorly studied on Madagascar, researchers have found high rates of endemism among the known species. All 651 species of terrestrial snail are endemic, as are a majority of the island's butterflies, scarab beetles, lacewings, spiders and dragonflies.[20]

    Madagascar's varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity.[38] Since the arrival of humans around 2,350 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90 percent of its original forest.[39] This forest loss is largely fueled by tavy ("fat"), a traditional slash-and-burn agricultural practice imported to Madagascar by the earliest settlers.[40] Malagasy farmers embrace and perpetuate the practice not only for its practical benefits as an agricultural technique, but for its cultural associations with prosperity, health and venerated ancestral custom (fomba malagasy).[41] As human population density rose on the island, deforestation accelerated beginning around 1400 years ago.[42] By the 16th century, the central highlands had been largely cleared of their original forests.[40] More recent contributors to the loss of forest cover include the growth in cattle herd size since their introduction around 1000 years ago, a continued reliance on charcoal as a fuel for cooking, and the increased prominence of coffee as a cash crop over the past century.[43] According to a conservative estimate, about 40 percent of the island's original forest cover was lost from the 1950s to 2000, with a thinning of remaining forest areas by 80 percent.[44] In addition to traditional agricultural practice, wildlife conservation is challenged by the illicit harvesting of protected forests, as well as the state-sanctioned harvesting of precious woods within national parks. Although banned by then-President Marc Ravalomanana from 2000 to 2009, the collection of small quantities of precious timber from national parks was re-authorized in January 2009 and has dramatically intensified under the administration of current head of state Andry Rajoelina as a key source of state revenues to offset cuts in donor support following Ravalomanana's ouster.[45] It is anticipated that all the island's rainforests, excluding those in protected areas and the steepest eastern mountain slopes, will have been deforested by 2025.[46] Invasive species have likewise been introduced by human populations. Following the 2014 discovery in Madagascar of the Asian common toad, a relative of a toad species that has severely harmed wildlife in Australia since the 1930s, researchers warned the toad could "wreak havoc on the country's unique fauna."[47]

    Habitat destruction and hunting have threatened many of Madagascar's endemic species or driven them to extinction. The island's elephant birds, a family of endemic giant ratites, went extinct in 17th century or earlier, most probably due to human hunting of adult birds and poaching of their large eggs for food.[48] Numerous giant lemur species vanished with the arrival of human settlers to the island, while others became extinct over the course of the centuries as a growing human population put greater pressures on lemur habitats and, among some populations, increased the rate of lemur hunting for food.[49] A July 2012 assessment found that the exploitation of natural resources since the 2009 coup has had dire consequences for the island's wildlife: 90 percent of lemur species were found to be threatened with extinction, the highest proportion of any mammalian group. Of these, 23 species were classified as critically endangered. By contrast, a previous study in 2008 had found only 38 percent of lemur species were at risk of extinction.[33]

    In 2003 Ravalomanana announced the Durban Vision, an initiative to more than triple the island's protected natural areas to over 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) or 10 percent of Madagascar's land surface. As of 2011, areas protected by the state included five Strict Nature Reserves (Réserves Naturelles Intégrales), 21 Wildlife Reserves (Réserves Spéciales) and 21 National Parks (Parcs Nationaux).[50] In 2007 six of the national parks were declared a joint World Heritage Site under the name Rainforests of the Atsinanana. These parks are Marojejy, Masoala, Ranomafana, Zahamena, Andohahela and Andringitra.[51] Local timber merchants are harvesting scarce species of rosewood trees from protected rainforests within Marojejy National Park and exporting the wood to China for the production of luxury furniture and musical instruments.[52] To raise public awareness of Madagascar's environmental challenges, the Wildlife Conservation Society opened an exhibit entitled "Madagascar!" in June 2008 at the Bronx Zoo in New York.[53]

    The settlement of Madagascar is a subject of ongoing research and debate. Most archaeologists estimate that the earliest settlers arrived in successive waves throughout the period between 350 BC and 550 AD, while others are cautious about dates earlier than 250 AD. In either case, these dates make Madagascar one of the last major landmasses on Earth to be settled by humans.[54] Early settlers arrived in outrigger canoes from southern Borneo. Upon arrival, early settlers practiced slash-and-burn agriculture to clear the coastal rainforests for cultivation. The first settlers encountered Madagascar's abundance of megafauna, including giant lemurs, elephant birds, giant fossa and the Malagasy hippopotamus, which have since become extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.[55] By 600 AD groups of these early settlers had begun clearing the forests of the central highlands.[56] Arab traders first reached the island between the seventh and ninth centuries.[57] A wave of Bantu-speaking migrants from southeastern Africa arrived around 1000 AD. They introduced the zebu, a type of long-horned humped cattle, which they kept in large herds.[40]

    By 1600, irrigated paddy fields were developed in the central highland Betsileo Kingdom, and were extended with terraced paddies throughout the neighboring Kingdom of Imerina a century later.[56] The rising intensity of land cultivation and the ever-increasing demand for zebu pasturage had largely transformed the central highlands from a forest ecosystem to grassland by the 17th century.[40] The oral histories of the Merina people, who may have arrived in the central highlands between 600 and 1000 years ago, describe encountering an established population they called the Vazimba. Probably the descendants of an earlier and less technologically advanced Austronesian settlement wave, the Vazimba were assimilated or expelled from the highlands by the Merina kings Andriamanelo, Ralambo and Andrianjaka in the 16th and early 17th centuries.[58] Today, the spirits of the Vazimba are revered as tompontany (ancestral masters of the land) by many traditional Malagasy communities.[59]

    Madagascar was an important transoceanic trading hub connecting ports of the Indian Ocean in the early centuries following human settlement. The written history of Madagascar began with the Arabs, who established trading posts along the northwest coast by at least the 10th century and introduced Islam, the Arabic script (used to transcribe the Malagasy language in a form of writing known as sorabe), Arab astrology and other cultural elements.[17] European contact began in 1500, when the Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island.[12] The French established trading posts along the east coast in the late 17th century.[17]

    From about 1774 to 1824, Madagascar gained prominence among pirates and European traders, particularly those involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The small island of Nosy Boroha off the northeastern coast of Madagascar has been proposed by some historians as the site of the legendary pirate utopia of Libertalia.[60] Many European sailors were shipwrecked on the coasts of the island, among them Robert Drury, whose journal is one of the few written depictions of life in southern Madagascar during the 18th century.[61] The wealth generated by maritime trade spurred the rise of organized kingdoms on the island, some of which had grown quite powerful by the 17th century.[62] Among these were the Betsimisaraka alliance of the eastern coast and the Sakalava chiefdoms of Menabe and Boina on the west coast. The Kingdom of Imerina, located in the central highlands with its capital at the royal palace of Antananarivo, emerged at around the same time under the leadership of King Andriamanelo.[63]

    Upon its emergence in the early 17th century, the highland kingdom of Imerina was initially a minor power relative to the larger coastal kingdoms[63] and grew even weaker in the early 18th century when King Andriamasinavalona divided it among his four sons. Following a century of warring and famine, Imerina was reunited in 1793 by King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810).[64] From his initial capital Ambohimanga,[65] and later from the Rova of Antananarivo, this Merina king rapidly expanded his rule over neighboring principalities. His ambition to bring the entire island under his control was largely achieved by his son and successor, King Radama I (1810–28), who was recognized by the British government as King of Madagascar. Radama concluded a treaty in 1817 with the British governor of Mauritius to abolish the lucrative slave trade in return for British military and financial assistance. Artisan missionary envoys from the London Missionary Society began arriving in 1818 and included such key figures as James Cameron, David Jones and David Griffiths, who established schools, transcribed the Malagasy language using the Roman alphabet, translated the Bible, and introduced a variety of new technologies to the island.[66]

    Radama's successor, Queen Ranavalona I (1828–61), responded to increasing political and cultural encroachment on the part of Britain and France by issuing a royal edict prohibiting the practice of Christianity in Madagascar and pressuring most foreigners to leave the territory. Among those who continued to reside in Imerina were Jean Laborde, an entrepreneur who developed munitions and other industries on behalf of the monarchy, and Joseph-François Lambert, a French adventurer and slave trader, with whom then-Prince Radama II signed a controversial trade agreement termed the Lambert Charter. Succeeding his mother, Radama II (1861–63) attempted to relax the queen's stringent policies, but was overthrown two years later by Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony (1852–1865) and an alliance of Andriana (noble) and Hova (commoner) courtiers, who sought to end the absolute power of the monarch.[17] Following the coup, the courtiers offered Radama's queen Rasoherina (1863–68) the opportunity to rule, if she would accept a power sharing arrangement with the Prime Minister—a new social contract that would be sealed by a political marriage between them.[67] Queen Rasoherina accepted, first wedding Rainivoninahitriniony, then later deposing him and wedding his brother, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony (1864–95), who would go on to marry Queen Ranavalona II (1868–83) and Queen Ranavalona III (1883–97) in succession.[68]

    Over the course of Rainilaiarivony's 31-year tenure as prime minister, numerous policies were adopted to modernize and consolidate the power of the central government.[69] Schools were constructed throughout the island and attendance was made mandatory. Army organization was improved, and British consultants were employed to train and professionalize soldiers.[70] Polygamy was outlawed and Christianity, declared the official religion of the court in 1869, was adopted alongside traditional beliefs among a growing portion of the populace.[69] Legal codes were reformed on the basis of British common law and three European-style courts were established in the capital city.[70] In his joint role as Commander-in-Chief, Rainilaiarivony also successfully ensured the defense of Madagascar against several French colonial incursions.[70]

    Primarily on the basis that the Lambert Charter had not been respected, France invaded Madagascar in 1883 in what became known as the first Franco-Hova War.[71] At the end of the war, Madagascar ceded the northern port town of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) to France and paid 560,000 francs to Lambert's heirs.[72] In 1890, the British accepted the full formal imposition of a French protectorate on the island, but French authority was not acknowledged by the government of Madagascar. To force capitulation, the French bombarded and occupied the harbor of Toamasina on the east coast, and Mahajanga on the west coast, in December 1894 and January 1895 respectively.[73] A French military flying column then marched toward Antananarivo, losing many men to malaria and other diseases. Reinforcements came from Algeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Upon reaching the city in September 1895, the column bombarded the royal palace with heavy artillery, causing heavy casualties and leading Queen Ranavalona III to surrender.[74] France annexed Madagascar in 1896 and declared the island a colony the following year, dissolving the Merina monarchy and sending the royal family into exile on Réunion Island and to Algeria. A two-year resistance movement organized in response to the French capture of the royal palace was effectively put down at the end of 1897.[75]

    Under colonial rule, plantations were established for the production of a variety of export crops.[76] Slavery was abolished in 1896 and approximately 500,000 slaves were freed; many remained in their former masters' homes as servants.[77] Wide paved boulevards and gathering places were constructed in the capital city of Antananarivo[78] and the Rova palace compound was turned into a museum.[79] Additional schools were built, particularly in rural and coastal areas where the schools of the Merina had not reached. Education became mandatory between the ages of 6 to 13 and focused primarily on French language and practical skills.[80] The Merina royal tradition of taxes paid in the form of labor was continued under the French and used to construct a railway and roads linking key coastal cities to Antananarivo.[81] Malagasy troops fought for France in World War I.[12] In the 1930s, Nazi political thinkers developed the Madagascar plan on the basis of earlier proposals from Poland and elsewhere in Europe that had identified the island as a potential site for the deportation of Europe's Jews.[82] During the Second World War, the island was the site of the Battle of Madagascar between the Vichy government and the British.[83] The occupation of France during the Second World War tarnished the prestige of the colonial administration in Madagascar and galvanized the growing independence movement, leading to the Malagasy Uprising of 1947.[84] This movement led the French to establish reformed institutions in 1956 under the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act), and Madagascar moved peacefully towards independence.[85] The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on 14 October 1958, as an autonomous state within the French Community. A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution in 1959 and full independence on 26 June 1960.[86]

    Since regaining independence, Madagascar has transitioned through four republics with corresponding revisions to its constitution. The First Republic (1960–72), under the leadership of French-appointed President Philibert Tsiranana, was characterized by a continuation of strong economic and political ties to France. Many high-level technical positions were filled by French expatriates, and French teachers, textbooks and curricula continued to be used in schools around the country. Popular resentment over Tsiranana's tolerance for this "neo-colonial" arrangement inspired a series of farmer and student protests that overturned his administration in 1972.[17]

    Gabriel Ramanantsoa, a Major General in the army, was appointed interim President and Prime Minister that same year, but low public approval forced him to step down in 1975. Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava, appointed to succeed him, was assassinated six days into his tenure. General Gilles Andriamahazo ruled after Ratsimandrava for four months before being replaced by another military appointee: Vice Admiral Didier Ratsiraka, who ushered in the socialist-Marxist Second Republic that ran under his tenure from 1975 to 1993. This period saw a political alignment with the Eastern Bloc countries and a shift toward economic insularity. These policies, coupled with economic pressures stemming from the 1973 oil crisis, resulted in the rapid collapse of Madagascar's economy and a sharp decline in living standards,[17] and the country had become completely bankrupt by 1979. The Ratsiraka administration accepted the conditions of transparency, anti-corruption measures and free market policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and various bilateral donors in exchange for their bailout of the nation's broken economy.[87]

    Ratsiraka's dwindling popularity in the late 1980s reached a critical point in 1991 when presidential guards opened fire on unarmed protesters during a rally. Within two months, a transitional government had been established under the leadership of Albert Zafy (1993–96), who went on to win the 1992 presidential elections and inaugurate the Third Republic (1992–2010).[88] The new Madagascar constitution established a multi-party democracy and a separation of powers that placed significant control in the hands of the National Assembly. The new constitution also emphasized human rights, social and political freedoms, and free trade.[17] Zafy's term, however, was marred by economic decline, allegations of corruption, and his introduction of legislation to give himself greater powers. He was consequently impeached in 1996, and an interim president, Norbert Ratsirahonana, was appointed for the three months prior to the next presidential election. Ratsiraka was then voted back into power on a platform of decentralization and economic reforms for a second term which lasted from 1996 to 2001.[87]

    The contested 2001 presidential elections in which then-mayor of Antananarivo, Marc Ravalomanana, eventually emerged victorious, caused a seven-month standoff in 2002 between supporters of Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka. The negative economic impact of the political crisis was gradually overcome by Ravalomanana's progressive economic and political policies, which encouraged investments in education and ecotourism, facilitated foreign direct investment, and cultivated trading partnerships both regionally and internationally. National GDP grew at an average rate of 7 percent per year under his administration. In the later half of his second term, Ravalomanana was criticised by domestic and international observers who accused him of increasing authoritarianism and corruption.[87]

    Opposition leader and then-mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, led a movement in early 2009 in which Ravalomanana was pushed from power in an unconstitutional process widely condemned as a coup d'état. In March 2009, Rajoelina was declared by the Supreme Court as the President of the High Transitional Authority, an interim governing body responsible for moving the country toward presidential elections. In 2010, a new constitution was adopted by referendum, establishing a Fourth Republic, which sustained the democratic, multi-party structure established in the previous constitution.[88] Hery Rajaonarimampianina was declared the winner of the 2013 presidential election, which the international community deemed fair and transparent.[89]

    Madagascar is a semi-presidential representative democratic multi-party republic, wherein the popularly elected president is the head of state and selects a prime minister, who recommends candidates to the president to form his cabinet of ministers. According to the constitution, executive power is exercised by the government while legislative power is vested in the ministerial cabinet, the Senate and the National Assembly, although in reality these two latter bodies have very little power or legislative role. The constitution establishes independent executive, legislative and judicial branches and mandates a popularly elected president limited to three five-year terms.[12]

    Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014 when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.

    The previous presidential election was held on 3 December 2006 and resulted in the re-election of Marc Ravalomanana, from whom executive power was unconstitutionally transferred to Andry Rajoelina in March 2009. The public also elects the 127 members of the National Assembly to five-year terms. The last National Assembly election was held on 23 September 2007. All 33 members of the Senate serve six-year terms, with 22 senators elected by local officials and 11 appointed by the president. After taking power, Rajoelina dissolved both the National Assembly and the Senate, leaving the nation without a constitutional legislative body.[12] At the local level, the island's 22 provinces are administered by a governor and provincial council. Provinces are further sub-divided into regions and communes. The judiciary is modeled on the French system, with a High Constitutional Court, High Court of Justice, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, criminal tribunals, and tribunals of first instance.[90] The courts, which adhere to civil law, lack the capacity to quickly and transparently try the cases in the judicial system, often forcing defendants to pass lengthy pretrial detentions in unsanitary and overcrowded prisons.[91]

    Antananarivo is the administrative capital and largest city of Madagascar.[12] It is located in the highlands region, near the geographic center of the island. King Andrianjaka founded Antananarivo as the capital of his Imerina Kingdom around 1610 or 1625 upon the site of a captured Vazimba capital on the hilltop of Analamanga.[58] As Merina dominance expanded over neighboring Malagasy peoples in the early 19th century to establish the Kingdom of Madagascar, Antananarivo became the center of administration for virtually the entire island. In 1896 the French colonizers of Madagascar adopted the Merina capital as their center of colonial administration. The city remained the capital of Madagascar after regaining independence in 1960. In 2011, the capital's population was estimated at 1,300,000 inhabitants. The next largest cities are Antsirabe (500,000), Toamasina (450,000) and Mahajanga (400,000).[12]

    As part of an effort to decentralize administration, Madagascar's six administrative provinces (faritany mizakatena), established under the French colonial authority in 1946,[92] were subdivided into 22 regions (faritra) in 2004. The regions became the highest subdivision level when the provinces were dissolved in accordance with the results of the 2007 referendum.[12] The regions are further subdivided into 119 districts, 1,579 communes, and 17,485 fokontany.[93]

    Population 2004 estimate

    Diana (1), Sava (2) Antsiranana 1,291,100
    Itasy (3), Analamanga (4), Vakinankaratra (5), Bongolava (6) Antananarivo 5,370,900
    Sofia (7), Boeny (Cool, Betsiboka (9), Melaky (10) Mahajanga 1,896,000
    Alaotra Mangoro (11), Atsinanana (12), Analanjirofo (13) Toamasina 2,855,600
    Amoron'i Mania (14), Haute-Matsiatra (15), Vatovavy-Fitovinany (16), Atsimo-Atsinanana (17), Ihorombe (18) Fianarantsoa 3,730,200
    Menabe (19), Atsimo-Andrefana (20), Androy (21), Anosy (22) Toliara 2,430,100

    Since Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960, the island's political transitions have been marked by numerous popular protests, several disputed elections, an impeachment, two military coups and one assassination. The island's recurrent political crises are often prolonged, with detrimental effects on the local economy, international relations and Malagasy living standards. The eight-month standoff between incumbent Ratsiraka and challenger Marc Ravalomanana, following the 2001 presidential elections, cost Madagascar millions of dollars in lost tourism and trade revenue as well as damage to infrastructure, such as bombed bridges and buildings damaged by arson.[95] A series of protests led by Andry Rajoelina against Ravalomanana in early 2009 became violent, with more than 170 people killed.[96] The installation of Rajoelina's transitional regime has, since March 2009, caused many bilateral donors and intergovernmental organizations to freeze aid and suspend regular diplomatic relations with Madagascar, causing economic development to stagnate and reversing many of the gains achieved under the previous administration. In addition, modern politics in Madagascar are colored by the history of Merina subjugation of coastal communities under their rule in the 19th century. The consequent tension between the highland and coastal populations has periodically flared up into isolated events of violence.[97]

    Madagascar has historically been perceived as being on the margin of mainstream African affairs despite being a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity, which was established in 1963 and dissolved in 2002 to be replaced by the African Union. Madagascar was not permitted to attend the first African Union summit because of a dispute over the results of the 2001 presidential election, but rejoined the African Union in July 2003 after a 14-month hiatus. However, Madagascar was again suspended by the African Union in March 2009 following the unconstitutional transfer of executive power to Rajoelina.[98] Madagascar is a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the United States military.[12] Eleven countries have established embassies in Madagascar, including France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and India.[99]

    Human rights in Madagascar are protected under the constitution and the state is a signatory to numerous international agreements including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[100] Religious, ethnic and sexual minorities are protected under the law. Freedom of association and assembly are also guaranteed under the law, although in practice the denial of permits for public assembly has occasionally been used to impede political demonstrations.[45][100] Torture by security forces is rare and state repression is low relative to other countries with comparably few legal safeguards, although arbitrary arrests and the corruption of military and police officers remain problems. Ravalomanana's 2004 creation of BIANCO, an anti-corruption bureau, resulted in reduced corruption among Antananarivo's lower-level bureaucrats in particular, although high-level officials have not been prosecuted by the bureau.[45]

    The rise of centralized kingdoms among the Sakalava, Merina and other ethnic groups produced the island's first standing armies by the 16th century, initially equipped with spears but later with muskets, cannons and other firearms.[101] By the early 19th century, the Merina sovereigns of the Kingdom of Madagascar had brought much of the island under their control by mobilizing an army of trained and armed soldiers numbering as high as 30,000.[102] French attacks on coastal towns in the later part of the century prompted then-Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony to solicit British assistance to provide training to the Merina monarchy's army. Despite the training and leadership provided by British military advisers, the Malagasy army was unable to withstand French weaponry and was forced to surrender following an attack on the royal palace at Antananarivo. Madagascar was declared a colony of France in 1897.[103]

    The political independence and sovereignty of the Malagasy armed forces, which comprises an army, navy and air force, was restored with independence from France in 1960.[104] Since this time the Malagasy military has never engaged in armed conflict with another state or within its own borders, but has occasionally intervened to restore order during periods of political unrest. Under the socialist Second Republic, Admiral Didier Ratsiraka instated mandatory national armed or civil service for all young citizens regardless of gender, a policy that remained in effect from 1976 to 1991.[105][106] The armed forces are under the direction of the Minister of the Interior[90] and have remained largely neutral during times of political crisis, as during the protracted standoff between incumbent Ratsiraka and challenger Marc Ravalomanana in the disputed 2001 presidential elections, when the military refused to intervene in favor of either candidate. This tradition was broken in 2009, when a segment of the army defected to the side of Andry Rajoelina, then-mayor of Antananarivo, in support of his attempt to force President Ravalomanana from power.[45]

    The Minister of the Interior is responsible for the national police force, paramilitary force (gendarmerie) and the secret police.[90] The police and gendarmerie are stationed and administered at the local level. However, in 2009 fewer than a third of all communes had access to the services of these security forces, with most lacking local-level headquarters for either corps.[93] Traditional community tribunals, called dina, are presided over by elders and other respected figures and remain a key means by which justice is served in rural areas where state presence is weak. Historically, security has been relatively high across the island.[45] Violent crime rates are low, and criminal activities are predominantly crimes of opportunity such as pickpocketing and petty theft, although child prostitution, human trafficking and the production and sale of marijuana and other illegal drugs are increasing.[90] Budget cuts since 2009 have severely impacted the national police force, producing a steep increase in criminal activity in recent years.[45]

    During Madagascar's First Republic, France heavily influenced Madagascar's economic planning and policy and served as its key trading partner. Key products were cultivated and distributed nationally through producers' and consumers' cooperatives. Government initiatives such as a rural development program and state farms were established to boost production of commodities such as rice, coffee, cattle, silk and palm oil. Popular dissatisfaction over these policies was a key factor in launching the socialist-Marxist Second Republic, in which the formerly private bank and insurance industries were nationalized; state monopolies were established for such industries as textiles, cotton and power; and import–export trade and shipping were brought under state control. Madagascar's economy quickly deteriorated as exports fell, industrial production dropped by 75 percent, inflation spiked and government debt increased; the rural population was soon reduced to living at subsistence levels. Over 50 percent of the nation's export revenue was spent on debt servicing.[16]

    The IMF forced Madagascar's government to accept structural adjustment policies and liberalization of the economy when the state became bankrupt in 1982 and state-controlled industries were gradually privatized over the course of the 1980s. The political crisis of 1991 led to the suspension of IMF and World Bank assistance. Conditions for the resumption of aid were not met under Zafy, who tried unsuccessfully to attract other forms of revenue for the State before aid was once again resumed under the interim government established upon Zafy's impeachment. The IMF agreed to write off half Madagascar's debt in 2004 under the Ravalomanana administration. Having met a set of stringent economic, governance and human rights criteria, Madagascar became the first country to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account in 2005.[12]

    Madagascar's GDP in 2009 was estimated at 8.6 billion USD, with a per capita GDP of $438.[12] Approximately 69 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line threshold of one dollar per day.[107] The agriculture sector constituted 29 percent of Malagasy GDP in 2011, while manufacturing formed 15 percent of GDP. Madagascar's sources of growth are tourism, agriculture and the extractive industries.[108] Tourism focuses on the niche eco-tourism market, capitalizing on Madagascar's unique biodiversity, unspoiled natural habitats, national parks and lemur species.[109] An estimated 365,000 tourists visited Madagascar in 2008, but the sector has declined as a result of the political crisis with 180,000 tourists visiting in 2010.[108]

    Madagascar's natural resources include a variety of unprocessed agricultural and mineral resources. Agriculture, including raffia, fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy. Madagascar is the world's principal supplier of vanilla, cloves[111] and ylang-ylang.[18] Other key agricultural resources include coffee, lychees and shrimp. Key mineral resources include various types of precious and semi-precious stones, and Madagascar currently provides half of the world's supply of sapphires, which were discovered near Ilakaka in the late 1990s.[112] The island also holds one of the world's largest reserves of ilmenite (titanium ore), as well as important reserves of chromite, coal, iron, cobalt, copper and nickel.[16] Several major projects are underway in the mining, oil and gas sectors that are anticipated to give a significant boost to the Malagasy economy. These include such projects as ilmenite and zircon mining from heavy mineral sands near Tôlanaro by Rio Tinto,[113] extraction of nickel near Moramanga and its processing near Toamasina by Sherritt International,[114] and the development of the giant onshore heavy oil deposits at Tsimiroro and Bemolanga by Madagascar Oil.[115]

    Exports formed 28 percent of GDP in 2009.[12] Most of the country's export revenue is derived from the textiles industry, fish and shellfish, vanilla, cloves and other foodstuffs.[108] France is Madagascar's main trading partner, although the United States, Japan and Germany also have strong economic ties to the country.[16] The Madagascar-U.S. Business Council was formed in May 2003, as a collaboration between USAID and Malagasy artisan producers to support the export of local handicrafts to foreign markets.[116] Imports of such items as foodstuffs, fuel, capital goods, vehicles, consumer goods and electronics consume an estimated 52 percent of GDP. The main sources of Madagascar's imports include France, China, Iran, Mauritius and Hong Kong.[12]

    In 2010, Madagascar had approximately 7,617 km (4,730 mi) of paved roads, 854 km (530 mi) of railways and 432 km (270 mi) of navigable waterways.[9] The majority of roads in Madagascar are unpaved, with many becoming impassable in the rainy season. Largely paved national routes connect the six largest regional towns to Antananarivo, with minor paved and unpaved routes providing access to other population centers in each district. There are several rail lines on the island. Antananarivo is connected to Toamasina, Ambatondrazaka and Antsirabe by rail, and another rail line connects Fianarantsoa to Manakara. The most important seaport in Madagascar is located on the east coast at Toamasina. Ports at Mahajanga and Antsiranana are significantly less used due to their remoteness.[17] The island's newest port at Ehoala, constructed in 2008 and privately managed by Rio Tinto, will come under state control upon completion of the company's mining project near Tôlanaro around 2038.[113] Air Madagascar services the island's many small regional airports, which offer the only practical means of access to many of the more remote regions during rainy season road washouts.[17]

    Running water and electricity are supplied at the national level by a government service provider, Jirama, which is unable to service the entire population. As of 2009, only 6.8 percent of Madagascar's fokontany had access to water provided by Jirama, while 9.5 percent had access to its electricity services.[93] 56% of Madagascar's power is provided by hydroelectric power plants with the remaining 44% provided by diesel engine generators.[117] Mobile telephone and internet access are widespread in urban areas but remain limited in rural parts of the island. Approximately 30 percent of the districts are able to access the nations' several private telecommunications networks via mobile telephones or land lines.[93]

    Radio broadcasts remain the principal means by which the Malagasy population access international, national and local news. Only state radio broadcasts are transmitted across the entire island. Hundreds of public and private stations with local or regional range provide alternatives to state broadcasting.[91] In addition to the state television channel, a variety of privately owned television stations broadcast local and international programming throughout Madagascar. Several media outlets are owned by political partisans or politicians themselves, including the media groups MBS (owned by Ravalomanana) and Viva (owned by Rajoelina),[45] contributing to political polarization in reporting. The media has historically come under varying degrees of pressure over time to censor their criticism of the government. Reporters are occasionally threatened or harassed and media outlets are periodically forced to close.[91] Accusations of media censorship have increased since 2009 due to the alleged intensification of restrictions on political criticism.[100] Access to the internet has grown dramatically over the past decade, with an estimated 352,000 residents of Madagascar accessing the internet from home or in one of the nation's many internet cafes in December 2011.[91]

    Medical centers, dispensaries and hospitals are found throughout the island, although they are concentrated in urban areas and particularly in Antananarivo. Access to medical care remains beyond the reach of many Malagasy. In addition to the high expense of medical care relative to the average Malagasy income, the prevalence of trained medical professionals remains extremely low. In 2010 Madagascar had an average of three hospital beds per 10,000 people and a total of 3,150 doctors, 5,661 nurses, 385 community health workers, 175 pharmacists and 57 dentists for a population of 22 million. 14.6 percent of government spending in 2008 was directed toward the health sector. Approximately 70 percent of spending on health was contributed by the government, while 30 percent originated with international donors and other private sources.[118] The government provides at least one basic health center per commune. Private health centers are concentrated within urban areas and particularly those of the central highlands.[93]

    Despite these barriers to access, health services have shown a trend toward improvement over the past twenty years. Child immunizations against such diseases as hepatitis B, diphtheria and measles increased an average of 60 percent in this period, indicating low but increasing availability of basic medical services and treatments. The Malagasy fertility rate in 2009 was 4.6 children per woman, declining from 6.3 in 1990. Teen pregnancy rates of 14.8 percent in 2011, much higher than the African average, are a contributing factor to rapid population growth.[118] In 2010 the maternal mortality rate was 440 per 100,000 births, compared to 373.1 in 2008 and 484.4 in 1990, indicating a decline in perinatal care following the 2009 coup. The infant mortality rate in 2011 was 41 per 1,000 births,[12] with an under-five mortality rate at 61 per 1,000 births.[119] Schistosomiasis, malaria and sexually transmitted diseases are common in Madagascar, although infection rates of AIDS remain low relative to many countries in mainland Africa, at only 0.2 percent of the adult population. The malaria mortality rate is also among the lowest in Africa at 8.5 deaths per 100,000 people, in part due to the highest frequency use of insecticide treated nets in Africa.[118] Adult life expectancy in 2009 was 63 years for men and 67 years for women.[118]

    Prior to the 19th century, all education in Madagascar was informal and typically served to teach practical skills as well as social and cultural values, including respect for ancestors and elders.[17] The first formal European-style school was established in 1818 at Toamasina by members of the London Missionary Society (LMS). The LMS was invited by King Radama I (1810–28) to expand its schools throughout Imerina to teach basic literacy and numeracy to aristocratic children. The schools were closed by Ranavalona I in 1835[120] but reopened and expanded in the decades after her death. By the end of the 19th century Madagascar had the most developed and modern school system in pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to schooling was expanded in coastal areas during the colonial period, with French language and basic work skills becoming the focus of the curriculum. During the post-colonial First Republic, a continued reliance on French nationals as teachers, and French as the language of instruction, displeased those desiring a complete separation from the former colonial power.[17] Consequently, under the socialist Second Republic, French instructors and other nationals were expelled, Malagasy was declared the language of instruction and a large cadre of young Malagasy were rapidly trained to teach at remote rural schools under the mandatory two-year national service policy.[121] This policy, known as malgachization, coincided with a severe economic downturn and a dramatic decline in the quality of education. Those schooled during this period generally failed to master the French language or many other subjects and struggled to find employment, forcing many to take low-paying jobs in the informal or black market that mired them in deepening poverty. Excepting the brief presidency of Albert Zafy, from 1992 to 1996, Ratsiraka remained in power from 1975 to 2001 and failed to achieve significant improvements in education throughout his tenure.[122]

    Education was prioritized under the Ravalomanana administration (2002–09), and is currently free and compulsory from ages 6 to 13.[123] The primary schooling cycle is five years, followed by four years at the lower secondary level and three years at the upper secondary level.[17] During Ravalomanana's first term, thousands of new primary schools and additional classrooms were constructed, older buildings were renovated, and tens of thousands of new primary teachers were recruited and trained. Primary school fees were eliminated and kits containing basic school supplies were distributed to primary students.[123] Government school construction initiatives have ensured at least one primary school per fokontany and one lower secondary school within each commune. At least one upper secondary school is located in each of the larger urban centers.[93] The three branches of the national public university are located at Antananarivo (founded in 1961), Mahajanga (1977) and Fianarantsoa (1988). These are complemented by public teacher-training colleges and several private universities and technical colleges.[17]

    As a result of increased educational access, enrollment rates more than doubled between 1996 and 2006. However, education quality is weak, producing high rates of grade repetition and dropout.[123] Education policy in Ravalomanana's second term focused on quality issues, including an increase in minimum education standards for the recruitment of primary teachers from a middle school leaving certificate (BEPC) to a high school leaving certificate (BAC), and a reformed teacher training program to support the transition from traditional didactic instruction to student-centered teaching methods to boost student learning and participation in the classroom.[124] Public expenditure on education was 13.4 percent of total government expenditure and 2.9 percent of GDP in 2008. Primary classrooms are crowded, with average pupil to teacher ratios of 47:1 in 2008.[125]

    In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at 22 million.[5] The Malagasy ethnic group forms over 90 percent of Madagascar's population and is typically divided into eighteen ethnic sub-groups.[12] Recent DNA research revealed that the genetic makeup of the average Malagasy person constitutes an approximately equal blend of Southeast Asian and East African genes,[126][127] although the genetics of some communities show a predominance of Southeast Asian or East African origins or some Arab, Indian or European ancestry.[128] Southeast Asian origins - specifically from the southern part of Borneo - are most predominant among the Merina of the central highlands,[97] who form the largest Malagasy ethnic sub-group at approximately 26 percent of the population, while certain communities among the coastal peoples (collectively called côtiers) have relatively stronger East African origins. The largest coastal ethnic sub-groups are the Betsimisaraka (14.9 percent) and the Tsimihety and Sakalava (6 percent each).[17]

    Chinese, Indian and Comorian minorities are present in Madagascar, as well as a small European (primarily French) populace. Emigration in the late 20th century has reduced these minority populations, occasionally in abrupt waves, such as the exodus of Comorans in 1976, following anti-Comoran riots in Mahajanga.[17] By comparison, there has been no significant emigration of Malagasy peoples.[16] The number of Europeans has declined since independence, reduced from 68,430 in 1958[85] to 17,000 three decades later. There were an estimated 25,000 Comorans, 18,000 Indians, and 9,000 Chinese living in Madagascar in the mid-1980s.[17]

    The annual population growth rate in Madagascar was approximately 2.9 percent in 2009.[12] The population grew from 2.2 million in 1900[17] to an estimated 22 million in 2012.[5] Approximately 42.5 percent of the population is younger than 15 years of age, while 54.5 percent are between the ages of 15 and 64. Those aged 65 and older form three percent of the total population.[108] Only two general censuses, in 1975 and 1993, have been carried out after independence. The most densely populated regions of the island are the eastern highlands and the eastern coast, contrasting most dramatically with the sparsely populated western plains.[17]

    Approximately half of the country's population practice traditional religion,[12] which tends to emphasize links between the living and the razana (ancestors). The veneration of ancestors has led to the widespread tradition of tomb building, as well as the highlands practice of the famadihana, whereby a deceased family member's remains may be exhumed to be periodically re-wrapped in fresh silk shrouds before being replaced in the tomb. The famadihana is an occasion to celebrate the beloved ancestor's memory, reunite with family and community, and enjoy a festive atmosphere. Residents of surrounding villages are often invited to attend the party, where food and rum are typically served and a hiragasy troupe or other musical entertainment is commonly present.[132] Consideration for ancestors is also demonstrated through adherence to fady, taboos that are respected during and after the lifetime of the person who establishes them. It is widely believed that by showing respect for ancestors in these ways, they may intervene on behalf of the living. Conversely, misfortunes are often attributed to ancestors whose memory or wishes have been neglected. The sacrifice of zebu is a traditional method used to appease or honor the ancestors. In addition, the Malagasy traditionally believe in a creator god, called Zanahary or Andriamanitra.[133]

    Almost half the Malagasy are Christian, with practitioners of Protestantism slightly outnumbering adherents to Roman Catholicism.[12] In 1818 the London Missionary Society sent the first Christian missionaries to the island, where they built churches, translated the Bible into the Malagasy language and began to gain converts. Beginning in 1835 Queen Ranavalona I persecuted these converts as part of an attempt to halt European cultural and political influence on the island. In 1869 a successor, Queen Ranavalona II, converted the court to Christianity and encouraged Christian missionary activity, burning the sampy (royal idols) in a symbolic break with traditional beliefs.[134]

    Today, many Christians integrate their religious beliefs with traditional ones related to honoring the ancestors. For instance, they may bless their dead at church before proceeding with traditional burial rites or invite a Christian minister to consecrate a famadihana reburial.[132] The Malagasy Council of Churches comprises the four oldest and most prominent Christian denominations (Roman Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Lutheran, and Anglican) and has been an influential force in Malagasy politics.[135]

    Islam is also practiced on the island. Islam was first brought to the island in the Middle Ages by Arab and Somali Muslim traders, who established several Islamic schools along the eastern coast. While the use of Arabic script and loan words and the adoption of Islamic astrology would spread across the island, the Islamic religion failed to take hold in all but a handful of southeastern coastal communities. Today, Muslims constitute 7 percent of the population of Madagascar and are largely concentrated in the northwestern provinces of Mahajanga and Antsiranana. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni. Muslims are divided between those of Malagasy ethnicity, Indians, Pakistanis and Comorians. More recently, Hinduism was introduced to Madagascar through Gujarati people immigrating from the Saurashtra region of India in the late 19th century. Most Hindus in Madagascar speak Gujarati or Hindi at home.[136]






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    orthodoxymoron

    Posts : 9136
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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:40 am

    I think I've really screwed myself by creating this thread. I presently feel as if there is absolutely no hope for myself (because of various and sundry sins of commission and omission -- past, present, and future). I'm just going through the motions as a Dead Fool Walking. But hopefully someone will learn something of significance from my Descent Into Who Knows What. Someone recently suggested that I was being allowed some limited success -- that I was being used -- and that this Tempest in a Teapot will come crashing down in the near-future. I often wish I'd never been born. There must be some mistake. As far as I'm concerned -- the end can't come too soon.

    Consider combining Constantine, The Prophecy, and Day the Earth Stood Still -- into one big Apocalyptic Motion Picture!! Then, consider watching the first four episodes of the 2009 version of 'V' -- immediately followed by Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. Finally, consider all of the above as somehow being One Big Movie!! But please think of all of the above in relation to this thread!! I've thought about writing a book -- but I could communicate with a book what I'm able to say with this thread -- if and only if you study it on an ongoing basis, and consider all of the links and references. This project isn't for the intellectually-lazy or the feeble-minded!! I wonder if even ONE individual (Human or Otherwise) have done what I've suggested for months at a time??!! I tend to doubt it. This whole thing might very well end up being my personal study-guide -- For My Eyes Only!! Perhaps that's just as well. I wasn't kidding when I spoke of a change of heart. I think I see how this thing works -- and I'm changing my thinking and plans accordingly. Imagine a discussion-debate between Gabriel-Anna, Michael-Anna, and Lucifer-Anna (with the characteristics and biases I've imagined). Once again, is it not important to think the most important topics through from every conceivable angle -- especially the most troubling possibilities?? Once again, I'm NOT trying to win a popularity-contest. I'm NOT running for anything. I simply wish for everything to work out as well as can be expected for all-concerned. I don't need to follow -- and I don't need to lead. I simply wish to be of the most benefit possible for all-concerned. That's all I'm gonna say.

    More Sherry Shriner. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sherrytalkradio/2012/10/23/monday-night-with-sherry-shriner Once again, I am not a true-believer -- but this show is sort of a 'Galactic Enquirer' -- which adds another dimension to this thread. Perhaps it is more constructive to study the history of conspiracy-theories -- rather than hanging on the every word of the latest conspiracy-theorist. Just 'cause someone is a nut-case -- doesn't mean they're wrong. Just 'cause you're paranoid -- doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Some People Say I'm a Completely Ignorant Fool. Fool Rule. Beware of Sleeper-Cells of Completely Ignorant Fools. See Something?? Say Something!! The Corrupt Rule the Stupid. Those with the Gold -- Make the Rules. Those with the Gold -- RULE. It's a Rat-Race -- and the Rats are Winning. I have been reduced to modeling idealistic political and theological modalities. Now I'm going to watch Stargate SG-1 "The Powers That Be". It's a classic. Please continue to treat this thread as Political and Theological Science-Fiction -- which might contain some truth -- especially if one takes the thread as a whole -- rather than as a truncated cone. I'm not a scholar of my own thread -- but I wish that I were -- and I will attempt to become such a soul -- rather than merely existing as a completely ignorant fool.

    I continue to recommend studying this thread in the context of the original Project Avalon -- and the current Mists of Avalon. I still need to study all of Brook's threads -- as well as reading all of 'The Holy Tablets'. I just noticed that most of Brook's posts have been deleted. Why??? Hopefully they have been saved. Will they reappear at some point in the future??? I would love to see a book by Brook. Does one already exist??? I still seem to have a mental and spiritual block regarding this heavy Egyptology -- but I continue to pick away at it -- slowly and uncertainly. I keep getting the sinking-feeling that I have a nasty reincarnation-history connected with Ancient Egypt -- and I am extremely apprehensive regarding potentially opening some sort of a Pandora's Box. I enjoy this site -- and all of the members -- yet I don't seem to gel very well. I doubt there is ANY web-site were I might 'fit-in'. Again -- I have no idea what constitutes Absolute Truth -- and I trust No One -- Human or Otherwise. I guess I'm attempting to consider as many possibilities as possible regarding the State of the Solar System. The more I think about it -- the less I wish to talk about it. I hint at a lot of things -- and then just leave it at that. I am most open on this thread. I don't talk about this madness in 'real-life' -- yet I know that a lot goes on behind my back 'in real-life'. This should never have happened. What happens in 'The Mists of Avalon' should stay in 'The Mists of Avalon'. Check this out! Thanks to Carol for bringing this to our attention. Remember what I previously suggested regarding the Outer Limits of the United States of the Solar System??



    Consider Ma'el in the description below the listed links. Is Ma'el a type of Christ?? Is Ma'el the equivalent of the Archangel Michael (on a soul-level)?? What if Da'an is the reincarnated Ma'el?? Vala Ma'el Da'an?? What is the relationship between Osiris, Isis, Ra, Horus, Set, Ma'el, Zo'or, Da'an, Gabriel, Michael, Lucifer, Serqet, Dogma, Legion, Contact, "V", Orthodoxymoron, Liam Kincaid, the Trinity, Archangelic Queens of Heaven, and the United States of the Solar System?? You might be surprised. The Power Vacuum was specifically designed to clean-up a mess. Well, I've collected a lot of dirt, and I think I might need to clean-house and take-out the trash. The whole thing stinks to high-heaven. I played a dirty trick. Sorry about that. "Unto 2300 Days, then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed" (restored to it's rightful state). See Daniel Chapter 8. Has the Last-Chance passed?? Shall the filthy remain filthy?? Do you feel dirty?? Do you feel lucky?? I continue to be haunted by a conversation I had with someone, a couple of days before the Fukushima disaster, when they said they were sorry we couldn't work together, because too much water had gone under the bridge. My response was 'Oh well'. I think about that encounter nearly every day. One final warning to NOT pave the road to hell with my good intentions.

    I think I might like to live in the equivalent of Augur's underground home (complete with the church and computers) and travel throughout the solar system in a Sport Model UFO (complete with an Unlimited-Access Badge)!! UFO2 BTW, have I met at least a couple of Beautiful Young Pleiadian Women (BYPW) recently?? Is something a brewing?? Cup o Hmmmmmm. What Would Tone3Jaguar Say?? Siriusly, a small room in a base (with a Cray) and and an Unlimited-Access Badge would be plenty. I can bum rides on UFOs and Mag-Lev Trains -- eat in Military Cafeterias (like Vala Mal Doran) -- and schedule practice-time on pipe-organs!! I'd simply like to be some sort of a Behind the Scenes Observer (who writes reports which are taken seriously). I'm not into chasing, fighting, manipulation, and corruption. I like to watch. Please, please, please study this thread from beginning to end. I intend to -- repeatedly. Namaste and Godspeed.

    1. http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/serqet.html
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth:_Final_Conflict
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma_(film)
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion_(2010_film)
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_(film)
    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mists_of_Avalon_(TV_miniseries)
    7. http://aliens.wikia.com/wiki/Taelon (note: I minimally edited the following excerpt for clarity)

    Around two million years ago, the Taelons arrived within the solar system, where they pulverised the moons surrounding Saturn, and thus created the rings. This was done in order to hide Taelon probes. This was done with the intention of observing the human race developing on Earth. This served as an excellent hiding place for the Companions. (Episode: Summit) The Taelons were more evolved 20,000 years ago than in their modern incarnation. (Episode: Keys to the Kingdom)

    Two-thousand years ago they secretly dispatched one of their most distinguished members known as Ma'el to Earth. Ma'el altered the path of Human evolution dramatically. (Episode: Dimensions) This event occured during the first star flight by the Taelons. Ma'el's mission was a one way journey, and he was tasked with determining if an encounter between the Taelons and Humanity was potentially mutually beneficial. This was one of the reasons why the Companions later embarked on the journey to Earth. If Ma'els findings were negative, the Taelons would depart Earth. Unknown to them, Ma'el had grown attached to Humanity, and believed that his fellow Taelons would exploit the species, and thus he told them not to come to Earth under any circumstances. However, if they chose to come anyway, his message was to treat Humanity as equals, in the hope that Humans would become true equals to the Companions. (Episode: The Secret of One Strand Hill) He also helped engineer Humans to become a psychic race, in order for them to tap into the Commonality, and allow the Taelons to better accept them. (Episode: If You Could Read My Mind)

    Ma'el left his starship hidden off the coast of Peru, located 150 feet beneath the Pacific ocean. During that time, Ma'el formed relations with the Inca people, and instituted counter measures to prevent the Taelons from finding his starship. (Episode: The Once and Future World) As he was dying, Ma'el took a young Roman Senator known as Salvius Julianus and made him into a surrogate to serve his needs. After hiding his vessel, Ma'el allowed Julianus access to its systems so he could determine the Taelons motives when they arrived on Earth. If they were hostile, the Roman was charged with destroying them, in order to ensure that mankind would develop unchallenged. (Episode: Timebomb) Ma'el's final act was to encode his research into a relic that required the presence of both a Taelon and a Human to activate it -- revealing that mankind was the missing evolutionary link between the Companions and the Jaridians. Thus, without humanity, both species would be doomed to extinction. (Episode: Abduction)

    The Taelons secretly monitored Earth, in order to determine when to contact the Human Race. (Episode: Scorched Earth) This program began at least one year before official contact, and involved the secret abduction of at least 50 humans for experimentation. (Episode: First Breath) At the time, Humanity was engaged in the SI War which ended when a mysterious Quantum Vortex was detonated, which killed 100,000 people. The Taelon Synod ordered the unleashing of this weapon to prevent nuclear holocaust, yet still keep Humanity in a state of war, so the Taelons could play saviors. They adjudicated the Sino-Indian Peace Accords, in order to bring a lasting peace in Asia. (Episode: Scorched Earth) They used their advanced technology to aid in combating world hunger and curing hundreds of diseases. (Episode: Decision) The Taelons were divided on the issue of Humanity, and how to combat the threat posed by the Jaridians. Some Taelons were of the opinion that mankind needed to be turned into a weapon against the Jaridians, while others believed that a joining of the species was needed in order to reclaim an important genetic link that had been lost in their search for perfection. (Episode: The First of its Kind) Humanity was at a crossroads in their evolution, which the Taelons intended to observe and supervise. (Episode: Decision)







    Just for a change of pace, I thought that I'd take a look at the C.B. Fisk pipe-organ company. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._B._Fisk

    C.B. Fisk, Inc. is a company in Gloucester, Massachusetts that designs and builds mechanical action pipe organs. It was founded in 1961 by Charles Brenton Fisk (1925-1983), the first American organ builder to build significant tracker organs in the 20th century. His study of early American and European instruments led him to return to mechanical action and to set a new course for American organ building. He modeled his shop on collaborative enterprise, launching the careers of four other North American organ builders and providing the foundation for those who carry on the company he founded. http://cbfisk.com/

    Born in Cambridge Mass, Fisk loved music and grew up tinkering with hi-fi equipment. He was a chorister at Christ Church on Cambridge Common where E. Power Biggs was Choirmaster. Charles showed such intelligence as a young man that when he was drafted during WWII, he was sent to Los Alamos where he worked for Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project. He was 18 years old. After the war he attended Harvard and Stanford, majoring in Nuclear Physics, and worked briefly at Brookhaven National Laboratories, but during his Stanford years decided to pursue a career in organbuilding.

    He apprenticed himself first with John Swinford in Redwood City, California, and then with Walter Holtkamp, Sr. in Cleveland, Ohio, who was at the time the most avant garde of American organbuilders. He went on to become a partner and later sole owner of the Andover Organ Company. In 1961 he established C. B. Fisk near his childhood summer home on Cape Ann in Massachusetts.

    Charles Fisk's style of leadership, modeled after the team of scientists he worked with on the Manhattan Project, involved his co-workers in the day-to-day decisions about the concepts and construction of the instruments. The same people who were drawn by Charles Fisk's ideas carry on his work and share their insight and experience with another generation of organbuilders after his death in 1983.

    Just two years following the installation of a major pipe organ in Auer Hall on Indiana University's Bloomington campus, the Jacobs School of Music has announced the acquisition of a second major instrument built by C.B. Fisk, America's leading organ builder. The acquisition will soon make the Jacobs School of Music home to three Fisk organs, the largest number of instruments by the builder in any one location in the world. The third, known as Opus 142, is a three-manual, six-stop, practice organ that will be installed in May in the Music Addition practice facilities. http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/21762.html

    The workshop attracted young co-workers who combined their talents in music, art, engineering, and cabinet making to build organs that redefined modern American organbuilding. Always experimenting, C. B. Fisk was the first modern American organbuilder to abandon the electro-pneumatic action of the early twentieth century and return to the mechanical (tracker) key and stop action of historical European and early American instruments. The Fisk firm went on to construct what were at the time the largest four-manual mechanical action instruments built in America in the 20th century, first at Harvard University's church in 1967 (awaiting installation at a Presbyterian church in Austin, Texas[1]), then again at House of Hope Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1979.

    The company has also built a number of instruments based on historical organs, among them one at Wellesley College patterned after North German organs of the early 17th century, one at the University of Michigan in the manner of the Saxon builder Gottfried Silbermann, and a three-manual instrument at Rice University modeled on the work of the 19th century French master builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The large four-manual dual-temperament instrument at Stanford University's Memorial Church uses modern technology to combine many different aspects of historical organ styles. The firm built concert hall organs for the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Minato Mirai Concert Hall in Yokohama, and Benaroya Hall in Seattle. In 2003 C. B. Fisk built a five-manual organ for the Cathedral in Lausanne, Switzerland, the first American organ to be made for a European cathedral. In its fifty years C.B. Fisk, Inc. has completed over 90 instruments in 23 U.S. states, Switzerland, Japan, and South Korea. http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/10/what-a-set-of-pipes/

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmuwTAG2wzM
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t38aWitpVXQ
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhjDwiRW3GU
    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzmgql32bpc&feature=related
    5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owg1Vv0pB7g&feature=related
    6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQOxijWkVys&feature=related
    7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtIFTVUbzp4&feature=related
    8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqmB1lm80JE&feature=relmfu
    9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeje1G4WLn0&feature=related
    10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ev6DcYdmZ0&feature=relmfu
    11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4sts33wU1M&feature=relmfu
    12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVLXvbIKYr8&feature=relmfu
    13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsWei8uCuRU
    14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfSnZ0RYp0A&feature=relmfu
    15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni-pYIerwg0&feature=related
    16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gWPl-kMMJs&feature=related
    17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-RWa4UXgXI&feature=relmfu
    18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VljA5wzuEds&feature=g-vrec
    19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcJ612aPEQQ&feature=fvwp&NR=1
    (I used to be able to play this one (BWV 565) perfectly by memory. There's nothing like playing it on the 55 foot-tall organ (shown in the first image below) late at night!! Once, when I was doing this, my organ-teacher entered the church, asking "Who's Here -- and Why??" in a most peculiar way!!)







    On the Feast of the Assumption...the afternoon service in Saint-Sulpice ended with a Laudate Dominum by Gounod. When the last echo of the chancel organ had died away Widor took six notes from the final line of the Gounod music and announced them boldly in octaves with full organ, both manual and pedal, and then followed such improvisation as I had never heard before and have seldom heard since, not even by himself. Those who know him only by his symphonies, brilliant as they are, can form no idea of the wonderful force, brilliancy, and spontaneity of his improvisations. One day a pupil of his who did not speak much French requested me to ask him how he had learned to improvise so wonderfully. Widor promptly replied: "By writing. When I stop writing I cease to be able to extemporize well." -- S. Wesley Sears. August 15, 1904

    The only extended form of improvising I heard him do was the toccata form--something like his famous Toccata in F. He always brought the music to two climaxes of power during the piece, and I could never describe to you the thrill of those mixtures and the smooth 32' Pedal Reed--and he ended softly. He usually employed a Gregorian theme from the liturgy of the Mass. -- Edward Shippen Barnes, 1921

    He was in great form...improvising on the Gregorian tones of the Mass being sung at the other end of the church, playing a Bach fugue at the offertory, and finally at the close of the service turning the full power of the organ loose in a brilliant toccata improvised on the phrases which we had just heard from the choir. I had never before heard a master improvise. It seemed incredible at the time, and although I soon learned that improvisation had reached a high plane among French organists, Widor's feats, even now, still seem incredible, not because they were spectacular, but because they were such profoundly good music. -- Alexander Russell, 1907

    The postlude at the close of the service was generally an improvisation on one of the plainsong themes of the day. Widor was one of the greatest of improvisers, and on several occasions I have heard him improvise movements of such splendor as to rival the greatest movements of his symphonies. -- A.M. Henderson, 1937

    He played...one of his nine symphonies. It was gloriously beautiful. The organ is the largest in Paris, with five keyboards, and in the chancel there was a choir of two hundred men. The music is still throbbing in my head and vibrating all through me--the long swelling chords, the low deep tones, the blending voices, the chanting priests, the incense, the light, the holiness of it all! The Catholic service without music is nothing; with music it is everything. I shall remember this morning always. -- Florence Adele Sloan, Sunday, May 13, 1894

    The choir and gorgeously robed priests were filing in...and the small organ in the choir already in full blast. Then a priest intoned a few words, and suddenly the great instrument all about us crashed and thundered, lifting one clear off one's feet and removing all sense of gravity. Then the organ down in the choir answered, and again Widor pressed down the five banks of keys and we were riven with vast peals of sound. The ritual proceeded at the altar, while organ answered to organ, rumbling and rolling through the long nave and wafting up into the one hundred and eight foot arches of the clerestory. The music was all Gregorian, upon the tones of which Widor harmonized freely.

    The Mass ended, the priests and choir formed a sort of recessional, a sortie it is called, and Widor began...a canon or plainsong moving along in the midst of swirling arpeggios of left and right hands alternately. I looked at the pedals, for the air moved along as majestically as if double octaves were being played; but no, the pedal was occupied solely with foundation work. I looked again at his hands in amazement, for the rippling fingers were carrying four-octave arpeggios and that powerful air must come from somewhere! And then I saw that the wonderful hands were not only carrying the whirling arpeggios but also supporting one another in giving out the legato theme of the piece. Always the right or left thumb or forefinger would pass along the note amid the rush of the figuration. And then the sonorous pedal trumpets took it up, but the hands merely added a counterpoint besides the rollicking arpeggios rolling up from the bass, six notes to the beat! And all this was a mere improvisation--harmony and all. I looked at the author of it expecting to see Promethean fire starting from his brows. He was simply calm and earnest about it, and now and then found time to drop a word to a friend seated at his side. -- Warren H. Miller, 1910

    I was moved to tears by the Above Quotations. I believe there is a profound unity in the French Romantic toccata and French Romantic organs, combined with hymn improvisation, and perhaps some German Baroque Bach-style counterpoint! I wonder how Bach would have performed his 'Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor' if he had been at Saint-Sulpice rather than at St. Thomas?! He might even have used the swell pedal! Perhaps he would have treated his listeners to an improvisation in the final measures of the fugue, which would have revealed all of heaven to mere mortals!! With reverence and awe, -- orthodoxymoron, 2012



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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:49 am



    Please consider a deep and ongoing study of:
    1. International Law. 2. Interplanetary Law. 3. Intergalactic Law.
    This might be the most significant study imaginable.

    I think I deluded and flattered myself into thinking this thread was actually making a difference, and changing things for the better -- but I should've known better. This world seems to be following a script -- which nothing or no-one will be allowed to significantly interfere with. Perhaps the best I can do is carefully watch things play-out -- which might include humanity bleeding-out. I certainly hope not -- but there seems to be a Brutal Gang of Facts and Dracs on a collision-course with the Human Race. Perhaps I should stock-up on pop-corn, as I prepare to view Earth: Theater of the Universe. Rated "R" for Ridiculous.

    I tend to think that we do not require evil in order to achieve a balance. The presence of evil is indicative of imbalance -- and it is not necessary for the beings of the universe to experience evil -- in all of its ugliness and horror -- in order to properly understand and cherish righteousness, purity, and goodness. I sometimes wonder if humanity is a renegade race and an illegal creation -- which is deeply offensive to its Parent Race and Galactic Powers That Be. If the God of this Parent Race declared war on Humanity -- they might seem to be a Satan from the perspective of Human Beings. The Creator and Leader of the New Human Race might be viewed as being a traitor or Luficer from the perspective of the Parent Race. Human Beings might view this being as being their God or Christ. What if the Crucifixion of Christ represents the punishment of Humanity by the Parent Race?? I have no idea if this is the way things are -- but I am modeling this sort of thing -- so as to consider the Human predicament from as many angles as possible. But really, this makes me a heretic of sorts -- even though I mean no hostility or harm toward anyone. Please watch 'Earth: Final Conflict' for clues regarding conflicting races and agendas. I think of the Taelons as being Greys. I think of the Jaridians as being Reptilians. I guess I think of the Atavus as being Annunaki. According to the series, Humans are related to both the Taelons and Jaridians. I have speculated repeatedly that Humans might be related to the Greys and Reptilians -- even though I don't absolutely know that the Greys and Reptilians exist. I am VERY tentative and hesitant in my research and speculation. I presently seem to be on the side of humanity -- but who knows what my editorial slant has been in previous incarnations?? What if:

    Father = Prime Representative of Other-Than-Human Humanoid-Physicality??
    Son = Prime Representative of Human Physicality??
    Holy Spirit = The Souls Animating Human Physicality and Other-Than-Human Humanoid-Physicality??

    I continue to hypothesize that Human Physicality is a Recent Renegade Development in an Ancient Other Than Human Universe -- and that the Universal Immune System is determined to eliminate Human Physicality -- so as to Purify the Universe. I so hope that I'm wrong. What are the implications and ramifications of 'Namaste'??? I think that people should study Religion, Theology, and Sacred-Texts -- but I can understand why many people reject Religion, Theology, and Sacred-Texts. I think we have a HUGE Religion, Theology, and Sacred-Text PROBLEM on our hands -- and we had better solve it with all deliberate speed. Imagine Zo'or and Da'an arguing about theology and religion!! What do you think about this??!!





    I grew up attending the SDA Church -- but it seemed to me that it had been compromised, infiltrated, and subverted -- like I suspect most churches have been -- so I eventually stopped attending church -- even though I continued to be very interested in theology. Is there a good-side to the British-Israel thing (with German and Roman connections)?? I think there is a good-side and a bad-side to just about everyone and everything. Here is some SDA theological controversy for you!! I don't just bash the Jesuits!! The following is taken from pages 393-399 of "Daniel 8:14, the Day of Atonement, and the Investigative Judgment" by Dr. Desmond Ford. Imagine discussing all of these comments and questions with the Queen of Heaven, the Prince of Sirius, and a Sirian King -- in a palace, cathedral, or queen-ship!!

    "A. For those who wish to give Ellen G. White greater authority than Scripture.

    A very natural reaction to this manuscript would be to "sit" on certain Spirit of Prophecy statements regarding the sanctuary and to affirm in essence, "Here I stand. I can do no other."

    I wish to suggest that such an attitude requires more than "standing" to validate it. It will indeed be necessary to do much "other," including the following:

    1. Demonstrate that where Ellen G. White and Scripture appear to conflict, veto power must always be given to Ellen G. White rather than vice versa.

    2. Reject such clear Scriptures as Hebrews 6:19,20; 9:8, 12, 24-25; 10:19-20, etc., which plainly teach that Christ entered the Most Holy Place at His ascension.

    3. Provide clear didactic Scriptures for the doctrine of the investigative judgment. Typological evidence as a basis for doctrine has never been valid -- only typological illustration of doctrine otherwise proved.

    4. Explain how it could be that Ellen G. White could sometimes misinterpret her own visions. For example, she understood her first vision to endorse the shut door doctrine -- that probation had closed for the churches and the wicked world. "I saw" often signifies a personal conviction -- not a divine revelation. See its repeated use in the report of the Camden vision.

    5.Explain how it could be that Ellen G. White could teach one thing one time, and yet change that view another time -- e.g. her position on the law in Galatians, the covenants, time to close the Sabbath, etc.

    6. Explain the several crystal clear Ellen G. White statements which speak of His entering within the veil at His ascension. See, for example, April 19, 1905, Signs of the Times; Desire of Ages, pg. 757.

    7. Explain how Great Controversy can be demonstrably wrong in certain exegetical positions and yet correct on the investigative judgment, when this is not demonstrably provable from Scripture, e.g. Ellen White's understanding of the sixth and seventh trumpet. She endorsed the Litch position, which is untenable exegetically and historically. For the revision in 1911 she changed her mind about Litch having given the "exact day" of the prophetic fulfillment.

    As regards the seventh trumpet, in later works she placed its fulfillment as in the future, though Great Controversy applies it to the past.

    The exposition of Revelation 11 regarding the French Revolution is not accurate exegetically or historically. There never was in France a three-and-a-half year period when the Bible was banned. Hundreds of hours of research by Ellen G. White apologists have failed to find any such thing. The opposite has been found.

    Ellen G. White's endorsement of the Miller exposition of Matthew 25: 1-13 is quite indefensible. The passage is not talking of 1844, but of the end of the world. The introductory word "Then" seen in the context of the preceding as well as the following verses, makes this quite plain.

    8. Explain how Ellen G. White can use many Scriptural concepts which belong to the last things and apply them both to 1844 and thereabouts, as well as to the end of the world, e.g. the sealing, the shaking, the covering, the fall of Babylon, the cleansing of the sanctuary.

    9. Explain Ellen G. White's statements: "The Bible and the Bible only is the source of doctrine," and that "never should the testimonies be carried to the front." "Let all prove every point of doctrine from the Scriptures." It is quite impossible to prove from Daniel, Hebrews, Revelation, or elsewhere that a judgment upon believers began as a result of a change of heavenly ministry in 1844.

    10. Provide an apologetic whereby Adventists may go to the world and say: "We have a grand and important truth for you -- a worldwide judgment session is now in process. We cannot show it to you from Scriptures, but we can show it to you from writings of one concerning whom you have never before heard. True, that writer said we should prove all doctrine from Scripture and not from her writings -- but here is an exception -- this basic distinguishing truth we cannot prove from Scripture but it is clear in the writings of Ellen G. White."

    When these things have been done in a convincing way, then such exponents can on the basis of the Ellen G. White writings alone, and in opposition to Scripture, say "Here I stand. I can do no other." It may also be helpful at such a time to remember significant Ellen G. White affirmations.

    "The Spirit was not given -- nor can it ever be bestowed -- to supersede the Bible, for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested...Isaiah declares. To the law and to the testimony; 'if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.'(Isaiah 8:20)" -- Great Controversy pg. 9. "But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms." -- Great Controversy pg. 595.

    Inasmuch as Ellen G. White never originated a single doctrine, but only took her stand after others found such doctrines in Scripture (e.g. the Sabbath, health reform, righteousness by faith at Minneapolis, the "daily," etc.), and inasmuch as she refused to permit her writings to decide doctrinal issues, but rather referred inquirers to Scripture (1 Selected Messages 164, 416), we can only say to those who still wish to re-echo Luther's declaration at Worms that his closing prayer is also appropriate for them -- "God help me."

    These points are a protest, not against the reality of the gift of prophecy in Ellen G. White, but against undoing the utility of that gift by overdoing our claims for it through affirming the writings as inerrant, or as a basis for doctrine -- even having prior place to Scripture. We would like to remind group A that Luther's prayer was uttered after his affirmation of 'Sola Scriptura'.

    B. For those who wish to reject Ellen G. White.

    Briefly, I wish to address another group who, to my mind, fall off the straight path into an abyss on the opposite side to that dealt with above. I have friends who, perceiving that Ellen White's comments on the investigative judgment do not parallel Scripture, and learning of her wide use of sources, decide therefore that Ellen G. White must be dropped forthwith, and likewise any belief in her prophetic mission. This seems to them consistent and logical, but so does much other reasoning which ultimately proves unreliable. My friends who pursue such reasoning are distressed that I refuse to join them in their conclusion and therefore I have for them, as well as the group addressed above, some questions.

    1. Do they owe nothing of value to Ellen G. White? Would they be Seventh-day Adventists today had there been no Ellen G. White?

    2. Would Seventh-day Adventism have survived such crises as that of the first decade of this century when Kellog numbered among his followers a large proportion of our leaders, including Jones, Waggoner, Sutherland, Magan, Paulson, etc., had Ellen G. White not intervened?

    3. Suppose there had been no Ellen White at the Minneapolis conference of 1888, would the teachings of Waggoner and Jones on righteousness by faith have ever reached our constituency and paved the way for that proclamation which being the third angel's message in verity is ultimately to lighten the earth with its glory?

    4. Going back further still, when in the 1840's many of our forefathers were on the verge of surrendering their faith in the 1844 movement, would this church ever have emerged and consolidated but for the influence of Ellen G. White?

    5. Our work is characterized by evangelistic, publishing, colporteur, educational, and health emphases. Which of these would have assumed its present shape and prominence without Ellen G. White?

    6. Is it likely that God would have intertwined with our history for its first seventy years the work of one ultimately to be revealed as a fraud? Does God work in harmony with Satan? How likely is it that a person knowing her own hypocrisy could keep up her pretense for seventy years amid crises and gargantuan labors?

    7. How much of your rejection of Ellen G. White grows out of a studied understanding of the Biblical teachings on revelation and inspiration?

    8. For example, what do you understand the difference to be between these terms -- revelation and inspiration? And what difference is there between them individually and illumination?

    9. Has the church universal ever been agreed on the exact nature of inspiration? Do we find that creeds usually define it? Does the modern evangelical scene display unity on the matter?

    10. Is the Bible written as we might have expected it to be? Does its content of history, poetry, and outdated legislature comply with our sense of fitness? Does its lack of creedal statements surprise us? Has God so written the Word that doctrinal issues are made crystal clear, and that unbelievers are quickly silenced?

    11. Or to say the same thing another way: Is the Bible primarly given to convey information so as to satisfy the mind, or is it a specific moral test? That is to say, has God been content with a weight of evidence for the honest, or has He guaranteed that even the dishonest can be left without excuse?

    12. Is there a parallel between the written Word and the Living Word? Did Jesus Christ also evidence some of the surprising features we find in Scripture? That is, did He come as we might have expected? Did He overwhelm all with the evidence that He was what He claimed? Were His statements unequivocal in meaning or sometimes ambivalent? Was He, too, a moral test for His hearers, rather than a great teacher chiefly?

    13. Was Jesus both human and divine? And if so, might that also be the obvious nature of Scripture? Did Jesus possess human liabilities and weaknesses such as dependence on creaturely elements such as food, and drink, and rest? Did He ever need to ask questions to secure information? Were His 200 plus inquiries just a front?

    14. Did Jesus work as we might expect a celestial visitor to work, or did He also confine Himself in some areas at least to cultural restrictions and limitations? Did He come speaking the language of heaven, or the language of Palestine? Was He dressed as a messenger of light, or as a Galilean peasant?

    15. Did Jesus, in some of His expressions, fall short of technical precision, as when He declared the mustard seed to be the least of all seeds?

    16. Was Jesus absolutely original in His oral presentations, or is it true, as one scholar has affirmed, that there is not a paragraph from His addresses which does not have its roots in the Old Testament? Is it true, for example, that every phrase of the Lord's Prayer is to be found in previous Scripture?

    17. Do Christ's parables contain no difficulties? Are we fully comfortable with His use of hell-fire in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus? Do we feel quite content with His commendation of the rascally steward?

    18. How is it that the first three gospels differ so much from the fourth? How is it that they cover very similar ground for much of His ministry, and omit the different materials found in John's gospel covering the same time?

    19. Can we explain how it is that the first three gospels not only have broad similarity, but even at times use exactly the same blocks of material, same phraseology, same words -- even the same hiatuses?

    20. Can any of us tell where the words of John break off and those of Jesus begin, and vice versa, throughout the fourth gospel? For example, in chapter three, which verse marks the close of Jesus's words to Nicodemus? Did Christ utter the famous John 3:16?

    21. Why is it that the style of Christ's speeches in John is so far removed from His style as recorded in the other three gospels? Why is that style either identical or almost so with John's own style?

    22. What was said at Christ's baptism: "Thou art my beloved Son" or "This is my beloved Son'? Or were both said?

    23. Did the healing of the first leper take place before the Sermon on the Mount (Luke), or after (Matthew)?

    24. Were there two Gadarene demoniacs (Matthew 8:28) healed, or one (Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27)?

    25. Was the healing of Bartimaeus before Christ reached Jericho (Luke 18:35), or after (Mark 10:46)?

    26. Was Luke given by vision the names of the intertestamental ancestors of Christ, as recorded in Luke 3, or did he derive them from sources such as Luke 1:1-4 might indicate?

    27. Where did Luke get his second Cainan from his genealogy of Christ? See Luke 3:36,37 and compare Genesis 10.

    28. Was Stephen's speech (Acts 7) inspired? If so, does it agree exactly with the Genesis account of the historical events he referred to?

    29. Why was the inspired apostle Paul dependent upon news from Chloe for his information about the situation in Corinth? Why did God give it to him by vision?

    30. What evidence is there in the cream of the New Testament -- the epistles -- that visions were given to facilitate their writing?

    31. Were visions necessary for the writer of Proverbs as he conveyed some platitudes known and recognized from the foundation of the world -- such platitudes as: the lazy man shall suffer want, a nagging woman is as unpleasant as continual rain, good news makes a person cheerful, bad emotions cause poor health, to have money is to have many "friends"?

    32. Similarly, did the Psalmist need visions in order to exhort us to "Come, worship, and bow down," and to comfort us by the reminder that "all the wicked shall God destroy"?

    33. Were visions necessary for the chronicling of the well-known historical events in the ministry of Christ? or for most of the annals of Judah and Israel? How many of the historical authors of Old Testament books ever hint that they received visions in order to make possible their writings? Why was a Paul chosen to set forth the theology of the New Testament? Would not a school boy or a fisherman have done as well under inspiration?

    34. Is inspiration "docetic" in its operation? Or is it true of the written Word, as of the living Word that it is just as much human as though not at all "divine"?

    35. Does inspiration guarantee equal value for all inspired documents? That is, would we miss the genealogies as much as the Sermon on the Mount? Does Scripture like a living body contain a heart, form, and limbs, so to speak, with some members more essential than others?

    36. Is there an economy of miracle in the writing of Scripture? Does God ever do supernaturally what can be done naturally? Why did Christ have others fill the water pots with water, and roll away the stone of Lazarus' tomb?

    37. Are the prophecies of Scripture completely unambiguous? Are they so plain that a child may understand them? Have all the details of Biblical prophecies been fulfilled? Are some of them conditional?

    38. Is our real problem with Scripture what we don't understand or what we do?

    39. When Jesus told His disciples that the real truth about Himself couldn't come from flesh and blood but was a divine gift, is this true also of Scripture, and other agencies of God? Do reason and human expectation have priority in determining what is a revelation from God? Can something be supra-rational without being irrational?

    40. Does God usually bestow upon separate items just that attention which is proportionate to their importance in the scale of being? Is His work always complete in every way, or just adequate? Does the human organism demonstrate absolute perfection in its formation, or chiefly adequacy? Is the eye a perfect optical instrument? Does the memory function perfectly? Is the human mind infallible in its reasoning process? Has reason itself suffered from the Fall?

    41. Can we explain any of the mighty works of God -- creation, providence, miracle, regeneration, sanctification, atonement? If not, should we expect to have a thorough understanding of inspiration and revelation? If the Fall came through a lusting after forbidden knowledge, could it be that man's restoration involves repentance about such lusting, and the substituting of trust?

    42. Is "ye shall know them by their fruits" a simple practical rule that even the uneducated and immature can usually apply with success if honestly desiring to know the truth?

    43. What did Jesus mean when He said, "If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine"? Was He saying that it is the heart and not the head, which to the highest doth attain?

    44. Is it true that two-thirds of life is conduct, and that God might not be so concerned about some theoretical issues as we are?

    45. Is it true that Christ held in His hand the whole map of explored truth but only revealed enough for practical purposes?

    46. Was Christ Himself a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense? And if so, could this be true also of some genuine forms of revelation besides Him?

    47. Are apocalyptic visions such as those of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation typical of Scripture or exceptional?

    48. How much evidence is there in reading the Gospels or the epistles that the writers felt they had divine control and minute heavenly guidance?

    49. How much of Ellen G. White advocates behavior contrary to Scriptural standards? What sort of persons would we be if striving to live up to the standards of Ellen G. White? Is it possible that even the sections of Ellen G. White some of us find so taxing would be clarified if we understood the difference between law and gospel, and between law as a standard and law as a method?

    50. If Scripture itself has been terribly abused, even employed for the purpose of murdering innocent millions, should it be surprising if illegitimate use be made of other of God's instruments of revelation?

    51. How much danger would there be in advocating that God had used Ellen G. White as a messenger if we followed her own admonition to base all doctrine upon the Bible and the Bible only?

    52. How much risk would there be in advocating that God has used Ellen G. White as a special messenger if we simultaneously confessed, as she did, that "God and heaven alone are infallible"?

    53. How is it that when Ellen G. White chose a source which best expressed her views of inspiration she chose one which was at odds with the fundamentalist churches of the day -- one which advocated that the writers of Scripture were God's penmen, not His pen, and that in their use of rhetoric and logic God was not represented?

    54. Is it possible that many who wish to reject Ellen G. White do so on the same basis that King Ahab rejected the prophet of his day -- "I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil" -- 1 Kings 22:8? And is it possible that others reject her because of a legalistic upbringing which misused Ellen G. White in advocating law without gospel?

    55. If Christ came to comfort the afflicted but also to afflict the comfortable, and if John, His predecessor, likewise rebuked hypocrisy and evil in the religious, and if both, like all other prophets, called for repentance, could it be that some who reject Ellen G. White's prophetic role do so on the basis that she makes them uncomfortable by her demand for repentance in specific areas?

    56. If you were choosing a surgeon, or a real estate agent, or a banker, would you feel most comfortable with one who valued the writings of Ellen G. White, or one who rejected them?

    57. Do you know the difference between the Greek and the Hebrew views of knowledge? Which one held that the ideal was to gather as much conceptual truth as possible about everything in order that we might be little gods in knowledge? Which one believed that knowledge was worthless unless practical, and doubly worthless unless related to piety? What is meant by "wisdom" in the book of Proverbs? Does that book mean by "fool" one with little intelligence? And is the "wise" man of Proverbs and elsewhere in Scripture someone with great intellect and powers of perception, or someone who reverences God and acts accordingly? When Ellen G. White says of Christ that He held in His hand the great map of unexplored truth but only disclosed that which had practical value, is she following the Greek or Hebrew view of knowledge? Is there a relationship between these concepts and the apparent carelessness of Scripture about some details of fact, for example, its use of round numbers (e.g. "Seventy sevens" -- Daniel 9:25; Matthew 18:22; "fourteen" -- Matthew 1:17; "480" -- 1 Kings 6:1; "ten" -- Daniel 1:20; 7:24; "forty" -- etc.)?

    58. Does the Scriptural use of figures of speech such as hyperbole teach us anything about the nature of inspiration? For example, is it literally true that if all Christ had done had been recorded, the world itself could not contain the books that would need to be written? Had the gospel been preached to every creature under heaven in Paul's day, and if so, why was he still planning to go to such places as Spain, and why does Revelation 14:6 picture a message yet to go to every nation?

    59. Are you, as a Westerner, completely happy with all of Paul's arguments? For example, see Galatians 3:16, where he plays on the plural and singular meanings of "seed"? Does his use of Hosea in Romans 9:25f actually reflect what Hosea intended? Was Hosea forecasting the coming in of the Gentiles or the re-acceptance of forsaken Israelites? Do 2 Corinthians 3 and the Old Testament source of the veil incident agree? Do you think that the law about not muzzling the ox was only written for our sakes, and not at all for the oxen? See 1 Corinthians 9:8-10. How is it that Paul under inspiration gives a wrong account of his baptized converts in one place, and then remembers more a little later? 1 Corinthians 1:14-16. And why does the Greek original of Galatians show that some of Paul's sentences were never completed?

    60. What is "the bottom line" of inspiration? Is it abstract or practical in intent? Did Jesus on earth ever work unnecessary miracles, or did all His mighty works contribute to the meaning of salvation? Has God been content to be misunderstood in some things when a little more effort on His part could have prevented such a thing? Has God really done everything He could to prevent unbelief or has He only done sufficient for those prepared to be honest? If we are all dying people, with but a remnant of time left, what do we need most from God? Has He provided it? 2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:3; 20:31.

    These are some of the questions which could be considered by those who urge me to join them in their rejection of the ministry of Ellen G. White. As for me, I must make Scripture the sole basis of doctrine. But for that very reason, I must also be open to any manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit promised therein, including the gift of prophecy. If I find, as is the case with Ellen G. White, one who leads me to Christ and His Word as supreme in all things, and who exhorts to holiness, I should accept the messenger, but without surrendering the right to exercise the canonical test of Scripture. Believing in the priesthood of all believers as well as 'Sola Scriptura' I will remember that "The doctrine that God has committed to the church, the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors" (Great Controversy page 293), and that no ecclesiastical creedal statement shall move me one whit if obviously contrary to the plain testimony of the Word of God. We can do no other."


    Someone might find this book on Revelation to be somewhat interesting. It was published in 2012 by one of my teachers (Dr. Erwin R. Gane). http://www.amazon.com/Trumpet-After-Revelations-Trumpets-Sound/dp/B009JSJVMC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356124171&sr=8-1&keywords=erwin+gane He didn't see eye to eye with Dr. Desmond Ford (to say the least)! I am not telling anyone to join the SDA church -- but books by some of the more prominent SDA theologians are most interesting. Please do not neglect Biblical and Theological Studies as you grapple with the New Age Mumbo Jumbo!! I tend to think that most of us are going to get blindsided by what's really coming. I have no idea if struggling with this madness will help us when the excrement contacts the refrigeration system. I just re-read 'The Shaking of Adventism' by Geoffery Paxton -- and some of you might find this book to be an interesting read. It is a review (by an Australian Anglican) of the battle over Righteousness by Faith in the SDA church -- up to 1977. I was in the middle of some of this drama -- which is probably one reason why I no longer attend church -- and why I am a Completely Ignorant Fool. Or am I a Pious Zombie?? I'm easily confused as I continue to beat against the rocks of infidelity. Is the SDA church a British-Israel Cult controlled by Jesuits and Alphabet Agents?? Oh Boy!! I need to think about something else. I bought that Dr. Erwin Gane book on Revelation -- and Dr. Desmond Ford's book on Daniel (1978) complete with a forward by F. F. Bruce, and a very interesting introduction. Why do I do this to myself? I know not what I do.

    I just finished reading Dr. Gane's book -- and I found it deeply troubling. It contained nothing new -- but it summarized the historical Adventist prophetic viewpoint with surgical precision and nerves of steel. It is a very violent book -- but we seem to live in a violent universe -- ruled by a violent God. Perhaps things have always been that way. Perhaps things will always be that way. Perhaps things have to be that way. I get the feeling that this world, and the human-race, were an experiment -- to attempt to make things better for everyone -- but that things went very wrong -- and might've made things worse -- with a helluva lot of hard-feelings. Gane's book almost seems to be a verdict against humanity (as sinners in the hands of an angry God). I am presently very troubled regarding humanity -- and with the management of humanity. Keep studying the Bible -- from Genesis to Revelation -- but don't expect it to make you happy. Try to get in-tune with whoever wrote the Bible -- and then apply this level of spirituality to a multidisciplinary study of life, the universe, and everything. Now I'm going to finish Dr. Ford's book. We really need to deal with this sort of thing -- whether we like it, or not -- whether we believe in God, or not. God might not believe in us -- and perhaps with some justification. Considering the possibilities has literally ruined my life. BTW -- consider reading 'The Openness of God' by Dr. Richard Rice -- regarding Prophecy, Foreknowledge, and Freedom.




    A Reading From the Fourth Chapter of Galatians (KJV):

    Now I say , That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come , God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.8Howbeit then , when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected ; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record , that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written , that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written , Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

    What if we are dealing with an Ultimate Deity -- and with Two Rival Mother-Son Teams?? Just for illustrative purposes -- think of a Jaridian Ultimate Deity -- with Zo'or--Sandoval v Da'an--Kincaid. What if Liam Kincaid jumped ship -- and joined the Zo'or--Sandoval Team -- under the ultimate direction of the Ultimate Deity?? What if Da'an got demoted -- and was left to twist slowly, slowly in the wind?? I mean NO disrespect with any of my speculations. I'm simply attempting to get at the Explosive-Truth -- and defuse a Prophecy-Bomb. Some of you understand what I'm talking about. What if Josephus was Peter, John the Baptist, John the Revelator, Saul, Paul, and Jesus?? Or, at least, did the research and writing -- and the directing of several actors on a stage??!! What if Josephus was responsible for most of the final-draft Bible writing?? This was just an off the wall thought -- but try extrapolating from the work of people like Ralph Ellis and Jordan Maxwell. I'm simply wondering about a Biblical Mastermind. What if the 'Real Jesus' was exiled somewhere in the Far East?? What if Isis and Cleopatra are more important than we think?? What if the REAL Bible Story is more ugly and complex than we can possibly imagine?? I truly tremble when I think about what reincarnational roles I might've played in Ancient Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome -- just for starters. I keep worrying that I was some sort of a World War Two Bad@ss. Get ready for a VERY Wild Disclosure Ride -- and believe 5% of what you read, see, and hear. I believe that a very real theological story and reality exists -- but I suspect that we know less than 5% of the absolute theological truth. I continue to be VERY frustrated with having to Fly-Blind. I feel as if I am being taken advantage of -- and laughed at -- each and every day. But will I have the last laugh?? I doubt that the Real Truth is any laughing matter. I suspect that it is VERY sad -- and I don't expect to EVER be happy again. Here is something written by Brook (on part 1 of the 'Red Pill' thread), which might be relevant to what I just wrote:

    "Now if you were to look at the directions that history has led us you would surly believe that Sekhmet and Isis were deeply involved with these Annunaki creeps. But if you have actually read this thread I spelled it out for you what I have seen. She deeply loved Osiris? She could not stand to be in the same room with him! it was no accident his phallus came up missing! And with it came validations that were astounding. for example Isis lost her life at the hands of Ptah for not cooperating with this evil agenda to enslave and mutate and manipulate. All evidence of what was really the truth went down with Atlantis. And after that, all you have been presented was what THEY want for you to see. So be it."

    orthodoxymoron comments: "I've been neglecting this thread - but now I'm going to dig into it with enthusiasm. I know that Lucifer is supposed to be deceased - but I will continue to speculate about the past, present, and future of Lucifer. I'm finding it helpful to think of a Male Nine-Foot Tall Draconian Reptilian God/Satan Pimp of This World - a Female (or hermaphroditic) Human/Reptile Hybrid Mediatrix Lucifer/Lilith/Hathor/Isis/Mary/Anna ("V") Whore of Babylon - and a Sensitive Male Fully Human Jesus (who is very good, yet lacks the nasty, cunning firepower of the other two - and who most people won't give the time of day to). Gabriel, Lucifer, Michael? Mason, Nazi, Magician? The three primary faction leaders in this solar system? Sirius A, Sirius B, Andromeda? Thank-you BROOK for forcing me to deal with the details of Egyptology. Thank-you Lionhawk for providing your 'from the inside' insights into the hidden realms. I'm not a scholar or an experiencer. I'm a neurotic speculator. It takes all kinds - but sometimes I wonder why?"

    Brook responds: "Isis was not the whore of Babylon by a long shot ODM......you are falling into the lies of the century to even consider such. This is the leanings of the nature of use of the energy that is the Story of her.

    Hathor was an all together different faction involved with Egypt......the Hathors invited themselves to join a party... in alignment with the reptilian signature.

    Lucifer had and all together different signature then the reptilians.......of the Angelic realm. A separate yet just as evil agenda...and not necessarily set out that way..it just ended that way.
    Remember ODM....Isis was killed at the hands of a slimy reptilian! Ptah.....who threw her in a snake pit...while her trusting friend who was with her to watch over her.....Aritmus..... stood there in horror, and could not save her. While Ptah shouted in anger......because she had not cooperated...shouting at her, as she lay dying ....saying "she could have had the world! "

    She chose death over his evil, because this is not what source intended.....not the God she knew.

    Tacodog comments:

    Brook: You definitely have my ears (eyes).
    Just want to make sure I get this straight.
    Ra (Sun)/Sekhemt(feline) united and created Isis (feline/Sun), watcher for Ra. Isis took on Nephthys as her sister. Nephthys is hybrid? Feline bloodline?
    Ptah/Thoth (brothers) are Annunaki
    Osiris/Set (Annunaki/feline) (sons of Thoth or Ptah?)
    Osiris/Isis marry and had Horas. Set eliminates Osiris
    Ptah eliminates Isis
    Jesus came into being through Mary’s bloodline (Which is Sirian? Same as Ra?) to do what Horus failed at doing. Was Horus eliminated and by whom?
    Hathor – another bloodline? Allied with reptilians
    Lucifer – Angelic realm – turned evil
    The “Royal Bloodline” is Annunaki and Feline? “The Royal Bloodline are the Royals we speak of today? The ordinary human bloodline – all of the above possibly? Did RA seed earth with “hybrids” and human’s DNA is a variety of bloodlines mentioned above? Where is RA while Thoth is running havoc? Is Ra the “God” in this case? Is he the good guy? Does he not know what is going on down here? Hathor/Lucifer also entities causing havoc, and their “bosses” are unable to control them as well? Doesn’t Universe care about all this running amok?

    Once again: Great thread!

    If I can throw another log on this fire...............

    I am going to pull an ODM approach here, which is a good thing, I hope. Let's just say that the Creator has a real warm fuzzy spot for this Planet. A real jewel in his/her eyes. Is it so hard to fathom the reasons why? If you look upon this Planet you will see a reflection of the Universe by the extremes she provides. From beautiful to ugly, and every other extreme polarities imaginable. It is that bandwidth of polarity that makes a perfect environment for experiencing. Throw free agency in as a gift and look at all the experience that can be created. Throw a few Angels, a few Aliens, demi Gods, some down right evil bastards, and some of Earth's daughters and sons created with alien bloodlines, and you have a block buster!

    So everything is going just fine. Earth is on a time line that is in alignment with her own growth. Here come some players that just make a bad choice forcing other players to unplug because now Earth has been side stepped to another time line. Now here is my ODM question of the day.... Do you really think that this ascension business of the Planet is about ascension or do you think it might be about side stepping back to the original time line that the Creator had intended in the first place?

    My point being is that this altercation of the time line happened during the Egyptian age. How do we go about fixing that?

    Brook responds:

    Tacodog....you're close..but before I attempt to answer all of theses questions, I must wake up.
    For the moment think of this.....the density to be able to travel into the sun must be very light....
    The density of a reptilian is very heavy....this is why they prefer the the inner earth in parts...the hydrogen components of their being is very dense. To stay here on the surface of earth for any given time, you need the genetic coding of this planet. To do so, you need a source "frequency" to regulate and adjust. A tool to help one survive and adjust those frequencies.....a tool such as the discs....the properties to maintain a frequency to sustain your own frequency if you are from off planet.......remember the pyramids contain a "frequency" chamber......
    I'll be back to help you with the players and their roles."

    "Okay Tacodog....to the best of my knowledge....

    Ra (Sun)/Sekhemt(feline) united and created Isis (feline/Sun), watcher for Ra. Isis took on Nephthys as her sister. Nephthys is hybrid? Feline bloodline?

    Sekhmet is the mother of Isis....Father unknown at this time...however it would not surprise me if it was Ra.

    Ra and Skehmet are the parents of Horus.... Isis is surrogate for Horus.

    Nephthys was the mistress of the house of Osiris and Isis....became a full fledged partner of Osiris. Se was most likely a feline hybred...but not the sister of Isis.

    Ptah/Thoth (brothers) are Annunaki

    Ptah and Thoth were not brothers.....they were Annunaki, Ptah being in charge of Operations, and Thoth, a close confident and scribe....discovered the properties of the discs...and helped Ptah to produce the "duplicate discs"...and was creator of the Emerald Tablets. Thoth moved up in rank, and was eventually ousted from Egypt, as "ambitious", and carried on his work with the discs as a "God" in the South American region.

    Osiris/Set (Annunaki/feline) (sons of Thoth or Ptah)?

    Osiris and Set are both Annunaki/ Feline...earth based.....and of "royal bloodline...however, at this time I'm not sure who's bloodline it is. I know it is not Sekhmet.

    Osiris/Isis marry and had Horus. Set eliminates Osiris. Ptah eliminates Isis.

    Osiris and Isis are married for royal lineage..however they do not have a child together. The child of Isis was the surrogate son of Ra, and Sekhmet.....done in the tomb of Osiris to convince Ptah that the work done was to create a child of the Annunaki /feline royal lineage....when in fact it was that of Feline/Sun and earth based lineage. No Annunaki...no reptilian ...and when it was found that there was not reptilian bloodline....Set again went forward to take authority over the "throne"...which was taken from Isis in the first place. And handed over to Osiris, and Ptah..used by Thoth...remember there is a connection to the Throne and the discs...it's more than just a "chair"...it operated in conjunction with the discs...and it belonged to Isis....this is why they needed her in the first place....she had the genetic coding to the chair and the discs.

    Jesus came into being through Mary’s bloodline (Which is Sirian? Sameas Ra?) to do what Horus failed at doing. Was Horus eliminated and by whom?

    Jesus is not Sirian same as Ra.....They are just another spiritual faction that felt the calling to wake those who would listen, be able to discern the truth of who they are...remember Jesus said..."He who knows everything, but fails to know himself, misses the knowledge of everything"...they brought him here to bring some truth...but even his truth got turned into a ritual of "religion"....just like the words of Thoth...in a different fashion...but followed...and now is even popping into the "new age" movement with his words of "wisdom"....words of wisdom.....used to manipulate and put you in essence back to sleep if you let it.

    Horus was intended to carry on the feline lineage...and to an extent he did..however he got trapped, and Set could not foot the bill..so Thoth....after much torture, and pain....turned Horus into a slave to do their bidding. But he did not last long...and was quite fragmented.....after the fight from Set to gain control of the throne....Horus was just a "figure head'..the real leader was Ptah....with Thoth at the reins...but it was soon after that that Thoth got ousted....he was too power hungry...and it did not suite Ptah.

    Hathor – another bloodline? Allied with reptilians

    Lucifer – Angelic realm – turned evil Correct on Hathor and Lucifer The “Royal Bloodline” is Annunaki and Feline? “The Royal Bloodline are the Royals we speak of today?

    This is a very important answer....The "Royal bloodline" was that of the "Throne"...that of Isis....that of Sekhmet. It was stolen...and the symbolism of the "Throne" is used today with every so called "royal bloodline" since.....the only thing that made it "royal" in the first place was the "throne"...and it contained great power...and in the wrong hands...it created, an ever turning series of false royal lineage.....claiming that power of a "throne" that is in control of the frequencies of the discs.....that hide the truth. Today the throne is a symbol...but ask your self of what.....then look at these "royal thrones...and check out the composite make up of the jewels that surround it...and ask your self of the "crystalline" properties and power of these jewels and what they might actually be used for. Sounds crazy, I know...but together with the piezoelectric properties of the discs, and the chair to control it....you have an unlimited power source. And this "throne" and Isis were both based in Atlantis prior to the coming of the Annunaki. Most thrones you see used in a public arena are simply symbols..the real ones have been replaced by technology now.

    The ordinary human bloodline – all of the above possibly? Did RA seed earth with “hybrids” and human’s DNA is a variety of bloodlines mentioned above?

    Where is RA while Thoth is running havoc? Is Ra the “God” in this case? Is he the good guy? Does he not know what is going on down here? Hathor/Lucifer also entities causing havoc, andtheir “bosses” are unable to control them as well? Doesn’t Universe care about all this running amok?

    Ra was not around when these guys were tampering with the goods.....and in the process destroyed Atlantis. Ra came to Egypt after the fact...and that is when things got hot for Ptah...and Ra decided to try to gain back some control...but remember....by this time there were many lives at stake here on earth...Ra was not a "god"...he was simply in charge of a mission...and tried to correct things...the most important thing Ra and Sekhmet did, was to Remove the real discs, because Isis pleaded with them to stop the madness. They were creating some very painful expermints besides what you have heard of here so far....what I would term..."abominations."

    Ra was simply in charge of a mission to assist life here on earth through frequencies. Give the planet what it needed to create it's own species...us...the human bloodline..fit for the frequencies here...and basically create a new civilization. the seeding of "lightbody" technology has been used since anciet times...and the ones in charge of that were the felines..but that was not the only group here. We were then, and still are a very diverse culture of beings here. It would depend where you came from to determine that. And remember most of the records of that have been erased with the sinking of Atlantis. For example...Lumarians are Pleadian hybrids. Isis traveled extensively all over using this technology in conjunction with the core disc in the earth to bring the lightbody to the frequency of the earth. After the initial use..all that was needes was to produce an offspring...and away you go. Now...the key here is the fragmenting and tampering of Thoth and Ptah to infiltrate, and create a slave race of humans that don't remember who they are. Instead of remembering one life stream. An altering of the DNA with frequency. The so called "matrix" that David Icke speaks of.....set up with a frequency pattern.

    The good news is.....the earths frequencies are changing..and so are ours. this is why they have been scrambling to figure a way to control the frequencies. They are in great fear of a grid collapse....now tell me....how bad would that actually be? Worst case scenearo....repair it in a years time.....the fear is...they will be uncovered. The truth will come out...and people will start truly remembering....which will cause a chaos at first..then a rebellion....against who? The very ones in control of those frequencies. Even the armies of troops will start to realize who thay have been working for.....it will not be pretty for sure. But the truth sometimes never is."


    Archangel Michael = Isis = Cleopatra = Good Anna??!! Teachings of Isis = Teachings of Jesus??!! Did someone incarnate 2000 Years ago to bring the Creator's Message to the People? Were they exiled to the far east? Was Jesus Cesarian a usurper who corrupted this message? Did Constantine and the Council of Nicea further dilute and corrupt this message? Were nearly 40 books reduced to 5 books? Was this corrupted version of Christianity forced upon humanity for 1700 years? Are the True Teachings secretly held in the Vatican Archives? Do we need men and buildings to reach the Creator? Did the True Teachings tell people to seek enlightenment within themselves? Please watch the 1963 movie 'Cleopatra' over and over while studying this thread. Remember -- I am representing this thread as being a study-guide -- and NOT as being 'The Answer'. You will need to spend a helluva lot of time and energy with this madness to really 'get it'. I still don't really 'get it' -- even though this is 'my' thread. As I previously mentioned -- one dark night, someone looked me in the eye, and said "I am Ra". They later called me 'Michael', and asked me if I thought I might be the one hanging on the cross?? I didn't think so -- and I don't think so. What if Ra and Sekhmet were the parents of Isis and Jesus?? Think of this question in terms of a reincarnational soul basis. What if the REAL 'Jesus Story' is centered in Ancient Egypt?? Nuff Said. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sherrytalkradio/2012/12/18/monday-night-with-sherry-shriner



    devakas wrote:
    magamud wrote:The idea of the cross is it is two paths, as in two masters.

    There is a binary relationship that springs forth from creation. God and the Devil.

    Its the fountain...

    Without knowing satans whole, how could you reflect Gods whole?

    Entertainment was designed to capture the imagination. Imagination is needed to vibrate love.

    Both paths are interwoven like a fabric. this is your pov

    Like clothes...
    which church did tell you that? Can you explain what is love? Can you explain what is 'fabric'? Can you explain a binary thing?
    No
    this way of thinking and believing would never completely satisfy the Self

    sunny
    Aquaries1111 wrote:Do you really believe those debunking videos Magamud? Actually, the debunking videos make me want to watch the videos of the subject because basically, we are being advised "don't waste your time believing" and it's those types of videos I always watch because others don't want us to give any credence to..

    Now I will admit, I have not been a big Icke Fan, however, this does not mean (amen!) I am a disbeliever! Nothing is absolute except for existence and Icke breathes and lives.. That is all!

    Awareness Loves Life!


    Jenneta Jenneta Jenneta Jenneta Jenneta

    Carol wrote:I remember a few years back about some data suggesting an imminent pole shift. And before that was Nancy Lieder insisted the information the ETs gave her about a pole shift happening about 5 years back as well. Then another ET group stepped forth and informed another contactee I know that the pole shift is not on our timeline. I've come to the conclusion that it isn't worth worrying about. Whether a pole shift happens in our life span or not is something we have control over or even credible foreknowledge because the one thing I do know is that timelines change. Mercuriel and I were just talking earlier about how this one actor had died 3 times that we were aware of. The first from lung cancer because he smoked like a chimney. We look around and see evidence of weird goings on almost daily and can't even keep up with all the various news sources.

    This I do know. An inbound planet is not to far away. It is populated by the Annunaki. When it gets to 1 au from earth there will be some major earth changes and possible a pole shift. We still have to wait to see what will happen. Meanwhile, earth changes that were suppose to happen have been mitigated and appear to be unfolding at a more measured pace - as compared to abrupt, intense, one after another cataclysmic event. Some cataclysmic events we just won't know until they are upon us. But this I also know. The mind is non-local and also connected to universal cosmic consciousness. It is holographic in nature and each of us is a fractal, a part of the whole. Our awareness, our existance as a point of light affects the whole. There is no point in investing any of our personal energy in fear. Instead, our job, humble as it is - is to maintain balance and hold an image in our hearts of heaven on earth. That's it. Each being has the opportunity be participate as a conduit between the energies in the heavenly dimensional realm and this dimension. The more we can open up out hearts to this divine energy and pump it down into this dimension - the better outcome for humanity and our planet.
    I think I'd still like to do an interview-show from this incoming planet -- and I think I'd like to call it 'The Regressive Perspective'. Just Kidding! Siriusly, a while back, I suggested that they might take up a relatively circular orbit, safely beyond the orbit of Pluto, and become part of the new United States of the Solar System. According to what you are saying, Carol, this isn't happening -- but why do they have to get so close?! We don't even know them!! Are they essentially Black-Giants?? If so, would this necessarily be a bad thing?? I recently asked if we might basically be dealing with White-Nazis v Black-Giants?! I mean no racism or favoritism here. I simply don't know what the nasty issues and conflicts have been over the past ten-thousand years, or so. I've been trying to think in terms of one, big happy solar system family -- but I know not of what I speak. I have no idea regarding what races, beings, and agendas we might be dealing with. I just get the feeling that the Galactic Powers That Be are REALLY pissed-off...
    Carol wrote:The Annunaki's civilization is far more advanced then human-kind and they've swung by before. Is it once every 3,600 years in an elliptical orbit? I remember HD telling me the Annunaki wanted to control over human-kind. I wonder whose currently in control because if they already had control why would they want it now? And those who do know (ET negotiators within the Secret Government) what's going on aren't talking. We have leaked information, deliberate disinformation and speculation. What good is any of it? How can one prepare oneself of family against possible or even probable events unless they are in the know (go off-world into the future or the past; travel to one of the other off-world bases or another planet for that matter; or hang out in one of the underground cities or personal bunkers). Everyone else is just going to have to hope or pray for divine intervention. Some folks may be taken by ETs just prior to a cataclysmic event like in that movie "The Knowing." Somehow I don't think I'll be one of those folks. Even when offered the opportunity - it didn't seem my cup of tea as I wasn't inclined to have my consciousness put into a cloned body.

    In some respects I do envy some of those who get to have fun in the Space Command. And SG1 was always a personal favorite when it came to adventure and SciFy. It's comforting to think perhaps there is much more to it then just make believe.

    I still haven't figured out if I even want to reincarnate into a human form again. That's why it's so important to enjoy each precious moment here in the now - least there is regret of a life not fully lived later. I say this because of what my mother said a few days before she passed over. It took her whole life to pass by before she realized she had wasted it. I just found that very sad. So now, each night before dropping off to sleep I just pray that I stay in alignment with my pre-birth agreements and live life fully enjoying the beauty of nature (earth, mountains, deserts, valleys, canyons, foothills, plains/sky, colors, clouds/starry heavens/water - oceans, streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, rain), fish, all bird life, animals, children and family. I even enjoy most other races/cultures and am continually in awe by their human spirit. There is much to be grateful about every single day. So by being grateful one also is able to maintain a state of grace and harmony with what IS. Quiet the monkey mind, seek inner silence and listen to the music of the spheres. Pretty cool. However, I do need to add that even paradise has mosquitos (annoying distractions) from time-to-time. Fortunately the effects are fleeting and not worth giving too much attention to.
    Well said, Carol. I keep getting the feeling that what happens in this world is mostly the will of the gods and goddesses. Something seems to be playing-out on this seemingly god-forsaken planet which isn't nice. The more I try to think about the way things really are -- and the more I try to contemplate Heaven on Earth -- the more miserable and attacked I feel. Perhaps this is just my imagination and insanity -- but that's what it feels like. I'm almost to the point of just settling into conceptualizing a United States of the Solar System as a Big-Business where Appearances are Everything and the Bottom-Line is the Bottom-Line -- but in a highly transparent and ethical manner -- if you know what I mean. Perhaps we should assume that everything we say and do is somehow being viewed and recorded (electronically and/or supernaturally). I grew-up being told about Guardian-Angels and Recording-Angels so this wouldn't be anything new to me -- but I still think there is something fundamentally wrong about someone watching me in the bathroom -- and listening to me swear at interdimensional-reptilian intelligence-agents!! I think I'm just going to lay-low and study the 1898 Desire of Ages by Ellen White -- the 1928 Book of Common Prayer -- and the 1958 Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen -- and stay mostly non-controversial and under the radar. It's easier that way...

    Perhaps we're dealing with the Incoming Orion-Group in conflict with the Local Orion-Group. I keep thinking of Earth as being a Prison-Planet in Rebellion. I don't necessarily like the Traditions OR the Rebellions -- if you know what I mean. I keep trying to conceptualize Heaven on Earth in the form of a Hypothetical United States of the Solar System -- just to try to understand the madness. I'm presently quite interested in Supreme Courts (Worldwide). I'm interested in a rational, reasonable, and simple Interplanetary System of Rewards and Punishments. I'm interested in the Sovereignty of God relative to Human Responsible Freedom. Imagine Washington D.C., the United Nations, the City of London, and the Dark-Side of the Moon -- all in the Royal-Model Context of Vatican City!! I just said that I was going to lay-low -- and now look at me!! I'll eventually get around to finishing and refining this thread -- but this will probably take several months. I'll try to become neat, clean, retentive, polite, proper, respectable, marketable, etc, etc, etc. Again, I apologize for being a Completely Ignorant Fool. But Siriusly, take a long, hard look at yourselves and your leaders. You might need to do some changing, apologizing, and repenting. All of us might have very red faces before this madness ends -- if it ends...

    Is this thread a "Red-Herring" or is it the "Real-Deal"?? I think it might be a little bit of both. Just keep Ethics and Law in the Context of the Supreme Court of the United States of the Solar System at the center of your Solar System Studies, and I don't think you'll go too far wrong. I don't know what's going to happen -- and not happen. I don't know what's going to become of me. I really don't. I'm somewhat deep in despair -- and I don't really see a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm expecting more of the same -- only different. I hate to say it -- but there's always something "just around the corner" -- the Second-Coming of Christ -- the End of the World -- a Pole-Shift -- Earth-Changes -- Financial-Collapse -- the Third World War -- a Zombie-Epidemic -- an Asteroid-Attack -- and Alien-Invasion -- a Mac-Attack -- a Drac-Attack -- a Pain in Uranus -- etc. It never ends.



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    orthodoxymoron

    Posts : 9136
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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:55 am








    I think I might be irreversibly-lost in more ways than I can imagine, and I don't know how this happened. Everyone has a different version of the problems and the solutions. Let me simply suggest (and even plead) that some of us read the following three groups of Scripture (side by side, straight-through, over and over): 1. Job through Isaiah. 2. Jeremiah through Daniel. 3. Luke through Jude. Compare this study with reading the following three groups of Scripture (side by side, straight-through, over and over): 1. Genesis through Esther. 2. Job through Malachi. 3. Matthew through Revelation. What Would Emilio Knechtle Say?? What Would Billy Graham Say?? What Would Jesus Christ Say?? What Would the Apostle Paul Say?? What Would the Jesus Seminar Say?? What Would Desmond Ford Say?? What Would Fulton Sheen Say?? What Would John Dominic Crossan Say?? What Would Richard Carrier Say?? What Would Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer Say?? What Would Our Father Who Art in Heaven Say?? What Would the Beast Supercomputer Say?? What Would David Bowman Say?? What Would Peter Venkman Say?? What Would the Masons Say?? What Would the Nazis Say?? What Would the Jesuits Say?? What Would Donald Trump Say?? What Would Vladimir Putin Say??

    I recently encountered a Sweet and Sexy Russian-Lady Wearing a Crucifix-Necklace, and I wondered who she might be, and what she might be all about?! Who is REALLY Right?? Who is REALLY Wrong?? I think I might be irreversibly and simultaneously right and wrong in more ways than I can imagine, and I don't know how this happened. Everyone has a different version of right and wrong, problems and solutions. Is '42' really the answer to life, the universe, and everything?? This post makes me VERY SAD. Honesty Does NOT Necessarily Promote Spirituality. What is the Relationship Between Faith and Honesty?? Are They Complementary or Contradictory?? Should One Simply Have Simple Faith In What the Church-Leaders Preach?? Is Theological-Research of the Devil?? Think Long and Hard About What I Just Said. No one usually responds to my posts on various threads, but I've gotten used to that, and I'm OK with talking to myself (online and in real-life)!! It's easier that way!!

    As an alternative to reading the Bible straight-through, over and over OR reading Proof-Passages (here a little, there a little), consider reading Job through Daniel side by side with Luke through Jude -- straight-through, over and over. This reflects my biases regarding theological and devotional importance, which might be flawed, yet I still think this approach is somewhat legitimate, especially if each group is used to interpret itself, rather than being interpreted or vetoed by 'outsiders'!! I'm not sure the Bible really teaches what the teachers and preachers teach and preach!! The Bible can be made to say just about anything!! Each church picks and chooses certain passages to make their case for a doctrinal-statement, which then becomes the gold-standard for their particular organization. This is probably organizationally-expedient, yet the real-truth probably gets crucified in the process. A proper commentary covering the two groups mentioned would be necessary to provide a proper context, yet most commentaries use other portions of scripture to interpret and apply the content of each group.

    Each church has a 'System'. I keep wondering why the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of ALL Christian Churches aren't the 28 Fundamental Teachings of Jesus?? I include the following because of my background -- and because it is representative of Reformed Protestant Beliefs (although many Protestants might protest this assertion). This is intended to make us think. But really, most believers don't wish to have anyone meddle with their faith -- and most unbelievers don't wish to discuss beliefs. Period. Where are the objective, open, fair, and honest researchers?????? Notice Belief 16 ('The Lord's Supper') where there seems to be 'Real-Presence' language!! 'Heirs of the Reformation'?? Really?? What Would Luther Say?? I have repeatedly hinted that ALL Churches have-been (and are) run by the same Hidden-PTB ('The Spirit Behind the Church'??) -- and that each church is sort of like a 'Franchise' under 'Umbrella-Ownership'!! If so -- perhaps things must be this way -- so as to effectively manage the insanity of humanity. Who Knows?? Damned If I Know. That's Why I Whisper, Rather Than Shout...

    Are the Teachings of Jesus exclusively the Red-Letters found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?? Are the Teachings of Jesus the Genuine Pauline-Epistles?? Are the Teachings of Jesus the Red-Letters (including the first chapters of Revelation) plus the Genuine Pauline-Epistles?? Are the Teachings of Jesus the Entire New-Testament?? I've suggested the possibility that reading Job through Daniel (straight-through, over and over) might be necessary to properly understand the Whole-Bible. There's no book of the Bible titled 'The 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists'. Where are the 'Latin Mass' and the 'Novus Ordo Mass' found in the Whole-Bible?? Why didn't the Historical Jesus write the New Testament?? Why isn't the New Testament a Positively-Reinforcing Old-Testament Commentary?? What Was the Perfect Law of the Lord prior to the Garden of Eden and the Book of Genesis?? I've suggested the possibility that Science-Fictional Possibility-Thinking must mate with Scholarly-Theology, especially regarding the Origin and Possible-Termination of Humanity As We Know It. This is Nasty-Territory. Researchers Beware!!


    28 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists
    http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

    Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.

    1. Holy Scriptures:

    The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

    2. Trinity:

    There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)


    3. Father:

    God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)

    4. Son:

    God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)

    5. Holy Spirit:

    God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

    6. Creation:

    God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ``very good,'' declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

    7. Nature of Man:

    Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

    8. Great Controversy:

    All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

    9. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ:

    In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)

    10. Experience of Salvation:

    In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

    11. Growing in Christ:

    By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience. (Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)

    12. Church:

    The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)

    13. Remnant and Its Mission:

    The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

    14. Unity in the Body of Christ:

    The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)

    15. Baptism:

    By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

    16. Lord's Supper:

    The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)

    17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries:

    God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God's varied grace, the church is protected from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)

    18. The Gift of Prophecy:

    One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)

    19. Law of God:

    The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.)

    20. Sabbath:

    The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

    21. Stewardship:

    We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)

    22. Christian Behavior:

    We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)

    23. Marriage and the Family:

    Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

    24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:

    There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)

    25. Second Coming of Christ:

    The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

    26. Death and Resurrection:

    The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

    27. Millennium and the End of Sin:

    The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

    28. New Earth:

    On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.) Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.







    This SDA Church is on Hollywood Boulevard (at the Hollywood Freeway)!!
    I Grew Up Attending This Church!! We Called it "Noah's Ark"!!

    I grew-up attending this church, and I sang in the choir when we had a professional-level organist, pianist, choir-director, and soloists. We mostly performed Sacred Classical Music. Once, we participated in the wedding of a high-born non-SDA African couple, and attended the reception, which was really quite-wild by SDA standards (at that time)!! They had booze, a rock-group, and dancing rich-people!! Below is a short-video of this church a couple of years ago. Notice the people coming-forward to take communion. This is NOT Traditional SDA practice!! This is more Anglican or Catholic!! There's another video with the congregation singing 'Kyrie Eleison'!! We were much more classical-music oriented than the music in the video below!! Once, during communion, a visitor got-up and walked-out, shouting "You're Just a Bunch of Catholics!!" And that's when we did NOT come forward for communion!! Imagine what that guy would say today!! Another time, a lady got mad at the church, and was shouting "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell??!!" One of the most significant services was the hosting of the guest-speaker Emilio Knechtle. I sang in the choir. The church was packed. PLEASE Listen to the Emilio Knechtle videos below!! He's a VERY Dynamic and Forceful Speaker!! I Find His Presentations Irresistible!! I met him after one of his sermons.

    As an Early-Teen, in the basement of this church, an Individual of Interest (who I never saw before or after) told me "Gee, You're Gullible!!" I told 'RA' about this, and he smirked. C. Lloyd Wyman was the pastor when the church was built, and I went to school with his son, Scott. Jack LaLanne's mother attended this church, and she knew the answers to all the questions in Sabbath-School!! Jack didn't attend, but he dropped-off and picked-up his mother. As a teen-ager, a group of us from the church (including the pastor, Thomas Stafford) picketed a Hollywood Pornography Establishment!! We Were Shown on the Evening Television-News in Los Angeles!! When I was a very-young child, while sitting with my mother in this church, a couple of elderly-ladies thought I was cute, and they were smiling at me, and talking to me, but I thought they were making fun of me, and I said "Shut-Up!!" My mother was horrified, and marched me out of the sanctuary, and gave me a paddling (when that sort of thing was NOT forbidden by the 'do-gooders')!! I had to apologize to the ladies following the service!! What Would Dr. Spock Say?? We drove our 1959 'Ghostbuster' Cadillac (with CBS plates) to this church each Sabbath (when I was a young child). What Would Dr. Peter Venkman Say?? Later, I sometimes drove our Blue AMC Pacer to this church (around the same time 'Oh, God' was being produced, a few miles away)!! What Would John Denver and George Burns Say?? What Would a Completely Ignorant Fool Say?? That's All I'm Going to Say!!

    Here's an article about a former pastor of the Hollywood SDA Church who became an atheist. I'm not the only renegade former member!! We should start a support-group!! https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/01/04/end-his-year-without-god-ryan-bell-speaks-out I don't think a lot of atheists are really atheists. I think most of them are simply disillusioned by the realities of life as we know it. There was a lot of fighting at this church when I was there, and from what I've heard, it only got worse after I moved. The fighting I experienced was mostly theological (surprise, surprise), but people also got in each others way. We all have our agendas, don't we?? What Would Patrick Lobo Say?? What Would Paul Hart Do?? What Would Charles and Marian Haluska Say and Do?? As some of you know, my current SDA idealism seems to revolve around the 'Conflict of the Ages Series' (by Ellen White) and the 'SDA Bible Commentary' combined with Science-Fiction and Sacred Classical Music in the Context of Nature. This might-not involve church-membership (or even non-committal church-attendance). People who have left the SDA church for greener-pastures quickly found-out that the pastures weren't as green as they thought they were going to be. Life on Earth is Hazardous-Duty, and most of us get our fingers burned (right up to our armpits) at some point. I have high-hopes for Church-Related Education and Employment, but Church On Earth (as fortress against the world) might be on its way out. Church In Heaven might be a completely different story. I think we all have fleeting memories of what that was like (back in the good-old days) but creating Heaven On Earth seems to be an Impossible Dream (for now). Namaste and Godspeed.



    In retrospect, I often wish I'd remained in Southern California, become a Medical-Doctor, and become a Pillar of the SDA Church. Clean-Sheet of Stone Idealism is SO Overrated. In a sense, it doesn't really matter that Southern California is a Cesspool of Iniquity, or that Acute-Care Drugs and Surgery Medicine is more corrupt than Hell and the Devil, or that the SDA Church doesn't strictly-follow the Bible, Ellen White, or the Truth. In the context of Purgatory Incorporated and Supercomputer Management, it all makes a hell of a lot of sense. Did THAT Make Sense?? I didn't think so.

    What if Volumes 3 and 4 of the SDA Bible Commentary (1 Chronicles to Malachi in a Whole-Bible Context) were considered 'God's Authoritative-Voice' for SDA's in modernity?? On the other hand, imagine treating 'Patriarchs and Prophets', 'Prophets and Kings', and 'Desire of Ages' (all by Ellen White) as a 'New-Bible' even though this concept is 'Heresy' by any standard. Is 'Sola Scriptura' really 'Scriptural'?? Did the New-Testament follow 'Sola Scriptura'?? What if the New-Testament had consisted of the Septuagint-Version of 1 Chronicles to Malachi?? What if Jesus and Paul had presented this Hypothetical-Volume with Expository-Preaching?? In modernity, is there merit to focusing-upon 1 Chronicles to Malachi in the 'NIV Reader's Bible' (with no chapter and verse numbering)?? What if this focus were the '2028 Book of Common Prayer'?? What if Bach, Buxtehude, and Handel were Canonical Sacred-Classical Music?? What if the Crystal Cathedral 'Arboretum' were the Canonical Sacred-Structure in Modernity??

    But as I keep saying, perhaps Education and Corporation trump Church and State. Money Talks and BS Walks?? Follow the Money?? Those with the Gold....Rule?? Perhaps I should start the 'Church of the Corrupt Corporation' (CCC)!! Would the CCC trump the RCC?? Or IS the RCC the CCC?? What Would Jordan Maxwell Say?? You Don't Want to Know. Perhaps Purgatory Incorporated is Just the Way Things Are. Why Fight City-Hall?? Why Fight the Dark-Side of the Moon?? Why Fight the Evil-Empire?? Resistance is Required Yet Futile?? Should we Bow-Down and Worship the Top One-Percent?? Should we all become Nazis, Masons, Jesuits, Satanists, Witches, and Warlocks??


    "The Seventh-Day is the Sabbath!!"




    Last edited by orthodoxymoron on Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:00 am

    Once again, at this late date, I just wish to repeat that I don't know who's who -- what's what -- or which way to jump. I continue to think this thread is an excellent starting-point and study-guide -- but don't look to this thread, or to me, as being "the answer" in any way, shape, or form -- regardless of who I might've been (or might not have been) in previous incarnations. I really and truly am a Completely Ignorant Fool -- and I'm NOT proud of this inconvenient truth. But, in spite of everything, I will continue this seeming exercise in futility -- because I can -- at least for now. Consider Ancient Theories of the Soul. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/

    Ancient Theories of Soul

    First published Thu Oct 23, 2003; substantive revision Wed Apr 22, 2009

    Ancient philosophical theories of soul are in many respects sensitive to ways of speaking and thinking about the soul [psuchê] that are not specifically philosophical or theoretical. We therefore begin with what the word ‘soul’ meant to speakers of Classical Greek, and what it would have been natural to think about and associate with the soul. We then turn to various Presocratic thinkers, and to the philosophical theories that are our primary concern, those of Plato (first in the Phaedo, then in the Republic), Aristotle (in the De Anima or On the Soul), Epicurus, and the Stoics. These are by far the most carefully worked out theories of soul in ancient philosophy. Later theoretical developments — for instance, in the writings of Plotinus and other Platonists, as well as the Church Fathers — are best studied against the background of the classical theories, from which, in large part, they derive.

    Adopting a bird's-eye view of the terrain that we will be covering, and setting many details aside for the moment, we can describe it as follows. From comparatively humble Homeric beginnings, the word ‘soul’ undergoes quite remarkable semantic expansion in sixth and fifth century usage. By the end of the fifth century — the time of Socrates' death — soul is standardly thought and spoken of, for instance, as the distinguishing mark of living things, as something that is the subject of emotional states and that is responsible for planning and practical thinking, and also as the bearer of such virtues as courage and justice. Coming to philosophical theory, we first trace a development towards comprehensive articulation of a very broad conception of soul, according to which the soul is not only responsible for mental or psychological functions like thought, perception and desire, and is the bearer of moral qualities, but in some way or other accounts for all the vital functions that any living organism performs. This broad conception, which is clearly in close contact with ordinary Greek usage by that time, finds its fullest articulation in Aristotle's theory. The theories of the Hellenistic period, by contrast, are interested more narrowly in the soul as something that is responsible specifically for mental or psychological functions. They either de-emphasize or sever the ordinary-language connection between soul and life in all its functions and aspects.
    •1. The Greek Notion of Soul?Supplement: Burnet on the Greek Notion of Soul

    •2. Presocratic Thinking about the Soul
    •3. Plato's Theories of Soul?3.1 The Phaedo's Theory of Soul
    ?3.2 The Republic's Theory of Soul

    •4. Aristotle's Theory of Soul
    •5. Hellenistic Theories of Soul?5.1 Epicurus' Theory of Soul
    ?5.2 The Stoic Theory of Soul

    •6. Conclusion
    •Bibliography
    •Other Internet Resources
    •Related Entries

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. The Greek Notion of Soul

    The Homeric poems, with which most ancient writers can safely be assumed to be intimately familiar, use the word ‘soul’ in two distinguishable, probably related, ways. The soul is, on the one hand, something that a human being risks in battle and loses in death. On the other hand, it is what at the time of death departs from the person's limbs and travels to the underworld, where it has a more or less pitiful afterlife as a shade or image of the deceased person. It has been suggested (for instance, by Snell 1975, 19) that what is referred to as soul in either case is in fact thought of as one and the same thing, something that a person can risk and lose and that, after death, endures as a shade in the underworld. The suggestion is plausible, but cannot be verified. In any case, once a person's soul has departed for good, the person is dead. The presence of soul therefore distinguishes a living human body from a corpse. However, this is plainly not to say that the soul is thought of as what accounts for, or is responsible for, the activities, responses, operations and the like that constitute a person's life. Homer never says that anyone does anything in virtue of, or with, their soul, nor does he attribute any activity to the soul of a living person. Thus, though the presence or absence of soul marks out a person's life, it is not otherwise associated with that life. Moreover, it is a striking feature of Homeric usage that, in Furley's words (Furley 1956, 4), to mention soul is to suggest death: someone's soul comes to mind only when their life is thought, by themselves or others, to be at risk. Thus Achilles says that he is continuously risking his soul (Iliad 9.322), and Agenor reflects on the fact that even Achilles has just one soul (Iliad 11.569). It should also be pointed out that in the Homeric poems, only human beings are said to have (and to lose) souls. Correspondingly, Homer never envisages shades or images of non-human creatures in the underworld. These two facts taken together suggest that in whatever precise way the soul is conceived of as associated with life, it is in any case thought to be connected not with life in general, or life in all its forms, but rather, more specifically, with the life of a human being.

    Several significant developments occurred in the ways Greeks thought and spoke about the soul in the sixth and fifth centuries. The questions about the soul that are formulated and discussed in the writings of Plato and Aristotle to some extent arise from, and need to be interpreted against the background of, these sixth and fifth century developments. One factor that is of central importance is the gradual loss of the Homeric connection between mentioning a person's soul and the thought that their life is vulnerable or at risk (contra Burnet 1916, 253). In ordinary fifth century Greek, having soul is simply being alive; hence the emergence, at about this time, of the adjective ‘ensouled’ [empsuchos] as the standard word meaning “alive”, which was applied not just to human beings, but to other living things as well. There is some reason to think that the word ‘soul’ was used in this straightforwardly positive way already in the sixth century. Thales of Miletus, who is credited with successfully predicting a solar eclipse occurring in 585, reportedly attributed soul to magnets, on the grounds that magnets are capable of moving iron (Aristotle, De Anima 1.2, 405a19-21). Thales' thought was presumably that since it is distinctive of living things to be able to initiate movement, magnets must in fact be alive or, in other words, ensouled. Thus, while Homer spoke of soul only in the case of human beings, in sixth and fifth century usage soul is attributed to every kind of living thing. What is in place, then, at this time is the notion that soul is what distinguishes that which is alive from that which is not.

    However, it is not just that soul is said to be present in every living thing. It is also the case that an increasingly broad range of ways of acting and being acted on is attributed to the soul. Thus it has come to be natural, by the end of the fifth century, to refer pleasure taken in food and drink, as well as sexual desire, to the soul. (For detailed discussion, see Claus 1981, 73-85.) People are said, for example, to satisfy their souls with rich food (Euripides, Ion 1170), and the souls of gods and men are claimed to be subject to sexual desire (fragment assigned by Nauck to Euripides' first Hippolytus). In contexts of intense emotion or crisis, feelings like love and hate, joy and grief, anger and shame are associated with the soul. “Nothing bites the soul of a man more than dishonor”, says Ajax in a fragment from a tragedy of unknown authorship, just before he commits suicide (Nauck, TGF, Adesp. fr. 110). Oedipus says that his soul laments the misery of his city and its inhabitants (Oedipus Tyrannus 64). Moreover, the soul is also importantly connected with boldness and courage, especially in battle. Courageous people are said, for instance in Herodotus and Thucydides, to have enduring or strong souls (cf. Laches' second definition of the virtue that is courage, in Plato's Laches 192c, as “strength of the soul”; also relevant is Pindar, Pythian 1.47-8, “standing in battle with an enduring soul”). In the Hippocratic text Airs, Waters, Places, the soul is thought of as the place of courage or, as the case may be, its opposite: in the case of lowland inhabitants, courage and endurance are not in their souls by nature, but must be instilled by law (ch. 23); similarly in benign climates, men are fleshy, ill-jointed, moist, without endurance and weak in soul (ch. 24).

    The connection between the soul and characteristics like boldness and courage in battle is plainly an aspect of the noteworthy fifth century development whereby the soul comes to be thought of as the source or bearer of moral qualities such as, for instance, temperance and justice. In Pericles' funeral oration that Thucydides includes in his account of the Peloponnesian War, he says that those who know most clearly the sweet and the terrible, and yet do not as a result turn away from danger, are rightly judged “strongest with regard to soul” (2.40.3). This text, and others like it (cf. also Herodotus 7.153), indicate a semantic extension whereby ‘soul’ comes to denote a person's moral character, often, but not always, with special regard to qualities such as endurance and courage. While the connection with courage is obvious in a number of texts, there are other texts in which the soul is the bearer of other admirable qualities, such as a Euripidean fragment that speaks of the desire characteristic of a soul that is just, temperate and good (fr. 388). Hippolytus, in Euripides' play named after him, describes himself as having a “virgin soul” (Hippolytus 1006), obviously to evoke his abstinence from sex. In Pindar's second Olympian, salvation is promised to those who “keep their souls from unjust acts” (2.68-70). The last two texts mentioned may well be influenced by Orphic and Pythagorean beliefs about the nature and immortality of the soul, to which we will turn in due course. But it would be a mistake to think that the moralization of the soul (i.e. its association with moral characteristics) wholly depended on Orphic and Pythagorean speculation. It would, at the very least, be to disregard the soul's connection with courage in poetry, the historians and in Hippocratic writings.

    To educated fifth century speakers of Greek, it would have been natural to think of qualities of soul as accounting for, and being manifested in, a person's morally significant behavior. Pericles acts courageously, and Hippolytus temperately (or chastely), because of the qualities of their souls from which such actions have a strong tendency to flow, and their actions express and make evident the courage, temperance and the like that characterize their souls. Once we are in a position properly to appreciate the connection between soul and moral character that must already have been felt to be natural at this stage, it should come as no surprise that the soul is also taken to be something that engages in activities like thinking and planning. If the soul is, in some sense, responsible for courageous acts, for instance, it is only to be expected that the soul also grasps what, in the circumstances, courage calls for, and how, at some suitable level of detail, the courageous act must be performed. Thus in a speech of Antiphon, the jury is urged to “take away from the accused the soul that planned the crime”, in striking juxtaposition of the ideas of life-soul (as in Homer) and of soul as responsible for practical thought. Somewhat similarly, in a Sophoclean fragment (fr. 97) someone says that “a kindly soul with just thoughts is a better inventor than any sophist” (cf. also Euripides, Orestes 1180). Moreover, it is easy to see that there are connections between familiar uses of ‘soul’ in emotional contexts and attributions to the soul of cognitive and intellectual activities and achievements. There is, after all, no clear-cut and manifest difference between, say, being in the emotional state of fear and having a terrifying thought or perception. When Oedipus' soul laments, or Ajax's soul is bitten by dishonor, emotion obviously goes hand in hand with cognition, and if it is natural to refer the one to the soul, there should be nothing puzzling about attributions to it of the other. Thus in non-philosophical Greek of the fifth century the soul is treated as the bearer of moral qualities, and also as responsible for practical thought and cognition. For further discussion, see this supplement on the contrary claims of Burnet 1916:

    Burnet on the Greek Notion of Soul

    From Homer to the end of the fifth century, the word ‘soul’ undergoes remarkable semantic expansion, in the course of which it comes to be natural not only to speak of soul as what distinguishes the living from the dead and (not the same distinction) the animate from the inanimate, but also to attribute to the soul a wide variety of activities and responses, cognitive as well as emotional, and to think of it as the bearer of such virtues as courage, temperance and justice. As a result of these developments, the language made available something that Homeric Greek lacked, a distinction between body and soul. Thus the Hippocratic author of Airs, Waters, Places writes of “endurance in body and soul” (ch. 23). Antiphon says of a defendant who is sure of his innocence that though his body may surrender, his soul saves him by its willingness to struggle, through knowledge of its innocence. For the guilty, on the other hand, even a strong body is to no avail, since his soul fails him, “believing the vengeance coming to him is for his impieties” (Antiphon 5). Homer, by contrast, knows and speaks of a whole lot of different sources and bearers of psychological predicates, but lacks a word to pick out the soul as a single item to which the predicates in question can, in some way or other, be referred and which can be distinguished from, and in suitable contexts contrasted with, the body (cf. Snell 1975, 18-25).

    2. Presocratic Thinking about the Soul

    The semantic expansion of ‘soul’ in the sixth and fifth centuries is reflected in the philosophical writings of the period. For instance, once it becomes natural to speak of soul as what distinguishes the animate from the inanimate, rather than as something that is restricted to humans, it becomes clear that the domain of ensouled things is not limited to animals, but includes plants as well. Empedocles and, apparently, Pythagoras (cf. Bremmer 1983, 125) thought that plants have souls, and that human souls, for instance, can come to animate plants. (Note, though, that Empedocles, in extant fragments, rarely uses the word ‘soul’, preferring the word daimôn.) Empedocles in fact claimed to have been a bush in a previous incarnation, as well as, among other things, a bird and a fish (fr. 117, Kirk, Raven & Schofield 1983 [in what follows KR&S], 417). Incidentally, Empedocles, like Anaxagoras and Democritus, referred to plants as animals, presumably precisely because they are alive (zên, from which the word for animal, zôon, derives) (for details, cf. Skemp 1947, 56). In this he was followed by Plato (Timaeus 77b), but emphatically not by Aristotle (De Anima 2.2, 413b1f).

    There is, moreover, some reason to think that philosophical activity, notably Pythagorean speculation (beginning around mid-sixth century), contributed to the semantic expansion of ‘soul’. As we have seen, at least some of the earliest extant texts that associate with the soul moral virtues other than courage suggest Pythagorean influence. It is, in fact, not difficult to see how Pythagoreanism may have furthered the expansion of ‘soul’. Pythagoreanism was concerned with, among other things, the continued existence of the person (or something suitably person-like) after death. It is obvious that against the Homeric background, ‘soul’ was an eminently appropriate word to use so as to denote the person, or quasi-person, that continued to exist after death; there was, after all, the familiar Homeric use of ‘soul’ as that which endures in the underworld after a person's death. To make the continued existence of this soul significant as the continued existence of the person in question, at least some of the states, activities, operations and the like that seemed crucial to the identity of the person had to be attributed to the soul (following Furley 1956, 11, who goes further than that, writing of the need for the soul “to include all the functions of personality”; cf. Barnes 1982, 103-6; Huffman forthcoming). This tendency is well illustrated by a story about Pythagoras, reported by Xenophanes (fr. 7, KR&S 260): “Once, they say, he was passing by when a puppy was being whipped, and he took pity and said: ‘Stop, do not beat it; it is the soul of a friend that I recognized when I heard its [i.e., the soul's!] voice.’” It is not just that the soul of Pythagoras' friend accounts for the character of the yelping (or whatever). Pythagoras is in fact quoted as saying that it is his friend's soul that is doing the yelping!

    Heraclitus (fl. around 500 BC), who repeatedly mentions Pythagoras, attributes wisdom to the soul provided that it is in the right state or condition: “a dry soul”, he claims, “is wisest and best” (fr. 118, KR&S 230). He may have been the first thinker to articulate a connection between soul and motor functions. “A man when he is drunk”, Heraclitus remarks, “is led by an unfledged boy, stumbling and not knowing where he goes, having his soul moist” (fr. 117, KR&S 231). On the most plausible construal of Heraclitus' sentence, he is saying that the drunken person stumbles because his perceptual abilities have been impaired, and this impairment is due to moistness of soul (Schofield 1991, 22). Like many (or indeed all) sixth and fifth century thinkers who expressed views on the nature or constitution of the soul, Heraclitus thought that the soul was bodily, but composed of an unusually fine or rare kind of matter, e.g. air or fire. (A possible exception is the Pythagorean Philolaus, who may have held that the soul is an ‘attunement’ of the body; cf. Barnes 1982, 488-95, and Huffman.) The prevalence of the idea that the soul is bodily explains the absence of problems about the relation between soul and body. Soul and body were not thought to be radically different in kind; their difference seemed just to consist in a difference in degree of properties such as fineness and mobility.

    3. Plato's Theories of Soul

    The various developments that occurred in the sixth and fifth centuries in how Greeks thought and spoke of the soul resulted in a very complex notion that strikes one as remarkably close to conceptions of the soul that we find in fourth century philosophical theories, notably Plato's. There is thus some reason to think that the philosophical theories in question are best interpreted as working with, and on, the relatively non-theoretical notion of the soul that by the end of the fifth century has come to be embedded in ordinary language. In what follows our main concern will be to characterize some of the theories in question. But we should also attend, wherever this seems appropriate and helpful, to ways in which familiarity with the ordinary notion of the soul might enable us better to understand why a theory or an argument proceeds the way it does. In addition, we should note ways in which philosophical theories might seem to clarify and further articulate the ordinary notion. We begin with Plato, and with a question that is intimately tied up with the ordinary notion of the soul as it developed from the Homeric poems onwards, namely whether a person's soul does indeed survive the person's death.

    3.1 The Phaedo's Theory of Soul

    It is probably true that in mainstream fifth century Greek culture, belief in an afterlife of the soul was weak and unclear (Claus 1981, 68; Burnet 1916, 248-9). If so, it is fitting that Socrates' arguments for the immortality of the soul, most prominently in the Phaedo, are offered to interlocutors who, at the outset of the discussion, are by no means convinced of the idea. (In fact, in the Apology, 40c, Socrates himself is presented as being noncommittal about what happens to the soul at death, and even about whether it survives at all.) “Men find it very hard to believe”, Cebes says at Phaedo 70a, “what you said about the soul. They think that after it has left the body it no longer exists anywhere, but that it is destroyed and dissolved on the day the man dies.” This view is restated by Simmias (at 77b) as the opinion of the majority (cf. 80d); note that the view includes the idea that the soul is a material thing, and is destroyed by being dispersed, “like breath or smoke” (70a). Glaucon, in the last book of the Republic (608d), is taken aback by Socrates' question,

    “Haven't you realized that our soul is immortal and never destroyed?”
    He looked at me with wonder and said: “No, by god, I haven't. Are you really in a position to assert that?”

    Moreover, apart from the question of immortality or otherwise, there is the further question whether the soul, if it does have some form of existence after the person has died, “still possesses some power and wisdom” (Phaedo, 70b; cf. 76c). Answering both questions, Socrates says not only that the soul is immortal, but also that it contemplates truths after its separation from the body at the time of death. Needless to say, none of the four main lines of argument that Socrates avails himself of succeeds in establishing the immortality of the soul, or in demonstrating that disembodied souls enjoy lives of thought and intelligence. The arguments have been discussed in some detail, for instance in Bostock 1986, and for our purposes there is no need to state and analyze them systematically. It will suffice to comment selectively on aspects of the arguments that bear directly on Plato's conception of the soul. The argument that sheds most light on what Plato takes the nature of the soul to be is the affinity argument (78b-80b). This argument confronts head-on the widespread worry that the soul, at or soon after death, is destroyed by being dispersed. It begins by distinguishing between two kinds of things: on the one hand, things that are perceptible, composed of parts, and subject to dissolution and destruction; on the other hand, things that are not perceptible, but intelligible (grasped by thought), not composed of parts, and exempt from dissolution and destruction. These two categories are obviously mutually exclusive. It is not clear whether or not they are meant to be exhaustive. Moreover, the category of imperishable, intelligible being is exemplified, but not, it seems, exhausted, by Platonic forms such as equality, beauty and the like (contra Bostock 1986, 118). Intelligible being evidently includes what Socrates calls the divine, whose nature it is to rule and to lead (80a), and there is no indication that the forms exhaust the divine, or even include the divine, so understood. Thus the argument leaves room for the idea that souls are not forms, but are nevertheless intelligible, partless and imperishable (contra Robinson 1995, 29). In fact, in framing the argument in the way he does Plato furnishes the conceptual framework needed for saying that body and soul differ in kind, the one being perceptible and perishable, the other being intelligible and exempt from destruction. However, the argument does not support such a strong conclusion, and Socrates is aware of this.

    What he does, in fact, conclude is that the soul is most like, and most akin to, intelligible being, and that the body is most like perceptible and perishable being. To say this is plainly neither to assert nor to imply (as Robinson 1995, 30, appears to think) that soul in some way or other falls short of intelligible, imperishable being, any more than it is to assert or imply that body in some way or other falls short of, or rather rises above, perceptible, perishable being. The argument leaves it open whether soul is a perfectly respectable member of intelligible reality, the way human bodies are perfectly respectable members of perceptible reality, or whether, alternatively, soul has some intermediate status in between intelligible and perceptible being, rising above the latter, but merely approximating to the former. Socrates does seem to take his conclusion to imply, or at least strongly suggest, that it is natural for the soul either “to be altogether indissoluble, or nearly so”, but, in any case, that the soul is less subject to dissolution and destruction than the body, rather than, as the popular view has it, more so. If this position can be established, Socrates is in a position to refute the popular view that the soul, being composed of ethereal stuff, is more liable to dispersion and destruction than the body. However, as Cebes points out (88b), unless Socrates can establish that the soul is altogether exempt from destruction, confidence of survival in the face of death is misplaced. Socrates' soul may be a great deal more durable than his body, but as long as it is not truly imperishable, there can be no guarantee that it will survive Socrates' impending death. For it might have experienced any number of incarnations already, and the current one might be its last. So Socrates launches his most elaborate and final argument for the immortality of the soul, which concludes that since life belongs to soul essentially, the soul must be deathless — that is, immortal.

    The affinity argument is supposed to show not only that the soul is most like intelligible, imperishable being, but also that it is most akin to it. Socrates argues that the soul is like intelligible being on the grounds that it is not visible and, in general, not perceptible (anyhow to humans, as Cebes adds at 79b), and that it shares its natural function with the divine, namely to rule and lead (the body in the one case, mortals in the other). There is a separate argument for the kinship of the soul with intelligible being. When the soul makes use of the senses and attends to perceptibles, “it strays and is confused and dizzy, as if it were drunk” (79c). By contrast, when it remains “itself by itself” and investigates intelligibles, its straying comes to an end, and it achieves stability and wisdom. It is not just that the soul is in one state or another depending on which kind of object it is attending to, in such a way that its state somehow corresponds to the character of the object attended to. That would not by itself show that the soul is more akin to the one domain rather than the other (this is the point of Bostock's criticism, Bostock 1986, 119). To understand the argument properly, it is crucial to note that when the soul attends to perceptibles, it is negatively affected in such a way that its functioning is at least temporarily reduced or impaired (“dizzy, as if drunk”), whereas there is no such interference when it attends to intelligibles (cf. Socrates' fear, at 99e, that by studying things by way of the senses he might blind his soul). The claim that the soul is akin to intelligible reality thus rests, at least in part, on the view that intelligible reality is especially suited to the soul, as providing it with a domain of objects in relation to which, and only in relation to which, it can function without inhibition and interference and fully in accordance with its own nature, so as to achieve its most completely developed and optimal state, wisdom.

    It hardly needs pointing out, then, that the soul, as Plato conceives of it in the Phaedo, is crucially characterized by cognitive and intellectual features: it is something that reasons, more or less well depending on the extent to which it is disturbed or distracted by the body and the senses; something that regulates and controls the body and its desires and affections, “especially if it is a wise soul” (94b), presumably in a way that involves, and renders effective, judgments about what it is best to do, and how it is best to behave; and something that has, as the kind of adornment that is truly appropriate to it, virtues such as temperance, justice and courage (114e f.). However, it should be clear that the soul, as it is conceived of here, is not simply the mind, as we conceive of it. It is both broader and narrower than that. It is broader in that Plato evidently retains the traditional idea of soul as distinguishing the animate from the inanimate. Two of the four main lines of argument for the immortality of the soul rely not on cognitive or indeed specifically psychological features of the soul, but simply on the familiar connection between soul and life. According to the cyclical argument (70c-72d), being alive in general is preceded by, just as it precedes, being dead. Socrates takes this to show that a creature's death involves the continued existence of the soul in question, which persists through a period of separation from body, and then returns to animate another body in a change which is the counterpart of the previous change, dying. According to the last line of argument that Socrates offers in the Phaedo, the soul is immortal because it has life essentially, the way fire has heat essentially. It is plain that both of these arguments apply to the souls of all living things, including plants (cf. 70d, 71d). And in the final argument, Socrates explicitly appeals to the idea that it is the soul that animates the body of a living thing (105c):

    What is it that, when present in a body, makes it living? — A soul.

    Now, as we have seen in some detail, the Greek notion of soul included the idea of soul as animating body probably as early as the sixth century, when Thales attributed soul to magnets. Connections between the soul and morally significant characteristics such as courage, temperance and justice, and with cognitive and intellectual functions, notably with planning and practical thought, are firmly established in fifth century Greek usage. But it is obviously far from clear whether the ordinary notion of soul, as it develops from the Homeric poems down to the end of the fifth century, is a well-formed, coherent notion, one that can suitably support the very prominent role that Plato assigns to the soul, in the Phaedo as well as in other dialogues. Perhaps most pressingly, it is far from clear whether what distinguishes the animate from the inanimate is the very thing that, in the case of some animate organisms, is responsible for cognitive functions such as sense-perception and thought, and that, specifically in the case of human beings, is the bearer of moral qualities such as justice, courage and the like. The question is neither explicitly raised nor, of course, resolved in the Phaedo; but a passage in the Republic (352d-354a), with which we will be concerned in section 3.2, suggests that Plato took the ordinary notion of soul, in all its richness and bewildering complexity, to be well-formed and coherent, and to be capable of supporting the requirements of his own theory.

    Given the idea that soul is the distinguishing mark of all living things, including plants, the Greek notion of soul is, as we have seen already, broader than our concept of mind. For it is at least conceivable, and probably true as a matter of fact, that there are living (hence ensouled) organisms without minds, without, that is to say, desire and cognition by sense or intellect. (Plato appears to think that plants do have minds in this sense, because he takes them to exhibit desire and sense-perception (Timaeus 77b), but that is presumably supposed to be a matter of empirical fact or inference, rather than simply a consequence of the fact that plants have souls.)

    In another way, the conception of soul that is in evidence in the Phaedo is significantly narrower than our concept of mind, in that the soul, as conceived of in this particular dialogue, is not, in fact, responsible, or directly responsible, for all of a person's mental or psychological activities and responses, but only for a rather severely limited subset of them. Socrates attributes a large variety of mental states (etc.) not to the soul, but to the (animate) body, such as, for instance, beliefs and pleasures (83d), and desires and fears (94d). At the same time, the soul is not narrowly intellectual: it too has desires (81d), even passionate ones (such as the nonphilosophical soul's love [erôs] of the corporeal, 80b), and pleasures as well, such as the pleasures of learning (114e). Moreover, the soul's functions are, as we have seen already, not restricted to grasping and appreciating truth, but prominently include regulating and controlling the body and its affections (such as beliefs and pleasures, desires and fears), no doubt in light of suitable judgments, arrived at, or anyhow supported and controlled, by reasoning. The soul of the Phaedo in fact seems to be precisely what in Republic 4 is identified as just one part of the soul, namely reason, whereas the functions of the lower parts, appetite and spirit, are assigned, in the psychological framework of the Phaedo, to the animate body. And just as the functions of reason (in the Republic) and of the soul (in the Phaedo) are not restricted to cognition, but include desire and emotion, such as desire for and pleasure in learning, so the functions of non-rational soul (in the Republic) and of the body (in the Phaedo) are not restricted to desire and emotion, but include cognition, such as beliefs (presumably) about objects of desire, ‘descriptive’ or (rather) non-evaluative (“there's food over there”) as well as (contra Lovibond 1991, 49) evaluative (“this drink is delightful”) (cf. Phaedo 83d).

    One somewhat surprising, and perhaps puzzling, feature of the Phaedo framework is this. On the one hand, Socrates evidently takes the soul to be in some way responsible for the life of any living organism, and hence presumably for all the various activities (etc.) that constitute, or are crucially involved in, any organism's life. On the other hand, he also takes it that there is a restricted class of activities that the soul is responsible for in some special way, such that it is not actually the case that the soul is responsible in this special way for all of the relevant activities that living organisms engage in. Thus, given the idea that the soul is responsible, in some way or other, for all the life of any living organism, one would certainly expect it to be responsible, in some way or other, for (say) the desires, emotions and beliefs of organisms whose lives include such psychological states — and not just for some restricted subset of these desires, emotions and beliefs, but in fact for all of them. However, Socrates' attribution to the soul of all and only desires, emotions and beliefs of reason (to use the Republic framework) is actually quite compatible with the view that the soul is responsible for all the life-activities organisms engage in, including, of course, the desires (etc.) of what in the Republic framework is the non-rational soul. What Socrates needs is something that can certainly be supplied, some suitable articulation of the different ways in which the soul can be said to be responsible for relevant activities of a living organism. One such way is that to be capable of engaging in the activity in question at all, an organism has to be ensouled, perhaps ensouled in a certain way (for instance, in the way animals are rather than in the way plants are). Another (stronger) way in which the soul can be responsible for an activity is directly: rather than being the thing in virtue of which the organism can do or undergo something or other (for instance, becoming thirsty and forming the desire to drink on that basis), the soul can also perform activities in its own right (for instance, contemplating mathematical truths). So, to restate somewhat more clearly: the Phaedo's conception of soul is narrower than our concept of mind in the following way. The range of activities (etc.) that the soul is directly responsible for, and which may be described as activities of the soul strictly speaking, is significantly narrower than the range of mental activities. It does not include all of a person's desires, nor need it include all emotional responses, or even all beliefs. One plainly could not have (for instance) ‘bodily’ desires such as hunger and thirst without being ensouled, but that does not mean that it must be the soul itself that forms or sustains such desires.

    Once we properly understand the Phaedo's theory of soul, then, we are in a position to see that it offers a psychological framework that is coherent, though far from fully articulated. But we should also note that the theory is somewhat unsatisfactory, in that it appears rather strikingly to fail to do justice to the unity of the mind. The various activities (etc.) that we characterize as mental or psychological, such as (most importantly) desire and cognition, seem to be, or manifest themselves to us as being, the activities of a single integrated subject; they do not (ordinarily) appear to belong to a plurality of distinct items that operate more or less separately from one another. When Socrates' contemplation of mathematical truths is disrupted by an intense desire for food, it does not seem to be the case that it is one thing (say, his soul) that has been doing the contemplating and another thing (say, his body) that now wants to get something to eat. It is rather that both contemplation and desire to eat seem to belong to one integrated subject, regardless of whether we wish to say that the subject in question is Socrates' mind, or whether we prefer to say that it is Socrates insofar as he has a mind (or something like that). As things are, the psychological theory of the Phaedo assigns Socrates' contemplation directly to his soul, but leaves his desire for food curiously remote from it, apparently taking ‘bodily’ desire (for instance) to be related to the soul in much the same way in which the operations involved in (say) metabolism and growth are so related. (Those too take place only because his body is ensouled.) It is plausible, though not certain, that Plato felt the force of this problem. It is, in any case, resolved by the new theory of soul that the Republic presents.


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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:03 am

    "A Walk Down Memory Lane..."

    My plan was for things to improve, but this doesn't seem to be happening. Things seem to be coming unglued. I recently had yet another unsatisfying series of informal theological discussions, leading me to consider the possibility that the best-laid theological-plans ultimately end in misunderstanding, misapplication, and stubborn-superiority. Perhaps Pluralistic-Education and Corporate-Employment are the Way of the Future. What if SDA's cherry-pick the Bible to make it say what they wish for it to say, reflecting a Victorian-Idealism. What if all religions aspire to an idealism which is not necessarily reflected in their Sacred-Writings?? What if most pipe-organs are unsatisfying and exorbitantly-expensive?? What if the advent of electronic artificial-organs are presently the preferred manifestation of a noble and historic musical-phenomenon?? As you know, I support maintaining the best existing churches and organs, but I am reluctant to see unimaginable expenditures on new-construction. I'm presently leaning toward chapels and organs in the context of universities. I'm too tired and miserable to explain. I honestly feel as though I might not be around much longer. I had hoped to see something positive materialize from This Present Quest, but just the opposite seems to be the harsh reality. Perhaps an integration of science-fiction -- conspiracy-theories -- mainstream-science -- and theology -- will be necessary to grasp what's been going-on -- and what is going-on. On the other hand -- perhaps ignorance is bliss -- and perhaps waking everyone up might be the beginning of the end. If we are ruled by Moon-Aliens -- they probably won't just leave if we expose them. They might get really nasty at that point. I've suggested some possibilities regarding "God" which are anything but flattering -- but what if the real God wouldn't make anyone happy?? I'm not hostile toward God -- regardless of their greatness and/or strangeness. I just think we've been brainwashed -- and reality might make most of us sick for a while. I think I'm sick -- and I'm prepared to start-over with a clean conceptual sheet of stone. Ancient Theories of the Soul continued. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/

    3.2 The Republic's Theory of Soul

    The Phaedo was also known to ancient readers as Plato's On the Soul, whereas the Republic has On Justice as an alternative ancient title. Plato, however, conceives of justice as the excellent state of the soul, and so it is not surprising that the Republic sheds a great deal of light on Plato's conception of the soul. One way in which it does so is by explicitly integrating a number of central features of the ordinary notion of soul, features which, in the Phaedo, coexist somewhat uneasily: namely, responsibility for the life of an organism (that is, in the human case, responsibility for its being and remaining alive as a human being), for cognitive and (especially) intellectual functions, and for moral virtues such as courage and justice. Towards the end of Republic 1, Socrates offers Thrasymachus an elaborate argument to the conclusion that “injustice is never more profitable than justice” (354a). If we set aside, as irrelevant to the dialectical context, the possibility that injustice and justice are equally profitable, it is clear that the conclusion here is equivalent to the position that the Republic is designed to establish, in response to Glaucon's request, at the beginning of Book 2, to be convinced by Socrates “that it is better in every way to be just than to be unjust” (357a). The argument at the end of Book 1 proceeds by attempting to prove an interim conclusion that is unnecessarily strong, namely that the just person is happy, whereas the unjust person is wretched. To establish the desired conclusion, it is enough to prove that the just person is always happier than the unjust person, which, unlike the unnecessarily strong interim conclusion, is compatible with the view that justice is not sufficient for (fully completed) happiness, since that requires suitable external circumstances in addition to justice. Nothing in Socrates' long answer to Glaucon (and Adeimantus) commits him to the view that justice is sufficient for (complete) happiness (cf. Irwin 1999). However, that view is not implied by the conception of the soul that Socrates relies on in this (Book 1) argument. Moreover, nothing in the Republic contradicts or modifies this conception of the soul (on the contrary: cf. 445a9f., 609b f.), and so there is no reason not to take it seriously as a contribution to Plato's on-going reflection on the soul, even though the argument that surrounds it is designed to support a conclusion that Socrates subsequently succeeds in avoiding.

    The argument begins with the premise that things perform their function well if they have the virtue appropriate to them, and badly if they have the relevant vice (353c). It then attributes to the soul the function of “caring for things, ruling and deliberating (and all the things of this kind)”, and adds that living is also part of the function of soul (353d). This yields an interim conclusion, that a good soul cares, rules, deliberates (etc.) and lives well, whereas a bad soul does these things badly. A third premise is that justice is the virtue appropriate to the soul, injustice being its vice. Hence another interim conclusion: a just soul lives well; an unjust one, badly. But living well, says the next premise, is being happy (and living badly is being wretched). And so Socrates can draw the interim conclusion that we have encountered already, which is that the just person (the person, that is, whose soul is just) is happy, whereas the person whose soul is unjust is wretched.

    We make nonsense of the argument if we suppose (with Robinson 1995, 36) that when Socrates introduces living as part of the function of soul, he has being alive in mind. The idea of being good (or bad) at being alive is, obviously, very odd, as is the idea of being alive well or badly. But there is no need to suppose that such ideas are involved here, or that Socrates passes from one sense of ‘living’ [to zên] to another. It is, after all, open to us to interpret what Socrates is saying in terms of a conception that integrates the things that Socrates attributes to the soul as functions, or as parts or aspects of its function, namely in terms of the conception of living a life, and not just any kind of life, but a distinctively human one. Caring for the right sorts of things in the right way, ruling or regulating oneself and (when appropriate) others, and deliberating about how to act are not just necessary, but central aspects of living a human life, and all of these things can be done well or badly. Depending on the condition of their soul, a person can be better or worse at doing these things. The just person, whose soul is in the best condition, is truly excellent at living a human life, in that they are excellent at doing the various things that are importantly involved in leading a distinctively human life. If this is along the right lines, we might be in a position to see Plato's answer to the question how it can be that one thing, the soul, accounts for the life of an organism as well as for its cognitive and intellectual functions, and is also the bearer of virtues or excellences. The answer suggested by the Book 1 argument is this. The way in which the human soul accounts for the life of a human organism is by accounting for the distinctively human life that the individual in question leads. But to account for such a life, it must also account for the cognitive and intellectual functions which guide and shape such a life. Moreover, the dramatic differences in how good people are at leading lives, and relatedly the dramatic differences in how well they exercise their cognitive and intellectual functions, are due to differences in the conditions of their souls, namely the presence or absence of the virtues of justice, wisdom, courage and temperance. This answer significantly clarifies (the relevant aspects of) the ordinary Greek notion of soul (see section 1).

    The Republic also puts forward a new theory of soul, which involves the claim that the embodied human soul has (at least) three parts or aspects, namely reason, spirit and appetite. The argument for this claim is presented in Book 4, and proceeds in roughly the following way. Socrates begins by enunciating a principle to the effect that opposite actions, affections and states cannot be assigned to one thing in respect of the same part of it, in relation to the same object and at the same time. It is then agreed that desiring and being averse are opposites, and hence that desiring to do something and being averse to doing that same thing are opposites in relation to the same object. But it does frequently happen, Socrates points out and Glaucon agrees, that the soul desires to do something and at the same time is averse to doing that same thing. This happens, for instance, when a person is thirsty and on that basis wants to drink, but at the same time wishes not to drink, on the basis of some calculation or deliberation, and in fact succeeds in refraining from drinking, thirsty though they are. It follows from the premises stated that the human soul includes at least two distinct subjects, so that one opposite (the desire to drink) can be assigned to one of them and the other (the aversion to drinking) can be assigned to the other. Taking himself to have identified reason and appetite as distinct parts of the soul, Socrates draws attention to other kinds of conflict between desires, which are meant to bring to light spirit, the third part of the soul.

    The Republic contains a great deal of information that we can rely on in characterizing the three parts of the soul that Socrates introduces, information that can be found not only in Book 4 itself, but also (among other places) in the catalogue of corrupt forms of city and soul in Books 8 and 9. Here is an outline of what emerges. Reason is the part of the soul that is, of its own nature, attached to knowledge and truth. It is also, however, concerned to guide and regulate the life that it is, or anyhow should be, in charge of, ideally in a way that is informed by wisdom and that takes into consideration the concerns both of each of the three parts separately and of the soul as a whole (442c); these concerns must be supposed to include a person's bodily needs, presumably via the concerns of appetite. The natural attachment of spirit is to honor and, more generally, to recognition and esteem by others (581a). As a motivating force it generally accounts for self-assertion and ambition. When its desires are frustrated, it gives rise to emotional responses such as anger and indignation, and to behavior that expresses and naturally flows from such responses. Socrates takes spirit to be a natural ally of reason, at least part of its function being to support reason in such conflicts as may arise between it and appetite (440ef, 442ab). To assign it this function is neither to say nor to imply that spirit cannot, in the case of a corrupt and de-natured soul, turn against reason, even if well brought-up individuals like Glaucon are not familiar with such corruption either in their own case or in the case of others (440b). (Pace Robinson 1995, 45, who thinks Socrates is contradicting himself here.) Appetite is primarily concerned with food, drink and sex (439d, 580e). It gives rise to desires for these and other such things which in each case are based, simply and immediately, on the thought that obtaining the relevant object of desire is, or would be, pleasant. Socrates also calls appetite the money-loving part, because, in the case of mature human beings at least, appetite also tends to be strongly attached to money, given that it is most of all by means of money that its primary desires are fulfilled (580e-581a). The idea must be that given suitable habituation and acculturation in the context of a life lived in human society, appetite tends to become attached to money in such a way that it begins to give rise to desires for money which in each case are based, simply and immediately, on the thought that obtaining money is, or would be, pleasant; and this idea is natural and plausible enough. (Irwin 1995 & Price 1995, 57-67, offer an alternative and incompatible interpretation.)

    Viewed from the perspective of the theory of soul presented in the Phaedo, the Republic theory involves not so much a division of soul as an integration into soul of mental or psychological functions that had been assigned, somewhat problematically, to the body. In both dialogues, Socrates appeals to the same Odyssey passage (Od. 20.17-18 at Phaedo 94d, Od. 20.17 at Republic 4, 441b), in which Odysseus prevails over his own anger: in the Phaedo, to exemplify a conflict between soul and body; in the Republic, to exemplify a conflict between two parts or aspects of the soul, reason and spirit. What the Republic offers is a theory of soul which, among other things, allows attribution of (in principle) all mental or psychological functions to a single subject, the soul. The theory thus respects the unity of the mind, in a way that the Phaedo theory does not. Moreover, the Republic theory also offers an attractive and well-supported articulation of desire into different kinds, which has profound implications both for what it is to have one's soul (or mind) in optimal condition and for how it is that this condition is best brought about. (To see that Plato is acutely aware of these implications, one only needs to look at what the Republic has to say about virtue and education.) However, it may be worth insisting once more that we should not disregard the fact that the conception of the soul that features in the Republic is broader than our concept of mind, in that it continues to be part of this conception that it is soul that accounts for the life of the relevant ensouled organism. But if it is soul that accounts for the life of, say, human organisms, there must be some sense in which the human soul accounts not only for mental functions like thought and desire, but also for other vital functions such as the activities and operations of the nutritive and reproductive systems. To the extent that it leaves unclear how exactly it is that the soul is related to a broad range of activities (etc.) that are crucially involved in the lives of ensouled organisms, Plato's theory of the soul, in the Republic and beyond, remains incompletely developed. It is, of course, not surprising that the Republic does not confront the question how it is that the soul is related to life-functions that, as Aristotle recognizes (Nicomachean Ethics 1.13, 1102b11-2), are irrelevant to the ethical and political concerns of the Republic. However, context and subject matter impose no such constraints on the ‘plausible myth’ of the Timaeus, and also that dialogue, in presenting a somewhat revised version of the Republic's account (Tim. 69c ff.), fails to address the question how the soul is related to non-mental vital functions.

    4. Aristotle's Theory of Soul

    Aristotle's theory, as it is presented primarily in the De Anima (for a complete account, see Aristotle's Psychology), comes very close to providing a comprehensive, fully developed account of the soul in all its aspects and functions, an account that articulates the ways in which all of the vital functions of all animate organisms are related to the soul. In doing so, the theory comes very close to offering a comprehensive answer to a question that arises from the ordinary Greek notion of soul, namely how precisely it is that the soul, which is agreed to be in some way or other responsible for a variety of things living creatures (especially humans) do and experience, also is the distinguishing mark of the animate. According to Aristotle's theory, a soul is a particular kind of nature, a principle that accounts for change and rest in the particular case of living bodies, i.e. plants, nonhuman animals and human beings. The relation between soul and body, on Aristotle's view, is also an instance of the more general relation between form and matter: thus an ensouled, living body is a particular kind of in-formed matter. Slightly simplifying things by limiting ourselves to the sublunary world (cf. De Anima 2.2, 413a32; 2.3, 415a9), we can describe the theory as furnishing a unified explanatory framework within which all vital functions alike, from metabolism to reasoning, are treated as functions performed by natural organisms of suitable structure and complexity. The soul of an animate organism, in this framework, is nothing other than its system of active abilities to perform the vital functions that organisms of its kind naturally perform, so that when an organism engages in the relevant activities (e.g., nutrition, movement or thought) it does so in virtue of the system of abilities that is its soul.

    Given that the soul is, according to Aristotle's theory, a system of abilities possessed and manifested by animate bodies of suitable structure, it is clear that the soul is, according to Aristotle, not itself a body or a corporeal thing. Thus Aristotle agrees with the Phaedo's claim that souls are very different from bodies. Moreover, Aristotle seems to think that all the abilities that are constitutive of the souls of plants, beasts and humans are such that their exercise involves and requires bodily parts and organs. This is obviously so with, for instance, the abilities for movement in respect of place (e.g., by walking or flying), and for sense-perception, which requires sense-organs. Aristotle does not, however, think that there is an organ of thought, and so he also does not think that the exercise of the ability to think involves the use of a bodily part or organ that exists specifically for this use. Nevertheless, he does seem to take the view that the activity of the human intellect always involves some activity of the perceptual apparatus, and hence requires the presence, and proper arrangement, of suitable bodily parts and organs; for he seems to think that sensory impressions [phantasmata] are somehow involved in every occurrent act of thought, at least as far as human beings are concerned (De Anima 3.7, 431a14-7; 3.8, 432a7-10; cf. De Memoria 1, 449b31ff.). If so, Aristotle in fact seems to be committed to the view that, contrary to the Platonic position, even human souls are not capable of existence and (perhaps as importantly) activity apart from the body (cf. De Anima 1.1, 403a3-25, esp. 5-16).

    It is noteworthy that Aristotle's theory does not mark off those vital functions that are mental by relating them to the soul in some special way that differs from and goes beyond the way in which vital functions in general are so related. It is certainly not part of Aristotle's theory that the soul is specially and directly responsible for mental functions by performing them on its own, whereas it is less directly responsible for the performance by the living organism of other vital functions such as growth. As this aspect of his theory suggests, Aristotle is confident that once one has a proper understanding of how to explain natural phenomena in general, there is no reason to suppose that mental functions like perception, desire and at least some forms of thinking cannot be explained simply by appealing to the principles in terms of which natural phenomena in general are properly understood and explained (cf. Frede 1992, 97).

    It might be thought that since Aristotle's theory treats mental functions and other vital functions exactly alike, it obscures a crucial distinction. This worry, however, turns out to be unjustified. The theory treats mental and other vital functions alike only in that it views both kinds of functions as performed by natural organisms of the right kind of structure and complexity. Viewing mental and other vital functions in this way is perfectly compatible with introducing a distinction between mental and other functions if concerns of some kind or other call for such a distinction. Aristotle is perfectly capable, for instance, of setting aside non-mental vital functions as irrelevant for the purposes of practical philosophy (NE 1.13, 1102b11-12).

    5. Hellenistic Theories of Soul

    Coming from the theories of Plato and Aristotle, the first thing that might strike us about the theories of soul adopted by the two dominant Hellenistic schools, Epicurus' Garden and the Stoa, is the doctrine, shared by both, that the soul is corporeal. A number of Stoic arguments for the claim that the soul is a body have come down to us (see Annas 1992, 39-41). The best one of these is that the soul is a body because (roughly) only bodies affect one another, and soul and body do affect one another, for instance in cases of bodily damage and emotion. Epicurus employs the same argument in his Letter to Herodotus, which provides an outline of his physical doctrines (Long & Sedley 1987 [in what follows L&S] 14A7). In a way that reminds one of Presocratic theories, both Epicurus and the Stoics hold that the soul is a particularly fine kind of body, diffused all the way through the perceptible (flesh-and-blood) body of the animate organism. As if echoing the view of the soul that Simmias in the Phaedo presents as the majority view, Epicurus thinks that the soul is dispersed at death along with its constituent atoms, losing the powers that it has while it is contained by the body of the organism that it ensouls (L&S 14A6). The Stoics agree that the human soul is mortal, but they also take it that it can and does survive the person's death — that is, its separation from the perceptible body. Chrysippus apparently thought that the souls of wise persons persist (as fine, imperceptible corporeal structures) all the way to the next conflagration in the cosmic cycle, whereas the souls of other people last for some time, and then get dispersed (Diogenes Laertius 7.157; cf. L&S 53W). Thus Chrysippus can accept, at least for the souls of the wise, Socrates' claim in the Phaedo that the soul is “altogether indissoluble, or nearly so” (Phaedo 80b), even though he plainly cannot accept all of Socrates' argument for this claim.

    5.1 Epicurus' Theory of Soul

    Epicurus is an atomist, and in accordance with his atomism he takes the soul, like everything else that there is except for the void, to be ultimately composed of atoms. Our sources are somewhat unclear as to exactly which kinds of materials he took to be involved in the composition of soul. It is very probable, though, that in addition to some relatively familiar materials — such as fire-like and wind-like stuffs, or rather the atoms making up such stuffs — the soul, on Epicurus' view, also includes, in fact as a key ingredient, atoms of a nameless kind of substance, which is responsible for sense-perception. Thus it seems that while he thought he could explain phenomena such as the heat or warmth of a living organism, as well as its movement and rest, by appealing to relatively familiar materials and their relatively familiar properties, he did feel the need to introduce a mysterious additional kind of substance so as to be able to explain sense-perception, apparently on the grounds that “sense-perception is found in none of the named elements” (L&S 14C). It is worth noting that it is specifically with regard to sense-perception that Epicurus thinks the introduction of a further, nameless kind of substance is called for, rather than, for instance, with regard to intellectual cognition. What this suggests, and what in fact we have independent reason to think, is that on Epicurus' view, once one is in a position adequately to explain sense-perception, one will then also be in a position to work out an explanation of intellectual cognition, by appropriately extending the explanation of sense-perception. Let us consider briefly how such extension might work.

    Perceptual beliefs, like the belief that ‘there is a horse over there’, will be explained, in Epicurus' theory, in terms of sense-impressions and the application of concepts (‘preconceptions’; for discussion cf. Asmis 1999, 276-83), and concept-formation is in turn explained in terms of sense-impression and memory. According to Diogenes Laertius' summary (L&S 17E1-2), the Epicureans say that

    preconception is, as it were, cognition or correct belief or conception or universal ‘stored notion’ (i.e. memory), of that which has frequently become evident externally: e.g. ‘such-and-such a kind of thing is a man’. For as soon as the word ‘man’ is uttered, immediately its impression also comes to mind by means of preconception, as a result of antecedent sense-perceptions.

    Moreover, sense-impressions, interpreted and articulated in terms of concepts or preconceptions, yield experience concerning evident matters, which in turn forms the basis for conclusions about non-evident matters. For example, extensive experience can make clear to one not only that the human beings one has interacted with have a certain feature (say, rationality), but also (later Epicureans will say, probably somewhat developing Epicurus' position) that it is inconceivable that any human being could fail to have that feature (cf. L&S 18F4-5). And so, experience will not only make one expect, with a very great deal of confidence, that any human being one will ever encounter anywhere will be rational. Experience also, according to the Epicureans, supports the inference to, and hence justifies one in accepting, the (non-evident) conclusion that all human beings, everywhere and at all times, are rational (for detailed discussion, cf. Allen 2001, 194-241). This obviously is an extremely generous view of what experience, and ultimately sense-perception, can do! Once we recognize the enormously powerful and fundamental role Epicurus and his followers assign to sense-perception, we will not be surprised to see that they feel the need to include in the composition of the soul a very special kind of material that accounts specifically for sense-perception, but apparently do not think that, in addition to that, some further special material is needed to enable intellectual or rational activity.

    In the Epicurean tradition the word ‘soul’ is sometimes used in the broad traditional way, as what animates living things (e.g., Diogenes of Oenoanda, fr. 37 Smith), but the focus of interest, so far as the soul is concerned, is very much on the mental functions of cognition, emotion and desire. A view that is common in the tradition and that very probably goes back to the founder is that the soul is a composite of two parts, one rational, the other nonrational. The rational part, which Lucretius calls mind [animus], is the origin of emotion and impulse, and it is also where (no doubt among other operations) concepts are applied and beliefs formed, and where evidence is assessed and inferences are made. The nonrational part of the soul, which in Lucretius is somewhat confusingly called soul [anima], is responsible for receiving sense-impressions, all of which are true according to Epicurus. Error arises at a later stage, when sense-impressions are interpreted by the rational part of the soul, in a way that, as we have seen, crucially involves memory. Sense-perception, conceived of simply as the reception of sense-impressions by the nonrational soul, does not involve memory (cf. L&S 16B1). Since the formation and application of concepts requires memory, sense-perception, so conceived of, does not involve conceptualization, either. The nonrational part is also responsible for transmitting impulses originating from the rational part, as well as (presumably) for a wide variety of other vital functions. (When Epicurus distinguishes between pleasures and pains of the soul and those of the body, incidentally, the distinction he has in mind must be between the rational part of the soul on the one hand and the body animated by nonrational soul, on the other.)

    5.2 The Stoic Theory of Soul

    Stoic physics allows for three different kinds of pneuma (lit. ‘breath’), a breath-like material compound of two of the four Stoic elements, fire and air. The kinds of pneuma differ both in degree of tension that results from the expanding and contracting effects, respectively, of its two constituents, and in their consequent functionality. The lowest kind accounts for the cohesion and character of inanimate bodies (e.g., rocks); the intermediate kind, called natural pneuma, accounts for the vital functions characteristic of plant life; and the third kind is soul, which accounts for the reception and use of impressions (or representations) (phantasiai) and impulse (hormê: that which generates animal movement) or, to use alternative terminology, cognition and desire. Our evidence, which unfortunately is fragmentary and often unclear, suggests strongly that according to the Stoic theory, the body of an animal (human or non-human) contains pneuma of all the three kinds, with the lowest kind responsible for the cohesion and character of parts like teeth and bones, natural pneuma in charge of metabolism, growth and the like, and finally soul accounting for distinctively mental or psychological functions, crucially cognition, by sense and (in the case of humans) intellect, and desire (cf. Long 1999, 564, for discussion and references). If this is indeed the picture that the theory presents, the soul is no longer responsible for all vital functions, and for all aspects of life, but only for specifically mental or psychological functions. (Accordingly, the Stoics depart from the Platonic and Aristotelian view that plants are ensouled organisms.) At the same time, the Stoic theory does attempt to explain non-mental vital functions as well, in terms of the activity of ‘nature’, the intermediate kind of pneuma. In severing the deeply entrenched, Greek ordinary-language connection between soul and life in all its forms, the Stoic theory is taking an enormously momentous step, one that obviously restricts rather dramatically the proper subject matter of a theory of soul. In fact it is arguable that the Stoics, in limiting the functions of soul in the way they did, played an important role in a complicated history that resulted in the Cartesian conception of mind, according to which the mind plainly is not something that animates living bodies. This narrowing of the conception of soul is one of two aspects of the Stoic theory that, for our purposes, deserve particular notice.

    The second noteworthy aspect is the insistence of the Stoic theory that the mind of an adult human being is a single, partless item that is rational all the way down. According to the Stoic theory, there are eight parts of the soul, the ‘commanding faculty’ [hêgemonikon] or mind, the five senses, voice and (certain aspects of) reproduction. The mind, which is located at the heart, is a center that controls the other soul-parts as well as the body, and that receives and processes information supplied by the subordinate parts. The minds of non-human animals and of non-adult humans have faculties only of impression and impulse. Achieving adulthood, for humans, involves gaining assent and reason. Reason (it would seem) makes assent possible, in that it enables the subject to assent to or withhold assent from impressions, and it transforms mere impressions and mere impulses, such as other animals experience, into rational impressions and rational impulses. The rationality of an impression (for example, of a tree one sees before oneself) consists in its being articulated in terms of concepts, possession of which is constitutive of having reason; the rationality of an impulse consists in the fact that it is generated or constituted by a voluntary act of assent of the mind to a suitable practical (‘impulsive’) impression — the impression, for instance, that something within view would be nice to eat. Thus, depending on the type of impression assented to, assent generates or constitutes belief (or knowledge) concerning some matter of fact, or an impulse to act in some way or other.

    It is crucially important not to misunderstand these various faculties as parts or aspects of the mind, items that operate with some degree of autonomy from one another and can therefore conflict. On the Stoic theory, the faculties of the mind are simply things the mind can do. Moreover, it is a central part of the theory that, in the case of an adult human being, there is no such thing as an impulse without an act of assent of the mind to a corresponding practical impression. In a rational subject, the faculty of impulse depends on the faculty of assent, which, like all faculties of such a subject, is a rational faculty. This theory leaves no room for the Platonic conception that the souls of adult human beings contain non-rational parts which can, and frequently do, generate impulse and behavior independently of, and even contrary to, the designs and purposes of reason. Nor, relatedly, does it leave room for the shared Platonic and Aristotelian view that desire, even in the case of adult humans, comes in three forms, two of which are such that desires of these forms do not arise from, or depend on, activities of reason. The Stoic theory has the attractive consequence that each adult person is, through their own reasoned assent, unambiguously and equally responsible for all their voluntary behavior: there are no Platonic nonrational parts, or Platonic-Aristotelian nonrational desires, that could produce actions against one's own reason's helpless protestations. However, the theory needed to be defended both against rival philosophical theories and against pre-theoretical intuitions that militate in favor of these theories. One such intuition is that passion can, and frequently does, conflict with reason. To judge from a report by Plutarch, it appears that the Stoics were able to explain away this particular intuition, and also to disarm the argument for tripartition of the soul in Republic 4, which depends on the simultaneity of a desire for and an aversion to one and the same thing. According to Plutarch (L&S 65G1),

    Some people [the Stoics] say that passion is no different from reason, and that there is no dissension and conflict between the two, but a turning of the single reason in both directions, which we do not notice owing to the sharpness and speed of the change.

    Introducing the idea of unnoticed oscillation of a single, partless mind is highly ingenious and must have been dialectically effective at least to some extent. However, the theory of the soul that we find in classical Stoicism appears to be committed to the view that in the case of adult humans, there simply are no motivational factors that do not depend on reason and that can significantly affect, often for the worse, how a person behaves and how their life goes. It must have been difficult to defend this view against the Platonic-Aristotelian position. And so it is not surprising that in an environment in which interest in Plato's and Aristotle's writings was on the rise again, at least one prominent Stoic philosopher, Posidonius (first century B.C.), apparently gave up at least part of the classical Stoic theory. The evidence that we have is not easy to interpret, but it very much appears that Posidonius introduced into a basically Stoic psychological framework the idea that even the minds of adult humans include, to put things cautiously, motivationally relevant forces (of two kinds) that do not depend on assent or reason at all and that are not fully subject to rational control. (For detailed discussion, cf. Cooper 1998, 77-111.)

    6. Conclusion

    Ancient philosophy did not, of course, end with classical Stoicism, or indeed with the Hellenistic period, and neither did ancient theorizing about the soul. The revival of interest in the works of both Plato and Aristotle beginning in the second half of the second century B.C. prominently included renewed interest in Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of the soul, sparking novel theoretical developments, such as, for instance, Plotinus' argument (directed in particular against the Stoics) that the soul could not be spatially extended, since no spatially extended item could account for the unity of the subject of sense-perception (see Emilsson 1991). Christian writers such as Clement of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa were heavily indebted to philosophical theories of soul, especially Platonic ones, but also introduced new concerns and interests of their own. Nevertheless, these and other post-classical developments in every case need to be interpreted within the framework and context furnished by the classical theories that we have been considering in some detail.

    Bibliography

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    B. Ancient Theories of Soul (General)
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    C. The Greek Notion of Soul
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    E. Plato's Theories of Soul
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    F. Aristotle's Theory of Soul

    (cf. bibliography included in Christopher Shields's article on Aristotle's psychology)
    •Frede, M., 1992, “On Aristotle's Conception of the Soul”, in Nussbaum & Rorty 1992: 93–107.
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    G. Epicurus' Theory of Soul
    •Allen, J., 2001, Inference from Signs, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    •Annas, J., 1991, “Epicurus’ philosophy of mind”, in Everson 1991 (Bibliography/Section B): 84–101.
    •–––, 1992, “The Epicureans”, in Annas 1992 (Bibliography/Section B): 123–99.
    •Asmis, E., 1999, “Epicurean Epistemology”, in Algra, Barnes, Mansfeld & Schofield 1999 (Bibliography/Section B): 260–94.
    •Everson, S., 1999, “Epicurus' psychology”, in Algra, Barnes, Mansfeld & Schofield 1999 (Bibliography/Section B): 542–59.
    •Kerferd, G., 1971, “Epicurus' doctrine of the soul”, Phronesis, 16: 80–96.
    •Konstan, D., 1973, Some Aspects of Epicurean Psychology, Leiden: Brill.
    •Sedley, D. N., 1998, Lucretius and the Transformation of Greek Wisdom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    H. The Stoic Theory of Soul
    •Annas, J., 1992, “The Stoics”, in Annas 1992 (Bibliography/Section B): 37–120.
    •Cooper, J. M., 1998, “Posidonius on Emotions”, in The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, Engberg-Pedersen, T. & J. Sihvola, (eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer, also in Cooper 1999 (Bibliography/Section B): 449–84.
    •Long, A. A., 1999, “Stoic Psychology”, in K. Algra, J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld & M. Schofield 1999 (Bibliography/Section B) Cambridge: 560–84.

    I. Other Ancient Theories of Soul

    (cf. bibliography included in Lloyd Gerson's article on Plotinus)
    •Armstrong, A. H., (ed.), 1967, The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    •Emilsson, E. K., 1991, “Plotinus and soul-body dualism”, in Everson 1991 (Bibliography/Section 7.2): 148–65.
    •–––, 2007, Plotinus on Intellect, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:29 pm

    I continue to think that I will NOT remain in this solar system (for whatever reasons -- for better or worse). My mind is always somewhere else. People seem to be happy -- I seem to be sad -- and I don't wish to spoil the party. I doubt that I'll return (for whatever reasons -- for better or worse -- for all eternity). Just turn Football into a Religion -- and make Quarterbacks your Gods. World Without Ends. Amen.



    As I attempt to remake myself into a more respectable, retentive, safe, and sane telegenic teleprompter-reader (I know not for what purpose) -- here is yet another study-list:

    1. The Gospel According to Science Fiction by Gabriel McKee.
    2. Mission to Mars by Buzz Aldrin.
    3. Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy by Glenn H. Reynolds and Robert P. Merges.
    4. Unmasking Europa by Richard Greenberg.
    5. Principles of International Law by Sean D. Murphy.
    6. International Law: Examples and Explanations by Valerie Epps and Lorie Graham.
    7. Foreign Affairs journal by the Council on Foreign Relations.
    8. Spectrum magazine by the Association of Adventist Forums.
    9. Job through Daniel (New International Version) Straight-Through, Over and Over.
    10. Luke through Jude (New International Version) Straight-Through, Over and Over.

    How might we properly integrate Ethics, Law, Politics, and Religion?? What if Gabriel is a Changeless-Traditionalist?? What if Lucifer is a Revolutionary-Mercenary Warrior?? What if Michael is an Evolutionary-Change Moderate?? I have very little idea if this is really the case -- but these are interesting possibilities to consider. Once again, the Road to Hell is often paved with Good Intentions. Is there some merit to Archangelicentric-Theology?? Should some things remain secrets?? Is it really possible to keep secrets in this modern world?? Is an Invasive-Surveillance Police-State inevitable in modernity?? Is Resistance Futile?? Imagine Anna ("V") presiding over 70 Solar System Justices on the New York Mothership!! I'm NOT kidding when I say that we should consider as many possibilities as possible -- even the controversial and questionable ones!! What would the divisions look like in a 70 Region Solar System?? What would a highly ethical and refined Interplanetary Legal System look like?? Where should a Solar System Supreme Court be located?? Notice the drawing of the 'Galactic Federation' group-portrait with 74 Members!! That's pretty damn close to 71 members, isn't it??!! I continue to be puzzled by the absence of the Great-Sanhedrin, Solomon's-Temple, and the Teachings of Jesus -- over the past 2,000 years!!! Think long and hard about this -- in the context of the rest of this thread. I don't think I have the answer -- but I think I'm giving you a helluva lot of clues. I have ZERO Confidence in myself -- and I was really kidding about that Research-Assistant. I would do no such thing. I think I might focus on this sort of thing:




    I think I need to just shut-up and research. Period. Compared to what's "out there" I have nothing to offer -- so why whine on the internet -- hoping for some recognition and appreciation as a Well-Meaning but Completely-Ignorant FOOL??? Is this NOT the Epitome of Stupidity??? I still like the idea of being a mostly-silent Philosopher-Observer (officially or unofficially -- with or without a Moon-Room with a Cray). A Lap-Top on Steroids might be more than enough "Access" for anyone. "Being-There" might make very little difference. I think I dropped the ball -- and lost the game -- but I wish the winners well. Now, how do I gracefully leave town -- and just disappear?? I guess I could just stop posting -- forget about history -- forget about religion -- forget about where the technology REALLY originated -- forget about who might REALLY own the solar system -- forget about conspiracy theories -- forget about idealistic conceptualizations -- and forget about being anything more than a Completely Ignorant Fool. It's easier that way. I don't know what anyone REALLY wants -- and, in a sense, I don't REALLY care -- because I know that it will never be good enough. On the other hand -- we'll probably all be chip-implanted, vaccinated, lobotomized-zombies in a few short years -- so we won't even be capable of conceptualizing what might've been. I wish I were kidding. Namaste and Have a Nice Day.














    As I have said previously -- decades ago, I started writing a book called The Second Jesus -- but stopped when I became too frightened. A few years later, I spoke with Steven Spielberg's stepmother about the possibility of a High-Tech Science-Fictional Life of Christ Super-Movie based largely upon The Desire of Ages. I made the same proposal to Walter Matthau's director son. Later, I began a combined-chronological interpretive-paraphrase of the Four-Gospels -- but stopped when I received a rejection from Harper and Row. What Would Ron Klug say?? This thread is sort of a Journal. In 2007-8 -- when I started a website www.redletterchurch.net -- and suggested that an Old-Testament writer might've written the Teachings of Jesus -- the website was first transferred out of my ownership (even though I was current on my web-fees) -- and the web-address was completely removed from the internet -- soon thereafter!! I was too fearful to investigate!! I found that certain of my Albert Schweitzer quotes had become highlighted in bold-print in my word-processor!! I'm NOT making ANY of this stuff up!! I have more recently become acquainted with the term "The Real Jesus". Are there really two Historical-Christ's -- Christ and Antichrist?? What if one was exiled -- and one was promoted to the Head of Pagan and Papal Rome?? What if that regime is presently unraveling?? What if Christ and Antichrist are representative of an Archangelic Power-Struggle?? What if both are a mixture of good and evil?? What if "Perfection" is an impossible-dream??

    What Would Herbert Douglas Say?? What Would Lewis Walton Say?? What Would Kevin Paulson Say?? What if one combined the Human-Potential Movement with Last-Generation Theology?? What Would Robert Brinsmead Say?? He encouraged me to promote the Teachings of Jesus. BTW -- Desmond Ford said The Desire of Ages was the Greatest Book in the World (other than the Holy Bible). He said that in this volume, Ellen White was more careful to exegete (rather than simply homiletically-applying scripture-passages). The Great Controversy was Ellen White's favorite book. One story describes this volume being torn in two by unseen hands. Ellen White claimed that Satan tried to kill her (in 1858 I believe -- see Spiritual Gifts -- not sure which volume). A Very-Liberal Episcopal-Rector with a Graduate-Degree from the Harvard Divinity School was privately curiously-positive toward Great Controversy (and they were usually quite skeptical and cynical). The Ancient Egyptian Deity was visibly and vocally disturbed when I started reading the last-chapter of Great Controversy to them. They shuddered (and I'm NOT kidding). Perhaps too much water has gone under the bridge for us to be able to work together. The past few years have simply been a period of discovery -- possibly as a precursor to the Final-Judgment and the End of the World. Perhaps this has been One Last Chance for All-Concerned. Perhaps that chance has passed into eternity. What if A.D. 2133 really is the terminus of the Investigative and Executive Judgments?? What if A.D. 2133 is the End of the Millennium?? What if A.D. 2133 will mark the commencement of The United States of the Solar System?? Who knows?? Only the Father Knows...

    Lucifer is only mentioned once, by name, in the entire Holy Bible! Satan and the Devil are mentioned in surprisingly few passages - and very little is revealed about them. God is both good and evil in the Bible. I have speculated that we are dealing with minor gods and/or goddesses in history and the Bible. The Creator God of the Universe (with a very large 'G' - seems to be strangely absent). This has caused me to seek a common-sense foundation for politics, religion, church, and state - based upon Responsibility and the U.S. Constitution - namely a Namaste Constitutional Responsible Freedom United States of the Solar System. I'm not shaking my fist at God (with a large 'G'). I'm simply shaking - especially when I keep hearing about vengeful deities, retribution, extermination, reclaiming 'their' planet, etc. I've just about had it with all of this. I will respond to comments - but I'm really not going to keep posting like I have in the past. All of this seems as though it were a great, big puzzle - which is not meant to be solved. The goal seems to be confusion, misery, punishment, and even extermination. I am more disillusioned and miserable than you can imagine. I just want things to be peaceful and happy for everyone - but I keep hearing the universe laughing behind my back.

    Half of the verses (54 of 107) in the Holy Bible which refer to Lucifer, Satan, and Devil are found in the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). I find this highly significant. Think about it...

    LUCIFER occurs 1 time in 1 verse in the KJV.

    Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    SATAN occurs 56 times in 49 verses in the KJV.

    1Ch 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

    Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
    Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
    Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
    Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
    Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
    Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
    Job 2:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
    Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect  and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
    Job 2:4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
    Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.
    Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

    Psa 109:6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

    Zec 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
    Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

    Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only  shalt thou serve.

    Mat 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

    Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered  unto him.

    Mar 3:23 And he called them [unto him], and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
    Mar 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

    Mar 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and  taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

    Mar 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

    Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    Luk 11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils  through Beelzebub.

    Luk 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from  this bond on the sabbath day?

    Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

    Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:

    Jhn 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

    Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price  of the land?

    Act 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God by faith that is in me.

    Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen.

    1Cr 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord  Jesus.

    1Cr 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

    2Cr 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    2Cr 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    1Th 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

    2Th 2:9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    1Ti 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

    1Ti 5:15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

    Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and the blasphemy of them which say they are  Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
    Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my [was] my faithful  martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
    Rev 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

    Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make  them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

    Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

    DEVIL occurs 61 times in 57 verses in the KJV.

    Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
    Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
    Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
    Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

    Mat 9:32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
    Mat 9:33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

    Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

    Mat 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and  dumb both spake and saw.

    Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

    Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

    Mat 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

    Mat 25:41 Then  shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    Mar 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
    Mar 5:16 And they that saw [it] told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and [also] concerning the swine.
    Mar 5:18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

    Mar 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her  daughter.
    Mar 7:29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.
    Mar 7:30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

    Luk 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward  hungered.
    Luk 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
    Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
    Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and  to whomsoever I will I give it.
    Luk 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

    Luk 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,
    Luk 4:35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

    Luk 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

    Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

    Luk 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound  with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

    Luk 9:42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare [him]. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed  the child, and delivered him again to his father.

    Luk 11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and  the people wondered.

    Jhn 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

    Jhn 7:20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

    Jhn 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning , and  abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and  the father of it.
    Jhn 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
    Jhn 8:49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
    Jhn 8:52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If  a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

    Jhn 10:20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
    Jhn 10:21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

    Jhn 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], to betray him;

    Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

    Act 13:10 And said, full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

    Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

    Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    2Ti 2:26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that  through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

    1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    1Jo 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    1Jo 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. 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.

    Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet  [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    As I just mentioned, the Bible doesn't reveal a helluva lot about Lucifer, Satan, or the Devil. We need to consider ALL sources - and do a lot of reflecting and speculating. I think our quest for the truth is made impossibly difficult, on purpose. I continue to argue for a Responsible Solar System - where the truth is freely revealed - but also where responsible behavior is required. Riotous and sensual living can be responsibly engaged in, I think. I have never done such a thing - but I might try it someday. Presently - I wouldn't know how to have a good time - even if my eternal life depended on it. I wish I were joking.

    What if a harsh theocracy existed in an ancient 'Heaven'? What if this situation existed because of a rebel faction who was manipulating and exploiting the government of 'Heaven'? What if this hypothetical rebel faction instigated a righteous uprising against this hypothetically infiltrated and subverted government of 'Heaven'? What if the rebel faction financed both sides of the 'War in Heaven'? What if all of us were deceived by this rebel faction? What if we continue to be deceived by this rebel faction? Would a Namaste Constitutional Responsible Freedom United States of the Solar System be a possible solution to this nightmare? Should this hypothetical rebel faction be rehabilitated or utterly destroyed?







    I've been listening to Emilio Knechtle, and his son, Cliffe Knechtle. Cliffe has had the entire New Testament memorized since the 1980's (according to a 1984 talk by Emilio Knechtle). This is impressive. However, the preponderance of the evidence continues to point toward a perplexing-potpourri of perpendicular-paradigms. The Trumpet Does NOT Speak With a Certain Sound. Without necessarily referencing what I just said, while listening to Emilio and Cliffe talk, they both use an abundance of proof-texts, and mostly forcefully and eloquently speak of various concepts in their own words. They don't quote whole chapters of the Bible by memory (or otherwise). The emphasis is on the New Testament, but what about the Best of the Old Testament?? What I'm trying to say is that religious-leaders probably do what they have to do to support whatever organization they are loyal to. I continue to wonder what an HONEST and COMPLETE Study of Job through Daniel might yield, especially if Job through Daniel are used to interpret Job through Daniel??!! What if one memorized Job through Daniel in the New International Version of the Holy Bible, and preached ONLY from these Ten Books??!! Consider a comparative-study of 1. Genesis through Deuteronomy. 2. Joshua through Esther. 3. Job through Daniel. 4. Hosea through Malachi. 5. Matthew through Acts. 6. Romans through Jude. 7. The Book of Revelation. I often appreciate what theologians and preachers attempt to do with all of the above, but what is the HONEST and COMPLETE Message of Each of These Groups??

    Here a Little, There a Little, Jumping-Around, seems to be required to present a palatable and presentable message for mass-consumption. When I questioned a key-aspect of Christianity, an Episcopalian told me "That's Just the Way It Is." Good to Know. Must One LIE to Defend the TRUTH?? I suspect that the Real-Truth regarding Politics and Religion will probably destroy civilization as we know it, but would that be a good-thing or a bad-thing?? Ignorance, Apathy, Greed, and Moral-Ambiguity seem to be a Winning-Combination. Openness and Honesty (without fast thinking and talking) is NOT how to Win at Politics and Religion. Emilio seemed to have an Insider-Perspective in his 1984 talks, because of his connections and intellect. He spoke of having a deep understanding of the true state of Protestantism, almost as a Shepherd of the Shepherds. 'RA' told me about the 'Protestant Pope' and it wasn't a Knechtle. What Would Bob Larson Say?? I think we have a HUGE Religious and Political Crisis that won't go away for probably the rest of the 21st century. I'm not capable of dealing with it, which is why I just whimper and whisper on this little website. Think long and hard about ALL points of view relative to politics and religion. We might need clean sheets of stone in both areas (at least by A.D. 2133). The cover-stories will ultimately need to be replaced by the Real-Deal (regardless of whether we like it or not). Once, when I participated in a campus ministry, the PhD Leader of that effort sarcastically told me "If They Want Bibles, We'll Give Them Bibles!!" Another time, this same PhD answered a rather benign statement by me with "What You Just Said Destroys Christianity!!" There always seems to be a confused and nasty aspect to politics and religion, as if it were supposed to be that way. That's all I'm going to say.

    Imagine an Intertestamental Job through Isaiah Messiah!! Imagine the Pauline-Epistles being written in relation to THAT Messiah!! Imagine Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John being written to counteract the Pauline-Epistles!! What if most of the Bible is Historical-Fiction -- with Very Real Gods and Goddesses lurking in the shadows (as the Shadow-Government)!! A relative just told me that they spoke with a Set-Construction Manager (decades ago) who had just returned from the Holy-Land after working on the classic-movie The Ten Commandments!! This same relative knew Noah Deitrich (the Business-Manager for Howard Hughes). This same relative knew Alan Hale (the Skipper from Gilligan's Island). This same relative knew David Rose (Composer and Orchestra-Leader for The Red Skelton Show -- Little House on the Prairie -- Highway to Heaven -- and more). I knew them as well (I rode on their live-steam trains and swam in their pool) -- and that's all I know. Actually, Mr. Rose used to say "Wait a While" instead of "Wait a Minute". I thought that was sort of cool. Once again -- my life is so stupid and boring that I have to mention little bits and pieces of this and that to try to make things a bit more interesting. If you read any of the following -- imagine the words being spoken by Delenn (from Babylon 5). Or how about Vala Mal Doran?! Or how about Queen Elizabeth?! Once again -- the Queen-Theme is dominant in this thread. This is new territory for me -- so bear with me. Ellen White writes like a Royal-Model Attorney -- or at least I think so. What she writes is often somewhat different than the Bible or History.

    I have a Love-Hate Relationship with Ellen White and Sacred-Scripture. I simply think they are important parts of the puzzle. I am NOT cramming this stuff down anyone's throat. In many ways -- I'm trying to purge myself of a lot of this madness (without going away mad). Actually -- I think I've been mad for a very long time -- but things are getting worse and worse and worse. It's as if someone is tightening a vice on my soul. Ringing in the ears -- and a cold-chill -- are with me 24/7. My teeth are ground-down (and/or eroded). I occasionally see amoeba-like wisps of white-light pass between me and the computer-monitor. Looking at the sky reveals numerous amoeba-like faint-lights which seem to be alive. The tightness in my muscles never lets up. The list goes on and on. Once again -- I'm honestly not complaining. I'm merely explaining (to help explain why I'm a completely ignorant fool). I've seen UFO's and I've spoken for an extended time-period with one who seemed to be some aspect of an Ancient Egyptian Deity. They might object to that term -- but it seems to describe the individual I encountered. I don't know if they were the Real-Deal (or a Representative of the Real-Deal) -- but our conversations were truly chilling and unforgettable. There have been several others, as well. Don't follow me into the ditch -- but please study this thread. I think "they" will "get" me sooner or later (even though I will remain low-key -- and I truly mean no harm). I think "they" have already "gotten" me (in some significant ways) -- but I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about a lot of things. It's easier that way.

    I've previously expressed my hesitancy to post 'The Great Controversy' by Ellen White. It reflects an early editorial and eschatological bias which doesn't seem to exist in later writings. The 'Conflict of the Ages' series consists of five volumes: 'Patriarchs and Prophets' (1890), 'Prophets and Kings' (1917), 'The Desire of Ages' (1898), 'The Acts of the Apostles' (1911), and 'The Great Controversy' (1888). It's obvious and puzzling (to me) that the publication-dates and the Genesis to Revelation order of volumes 1-5 do not match. 'Prophets and Kings' (1917) was published two-years after the death of Ellen White, yet this should've been the second volume written and published!! WTF?? I've recently been told that I shouldn't post on the internet, and I really don't want to post anything anymore, but I can't seem to stop, so I'm just reposting some stuff from the past, as I continue on autopilot. These books are probably mostly plagiarized historical-fiction with a VERY Interesting Editorial-Slant and Writing-Style which seem to reflect Victorian-England much-more than Frontier-America!! WTF?? They seem to be written by a Queen rather than someone with a Third-Grade Education who got hit in the head with a rock (and might've suffered Partial-Complex Epileptic-Seizures)!! But what if Gabriel was the Angel who worked with Ellen White?? What if Gabriel was the source of the Koran?? I don't wish to bash Gabriel, but I'm attempting to understand what modern scholarship and movie-making seem to portray (which is mostly NOT Flattering). Might there be an Artificial-Intelligence connection?? What if Michael and Gabriel (David and Frank??) created Lucifer (HAL 9000??)??!! I Have NO Idea!! I Know That I Don't Know!! Open-Honesty is SO Overrated!! What Would the Nazis, Masons, and Jesuits Say?? It's a Secret!!


    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gcintroduction.html Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with heaven. God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21.

    During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history, there was no written revelation. Those who had been taught of God, communicated their knowledge to others, and it was handed down from father to son, through successive generations. The preparation of the written word began in the time of Moses. Inspired revelations were then embodied in an inspired book. This work continued during the long period of sixteen hundred years--from Moses, the historian of creation and the law, to John, the recorder of the most sublime truths of the gospel.

    The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all "given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.

    The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not of human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14. Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by different writers; often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful, reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony.

    As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of the subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind--a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life. God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth.

    In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V.

    Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the word.

    The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed--to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.

    Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.

    In harmony with the word of God, His Spirit was to continue its work throughout the period of the gospel dispensation. During the ages while the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament were being given, the Holy Spirit did not cease to communicate light to individual minds, apart from the revelations to be embodied in the Sacred Canon. The Bible itself relates how, through the Holy Spirit, men received warning, reproof, counsel, and instruction, in matters in no way relating to the giving of the Scriptures. And mention is made of prophets in different ages, of whose utterances nothing is recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit was still to continue its work, to enlighten, warn, and comfort the children of God.

    Jesus promised His disciples, "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: . . . and He will show you things to come." John 14:26; 16:13. Scripture plainly teaches that these promises, so far from being limited to apostolic days, extend to the church of Christ in all ages. The Saviour assures His followers, "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20. And Paul declares that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit were set in the church "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:12, 13.

    For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19. The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding and opening to the mind the deep things of God's holy word, was the blessing which Paul thus besought for the Ephesian church.

    After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said: "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Acts 2:38, 39. In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel. The great controversy between good and evil will increase in intensity to the very close of time. In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ; and God has bestowed His grace and Spirit upon His people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one.

    When the apostles of Christ were to bear His gospel to the world and to record it for all future ages, they were especially endowed with the enlightenment of the Spirit. But as the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater power. He comes down "having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12. He will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thessalonians 2:9. For six thousand years that mastermind that once was highest among the angels of God has been wholly bent to the work of deception and ruin. And all the depths of satanic skill and subtlety acquired, all the cruelty developed, during these struggles of the ages, will be brought to bear against God's people in the final conflict. And in this time of peril the followers of Christ are to bear to the world the warning of the Lord's second advent; and a people are to be prepared to stand before Him at His coming, "without spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:14. At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days.

    Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold the working, in different ages, of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God's holy law. Satan's enmity against Christ has been manifested against His followers. The same hatred of the principles of God's law, the same policy of deception, by which error is made to appear as truth, by which human laws are substituted for the law of God, and men are led to worship the creature rather than the Creator, may be traced in all the history of the past. Satan's efforts to misrepresent the character of God, to cause men to cherish a false conception of the Creator, and thus to regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love; his endeavors to set aside the divine law, leading the people to think themselves free from its requirements; and his persecution of those who dare to resist his deceptions, have been steadfastly pursued in all ages. They may be traced in the history of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, of martyrs and reformers.

    In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. Satan's deceptions will be more subtle, his assaults more determined. If it were possible, he would lead astray the elect. Mark 13:22, R.V.

    As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has thus been revealed--to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who "loved not their lives unto the death."

    In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in the light of God's word, and by the illumination of His Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found "without fault" before the Lord at His coming. The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their published works.

    It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times, as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing on coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance; and through them a light is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the peril of all earthly good, to witness "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin as to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with His creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of His law, is the object of this book. That through its influence souls may be delivered from the power of darkness, and become "partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," to the praise of Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, is the earnest prayer of the writer (Ellen G. White).
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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:05 pm

    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44.

    From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looked upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful was the scene spread out before Him. It was the season of the Passover, and from all lands the children of Jacob had gathered there to celebrate the great national festival. In the midst of gardens and vineyards, and green slopes studded with pilgrims' tents, rose the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seemed in her pride to say, I sit a queen and shall see no sorrow; as lovely then, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sang: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, . . . the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2. In full view were the magnificent buildings of the temple. The rays of the setting sun lighted up the snowy whiteness of its marble walls and gleamed from golden gate and tower and pinnacle. "The perfection of beauty" it stood, the pride of the Jewish nation. What child of Israel could gaze upon the scene without a thrill of joy and admiration! But far other thoughts occupied the mind of Jesus. "When He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it." Luke 19:41. Amid the universal rejoicing of the triumphal entry, while palm branches waved, while glad hosannas awoke the echoes of the hills, and thousands of voices declared Him king, the world's Redeemer was overwhelmed with a sudden and mysterious sorrow. He, the Son of God, the Promised One of Israel, whose power had conquered death and called its captives from the grave, was in tears, not of ordinary grief, but of intense, irrepressible agony.

    His tears were not for Himself, though He well knew whither His feet were tending. Before Him lay Gethsemane, the scene of His approaching agony. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the victims for sacrifice had been led, and which was to open for Him when He should be "brought as a lamb to the slaughter." Isaiah 53:7. Not far distant was Calvary, the place of crucifixion. Upon the path which Christ was soon to tread must fall the horror of great darkness as He should make His soul an offering for sin. Yet it was not the contemplation of these scenes that cast the shadow upon Him in this hour of gladness. No foreboding of His own superhuman anguish clouded that unselfish spirit. He wept for the doomed thousands of Jerusalem--because of the blindness and impenitence of those whom He came to bless and to save.

    The history of more than a thousand years of God's special favor and guardian care, manifested to the chosen people, was open to the eye of Jesus. There was Mount Moriah, where the son of promise, an unresisting victim, had been bound to the altar--emblem of the offering of the Son of God. There the covenant of blessing, the glorious Messianic promise, had been confirmed to the father of the faithful. Genesis 22:9, 16-18. There the flames of the sacrifice ascending to heaven from the threshing floor of Ornan had turned aside the sword of the destroying angel (1 Chronicles 21)--fitting symbol of the Saviour's sacrifice and mediation for guilty men. Jerusalem had been honored of God above all the earth. The Lord had "chosen Zion," He had "desired it for His habitation." Psalm 132:13. There, for ages, holy prophets had uttered their messages of warning. There priests had waved their censers, and the cloud of incense, with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended before God. There daily the blood of slain lambs had been offered, pointing forward to the Lamb of God. There Jehovah had revealed His presence in the cloud of glory above the mercy seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with heaven (Genesis 28:12; John 1:51)--that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way into the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God. Jeremiah 17:21-25. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted Heaven's grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities.

    Although Israel had "mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets" (2 Chronicles 36:16), He had still manifested Himself to them, as "the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6); notwithstanding repeated rejections, His mercy had continued its pleadings. With more than a father's pitying love for the son of his care, God had "sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place." 2 Chronicles 36:15. When remonstrance, entreaty, and rebuke had failed, He sent to them the best gift of heaven; nay, He poured out all heaven in that one Gift.

    The Son of God Himself was sent to plead with the impenitent city. It was Christ that had brought Israel as a goodly vine out of Egypt. Psalm 80:8. His own hand had cast out the heathen before it. He had planted it "in a very fruitful hill." His guardian care had hedged it about. His servants had been sent to nurture it. "What could have been done more to My vineyard," He exclaims, "that I have not done in it?" Isaiah 5:1-4. Though when He looked that it should bring forth grapes, it brought forth wild grapes, yet with a still yearning hope of fruitfulness He came in person to His vineyard, if haply it might be saved from destruction. He digged about His vine; He pruned and cherished it. He was unwearied in His efforts to save this vine of His own planting.

    For three years the Lord of light and glory had gone in and out among His people. He "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," binding up the brokenhearted, setting at liberty them that were bound, restoring sight to the blind, causing the lame to walk and the deaf to hear, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel to the poor. Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18; Matthew 11:5. To all classes alike was addressed the gracious call: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

    Though rewarded with evil for good, and hatred for His love (Psalm 109:5), He had steadfastly pursued His mission of mercy. Never were those repelled that sought His grace. A homeless wanderer, reproach and penury His daily lot, He lived to minister to the needs and lighten the woes of men, to plead with them to accept the gift of life. The waves of mercy, beaten back by those stubborn hearts, returned in a stronger tide of pitying, inexpressible love. But Israel had turned from her best Friend and only Helper. The pleadings of His love had been despised, His counsels spurned, His warnings ridiculed.

    The hour of hope and pardon was fast passing; the cup of God's long-deferred wrath was almost full. The cloud that had been gathering through ages of apostasy and rebellion, now black with woe, was about to burst upon a guilty people; and He who alone could save them from their impending fate had been slighted, abused, rejected, and was soon to be crucified. When Christ should hang upon the cross of Calvary, Israel's day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended. The loss of even one soul is a calamity infinitely outweighing the gains and treasures of a world; but as Christ looked upon Jerusalem, the doom of a whole city, a whole nation, was before Him--that city, that nation, which had once been the chosen of God, His peculiar treasure.

    Prophets had wept over the apostasy of Israel and the terrible desolations by which their sins were visited. Jeremiah wished that his eyes were a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people, for the Lord's flock that was carried away captive. Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17. What, then, was the grief of Him whose prophetic glance took in, not years, but ages! He beheld the destroying angel with sword uplifted against the city which had so long been Jehovah's dwelling place. From the ridge of Olivet, the very spot afterward occupied by Titus and his army, He looked across the valley upon the sacred courts and porticoes, and with tear-dimmed eyes He saw, in awful perspective, the walls surrounded by alien hosts. He heard the tread of armies marshaling for war. He heard the voice of mothers and children crying for bread in the besieged city. He saw her holy and beautiful house, her palaces and towers, given to the flames, and where once they stood, only a heap of smoldering ruins.

    Looking down the ages, He saw the covenant people scattered in every land, "like wrecks on a desert shore." In the temporal retribution about to fall upon her children, He saw but the first draft from that cup of wrath which at the final judgment she must drain to its dregs. Divine pity, yearning love, found utterance in the mournful words: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" O that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! I have stayed the angel of justice, I have called thee to repentance, but in vain. It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer. If thou art destroyed, thou alone art responsible. "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." Matthew 23:37; John 5:40.

    Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God. The woes of a fallen race, pressing upon His soul, forced from His lips that exceeding bitter cry. He saw the record of sin traced in human misery, tears, and blood; His heart was moved with infinite pity for the afflicted and suffering ones of earth; He yearned to relieve them all. But even His hand might not turn back the tide of human woe; few would seek their only Source of help. He was willing to pour out His soul unto death, to bring salvation within their reach; but few would come to Him that they might have life.

    The Majesty of heaven in tears! the Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish! The scene filled all heaven with wonder. That scene reveals to us the exceeding sinfulness of sin; it shows how hard a task it is, even for Infinite Power, to save the guilty from the consequences of transgressing the law of God. Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world involved in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem. The great sin of the Jews was their rejection of Christ; the great sin of the Christian world would be their rejection of the law of God, the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. The precepts of Jehovah would be despised and set at nought. Millions in bondage to sin, slaves of Satan, doomed to suffer the second death, would refuse to listen to the words of truth in their day of visitation. Terrible blindness! strange infatuation!

    Two days before the Passover, when Christ had for the last time departed from the temple, after denouncing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, He again went out with His disciples to the Mount of Olives and seated Himself with them upon the grassy slope overlooking the city. Once more He gazed upon its walls, its towers, and its palaces. Once more He beheld the temple in its dazzling splendor, a diadem of beauty crowning the sacred mount.

    A thousand years before, the psalmist had magnified God's favor to Israel in making her holy house His dwelling place: "In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion." He "chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces." Psalms 76:2; 78:68, 69. The first temple had been erected during the most prosperous period of Israel's history. Vast stores of treasure for this purpose had been collected by King David, and the plans for its construction were made by divine inspiration. 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19. Solomon, the wisest of Israel's monarchs, had completed the work. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. Yet the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." "I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:9, 7.

    After the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar it was rebuilt about five hundred years before the birth of Christ by a people who from a lifelong captivity had returned to a wasted and almost deserted country. There were then among them aged men who had seen the glory of Solomon's temple, and who wept at the foundation of the new building, that it must be so inferior to the former. The feeling that prevailed is forcibly described by the prophet: "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" Haggai 2:3; Ezra 3:12. Then was given the promise that the glory of this latter house should be greater than that of the former.

    But the second temple had not equaled the first in magnificence; nor was it hallowed by those visible tokens of the divine presence which pertained to the first temple. There was no manifestation of supernatural power to mark its dedication. No cloud of glory was seen to fill the newly erected sanctuary. No fire from heaven descended to consume the sacrifice upon its altar. The Shekinah no longer abode between the cherubim in the most holy place; the ark, the mercy seat, and the tables of the testimony were not to be found therein. No voice sounded from heaven to make known to the inquiring priest the will of Jehovah.

    For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God given by Haggai had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily--who was God Himself manifest in the flesh. The "Desire of all nations" had indeed come to His temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. But Israel had put from her the proffered Gift of heaven. With the humble Teacher who had that day passed out from its golden gate, the glory had forever departed from the temple. Already were the Saviour's words fulfilled: "Your house is left unto you desolate." Matthew 23:38.

    The disciples had been filled with awe and wonder at Christ's prediction of the overthrow of the temple, and they desired to understand more fully the meaning of His words. Wealth, labor, and architectural skill had for more than forty years been freely expended to enhance its splendors. Herod the Great had lavished upon it both Roman wealth and Jewish treasure, and even the emperor of the world had enriched it with his gifts. Massive blocks of white marble, of almost fabulous size, forwarded from Rome for this purpose, formed a part of its structure; and to these the disciples had called the attention of their Master, saying: "See what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" Mark 13:1.

    To these words, Jesus made the solemn and startling reply: "Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2.

    With the overthrow of Jerusalem the disciples associated the events of Christ's personal coming in temporal glory to take the throne of universal empire, to punish the impenitent Jews, and to break from off the nation the Roman yoke. The Lord had told them that He would come the second time. Hence at the mention of judgments upon Jerusalem, their minds reverted to that coming; and as they were gathered about the Saviour upon the Mount of Olives, they asked: "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Verse 3.

    The future was mercifully veiled from the disciples. Had they at that time fully comprehend the two awful facts--the Redeemer's sufferings and death, and the destruction of their city and temple--they would have been overwhelmed with horror. Christ presented before them an outline of the prominent events to take place before the close of time. His words were not then fully understood; but their meaning was to be unfolded as His people should need the instruction therein given. The prophecy which He uttered was twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day.

    Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains." Matthew 24:15, 16; Luke 21:20, 21. When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, those who would escape must make no delay. Throughout the land of Judea, as well as in Jerusalem itself, the signal for flight must be immediately obeyed. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down into his house, even to save his most valued treasures. Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.

    In the reign of Herod, Jerusalem had not only been greatly beautified, but by the erection of towers, walls, and fortresses, adding to the natural strength of its situation, it had been rendered apparently impregnable. He who would at this time have foretold publicly its destruction, would, like Noah in his day, have been called a crazed alarmist. But Christ had said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35. Because of her sins, wrath had been denounced against Jerusalem, and her stubborn unbelief rendered her doom certain.

    The Lord had declared by the prophet Micah: "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us." Micah 3:9-11.

    These words faithfully described the corrupt and self-righteous inhabitants of Jerusalem. While claiming to observe rigidly the precepts of God's law, they were transgressing all its principles. They hated Christ because His purity and holiness revealed their iniquity; and they accused Him of being the cause of all the troubles which had come upon them in consequence of their sins. Though they knew Him to be sinless, they had declared that His death was necessary to their safety as a nation. "If we let Him thus alone," said the Jewish leaders, "all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." John 11:48. If Christ were sacrificed, they might once more become a strong, united people. Thus they reasoned, and they concurred in the decision of their high priest, that it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish.

    Thus the Jewish leaders had built up "Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity." Micah 3:10. And yet, while they slew their Saviour because He reproved their sins, such was their self-righteousness that they regarded themselves as God's favored people and expected the Lord to deliver them from their enemies. "Therefore," continued the prophet, "shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest." Verse 12.

    For nearly forty years after the doom of Jerusalem had been pronounced by Christ Himself, the Lord delayed His judgments upon the city and the nation. Wonderful was the long-suffering of God toward the rejectors of His gospel and the murderers of His Son. The parable of the unfruitful tree represented God's dealings with the Jewish nation. The command had gone forth, "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" (Luke 13:7) but divine mercy had spared it yet a little longer. There were still many among the Jews who were ignorant of the character and the work of Christ. And the children had not enjoyed the opportunities or received the light which their parents had spurned. Through the preaching of the apostles and their associates, God would cause light to shine upon them; they would be permitted to see how prophecy had been fulfilled, not only in the birth and life of Christ, but in His death and resurrection. The children were not condemned for the sins of the parents; but when, with a knowledge of all the light given to their parents, the children rejected the additional light granted to themselves, they became partakers of the parents' sins, and filled up the measure of their iniquity.

    The long-suffering of God toward Jerusalem only confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence. In their hatred and cruelty toward the disciples of Jesus they rejected the last offer of mercy. Then God withdrew His protection from them and removed His restraining power from Satan and his angels, and the nation was left to the control of the leader she had chosen. Her children had spurned the grace of Christ, which would have enabled them to subdue their evil impulses, and now these became the conquerors. Satan aroused the fiercest and most debased passions of the soul. Men did not reason; they were beyond reason--controlled by impulse and blind rage. They became satanic in their cruelty. In the family and in the nation, among the highest and the lowest classes alike, there was suspicion, envy, hatred, strife, rebellion, murder. There was no safety anywhere. Friends and kindred betrayed one another. Parents slew their children, and children their parents. The rulers of the people had no power to rule themselves. Uncontrolled passions made them tyrants. The Jews had accepted false testimony to condemn the innocent Son of God. Now false accusations made their own lives uncertain. By their actions they had long been saying: "Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." Isaiah 30:11. Now their desire was granted. The fear of God no longer disturbed them. Satan was at the head of the nation, and the highest civil and religious authorities were under his sway.

    The leaders of the opposing factions at times united to plunder and torture their wretched victims, and again they fell upon each other's forces and slaughtered without mercy. Even the sanctity of the temple could not restrain their horrible ferocity. The worshipers were stricken down before the altar, and the sanctuary was polluted with the bodies of the slain. Yet in their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God's own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even while Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God. To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries. But Israel had spurned the divine protection, and now she had no defense. Unhappy Jerusalem! rent by internal dissensions, the blood of her children slain by one another's hands crimsoning her streets, while alien armies beat down her fortifications and slew her men of war!

    All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning: "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2.

    Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. In the midst of the night an unnatural light shone over the temple and the altar. Upon the clouds at sunset were pictured chariots and men of war gathering for battle. The priests ministering by night in the sanctuary were terrified by mysterious sounds; the earth trembled, and a multitude of voices were heard crying: "Let us depart hence." The great eastern gate, which was so heavy that it could hardly be shut by a score of men, and which was secured by immense bars of iron fastened deep in the pavement of solid stone, opened at midnight, without visible agency.--Milman, The History of the Jews, book 13.

    For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. By day and by night he chanted the wild dirge: "A voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! a voice against the whole people!"--Ibid. This strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only: "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" "woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!" His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold.

    Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies," said Jesus, "then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out." Luke 21:20, 21. After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But God's merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour's warning. Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestius, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city. At this time the country also had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavored to intercept them. At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety--the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.

    The Jewish forces, pursuing after Cestius and his army, fell upon their rear with such fierceness as to threaten them with total destruction. It was with great difficulty that the Romans succeeded in making their retreat. The Jews escaped almost without loss, and with their spoils returned in triumph to Jerusalem. Yet this apparent success brought them only evil. It inspired them with that spirit of stubborn resistance to the Romans which speedily brought unutterable woe upon the doomed city.

    Terrible were the calamities that fell upon Jerusalem when the siege was resumed by Titus. The city was invested at the time of the Passover, when millions of Jews were assembled within its walls. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have supplied the inhabitants for years, had previously been destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced. A measure of wheat was sold for a talent. So fierce were the pangs of hunger that men would gnaw the leather of their belts and sandals and the covering of their shields. Great numbers of the people would steal out at night to gather wild plants growing outside the city walls, though many were seized and put to death with cruel torture, and often those who returned in safety were robbed of what they had gleaned at so great peril. The most inhuman tortures were inflicted by those in power, to force from the want-stricken people the last scanty supplies which they might have concealed. And these cruelties were not infrequently practiced by men who were themselves well fed, and who were merely desirous of laying up a store of provision for the future.

    Thousands perished from famine and pestilence. Natural affection seemed to have been destroyed. Husbands robbed their wives, and wives their husbands. Children would be seen snatching the food from the mouths of their aged parents. The question of the prophet, "Can a woman forget her sucking child?" received the answer within the walls of that doomed city: "The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people." Isaiah 49:15; Lamentations 4:10. Again was fulfilled the warning prophecy given fourteen centuries before: "The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, . . . and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates." Deuteronomy 28:56, 57.

    The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the Valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them. So terribly was visited that awful imprecation uttered before the judgment seat of Pilate: "His blood be on us, and on our children." Matthew 27:25.

    Titus would willingly have put an end to the fearful scene, and thus have spared Jerusalem the full measure of her doom. He was filled with horror as he saw the bodies of the dead lying in heaps in the valleys. Like one entranced, he looked from the crest of Olivet upon the magnificent temple and gave command that not one stone of it be touched. Before attempting to gain possession of this stronghold, he made an earnest appeal to the Jewish leaders not to force him to defile the sacred place with blood. If they would come forth and fight in any other place, no Roman should violate the sanctity of the temple. Josephus himself, in a most eloquent appeal, entreated them to surrender, to save themselves, their city, and their place of worship. But his words were answered with bitter curses. Darts were hurled at him, their last human mediator, as he stood pleading with them. The Jews had rejected the entreaties of the Son of God, and now expostulation and entreaty only made them more determined to resist to the last. In vain were the efforts of Titus to save the temple; One greater than he had declared that not one stone was to be left upon another.

    The blind obstinacy of the Jewish leaders, and the detestable crimes perpetrated within the besieged city, excited the horror and indignation of the Romans, and Titus at last decided to take the temple by storm. He determined, however, that if possible it should be saved from destruction. But his commands were disregarded. After he had retired to his tent at night, the Jews, sallying from the temple, attacked the soldiers without. In the struggle, a firebrand was flung by a soldier through an opening in the porch, and immediately the cedar-lined chambers about the holy house were in a blaze. Titus rushed to the place, followed by his generals and legionaries, and commanded the soldiers to quench the flames. His words were unheeded. In their fury the soldiers hurled blazing brands into the chambers adjoining the temple, and then with their swords they slaughtered in great numbers those who had found shelter there. Blood flowed down the temple steps like water. Thousands upon thousands of Jews perished. Above the sound of battle, voices were heard shouting: "Ichabod!"--the glory is departed.

    "Titus found it impossible to check the rage of the soldiery; he entered with his officers, and surveyed the interior of the sacred edifice. The splendor filled them with wonder; and as the flames had not yet penetrated to the holy place, he made a last effort to save it, and springing forth, again exhorted the soldiers to stay the progress of the conflagration. The centurion Liberalis endeavored to force obedience with his staff of office; but even respect for the emperor gave way to the furious animosity against the Jews, to the fierce excitement of battle, and to the insatiable hope of plunder. The soldiers saw everything around them radiant with gold, which shone dazzlingly in the wild light of the flames; they supposed that incalculable treasures were laid up in the sanctuary. A soldier, unperceived, thrust a lighted torch between the hinges of the door: the whole building was in flames in an instant. The blinding smoke and fire forced the officers to retreat, and the noble edifice was left to its fate.

    "It was an appalling spectacle to the Roman--what was it to the Jew? The whole summit of the hill which commanded the city, blazed like a volcano. One after another the buildings fell in, with a tremendous crash, and were swallowed up in the fiery abyss. The roofs of cedar were like sheets of flame; the gilded pinnacles shone like spikes of red light; the gate towers sent up tall columns of flame and smoke. The neighboring hills were lighted up; and dark groups of people were seen watching in horrible anxiety the progress of the destruction: the walls and heights of the upper city were crowded with faces, some pale with the agony of despair, others scowling unavailing vengeance. The shouts of the Roman soldiery as they ran to and fro, and the howlings of the insurgents who were perishing in the flames, mingled with the roaring of the conflagration and the thundering sound of falling timbers. The echoes of the mountains replied or brought back the shrieks of the people on the heights; all along the walls resounded screams and wailings; men who were expiring with famine rallied their remaining strength to utter a cry of anguish and desolation.

    "The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination."--Milman, The History of the Jews, book 16.

    After the destruction of the temple, the whole city soon fell into the hands of the Romans. The leaders of the Jews forsook their impregnable towers, and Titus found them solitary. He gazed upon them with amazement, and declared that God had given them into his hands; for no engines, however powerful, could have prevailed against those stupendous battlements. Both the city and the temple were razed to their foundations, and the ground upon which the holy house had stood was "plowed like a field." Jeremiah 26:18. In the siege and the slaughter that followed, more than a million of the people perished; the survivors were carried away as captives, sold as slaves, dragged to Rome to grace the conqueror's triumph, thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters, or scattered as homeless wanderers throughout the earth.

    The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed them in their dispersion, they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. Says the prophet: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself;" "for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity." Hosea 13:9; 14:1. Their sufferings are often represented as a punishment visited upon them by the direct decree of God. It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work. By stubborn rejection of divine love and mercy, the Jews had caused the protection of God to be withdrawn from them, and Satan was permitted to rule them according to his will. The horrible cruelties enacted in the destruction of Jerusalem are a demonstration of Satan's vindictive power over those who yield to his control.

    We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God's mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. Every ray of light rejected, every warning despised or unheeded, every passion indulged, every transgression of the law of God, is a seed sown which yields its unfailing harvest. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan. The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there given a more decisive testimony to God's hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty.

    The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens, and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future. The records of the past,--the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the "battle of the warrior . . . with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood" (Isaiah 9:5),--what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan's rule.

    But in that day, as in the time of Jerusalem's destruction, God's people will be delivered, everyone that shall be found written among the living. Isaiah 4:3. Christ has declared that He will come the second time to gather His faithful ones to Himself: "Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:30, 31. Then shall they that obey not the gospel be consumed with the spirit of His mouth and be destroyed with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Like Israel of old the wicked destroy themselves; they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their natures have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of His glory is to them a consuming fire.

    Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem's destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Jesus declares: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations." Luke 21:25; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-26; Revelation 6:12-17. Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to "know that it is near, even at the doors." Matthew 24:33. "Watch ye therefore," are His words of admonition. Mark 13:35. They that heed the warning shall not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5.

    The world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Saviour's warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world's progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security--then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, "and they shall not escape." Verse 3.

    When Jesus revealed to His disciples the fate of Jerusalem and the scenes of the second advent, He foretold also the experience of His people from the time when He should be taken from them, to His return in power and glory for their deliverance. From Olivet the Saviour beheld the storms about to fall upon the apostolic church; and penetrating deeper into the future, His eye discerned the fierce, wasting tempests that were to beat upon His followers in the coming ages of darkness and persecution. In a few brief utterances of awful significance He foretold the portion which the rulers of this world would mete out to the church of God. Matthew 24:9, 21, 22. The followers of Christ must tread the same path of humiliation, reproach, and suffering which their Master trod. The enmity that burst forth against the world's Redeemer would be manifested against all who should believe on His name.

    The history of the early church testified to the fulfillment of the Saviour's words. The powers of earth and hell arrayed themselves against Christ in the person of His followers. Paganism foresaw that should the gospel triumph, her temples and altars would be swept away; therefore she summoned her forces to destroy Christianity. The fires of persecution were kindled. Christians were stripped of their possessions and driven from their homes. They "endured a great fight of afflictions." Hebrews 10:32. They "had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment." Hebrews 11:36. Great numbers sealed their testimony with their blood. Noble and slave, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, were alike slain without mercy.

    These persecutions, beginning under Nero about the time of the martyrdom of Paul, continued with greater or less fury for centuries. Christians were falsely accused of the most dreadful crimes and declared to be the cause of great calamities--famine, pestilence, and earthquake. As they became the objects of popular hatred and suspicion, informers stood ready, for the sake of gain, to betray the innocent. They were condemned as rebels against the empire, as foes of religion, and pests to society. Great numbers were thrown to wild beasts or burned alive in the amphitheaters. Some were crucified; others were covered with the skins of wild animals and thrust into the arena to be torn by dogs. Their punishment was often made the chief entertainment at public fetes. Vast multitudes assembled to enjoy the sight and greeted their dying agonies with laughter and applause.

    Wherever they sought refuge, the followers of Christ were hunted like beasts of prey. They were forced to seek concealment in desolate and solitary places. "Destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Verses 37, 38. The catacombs afforded shelter for thousands. Beneath the hills outside the city of Rome, long galleries had been tunneled through earth and rock; the dark and intricate network of passages extended for miles beyond the city walls. In these underground retreats the followers of Christ buried their dead; and here also, when suspected and proscribed, they found a home. When the Life-giver shall awaken those who have fought the good fight, many a martyr for Christ's sake will come forth from those gloomy caverns.

    Under the fiercest persecution these witnesses for Jesus kept their faith unsullied. Though deprived of every comfort, shut away from the light of the sun, making their home in the dark but friendly bosom of the earth, they uttered no complaint. With words of faith, patience, and hope they encouraged one another to endure privation and distress. The loss of every earthly blessing could not force them to renounce their belief in Christ. Trials and persecution were but steps bringing them nearer their rest and their reward.

    Like God's servants of old, many were "tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection." Verse 35. These called to mind the words of their Master, that when persecuted for Christ's sake, they were to be exceeding glad, for great would be their reward in heaven; for so the prophets had been persecuted before them. They rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the truth, and songs of triumph ascended from the midst of crackling flames. Looking upward by faith, they saw Christ and angels leaning over the battlements of heaven, gazing upon them with the deepest interest and regarding their steadfastness with approval. A voice came down to them from the throne of God: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10.

    In vain were Satan's efforts to destroy the church of Christ by violence. The great controversy in which the disciples of Jesus yielded up their lives did not cease when these faithful standard-bearers fell at their post. By defeat they conquered. God's workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward. The gospel continued to spread and the number of its adherents to increase. It penetrated into regions that were inaccessible even to the eagles of Rome. Said a Christian, expostulating with the heathen rulers who were urging forward the persecution: You may "kill us, torture us, condemn us. . . . Your injustice is the proof that we are innocent . . . . Nor does your cruelty . . . avail you." It was but a stronger invitation to bring others to their persuasion. "The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed."--Tertullian, Apology, paragraph 50.

    Thousands were imprisoned and slain, but others sprang up to fill their places. And those who were martyred for their faith were secured to Christ and accounted of Him as conquerors. They had fought the good fight, and they were to receive the crown of glory when Christ should come. The sufferings which they endured brought Christians nearer to one another and to their Redeemer. Their living example and dying testimony were a constant witness for the truth; and where least expected, the subjects of Satan were leaving his service and enlisting under the banner of Christ.

    Satan therefore laid his plans to war more successfully against the government of God by planting his banner in the Christian church. If the followers of Christ could be deceived and led to displease God, then their strength, fortitude, and firmness would fail, and they would fall an easy prey.

    The great adversary now endeavored to gain by artifice what he had failed to secure by force. Persecution ceased, and in its stead were substituted the dangerous allurements of temporal prosperity and worldly honor. Idolaters were led to receive a part of the Christian faith, while they rejected other essential truths. They professed to accept Jesus as the Son of God and to believe in His death and resurrection, but they had no conviction of sin and felt no need of repentance or of a change of heart. With some concessions on their part they proposed that Christians should make concessions, that all might unite on the platform of belief in Christ.

    Now the church was in fearful peril. Prison, torture, fire, and sword were blessings in comparison with this. Some of the Christians stood firm, declaring that they could make no compromise. Others were in favor of yielding or modifying some features of their faith and uniting with those who had accepted a part of Christianity, urging that this might be the means of their full conversion. That was a time of deep anguish to the faithful followers of Christ. Under a cloak of pretended Christianity, Satan was insinuating himself into the church, to corrupt their faith and turn their minds from the word of truth.

    Most of the Christians at last consented to lower their standard, and a union was formed between Christianity and paganism. Although the worshipers of idols professed to be converted, and united with the church, they still clung to their idolatry, only changing the objects of their worship to images of Jesus, and even of Mary and the saints. The foul leaven of idolatry, thus brought into the church, continued its baleful work. Unsound doctrines, superstitious rites, and idolatrous ceremonies were incorporated into her faith and worship. As the followers of Christ united with idolaters, the Christian religion became corrupted, and the church lost her purity and power. There were some, however, who were not misled by these delusions. They still maintained their fidelity to the Author of truth and worshiped God alone.

    There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ. While one class study the Saviour's life and earnestly seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain, practical truths which expose their errors. Even in her best estate the church was not composed wholly of the true, pure, and sincere. Our Saviour taught that those who willfully indulge in sin are not to be received into the church; yet He connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and correct them. Among the twelve apostles was a traitor. Judas was accepted, not because of his defects of character, but notwithstanding them. He was connected with the disciples, that, through the instruction and example of Christ, he might learn what constitutes Christian character, and thus be led to see his errors, to repent, and, by the aid of divine grace, to purify his soul "in obeying the truth." But Judas did not walk in the light so graciously permitted to shine upon him. By indulgence in sin he invited the temptations of Satan. His evil traits of character became predominant. He yielded his mind to the control of the powers of darkness, he became angry when his faults were reproved, and thus he was led to commit the fearful crime of betraying his Master. So do all who cherish evil under a profession of godliness hate those who disturb their peace by condemning their course of sin. When a favorable opportunity is presented, they will, like Judas, betray those who for their good have sought to reprove them.

    The apostles encountered those in the church who professed godliness while they were secretly cherishing iniquity. Ananias and Sapphira acted the part of deceivers, pretending to make an entire sacrifice for God, when they were covetously withholding a portion for themselves. The Spirit of truth revealed to the apostles the real character of these pretenders, and the judgments of God rid the church of this foul blot upon its purity. This signal evidence of the discerning Spirit of Christ in the church was a terror to hypocrites and evildoers. They could not long remain in connection with those who were, in habit and disposition, constant representatives of Christ; and as trials and persecution came upon His followers, those only who were willing to forsake all for the truth's sake desired to become His disciples. Thus, as long as persecution continued, the church remained comparatively pure. But as it ceased, converts were added who were less sincere and devoted, and the way was open for Satan to obtain a foothold.

    But there is no union between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness, and there can be no union between their followers. When Christians consented to unite with those who were but half converted from paganism, they entered upon a path which led further and further from the truth. Satan exulted that he had succeeded in deceiving so large a number of the followers of Christ. He then brought his power to bear more fully upon these, and inspired them to persecute those who remained true to God. None understood so well how to oppose the true Christian faith as did those who had once been its defenders; and these apostate Christians, uniting with their half-pagan companions, directed their warfare against the most essential features of the doctrines of Christ.

    It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed.

    After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children's children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war.

    Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God's professed people. There is an alarming indifference in regard to the doctrines which are the pillars of the Christian faith. The opinion is gaining ground, that, after all, these are not of vital importance. This degeneracy is strengthening the hands of the agents of Satan, so that false theories and fatal delusions which the faithful in ages past imperiled their lives to resist and expose, are now regarded with favor by thousands who claim to be followers of Christ.

    The early Christians were indeed a peculiar people. Their blameless deportment and unswerving faith were a continual reproof that disturbed the sinner's peace. Though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known. Therefore they were hated by the wicked, even as Abel was hated by the ungodly Cain. For the same reason that Cain slew Abel, did those who sought to throw off the restraint of the Holy Spirit, put to death God's people. It was for the same reason that the Jews rejected and crucified the Saviour--because the purity and holiness of His character was a constant rebuke to their selfishness and corruption. From the days of Christ until now His faithful disciples have excited the hatred and opposition of those who love and follow the ways of sin.

    How, then, can the gospel be called a message of peace? When Isaiah foretold the birth of the Messiah, he ascribed to Him the title, "Prince of Peace." When angels announced to the shepherds that Christ was born, they sang above the plains of Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14. There is a seeming contradiction between these prophetic declarations and the words of Christ: "I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34. But, rightly understood, the two are in perfect harmony. The gospel is a message of peace. Christianity is a system which, received and obeyed, would spread peace, harmony, and happiness throughout the earth. The religion of Christ will unite in close brotherhood all who accept its teachings. It was the mission of Jesus to reconcile men to God, and thus to one another. But the world at large are under the control of Satan, Christ's bitterest foe. The gospel presents to them principles of life which are wholly at variance with their habits and desires, and they rise in rebellion against it. They hate the purity which reveals and condemns their sins, and they persecute and destroy those who would urge upon them its just and holy claims. It is in this sense--because the exalted truths it brings occasion hatred and strife--that the gospel is called a sword.

    The mysterious providence which permits the righteous to suffer persecution at the hand of the wicked has been a cause of great perplexity to many who are weak in faith. Some are even ready to cast away their confidence in God because He suffers the basest of men to prosper, while the best and purest are afflicted and tormented by their cruel power. How, it is asked, can One who is just and merciful, and who is also infinite in power, tolerate such injustice and oppression? This is a question with which we have nothing to do. God has given us sufficient evidence of His love, and we are not to doubt His goodness because we cannot understand the workings of His providence. Said the Saviour to His disciples, foreseeing the doubts that would press upon their souls in days of trial and darkness: "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." John 15:20. Jesus suffered for us more than any of His followers can be made to suffer through the cruelty of wicked men. Those who are called to endure torture and martyrdom are but following in the steps of God's dear Son.

    "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise." 2 Peter 3:9. He does not forget or neglect His children; but He permits the wicked to reveal their true character, that none who desire to do His will may be deceived concerning them. Again, the righteous are placed in the furnace of affliction, that they themselves may be purified; that their example may convince others of the reality of faith and godliness; and also that their consistent course may condemn the ungodly and unbelieving.

    God permits the wicked to prosper and to reveal their enmity against Him, that when they shall have filled up the measure of their iniquity all may see His justice and mercy in their utter destruction. The day of His vengeance hastens, when all who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people will meet the just recompense of their deeds; when every act of cruelty or injustice toward God's faithful ones will be punished as though done to Christ Himself.

    There is another and more important question that should engage the attention of the churches of today. The apostle Paul declares that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is it, then, that persecution seems in a great degree to slumber? The only reason is that the church has conformed to the world's standard and therefore awakens no opposition. The religion which is current in our day is not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world. Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution will be rekindled.







    "LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!! LA!! LA!! LA!! LA!! LA!!"


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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:08 pm

    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, "except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work." 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7. Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.

    Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, "the mystery of iniquity" carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.

    This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of "the man of sin" foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan's power--a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.

    Satan once endeavored to form a compromise with Christ. He came to the Son of God in the wilderness of temptation, and showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, offered to give all into His hands if He would but acknowledge the supremacy of the prince of darkness. Christ rebuked the presumptuous tempter and forced him to depart. But Satan meets with greater success in presenting the same temptations to man. To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth; and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan--the bishop of Rome.

    It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled "Lord God the Pope" (see Appendix), and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage.

    But those who fear and reverence God meet this heaven-daring assumption as Christ met the solicitations of the wily foe: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Luke 4:8. God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church. The doctrine of papal supremacy is directly opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures. The pope can have no power over Christ's church except by usurpation.

    Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ and departed from "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3.

    Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power. It was by the word that even the Saviour of the world had resisted his attacks. At every assault, Christ presented the shield of eternal truth, saying, "It is written." To every suggestion of the adversary, He opposed the wisdom and power of the word. In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, and establish the authority of the papal usurper, he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. Thus the pope came to be almost universally acknowledged as the vicegerent of God on earth, endowed with authority over church and state.

    The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to "think to change times and laws." Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council (see Appendix) finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.

    The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven's authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as "the venerable day of the sun." This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.

    To prepare the way for the work which he designed to accomplish, Satan had led the Jews, before the advent of Christ, to load down the Sabbath with the most rigorous exactions, making its observance a burden. Now, taking advantage of the false light in which he had thus caused it to be regarded, he cast contempt upon it as a Jewish institution. While Christians generally continued to observe the Sunday as a joyous festival, he led them, in order to show their hatred of Judaism, to make the Sabbath a fast, a day of sadness and gloom.

    In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire. (See Appendix.) The day of the sun was reverenced by his pagan subjects and was honored by Christians; it was the emperor's policy to unite the conflicting interests of heathenism and Christianity. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians and heathen, it would promote the nominal acceptance of Christianity by pagans and thus advance the power and glory of the church. But while many God-fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment.

    The archdeceiver had not completed his work. He was resolved to gather the Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honored as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.

    The great apostate had succeeded in exalting himself "above all that is called God, or that is worshiped." 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He had dared to change the only precept of the divine law that unmistakably points all mankind to the true and living God. In the fourth commandment, God is revealed as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and is thereby distinguished from all false gods. It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship. Satan strives to turn men from their allegiance to God, and from rendering obedience to His law; therefore he directs his efforts especially against that commandment which points to God as the Creator.

    Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But Scripture evidence is lacking. No such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that "mystery of lawlessness" (2 Thessalonians 2:7, R.V.) which, even in Paul's day, had begun its work. Where and when did the Lord adopt this child of the papacy? What valid reason can be given for a change which the Scriptures do not sanction?

    In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of Rome was declared to be the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast "his power, and his seat, and great authority." Revelation 13:2. And now began the 1260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7. (See Appendix.) Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman's ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: "Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake." Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: "The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days." Revelation 12:6.

    The accession of the Roman Church to power marked the beginning of the Dark Ages. As her power increased, the darkness deepened. Faith was transferred from Christ, the true foundation, to the pope of Rome. Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed. A deviation from his requirements was sufficient cause for the severest punishment to be visited upon the bodies and souls of the offenders. Thus the minds of the people were turned away from God to fallible, erring, and cruel men, nay, more, to the prince of darkness himself, who exercised his power through them. Sin was disguised in a garb of sanctity. When the Scriptures are suppressed, and man comes to regard himself as supreme, we need look only for fraud, deception, and debasing iniquity. With the elevation of human laws and traditions was manifest the corruption that ever results from setting aside the law of God.

    Those were days of peril for the church of Christ. The faithful standard-bearers were few indeed. Though the truth was not left without witnesses, yet at times it seemed that error and superstition would wholly prevail, and true religion would be banished from the earth. The gospel was lost sight of, but the forms of religion were multiplied, and the people were burdened with rigorous exactions.

    They were taught not only to look to the pope as their mediator, but to trust to works of their own to atone for sin. Long pilgrimages, acts of penance, the worship of relics, the erection of churches, shrines, and altars, the payment of large sums to the church--these and many similar acts were enjoined to appease the wrath of God or to secure His favor; as if God were like men, to be angered at trifles, or pacified by gifts or acts of penance!

    Notwithstanding that vice prevailed, even among the leaders of the Roman Church, her influence seemed steadily to increase. About the close of the eighth century, papists put forth the claim that in the first ages of the church the bishops of Rome had possessed the same spiritual power which they now assumed. To establish this claim, some means must be employed to give it a show of authority; and this was readily suggested by the father of lies. Ancient writings were forged by monks. Decrees of councils before unheard of were discovered, establishing the universal supremacy of the pope from the earliest times. And a church that had rejected the truth greedily accepted these deceptions. (See Appendix.)

    The few faithful builders upon the true foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10, 11) were perplexed and hindered as the rubbish of false doctrine obstructed the work. Like the builders upon the wall of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day, some were ready to say: "The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build." Nehemiah 4:10. Wearied with the constant struggle against persecution, fraud, iniquity, and every other obstacle that Satan could devise to hinder their progress, some who had been faithful builders became disheartened; and for the sake of peace and security for their property and their lives, they turned away from the true foundation. Others, undaunted by the opposition of their enemies, fearlessly declared: "Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible" (verse 14); and they proceeded with the work, everyone with his sword girded by his side. Ephesians 6:17.

    The same spirit of hatred and opposition to the truth has inspired the enemies of God in every age, and the same vigilance and fidelity have been required in His servants. The words of Christ to the first disciples are applicable to His followers to the close of time: "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." Mark 13:37.

    The darkness seemed to grow more dense. Image worship became more general. Candles were burned before images, and prayers were offered to them. The most absurd and superstitious customs prevailed. The minds of men were so completely controlled by superstition that reason itself seemed to have lost its sway. While priests and bishops were themselves pleasure-loving, sensual, and corrupt, it could only be expected that the people who looked to them for guidance would be sunken in ignorance and vice.

    Another step in papal assumption was taken, when, in the eleventh century, Pope Gregory VII proclaimed the perfection of the Roman Church. Among the propositions which he put forth was one declaring that the church had never erred, nor would it ever err, according to the Scriptures. But the Scripture proofs did not accompany the assertion. The proud pontiff also claimed the power to depose emperors, and declared that no sentence which he pronounced could be reversed by anyone, but that it was his prerogative to reverse the decisions of all others. (See Appendix.)

    A striking illustration of the tyrannical character of this advocate of infallibility was given in his treatment of the German emperor, Henry IV. For presuming to disregard the pope's authority, this monarch was declared to be excommunicated and dethroned. Terrified by the desertion and threats of his own princes, who were encouraged in rebellion against him by the papal mandate, Henry felt the necessity of making his peace with Rome. In company with his wife and a faithful servant he crossed the Alps in midwinter, that he might humble himself before the pope. Upon reaching the castle whither Gregory had withdrawn, he was conducted, without his guards, into an outer court, and there, in the severe cold of winter, with uncovered head and naked feet, and in a miserable dress, he awaited the pope's permission to come into his presence. Not until he had continued three days fasting and making confession, did the pontiff condescend to grant him pardon. Even then it was only upon condition that the emperor should await the sanction of the pope before resuming the insignia or exercising the power of royalty. And Gregory, elated with his triumph, boasted that it was his duty to pull down the pride of kings.

    How striking the contrast between the overbearing pride of this haughty pontiff and the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who represents Himself as pleading at the door of the heart for admittance, that He may come in to bring pardon and peace, and who taught His disciples: "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." Matthew 20:27.

    The advancing centuries witnessed a constant increase of error in the doctrines put forth from Rome. Even before the establishment of the papacy the teachings of heathen philosophers had received attention and exerted an influence in the church. Many who professed conversion still clung to the tenets of their pagan philosophy, and not only continued its study themselves, but urged it upon others as a means of extending their influence among the heathen. Serious errors were thus introduced into the Christian faith. Prominent among these was the belief in man's natural immortality and his consciousness in death. This doctrine laid the foundation upon which Rome established the invocation of saints and the adoration of the Virgin Mary. From this sprang also the heresy of eternal torment for the finally impenitent, which was early incorporated into the papal faith.

    Then the way was prepared for the introduction of still another invention of paganism, which Rome named purgatory, and employed to terrify the credulous and superstitious multitudes. By this heresy is affirmed the existence of a place of torment, in which the souls of such as have not merited eternal damnation are to suffer punishment for their sins, and from which, when freed from impurity, they are admitted to heaven. (See Appendix.)

    Still another fabrication was needed to enable Rome to profit by the fears and the vices of her adherents. This was supplied by the doctrine of indulgences. Full remission of sins, past, present, and future, and release from all the pains and penalties incurred, were promised to all who would enlist in the pontiff's wars to extend his temporal dominion, to punish his enemies, or to exterminate those who dared deny his spiritual supremacy. The people were also taught that by the payment of money to the church they might free themselves from sin, and also release the souls of their deceased friends who were confined in the tormenting flames. By such means did Rome fill her coffers and sustain the magnificence, luxury, and vice of the pretended representatives of Him who had not where to lay His head. (See Appendix.)

    The Scriptural ordinance of the Lord's Supper had been supplanted by the idolatrous sacrifice of the mass. Papal priests pretended, by their senseless mummery, to convert the simple bread and wine into the actual "body and blood of Christ."--Cardinal Wiseman, The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Eucharist, Proved From Scripture, lecture 8, sec. 3, par. 26. With blasphemous presumption, they openly claimed the power of creating God, the Creator of all things. Christians were required, on pain of death, to avow their faith in this horrible, Heaven-insulting heresy. Multitudes who refused were given to the flames. (See Appendix.)

    In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy--the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. "Babylon the great" was "drunken with the blood of the saints." The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.

    Popery had become the world's despot. Kings and emperors bowed to the decrees of the Roman pontiff. The destinies of men, both for time and for eternity, seemed under his control. For hundreds of years the doctrines of Rome had been extensively and implicitly received, its rites reverently performed, its festivals generally observed. Its clergy were honored and liberally sustained. Never since has the Roman Church attained to greater dignity, magnificence, or power.

    But "the noon of the papacy was the midnight of the world."--J. A. Wylie, The History of Protestantism, b. 1, ch. 4. The Holy Scriptures were almost unknown, not only to the people, but to the priests. Like the Pharisees of old, the papal leaders hated the light which would reveal their sins. God's law, the standard of righteousness, having been removed, they exercised power without limit, and practiced vice without restraint. Fraud, avarice, and profligacy prevailed. Men shrank from no crime by which they could gain wealth or position. The palaces of popes and prelates were scenes of the vilest debauchery. Some of the reigning pontiffs were guilty of crimes so revolting that secular rulers endeavored to depose these dignitaries of the church as monsters too vile to be tolerated. For centuries Europe had made no progress in learning, arts, or civilization. A moral and intellectual paralysis had fallen upon Christendom.

    The condition of the world under the Romish power presented a fearful and striking fulfillment of the words of the prophet Hosea: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee: . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." "There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." Hosea 4:6, 1, 2. Such were the results of banishing the word of God.

    Amid the gloom that settled upon the earth during the long period of papal supremacy, the light of truth could not be wholly extinguished. In every age there were witnesses for God--men who cherished faith in Christ as the only mediator between God and man, who held the Bible as the only rule of life, and who hallowed the true Sabbath. How much the world owes to these men, posterity will never know. They were branded as heretics, their motives impugned, their characters maligned, their writings suppressed, misrepresented, or mutilated. Yet they stood firm, and from age to age maintained their faith in its purity, as a sacred heritage for the generations to come.

    The history of God's people during the ages of darkness that followed upon Rome's supremacy is written in heaven, but they have little place in human records. Few traces of their existence can be found, except in the accusations of their persecutors. It was the policy of Rome to obliterate every trace of dissent from her doctrines or decrees. Everything heretical, whether persons or writings, she sought to destroy. Expressions of doubt, or questions as to the authority of papal dogmas, were enough to forfeit the life of rich or poor, high or low. Rome endeavored also to destroy every record of her cruelty toward dissenters. Papal councils decreed that books and writings containing such records should be committed to the flames. Before the invention of printing, books were few in number, and in a form not favorable for preservation; therefore there was little to prevent the Romanists from carrying out their purpose.

    No church within the limits of Romish jurisdiction was long left undisturbed in the enjoyment of freedom of conscience. No sooner had the papacy obtained power than she stretched out her arms to crush all that refused to acknowledge her sway, and one after another the churches submitted to her dominion.

    In Great Britain primitive Christianity had very early taken root. The gospel received by the Britons in the first centuries was then uncorrupted by Romish apostasy. Persecution from pagan emperors, which extended even to these far-off shores, was the only gift that the first churches of Britain received from Rome. Many of the Christians, fleeing from persecution in England, found refuge in Scotland; thence the truth was carried to Ireland, and in all these countries it was received with gladness.

    When the Saxons invaded Britain, heathenism gained control. The conquerors disdained to be instructed by their slaves, and the Christians were forced to retreat to the mountains and the wild moors. Yet the light, hidden for a time, continued to burn. In Scotland, a century later, it shone out with a brightness that extended to far-distant lands. From Ireland came the pious Columba and his colaborers, who, gathering about them the scattered believers on the lonely island of Iona, made this the center of their missionary labors. Among these evangelists was an observer of the Bible Sabbath, and thus this truth was introduced among the people. A school was established at Iona, from which missionaries went out, not only to Scotland and England, but to Germany, Switzerland, and even Italy.

    But Rome had fixed her eyes on Britain, and resolved to bring it under her supremacy. In the sixth century her missionaries undertook the conversion of the heathen Saxons. They were received with favor by the proud barbarians, and they induced many thousands to profess the Romish faith. As the work progressed, the papal leaders and their converts encountered the primitive Christians. A striking contrast was presented. The latter were simple, humble, and Scriptural in character, doctrine, and manners, while the former manifested the superstition, pomp, and arrogance of popery. The emissary of Rome demanded that these Christian churches acknowledge the supremacy of the sovereign pontiff. The Britons meekly replied that they desired to love all men, but that the pope was not entitled to supremacy in the church, and they could render to him only that submission which was due to every follower of Christ. Repeated attempts were made to secure their allegiance to Rome; but these humble Christians, amazed at the pride displayed by her emissaries, steadfastly replied that they knew no other master than Christ. Now the true spirit of the papacy was revealed. Said the Romish leader: "If you will not receive brethren who bring you peace, you shall receive enemies who will bring you war. If you will not unite with us in showing the Saxons the way of life, you shall receive from them the stroke of death."--J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, b. 17, ch. 2. These were no idle threats. War, intrigue, and deception were employed against these witnesses for a Bible faith, until the churches of Britain were destroyed, or forced to submit to the authority of the pope.

    In lands beyond the jurisdiction of Rome there existed for many centuries bodies of Christians who remained almost wholly free from papal corruption. They were surrounded by heathenism and in the lapse of ages were affected by its errors; but they continued to regard the Bible as the only rule of faith and adhered to many of its truths. These Christians believed in the perpetuity of the law of God and observed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Churches that held to this faith and practice existed in Central Africa and among the Armenians of Asia.

    But of those who resisted the encroachments of the papal power, the Waldenses stood foremost. In the very land where popery had fixed its seat, there its falsehood and corruption were most steadfastly resisted. For centuries the churches of Piedmont maintained their independence; but the time came at last when Rome insisted upon their submission. After ineffectual struggles against her tyranny, the leaders of these churches reluctantly acknowledged the supremacy of the power to which the whole world seemed to pay homage. There were some, however, who refused to yield to the authority of pope or prelate. They were determined to maintain their allegiance to God and to preserve the purity and simplicity of their faith. A separation took place. Those who adhered to the ancient faith now withdrew; some, forsaking their native Alps, raised the banner of truth in foreign lands; others retreated to the secluded glens and rocky fastnesses of the mountains, and there preserved their freedom to worship God.

    The faith which for centuries was held and taught by the Waldensian Christians was in marked contrast to the false doctrines put forth from Rome. Their religious belief was founded upon the written word of God, the true system of Christianity. But those humble peasants, in their obscure retreats, shut away from the world, and bound to daily toil among their flocks and their vineyards, had not by themselves arrived at the truth in opposition to the dogmas and heresies of the apostate church. Theirs was not a faith newly received. Their religious belief was their inheritance from their fathers. They contended for the faith of the apostolic church,--"the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3. "The church in the wilderness," and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world's great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God has committed to His people to be given to the world.

    Among the leading causes that had led to the separation of the true church from Rome was the hatred of the latter toward the Bible Sabbath. As foretold by prophecy, the papal power cast down the truth to the ground. The law of God was trampled in the dust, while the traditions and customs of men were exalted. The churches that were under the rule of the papacy were early compelled to honor the Sunday as a holy day. Amid the prevailing error and superstition, many, even of the true people of God, became so bewildered that while they observed the Sabbath, they refrained from labor also on the Sunday. But this did not satisfy the papal leaders. They demanded not only that Sunday be hallowed, but that the Sabbath be profaned; and they denounced in the strongest language those who dared to show it honor. It was only by fleeing from the power of Rome that any could obey God's law in peace. (See Appendix.)

    The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. (See Appendix.) Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution. They declared the Church of Rome to be the apostate Babylon of the Apocalypse, and at the peril of their lives they stood up to resist her corruptions. While, under the pressure of long-continued persecution, some compromised their faith, little by little yielding its distinctive principles, others held fast the truth. Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of opposition they maintained their faith. Though gashed by the Savoyard spear, and scorched by the Romish fagot, they stood unflinchingly for God's word and His honor.

    Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains--in all ages the refuge of the persecuted and oppressed--the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here the light of truth was kept burning amid the darkness of the Middle Ages. Here, for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith.

    God had provided for His people a sanctuary of awful grandeur, befitting the mighty truths committed to their trust. To those faithful exiles the mountains were an emblem of the immutable righteousness of Jehovah. They pointed their children to the heights towering above them in unchanging majesty, and spoke to them of Him with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, whose word is as enduring as the everlasting hills. God had set fast the mountains and girded them with strength; no arm but that of Infinite Power could move them out of their place. In like manner He had established His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and upon earth. The arm of man might reach his fellow men and destroy their lives; but that arm could as readily uproot the mountains from their foundations, and hurl them into the sea, as it could change one precept of the law of Jehovah, or blot out one of His promises to those who do His will. In their fidelity to His law, God's servants should be as firm as the unchanging hills.

    The mountains that girded their lowly valleys were a constant witness to God's creative power, and a never-failing assurance of His protecting care. Those pilgrims learned to love the silent symbols of Jehovah's presence. They indulged no repining because of the hardships of their lot; they were never lonely amid the mountain solitudes. They thanked God that He had provided for them an asylum from the wrath and cruelty of men. They rejoiced in their freedom to worship before Him. Often when pursued by their enemies, the strength of the hills proved a sure defense. From many a lofty cliff they chanted the praise of God, and the armies of Rome could not silence their songs of thanksgiving.

    Pure, simple, and fervent was the piety of these followers of Christ. The principles of truth they valued above houses and lands, friends, kindred, even life itself. These principles they earnestly sought to impress upon the hearts of the young. From earliest childhood the youth were instructed in the Scriptures and taught to regard sacredly the claims of the law of God. Copies of the Bible were rare; therefore its precious words were committed to memory. Many were able to repeat large portions of both the Old and the New Testament. Thoughts of God were associated alike with the sublime scenery of nature and with the humble blessings of daily life. Little children learned to look with gratitude to God as the giver of every favor and every comfort.

    Parents, tender and affectionate as they were, loved their children too wisely to accustom them to self-indulgence. Before them was a life of trial and hardship, perhaps a martyr's death. They were educated from childhood to endure hardness, to submit to control, and yet to think and act for themselves. Very early they were taught to bear responsibilities, to be guarded in speech, and to understand the wisdom of silence. One indiscreet word let fall in the hearing of their enemies might imperil not only the life of the speaker, but the lives of hundreds of his brethren; for as wolves hunting their prey did the enemies of truth pursue those who dared to claim freedom of religious faith.

    The Waldenses had sacrificed their worldly prosperity for the truth's sake, and with persevering patience they toiled for their bread. Every spot of tillable land among the mountains was carefully improved; the valleys and the less fertile hillsides were made to yield their increase. Economy and severe self-denial formed a part of the education which the children received as their only legacy. They were taught that God designs life to be a discipline, and that their wants could be supplied only by personal labor, by forethought, care, and faith. The process was laborious and wearisome, but it was wholesome, just what man needs in his fallen state, the school which God has provided for his training and development. While the youth were inured to toil and hardship, the culture of the intellect was not neglected. They were taught that all their powers belonged to God, and that all were to be improved and developed for His service.

    The Vaudois churches, in their purity and simplicity, resembled the church of apostolic times. Rejecting the supremacy of the pope and prelate, they held the Bible as the only supreme, infallible authority. Their pastors, unlike the lordly priests of Rome, followed the example of their Master, who "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." They fed the flock of God, leading them to the green pastures and living fountains of His holy word. Far from the monuments of human pomp and pride the people assembled, not in magnificent churches or grand cathedrals, but beneath the shadow of the mountains, in the Alpine valleys, or, in time of danger, in some rocky stronghold, to listen to the words of truth from the servants of Christ. The pastors not only preached the gospel, but they visited the sick, catechized the children, admonished the erring, and labored to settle disputes and promote harmony and brotherly love. In times of peace they were sustained by the freewill offerings of the people; but, like Paul the tentmaker, each learned some trade or profession by which, if necessary, to provide for his own support.

    From their pastors the youth received instruction. While attention was given to branches of general learning, the Bible was made the chief study. The Gospels of Matthew and John were committed to memory, with many of the Epistles. They were employed also in copying the Scriptures. Some manuscripts contained the whole Bible, others only brief selections, to which some simple explanations of the text were added by those who were able to expound the Scriptures. Thus were brought forth the treasures of truth so long concealed by those who sought to exalt themselves above God.

    By patient, untiring labor, sometimes in the deep, dark caverns of the earth, by the light of torches, the Sacred Scriptures were written out, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. Thus the work went on, the revealed will of God shining out like pure gold; how much brighter, clearer, and more powerful because of the trials undergone for its sake only those could realize who were engaged in the work. Angels from heaven surrounded these faithful workers.

    Satan had urged on the papal priests and prelates to bury the word of truth beneath the rubbish of error, heresy, and superstition; but in a most wonderful manner it was preserved uncorrupted through all the ages of darkness. It bore not the stamp of man, but the impress of God. Men have been unwearied in their efforts to obscure the plain, simple meaning of the Scriptures, and to make them contradict their own testimony; but like the ark upon the billowy deep, the word of God outrides the storms that threaten it with destruction. As the mine has rich veins of gold and silver hidden beneath the surface, so that all must dig who would discover its precious stores, so the Holy Scriptures have treasures of truth that are revealed only to the earnest, humble, prayerful seeker. God designed the Bible to be a lessonbook to all mankind, in childhood, youth, and manhood, and to be studied through all time. He gave His word to men as a revelation of Himself. Every new truth discerned is a fresh disclosure of the character of its Author. The study of the Scriptures is the means divinely ordained to bring men into closer connection with their Creator and to give them a clearer knowledge of His will. It is the medium of communication between God and man.

    While the Waldenses regarded the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom, they were not blind to the importance of a contact with the world, a knowledge of men and of active life, in expanding the mind and quickening the perceptions. From their schools in the mountains some of the youth were sent to institutions of learning in the cities of France or Italy, where was a more extended field for study, thought, and observation than in their native Alps. The youth thus sent forth were exposed to temptation, they witnessed vice, they encountered Satan's wily agents, who urged upon them the most subtle heresies and the most dangerous deceptions. But their education from childhood had been of a character to prepare them for all this.

    In the schools whither they went, they were not to make confidants of any. Their garments were so prepared as to conceal their greatest treasure--the precious manuscripts of the Scriptures. These, the fruit of months and years of toil, they carried with them, and whenever they could do so without exciting suspicion, they cautiously placed some portion in the way of those whose hearts seemed open to receive the truth. From their mother's knee the Waldensian youth had been trained with this purpose in view; they understood their work and faithfully performed it. Converts to the true faith were won in these institutions of learning, and frequently its principles were found to be permeating the entire school; yet the papal leaders could not, by the closest inquiry, trace the so-called corrupting heresy to its source.

    The spirit of Christ is a missionary spirit. The very first impulse of the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Such was the spirit of the Vaudois Christians. They felt that God required more of them than merely to preserve the truth in its purity in their own churches; that a solemn responsibility rested upon them to let their light shine forth to those who were in darkness; by the mighty power of God's word they sought to break the bondage which Rome had imposed. The Vaudois ministers were trained as missionaries, everyone who expected to enter the ministry being required first to gain an experience as an evangelist. Each was to serve three years in some mission field before taking charge of a church at home. This service, requiring at the outset self-denial and sacrifice, was a fitting introduction to the pastor's life in those times that tried men's souls. The youth who received ordination to the sacred office saw before them, not the prospect of earthly wealth and glory, but a life of toil and danger, and possibly a martyr's fate. The missionaries went out two and two, as Jesus sent forth His disciples. With each young man was usually associated a man of age and experience, the youth being under the guidance of his companion, who was held responsible for his training, and whose instruction he was required to heed. These colaborers were not always together, but often met for prayer and counsel, thus strengthening each other in the faith.

    To have made known the object of their mission would have ensured its defeat; therefore they carefully concealed their real character. Every minister possessed a knowledge of some trade or profession, and the missionaries prosecuted their work under cover of a secular calling. Usually they chose that of merchant or peddler. "They carried silks, jewelry, and other articles, at that time not easily purchasable save at distant marts; and they were welcomed as merchants where they would have been spurned as missionaries."-- Wylie, b. 1, ch. 7. All the while their hearts were uplifted to God for wisdom to present a treasure more precious than gold or gems. They secretly carried about with them copies of the Bible, in whole or in part; and whenever an opportunity was presented, they called the attention of their customers to these manuscripts. Often an interest to read God's word was thus awakened, and some portion was gladly left with those who desired to receive it.

    The work of these missionaries began in the plains and valleys at the foot of their own mountains, but it extended far beyond these limits. With naked feet and in garments coarse and travel-stained as were those of their Master, they passed through great cities and penetrated to distant lands. Everywhere they scattered the precious seed. Churches sprang up in their path, and the blood of martyrs witnessed for the truth. The day of God will reveal a rich harvest of souls garnered by the labors of these faithful men. Veiled and silent, the word of God was making its way through Christendom and meeting a glad reception in the homes and hearts of men.

    To the Waldenses the Scriptures were not merely a record of God's dealings with men in the past, and a revelation of the responsibilities and duties of the present, but an unfolding of the perils and glories of the future. They believed that the end of all things was not far distant, and as they studied the Bible with prayer and tears they were the more deeply impressed with its precious utterances and with their duty to make known to others its saving truths. They saw the plan of salvation clearly revealed in the sacred pages, and they found comfort, hope, and peace in believing in Jesus. As the light illuminated their understanding and made glad their hearts, they longed to shed its beams upon those who were in the darkness of papal error.

    They saw that under the guidance of pope and priest, multitudes were vainly endeavoring to obtain pardon by afflicting their bodies for the sin of their souls. Taught to trust to their good works to save them, they were ever looking to themselves, their minds dwelling upon their sinful condition, seeing themselves exposed to the wrath of God, afflicting soul and body, yet finding no relief. Thus conscientious souls were bound by the doctrines of Rome. Thousands abandoned friends and kindred, and spent their lives in convent cells. By oft-repeated fasts and cruel scourgings, by midnight vigils, by prostration for weary hours upon the cold, damp stones of their dreary abode, by long pilgrimages, by humiliating penance and fearful torture, thousands vainly sought to obtain peace of conscience. Oppressed with a sense of sin, and haunted with the fear of God's avenging wrath, many suffered on, until exhausted nature gave way, and without one ray of light or hope they sank into the tomb.

    The Waldenses longed to break to these starving souls the bread of life, to open to them the messages of peace in the promises of God, and to point them to Christ as their only hope of salvation. The doctrine that good works can atone for the transgression of God's law they held to be based upon falsehood. Reliance upon human merit intercepts the view of Christ's infinite love. Jesus died as a sacrifice for man because the fallen race can do nothing to recommend themselves to God. The merits of a crucified and risen Saviour are the foundation of the Christian's faith. The dependence of the soul upon Christ is as real, and its connection with Him must be as close, as that of a limb to the body, or of a branch to the vine.

    The teachings of popes and priests had led men to look upon the character of God, and even of Christ, as stern, gloomy, and forbidding. The Saviour was represented as so far devoid of sympathy with man in his fallen state that the mediation of priests and saints must be invoked. Those whose minds had been enlightened by the word of God longed to point these souls to Jesus as their compassionate, loving Saviour, standing with outstretched arms, inviting all to come to Him with their burden of sin, their care and weariness. They longed to clear away the obstructions which Satan had piled up that men might not see the promises, and come directly to God, confessing their sins, and obtaining pardon and peace.

    Eagerly did the Vaudois missionary unfold to the inquiring mind the precious truths of the gospel. Cautiously he produced the carefully written portions of the Holy Scriptures. It was his greatest joy to give hope to the conscientious, sin-stricken soul, who could see only a God of vengeance, waiting to execute justice. With quivering lip and tearful eye did he, often on bended knees, open to his brethren the precious promises that reveal the sinner's only hope. Thus the light of truth penetrated many a darkened mind, rolling back the cloud of gloom, until the Sun of Righteousness shone into the heart with healing in His beams. It was often the case that some portion of Scripture was read again and again, the hearer desiring it to be repeated, as if he would assure himself that he had heard aright. Especially was the repetition of these words eagerly desired: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14, 15.

    Many were undeceived in regard to the claims of Rome. They saw how vain is the mediation of men or angels in behalf of the sinner. As the true light dawned upon their minds they exclaimed with rejoicing: "Christ is my priest; His blood is my sacrifice; His altar is my confessional." They cast themselves wholly upon the merits of Jesus, repeating the words, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." Hebrews 11:6. "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

    The assurance of a Saviour's love seemed too much for some of these poor tempest-tossed souls to realize. So great was the relief which it brought, such a flood of light was shed upon them, that they seemed transported to heaven. Their hands were laid confidingly in the hand of Christ; their feet were planted upon the Rock of Ages. All fear of death was banished. They could now covet the prison and the fagot if they might thereby honor the name of their Redeemer.

    In secret places the word of God was thus brought forth and read, sometimes to a single soul, sometimes to a little company who were longing for light and truth. Often the entire night was spent in this manner. So great would be the wonder and admiration of the listeners that the messenger of mercy was not infrequently compelled to cease his reading until the understanding could grasp the tidings of salvation. Often would words like these be uttered: "Will God indeed accept my offering? Will He smile upon me? Will He pardon me?" The answer was read: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

    Faith grasped the promise, and the glad response was heard: "No more long pilgrimages to make; no more painful journeys to holy shrines. I may come to Jesus just as I am, sinful and unholy, and He will not spurn the penitential prayer. 'Thy sins be forgiven thee.' Mine, even mine, may be forgiven!"

    A tide of sacred joy would fill the heart, and the name of Jesus would be magnified by praise and thanksgiving. Those happy souls returned to their homes to diffuse light, to repeat to others, as well as they could, their new experience; that they had found the true and living Way. There was a strange and solemn power in the words of Scripture that spoke directly to the hearts of those who were longing for the truth. It was the voice of God, and it carried conviction to those who heard.

    The messenger of truth went on his way; but his appearance of humility, his sincerity, his earnestness and deep fervor, were subjects of frequent remark. In many instances his hearers had not asked him whence he came or whither he went. They had been so overwhelmed, at first with surprise, and afterward with gratitude and joy, that they had not thought to question him. When they had urged him to accompany them to their homes, he had replied that he must visit the lost sheep of the flock. Could he have been an angel from heaven? they queried.

    In many cases the messenger of truth was seen no more. He had made his way to other lands, or he was wearing out his life in some unknown dungeon, or perhaps his bones were whitening on the spot where he had witnessed for the truth. But the words he had left behind could not be destroyed. They were doing their work in the hearts of men; the blessed results will be fully known only in the judgment.

    The Waldensian missionaries were invading the kingdom of Satan, and the powers of darkness aroused to greater vigilance. Every effort to advance the truth was watched by the prince of evil, and he excited the fears of his agents. The papal leaders saw a portent of danger to their cause from the labors of these humble itinerants. If the light of truth were allowed to shine unobstructed, it would sweep away the heavy clouds of error that enveloped the people. It would direct the minds of men to God alone and would eventually destroy the supremacy of Rome.

    The very existence of this people, holding the faith of the ancient church, was a constant testimony to Rome's apostasy, and therefore excited the most bitter hatred and persecution. Their refusal to surrender the Scriptures was also an offense that Rome could not tolerate. She determined to blot them from the earth. Now began the most terrible crusades against God's people in their mountain homes. Inquisitors were put upon their track, and the scene of innocent Abel falling before the murderous Cain was often repeated.

    Again and again were their fertile lands laid waste, their dwellings and chapels swept away, so that where once were flourishing fields and the homes of an innocent, industrious people, there remained only a desert. As the ravenous beast is rendered more furious by the taste of blood, so the rage of the papists was kindled to greater intensity by the sufferings of their victims. Many of these witnesses for a pure faith were pursued across the mountains and hunted down in the valleys where they were hidden, shut in by mighty forests and pinnacles of rock.

    No charge could be brought against the moral character of this proscribed class. Even their enemies declared them to be a peaceable, quiet, pious people. Their grand offense was that they would not worship God according to the will of the pope. For this crime every humiliation, insult, and torture that men or devils could invent was heaped upon them.

    When Rome at one time determined to exterminate the hated sect, a bull was issued by the pope, condemning them as heretics, and delivering them to slaughter. (See Appendix.) They were not accused as idlers, or dishonest, or disorderly; but it was declared that they had an appearance of piety and sanctity that seduced "the sheep of the true fold." Therefore the pope ordered "that malicious and abominable sect of malignants," if they "refuse to abjure, to be crushed like venomous snakes."--Wylie, b. 16, ch. 1. Did this haughty potentate expect to meet those words again? Did he know that they were registered in the books of heaven, to confront him at the judgment? "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren," said Jesus, "ye have done it unto Me." Matthew 25:40.

    This bull called upon all members of the church to join the crusade against the heretics. As an incentive to engage in this cruel work, it "absolved from all ecclesiastical pains and penalties, general and particular; it released all who joined the crusade from any oaths they might have taken; it legitimatized their title to any property they might have illegally acquired; and promised remission of all their sins to such as should kill any heretic. It annulled all contracts made in favor of Vaudois, ordered their domestics to abandon them, forbade all persons to give them any aid whatever, and empowered all persons to take possession of their property."--Wylie, b. 16, ch. 1. This document clearly reveals the master spirit behind the scenes. It is the roar of the dragon, and not the voice of Christ, that is heard therein.

    The papal leaders would not conform their characters to the great standard of God's law, but erected a standard to suit themselves, and determined to compel all to conform to this because Rome willed it. The most horrible tragedies were enacted. Corrupt and blasphemous priests and popes were doing the work which Satan appointed them. Mercy had no place in their natures. The same spirit that crucified Christ and slew the apostles, the same that moved the blood-thirsty Nero against the faithful in his day, was at work to rid the earth of those who were beloved of God.

    The persecutions visited for many centuries upon this God-fearing people were endured by them with a patience and constancy that honored their Redeemer. Notwithstanding the crusades against them, and the inhuman butchery to which they were subjected, they continued to send out their missionaries to scatter the precious truth. They were hunted to death; yet their blood watered the seed sown, and it failed not of yielding fruit. Thus the Waldenses witnessed for God centuries before the birth of Luther. Scattered over many lands, they planted the seeds of the Reformation that began in the time of Wycliffe, grew broad and deep in the days of Luther, and is to be carried forward to the close of time by those who also are willing to suffer all things for "the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 1:9.









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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:15 pm

    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    Before the Reformation there were at times but very few copies of the Bible in existence, but God had not suffered His word to be wholly destroyed. Its truths were not to be forever hidden. He could as easily unchain the words of life as He could open prison doors and unbolt iron gates to set His servants free. In the different countries of Europe men were moved by the Spirit of God to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Providentially guided to the Holy Scriptures, they studied the sacred pages with intense interest. They were willing to accept the light at any cost to themselves. Though they did not see all things clearly, they were enabled to perceive many long-buried truths. As Heaven-sent messengers they went forth, rending asunder the chains of error and superstition, and calling upon those who had been so long enslaved, to arise and assert their liberty.

    Except among the Waldenses, the word of God had for ages been locked up in languages known only to the learned; but the time had come for the Scriptures to be translated and given to the people of different lands in their native tongue. The world had passed its midnight. The hours of darkness were wearing away, and in many lands appeared tokens of the coming dawn.

    In the fourteenth century arose in England the "morning star of the Reformation." John Wycliffe was the herald of reform, not for England alone, but for all Christendom. The great protest against Rome which it was permitted him to utter was never to be silenced. That protest opened the struggle which was to result in the emancipation of individuals, of churches, and of nations.

    Wycliffe received a liberal education, and with him the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. He was noted at college for his fervent piety as well as for his remarkable talents and sound scholarship. In his thirst for knowledge he sought to become acquainted with every branch of learning. He was educated in the scholastic philosophy, in the canons of the church, and in the civil law, especially that of his own country. In his after labors the value of this early training was apparent. A thorough acquaintance with the speculative philosophy of his time enabled him to expose its errors; and by his study of national and ecclesiastical law he was prepared to engage in the great struggle for civil and religious liberty. While he could wield the weapons drawn from the word of God, he had acquired the intellectual discipline of the schools, and he understood the tactics of the schoolmen. The power of his genius and the extent and thoroughness of his knowledge commanded the respect of both friends and foes. His adherents saw with satisfaction that their champion stood foremost among the leading minds of the nation; and his enemies were prevented from casting contempt upon the cause of reform by exposing the ignorance or weakness of its supporter.

    While Wycliffe was still at college, he entered upon the study of the Scriptures. In those early times, when the Bible existed only in the ancient languages, scholars were enabled to find their way to the fountain of truth, which was closed to the uneducated classes. Thus already the way had been prepared for Wycliffe's future work as a Reformer. Men of learning had studied the word of God and had found the great truth of His free grace there revealed. In their teachings they had spread a knowledge of this truth, and had led others to turn to the living oracles.

    When Wycliffe's attention was directed to the Scriptures, he entered upon their investigation with the same thoroughness which had enabled him to master the learning of the schools. Heretofore he had felt a great want, which neither his scholastic studies nor the teaching of the church could satisfy. In the word of God he found that which he had before sought in vain. Here he saw the plan of salvation revealed and Christ set forth as the only advocate for man. He gave himself to the service of Christ and determined to proclaim the truths he had discovered.

    Like after Reformers, Wycliffe did not, at the opening of his work, foresee whither it would lead him. He did not set himself deliberately in opposition to Rome. But devotion to truth could not but bring him in conflict with falsehood. The more clearly he discerned the errors of the papacy, the more earnestly he presented the teaching of the Bible. He saw that Rome had forsaken the word of God for human tradition; he fearlessly accused the priesthood of having banished the Scriptures, and demanded that the Bible be restored to the people and that its authority be again established in the church. He was an able and earnest teacher and an eloquent preacher, and his daily life was a demonstration of the truths he preached. His knowledge of the Scriptures, the force of his reasoning, the purity of his life, and his unbending courage and integrity won for him general esteem and confidence. Many of the people had become dissatisfied with their former faith as they saw the iniquity that prevailed in the Roman Church, and they hailed with unconcealed joy the truths brought to view by Wycliffe; but the papal leaders were filled with rage when they perceived that this Reformer was gaining an influence greater than their own.

    Wycliffe was a keen detector of error, and he struck fearlessly against many of the abuses sanctioned by the authority of Rome. While acting as chaplain for the king, he took a bold stand against the payment of tribute claimed by the pope from the English monarch and showed that the papal assumption of authority over secular rulers was contrary to both reason and revelation. The demands of the pope had excited great indignation, and Wycliffe's teachings exerted an influence upon the leading minds of the nation. The king and the nobles united in denying the pontiff's claim to temporal authority and in refusing the payment of the tribute. Thus an effectual blow was struck against the papal supremacy in England.

    Another evil against which the Reformer waged long and resolute battle was the institution of the orders of mendicant friars. These friars swarmed in England, casting a blight upon the greatness and prosperity of the nation. Industry, education, morals, all felt the withering influence. The monk's life of idleness and beggary was not only a heavy drain upon the resources of the people, but it brought useful labor into contempt. The youth were demoralized and corrupted. By the influence of the friars many were induced to enter a cloister and devote themselves to a monastic life, and this not only without the consent of their parents, but even without their knowledge and contrary to their commands. One of the early Fathers of the Roman Church, urging the claims of monasticism above the obligations of filial love and duty, had declared: "Though thy father should lie before thy door weeping and lamenting, and thy mother should show the body that bore thee and the breasts that nursed thee, see that thou trample them underfoot, and go onward straightway to Christ." By this "monstrous inhumanity," as Luther afterward styled it, "savoring more of the wolf and the tyrant than of the Christian and the man," were the hearts of children steeled against their parents.--Barnas Sears, The Life of Luther, pages 70, 69. Thus did the papal leaders, like the Pharisees of old, make the commandment of God of none effect by their tradition. Thus homes were made desolate and parents were deprived of the society of their sons and daughters.

    Even the students in the universities were deceived by the false representations of the monks and induced to join their orders. Many afterward repented this step, seeing that they had blighted their own lives and had brought sorrow upon their parents; but once fast in the snare it was impossible for them to obtain their freedom. Many parents, fearing the influence of the monks, refused to send their sons to the universities. There was a marked falling off in the number of students in attendance at the great centers of learning. The schools languished, and ignorance prevailed.

    The pope had bestowed on these monks the power to hear confessions and to grant pardon. This became a source of great evil. Bent on enhancing their gains, the friars were so ready to grant absolution that criminals of all descriptions resorted to them, and, as a result, the worst vices rapidly increased. The sick and the poor were left to suffer, while the gifts that should have relieved their wants went to the monks, who with threats demanded the alms of the people, denouncing the impiety of those who should withhold gifts from their orders. Notwithstanding their profession of poverty, the wealth of the friars was constantly increasing, and their magnificent edifices and luxurious tables made more apparent the growing poverty of the nation. And while spending their time in luxury and pleasure, they sent out in their stead ignorant men, who could only recount marvelous tales, legends, and jests to amuse the people and make them still more completely the dupes of the monks. Yet the friars continued to maintain their hold on the superstitious multitudes and led them to believe that all religious duty was comprised in acknowledging the supremacy of the pope, adoring the saints, and making gifts to the monks, and that this was sufficient to secure them a place in heaven.

    Men of learning and piety had labored in vain to bring about a reform in these monastic orders; but Wycliffe, with clearer insight, struck at the root of the evil, declaring that the system itself was false and that it should be abolished. Discussion and inquiry were awakening. As the monks traversed the country, vending the pope's pardons, many were led to doubt the possibility of purchasing forgiveness with money, and they questioned whether they should not seek pardon from God rather than from the pontiff of Rome. (See Appendix note for page 59.) Not a few were alarmed at the rapacity of the friars, whose greed seemed never to be satisfied. "The monks and priests of Rome," said they, "are eating us away like a cancer. God must deliver us, or the people will perish."--D'Aubigne, b. 17, ch. 7. To cover their avarice, these begging monks claimed that they were following the Saviour's example, declaring that Jesus and His disciples had been supported by the charities of the people. This claim resulted in injury to their cause, for it led many to the Bible to learn the truth for themselves--a result which of all others was least desired by Rome. The minds of men were directed to the Source of truth, which it was her object to conceal.

    Wycliffe began to write and publish tracts against the friars, not, however, seeking so much to enter into dispute with them as to call the minds of the people to the teachings of the Bible and its Author. He declared that the power of pardon or of excommunication is possessed by the pope in no greater degree than by common priests, and that no man can be truly excommunicated unless he has first brought upon himself the condemnation of God. In no more effectual way could he have undertaken the overthrow of that mammoth fabric of spiritual and temporal dominion which the pope had erected and in which the souls and bodies of millions were held captive.

    Again Wycliffe was called to defend the rights of the English crown against the encroachments of Rome; and being appointed a royal ambassador, he spent two years in the Netherlands, in conference with the commissioners of the pope. Here he was brought into communication with ecclesiastics from France, Italy, and Spain, and he had an opportunity to look behind the scenes and gain a knowledge of many things which would have remained hidden from him in England. He learned much that was to give point to his after labors. In these representatives from the papal court he read the true character and aims of the hierarchy. He returned to England to repeat his former teachings more openly and with greater zeal, declaring that covetousness, pride, and deception were the gods of Rome.

    In one of his tracts he said, speaking of the pope and his collectors: "They draw out of our land poor men's livelihood, and many thousand marks, by the year, of the king's money, for sacraments and spiritual things, that is cursed heresy of simony, and maketh all Christendom assent and maintain this heresy. And certes though our realm had a huge hill of gold, and never other man took thereof but only this proud worldly priest's collector, by process of time this hill must be spended; for he taketh ever money out of our land, and sendeth nought again but God's curse for his simony." --John Lewis, History of the Life and Sufferings of J. Wiclif, page 37.

    Soon after his return to England, Wycliffe received from the king the appointment to the rectory of Lutterworth. This was an assurance that the monarch at least had not been displeased by his plain speaking. Wycliffe's influence was felt in shaping the action of the court, as well as in molding the belief of the nation.

    The papal thunders were soon hurled against him. Three bulls were dispatched to England,--to the university, to the king, and to the prelates,--all commanding immediate and decisive measures to silence the teacher of heresy. (Augustus Neander, General History of the Christian Religion and Church, period 6, sec. 2, pt. 1, par. 8. See also Appendix.) Before the arrival of the bulls, however, the bishops, in their zeal, had summoned Wycliffe before them for trial. But two of the most powerful princes in the kingdom accompanied him to the tribunal; and the people, surrounding the building and rushing in, so intimidated the judges that the proceedings were for the time suspended, and he was allowed to go his way in peace. A little later, Edward III, whom in his old age the prelates were seeking to influence against the Reformer, died, and Wycliffe's former protector became regent of the kingdom.

    But the arrival of the papal bulls laid upon all England a peremptory command for the arrest and imprisonment of the heretic. These measures pointed directly to the stake. It appeared certain that Wycliffe must soon fall a prey to the vengeance of Rome. But He who declared to one of old, "Fear not: . . . I am thy shield" (Genesis 15:1), again stretched out His hand to protect His servant. Death came, not to the Reformer, but to the pontiff who had decreed his destruction. Gregory XI died, and the ecclesiastics who had assembled for Wycliffe's trial, dispersed.

    God's providence still further overruled events to give opportunity for the growth of the Reformation. The death of Gregory was followed by the election of two rival popes. Two conflicting powers, each professedly infallible, now claimed obedience. (See Appendix notes for pages 50 and 86.) Each called upon the faithful to assist him in making war upon the other, enforcing his demands by terrible anathemas against his adversaries, and promises of rewards in heaven to his supporters. This occurrence greatly weakened the power of the papacy. The rival factions had all they could do to attack each other, and Wycliffe for a time had rest. Anathemas and recriminations were flying from pope to pope, and torrents of blood were poured out to support their conflicting claims. Crimes and scandals flooded the church. Meanwhile the Reformer, in the quiet retirement of his parish of Lutterworth, was laboring diligently to point men from the contending popes to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

    The schism, with all the strife and corruption which it caused, prepared the way for the Reformation by enabling the people to see what the papacy really was. In a tract which he published, On the Schism of the Popes, Wycliffe called upon the people to consider whether these two priests were not speaking the truth in condemning each other as the anti-christ. "God," said he, "would no longer suffer the fiend to reign in only one such priest, but . . . made division among two, so that men, in Christ's name, may the more easily overcome them both."--R. Vaughan, Life and Opinions of John de Wycliffe, vol. 2, p. 6.

    Wycliffe, like his Master, preached the gospel to the poor. Not content with spreading the light in their humble homes in his own parish of Lutterworth, he determined that it should be carried to every part of England. To accomplish this he organized a body of preachers, simple, devout men, who loved the truth and desired nothing so much as to extend it. These men went everywhere, teaching in the market places, in the streets of the great cities, and in the country lanes. They sought out the aged, the sick, and the poor, and opened to them the glad tidings of the grace of God.

    As a professor of theology at Oxford, Wycliffe preached the word of God in the halls of the university. So faithfully did he present the truth to the students under his instruction, that he received the title of "the gospel doctor." But the greatest work of his life was to be the translation of the Scriptures into the English language. In a work, On the Truth and Meaning of Scripture, he expressed his intention to translate the Bible, so that every man in England might read, in the language in which he was born, the wonderful works of God.

    But suddenly his labors were stopped. Though not yet sixty years of age, unceasing toil, study, and the assaults of his enemies had told upon his strength and made him prematurely old. He was attacked by a dangerous illness. The tidings brought great joy to the friars. Now they thought he would bitterly repent the evil he had done the church, and they hurried to his chamber to listen to his confession. Representatives from the four religious orders, with four civil officers, gathered about the supposed dying man. "You have death on your lips," they said; "be touched by your faults, and retract in our presence all that you have said to our injury." The Reformer listened in silence; then he bade his attendant raise him in his bed, and, gazing steadily upon them as they stood waiting for his recantation, he said, in the firm, strong voice which had so often caused them to tremble: "I shall not die, but live; and again declare the evil deeds of the friars."--D'Aubigne, b. 17, ch. 7. Astonished and abashed, the monks hurried from the room.

    Wycliffe's words were fulfilled. He lived to place in the hands of his countrymen the most powerful of all weapons against Rome--to give them the Bible, the Heaven-appointed agent to liberate, enlighten, and evangelize the people. There were many and great obstacles to surmount in the accomplishment of this work. Wycliffe was weighed down with infirmities; he knew that only a few years for labor remained for him; he saw the opposition which he must meet; but, encouraged by the promises of God's word, he went forward nothing daunted. In the full vigor of his intellectual powers, rich in experience, he had been preserved and prepared by God's special providence for this, the greatest of his labors. While all Christendom was filled with tumult, the Reformer in his rectory at Lutterworth, unheeding the storm that raged without, applied himself to his chosen task.

    At last the work was completed--the first English translation of the Bible ever made. The word of God was opened to England. The Reformer feared not now the prison or the stake. He had placed in the hands of the English people a light which should never be extinguished. In giving the Bible to his countrymen, he had done more to break the fetters of ignorance and vice, more to liberate and elevate his country, than was ever achieved by the most brilliant victories on fields of battle.

    The art of printing being still unknown, it was only by slow and wearisome labor that copies of the Bible could be multiplied. So great was the interest to obtain the book, that many willingly engaged in the work of transcribing it, but it was with difficulty that the copyists could supply the demand. Some of the more wealthy purchasers desired the whole Bible. Others bought only a portion. In many cases, several families united to purchase a copy. Thus Wycliffe's Bible soon found its way to the homes of the people.

    The appeal to men's reason aroused them from their passive submission to papal dogmas. Wycliffe now taught the distinctive doctrines of Protestantism--salvation through faith in Christ, and the sole infallibility of the Scriptures. The preachers whom he had sent out circulated the Bible, together with the Reformer's writings, and with such success that the new faith was accepted by nearly one half of the people of England.

    The appearance of the Scriptures brought dismay to the authorities of the church. They had now to meet an agency more powerful than Wycliffe--an agency against which their weapons would avail little. There was at this time no law in England prohibiting the Bible, for it had never before been published in the language of the people. Such laws were afterward enacted and rigorously enforced. Meanwhile, notwithstanding the efforts of the priests, there was for a season opportunity for the circulation of the word of God.

    Again the papal leaders plotted to silence the Reformer's voice. Before three tribunals he was successively summoned for trial, but without avail. First a synod of bishops declared his writings heretical, and, winning the young king, Richard II, to their side, they obtained a royal decree consigning to prison all who should hold the condemned doctrines.

    Wycliffe appealed from the synod to Parliament; he fearlessly arraigned the hierarchy before the national council and demanded a reform of the enormous abuses sanctioned by the church. With convincing power he portrayed the usurpation and corruptions of the papal see. His enemies were brought to confusion. The friends and supporters of Wycliffe had been forced to yield, and it had been confidently expected that the Reformer himself, in his old age, alone and friendless, would bow to the combined authority of the crown and the miter. But instead of this the papists saw themselves defeated. Parliament, roused by the stirring appeals of Wycliffe, repealed the persecuting edict, and the Reformer was again at liberty.

    A third time he was brought to trial, and now before the highest ecclesiastical tribunal in the kingdom. Here no favor would be shown to heresy. Here at last Rome would triumph, and the Reformer's work would be stopped. So thought the papists. If they could but accomplish their purpose, Wycliffe would be forced to abjure his doctrines, or would leave the court only for the flames.

    But Wycliffe did not retract; he would not dissemble. He fearlessly maintained his teachings and repelled the accusations of his persecutors. Losing sight of himself, of his position, of the occasion, he summoned his hearers before the divine tribunal, and weighed their sophistries and deceptions in the balances of eternal truth. The power of the Holy Spirit was felt in the council room. A spell from God was upon the hearers. They seemed to have no power to leave the place. As arrows from the Lord's quiver, the Reformer's words pierced their hearts. The charge of heresy, which they had brought against him, he with convincing power threw back upon themselves. Why, he demanded, did they dare to spread their errors? For the sake of gain, to make merchandise of the grace of God?

    "With whom, think you," he finally said, "are ye contending? with an old man on the brink of the grave? No! with Truth--Truth which is stronger than you, and will overcome you."--Wylie, b. 2, ch. 13. So saying, he withdrew from the assembly, and not one of his adversaries attempted to prevent him.

    Wycliffe's work was almost done; the banner of truth which he had so long borne was soon to fall from his hand; but once more he was to bear witness for the gospel. The truth was to be proclaimed from the very stronghold of the kingdom of error. Wycliffe was summoned for trial before the papal tribunal at Rome, which had so often shed the blood of the saints. He was not blind to the danger that threatened him, yet he would have obeyed the summons had not a shock of palsy made it impossible for him to perform the journey. But though his voice was not to be heard at Rome, he could speak by letter, and this he determined to do. From his rectory the Reformer wrote to the pope a letter, which, while respectful in tone and Christian in spirit, was a keen rebuke to the pomp and pride of the papal see.

    "Verily I do rejoice," he said, "to open and declare unto every man the faith which I do hold, and especially unto the bishop of Rome: which, forasmuch as I do suppose to be sound and true, he will most willingly confirm my said faith, or if it be erroneous, amend the same.

    "First, I suppose that the gospel of Christ is the whole body of God's law. . . . I do give and hold the bishop of Rome, forasmuch as he is the vicar of Christ here on earth, to be most bound, of all other men, unto that law of the gospel. For the greatness among Christ's disciples did not consist in worldly dignity or honors, but in the near and exact following of Christ in His life and manners.... Christ, for the time of His pilgrimage here, was a most poor man, abjecting and casting off all worldly rule and honor. . . .

    "No faithful man ought to follow either the pope himself or any of the holy men, but in such points as he hath followed the Lord Jesus Christ; for Peter and the sons of Zebedee, by desiring worldly honor, contrary to the following of Christ's steps, did offend, and therefore in those errors they are not to be followed. . . .

    "The pope ought to leave unto the secular power all temporal dominion and rule, and thereunto effectually to move and exhort his whole clergy; for so did Christ, and especially by His apostles. Wherefore, if I have erred in any of these points, I will most humbly submit myself unto correction, even by death, if necessity so require; and if I could labor according to my will or desire in mine own person, I would surely present myself before the bishop of Rome; but the Lord hath otherwise visited me to the contrary, and hath taught me rather to obey God than men."

    In closing he said: "Let us pray unto our God, that He will so stir up our Pope Urban VI, as he began, that he with his clergy may follow the Lord Jesus Christ in life and manners; and that they may teach the people effectually, and that they, likewise, may faithfully follow them in the same."--John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. 3, pp. 49, 50.

    Thus Wycliffe presented to the pope and his cardinals the meekness and humility of Christ, exhibiting not only to themselves but to all Christendom the contrast between them and the Master whose representatives they professed to be.

    Wycliffe fully expected that his life would be the price of his fidelity. The king, the pope, and the bishops were united to accomplish his ruin, and it seemed certain that a few months at most would bring him to the stake. But his courage was unshaken. "Why do you talk of seeking the crown of martyrdom afar?" he said. "Preach the gospel of Christ to haughty prelates, and martyrdom will not fail you. What! I should live and be silent? . . . Never! Let the blow fall, I await its coming."--D'Aubigne, b. 17, ch. 8.

    But God's providence still shielded His servant. The man who for a whole lifetime had stood boldly in defense of the truth, in daily peril of his life, was not to fall a victim of the hatred of its foes. Wycliffe had never sought to shield himself, but the Lord had been his protector; and now, when his enemies felt sure of their prey, God's hand removed him beyond their reach. In his church at Lutterworth, as he was about to dispense the communion, he fell, stricken with palsy, and in a short time yielded up his life.

    God had appointed to Wycliffe his work. He had put the word of truth in his mouth, and He set a guard about him that this word might come to the people. His life was protected, and his labors were prolonged, until a foundation was laid for the great work of the Reformation.

    Wycliffe came from the obscurity of the Dark Ages. There were none who went before him from whose work he could shape his system of reform. Raised up like John the Baptist to accomplish a special mission, he was the herald of a new era. Yet in the system of truth which he presented there was a unity and completeness which Reformers who followed him did not exceed, and which some did not reach, even a hundred years later. So broad and deep was laid the foundation, so firm and true was the framework, that it needed not to be reconstructed by those who came after him.

    The great movement that Wycliffe inaugurated, which was to liberate the conscience and the intellect, and set free the nations so long bound to the triumphal car of Rome, had its spring in the Bible. Here was the source of that stream of blessing, which, like the water of life, has flowed down the ages since the fourteenth century. Wycliffe accepted the Holy Scriptures with implicit faith as the inspired revelation of God's will, a sufficient rule of faith and practice. He had been educated to regard the Church of Rome as the divine, infallible authority, and to accept with unquestioning reverence the established teachings and customs of a thousand years; but he turned away from all these to listen to God's holy word. This was the authority which he urged the people to acknowledge. Instead of the church speaking through the pope, he declared the only true authority to be the voice of God speaking through His word. And he taught not only that the Bible is a perfect revelation of God's will, but that the Holy Spirit is its only interpreter, and that every man is, by the study of its teachings, to learn his duty for himself. Thus he turned the minds of men from the pope and the Church of Rome to the word of God.

    Wycliffe was one of the greatest of the Reformers. In breadth of intellect, in clearness of thought, in firmness to maintain the truth, and in boldness to defend it, he was equaled by few who came after him. Purity of life, unwearying diligence in study and in labor, incorruptible integrity, and Christlike love and faithfulness in his ministry, characterized the first of the Reformers. And this notwithstanding the intellectual darkness and moral corruption of the age from which he emerged.

    The character of Wycliffe is a testimony to the educating, transforming power of the Holy Scriptures. It was the Bible that made him what he was. The effort to grasp the great truths of revelation imparts freshness and vigor to all the faculties. It expands the mind, sharpens the perceptions, and ripens the judgment. The study of the Bible will ennoble every thought, feeling, and aspiration as no other study can. It gives stability of purpose, patience, courage, and fortitude; it refines the character and sanctifies the soul. An earnest, reverent study of the Scriptures, bringing the mind of the student in direct contact with the infinite mind, would give to the world men of stronger and more active intellect, as well as of nobler principle, than has ever resulted from the ablest training that human philosophy affords. "The entrance of Thy words," says the psalmist, "giveth light; it giveth understanding." Psalm 119:130.

    The doctrines which had been taught by Wycliffe continued for a time to spread; his followers, known as Wycliffites and Lollards, not only traversed England, but scattered to other lands, carrying the knowledge of the gospel. Now that their leader was removed, the preachers labored with even greater zeal than before, and multitudes flocked to listen to their teachings. Some of the nobility, and even the wife of the king, were among the converts. In many places there was a marked reform in the manners of the people, and the idolatrous symbols of Romanism were removed from the churches. But soon the pitiless storm of persecution burst upon those who had dared to accept the Bible as their guide. The English monarchs, eager to strengthen their power by securing the support of Rome, did not hesitate to sacrifice the Reformers. For the first time in the history of England the stake was decreed against the disciples of the gospel. Martyrdom succeeded martyrdom. The advocates of truth, proscribed and tortured, could only pour their cries into the ear of the Lord of Sabaoth. Hunted as foes of the church and traitors to the realm, they continued to preach in secret places, finding shelter as best they could in the humble homes of the poor, and often hiding away even in dens and caves.

    Notwithstanding the rage of persecution, a calm, devout, earnest, patient protest against the prevailing corruption of religious faith continued for centuries to be uttered. The Christians of that early time had only a partial knowledge of the truth, but they had learned to love and obey God's word, and they patiently suffered for its sake. Like the disciples in apostolic days, many sacrificed their worldly possessions for the cause of Christ. Those who were permitted to dwell in their homes gladly sheltered their banished brethren, and when they too were driven forth they cheerfully accepted the lot of the outcast. Thousands, it is true, terrified by the fury of their persecutors, purchased their freedom at the sacrifice of their faith, and went out of their prisons, clothed in penitents' robes, to publish their recantation. But the number was not small--and among them were men of noble birth as well as the humble and lowly--who bore fearless testimony to the truth in dungeon cells, in "Lollard towers," and in the midst of torture and flame, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to know "the fellowship of His sufferings."

    The papists had failed to work their will with Wycliffe during his life, and their hatred could not be satisfied while his body rested quietly in the grave. By the decree of the Council of Constance, more than forty years after his death his bones were exhumed and publicly burned, and the ashes were thrown into a neighboring brook. "This brook," says an old writer, "hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over."-- T. Fuller, Church History of Britain, b. 4, sec. 2, par. 54. Little did his enemies realize the significance of their malicious act.

    It was through the writings of Wycliffe that John Huss, of Bohemia, was led to renounce many of the errors of Romanism and to enter upon the work of reform. Thus in these two countries, so widely separated, the seed of truth was sown. From Bohemia the work extended to other lands. The minds of men were directed to the long-forgotten word of God. A divine hand was preparing the way for the Great Reformation.









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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:21 pm

    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    The gospel had been planted in Bohemia as early as the ninth century. The Bible was translated, and public worship was conducted, in the language of the people. But as the power of the pope increased, so the word of God was obscured. Gregory VII, who had taken it upon himself to humble the pride of kings, was no less intent upon enslaving the people, and accordingly a bull was issued forbidding public worship to be conducted in the Bohemian tongue. The pope declared that "it was pleasing to the Omnipotent that His worship should be celebrated in an unknown language, and that many evils and heresies had arisen from not observing this rule."--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 1. Thus Rome decreed that the light of God's word should be extinguished and the people should be shut up in darkness. But Heaven had provided other agencies for the preservation of the church. Many of the Waldenses and Albigenses, driven by persecution from their homes in France and Italy, came to Bohemia. Though they dared not teach openly, they labored zealously in secret. Thus the true faith was preserved from century to century.

    Before the days of Huss there were men in Bohemia who rose up to condemn openly the corruption in the church and the profligacy of the people. Their labors excited widespread interest. The fears of the hierarchy were roused, and persecution was opened against the disciples of the gospel.

    Driven to worship in the forests and the mountains, they were hunted by soldiers, and many were put to death. After a time it was decreed that all who departed from the Romish worship should be burned. But while the Christians yielded up their lives, they looked forward to the triumph of their cause. One of those who "taught that salvation was only to be found by faith in the crucified Saviour," declared when dying: "The rage of the enemies of the truth now prevails against us, but it will not be forever; there shall arise one from among the common people, without sword or authority, and against him they shall not be able to prevail." --Ibid., b. 3, ch. 1. Luther's time was yet far distant; but already one was rising, whose testimony against Rome would stir the nations.

    John Huss was of humble birth, and was early left an orphan by the death of his father. His pious mother, regarding education and the fear of God as the most valuable of possessions, sought to secure this heritage for her son. Huss studied at the provincial school, and then repaired to the university at Prague, receiving admission as a charity scholar. He was accompanied on the journey to Prague by his mother; widowed and poor, she had no gifts of worldly wealth to bestow upon her son, but as they drew near to the great city, she kneeled down beside the fatherless youth and invoked for him the blessing of their Father in heaven. Little did that mother realize how her prayer was to be answered.

    At the university, Huss soon distinguished himself by his untiring application and rapid progress, while his blameless life and gentle, winning deportment gained him universal esteem. He was a sincere adherent of the Roman Church and an earnest seeker for the spiritual blessings which it professes to bestow. On the occasion of a jubilee he went to confession, paid the last few coins in his scanty store, and joined in the processions, that he might share in the absolution promised. After completing his college course, he entered the priesthood, and rapidly attaining to eminence, he soon became attached to the court of the king. He was also made professor and afterward rector of the university where he had received his education. In a few years the humble charity scholar had become the pride of his country, and his name was renowned throughout Europe.

    But it was in another field that Huss began the work of reform. Several years after taking priest's orders he was appointed preacher of the chapel of Bethlehem. The founder of this chapel had advocated, as a matter of great importance, the preaching of the Scriptures in the language of the people. Notwithstanding Rome's opposition to this practice, it had not been wholly discontinued in Bohemia. But there was great ignorance of the Bible, and the worst vices prevailed among the people of all ranks. These evils Huss unsparingly denounced, appealing to the word of God to enforce the principles of truth and purity which he inculcated.

    A citizen of Prague, Jerome, who afterward became so closely associated with Huss, had, on returning from England, brought with him the writings of Wycliffe. The queen of England, who had been a convert to Wycliffe's teachings, was a Bohemian princess, and through her influence also the Reformer's works were widely circulated in her native country. These works Huss read with interest; he believed their author to be a sincere Christian and was inclined to regard with favor the reforms which he advocated. Already, though he knew it not, Huss had entered upon a path which was to lead him far away from Rome.

    About this time there arrived in Prague two strangers from England, men of learning, who had received the light and had come to spread it in this distant land. Beginning with an open attack on the pope's supremacy, they were soon silenced by the authorities; but being unwilling to relinquish their purpose, they had recourse to other measures. Being artists as well as preachers, they proceeded to exercise their skill. In a place open to the public they drew two pictures. One represented the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, "meek, and sitting upon an XXX" (Matthew 21:5), and followed by His disciples in travel-worn garments and with naked feet. The other picture portrayed a pontifical procession--the pope arrayed in his rich robes and triple crown, mounted upon a horse magnificently adorned, preceded by trumpeters and followed by cardinals and prelates in dazzling array.

    Here was a sermon which arrested the attention of all classes. Crowds came to gaze upon the drawings. None could fail to read the moral, and many were deeply impressed by the contrast between the meekness and humility of Christ the Master and the pride and arrogance of the pope, His professed servant. There was great commotion in Prague, and the strangers after a time found it necessary, for their own safety, to depart. But the lesson they had taught was not forgotten. The pictures made a deep impression on the mind of Huss and led him to a closer study of the Bible and of Wycliffe's writings. Though he was not prepared, even yet, to accept all the reforms advocated by Wycliffe, he saw more clearly the true character of the papacy, and with greater zeal denounced the pride, the ambition, and the corruption of the hierarchy.

    From Bohemia the light extended to Germany, for disturbances in the University of Prague caused the withdrawal of hundreds of German students. Many of them had received from Huss their first knowledge of the Bible, and on their return they spread the gospel in their fatherland.

    Tidings of the work at Prague were carried to Rome, and Huss was soon summoned to appear before the pope. To obey would be to expose himself to certain death. The king and queen of Bohemia, the university, members of the nobility, and officers of the government united in an appeal to the pontiff that Huss be permitted to remain at Prague and to answer at Rome by deputy. Instead of granting this request, the pope proceeded to the trial and condemnation of Huss, and then declared the city of Prague to be under interdict.

    In that age this sentence, whenever pronounced, created widespread alarm. The ceremonies by which it was accompanied were well adapted to strike terror to a people who looked upon the pope as the representative of God Himself, holding the keys of heaven and hell, and possessing power to invoke temporal as well as spiritual judgments. It was believed that the gates of heaven were closed against the region smitten with interdict; that until it should please the pope to remove the ban, the dead were shut out from the abodes of bliss. In token of this terrible calamity, all the services of religion were suspended. The churches were closed. Marriages were solemnized in the churchyard. The dead, denied burial in consecrated ground, were interred, without the rites of sepulture, in the ditches or the fields. Thus by measures which appealed to the imagination, Rome essayed to control the consciences of men.

    The city of Prague was filled with tumult. A large class denounced Huss as the cause of all their calamities and demanded that he be given up to the vengeance of Rome. To quiet the storm, the Reformer withdrew for a time to his native village. Writing to the friends whom he had left at Prague, he said: "If I have withdrawn from the midst of you, it is to follow the precept and example of Jesus Christ, in order not to give room to the ill-minded to draw on themselves eternal condemnation, and in order not to be to the pious a cause of affliction and persecution. I have retired also through an apprehension that impious priests might continue for a longer time to prohibit the preaching of the word of God amongst you; but I have not quitted you to deny the divine truth, for which, with God's assistance, I am willing to die."--Bonnechose, The Reformers Before the Reformation, vol. 1, p. 87. Huss did not cease his labors, but traveled through the surrounding country, preaching to eager crowds. Thus the measures to which the pope resorted to suppress the gospel were causing it to be the more widely extended. "We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth." 2 Corinthians 13:8.

    "The mind of Huss, at this stage of his career, would seem to have been the scene of a painful conflict. Although the church was seeking to overwhelm him by her thunderbolts, he had not renounced her authority. The Roman Church was still to him the spouse of Christ, and the pope was the representative and vicar of God. What Huss was warring against was the abuse of authority, not the principle itself. This brought on a terrible conflict between the convictions of his understanding and the claims of his conscience. If the authority was just and infallible, as he believed it to be, how came it that he felt compelled to disobey it? To obey, he saw, was to sin; but why should obedience to an infallible church lead to such an issue? This was the problem he could not solve; this was the doubt that tortured him hour by hour. The nearest approximation to a solution which he was able to make was that it had happened again, as once before in the days of the Saviour, that the priests of the church had become wicked persons and were using their lawful authority for unlawful ends. This led him to adopt for his own guidance, and to preach to others for theirs, the maxim that the precepts of Scripture, conveyed through the understanding, are to rule the conscience; in other words, that God speaking in the Bible, and not the church speaking through the priesthood, is the one infallible guide."--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 2.

    When after a time the excitement in Prague subsided, Huss returned to his chapel of Bethlehem, to continue with greater zeal and courage the preaching of the word of God. His enemies were active and powerful, but the queen and many of the nobles were his friends, and the people in great numbers sided with him. Comparing his pure and elevating teachings and holy life with the degrading dogmas which the Romanists preached, and the avarice and debauchery which they practiced, many regarded it an honor to be on his side.

    Hitherto Huss had stood alone in his labors; but now Jerome, who while in England had accepted the teachings of Wycliffe, joined in the work of reform. The two were hereafter united in their lives, and in death they were not to be divided. Brilliancy of genius, eloquence and learning--gifts that win popular favor--were possessed in a pre-eminent degree by Jerome; but in those qualities which constitute real strength of character, Huss was the greater. His calm judgment served as a restraint upon the impulsive spirit of Jerome, who, with true humility, perceived his worth, and yielded to his counsels. Under their united labors the reform was more rapidly extended.

    God permitted great light to shine upon the minds of these chosen men, revealing to them many of the errors of Rome; but they did not receive all the light that was to be given to the world. Through these, His servants, God was leading the people out of the darkness of Romanism; but there were many and great obstacles for them to meet, and He led them on, step by step, as they could bear it. They were not prepared to receive all the light at once. Like the full glory of the noontide sun to those who have long dwelt in darkness, it would, if presented, have caused them to turn away. Therefore He revealed it to the leaders little by little, as it could be received by the people. From century to century, other faithful workers were to follow, to lead the people on still further in the path of reform.

    The schism in the church still continued. Three popes were now contending for the supremacy, and their strife filled Christendom with crime and tumult. Not content with hurling anathemas, they resorted to temporal weapons. Each cast about him to purchase arms and to obtain soldiers. Of course money must be had; and to procure this, the gifts, offices, and blessings of the church were offered for sale. (See Appendix note for page 59.) The priests also, imitating their superiors, resorted to simony and war to humble their rivals and strengthen their own power. With daily increasing boldness Huss thundered against the abominations which were tolerated in the name of religion; and the people openly accused the Romish leaders as the cause of the miseries that overwhelmed Christendom.

    Again the city of Prague seemed on the verge of a bloody conflict. As in former ages, God's servant was accused as "he that troubleth Israel." 1 Kings 18:17. The city was again placed under interdict, and Huss withdrew to his native village. The testimony so faithfully borne from his loved chapel of Bethlehem was ended. He was to speak from a wider stage, to all Christendom, before laying down his life as a witness for the truth.

    To cure the evils that were distracting Europe, a general council was summoned to meet at Constance. The council was called at the desire of the emperor Sigismund, by one of the three rival popes, John XXIII. The demand for a council had been far from welcome to Pope John, whose character and policy could ill bear investigation, even by prelates as lax in morals as were the churchmen of those times. He dared not, however, oppose the will of Sigismund. (See Appendix.)

    The chief objects to be accomplished by the council were to heal the schism in the church and to root out heresy. Hence the two antipopes were summoned to appear before it, as well as the leading propagator of the new opinions, John Huss. The former, having regard to their own safety, did not attend in person, but were represented by their delegates. Pope John, while ostensibly the convoker of the council, came to it with many misgivings, suspecting the emperor's secret purpose to depose him, and fearing to be brought to account for the vices which had disgraced the tiara, as well as for the crimes which had secured it. Yet he made his entry into the city of Constance with great pomp, attended by ecclesiastics of the highest rank and followed by a train of courtiers. All the clergy and dignitaries of the city, with an immense crowd of citizens, went out to welcome him. Above his head was a golden canopy, borne by four of the chief magistrates. The host was carried before him, and the rich dresses of the cardinals and nobles made an imposing display.

    Meanwhile another traveler was approaching Constance. Huss was conscious of the dangers which threatened him. He parted from his friends as if he were never to meet them again, and went on his journey feeling that it was leading him to the stake. Notwithstanding he had obtained a safe-conduct from the king of Bohemia, and received one also from the emperor Sigismund while on his journey, he made all his arrangements in view of the probability of his death.

    In a letter addressed to his friends at Prague he said: "My brethren, . . . I am departing with a safe-conduct from the king to meet my numerous and mortal enemies. . . . I confide altogether in the all-powerful God, in my Saviour; I trust that He will listen to your ardent prayers, that He will infuse His prudence and His wisdom into my mouth, in order that I may resist them; and that He will accord me His Holy Spirit to fortify me in His truth, so that I may face with courage, temptations, prison, and, if necessary, a cruel death. Jesus Christ suffered for His well-beloved; and therefore ought we to be astonished that He has left us His example, in order that we may ourselves endure with patience all things for our own salvation? He is God, and we are His creatures; He is the Lord, and we are His servants; He is Master of the world, and we are contemptible mortals--yet He suffered! Why, then, should we not suffer also, particularly when suffering is for us a purification? Therefore, beloved, if my death ought to contribute to His glory, pray that it may come quickly, and that He may enable me to support all my calamities with constancy. But if it be better that I return amongst you, let us pray to God that I may return without stain--that is, that I may not suppress one tittle of the truth of the gospel, in order to leave my brethren an excellent example to follow. Probably, therefore, you will nevermore behold my face at Prague; but should the will of the all-powerful God deign to restore me to you, let us then advance with a firmer heart in the knowledge and the love of His law."--Bonnechose, vol. 1, pp. 147, 148.

    In another letter, to a priest who had become a disciple of the gospel, Huss spoke with deep humility of his own errors, accusing himself "of having felt pleasure in wearing rich apparel and of having wasted hours in frivolous occupations." He then added these touching admonitions: "May the glory of God and the salvation of souls occupy thy mind, and not the possession of benefices and estates. Beware of adorning thy house more than thy soul; and, above all, give thy care to the spiritual edifice. Be pious and humble with the poor, and consume not thy substance in feasting. Shouldst thou not amend thy life and refrain from superfluities, I fear that thou wilt be severely chastened, as I am myself. . . . Thou knowest my doctrine, for thou hast received my instructions from thy childhood; it is therefore useless for me to write to thee any further. But I conjure thee, by the mercy of our Lord, not to imitate me in any of the vanities into which thou hast seen me fall." On the cover of the letter he added: "I conjure thee, my friend, not to break this seal until thou shalt have acquired the certitude that I am dead."--Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 148, 149.

    On his journey, Huss everywhere beheld indications of the spread of his doctrines and the favor with which his cause was regarded. The people thronged to meet him, and in some towns the magistrates attended him through their streets.

    Upon arriving at Constance, Huss was granted full liberty. To the emperor's safe-conduct was added a personal assurance of protection by the pope. But, in violation of these solemn and repeated declarations, the Reformer was in a short time arrested, by order of the pope and cardinals, and thrust into a loathsome dungeon. Later he was transferred to a strong castle across the Rhine and there kept a prisoner. The pope, profiting little by his perfidy, was soon after committed to the same prison. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 247. He had been proved before the council to be guilty of the basest crimes, besides murder, simony, and adultery, "sins not fit to be named." So the council itself declared, and he was finally deprived of the tiara and thrown into prison. The antipopes also were deposed, and a new pontiff was chosen.

    Though the pope himself had been guilty of greater crimes than Huss had ever charged upon the priests, and for which he had demanded a reformation, yet the same council which degraded the pontiff proceeded to crush the Reformer. The imprisonment of Huss excited great indignation in Bohemia. Powerful noblemen addressed to the council earnest protests against this outrage. The emperor, who was loath to permit the violation of a safe-conduct, opposed the proceedings against him. But the enemies of the Reformer were malignant and determined. They appealed to the emperor's prejudices, to his fears, to his zeal for the church. They brought forward arguments of great length to prove that "faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy, though they are furnished with safe-conducts from the emperor and kings."--Jacques Lenfant, History of the Council of Constance, vol. 1, p. 516. Thus they prevailed.

    Enfeebled by illness and imprisonment,--for the damp, foul air of his dungeon had brought on a fever which nearly ended his life,--Huss was at last brought before the council. Loaded with chains he stood in the presence of the emperor, whose honor and good faith had been pledged to protect him. During his long trial he firmly maintained the truth, and in the presence of the assembled dignitaries of church and state he uttered a solemn and faithful protest against the corruptions of the hierarchy. When required to choose whether he would recant his doctrines or suffer death, he accepted the martyr's fate.

    The grace of God sustained him. During the weeks of suffering that passed before his final sentence, heaven's peace filled his soul. "I write this letter," he said to a friend, "in my prison, and with my fettered hand, expecting my sentence of death tomorrow. . . . When, with the assistance of Jesus Christ, we shall again meet in the delicious peace of the future life, you will learn how merciful God has shown Himself toward me, how effectually He has supported me in the midst of my temptations and trials."--Bonnechose, vol. 2, p. 67.

    In the gloom of his dungeon he foresaw the triumph of the true faith. Returning in his dreams to the chapel at Prague where he had preached the gospel, he saw the pope and his bishops effacing the pictures of Christ which he had painted on its walls. "This vision distressed him: but on the next day he saw many painters occupied in restoring these figures in greater number and in brighter colors. As soon as their task was ended, the painters, who were surrounded by an immense crowd, exclaimed, 'Now let the popes and bishops come; they shall never efface them more!'" Said the Reformer, as he related his dream: "I maintain this for certain, that the image of Christ will never be effaced. They have wished to destroy it, but it shall be painted afresh in all hearts by much better preachers than myself."--D'Aubigne, b. 1, ch. 6.

    For the last time, Huss was brought before the council. It was a vast and brilliant assembly--the emperor, the princes of the empire, the royal deputies, the cardinals, bishops, and priests, and an immense crowd who had come as spectators of the events of the day. From all parts of Christendom had been gathered the witnesses of this first great sacrifice in the long struggle by which liberty of conscience was to be secured.

    Being called upon for his final decision, Huss declared his refusal to abjure, and, fixing his penetrating glance upon the monarch whose plighted word had been so shamelessly violated, he declared: "I determined, of my own free will, to appear before this council, under the public protection and faith of the emperor here present."--Bonnechose, vol. 2, p. 84. A deep flush crimsoned the face of Sigismund as the eyes of all in the assembly turned upon him.

    Sentence having been pronounced, the ceremony of degradation began. The bishops clothed their prisoner in the sacerdotal habit, and as he took the priestly robe, he said: "Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered with a white robe, by way of insult, when Herod had Him conducted before Pilate."-- Ibid., vol. 2, p. 86. Being again exhorted to retract, he replied, turning toward the people: "With what face, then, should I behold the heavens? How should I look on those multitudes of men to whom I have preached the pure gospel? No; I esteem their salvation more than this poor body, now appointed unto death." The vestments were removed one by one, each bishop pronouncing a curse as he performed his part of the ceremony. Finally "they put on his head a cap or pyramidal-shaped miter of paper, on which were painted frightful figures of demons, with the word 'Archheretic' conspicuous in front. 'Most joyfully,' said Huss, 'will I wear this crown of shame for Thy sake, O Jesus, who for me didst wear a crown of thorns.'"

    When he was thus arrayed, "the prelates said, 'Now we devote thy soul to the devil.' 'And I,' said John Huss, lifting up his eyes toward heaven, 'do commit my spirit into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus, for Thou hast redeemed me.'"--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 7.

    He was now delivered up to the secular authorities and led away to the place of execution. An immense procession followed, hundreds of men at arms, priests and bishops in their costly robes, and the inhabitants of Constance. When he had been fastened to the stake, and all was ready for the fire to be lighted, the martyr was once more exhorted to save himself by renouncing his errors. "What errors," said Huss, "shall I renounce? I know myself guilty of none. I call God to witness that all that I have written and preached has been with the view of rescuing souls from sin and perdition; and, therefore, most joyfully will I confirm with my blood that truth which I have written and preached."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 7. When the flames kindled about him, he began to sing, "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me," and so continued till his voice was silenced forever.

    Even his enemies were struck with his heroic bearing. A zealous papist, describing the martyrdom of Huss, and of Jerome, who died soon after, said: "Both bore themselves with constant mind when their last hour approached. They prepared for the fire as if they were going to a marriage feast. They uttered no cry of pain. When the flames rose, they began to sing hymns; and scarce could the vehemency of the fire stop their singing."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 7.

    When the body of Huss had been wholly consumed, his ashes, with the soil upon which they rested, were gathered up and cast into the Rhine, and thus borne onward to the ocean. His persecutors vainly imagined that they had rooted out the truths he preached. Little did they dream that the ashes that day borne away to the sea were to be as seed scattered in all the countries of the earth; that in lands yet unknown it would yield abundant fruit in witnesses for the truth. The voice which had spoken in the council hall of Constance had wakened echoes that would be heard through all coming ages. Huss was no more, but the truths for which he died could never perish. His example of faith and constancy would encourage multitudes to stand firm for the truth, in the face of torture and death. His execution had exhibited to the whole world the perfidious cruelty of Rome. The enemies of truth, though they knew it not, had been furthering the cause which they vainly sought to destroy.

    Yet another stake was to be set up at Constance. The blood of another witness must testify for the truth. Jerome, upon bidding farewell to Huss on his departure for the council, had exhorted him to courage and firmness, declaring that if he should fall into any peril, he himself would fly to his assistance. Upon hearing of the Reformer's imprisonment, the faithful disciple immediately prepared to fulfill his promise. Without a safe-conduct he set out, with a single companion, for Constance. On arriving there he was convinced that he had only exposed himself to peril, without the possibility of doing anything for the deliverance of Huss. He fled from the city, but was arrested on the homeward journey and brought back loaded with fetters and under the custody of a band of soldiers. At his first appearance before the council his attempts to reply to the accusations brought against him were met with shouts, "To the flames with him! to the flames!"--Bonnechose, vol. 1, p. 234. He was thrown into a dungeon, chained in a position which caused him great suffering, and fed on bread and water. After some months the cruelties of his imprisonment brought upon Jerome an illness that threatened his life, and his enemies, fearing that he might escape them, treated him with less severity, though he remained in prison for one year.

    The death of Huss had not resulted as the papists had hoped. The violation of his safe-conduct had roused a storm of indignation, and as the safer course, the council determined, instead of burning Jerome, to force him, if possible, to retract. He was brought before the assembly, and offered the alternative to recant, or to die at the stake. Death at the beginning of his imprisonment would have been a mercy in comparison with the terrible sufferings which he had undergone; but now, weakened by illness, by the rigors of his prison house, and the torture of anxiety and suspense, separated from his friends, and disheartened by the death of Huss, Jerome's fortitude gave way, and he consented to submit to the council. He pledged himself to adhere to the Catholic faith, and accepted the action of the council in condemning the doctrines of Wycliffe and Huss, excepting, however, the "holy truths" which they had taught.--Ibid, vol. 2, p. 141.

    By this expedient Jerome endeavored to silence the voice of conscience and escape his doom. But in the solitude of his dungeon he saw more clearly what he had done. He thought of the courage and fidelity of Huss, and in contrast pondered upon his own denial of the truth. He thought of the divine Master whom he had pledged himself to serve, and who for his sake endured the death of the cross. Before his retraction he had found comfort, amid all his sufferings, in the assurance of God's favor; but now remorse and doubts tortured his soul. He knew that still other retractions must be made before he could be at peace with Rome. The path upon which he was entering could end only in complete apostasy. His resolution was taken: To escape a brief period of suffering he would not deny his Lord.

    Soon he was again brought before the council. His submission had not satisfied his judges. Their thirst for blood, whetted by the death of Huss, clamored for fresh victims. Only by an unreserved surrender of the truth could Jerome preserve his life. But he had determined to avow his faith and follow his brother martyr to the flames.

    He renounced his former recantation and, as a dying man, solemnly required an opportunity to make his defense. Fearing the effect of his words, the prelates insisted that he should merely affirm or deny the truth of the charges brought against him. Jerome protested against such cruelty and injustice. "You have held me shut up three hundred and forty days in a frightful prison," he said, "in the midst of filth, noisomeness, stench, and the utmost want of everything; you then bring me out before you, and lending an ear to my mortal enemies, you refuse to hear me. . . . If you be really wise men, and the lights of the world, take care not to sin against justice. As to me, I am only a feeble mortal; my life is but of little importance; and when I exhort you not to deliver an unjust sentence, I speak less for myself than for you."--Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 146, 147.

    His request was finally granted. In the presence of his judges, Jerome kneeled down and prayed that the divine Spirit might control his thoughts and words, that he might speak nothing contrary to the truth or unworthy of his Master. To him that day was fulfilled the promise of God to the first disciples: "Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake. . . . But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Matthew 10:18-20.

    The words of Jerome excited astonishment and admiration, even in his enemies. For a whole year he had been immured in a dungeon, unable to read or even to see, in great physical suffering and mental anxiety. Yet his arguments were presented with as much clearness and power as if he had had undisturbed opportunity for study. He pointed his hearers to the long line of holy men who had been condemned by unjust judges. In almost every generation have been those who, while seeking to elevate the people of their time, have been reproached and cast out, but who in later times have been shown to be deserving of honor. Christ Himself was condemned as a malefactor at an unrighteous tribunal.

    At his retraction, Jerome had assented to the justice of the sentence condemning Huss; he now declared his repentance and bore witness to the innocence and holiness of the martyr. "I knew him from his childhood," he said. "He was a most excellent man, just and holy; he was condemned, notwithstanding his innocence. . . . I also--I am ready to die: I will not recoil before the torments that are prepared for me by my enemies and false witnesses, who will one day have to render an account of their impostures before the great God, whom nothing can deceive."--Bonnechose, vol. 2, p. 151.

    In self-reproach for his own denial of the truth, Jerome continued: "Of all the sins that I have committed since my youth, none weigh so heavily on my mind, and cause me such poignant remorse, as that which I committed in this fatal place, when I approved of the iniquitous sentence rendered against Wycliffe, and against the holy martyr, John Huss, my master and my friend. Yes! I confess it from my heart, and declare with horror that I disgracefully quailed when, through a dread of death, I condemned their doctrines. I therefore supplicate . . . Almighty God to deign to pardon me my sins, and this one in particular, the most heinous of all." Pointing to his judges, he said firmly: "You condemned Wycliffe and John Huss, not for having shaken the doctrine of the church, but simply because they branded with reprobation the scandals proceeding from the clergy--their pomp, their pride, and all the vices of the prelates and priests.

    The things which they have affirmed, and which are irrefutable, I also think and declare, like them." His words were interrupted. The prelates, trembling with rage, cried out: "What need is there of further proof? We behold with our own eyes the most obstinate of heretics!"

    Unmoved by the tempest, Jerome exclaimed: "What! do you suppose that I fear to die? You have held me for a whole year in a frightful dungeon, more horrible than death itself. You have treated me more cruelly than a Turk, Jew, or pagan, and my flesh has literally rotted off my bones alive; and yet I make no complaint, for lamentation ill becomes a man of heart and spirit; but I cannot but express my astonishment at such great barbarity toward a Christian."--Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 151-153.

    Again the storm of rage burst out, and Jerome was hurried away to prison. Yet there were some in the assembly upon whom his words had made a deep impression and who desired to save his life. He was visited by dignitaries of the church and urged to submit himself to the council. The most brilliant prospects were presented before him as the reward of renouncing his opposition to Rome. But like his Master when offered the glory of the world, Jerome remained steadfast.

    "Prove to me from the Holy Writings that I am in error," he said, "and I will abjure it."

    "The Holy Writings!" exclaimed one of his tempters, "is everything then to be judged by them? Who can understand them till the church has interpreted them?"

    "Are the traditions of men more worthy of faith than the gospel of our Saviour?" replied Jerome. "Paul did not exhort those to whom he wrote to listen to the traditions of men, but said, 'Search the Scriptures.'"

    "Heretic!" was the response, "I repent having pleaded so long with you. I see that you are urged on by the devil."-- Wylie, b. 3, ch. 10.

    Erelong sentence of condemnation was passed upon him. He was led out to the same spot upon which Huss had yielded up his life. He went singing on his way, his countenance lighted up with joy and peace. His gaze was fixed upon Christ, and to him death had lost its terrors. When the executioner, about to kindle the pile, stepped behind him, the martyr exclaimed: "Come forward boldly; apply the fire before my face. Had I been afraid, I should not be here."

    His last words, uttered as the flames rose about him, were a prayer. "Lord, Almighty Father," he cried, "have pity on me, and pardon me my sins; for Thou knowest that I have always loved Thy truth."--Bonnechose, vol. 2, p. 168. His voice ceased, but his lips continued to move in prayer. When the fire had done its work, the ashes of the martyr, with the earth upon which they rested, were gathered up, and like those of Huss, were thrown into the Rhine.

    So perished God's faithful light bearers. But the light of the truths which they proclaimed--the light of their heroic example--could not be extinguished. As well might men attempt to turn back the sun in its course as to prevent the dawning of that day which was even then breaking upon the world.

    The execution of Huss had kindled a flame of indignation and horror in Bohemia. It was felt by the whole nation that he had fallen a prey to the malice of the priests and the treachery of the emperor. He was declared to have been a faithful teacher of the truth, and the council that decreed his death was charged with the guilt of murder. His doctrines now attracted greater attention than ever before. By the papal edicts the writings of Wycliffe had been condemned to the flames. But those that had escaped destruction were now brought out from their hiding places and studied in connection with the Bible, or such parts of it as the people could obtain, and many were thus led to accept the reformed faith.

    The murderers of Huss did not stand quietly by and witness the triumph of his cause. The pope and the emperor united to crush out the movement, and the armies of Sigismund were hurled upon Bohemia. But a deliverer was raised up. Ziska, who soon after the opening of the war became totally blind, yet who was one of the ablest generals of his age, was the leader of the Bohemians. Trusting in the help of God and the righteousness of their cause, that people withstood the mightiest armies that could be brought against them. Again and again the emperor, raising fresh armies, invaded Bohemia, only to be ignominiously repulsed. The Hussites were raised above the fear of death, and nothing could stand against them. A few years after the opening of the war, the brave Ziska died; but his place was filled by Procopius, who was an equally brave and skillful general, and in some respects a more able leader.

    The enemies of the Bohemians, knowing that the blind warrior was dead, deemed the opportunity favorable for recovering all that they had lost. The pope now proclaimed a crusade against the Hussites, and again an immense force was precipitated upon Bohemia, but only to suffer terrible defeat. Another crusade was proclaimed. In all the papal countries of Europe, men, money, and munitions of war were raised. Multitudes flocked to the papal standard, assured that at last an end would be made of the Hussite heretics. Confident of victory, the vast force entered Bohemia. The people rallied to repel them. The two armies approached each other until only a river lay between them. "The crusaders were in greatly superior force, but instead of dashing across the stream, and closing in battle with the Hussites whom they had come so far to meet, they stood gazing in silence at those warriors."--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 17. Then suddenly a mysterious terror fell upon the host. Without striking a blow, that mighty force broke and scattered as if dispelled by an unseen power. Great numbers were slaughtered by the Hussite army, which pursued the fugitives, and an immense booty fell into the hands of the victors, so that the war, instead of impoverishing, enriched the Bohemians.

    A few years later, under a new pope, still another crusade was set on foot. As before, men and means were drawn from all the papal countries of Europe. Great were the inducements held out to those who should engage in this perilous enterprise. Full forgiveness of the most heinous crimes was ensured to every crusader. All who died in the war were promised a rich reward in heaven, and those who survived were to reap honor and riches on the field of battle. Again a vast army was collected, and, crossing the frontier they entered Bohemia. The Hussite forces fell back before them, thus drawing the invaders farther and farther into the country, and leading them to count the victory already won. At last the army of Procopius made a stand, and turning upon the foe, advanced to give them battle. The crusaders, now discovering their mistake, lay in their encampment awaiting the onset. As the sound of the approaching force was heard, even before the Hussites were in sight, a panic again fell upon the crusaders. Princes, generals, and common soldiers, casting away their armor, fled in all directions. In vain the papal legate, who was the leader of the invasion, endeavored to rally his terrified and disorganized forces. Despite his utmost endeavors, he himself was swept along in the tide of fugitives. The rout was complete, and again an immense booty fell into the hands of the victors.

    Thus the second time a vast army, sent forth by the most powerful nations of Europe, a host of brave, warlike men, trained and equipped for battle, fled without a blow before the defenders of a small and hitherto feeble nation. Here was a manifestation of divine power. The invaders were smitten with a supernatural terror. He who overthrew the hosts of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, who put to flight the armies of Midian before Gideon and his three hundred, who in one night laid low the forces of the proud Assyrian, had again stretched out His hand to wither the power of the oppressor. "There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them." Psalm 53:5.

    The papal leaders, despairing of conquering by force, at last resorted to diplomacy. A compromise was entered into, that while professing to grant to the Bohemians freedom of conscience, really betrayed them into the power of Rome. The Bohemians had specified four points as the condition of peace with Rome: the free preaching of the Bible; the right of the whole church to both the bread and the wine in the communion, and the use of the mother tongue in divine worship; the exclusion of the clergy from all secular offices and authority; and, in cases of crime, the jurisdiction of the civil courts over clergy and laity alike. The papal authorities at last "agreed that the four articles of the Hussites should be accepted, but that the right of explaining them, that is, of determining their precise import, should belong to the council--in other words, to the pope and the emperor."-- Wylie, b. 3, ch. 18. On this basis a treaty was entered into, and Rome gained by dissimulation and fraud what she had failed to gain by conflict; for, placing her own interpretation upon the Hussite articles, as upon the Bible, she could pervert their meaning to suit her own purposes.

    A large class in Bohemia, seeing that it betrayed their liberties, could not consent to the compact. Dissensions and divisions arose, leading to strife and bloodshed among themselves. In this strife the noble Procopius fell, and the liberties of Bohemia perished.

    Sigismund, the betrayer of Huss and Jerome, now became king of Bohemia, and regardless of his oath to support the rights of the Bohemians, he proceeded to establish popery. But he had gained little by his subservience to Rome. For twenty years his life had been filled with labors and perils. His armies had been wasted and his treasuries drained by a long and fruitless struggle; and now, after reigning one year, he died, leaving his kingdom on the brink of civil war, and bequeathing to posterity a name branded with infamy.

    Tumults, strife, and bloodshed were protracted. Again foreign armies invaded Bohemia, and internal dissension continued to distract the nation. Those who remained faithful to the gospel were subjected to a bloody persecution. As their former brethren, entering into compact with Rome, imbibed her errors, those who adhered to the ancient faith had formed themselves into a distinct church, taking the name of "United Brethren." This act drew upon them maledictions from all classes. Yet their firmness was unshaken. Forced to find refuge in the woods and caves, they still assembled to read God's word and unite in His worship.

    Through messengers secretly sent out into different countries, they learned that here and there were "isolated confessors of the truth, a few in this city and a few in that, the object, like themselves, of persecution; and that amid the mountains of the Alps was an ancient church, resting on the foundations of Scripture, and protesting against the idolatrous corruptions of Rome."--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 19. This intelligence was received with great joy, and a correspondence was opened with the Waldensian Christians.

    Steadfast to the gospel, the Bohemians waited through the night of their persecution, in the darkest hour still turning their eyes toward the horizon like men who watch for the morning. "Their lot was cast in evil days, but . . . they remembered the words first uttered by Huss, and repeated by Jerome, that a century must revolve before the day should break. These were to the Taborites [Hussites] what the words of Joseph were to the tribes in the house of bondage: `I die, and God will surely visit you, and bring you out.'"-- Ibid., b. 3, ch. 19. "The closing period of the fifteenth century witnessed the slow but sure increase of the churches of the Brethren. Although far from being unmolested, they yet enjoyed comparative rest. At the commencement of the sixteenth century their churches numbered two hundred in Bohemia and Moravia."--Ezra Hall Gillett, Life and Times of John Huss, vol. 2, p. 570. "So goodly was the remnant which, escaping the destructive fury of fire and sword, was permitted to see the dawning of that day which Huss had foretold."--Wylie, b. 3, ch. 19.






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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:11 am

    "And Then Came the Light!!"



    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    Foremost among those who were called to lead the church from the darkness of popery into the light of a purer faith, stood Martin Luther. Zealous, ardent, and devoted, knowing no fear but the fear of God, and acknowledging no foundation for religious faith but the Holy Scriptures, Luther was the man for his time; through him God accomplished a great work for the reformation of the church and the enlightenment of the world.

    Like the first heralds of the gospel, Luther sprang from the ranks of poverty. His early years were spent in the humble home of a German peasant. By daily toil as a miner his father earned the means for his education. He intended him for a lawyer; but God purposed to make him a builder in the great temple that was rising so slowly through the centuries. Hardship, privation, and severe discipline were the school in which Infinite Wisdom prepared Luther for the important mission of his life.

    Luther's father was a man of strong and active mind and great force of character, honest, resolute, and straightforward. He was true to his convictions of duty, let the consequences be what they might. His sterling good sense led him to regard the monastic system with distrust. He was highly displeased when Luther, without his consent, entered a monastery; and it was two years before the father was reconciled to his son, and even then his opinions remained the same.

    Luther's parents bestowed great care upon the education and training of their children. They endeavored to instruct them in the knowledge of God and the practice of Christian virtues. The father's prayer often ascended in the hearing of his son that the child might remember the name of the Lord and one day aid in the advancement of His truth. Every advantage for moral or intellectual culture which their life of toil permitted them to enjoy was eagerly improved by these parents. Their efforts were earnest and persevering to prepare their children for a life of piety and usefulness. With their firmness and strength of character they sometimes exercised too great severity; but the Reformer himself, though conscious that in some respects they had erred, found in their discipline more to approve than to condemn.

    At school, where he was sent at an early age, Luther was treated with harshness and even violence. So great was the poverty of his parents that upon going from home to school in another town he was for a time obliged to obtain his food by singing from door to door, and he often suffered from hunger. The gloomy, superstitious ideas of religion then prevailing filled him with fear. He would lie down at night with a sorrowful heart, looking forward with trembling to the dark future and in constant terror at the thought of God as a stern, unrelenting judge, a cruel tyrant, rather than a kind heavenly Father.

    Yet under so many and so great discouragements Luther pressed resolutely forward toward the high standard of moral and intellectual excellence which attracted his soul. He thirsted for knowledge, and the earnest and practical character of his mind led him to desire the solid and useful rather than the showy and superficial.

    When, at the age of eighteen, he entered the University of Erfurt, his situation was more favorable and his prospects were brighter than in his earlier years. His parents having by thrift and industry acquired a competence, they were able to render him all needed assistance. And the influence of judicious friends had somewhat lessened the gloomy effects of his former training. He applied himself to the study of the best authors, diligently treasuring their most weighty thoughts and making the wisdom of the wise his own. Even under the harsh discipline of his former instructors he had early given promise of distinction, and with favorable influences his mind rapidly developed. A retentive memory, a lively imagination, strong reasoning powers, and untiring application soon placed him in the foremost rank among his associates. Intellectual discipline ripened his understanding and aroused an activity of mind and a keenness of perception that were preparing him for the conflicts of his life.

    The fear of the Lord dwelt in the heart of Luther, enabling him to maintain his steadfastness of purpose and leading him to deep humility before God. He had an abiding sense of his dependence upon divine aid, and he did not fail to begin each day with prayer, while his heart was continually breathing a petition for guidance and support. "To pray well," he often said, "is the better half of study."-- D'Aubigne, b. 2, ch. 2.

    While one day examining the books in the library of the university, Luther discovered a Latin Bible. Such a book he had never before seen. He was ignorant even of its existence. He had heard portions of the Gospels and Epistles, which were read to the people at public worship, and he supposed that these were the entire Bible. Now, for the first time, he looked upon the whole of God's word. With mingled awe and wonder he turned the sacred pages; with quickened pulse and throbbing heart he read for himself the words of life, pausing now and then to exclaim: "O that God would give me such a book for myself!"--Ibid., b. 2, ch. 2. Angels of heaven were by his side, and rays of light from the throne of God revealed the treasures of truth to his understanding. He had ever feared to offend God, but now the deep conviction of his condition as a sinner took hold upon him as never before.

    An earnest desire to be free from sin and to find peace with God led him at last to enter a cloister and devote himself to a monastic life. Here he was required to perform the lowest drudgery and to beg from house to house. He was at an age when respect and appreciation are most eagerly craved, and these menial offices were deeply mortifying to his natural feelings; but he patiently endured this humiliation, believing that it was necessary because of his sins.

    Every moment that could be spared from his daily duties he employed in study, robbing himself of sleep and grudging even the time spent at his scanty meals. Above everything else he delighted in the study of God's word. He had found a Bible chained to the convent wall, and to this he often repaired. As his convictions of sin deepened, he sought by his own works to obtain pardon and peace. He led a most rigorous life, endeavoring by fasting, vigils, and scourgings to subdue the evils of his nature, from which the monastic life had brought no release. He shrank from no sacrifice by which he might attain to that purity of heart which would enable him to stand approved before God. "I was indeed a pious monk," he afterward said, "and followed the rules of my order more strictly than I can express. If ever monk could obtain heaven by his monkish works, I should certainly have been entitled to it. . . . If it had continued much longer, I should have carried my mortifications even to death."--Ibid., b. 2, ch. 3. As the result of this painful discipline he lost strength and suffered from fainting spasms, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. But with all his efforts his burdened soul found no relief. He was at last driven to the verge of despair.

    When it appeared to Luther that all was lost, God raised up a friend and helper for him. The pious Staupitz opened the word of God to Luther's mind and bade him look away from himself, cease the contemplation of infinite punishment for the violation of God's law, and look to Jesus, his sin-pardoning Saviour. "Instead of torturing yourself on account of your sins, throw yourself into the Redeemer's arms. Trust in Him, in the righteousness of His life, in the atonement of His death. . . . Listen to the Son of God. He became man to give you the assurance of divine favor." "Love Him who first loved you."--Ibid., b. 2, ch. 4. Thus spoke this messenger of mercy. His words made a deep impression upon Luther's mind. After many a struggle with long-cherished errors, he was enabled to grasp the truth, and peace came to his troubled soul.

    Luther was ordained a priest and was called from the cloister to a professorship in the University of Wittenberg. Here he applied himself to the study of the Scriptures in the original tongues. He began to lecture upon the Bible; and the book of Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles were opened to the understanding of crowds of delighted listeners. Staupitz, his friend and superior, urged him to ascend the pulpit and preach the word of God. Luther hesitated, feeling himself unworthy to speak to the people in Christ's stead. It was only after a long struggle that he yielded to the solicitations of his friends. Already he was mighty in the Scriptures, and the grace of God rested upon him. His eloquence captivated his hearers, the clearness and power with which he presented the truth convinced their understanding, and his fervor touched their hearts.

    Luther was still a true son of the papal church and had no thought that he would ever be anything else. In the providence of God he was led to visit Rome. He pursued his journey on foot, lodging at the monasteries on the way. At a convent in Italy he was filled with wonder at the wealth, magnificence, and luxury that he witnessed. Endowed with a princely revenue, the monks dwelt in splendid apartments, attired themselves in the richest and most costly robes, and feasted at a sumptuous table. With painful misgivings Luther contrasted this scene with the self-denial and hardship of his own life. His mind was becoming perplexed.

    At last he beheld in the distance the seven-hilled city. With deep emotion he prostrated himself upon the earth, exclaiming: "Holy Rome, I salute thee!"--Ibid., b. 2, ch. 6. He entered the city, visited the churches, listened to the marvelous tales repeated by priests and monks, and performed all the ceremonies required. Everywhere he looked upon scenes that filled him with astonishment and horror. He saw that iniquity existed among all classes of the clergy. He heard indecent jokes from prelates, and was filled with horror at their awful profanity, even during mass. As he mingled with the monks and citizens he met dissipation, debauchery. Turn where he would, in the place of sanctity he found profanation. "No one can imagine," he wrote, "what sins and infamous actions are committed in Rome; they must be seen and heard to be believed. Thus they are in the habit of saying, 'If there is a hell, Rome is built over it: it is an abyss whence issues every kind of sin.'"--Ibid., b. 2, ch. 6.

    By a recent decretal an indulgence had been promised by the pope to all who should ascend upon their knees "Pilate's staircase," said to have been descended by our Saviour on leaving the Roman judgment hall and to have been miraculously conveyed from Jerusalem to Rome. Luther was one day devoutly climbing these steps, when suddenly a voice like thunder seemed to say to him: "The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17. He sprang to his feet and hastened from the place in shame and horror. That text never lost its power upon his soul. From that time he saw more clearly than ever before the fallacy of trusting to human works for salvation, and the necessity of constant faith in the merits of Christ. His eyes had been opened, and were never again to be closed, to the delusions of the papacy. When he turned his face from Rome he had turned away also in heart, and from that time the separation grew wider, until he severed all connection with the papal church.

    After his return from Rome, Luther received at the University of Wittenberg the degree of doctor of divinity. Now he was at liberty to devote himself, as never before, to the Scriptures that he loved. He had taken a solemn vow to study carefully and to preach with fidelity the word of God, not the sayings and doctrines of the popes, all the days of his life. He was no longer the mere monk or professor, but the authorized herald of the Bible. He had been called as a shepherd to feed the flock of God, that were hungering and thirsting for the truth. He firmly declared that Christians should receive no other doctrines than those which rest on the authority of the Sacred Scriptures. These words struck at the very foundation of papal supremacy. They contained the vital principle of the Reformation.

    Luther saw the danger of exalting human theories above the word of God. He fearlessly attacked the speculative infidelity of the schoolmen and opposed the philosophy and theology which had so long held a controlling influence upon the people. He denounced such studies as not only worthless but pernicious, and sought to turn the minds of his hearers from the sophistries of philosophers and theologians to the eternal truths set forth by prophets and apostles.

    Precious was the message which he bore to the eager crowds that hung upon his words. Never before had such teachings fallen upon their ears. The glad tidings of a Saviour's love, the assurance of pardon and peace through His atoning blood, rejoiced their hearts and inspired within them an immortal hope. At Wittenberg a light was kindled whose rays should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth, and which was to increase in brightness to the close of time.

    But light and darkness cannot harmonize. Between truth and error there is an irrepressible conflict. To uphold and defend the one is to attack and overthrow the other. Our Saviour Himself declared: "I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34. Said Luther, a few years after the opening of the Reformation: "God does not guide me, He pushes me forward. He carries me away. I am not master of myself. I desire to live in repose; but I am thrown into the midst of tumults and revolutions."--D'Aubigne, b. 5, ch. 2. He was now about to be urged into the contest.

    The Roman Church had made merchandise of the grace of God. The tables of the money-changers (Matthew 21:12) were set up beside her altars, and the air resounded with the shouts of buyers and sellers. Under the plea of raising funds for the erection of St. Peter's Church at Rome, indulgences for sin were publicly offered for sale by the authority of the pope. By the price of crime a temple was to be built up for God's worship--the cornerstone laid with the wages of iniquity! But the very means adopted for Rome's aggrandizement provoked the deadliest blow to her power and greatness. It was this that aroused the most determined and successful of the enemies of popery, and led to the battle which shook the papal throne and jostled the triple crown upon the pontiff's head.

    The official appointed to conduct the sale of indulgences in Germany--Tetzel by name--had been convicted of the basest offenses against society and against the law of God; but having escaped the punishment due for his crimes, he was employed to further the mercenary and unscrupulous projects of the pope. With great effrontery he repeated the most glaring falsehoods and related marvelous tales to deceive an ignorant, credulous, and superstitious people. Had they possessed the word of God they would not have been thus deceived. It was to keep them under the control of the papacy, in order to swell the power and wealth of her ambitious leaders, that the Bible had been withheld from them. (See John C. L. Gieseler, A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History, per. 4, sec. 1, par. 5.)

    As Tetzel entered a town, a messenger went before him, announcing: "The grace of God and of the holy father is at your gates."--D'Aubigne, b. 3, ch. 1. And the people welcomed the blasphemous pretender as if he were God Himself come down from heaven to them. The infamous traffic was set up in the church, and Tetzel, ascending the pulpit, extolled the indulgences as the most precious gift of God. He declared that by virtue of his certificates of pardon all the sins which the purchaser should afterward desire to commit would be forgiven him, and that "not even repentance is necessary."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 1. More than this, he assured his hearers that the indulgences had power to save not only the living but the dead; that the very moment the money should clink against the bottom of his chest, the soul in whose behalf it had been paid would escape from purgatory and make its way to heaven. (See K. R. Hagenbach, History of the Reformation, vol. 1, p. 96.)

    When Simon Magus offered to purchase of the apostles the power to work miracles, Peter answered him: "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Acts 8:20. But Tetzel's offer was grasped by eager thousands. Gold and silver flowed into his treasury. A salvation that could be bought with money was more easily obtained than that which requires repentance, faith, and diligent effort to resist and overcome sin. (See Appendix note for page 59.)

    The doctrine of indulgences had been opposed by men of learning and piety in the Roman Church, and there were many who had no faith in pretensions so contrary to both reason and revelation. No prelate dared lift his voice against this iniquitous traffic; but the minds of men were becoming disturbed and uneasy, and many eagerly inquired if God would not work through some instrumentality for the purification of His church.

    Luther, though still a papist of the straitest sort, was filled with horror at the blasphemous assumptions of the indulgence mongers. Many of his own congregation had purchased certificates of pardon, and they soon began to come to their pastor, confessing their various sins, and expecting absolution, not because they were penitent and wished to reform, but on the ground of the indulgence. Luther refused them absolution, and warned them that unless they should repent and reform their lives, they must perish in their sins. In great perplexity they repaired to Tetzel with the complaint that their confessor had refused his certificates; and some boldly demanded that their money be returned to them. The friar was filled with rage. He uttered the most terrible curses, caused fires to be lighted in the public squares, and declared that he "had received an order from the pope to burn all heretics who presumed to oppose his most holy indulgences."--D'Aubigne, b. 3, ch. 4.

    Luther now entered boldly upon his work as a champion of the truth. His voice was heard from the pulpit in earnest, solemn warning. He set before the people the offensive character of sin, and taught them that it is impossible for man, by his own works, to lessen its guilt or evade its punishment. Nothing but repentance toward God and faith in Christ can save the sinner. The grace of Christ cannot be purchased; it is a free gift. He counseled the people not to buy indulgences, but to look in faith to a crucified Redeemer. He related his own painful experience in vainly seeking by humiliation and penance to secure salvation, and assured his hearers that it was by looking away from himself and believing in Christ that he found peace and joy.

    As Tetzel continued his traffic and his impious pretensions, Luther determined upon a more effectual protest against these crying abuses. An occasion soon offered. The castle church of Wittenberg possessed many relics, which on certain holy days were exhibited to the people, and full remission of sins was granted to all who then visited the church and made confession. Accordingly on these days the people in great numbers resorted thither. One of the most important of these occasions, the festival of All Saints, was approaching. On the preceding day, Luther, joining the crowds that were already making their way to the church, posted on its door a paper containing ninety-five propositions against the doctrine of indulgences. He declared his willingness to defend these theses next day at the university, against all who should see fit to attack them.

    His propositions attracted universal attention. They were read and reread, and repeated in every direction. Great excitement was created in the university and in the whole city. By these theses it was shown that the power to grant the pardon of sin, and to remit its penalty, had never been committed to the pope or to any other man. The whole scheme was a farce,--an artifice to extort money by playing upon the superstitions of the people,--a device of Satan to destroy the souls of all who should trust to its lying pretensions. It was also clearly shown that the gospel of Christ is the most valuable treasure of the church, and that the grace of God, therein revealed, is freely bestowed upon all who seek it by repentance and faith.

    Luther's theses challenged discussion; but no one dared accept the challenge. The questions which he proposed had in a few days spread through all Germany, and in a few weeks they had sounded throughout Christendom. Many devoted Romanists, who had seen and lamented the terrible iniquity prevailing in the church, but had not known how to arrest its progress, read the propositions with great joy, recognizing in them the voice of God. They felt that the Lord had graciously set His hand to arrest the rapidly swelling tide of corruption that was issuing from the see of Rome. Princes and magistrates secretly rejoiced that a check was to be put upon the arrogant power which denied the right of appeal from its decisions.

    But the sin-loving and superstitious multitudes were terrified as the sophistries that had soothed their fears were swept away. Crafty ecclesiastics, interrupted in their work of sanctioning crime, and seeing their gains endangered, were enraged, and rallied to uphold their pretensions. The Reformer had bitter accusers to meet. Some charged him with acting hastily and from impulse. Others accused him of presumption, declaring that he was not directed of God, but was acting from pride and forwardness. "Who does not know," he responded, "that a man rarely puts forth any new idea without having some appearance of pride, and without being accused of exciting quarrels? . . . Why were Christ and all the martyrs put to death? Because they seemed to be proud contemners of the wisdom of the time, and because they advanced novelties without having first humbly taken counsel of the oracles of the ancient opinions."

    Again he declared: "Whatever I do will be done, not by the prudence of men, but by the counsel of God. If the work be of God, who shall stop it? if it be not, who can forward it? Not my will, nor theirs, nor ours; but Thy will, O holy Father, which art in heaven."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 6.

    Though Luther had been moved by the Spirit of God to begin his work, he was not to carry it forward without severe conflicts. The reproaches of his enemies, their misrepresentation of his purposes, and their unjust and malicious reflections upon his character and motives, came in upon him like an overwhelming flood; and they were not without effect. He had felt confident that the leaders of the people, both in the church and in the schools, would gladly unite with him in efforts for reform. Words of encouragement from those in high position had inspired him with joy and hope. Already in anticipation he had seen a brighter day dawning for the church. But encouragement had changed to reproach and condemnation. Many dignitaries, of both church and state, were convicted of the truthfulness of his theses; but they soon saw that the acceptance of these truths would involve great changes. To enlighten and reform the people would be virtually to undermine the authority of Rome, to stop thousands of streams now flowing into her treasury, and thus greatly to curtail the extravagance and luxury of the papal leaders. Furthermore, to teach the people to think and act as responsible beings, looking to Christ alone for salvation, would overthrow the pontiff's throne and eventually destroy their own authority. For this reason they refused the knowledge tendered them of God and arrayed themselves against Christ and the truth by their opposition to the man whom He had sent to enlighten them.

    Luther trembled as he looked upon himself--one man opposed to the mightiest powers of earth. He sometimes doubted whether he had indeed been led of God to set himself against the authority of the church. "Who was I," he writes, "to oppose the majesty of the pope, before whom ... the kings of the earth and the whole world trembled? ... No one can know what my heart suffered during these first two years, and into what despondency, I may say into what despair, I was sunk."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 6. But he was not left to become utterly disheartened. When human support failed, he looked to God alone and learned that he could lean in perfect safety upon that all-powerful arm.

    To a friend of the Reformation Luther wrote: "We cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer. Entreat the Lord to grant you, of His great mercy, the true understanding of His word. There is no other interpreter of the word of God than the Author of this word, as He Himself has said, 'They shall be all taught of God.' Hope for nothing from your own labors, from your own understanding: trust solely in God, and in the influence of His Spirit. Believe this on the word of a man who has had experience."--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 7. Here is a lesson of vital importance to those who feel that God has called them to present to others the solemn truths for this time. These truths will stir the enmity of Satan and of men who love the fables that he has devised. In the conflict with the powers of evil there is need of something more than strength of intellect and human wisdom.

    When enemies appealed to custom and tradition, or to the assertions and authority of the pope, Luther met them with the Bible and the Bible only. Here were arguments which they could not answer; therefore the slaves of formalism and superstition clamored for his blood, as the Jews had clamored for the blood of Christ. "He is a heretic," cried the Roman zealots. "It is high treason against the church to allow so horrible a heretic to live one hour longer. Let the scaffold be instantly erected for him!"--Ibid., b. 3, ch. 9. But Luther did not fall a prey to their fury. God had a work for him to do, and angels of heaven were sent to protect him. Many, however, who had received from Luther the precious light were made the objects of Satan's wrath and for the truth's sake fearlessly suffered torture and death.

    Luther's teachings attracted the attention of thoughtful minds throughout all Germany. From his sermons and writings issued beams of light which awakened and illuminated thousands. A living faith was taking the place of the dead formalism in which the church had so long been held. The people were daily losing confidence in the superstitions of Romanism. The barriers of prejudice were giving way. The word of God, by which Luther tested every doctrine and every claim, was like a two-edged sword, cutting its way to the hearts of the people. Everywhere there was awakening a desire for spiritual progress. Everywhere was such a hungering and thirsting after righteousness as had not been known for ages. The eyes of the people, so long directed to human rites and earthly mediators, were now turning in penitence and faith to Christ and Him crucified.

    This widespread interest aroused still further the fears of the papal authorities. Luther received a summons to appear at Rome to answer to the charge of heresy. The command filled his friends with terror. They knew full well the danger that threatened him in that corrupt city, already drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. They protested against his going to Rome and requested that he receive his examination in Germany.

    This arrangement was finally effected, and the pope's legate was appointed to hear the case. In the instructions communicated by the pontiff to this official, it was stated that Luther had already been declared a heretic. The legate was therefore charged "to prosecute and constrain without any delay." If he should remain steadfast, and the legate should fail to gain possession of his person, he was empowered "to proscribe him in every part of Germany; to banish, curse, and excommunicate all those who are attached to him."--Ibid., b. 4, ch. 2. And, further, the pope directed his legate, in order entirely to root out the pestilent heresy, to excommunicate all, of whatever dignity in church or state, except the emperor, who should neglect to seize Luther and his adherents, and deliver them up to the vengeance of Rome.

    Here is displayed the true spirit of popery. Not a trace of Christian principle, or even of common justice, is to be seen in the whole document. Luther was at a great distance from Rome; he had had no opportunity to explain or defend his position; yet before his case had been investigated, he was summarily pronounced a heretic, and in the same day, exhorted, accused, judged, and condemned; and all this by the self-styled holy father, the only supreme, infallible authority in church or state!

    At this time, when Luther so much needed the sympathy and counsel of a true friend, God's providence sent Melanchthon to Wittenberg. Young in years, modest and diffident in his manners, Melanchthon's sound judgment, extensive knowledge, and winning eloquence, combined with the purity and uprightness of his character, won universal admiration and esteem. The brilliancy of his talents was not more marked than his gentleness of disposition. He soon became an earnest disciple of the gospel, and Luther's most trusted friend and valued supporter; his gentleness, caution, and exactness serving as a complement to Luther's courage and energy. Their union in the work added strength to the Reformation and was a source of great encouragement to Luther.

    Augsburg had been fixed upon as the place of trial, and the Reformer set out on foot to perform the journey thither. Serious fears were entertained in his behalf. Threats had been made openly that he would be seized and murdered on the way, and his friends begged him not to venture. They even entreated him to leave Wittenberg for a time and find safety with those who would gladly protect him. But he would not leave the position where God had placed him. He must continue faithfully to maintain the truth, notwithstanding the storms that were beating upon him. His language was: "I am like Jeremiah, a man of strife and contention; but the more their threats increase, the more my joy is multiplied. . . . They have already destroyed my honor and my reputation. One single thing remains; it is my wretched body: let them take it; they will thus shorten my life by a few hours. But as for my soul, they cannot take that. He who desires to proclaim the word of Christ to the world, must expect death at every moment."--Ibid., b. 4, ch. 4.

    The tidings of Luther's arrival at Augsburg gave great satisfaction to the papal legate. The troublesome heretic who was exciting the attention of the whole world seemed now in the power of Rome, and the legate determined that he should not escape. The Reformer had failed to provide himself with a safe-conduct. His friends urged him not to appear before the legate without one, and they themselves undertook to procure it from the emperor. The legate intended to force Luther, if possible, to retract, or, failing in this, to cause him to be conveyed to Rome, to share the fate of Huss and Jerome. Therefore through his agents he endeavored to induce Luther to appear without a safe-conduct, trusting himself to his mercy. This the Reformer firmly declined to do. Not until he had received the document pledging him the emperor's protection, did he appear in the presence of the papal ambassador.

    As a matter of policy, the Romanists had decided to attempt to win Luther by an appearance of gentleness. The legate, in his interviews with him, professed great friendliness; but he demanded that Luther submit implicitly to the authority of the church, and yield every point without argument or question. He had not rightly estimated the character of the man with whom he had to deal. Luther, in reply, expressed his regard for the church, his desire for the truth, his readiness to answer all objections to what he had taught, and to submit his doctrines to the decision of certain leading universities. But at the same time he protested against the cardinal's course in requiring him to retract without having proved him in error.

    The only response was: "Retract, retract!" The Reformer showed that his position was sustained by the Scriptures and firmly declared that he could not renounce the truth. The legate, unable to reply to Luther's arguments, overwhelmed him with a storm of reproaches, gibes, and flattery, interspersed with quotations from tradition and the sayings of the Fathers, granting the Reformer no opportunity to speak. Seeing that the conference, thus continued, would be utterly futile, Luther finally obtained a reluctant permission to present his answer in writing.

    "In so doing," said he, writing to a friend, "the oppressed find double gain; first, what is written may be submitted to the judgment of others; and second, one has a better chance of working on the fears, if not on the conscience, of an arrogant and babbling despot, who would otherwise overpower by his imperious language."--Martyn, The Life and Times of Luther, pages 271, 272.

    At the next interview, Luther presented a clear, concise, and forcible exposition of his views, fully supported by many quotations from Scripture. This paper, after reading aloud, he handed to the cardinal, who, however, cast it contemptuously aside, declaring it to be a mass of idle words and irrelevant quotations. Luther, fully aroused, now met the haughty prelate on his own ground--the traditions and teachings of the church--and utterly overthrew his assumptions.

    When the prelate saw that Luther's reasoning was unanswerable, he lost all self-control, and in a rage cried out: "Retract! or I will send you to Rome, there to appear before the judges commissioned to take cognizance of your cause. I will excommunicate you and all your partisans, and all who shall at any time countenance you, and will cast them out of the church." And he finally declared, in a haughty and angry tone: "Retract, or return no more."--D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 4, ch. 8.

    The Reformer promptly withdrew with his friends, thus declaring plainly that no retraction was to be expected from him. This was not what the cardinal had purposed. He had flattered himself that by violence he could awe Luther to submission. Now, left alone with his supporters, he looked from one to another in utter chagrin at the unexpected failure of his schemes.

    Luther's efforts on this occasion were not without good results. The large assembly present had opportunity to compare the two men, and to judge for themselves of the spirit manifested by them, as well as of the strength and truthfulness of their positions. How marked the contrast! The Reformer, simple, humble, firm, stood up in the strength of God, having truth on his side; the pope's representative, self-important, overbearing, haughty, and unreasonable, was without a single argument from the Scriptures, yet vehemently crying: "Retract, or be sent to Rome for punishment."

    Notwithstanding Luther had secured a safe-conduct, the Romanists were plotting to seize and imprison him. His friends urged that as it was useless for him to prolong his stay, he should return to Wittenberg without delay, and that the utmost caution should be observed in order to conceal his intentions. He accordingly left Augsburg before day-break, on horseback, accompanied only by a guide furnished him by the magistrate. With many forebodings he secretly made his way through the dark and silent streets of the city. Enemies, vigilant and cruel, were plotting his destruction. Would he escape the snares prepared for him? Those were moments of anxiety and earnest prayer. He reached a small gate in the wall of the city. It was opened for him, and with his guide he passed through without hindrance. Once safely outside, the fugitives hastened their flight, and before the legate learned of Luther's departure, he was beyond the reach of his persecutors. Satan and his emissaries were defeated. The man whom they had thought in their power was gone, escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler.

    At the news of Luther's escape the legate was overwhelmed with surprise and anger. He had expected to receive great honor for his wisdom and firmness in dealing with this disturber of the church; but his hope was disappointed. He gave expression to his wrath in a letter to Frederick, the elector of Saxony, bitterly denouncing Luther and demanding that Frederick send the Reformer to Rome or banish him from Saxony.

    In defense, Luther urged that the legate or the pope show him his errors from the Scriptures, and pledged himself in the most solemn manner to renounce his doctrines if they could be shown to contradict the word of God. And he expressed his gratitude to God that he had been counted worthy to suffer in so holy a cause.

    The elector had, as yet, little knowledge of the reformed doctrines, but he was deeply impressed by the candor, force, and clearness of Luther's words; and until the Reformer should be proved to be in error, Frederick resolved to stand as his protector. In reply to the legate's demand he wrote: "Since Dr. Martin has appeared before you at Augsburg, you should be satisfied. We did not expect that you would endeavor to make him retract without having convinced him of his errors. None of the learned men in our principality have informed me that Martin's doctrine is impious, anti-christian, or heretical.' The prince refused, moreover, to send Luther to Rome, or to expel him from his states."-- D'Aubigne, b. 4, ch. 10.

    The elector saw that there was a general breaking down of the moral restraints of society. A great work of reform was needed. The complicated and expensive arrangements to restrain and punish crime would be unnecessary if men but acknowledged and obeyed the requirements of God and the dictates of an enlightened conscience. He saw that Luther was laboring to secure this object, and he secretly rejoiced that a better influence was making itself felt in the church.

    He saw also that as a professor in the university Luther was eminently successful. Only a year had passed since the Reformer posted his theses on the castle church, yet there was already a great falling off in the number of pilgrims that visited the church at the festival of All Saints. Rome had been deprived of worshipers and offerings, but their place was filled by another class, who now came to Wittenberg, not pilgrims to adore her relics, but students to fill her halls of learning. The writings of Luther had kindled everywhere a new interest in the Holy Scriptures, and not only from all parts of Germany, but from other lands, students flocked to the university. Young men, coming in sight of Wittenberg for the first time, "raised their hands to heaven, and praised God for having caused the light of truth to shine forth from this city, as from Zion in times of old, and whence it spread even to the most distant countries."--Ibid., b. 4, ch. 10.

    Luther was as yet but partially converted from the errors of Romanism. But as he compared the Holy Oracles with the papal decrees and constitutions, he was filled with wonder. "I am reading," he wrote, "the decrees of the pontiffs, and . . . I do not know whether the pope is antichrist himself, or his apostle, so greatly is Christ misrepresented and crucified in them."--Ibid., b. 5, ch. 1. Yet at this time Luther was still a supporter of the Roman Church, and had no thought that he would ever separate from her communion.

    The Reformer's writings and his doctrine were extending to every nation in Christendom. The work spread to Switzerland and Holland. Copies of his writings found their way to France and Spain. In England his teachings were received as the word of life. To Belgium and Italy also the truth had extended. Thousands were awakening from their deathlike stupor to the joy and hope of a life of faith.

    Rome became more and more exasperated by the attacks of Luther, and it was declared by some of his fanatical opponents, even by doctors in Catholic universities, that he who should kill the rebellious monk would be without sin. One day a stranger, with a pistol hidden under his cloak, approached the Reformer and inquired why he went thus alone. "I am in God's hands," answered Luther. "He is my strength and my shield. What can man do unto me?"--Ibid., b. 6, ch. 2. Upon hearing these words, the stranger turned pale and fled away as from the presence of the angels of heaven.

    Rome was bent upon the destruction of Luther; but God was his defense. His doctrines were heard everywhere--"in cottages and convents, . . . in the castles of the nobles, in the universities, and in the palaces of kings;" and noble men were rising on every hand to sustain his efforts.--Ibid., b. 6, ch. 2.

    It was about this time that Luther, reading the works of Huss, found that the great truth of justification by faith, which he himself was seeking to uphold and teach, had been held by the Bohemian Reformer. "We have all," said Luther, "Paul, Augustine, and myself, been Hussites without knowing it!" "God will surely visit it upon the world," he continued, "that the truth was preached to it a century ago, and burned!"--Wylie, b. 6. ch. 1

    In an appeal to the emperor and nobility of Germany in behalf of the reformation of Christianity, Luther wrote concerning the pope: "It is a horrible thing to behold the man who styles himself Christ's vicegerent, displaying a magnificence that no emperor can equal. Is this being like the poor Jesus, or the humble Peter? He is, say they, the lord of the world! But Christ, whose vicar he boasts of being, has said, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' Can the dominions of a vicar extend beyond those of his superior?"-- D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 3.

    He wrote thus of the universities: "I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the great gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt."-- Ibid., b. 6, ch. 3.

    This appeal was rapidly circulated throughout Germany and exerted a powerful influence upon the people. The whole nation was stirred, and multitudes were roused to rally around the standard of reform. Luther's opponents, burning with a desire for revenge, urged the pope to take decisive measures against him. It was decreed that his doctrines should be immediately condemned. Sixty days were granted the Reformer and his adherents, after which, if they did not recant, they were all to be excommunicated.

    That was a terrible crisis for the Reformation. For centuries Rome's sentence of excommunication had struck terror to powerful monarchs; it had filled mighty empires with woe and desolation. Those upon whom its condemnation fell were universally regarded with dread and horror; they were cut off from intercourse with their fellows and treated as outlaws, to be hunted to extermination. Luther was not blind to the tempest about to burst upon him; but he stood firm, trusting in Christ to be his support and shield. With a martyr's faith and courage he wrote: "What is about to happen I know not, nor do I care to know. . . . Let the blow light where it may, I am without fear. Not so much as a leaf falls, without the will of our Father. How much rather will He care for us! It is a light thing to die for the Word, since the Word which was made flesh hath Himself died. If we die with Him, we shall live with Him; and passing through that which He has passed through before us, we shall be where He is and dwell with Him forever."--Ibid., 3d London ed., Walther, 1840, b. 6, ch. 9.

    When the papal bull reached Luther, he said: "I despise and attack it, as impious, false. . . . It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein. . . . I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself."--D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 9.

    Yet the mandate of Rome was not without effect. Prison, torture, and sword were weapons potent to enforce obedience. The weak and superstitious trembled before the decree of the pope; and while there was general sympathy for Luther, many felt that life was too dear to be risked in the cause of reform. Everything seemed to indicate that the Reformer's work was about to close.

    But Luther was fearless still. Rome had hurled her anathemas against him, and the world looked on, nothing doubting that he would perish or be forced to yield. But with terrible power he flung back upon herself the sentence of condemnation and publicly declared his determination to abandon her forever. In the presence of a crowd of students, doctors, and citizens of all ranks Luther burned the pope's bull, with the canon laws, the decretals, and certain writings sustaining the papal power. "My enemies have been able, by burning my books," he said, "to injure the cause of truth in the minds of the common people, and destroy their souls; for this reason I consumed their books in return. A serious struggle has just begun. Hitherto I have been only playing with the pope. I began this work in God's name; it will be ended without me, and by His might." --Ibid., b. 6, ch. 10.

    To the reproaches of his enemies who taunted him with the weakness of his cause, Luther answered: "Who knows if God has not chosen and called me, and if they ought not to fear that, by despising me, they despise God Himself? Moses was alone at the departure from Egypt; Elijah was alone in the reign of King Ahab; Isaiah alone in Jerusalem; Ezekiel alone in Babylon. . . . God never selected as a prophet either the high priest or any other great personage; but ordinarily He chose low and despised men, once even the shepherd Amos. In every age, the saints have had to reprove the great, kings, princes, priests, and wise men, at the peril of their lives. . . . I do not say that I am a prophet; but I say that they ought to fear precisely because I am alone and that they are many. I am sure of this, that the word of God is with me, and that it is not with them."--Ibid., b. 6, ch. 10.

    Yet it was not without a terrible struggle with himself that Luther decided upon a final separation from the church. It was about this time that he wrote: "I feel more and more every day how difficult it is to lay aside the scruples which one has imbibed in childhood. Oh, how much pain it has caused me, though I had the Scriptures on my side, to justify it to myself that I should dare to make a stand alone against the pope, and hold him forth as antichrist! What have the tribulations of my heart not been! How many times have I not asked myself with bitterness that question which was so frequent on the lips of the papists: 'Art thou alone wise? Can everyone else be mistaken? How will it be, if, after all, it is thyself who art wrong, and who art involving in thy error so many souls, who will then be eternally damned?' 'Twas so I fought with myself and with Satan, till Christ, by His own infallible word, fortified my heart against these doubts."--Martyn, pages 372, 373.

    The pope had threatened Luther with excommunication if he did not recant, and the threat was now fulfilled. A new bull appeared, declaring the Reformer's final separation from the Roman Church, denouncing him as accursed of Heaven, and including in the same condemnation all who should receive his doctrines. The great contest had been fully entered upon.

    Opposition is the lot of all whom God employs to present truths specially applicable to their time. There was a present truth in the days of Luther,--a truth at that time of special importance; there is a present truth for the church today. He who does all things according to the counsel of His will has been pleased to place men under various circumstances and to enjoin upon them duties peculiar to the times in which they live and the conditions under which they are placed. If they would prize the light given them, broader views of truth would be opened before them. But truth is no more desired by the majority today than it was by the papists who opposed Luther. There is the same disposition to accept the theories and traditions of men instead of the word of God as in former ages. Those who present the truth for this time should not expect to be received with greater favor than were earlier reformers. The great controversy between truth and error, between Christ and Satan, is to increase in intensity to the close of this world's history.

    Said Jesus to His disciples: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also." John 15:19, 20. And on the other hand our Lord declared plainly: "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:26. The spirit of the world is no more in harmony with the spirit of Christ today than in earlier times, and those who preach the word of God in its purity will be received with no greater favor now than then. The forms of opposition to the truth may change, the enmity may be less open because it is more subtle; but the same antagonism still exists and will be manifested to the end of time.









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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:50 am


    Consider reading Job through Daniel side-by-side with Luke through Jude in the New International Version of the Holy Bible (straight-through, over and over) and see what this mental and spiritual discipline and exercise yields relative to Judaism, Christianity, Protestantism, and Catholicism. You might be surprised. REALLY Surprised. The book I'm posting is NOT a Bible-Study. It is a Historical-Study. Reading the Conflict of the Ages Series by Ellen White is VERY Different than reading the Holy Bible (straight-through, over and over). An Atheist-Anarchist of Interest told me "ALL Religion is Bullshit!!" I recently heard an Atheist say "Ex-Christians make the Best-Atheists!!" What if most-everything is bullshit?? What if very-few of us have achieved significant-truth?? I seem to have no country, religion, family, or clue. I seem to stand alone in every way. Here I Stand. I Can Do No Other.

    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    A new emperor, Charles V, had ascended the throne of Germany, and the emissaries of Rome hastened to present their congratulations and induce the monarch to employ his power against the Reformation. On the other hand, the elector of Saxony, to whom Charles was in great degree indebted for his crown, entreated him to take no step against Luther until he should have granted him a hearing. The emperor was thus placed in a position of great perplexity and embarrassment. The papists would be satisfied with nothing short of an imperial edict sentencing Luther to death. The elector had declared firmly that "neither his imperial majesty nor any other person had shown that Luther's writings had been refuted;" therefore he requested "that Dr. Luther should be furnished with a safe-conduct, so that he might appear before a tribunal of learned, pious, and impartial judges."--D'Aubigne, b. 6, ch. 11.

    The attention of all parties was now directed to the assembly of the German states which convened at Worms soon after the accession of Charles to the empire. There were important political questions and interests to be considered by this national council; for the first time the princes of Germany were to meet their youthful monarch in deliberative assembly. From all parts of the fatherland had come the dignitaries of church and state. Secular lords, highborn, powerful, and jealous of their hereditary rights; princely ecclesiastics, flushed with their conscious superiority in rank and power; courtly knights and their armed retainers; and ambassadors from foreign and distant lands,--all gathered at Worms. Yet in that vast assembly the subject that excited the deepest interest was the cause of the Saxon Reformer.

    Charles had previously directed the elector to bring Luther with him to the Diet, assuring him of protection, and promising a free discussion, with competent persons, of the questions in dispute. Luther was anxious to appear before the emperor. His health was at this time much impaired; yet he wrote to the elector: "If I cannot go to Worms in good health, I will be carried there, sick as I am. For if the emperor calls me, I cannot doubt that it is the call of God Himself. If they desire to use violence against me, and that is very probable (for it is not for their instruction that they order me to appear), I place the matter in the Lord's hands. He still lives and reigns who preserved the three young men in the burning fiery furnace. If He will not save me, my life is of little consequence. Let us only prevent the gospel from being exposed to the scorn of the wicked, and let us shed our blood for it, for fear they should triumph. It is not for me to decide whether my life or my death will contribute most to the salvation of all. . . . You may expect everything from me. . . except flight and recantation. Fly I cannot, and still less retract."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 1.

    As the news was circulated at Worms that Luther was to appear before the Diet, a general excitement was created. Aleander, the papal legate to whom the case had been specially entrusted, was alarmed and enraged. He saw that the result would be disastrous to the papal cause. To institute inquiry into a case in which the pope had already pronounced sentence of condemnation would be to cast contempt upon the authority of the sovereign pontiff. Furthermore, he was apprehensive that the eloquent and powerful arguments of this man might turn away many of the princes from the cause of the pope. He therefore, in the most urgent manner, remonstrated with Charles against Luther's appearance at Worms. About this time the bull declaring Luther's excommunication was published; and this, coupled with the representations of the legate, induced the emperor to yield. He wrote to the elector that if Luther would not retract, he must remain at Wittenberg.

    Not content with this victory, Aleander labored with all the power and cunning at his command to secure Luther's condemnation. With a persistence worthy of a better cause, he urged the matter upon the attention of princes, prelates, and other members of the assembly, accusing the Reformer of "sedition, rebellion, impiety, and blasphemy." But the vehemence and passion manifested by the legate revealed too plainly the spirit by which he was actuated. "He is moved by hatred and vengeance," was the general remark, "much more than by zeal and piety."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 1. The majority of the Diet were more than ever inclined to regard Luther's cause with favor.

    With redoubled zeal Aleander urged upon the emperor the duty of executing the papal edicts. But under the laws of Germany this could not be done without the concurrence of the princes; and, overcome at last by the legate's importunity, Charles bade him present his case to the Diet. "It was a proud day for the nuncio. The assembly was a great one: the cause was even greater. Aleander was to plead for Rome, . . . the mother and mistress of all churches." He was to vindicate the princedom of Peter before the assembled principalities of Christendom. "He had the gift of eloquence, and he rose to the greatness of the occasion. Providence ordered it that Rome should appear and plead by the ablest of her orators in the presence of the most august of tribunals, before she was condemned." --Wylie, b. 6, ch. 4. With some misgivings those who favored the Reformer looked forward to the effect of Aleander's speech. The elector of Saxony was not present, but by his direction some of his councilors attended to take notes of the nuncio's address.

    With all the power of learning and eloquence, Aleander set himself to overthrow the truth. Charge after charge he hurled against Luther as an enemy of the church and the state, the living and the dead, clergy and laity, councils and private Christians. "In Luther's errors there is enough," he declared, to warrant the burning of "a hundred thousand heretics."

    In conclusion he endeavored to cast contempt upon the adherents of the reformed faith: "What are all these Lutherans? A crew of insolent pedagogues, corrupt priests, dissolute monks, ignorant lawyers, and degraded nobles, with the common people whom they have misled and perverted. How far superior to them is the Catholic party in number, ability, and power! A unanimous decree from this illustrious assembly will enlighten the simple, warn the imprudent, decide the waverers, and give strength to the weak." --D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 3.

    With such weapons the advocates of truth in every age have been attacked. The same arguments are still urged against all who dare to present, in opposition to established errors, the plain and direct teachings of God's word. "Who are these preachers of new doctrines?" exclaim those who desire a popular religion. "They are unlearned, few in numbers, and of the poorer class. Yet they claim to have the truth, and to be the chosen people of God. They are ignorant and deceived. How greatly superior in numbers and influence is our church! How many great and learned men are among us! How much more power is on our side!" These are the arguments that have a telling influence upon the world; but they are no more conclusive now than in the days of the Reformer.

    The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world's history. Luther had a great work to do in reflecting to others the light which God had permitted to shine upon him; yet he did not receive all the light which was to be given to the world. From that time to this, new light has been continually shining upon the Scriptures, and new truths have been constantly unfolding.

    The legate's address made a deep impression upon the Diet. There was no Luther present, with the clear and convincing truths of God's word, to vanquish the papal champion. No attempt was made to defend the Reformer. There was manifest a general disposition not only to condemn him and the doctrines which he taught, but if possible to uproot the heresy. Rome had enjoyed the most favorable opportunity to defend her cause. All that she could say in her own vindication had been said. But the apparent victory was the signal of defeat. Henceforth the contrast between truth and error would be more clearly seen, as they should take the field in open warfare. Never from that day would Rome stand as secure as she had stood.

    While most of the members of the Diet would not have hesitated to yield up Luther to the vengeance of Rome, many of them saw and deplored the existing depravity in the church, and desired a suppression of the abuses suffered by the German people in consequence of the corruption and greed of the hierarchy. The legate had presented the papal rule in the most favorable light. Now the Lord moved upon a member of the Diet to give a true delineation of the effects of papal tyranny. With noble firmness, Duke George of Saxony stood up in that princely assembly and specified with terrible exactness the deceptions and abominations of popery, and their dire results. In closing he said:

    "These are some of the abuses that cry out against Rome. All shame has been put aside, and their only object is . . . money, money, money, . . . so that the preachers who should teach the truth, utter nothing but falsehoods, and are not only tolerated, but rewarded, because the greater their lies, the greater their gain. It is from this foul spring that such tainted waters flow. Debauchery stretches out the hand to avarice. . . . Alas, it is the scandal caused by the clergy that hurls so many poor souls into eternal condemnation. A general reform must be effected."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 4.

    A more able and forcible denunciation of the papal abuses could not have been presented by Luther himself; and the fact that the speaker was a determined enemy of the Reformer's gave greater influence to his words. Had the eyes of the assembly been opened, they would have beheld angels of God in the midst of them, shedding beams of light athwart the darkness of error and opening minds and hearts to the reception of truth. It was the power of the God of truth and wisdom that controlled even the adversaries of the reformation, and thus prepared the way for the great work about to be accomplished. Martin Luther was not present; but the voice of One greater than Luther had been heard in that assembly.

    A committee was at once appointed by the Diet to prepare an enumeration of the papal oppressions that weighed so heavily on the German people. This list, containing a hundred and one specifications, was presented to the emperor, with a request that he would take immediate measures for the correction of these abuses. "What a loss of Christian souls," said the petitioners, "what depredations, what extortions, on account of the scandals by which the spiritual head of Christendom is surrounded! It is our duty to prevent the ruin and dishonor of our people. For this reason we most humbly but most urgently entreat you to order a general reformation, and to undertake its accomplishment."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 4.

    The council now demanded the Reformer's appearance before them. Notwithstanding the entreaties, protests, and threats of Aleander, the emperor at last consented, and Luther was summoned to appear before the Diet. With the summons was issued a safe-conduct, ensuring his return to a place of security. These were borne to Wittenberg by a herald, who was commissioned to conduct him to Worms.

    The friends of Luther were terrified and distressed. Knowing the prejudice and enmity against him, they feared that even his safe-conduct would not be respected, and they entreated him not to imperil his life. He replied: "The papists do not desire my coming to Worms, but my condemnation and my death. It matters not. Pray not for me, but for the word of God. . . . Christ will give me His Spirit to overcome these ministers of error. I despise them during my life; I shall triumph over them by my death. They are busy at Worms about compelling me to retract; and this shall be my retraction: I said formerly that the pope was Christ's vicar; now I assert that he is our Lord's adversary, and the devil's apostle."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 6.

    Luther was not to make his perilous journey alone. Besides the imperial messenger, three of his firmest friends determined to accompany him. Melanchthon earnestly desired to join them. His heart was knit to Luther's, and he yearned to follow him, if need be, to prison or to death. But his entreaties were denied. Should Luther perish, the hopes of the Reformation must center upon his youthful colaborer. Said the Reformer as he parted from Melanchthon: "If I do not return, and my enemies put me to death, continue to teach, and stand fast in the truth. Labor in my stead. . . . If you survive, my death will be of little consequence."-- Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7. Students and citizens who had gathered to witness Luther's departure were deeply moved. A multitude whose hearts had been touched by the gospel, bade him farewell with weeping. Thus the Reformer and his companions set out from Wittenberg.

    On the journey they saw that the minds of the people were oppressed by gloomy forebodings. At some towns no honors were proffered them. As they stopped for the night, a friendly priest expressed his fears by holding up before Luther the portrait of an Italian reformer who had suffered martyrdom. The next day they learned that Luther's writings had been condemned at Worms. Imperial messengers were proclaiming the emperor's decree and calling upon the people to bring the proscribed works to the magistrates. The herald, fearing for Luther's safety at the council, and thinking that already his resolution might be shaken, asked if he still wished to go forward. He answered: "Although interdicted in every city, I shall go on."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7.

    At Erfurt, Luther was received with honor. Surrounded by admiring crowds, he passed through the streets that he had often traversed with his beggar's wallet. He visited his convent cell, and thought upon the struggles through which the light now flooding Germany had been shed upon his soul. He was urged to preach. This he had been forbidden to do, but the herald granted him permission, and the friar who had once been made the drudge of the convent, now entered the pulpit.

    To a crowded assembly he spoke from the words of Christ, "Peace be unto you." "Philosophers, doctors, and writers," he said, "have endeavored to teach men the way to obtain everlasting life, and they have not succeeded. I will now tell it to you: . . . God has raised one Man from the dead, the Lord Jesus Christ, that He might destroy death, extirpate sin, and shut the gates of hell. This is the work of salvation. . . . Christ has vanquished! this is the joyful news; and we are saved by His work, and not by our own. . . . Our Lord Jesus Christ said, 'Peace be unto you; behold My hands;' that is to say, Behold, O man! it is I, I alone, who have taken away thy sin, and ransomed thee; and now thou hast peace, saith the Lord."

    He continued, showing that true faith will be manifested by a holy life. "Since God has saved us, let us so order our works that they may be acceptable to Him. Art thou rich? let thy goods administer to the necessities of the poor. Art thou poor? let thy services be acceptable to the rich. If thy labor is useful to thyself alone, the service that thou pretendest to render unto God is a lie."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7.

    The people listened as if spellbound. The bread of life was broken to those starving souls. Christ was lifted up before them as above popes, legates, emperors, and kings. Luther made no reference to his own perilous position. He did not seek to make himself the object of thought or sympathy. In the contemplation of Christ he had lost sight of self. He hid behind the Man of Calvary, seeking only to present Jesus as the sinner's Redeemer.

    As the Reformer proceeded on his journey, he was everywhere regarded with great interest. An eager multitude thronged about him, and friendly voices warned him of the purpose of the Romanists. "They will burn you," said some, "and reduce your body to ashes, as they did with John Huss." Luther answered, "Though they should kindle a fire all the way from Worms to Wittenberg, the flames of which reached to heaven, I would walk through it in the name of the Lord; I would appear before them; I would enter the jaws of this behemoth, and break his teeth, confessing the Lord Jesus Christ."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7.

    The news of his approach to Worms created great commotion. His friends trembled for his safety; his enemies feared for the success of their cause. Strenuous efforts were made to dissuade him from entering the city. At the instigation of the papists he was urged to repair to the castle of a friendly knight, where, it was declared, all difficulties could be amicably adjusted. Friends endeavored to excite his fears by describing the dangers that threatened him. All their efforts failed. Luther, still unshaken, declared: "Even should there be as many devils in Worms as tiles on the housetops, still I would enter it."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7.

    Upon his arrival at Worms, a vast crowd flocked to the gates to welcome him. So great a concourse had not assembled to greet the emperor himself. The excitement was intense, and from the midst of the throng a shrill and plaintive voice chanted a funeral dirge as a warning to Luther of the fate that awaited him. "God will be my defense," said he, as he alighted from his carriage.

    The papists had not believed that Luther would really venture to appear at Worms, and his arrival filled them with consternation. The emperor immediately summoned his councilors to consider what course should be pursued. One of the bishops, a rigid papist, declared: "We have long consulted on this matter. Let your imperial majesty get rid of this man at once. Did not Sigismund cause John Huss to be burnt? We are not bound either to give or to observe the safe-conduct of a heretic." "No," said the emperor, "we must keep our promise."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8. It was therefore decided that the Reformer should be heard.

    All the city were eager to see this remarkable man, and a throng of visitors soon filled his lodgings. Luther had scarcely recovered from his recent illness; he was wearied from the journey, which had occupied two full weeks; he must prepare to meet the momentous events of the morrow, and he needed quiet and repose. But so great was the desire to see him that he had enjoyed only a few hours' rest when noblemen, knights, priests, and citizens gathered eagerly about him. Among these were many of the nobles who had so boldly demanded of the emperor a reform of ecclesiastical abuses and who, says Luther, "had all been freed by my gospel."--Martyn, page 393. Enemies, as well as friends, came to look upon the dauntless monk; but he received them with unshaken calmness, replying to all with dignity and wisdom. His bearing was firm and courageous. His pale, thin face, marked with the traces of toil and illness, wore a kindly and even joyous expression. The solemnity and deep earnestness of his words gave him a power that even his enemies could not wholly withstand. Both friends and foes were filled with wonder. Some were convinced that a divine influence attended him; others declared, as had the Pharisees concerning Christ: "He hath a devil."

    On the following day Luther was summoned to attend the Diet. An imperial officer was appointed to conduct him to the hall of audience; yet it was with difficulty that he reached the place. Every avenue was crowded with spectators eager to look upon the monk who had dared resist the authority of the pope.

    As he was about to enter the presence of his judges, an old general, the hero of many battles, said to him kindly: "Poor monk, poor monk, thou art now going to make a nobler stand than I or any other captains have ever made in the bloodiest of our battles. But if thy cause is just, and thou art sure of it, go forward in God's name, and fear nothing. God will not forsake thee."--D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 8.

    At length Luther stood before the council. The emperor occupied the throne. He was surrounded by the most illustrious personages in the empire. Never had any man appeared in the presence of a more imposing assembly than that before which Martin Luther was to answer for his faith. "This appearance was of itself a signal victory over the papacy. The pope had condemned the man, and he was now standing before a tribunal which, by this very act, set itself above the pope. The pope had laid him under an interdict, and cut him off from all human society; and yet he was summoned in respectful language, and received before the most august assembly in the world. The pope had condemned him to perpetual silence, and he was now about to speak before thousands of attentive hearers drawn together from the farthest parts of Christendom. An immense revolution had thus been effected by Luther's instrumentality. Rome was already descending from her throne, and it was the voice of a monk that caused this humiliation."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    In the presence of that powerful and titled assembly the lowly born Reformer seemed awed and embarrassed. Several of the princes, observing his emotion, approached him, and one of them whispered: "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." Another said: "When ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, it shall be given you, by the Spirit of your Father, what ye shall say." Thus the words of Christ were brought by the world's great men to strengthen His servant in the hour of trial.

    Luther was conducted to a position directly in front of the emperor's throne. A deep silence fell upon the crowded assembly. Then an imperial officer arose and, pointing to a collection of Luther's writings, demanded that the Reformer answer two questions--whether he acknowledged them as his, and whether he proposed to retract the opinions which he had therein advanced. The titles of the books having been read, Luther replied that as to the first question, he acknowledged the books to be his. "As to the second," he said, "seeing that it is a question which concerns faith and the salvation of souls, and in which the word of God, the greatest and most precious treasure either in heaven or earth, is involved, I should act imprudently were I to reply without reflection. I might affirm less than the circumstance demands, or more than truth requires, and so sin against this saying of Christ: 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.' [Matthew 10.] For this reason I entreat your imperial majesty, with all humility, to allow me time, that I may answer without offending against the word of God."-- D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 8.

    In making this request, Luther moved wisely. His course convinced the assembly that he did not act from passion or impulse. Such calmness and self-command, unexpected in one who had shown himself bold and uncompromising, added to his power, and enabled him afterward to answer with a prudence, decision, wisdom, and dignity that surprised and disappointed his adversaries, and rebuked their insolence and pride.

    The next day he was to appear to render his final answer. For a time his heart sank within him as he contemplated the forces that were combined against the truth. His faith faltered; fearfulness and trembling came upon him, and horror overwhelmed him. Dangers multiplied before him; his enemies seemed about to triumph, and the powers of darkness to prevail. Clouds gathered about him and seemed to separate him from God. He longed for the assurance that the Lord of hosts would be with him. In anguish of spirit he threw himself with his face upon the earth and poured out those broken, heart-rending cries, which none but God can fully understand.

    "O almighty and everlasting God," he pleaded, "how terrible is this world! Behold, it openeth its mouth to swallow me up, and I have so little trust in Thee. . . . If it is only in the strength of this world that I must put my trust, all is over. . . . My last hour is come, my condemnation has been pronounced. . . . O God, do Thou help me against all the wisdom of the world. Do this, . . . Thou alone; . . . for this is not my work, but Thine. I have nothing to do here, nothing to contend for with these great ones of the world. . . . But the cause is Thine, . . . and it is a righteous and eternal cause. O Lord, help me! Faithful and unchangeable God, in no man do I place my trust. . . . All that is of man is uncertain; all that cometh of man fails. . . . Thou hast chosen me for this work. . . . Stand at my side, for the sake of Thy well-beloved Jesus Christ, who is my defense, my shield, and my strong tower."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    An all-wise Providence had permitted Luther to realize his peril, that he might not trust to his own strength and rush presumptuously into danger. Yet it was not the fear of personal suffering, a dread of torture or death, which seemed immediately impending, that overwhelmed him with its terror. He had come to the crisis, and he felt his insufficiency to meet it. Through his weakness the cause of truth might suffer loss. Not for his own safety, but for the triumph of the gospel did he wrestle with God. Like Israel's, in that night struggle beside the lonely stream, was the anguish and conflict of his soul. Like Israel, he prevailed with God. In his utter helplessness his faith fastened upon Christ, the mighty Deliverer. He was strengthened with the assurance that he would not appear alone before the council. Peace returned to his soul, and he rejoiced that he was permitted to uplift the word of God before the rulers of the nations.

    With his mind stayed upon God, Luther prepared for the struggle before him. He thought upon the plan of his answer, examined passages in his own writings, and drew from the Holy Scriptures suitable proofs to sustain his positions. Then, laying his left hand on the Sacred Volume, which was open before him, he lifted his right hand to heaven and vowed "to remain faithful to the gospel, and freely to confess his faith, even should he seal his testimony with his blood."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    When he was again ushered into the presence of the Diet, his countenance bore no trace of fear or embarrassment. Calm and peaceful, yet grandly brave and noble, he stood as God's witness among the great ones of the earth. The imperial officer now demanded his decision as to whether he desired to retract his doctrines. Luther made his answer in a subdued and humble tone, without violence or passion. His demeanor was diffident and respectful; yet he manifested a confidence and joy that surprised the assembly.

    "Most serene emperor, illustrious princes, gracious lords," said Luther, "I appear before you this day, in conformity with the order given me yesterday, and by God's mercies I conjure your majesty and your august highnesses to listen graciously to the defense of a cause which I am assured is just and true. If, through ignorance, I should transgress the usages and proprieties of courts, I entreat you to pardon me; for I was not brought up in the palaces of kings, but in the seclusion of a convent."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    Then, proceeding to the question, he stated that his published works were not all of the same character. In some he had treated of faith and good works, and even his enemies declared them not only harmless but profitable. To retract these would be to condemn truths which all parties confessed. The second class consisted of writings exposing the corruptions and abuses of the papacy. To revoke these works would strengthen the tyranny of Rome and open a wider door to many and great impieties. In the third class of his books he had attacked individuals who had defended existing evils. Concerning these he freely confessed that he had been more violent than was becoming. He did not claim to be free from fault; but even these books he could not revoke, for such a course would embolden the enemies of truth, and they would then take occasion to crush God's people with still greater cruelty.

    "Yet I am but a mere man, and not God," he continued; "I shall therefore defend myself as Christ did: 'If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil.' . . . By the mercy of God, I conjure you, most serene emperor, and you, most illustrious princes, and all men of every degree, to prove from the writings of the prophets and apostles that I have erred. As soon as I am convinced of this, I will retract every error, and be the first to lay hold of my books and throw them into the fire.

    "What I have just said plainly shows, I hope, that I have carefully weighed and considered the dangers to which I expose myself; but far from being dismayed, I rejoice to see that the gospel is now, as in former times, a cause of trouble and dissension. This is the character, this is the destiny, of the word of God. 'I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword,' said Jesus Christ. God is wonderful and terrible in His counsels; beware lest, by presuming to quench dissensions, you should persecute the holy word of God, and draw down upon yourselves a frightful deluge of insurmountable dangers, of present disasters, and eternal desolation. . . . I might quote many examples from the oracles of God. I might speak of the Pharaohs, the kings of Babylon, and those of Israel, whose labors never more effectually contributed to their own destruction than when they sought by counsels, to all appearance most wise, to strengthen their dominion. 'God removeth mountains, and they know it not.'"--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    Luther had spoken in German; he was now requested to repeat the same words in Latin. Though exhausted by the previous effort, he complied, and again delivered his speech, with the same clearness and energy as at the first. God's providence directed in this matter. The minds of many of the princes were so blinded by error and superstition that at the first delivery they did not see the force of Luther's reasoning; but the repetition enabled them to perceive clearly the points presented.

    Those who stubbornly closed their eyes to the light, and determined not to be convinced of the truth, were enraged at the power of Luther's words. As he ceased speaking, the spokesman of the Diet said angrily: "You have not answered the question put to you. . . . You are required to give a clear and precise answer. . . . Will you, or will you not, retract?"

    The Reformer answered: "Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require from me a clear, simple, and precise answer, I will give you one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me. Amen." --Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    Thus stood this righteous man upon the sure foundation of the word of God. The light of heaven illuminated his countenance. His greatness and purity of character, his peace and joy of heart, were manifest to all as he testified against the power of error and witnessed to the superiority of that faith that overcomes the world.

    The whole assembly were for a time speechless with amazement. At his first answer Luther had spoken in a low tone, with a respectful, almost submissive bearing. The Romanists had interpreted this as evidence that his courage was beginning to fail. They regarded the request for delay as merely the prelude to his recantation. Charles himself, noting, half contemptuously, the monk's worn frame, his plain attire, and the simplicity of his address, had declared: "This monk will never make a heretic of me." The courage and firmness which he now displayed, as well as the power and clearness of his reasoning, filled all parties with surprise.

    The emperor, moved to admiration, exclaimed: "This monk speaks with an intrepid heart and unshaken courage." Many of the German princes looked with pride and joy upon this representative of their nation. The partisans of Rome had been worsted; their cause appeared in a most unfavorable light. They sought to maintain their power, not by appealing to the Scriptures, but by a resort to threats, Rome's unfailing argument. Said the spokesman of the Diet: "If you do not retract, the emperor and the states of the empire will consult what course to adopt against an incorrigible heretic."

    Luther's friend, who had with great joy listened to his noble defense, trembled at these words; but the doctor himself said calmly: "May God be my helper, for I can retract nothing."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 8.

    He was directed to withdraw from the Diet while the princes consulted together. It was felt that a great crisis had come. Luther's persistent refusal to submit might affect the history of the church for ages. It was decided to give him one more opportunity to retract. For the last time he was brought into the assembly. Again the question was put, whether he would renounce his doctrines. "I have no other reply to make," he said, "than that which I have already made." It was evident that he could not be induced, either by promises or threats, to yield to the mandate of Rome.

    The papal leaders were chagrined that their power, which had caused kings and nobles to tremble, should be thus despised by a humble monk; they longed to make him feel their wrath by torturing his life away. But Luther, understanding his danger, had spoken to all with Christian dignity and calmness. His words had been free from pride, passion, and misrepresentation. He had lost sight of himself, and the great men surrounding him, and felt only that he was in the presence of One infinitely superior to popes, prelates, kings, and emperors. Christ had spoken through Luther's testimony with a power and grandeur that for the time inspired both friends and foes with awe and wonder. The Spirit of God had been present in that council, impressing the hearts of the chiefs of the empire. Several of the princes boldly acknowledged the justice of Luther's cause. Many were convinced of the truth; but with some the impressions received were not lasting. There was another class who did not at the time express their convictions, but who, having searched the Scriptures for themselves, at a future time became fearless supporters of the Reformation.

    The elector Frederick had looked forward anxiously to Luther's appearance before the Diet, and with deep emotion he listened to his speech. With joy and pride he witnessed the doctor's courage, firmness, and self-possession, and determined to stand more firmly in his defense. He contrasted the parties in contest, and saw that the wisdom of popes, kings, and prelates had been brought to nought by the power of truth. The papacy had sustained a defeat which would be felt among all nations and in all ages.

    As the legate perceived the effect produced by Luther's speech, he feared, as never before, for the security of the Romish power, and resolved to employ every means at his command to effect the Reformer's overthrow. With all the eloquence and diplomatic skill for which he was so eminently distinguished, he represented to the youthful emperor the folly and danger of sacrificing, in the cause of an insignificant monk, the friendship and support of the powerful see of Rome.

    His words were not without effect. On the day following Luther's answer, Charles caused a message to be presented to the Diet, announcing his determination to carry out the policy of his predecessors to maintain and protect the Catholic religion. Since Luther had refused to renounce his errors, the most vigorous measures should be employed against him and the heresies he taught. "A single monk, misled by his own folly, has risen against the faith of Christendom. To stay such impiety, I will sacrifice my kingdoms, my treasures, my friends, my body, my blood, my soul, and my life. I am about to dismiss the Augustine Luther, forbidding him to cause the least disorder among the people; I shall then proceed against him and his adherents as contumacious heretics, by excommunication, by interdict, and by every means calculated to destroy them. I call on the members of the states to behave like faithful Christians."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 9. Nevertheless the emperor declared that Luther's safe-conduct must be respected, and that before proceedings against him could be instituted, he must be allowed to reach his home in safety.

    Two conflicting opinions were now urged by the members of the Diet. The emissaries and representatives of the pope again demanded that the Reformer's safe-conduct should be disregarded. "The Rhine," they said, "should receive his ashes, as it had received those of John Huss a century ago."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 9. But princes of Germany, though themselves papists and avowed enemies to Luther, protested against such a breach of public faith, as a stain upon the honor of the nation. They pointed to the calamities which had followed the death of Huss, and declared that they dared not call down upon Germany, and upon the head of their youthful emperor, a repetition of those terrible evils.

    Charles himself, in answer to the base proposal, said: "Though honor and faith should be banished from all the world, they ought to find a refuge in the hearts of princes." --Ibid., b. 7, ch. 9. He was still further urged by the most bitter of Luther's papal enemies to deal with the Reformer as Sigismund had dealt with Huss--abandon him to the mercies of the church; but recalling the scene when Huss in public assembly had pointed to his chains and reminded the monarch of his plighted faith, Charles V declared: "I should not like to blush like Sigismund."--Lenfant, vol. 1, p. 422.

    Yet Charles had deliberately rejected the truths presented by Luther. "I am firmly resolved to imitate the example of my ancestors," wrote the monarch.--D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 9. He had decided that he would not step out of the path of custom, even to walk in the ways of truth and righteousness. Because his fathers did, he would uphold the papacy, with all its cruelty and corruption. Thus he took his position, refusing to accept any light in advance of what his fathers had received, or to perform any duty that they had not performed.

    There are many at the present day thus clinging to the customs and traditions of their fathers. When the Lord sends them additional light, they refuse to accept it, because, not having been granted to their fathers, it was not received by them. We are not placed where our fathers were; consequently our duties and responsibilities are not the same as theirs. We shall not be approved of God in looking to the example of our fathers to determine our duty instead of searching the word of truth for ourselves. Our responsibility is greater than was that of our ancestors. We are accountable for the light which they received, and which was handed down as an inheritance for us, and we are accountable also for the additional light which is now shining upon us from the word of God.

    Said Christ of the unbelieving Jews: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." John 15:22. The same divine power had spoken through Luther to the emperor and princes of Germany. And as the light shone forth from God's word, His Spirit pleaded for the last time with many in that assembly. As Pilate, centuries before, permitted pride and popularity to close his heart against the world's Redeemer; as the trembling Felix bade the messenger of truth, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee;" as the proud Agrippa confessed, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 24:25; 26:28), yet turned away from the Heaven-sent message--so had Charles V, yielding to the dictates of worldly pride and policy, decided to reject the light of truth.

    Rumors of the designs against Luther were widely circulated, causing great excitement throughout the city. The Reformer had made many friends, who, knowing the treacherous cruelty of Rome toward all who dared expose her corruptions, resolved that he should not be sacrificed. Hundreds of nobles pledged themselves to protect him. Not a few openly denounced the royal message of evincing a weak submission to the controlling power of Rome. On the gates of houses and in public places, placards were posted, some condemning and others sustaining Luther. On one of these were written merely the significant words of the wise man: "Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child." Ecclesiastes 10:16. The popular enthusiasm in Luther's favor throughout all Germany convinced both the emperor and the Diet that any injustice shown him would endanger the peace of the empire and even the stability of the throne.

    Frederick of Saxony maintained a studied reserve, carefully concealing his real feelings toward the Reformer, while at the same time he guarded him with tireless vigilance, watching all his movements and all those of his enemies. But there were many who made no attempt to conceal their sympathy with Luther. He was visited by princes, counts, barons, and other persons of distinction, both lay and ecclesiastical. "The doctor's little room," wrote Spalatin, "could not contain all the visitors who presented themselves."-- Martyn, vol. 1, p. 404. The people gazed upon him as if he were more than human. Even those who had no faith in his doctrines could not but admire that lofty integrity which led him to brave death rather than violate his conscience.

    Earnest efforts were made to obtain Luther's consent to a compromise with Rome. Nobles and princes represented to him that if he persisted in setting up his own judgment against that of the church and the councils he would soon be banished from the empire and would have no defense. To this appeal Luther answered: "The gospel of Christ cannot be preached without offense. . . . Why then should the fear or apprehension of danger separate me from the Lord, and from that divine word which alone is truth? No; I would rather give up my body, my blood, and my life."-- D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 10.

    Again he was urged to submit to the judgment of the emperor, and then he would have nothing to fear. "I consent," said he in reply, "with all my heart, that the emperor, the princes, and even the meanest Christian, should examine and judge my works; but on one condition, that they take the word of God for their standard. Men have nothing to do but to obey it. Do not offer violence to my conscience, which is bound and chained up with the Holy Scriptures."-- Ibid., b. 7, ch. 10.

    To another appeal he said: "I consent to renounce my safe-conduct. I place my person and my life in the emperor's hands, but the word of God--never!"--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 10. He stated his willingness to submit to the decision of a general council, but only on condition that the council be required to decide according to the Scriptures. "In what concerns the word of God and the faith," he added, "every Christian is as good a judge as the pope, though supported by a million councils, can be for him."--Martyn, vol. 1, p. 410. Both friends and foes were at last convinced that further effort for reconciliation would be useless.

    Had the Reformer yielded a single point, Satan and his hosts would have gained the victory. But his unwavering firmness was the means of emancipating the church, and beginning a new and better era. The influence of this one man, who dared to think and act for himself in religious matters, was to affect the church and the world, not only in his own time, but in all future generations. His firmness and fidelity would strengthen all, to the close of time, who should pass through a similar experience. The power and majesty of God stood forth above the counsel of men, above the mighty power of Satan.

    Luther was soon commanded by the authority of the emperor to return home, and he knew that this notice would be speedily followed by his condemnation. Threatening clouds overhung his path; but as he departed from Worms, his heart was filled with joy and praise. "The devil himself," said he, "guarded the pope's citadel; but Christ has made a wide breach in it, and Satan was constrained to confess that the Lord is mightier than he."--D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 11.

    After his departure, still desirous that his firmness should not be mistaken for rebellion, Luther wrote to the emperor. "God, who is the searcher of hearts, is my witness," he said, "that I am ready most earnestly to obey your majesty, in honor or in dishonor, in life or in death, and with no exception save the word of God, by which man lives. In all the affairs of this present life, my fidelity shall be unshaken, for here to lose or to gain is of no consequence to salvation. But when eternal interests are concerned, God wills not that man should submit unto man. For such submission in spiritual matters is a real worship, and ought to be rendered solely to the Creator."--Ibid., b. 7, ch. 11.

    On the journey from Worms, Luther's reception was even more flattering than during his progress thither. Princely ecclesiastics welcomed the excommunicated monk, and civil rulers honored the man whom the emperor had denounced. He was urged to preach, and, notwithstanding the imperial prohibition, he again entered the pulpit. "I never pledged myself to chain up the word of God," he said, "nor will I." --Martyn, vol. 1, p. 420.

    He had not been long absent from Worms, when the papists prevailed upon the emperor to issue an edict against him. In this decree Luther was denounced as "Satan himself under the form of a man and dressed in a monk's frock."-- D'Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 11. It was commanded that as soon as his safe-conduct should expire, measures be taken to stop his work. All persons were forbidden to harbor him, to give him food or drink, or by word or act, in public or private, to aid or abet him. He was to be seized wherever he might be, and delivered to the authorities. His adherents also were to be imprisoned and their property confiscated. His writings were to be destroyed, and, finally, all who should dare to act contrary to this decree were included in its condemnation. The elector of Saxony and the princes most friendly to Luther had left Worms soon after his departure, and the emperor's decree received the sanction of the Diet. Now the Romanists were jubilant. They considered the fate of the Reformation sealed.

    God had provided a way of escape for His servant in this hour of peril. A vigilant eye had followed Luther's movements, and a true and noble heart had resolved upon his rescue. It was plain that Rome would be satisfied with nothing short of his death; only by concealment could he be preserved from the jaws of the lion. God gave wisdom to Frederick of Saxony to devise a plan for the Reformer's preservation. With the co-operation of true friends the elector's purpose was carried out, and Luther was effectually hidden from friends and foes. Upon his homeward journey he was seized, separated from his attendants, and hurriedly conveyed through the forest to the castle of Wartburg, an isolated mountain fortress. Both his seizure and his concealment were so involved in mystery that even Frederick himself for a long time knew not whither he had been conducted. This ignorance was not without design; so long as the elector knew nothing of Luther's whereabouts, he could reveal nothing. He satisfied himself that the Reformer was safe, and with this knowledge he was content.

    Spring, summer, and autumn passed, and winter came, and Luther still remained a prisoner. Aleander and his partisans exulted as the light of the gospel seemed about to be extinguished. But instead of this, the Reformer was filling his lamp from the storehouse of truth; and its light was to shine forth with brighter radiance.

    In the friendly security of the Wartburg, Luther for a time rejoiced in his release from the heat and turmoil of battle. But he could not long find satisfaction in quiet and repose. Accustomed to a life of activity and stern conflict, he could ill endure to remain inactive. In those solitary days the condition of the church rose up before him, and he cried in despair. "Alas! there is no one in this latter day of His anger, to stand like a wall before the Lord, and save Israel!"--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 2. Again, his thoughts returned to himself, and he feared being charged with cowardice in withdrawing from the contest. Then he reproached himself for his indolence and self-indulgence. Yet at the same time he was daily accomplishing more than it seemed possible for one man to do. His pen was never idle. While his enemies flattered themselves that he was silenced, they were astonished and confused by tangible proof that he was still active. A host of tracts, issuing from his pen, circulated throughout Germany. He also performed a most important service for his countrymen by translating the New Testament into the German tongue. From his rocky Patmos he continued for nearly a whole year to proclaim the gospel and rebuke the sins and errors of the times.

    But it was not merely to preserve Luther from the wrath of his enemies, nor even to afford him a season of quiet for these important labors, that God had withdrawn His servant from the stage of public life. There were results more precious than these to be secured. In the solitude and obscurity of his mountain retreat, Luther was removed from earthly supports and shut out from human praise. He was thus saved from the pride and self-confidence that are so often caused by success. By suffering and humiliation he was prepared again to walk safely upon the dizzy heights to which he had been so suddenly exalted.

    As men rejoice in the freedom which the truth brings them, they are inclined to extol those whom God has employed to break the chains of error and superstition. Satan seeks to divert men's thoughts and affections from God, and to fix them upon human agencies; he leads them to honor the mere instrument and to ignore the Hand that directs all the events of providence. Too often religious leaders who are thus praised and reverenced lose sight of their dependence upon God and are led to trust in themselves. As a result they seek to control the minds and consciences of the people, who are disposed to look to them for guidance instead of looking to the word of God. The work of reform is often retarded because of this spirit indulged by its supporters. From this danger, God would guard the cause of the Reformation. He desired that work to receive, not the impress of man, but that of God. The eyes of men had been turned to Luther as the expounder of the truth; he was removed that all eyes might be directed to the eternal Author of truth.










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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:24 am

    What if Religion Should Simply Be Research and Nature?? I Represent No One In Particular, Even Though I Post A Lot of Adventist Stuff, But We Have No Relationship Whatsoever. I Continue to Think There Is An Adventist-Core Which Isn't Adventist. I Suspect European-Royalty Origins (Corrupted and Confused by Incompetent-Americans and Sinister-Jesuits)!! 'RA' Told Me "The Writings of Ellen White Were Intended to Mislead" (or something to that effect). What Concerns Me About Adventism and Ellen White is That a Focus Upon the Conflict of the Ages Series Seems to Have Been Highly-Diluted with Inferior-Tripe. Reading the Conflict of the Ages Series Books Straight-Through, Over and Over Might Give One An Idea of What I'm Referring To. What Would Dr. A. Graham Maxwell Say?? What Would Queen Victoria Say?? What Would Ellen White Say?? What Would Baron Stockmar Say??





    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    In the choice of instrumentalities for the reforming of the church, the same divine plan is seen as in that for the planting of the church. The heavenly Teacher passed by the great men of the earth, the titled and wealthy, who were accustomed to receive praise and homage as leaders of the people. They were so proud and self-confident in their boasted superiority that they could not be molded to sympathize with their fellow men and to become colaborers with the humble Man of Nazareth. To the unlearned, toiling fishermen of Galilee was the call addressed: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19. These disciples were humble and teachable. The less they had been influenced by the false teaching of their time, the more successfully could Christ instruct and train them for His service. So in the days of the Great Reformation. The leading Reformers were men from humble life--men who were most free of any of their time from pride of rank and from the influence of bigotry and priestcraft. It is God's plan to employ humble instruments to accomplish great results. Then the glory will not be given to men, but to Him who works through them to will and to do of His own good pleasure.

    A few weeks after the birth of Luther in a miner's cabin in Saxony, Ulric Zwingli was born in a herdsman's cottage among the Alps. Zwingli's surroundings in childhood, and his early training, were such as to prepare him for his future mission. Reared amid scenes of natural grandeur, beauty, and awful sublimity, his mind was early impressed with a sense of the greatness, the power, and the majesty of God. The history of the brave deeds achieved upon his native mountains kindled his youthful aspirations. And at the side of his pious grandmother he listened to the few precious Bible stories which she had gleaned from amid the legends and traditions of the church. With eager interest he heard of the grand deeds of patriarchs and prophets, of the shepherds who watched their flocks on the hills of Palestine where angels talked with them, of the Babe of Bethlehem and the Man of Calvary.

    Like John Luther, Zwingli's father desired an education for his son, and the boy was early sent from his native valley. His mind rapidly developed, and it soon became a question where to find teachers competent to instruct him. At the age of thirteen he went to Bern, which then possessed the most distinguished school in Switzerland. Here, however, a danger arose which threatened to blight the promise of his life. Determined efforts were put forth by the friars to allure him into a monastery. The Dominican and Franciscan monks were in rivalry for popular favor. This they endeavored to secure by the showy adornments of their churches, the pomp of their ceremonials, and the attractions of famous relics and miracle-working images.

    The Dominicans of Bern saw that if they could win this talented young scholar, they would secure both gain and honor. His extreme youth, his natural ability as a speaker and writer, and his genius for music and poetry, would be more effective than all their pomp and display, in attracting the people to their services and increasing the revenues of their order. By deceit and flattery they endeavored to induce Zwingli to enter their convent. Luther, while a student at school, had buried himself in a convent cell, and he would have been lost to the world had not God's providence released him. Zwingli was not permitted to encounter the same peril. Providentially his father received information of the designs of the friars. He had no intention of allowing his son to follow the idle and worthless life of the monks. He saw that his future usefulness was at stake, and directed him to return home without delay.

    The command was obeyed; but the youth could not be long content in his native valley, and he soon resumed his studies, repairing, after a time, to Basel. It was here that Zwingli first heard the gospel of God's free grace. Wittembach, a teacher of the ancient languages, had, while studying Greek and Hebrew, been led to the Holy Scriptures, and thus rays of divine light were shed into the minds of the students under his instruction. He declared that there was a truth more ancient, and of infinitely greater worth, than the theories taught by schoolmen and philosophers. This ancient truth was that the death of Christ is the sinner's only ransom. To Zwingli these words were as the first ray of light that precedes the dawn.

    Zwingli was soon called from Basel to enter upon his lifework. His first field of labor was in an Alpine parish, not far distant from his native valley. Having received ordination as a priest, he "devoted himself with his whole soul to the search after divine truth; for he was well aware," says a fellow Reformer, "how much he must know to whom the flock of Christ is entrusted."--Wylie, b. 8, ch. 5. The more he searched the Scriptures, the clearer appeared the contrast between their truths and the heresies of Rome. He submitted himself to the Bible as the word of God, the only sufficient, infallible rule. He saw that it must be its own interpreter. He dared not attempt to explain Scripture to sustain a preconceived theory or doctrine, but held it his duty to learn what is its direct and obvious teaching. He sought to avail himself of every help to obtain a full and correct understanding of its meaning, and he invoked the aid of the Holy Spirit, which would, he declared, reveal it to all who sought it in sincerity and with prayer.

    "The Scriptures," said Zwingli, "come from God, not from man, and even that God who enlightens will give thee to understand that the speech comes from God. The word of God . . . cannot fail; it is bright, it teaches itself, it discloses itself, it illumines the soul with all salvation and grace, comforts it in God, humbles it, so that it loses and even forfeits itself, and embraces God." The truth of these words Zwingli himself had proved. Speaking of his experience at this time, he afterward wrote: "When . . . I began to give myself wholly up to the Holy Scriptures, philosophy and theology (scholastic) would always keep suggesting quarrels to me. At last I came to this, that I thought, `Thou must let all that lie, and learn the meaning of God purely out of His own simple word.' Then I began to ask God for His light, and the Scriptures began to be much easier to me."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6.

    The doctrine preached by Zwingli was not received from Luther. It was the doctrine of Christ. "If Luther preaches Christ," said the Swiss Reformer, "he does what I am doing. Those whom he has brought to Christ are more numerous than those whom I have led. But this matters not. I will bear no other name than that of Christ, whose soldier I am, and who alone is my Chief. Never has one single word been written by me to Luther, nor by Luther to me. And why? . . . That it might be shown how much the Spirit of God is in unison with itself, since both of us, without any collusion, teach the doctrine of Christ with such uniformity." --D'Aubigne, b. 8, ch. 9.

    In 1516 Zwingli was invited to become a preacher in the convent at Einsiedeln. Here he was to have a closer view of the corruptions of Rome and was to exert an influence as a Reformer that would be felt far beyond his native Alps. Among the chief attractions of Einsiedeln was an image of the Virgin which was said to have the power of working miracles. Above the gateway of the convent was the inscription, "Here a plenary remission of sins may be obtained."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 5. Pilgrims at all seasons resorted to the shrine of the Virgin; but at the great yearly festival of its consecration multitudes came from all parts of Switzerland, and even from France and Germany. Zwingli, greatly afflicted at the sight, seized the opportunity to proclaim liberty through the gospel to these bondslaves of superstition.

    "Do not imagine," he said, "that God is in this temple more than in any other part of creation. Whatever be the country in which you dwell, God is around you, and hears you. . . . Can unprofitable works, long pilgrimages, offerings, images, the invocation of the Virgin or of the saints, secure for you the grace of God? . . . What avails the multitude of words with which we embody our prayers? What efficacy has a glossy cowl, a smooth-shorn head, a long and flowing robe, or gold-embroidered slippers? . . . God looks at the heart, and our hearts are far from Him." "Christ," he said, "who was once offered upon the cross, is the sacrifice and victim, that had made satisfaction for the sins of believers to all eternity."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 5.

    To many listeners these teachings were unwelcome. It was a bitter disappointment to them to be told that their toilsome journey had been made in vain. The pardon freely offered to them through Christ they could not comprehend. They were satisfied with the old way to heaven which Rome had marked out for them. They shrank from the perplexity of searching for anything better. It was easier to trust their salvation to the priests and the pope than to seek for purity of heart.

    But another class received with gladness the tidings of redemption through Christ. The observances enjoined by Rome had failed to bring peace of soul, and in faith they accepted the Saviour's blood as their propitiation. These returned to their homes to reveal to others the precious light which they had received. The truth was thus carried from hamlet to hamlet, from town to town, and the number of pilgrims to the Virgin's shrine greatly lessened. There was a falling off in the offerings, and consequently in the salary of Zwingli, which was drawn from them. But this caused him only joy as he saw that the power of fanaticism and superstition was being broken.

    The authorities of the church were not blind to the work which Zwingli was accomplishing; but for the present they forbore to interfere. Hoping yet to secure him to their cause, they endeavored to win him by flatteries; and meanwhile the truth was gaining a hold upon the hearts of the people.

    Zwingli's labors at Einsiedeln had prepared him for a wider field, and this he was soon to enter. After three years here he was called to the office of preacher in the cathedral at Zurich. This was then the most important town of the Swiss confederacy, and the influence exerted here would be widely felt. The ecclesiastics by whose invitation he came to Zurich were, however, desirous of preventing any innovations, and they accordingly proceeded to instruct him as to his duties.

    "You will make every exertion," they said, "to collect the revenues of the chapter, without overlooking the least. You will exhort the faithful, both from the pulpit and in the confessional, to pay all tithes and dues, and to show by their offerings their affection to the church. You will be diligent in increasing the income arising from the sick, from masses, and in general from every ecclesiastical ordinance." "As for the administration of the sacraments, the preaching, and the care of the flock," added his instructors, "these are also the duties of the chaplain. But for these you may employ a substitute, and particularly in preaching. You should administer the sacraments to none but persons of note, and only when called upon; you are forbidden to do so without distinction of persons."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6.

    Zwingli listened in silence to this charge, and in reply, after expressing his gratitude for the honor of a call to this important station, he proceeded to explain the course which he proposed to adopt. "The life of Christ," he said, "has been too long hidden from the people. I shall preach upon the whole of the Gospel of St. Matthew, . . . drawing solely from the fountains of Scripture, sounding its depths, comparing one passage with another, and seeking for understanding by constant and earnest prayer. It is to God's glory, to the praise of His only Son, to the real salvation of souls, and to their edification in the true faith, that I shall consecrate my ministry."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6. Though some of the ecclesiastics disapproved his plan, and endeavored to dissuade him from it, Zwingli remained steadfast. He declared that he was about to introduce no new method, but the old method employed by the church in earlier and purer times.

    Already an interest had been awakened in the truths he taught; and the people flocked in great numbers to listen to his preaching. Many who had long since ceased to attend service were among his hearers. He began his ministry by opening the Gospels and reading and explaining to his hearers the inspired narrative of the life, teachings, and death of Christ. Here, as at Einsiedeln, he presented the word of God as the only infallible authority and the death of Christ as the only complete sacrifice. "It is to Christ," he said, "that I desire to lead you--to Christ, the true source of salvation." --Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6. Around the preacher crowded the people of all classes, from statesmen and scholars to the artisan and the peasant. With deep interest they listened to his words. He not only proclaimed the offer of a free salvation, but fearlessly rebuked the evils and corruptions of the times. Many returned from the cathedral praising God. "This man," they said, "is a preacher of the truth. He will be our Moses, to lead us forth from this Egyptian darkness."--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6.

    But though at first his labors were received with great enthusiasm, after a time opposition arose. The monks set themselves to hinder his work and condemn his teachings. Many assailed him with gibes and sneers; others resorted to insolence and threats. But Zwingli bore all with patience, saying: "If we desire to gain over the wicked to Jesus Christ, we must shut our eyes against many things." --Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6.

    About this time a new agency came in to advance the work of reform. One Lucian was sent to Zurich with some of Luther's writings, by a friend of the reformed faith at Basel, who suggested that the sale of these books might be a powerful means of scattering the light. "Ascertain," he wrote to Zwingli, "whether this man possesses sufficient prudence and skill; if so, let him carry from city to city, from town to town, from village to village, and even from house to house, among the Swiss, the works of Luther, and especially his exposition of the Lord's Prayer written for the laity. The more they are known, the more purchasers they will find." --Ibid., b. 8, ch. 6. Thus the light found entrance.

    At the time when God is preparing to break the shackles of ignorance and superstition, then it is that Satan works with greatest power to enshroud men in darkness and to bind their fetters still more firmly. As men were rising up in different lands to present to the people forgiveness and justification through the blood of Christ, Rome proceeded with renewed energy to open her market throughout Christendom, offering pardon for money.

    Every sin had its price, and men were granted free license for crime if the treasury of the church was kept well filled. Thus the two movements advanced,--one offering forgiveness of sin for money, the other forgiveness through Christ,-- Rome licensing sin and making it her source of revenue; the Reformers condemning sin and pointing to Christ as the propitiation and deliverer.

    In Germany the sale of indulgences had been committed to the Dominican friars and was conducted by the infamous Tetzel. In Switzerland the traffic was put into the hands of the Franciscans, under the control of Samson, an Italian monk. Samson had already done good service to the church, having secured immense sums from Germany and Switzerland to fill the papal treasury. Now he traversed Switzerland, attracting great crowds, despoiling the poor peasants of their scanty earnings, and exacting rich gifts from the wealthy classes. But the influence of the reform already made itself felt in curtailing, though it could not stop, the traffic. Zwingli was still at Einsiedeln when Samson, soon after entering Switzerland, arrived with his wares at a neighboring town. Being apprised of his mission, the Reformer immediately set out to oppose him. The two did not meet, but such was Zwingli's success in exposing the friar's pretensions that he was obliged to leave for other quarters.

    At Zurich, Zwingli preached zealously against the pardonmongers; and when Samson approached the place, he was met by a messenger from the council with an intimation that he was expected to pass on. He finally secured an entrance by stratagem, but was sent away without the sale of a single pardon, and he soon after left Switzerland.

    A strong impetus was given to the reform by the appearance of the plague, or Great Death, which swept over Switzerland in the year 1519. As men were thus brought face to face with the destroyer, many were led to feel how vain and worthless were the pardons which they had so lately purchased; and they longed for a surer foundation for their faith. Zwingli at Zurich was smitten down; he was brought so low that all hope of his recovery was relinquished, and the report was widely circulated that he was dead. In that trying hour his hope and courage were unshaken. He looked in faith to the cross of Calvary, trusting in the all-sufficient propitiation for sin. When he came back from the gates of death, it was to preach the gospel with greater fervor than ever before; and his words exerted an unwonted power. The people welcomed with joy their beloved pastor, returned to them from the brink of the grave. They themselves had come from attending upon the sick and the dying, and they felt, as never before, the value of the gospel.

    Zwingli had arrived at a clearer understanding of its truths, and had more fully experienced in himself its renewing power. The fall of man and the plan of redemption were the subjects upon which he dwelt. "In Adam," he said, "we are all dead, sunk in corruption and condemnation." --Wylie, b. 8, ch. 9. "Christ . . . has purchased for us a never-ending redemption. . . . His passion is . . . an eternal sacrifice, and everlastingly effectual to heal; it satisfies the divine justice forever in behalf of all those who rely upon it with firm and unshaken faith." Yet he clearly taught that men are not, because of the grace of Christ, free to continue in sin. "Wherever there is faith in God, there God is; and wherever God abideth, there a zeal exists urging and impelling men to good works."--D'Aubigne, b. 8, ch. 9.

    Such was the interest in Zwingli's preaching that the cathedral was filled to overflowing with the crowds that came to listen to him. Little by little, as they could bear it, he opened the truth to his hearers. He was careful not to introduce, at first, points which would startle them and create prejudice. His work was to win their hearts to the teachings of Christ, to soften them by His love, and keep before them His example; and as they should receive the principles of the gospel, their superstitious beliefs and practices would inevitably be overthrown.

    Step by step the Reformation advanced in Zurich. In alarm its enemies aroused to active opposition. One year before, the monk of Wittenberg had uttered his No to the pope and the emperor at Worms, and now everything seemed to indicate a similar withstanding of the papal claims at Zurich. Repeated attacks were made upon Zwingli. In the papal cantons, from time to time, disciples of the gospel were brought to the stake, but this was not enough; the teacher of heresy must be silenced. Accordingly the bishop of Constance dispatched three deputies to the Council of Zurich, accusing Zwingli of teaching the people to transgress the laws of the church, thus endangering the peace and good order of society. If the authority of the church were to be set aside, he urged, universal anarchy would result. Zwingli replied that he had been for four years teaching the gospel in Zurich, "which was more quiet and peaceful than any other town in the confederacy." "Is not, then," he said, "Christianity the best safeguard of the general security?"--Wylie, b. 8, ch. 11.

    The deputies had admonished the councilors to continue in the church, out of which, they declared, there was no salvation. Zwingli responded: "Let not this accusation move you. The foundation of the church is the same Rock, the same Christ, that gave Peter his name because he confessed Him faithfully. In every nation whosoever believes with all his heart in the Lord Jesus is accepted of God. Here, truly, is the church, out of which no one can be saved."--D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 8, ch. 11. As a result of the conference, one of the bishop's deputies accepted the reformed faith.

    The council declined to take action against Zwingli, and Rome prepared for a fresh attack. The Reformer, when apprised of the plots of his enemies, exclaimed: "Let them come on; I fear them as the beetling cliff fears the waves that thunder at its feet."--Wylie, b. 8, ch. 11. The efforts of the ecclesiastics only furthered the cause which they sought to overthrow. The truth continued to spread. In Germany its adherents, cast down by Luther's disappearance, took heart again, as they saw the progress of the gospel in Switzerland.

    As the Reformation became established in Zurich, its fruits were more fully seen in the suppression of vice and the promotion of order and harmony. "Peace has her habitation in our town," wrote Zwingli; "no quarrel, no hypocrisy, no envy, no strife. Whence can such union come but from the Lord, and our doctrine, which fills us with the fruits of peace and piety?"--Ibid., b. 8, ch. 15.

    The victories gained by the Reformation stirred the Romanists to still more determined efforts for its overthrow. Seeing how little had been accomplished by persecution in suppressing Luther's work in Germany, they decided to meet the reform with its own weapons. They would hold a disputation with Zwingli, and having the arrangement of matters, they would make sure of victory by choosing, themselves, not only the place of the combat, but the judges that should decide between the disputants. And if they could once get Zwingli into their power, they would take care that he did not escape them. The leader silenced, the movement could speedily be crushed. This purpose, however, was carefully concealed.

    The disputation was appointed to be held at Baden; but Zwingli was not present. The Council of Zurich, suspecting the designs of the papists, and warned by the burning piles kindled in the papal cantons for confessors of the gospel, forbade their pastor to expose himself to this peril. At Zurich he was ready to meet all the partisans that Rome might send; but to go to Baden, where the blood of martyrs for the truth had just been shed, was to go to certain death. Oecolampadius and Haller were chosen to represent the Reformers, while the famous Dr. Eck, supported by a host of learned doctors and prelates, was the champion of Rome.

    Though Zwingli was not present at the conference, his influence was felt. The secretaries were all chosen by the papists, and others were forbidden to take notes, on pain of death. Notwithstanding this, Zwingli received daily a faithful account of what was said at Baden. A student in attendance at the disputation made a record each evening of the arguments that day presented. These papers two other students undertook to deliver, with the daily letters of Oecolampadius, to Zwingli at Zurich. The Reformer answered, giving counsel and suggestions. His letters were written by night, and the students returned with them to Baden in the morning. To elude the vigilance of the guard stationed at the city gates, these messengers brought baskets of poultry on their heads, and they were permitted to pass without hindrance.

    Thus Zwingli maintained the battle with his wily antagonists. He "has labored more," said Myconius, "by his meditations, his sleepless nights, and the advice which he transmitted to Baden, than he would have done by discussing in person in the midst of his enemies."--D'Aubigne, b. 11, ch. 13.

    The Romanists, flushed with anticipated triumph, had come to Baden attired in their richest robes and glittering with jewels. They fared luxuriously, their tables spread with the most costly delicacies and the choicest wines. The burden of their ecclesiastical duties was lightened by gaiety and reveling. In marked contrast appeared the Reformers, who were looked upon by the people as little better than a company of beggars, and whose frugal fare kept them but short time at table. Oecolampadius's landlord, taking occasion to watch him in his room, found him always engaged in study or at prayer, and greatly wondering, reported that the heretic was at least "very pious."

    At the conference, "Eck haughtily ascended a pulpit splendidly decorated, while the humble Oecolampadius, meanly clothed, was forced to take his seat in front of his opponent on a rudely carved stool."--Ibid., b. 11, ch. 13. Eck's stentorian voice and unbounded assurance never failed him. His zeal was stimulated by the hope of gold as well as fame; for the defender of the faith was to be rewarded by a handsome fee. When better arguments failed, he had resort to insults, and even to oaths.

    Oecolampadius, modest and self-distrustful, had shrunk from the combat, and he entered upon it with the solemn avowal: "I acknowledge no other standard of judgment than the word of God."--Ibid., b. 11, ch. 13. Though gentle and courteous in demeanor, he proved himself able and unflinching. While the Romanists, according to their wont, appealed for authority to the customs of the church, the Reformer adhered steadfastly to the Holy Scriptures. "Custom," he said, "has no force in our Switzerland, unless it be according to the constitution; now, in matters of faith, the Bible is our constitution."--Ibid., b. 11, ch. 13.

    The contrast between the two disputants was not without effect. The calm, clear reasoning of the Reformer, so gently and modestly presented, appealed to minds that turned in disgust from Eck's boastful and boisterous assumptions. The discussion continued eighteen days. At its close the papists with great confidence claimed the victory. Most of the deputies sided with Rome, and the Diet pronounced the Reformers vanquished and declared that they, together with Zwingli, their leader, were cut off from the church. But the fruits of the conference revealed on which side the advantage lay. The contest resulted in a strong impetus to the Protestant cause, and it was not long afterward that the important cities of Bern and Basel declared for the Reformation.

    Luther's mysterious disappearance excited consternation throughout all Germany. Inquiries concerning him were heard everywhere. The wildest rumors were circulated, and many believed that he had been murdered. There was great lamentation, not only by his avowed friends, but by thousands who had not openly taken their stand with the Reformation. Many bound themselves by a solemn oath to avenge his death.

    The Romish leaders saw with terror to what a pitch had risen the feeling against them. Though at first exultant at the supposed death of Luther, they soon desired to hide from the wrath of the people. His enemies had not been so troubled by his most daring acts while among them as they were at his removal. Those who in their rage had sought to destroy the bold Reformer were filled with fear now that he had become a helpless captive. "The only remaining way of saving ourselves," said one, "is to light torches, and hunt for Luther through the whole world, to restore him to the nation that is calling for him."--D'Aubigne, b. 9, ch. 1. The edict of the emperor seemed to fall powerless. The papal legates were filled with indignation as they saw that it commanded far less attention than did the fate of Luther.

    The tidings that he was safe, though a prisoner, calmed the fears of the people, while it still further aroused their enthusiasm in his favor. His writings were read with greater eagerness than ever before. Increasing numbers joined the cause of the heroic man who had, at such fearful odds, defended the word of God. The Reformation was constantly gaining in strength. The seed which Luther had sown sprang up everywhere. His absence accomplished a work which his presence would have failed to do. Other laborers felt a new responsibility, now that their great leader was removed. With new faith and earnestness they pressed forward to do all in their power, that the work so nobly begun might not be hindered.

    But Satan was not idle. He now attempted what he has attempted in every other reformatory movement--to deceive and destroy the people by palming off upon them a counterfeit in place of the true work. As there were false christs in the first century of the Christian church, so there arose false prophets in the sixteenth century.

    A few men, deeply affected by the excitement in the religious world, imagined themselves to have received special revelations from Heaven, and claimed to have been divinely commissioned to carry forward to its completion the Reformation which, they declared, had been but feebly begun by Luther. In truth, they were undoing the very work which he had accomplished. They rejected the great principle which was the very foundation of the Reformation--that the word of God is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and for that unerring guide they substituted the changeable, uncertain standard of their own feelings and impressions. By this act of setting aside the great detector of error and falsehood the way was opened for Satan to control minds as best pleased himself.

    One of these prophets claimed to have been instructed by the angel Gabriel. A student who united with him forsook his studies, declaring that he had been endowed by God Himself with wisdom to expound His word. Others who were naturally inclined to fanaticism united with them. The proceedings of these enthusiasts created no little excitement.

    The preaching of Luther had aroused the people everywhere to feel the necessity of reform, and now some really honest persons were misled by the pretensions of the new prophets. The leaders of the movement proceeded to Wittenberg and urged their claims upon Melanchthon and his colaborers. Said they: "We are sent by God to instruct the people. We have held familiar conversations with the Lord; we know what will happen; in a word, we are apostles and prophets, and appeal to Dr. Luther."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7.

    The Reformers were astonished and perplexed. This was such an element as they had never before encountered, and they knew not what course to pursue. Said Melanchthon: "There are indeed extraordinary spirits in these men; but what spirits? . . . On the one hand, let us beware of quenching the Spirit of God, and on the other, of being led astray by the spirit of Satan."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7.

    The fruit of the new teaching soon became apparent. The people were led to neglect the Bible or to cast it wholly aside. The schools were thrown into confusion. Students, spurning all restraint, abandoned their studies and withdrew from the university. The men who thought themselves competent to revive and control the work of the Reformation succeeded only in bringing it to the verge of ruin. The Romanists now regained their confidence and exclaimed exultingly: "One last struggle, and all will be ours."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7.

    Luther at the Wartburg, hearing of what had occurred, said with deep concern: "I always expected that Satan would send us this plague."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7. He perceived the true character of those pretended prophets and saw the danger that threatened the cause of truth. The opposition of the pope and the emperor had not caused him so great perplexity and distress as he now experienced. From the professed friends of the Reformation had risen its worst enemies. The very truths which had brought him so great joy and consolation were being employed to stir up strife and create confusion in the church.

    In the work of reform, Luther had been urged forward by the Spirit of God, and had been carried beyond himself. He had not purposed to take such positions as he did, or to make so radical changes. He had been but the instrument in the hand of Infinite Power. Yet he often trembled for the result of his work. He had once said: "If I knew that my doctrine injured one man, one single man, however lowly and obscure,--which it cannot, for it is the gospel itself,-- I would rather die ten times than not retract it."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7.

    And now Wittenberg itself, the very center of the Reformation, was fast falling under the power of fanaticism and lawlessness. This terrible condition had not resulted from the teachings of Luther; but throughout Germany his enemies were charging it upon him. In bitterness of soul he sometimes asked: "Can such, then, be the end of this great work of the Reformation?"--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7. Again, as he wrestled with God in prayer, peace flowed into his heart. "The work is not mine, but Thine own," he said; "Thou wilt not suffer it to be corrupted by superstition or fanaticism." But the thought of remaining longer from the conflict in such a crisis, became insupportable. He determined to return to Wittenberg.

    Without delay he set out on his perilous journey. He was under the ban of the empire. Enemies were at liberty to take his life; friends were forbidden to aid or shelter him. The imperial government was adopting the most stringent measures against his adherents. But he saw that the work of the gospel was imperiled, and in the name of the Lord he went out fearlessly to battle for the truth.

    In a letter to the elector, after stating his purpose to leave the Wartburg, Luther said: "Be it known to your highness that I am going to Wittenberg under a protection far higher than that of princes and electors. I think not of soliciting your highness's support, and far from desiring your protection, I would rather protect you myself. If I knew that your highness could or would protect me, I would not go to Wittenberg at all. There is no sword that can further this cause. God alone must do everything, without the help or concurrence of man. He who has the greatest faith is he who is most able to protect."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 8.

    In a second letter, written on the way to Wittenberg, Luther added: "I am ready to incur the displeasure of your highness and the anger of the whole world. Are not the Wittenbergers my sheep? Has not God entrusted them to me? And ought I not, if necessary, to expose myself to death for their sakes? Besides, I fear to see a terrible outbreak in Germany, by which God will punish our nation."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 7.

    With great caution and humility, yet with decision and firmness, he entered upon his work. "By the word," said he, "must we overthrow and destroy what has been set up by violence. I will not make use of force against the superstitious and unbelieving. . . . No one must be constrained. Liberty is the very essence of faith."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 8.

    It was soon noised through Wittenberg that Luther had returned and that he was to preach. The people flocked from all directions, and the church was filled to overflowing. Ascending the pulpit, he with great wisdom and gentleness instructed, exhorted, and reproved. Touching the course of some who had resorted to violent measures in abolishing the mass, he said:

    "The mass is a bad thing; God is opposed to it; it ought to be abolished; and I would that throughout the whole world it were replaced by the supper of the gospel. But let no one be torn from it by force. We must leave the matter in God's hands. His word must act, and not we. And why so? you will ask. Because I do not hold men's hearts in my hand, as the potter holds the clay. We have a right to speak: we have not the right to act. Let us preach; the rest belongs unto God. Were I to employ force, what should I gain? Grimace, formality, apings, human ordinances, and hypocrisy. . . . But there would be no sincerity of heart, nor faith, nor charity. Where these three are wanting, all is wanting, and I would not give a pear stalk for such a result. . . . God does more by His word alone than you and I and all the world by our united strength. God lays hold upon the heart; and when the heart is taken, all is won. . . .

    "I will preach, discuss, and write; but I will constrain none, for faith is a voluntary act. See what I have done. I stood up against the pope, indulgences, and papists, but without violence or tumult. I put forward God's word; I preached and wrote--this was all I did. And yet while I was asleep, . . . the word that I had preached overthrew popery, so that neither prince nor emperor has done it so much harm. And yet I did nothing; the word alone did all. If I had wished to appeal to force, the whole of Germany would perhaps have been deluged with blood. But what would have been the result? Ruin and desolation both to body and soul. I therefore kept quiet, and left the word to run through the world alone."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 8.

    Day after day, for a whole week, Luther continued to preach to eager crowds. The word of God broke the spell of fanatical excitement. The power of the gospel brought back the misguided people into the way of truth.

    Luther had no desire to encounter the fanatics whose course had been productive of so great evil. He knew them to be men of unsound judgment and undisciplined passions, who, while claiming to be specially illuminated from heaven, would not endure the slightest contradiction or even the kindest reproof or counsel. Arrogating to themselves supreme authority, they required everyone, without a question, to acknowledge their claims. But, as they demanded an interview with him, he consented to meet them; and so successfully did he expose their pretensions that the impostors at once departed from Wittenberg.

    The fanaticism was checked for a time; but several years later it broke out with greater violence and more terrible results. Said Luther, concerning the leaders in this movement:

    "To them the Holy Scriptures were but a dead letter, and they all began to cry, 'The Spirit! the Spirit!' But most assuredly I will not follow where their spirit leads them. May God of His mercy preserve me from a church in which there are none but saints. I desire to dwell with the humble, the feeble, the sick, who know and feel their sins, and who groan and cry continually to God from the bottom of their hearts to obtain His consolation and support."--Ibid., b. 10, ch. 10.

    Thomas Munzer, the most active of the fanatics, was a man of considerable ability, which, rightly directed, would have enabled him to do good; but he had not learned the first principles of true religion. "He was possessed with a desire of reforming the world, and forgot, as all enthusiasts do, that the reformation should begin with himself."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 8. He was ambitious to obtain position and influence, and was unwilling to be second, even to Luther. He declared that the Reformers, in substituting the authority of Scripture for that of the pope, were only establishing a different form of popery. He himself, he claimed, had been divinely commissioned to introduce the true reform. "He who possesses this spirit," said Munzer, "possesses the true faith, although he should never see the Scriptures in his life."--Ibid., b. 10, ch. 10.

    The fanatical teachers gave themselves up to be governed by impressions, regarding every thought and impulse as the voice of God; consequently they went to great extremes. Some even burned their Bibles, exclaiming: "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Munzer's teaching appealed to men's desire for the marvelous, while it gratified their pride by virtually placing human ideas and opinions above the word of God. His doctrines were received by thousands. He soon denounced all order in public worship, and declared that to obey princes was to attempt to serve both God and Belial.

    The minds of the people, already beginning to throw off the yoke of the papacy, were also becoming impatient under the restraints of civil authority. Munzer's revolutionary teachings, claiming divine sanction, led them to break away from all control and give the rein to their prejudices and passions. The most terrible scenes of sedition and strife followed, and the fields of Germany were drenched with blood.

    The agony of soul which Luther had so long before experienced at Erfurt now pressed upon him with redoubled power as he saw the results of fanaticism charged upon the Reformation. The papist princes declared--and many were ready to credit the statement--that the rebellion was the legitimate fruit of Luther's doctrines. Although this charge was without the slightest foundation, it could not but cause the Reformer great distress. That the cause of truth should be thus disgraced by being ranked with the basest fanaticism, seemed more than he could endure. On the other hand, the leaders in the revolt hated Luther because he had not only opposed their doctrines and denied their claims to divine inspiration, but had pronounced them rebels against the civil authority. In retaliation they denounced him as a base pretender. He seemed to have brought upon himself the enmity of both princes and people.

    The Romanists exulted, expecting to witness the speedy downfall of the Reformation; and they blamed Luther, even for the errors which he had been most earnestly endeavoring to correct. The fanatical party, by falsely claiming to have been treated with great injustice, succeeded in gaining the sympathies of a large class of the people, and, as is often the case with those who take the wrong side, they came to be regarded as martyrs. Thus the ones who were exerting every energy in opposition to the Reformation were pitied and lauded as the victims of cruelty and oppression. This was the work of Satan, prompted by the same spirit of rebellion which was first manifested in heaven.

    Satan is constantly seeking to deceive men and lead them to call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. How successful has been his work! How often censure and reproach are cast upon God's faithful servants because they will stand fearlessly in defense of the truth! Men who are but agents of Satan are praised and flattered, and even looked upon as martyrs, while those who should be respected and sustained for their fidelity to God, are left to stand alone, under suspicion and distrust.

    Counterfeit holiness, spurious sanctification, is still doing its work of deception. Under various forms it exhibits the same spirit as in the days of Luther, diverting minds from the Scriptures and leading men to follow their own feelings and impressions rather than to yield obedience to the law of God. This is one of Satan's most successful devices to cast reproach upon purity and truth.

    Fearlessly did Luther defend the gospel from the attacks which came from every quarter. The word of God proved itself a weapon mighty in every conflict. With that word he warred against the usurped authority of the pope, and the rationalistic philosophy of the schoolmen, while he stood firm as a rock against the fanaticism that sought to ally itself with the Reformation.

    Each of these opposing elements was in its own way setting aside the Holy Scriptures and exalting human wisdom as the source of religious truth and knowledge. Rationalism idolizes reason and makes this the criterion for religion. Romanism, claiming for her sovereign pontiff an inspiration descended in unbroken line from the apostles, and unchangeable through all time, gives ample opportunity for every species of extravagance and corruption to be concealed under the sanctity of the apostolic commission. The inspiration claimed by Munzer and his associates proceeded from no higher source than the vagaries of the imagination, and its influence was subversive of all authority, human or divine. True Christianity receives the word of God as the great treasure house of inspired truth and the test of all inspiration.

    Upon his return from the Wartburg, Luther completed his translation of the New Testament, and the gospel was soon after given to the people of Germany in their own language. This translation was received with great joy by all who loved the truth; but it was scornfully rejected by those who chose human traditions and the commandments of men.

    The priests were alarmed at the thought that the common people would now be able to discuss with them the precepts of God's word, and that their own ignorance would thus be exposed. The weapons of their carnal reasoning were powerless against the sword of the Spirit. Rome summoned all her authority to prevent the circulation of the Scriptures; but decrees, anathemas, and tortures were alike in vain. The more she condemned and prohibited the Bible, the greater was the anxiety of the people to know what it really taught. All who could read were eager to study the word of God for themselves. They carried it about with them, and read and reread, and could not be satisfied until they had committed large portions to memory. Seeing the favor with which the New Testament was received, Luther immediately began the translation of the Old, and published it in parts as fast as completed.

    Luther's writings were welcomed alike in city and in hamlet. "What Luther and his friends composed, others circulated. Monks, convinced of the unlawfulness of monastic obligations, desirous of exchanging a long life of slothfulness for one of active exertion, but too ignorant to proclaim the word of God, traveled through the provinces, visiting hamlets and cottages, where they sold the books of Luther and his friends. Germany soon swarmed with these bold colporteurs." --Ibid., b. 9, ch. 11.

    These writings were studied with deep interest by rich and poor, the learned and the ignorant. At night the teachers of the village schools read them aloud to little groups gathered at the fireside. With every effort some souls would be convicted of the truth and, receiving the word with gladness, would in their turn tell the good news to others.

    The words of Inspiration were verified: "The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130. The study of the Scriptures was working a mighty change in the minds and hearts of the people. The papal rule had placed upon its subjects an iron yoke which held them in ignorance and degradation. A superstitious observance of forms had been scrupulously maintained; but in all their service the heart and intellect had had little part. The preaching of Luther, setting forth the plain truths of God's word, and then the word itself, placed in the hands of the common people, had aroused their dormant powers, not only purifying and ennobling the spiritual nature, but imparting new strength and vigor to the intellect.

    Persons of all ranks were to be seen with the Bible in their hands, defending the doctrines of the Reformation. The papists who had left the study of the Scriptures to the priests and monks now called upon them to come forward and refute the new teachings. But, ignorant alike of the Scriptures and of the power of God, priests and friars were totally defeated by those whom they had denounced as unlearned and heretical. "Unhappily," said a Catholic writer, "Luther had persuaded his followers to put no faith in any other oracle than the Holy Scriptures."--D'Aubigne, b. 9, ch. 11. Crowds would gather to hear the truth advocated by men of little education, and even discussed by them with learned and eloquent theologians. The shameful ignorance of these great men was made apparent as their arguments were met by the simple teachings of God's word. Laborers, soldiers, women, and even children, were better acquainted with the Bible teachings than were the priests and learned doctors.

    The contrast between the disciples of the gospel and the upholders of popish superstition was no less manifest in the ranks of scholars than among the common people. "Opposed to the old champions of the hierarchy, who had neglected the study of languages and the cultivation of literature, . . . were generous-minded youth, devoted to study, investigating Scripture, and familiarizing themselves with the masterpieces of antiquity. Possessing an active mind, an elevated soul, and intrepid heart, these young men soon acquired such knowledge that for a long period none could compete with them. . . . Accordingly, when these youthful defenders of the Reformation met the Romish doctors in any assembly, they attacked them with such ease and confidence that these ignorant men hesitated, became embarrassed, and fell into a contempt merited in the eyes of all."--Ibid., b. 9, ch. 11.

    As the Romish clergy saw their congregations diminishing, they invoked the aid of the magistrates, and by every means in their power endeavored to bring back their hearers. But the people had found in the new teachings that which supplied the wants of their souls, and they turned away from those who had so long fed them with the worthless husks of superstitious rites and human traditions.

    When persecution was kindled against the teachers of the truth, they gave heed to the words of Christ: "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another." Matthew 10:23. The light penetrated everywhere. The fugitives would find somewhere a hospitable door opened to them, and there abiding, they would preach Christ, sometimes in the church, or, if denied that privilege, in private houses or in the open air. Wherever they could obtain a hearing was a consecrated temple. The truth, proclaimed with such energy and assurance, spread with irresistible power.

    In vain both ecclesiastical and civil authorities were invoked to crush the heresy. In vain they resorted to imprisonment, torture, fire, and sword. Thousands of believers sealed their faith with their blood, and yet the work went on. Persecution served only to extend the truth, and the fanaticism which Satan endeavored to unite with it resulted in making more clear the contrast between the work of Satan and the work of God.









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    orthodoxymoron

    Posts : 9136
    Join date : 2010-09-28

    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:46 am


    I've very-slightly modified Matthew 5, 6, 7, 23, 24, and 25 (KJV) to create one-big Olivet-Discourse. Are the Gospel Red-Letters exclusively the Teachings of Jesus?? Are the Pauline-Epistles also (or exclusively) the Teachings of Jesus?? Is the entire New Testament the Teachings of Jesus?? Is the Whole-Bible the Teachings of Jesus?? When the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra, are his words also the Teachings of Jesus OR do his words have veto-power over the Teachings of Jesus?? Is theology often mealy-mouthed?? Do the atheists and agnostics have a legitimate point of view?? Are Atheists and Agnostics the New Protestants?? Have the Christian-Protestants stopped protesting?? Is open and honest theological and philosophical discussion now considered Damnable-Heresy of a Most-Pestilential Nature?? What if one simply listened to Bach and Buxtehude while reading The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal?? Money-Talks and Bullshit-Walks?? What Would the Almighty Dollar Say?? What Would the Beast-Supercomputer Say?? What Would the Nasty Little-Horn Say?? How do the following Red-Letters line-up with Luther's Works and Reformation-Theology?? Was the Roman Catholic Church based-upon the Canonical Words of Saint Peter?? Upon This Rock?? Does Apostolic-Succession imply Absolute-Power?? What Would Lord Acton Say?? What Would Undod the Sun-God Say?? Does the New-Testament Veto the Old-Testament?? Does the Church Veto Whatever It Wants To?? "Thus Saith the Church"?? What Would Dr. Alden Thompson Say?? Was Ellen White Inspired by God?? Do the Writings of Ellen White have veto-power over the Holy Bible, Luther's Works, and the Roman Catholic Church?? Does the SDA General-Conference (in session) have veto-power over All of the Above?? What Would JZ Knight and Ramtha Say?? What Would the Jesuit General Say?? Where Does the Buck Stop?? Is the Bottom-Line the Bottom-Line?? What Would the God of This World Say?? What Would the Ancient Egyptian Deity Say?? What Would the Prince of Sirius Say?? What Would the Borg Queen Say?? What Would a Completely Ignorant Fool Say?? I Should Stop.

    Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted . 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled . 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy . 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye , when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely , for my sake . 12 Rejoice , and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour , wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid . 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy , but to fulfil . 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass , one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled . 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill ; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say , Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way ; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

    Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery : 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out , and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish , and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off , and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish , and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31 It hath been said , Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery : and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery . 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself , but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool : neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be , Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said , An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law , and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away . 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said , Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye ? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth : 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly . 5 And when thou prayest , thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you , They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest , enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly . 7 But when ye pray , use not vain repetitions , as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come . Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16 Moreover when ye fast , be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast . Verily I say unto you , They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest , anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast , but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt , and where thieves break through and steal : 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt , and where thieves do not break through nor steal : 21 For where your treasure is , there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat , or what ye shall drink ; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on . Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap , nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin : 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is , and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought , saying , What shall we eat ? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

    Judge not, that ye be not judged . 2 For with what judgment ye judge , ye shall be judged : and with what measure ye mete , it shall be measured to you again . 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold , a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 7 Ask , and it shall be given you; seek , and ye shall find ; knock , and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened . 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat : 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits . Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down , and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them , I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended , and the floods came , and the winds blew , and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended , and the floods came , and the winds blew , and beat upon that house; and it fell : and great was the fall of it

    The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe , that observe and do ; but do not ye after their works: for they say , and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men : they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased ; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted . 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in . 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer : therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made , ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say , Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor ! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty . 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon . 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon .

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment , mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done , and not to leave the other undone . 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say , If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore , behold , I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify ; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together , even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold , your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth , till ye shall say , Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

    See ye the temple? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying , I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled : for all these things must come to pass , but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended , and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise , and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound , the love of many shall wax cold . 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved . 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come . 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth , let him understand :) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be . 22 And except those days should be shortened , there should no flesh be saved : but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened . 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo , here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold , I have told you before .

    Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold , he is in the desert; go not forth : behold , he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be . 28 For wheresoever the carcase is , there will the eagles be gathered together . 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened , and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken : 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn , and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other . 32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass , till all these things be fulfilled . 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away , but my words shall not pass away . 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be . 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking , marrying and giving in marriage , until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came , and took them all away ; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be . 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken , and the other left . 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken , and the other left . 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come . 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come , he would have watched , and would not have suffered his house to be broken up . 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh . 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing . 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods . 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming ; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken ; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of , 51 And shall cut him asunder , and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried , they all slumbered and slept . 6 And at midnight there was a cry made , Behold , the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose , and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out . 9 But the wise answered , saying , Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell , and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy , the bridegroom came ; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut . 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying , Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said , Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh . 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country , who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods . 15 And unto one he gave five talents , to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey . 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh , and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying , Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said , Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

    His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said , Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown , and gathering where thou hast not strawed : 25 And I was afraid , and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed : 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given , and he shall have abundance : but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath . 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come , ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred , and ye gave me meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me in : 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick , and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , and fed thee? or thirsty , and gave thee drink ? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed , into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred , and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty , and ye gave me no drink : 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying , Lord, when saw we thee an hungred , or athirst , or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying , Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    One of the noblest testimonies ever uttered for the Reformation was the Protest offered by the Christian princes of Germany at the Diet of Spires in 1529. The courage, faith, and firmness of those men of God gained for succeeding ages liberty of thought and of conscience. Their Protest gave to the reformed church the name of Protestant; its principles are "the very essence of Protestantism."--D'Aubigne, b. 13, ch. 6.

    A dark and threatening day had come for the Reformation. Notwithstanding the Edict of Worms, declaring Luther to be an outlaw and forbidding the teaching or belief of his doctrines, religious toleration had thus far prevailed in the empire. God's providence had held in check the forces that opposed the truth. Charles V was bent on crushing the Reformation, but often as he raised his hand to strike he had been forced to turn aside the blow. Again and again the immediate destruction of all who dared to oppose themselves to Rome appeared inevitable; but at the critical moment the armies of the Turk appeared on the eastern frontier, or the king of France, or even the pope himself, jealous of the increasing greatness of the emperor, made war upon him; and thus, amid the strife and tumult of nations, the Reformation had been left to strengthen and extend.

    At last, however, the papal sovereigns had stifled their feuds, that they might make common cause against the Reformers. The Diet of Spires in 1526 had given each state full liberty in matters of religion until the meeting of a general council; but no sooner had the dangers passed which secured this concession, than the emperor summoned a second Diet to convene at Spires in 1529 for the purpose of crushing heresy. The princes were to be induced, by peaceable means if possible, to side against the Reformation; but if these failed, Charles was prepared to resort to the sword.

    The papists were exultant. They appeared at Spires in great numbers, and openly manifested their hostility toward the Reformers and all who favored them. Said Melanchthon: "We are the execration and the sweepings of the world; but Christ will look down on His poor people, and will preserve them."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5. The evangelical princes in attendance at the Diet were forbidden even to have the gospel preached in their dwellings. But the people of Spires thirsted for the word of God, and, notwithstanding the prohibition, thousands flocked to the services held in the chapel of the elector of Saxony.

    This hastened the crisis. An imperial message announced to the Diet that as the resolution granting liberty of conscience had given rise to great disorders, the emperor required that it be annulled. This arbitrary act excited the indignation and alarm of the evangelical Christians. Said one: "Christ has again fallen into the hands of Caiaphas and Pilate." The Romanists became more violent. A bigoted papist declared: "The Turks are better than the Lutherans; for the Turks observe fast days, and the Lutherans violate them. If we must choose between the Holy Scriptures of God and the old errors of the church, we should reject the former." Said Melanchthon: "Every day, in full assembly, Faber casts some new stone at us gospelers."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5.

    Religious toleration had been legally established, and the evangelical states were resolved to oppose the infringement of their rights. Luther, being still under the ban imposed by the Edict of Worms, was not permitted to be present at Spires; but his place was supplied by his colaborers and the princes whom God had raised up to defend His cause in this emergency. The noble Frederick of Saxony, Luther's former protector, had been removed by death; but Duke John, his brother and successor, had joyfully welcomed the Reformation, and while a friend of peace, he displayed great energy and courage in all matters relating to the interests of the faith.

    The priests demanded that the states which had accepted the Reformation submit implicitly to Romish jurisdiction. The Reformers, on the other hand, claimed the liberty which had previously been granted. They could not consent that Rome should again bring under her control those states that had with so great joy received the word of God.

    As a compromise it was finally proposed that where the Reformation had not become established, the Edict of Worms should be rigorously enforced; and that "in those where the people had deviated from it, and where they could not conform to it without danger of revolt, they should at least effect no new reform, they should touch upon no controverted point, they should not oppose the celebration of the mass, they should permit no Roman Catholic to embrace Lutheranism." --Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5. This measure passed the Diet, to the great satisfaction of the popish priests and prelates.

    If this edict were enforced, "the Reformation could neither be extended . . . where as yet it was unknown, nor be established on solid foundations . . . where it already existed."-- Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5. Liberty of speech would be prohibited. No conversions would be allowed. And to these restrictions and prohibitions the friends of the Reformation were required at once to submit. The hopes of the world seemed about to be extinguished. "The re-establishment of the Romish hierarchy . . . would infallibly bring back the ancient abuses;" and an occasion would readily be found for "completing the destruction of a work already so violently shaken" by fanaticism and dissension.--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5.

    As the evangelical party met for consultation, one looked to another in blank dismay. From one to another passed the inquiry: "What is to be done?" Mighty issues for the world were at stake. "Shall the chiefs of the Reformation submit, and accept the edict? How easily might the Reformers at this crisis, which was truly a tremendous one, have argued themselves into a wrong course! How many plausible pretexts and fair reasons might they have found for submission! The Lutheran princes were guaranteed the free exercise of their religion. The same boon was extended to all those of their subjects who, prior to the passing of the measure, had embraced the reformed views. Ought not this to content them? How many perils would submission avoid! On what unknown hazards and conflicts would opposition launch them! Who knows what opportunities the future may bring? Let us embrace peace; let us seize the olive branch Rome holds out, and close the wounds of Germany. With arguments like these might the Reformers have justified their adoption of a course which would have assuredly issued in no long time in the overthrow of their cause.

    "Happily they looked at the principle on which this arrangement was based, and they acted in faith. What was that principle? It was the right of Rome to coerce conscience and forbid free inquiry. But were not themselves and their Protestant subjects to enjoy religious freedom? Yes, as a favor specially stipulated for in the arrangement, but not as a right. As to all outside that arrangement, the great principle of authority was to rule; conscience was out of court; Rome was infallible judge, and must be obeyed. The acceptance of the proposed arrangement would have been a virtual admission that religious liberty ought to be confined to reformed Saxony; and as to all the rest of Christendom, free inquiry and the profession of the reformed faith were crimes, and must be visited with the dungeon and the stake. Could they consent to localize religious liberty? to have it proclaimed that the Reformation had made its last convert? had subjugated its last acre? and that wherever Rome bore sway at this hour, there her dominion was to be perpetuated? Could the Reformers have pleaded that they were innocent of the blood of those hundreds and thousands who, in pursuance of this arrangement, would have to yield up their lives in popish lands? This would have been to betray, at that supreme hour, the cause of the gospel and the liberties of Christendom."--Wylie, b. 9, ch. 15. Rather would they "sacrifice everything, even their states, their crowns, and their lives."--D'Aubigne, b. 13, ch. 5.

    "Let us reject this decree," said the princes. "In matters of conscience the majority has no power." The deputies declared: "It is to the decree of 1526 that we are indebted for the peace that the empire enjoys: its abolition would fill Germany with troubles and divisions. The Diet is incompetent to do more than preserve religious liberty until the council meets."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5. To protect liberty of conscience is the duty of the state, and this is the limit of its authority in matters of religion. Every secular government that attempts to regulate or enforce religious observances by civil authority is sacrificing the very principle for which the evangelical Christian so nobly struggled.

    The papists determined to put down what they termed "daring obstinacy." They began by endeavoring to cause divisions among the supporters of the Reformation and to intimidate all who had not openly declared in its favor. The representatives of the free cities were at last summoned before the Diet and required to declare whether they would accede to the terms of the proposition. They pleaded for delay, but in vain. When brought to the test, nearly one half their number sided with the Reformers. Those who thus refused to sacrifice liberty of conscience and the right of individual judgment well knew that their position marked them for future criticism, condemnation, and persecution. Said one of the delegates: "We must either deny the word of God, or --be burnt."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5.

    King Ferdinand, the emperor's representative at the Diet, saw that the decree would cause serious divisions unless the princes could be induced to accept and sustain it. He therefore tried the art of persuasion, well knowing that to employ force with such men would only render them the more determined. He "begged the princes to accept the decree, assuring them that the emperor would be exceedingly pleased with them." But these faithful men acknowledged an authority above that of earthly rulers, and they answered calmly: "We will obey the emperor in everything that may contribute to maintain peace and the honor of God."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5.

    In the presence of the Diet the king at last announced to the elector and his friends that the edict "was about to be drawn up in the form of an imperial decree," and that "their only remaining course was to submit to the majority." Having thus spoken, he withdrew from the assembly, giving the Reformers no opportunity for deliberation or reply. "To no purpose they sent a deputation entreating the king to return." To their remonstrances he answered only: "It is a settled affair; submission is all that remains."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 5.

    The imperial party were convinced that the Christian princes would adhere to the Holy Scriptures as superior to human doctrines and requirements; and they knew that wherever this principle was accepted, the papacy would eventually be overthrown. But, like thousands since their time, looking only "at the things which are seen," they flattered themselves that the cause of the emperor and the pope was strong, and that of the Reformers weak. Had the Reformers depended upon human aid alone, they would have been as powerless as the papists supposed. But though weak in numbers, and at variance with Rome, they had their strength. They appealed "from the report of the Diet to the word of God, and from the emperor Charles to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6.

    As Ferdinand had refused to regard their conscientious convictions, the princes decided not to heed his absence, but to bring their Protest before the national council without delay. A solemn declaration was therefore drawn up and presented to the Diet:

    "We protest by these presents, before God, our only Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Saviour, and who will one day be our Judge, as well as before all men and all creatures, that we, for us and for our people, neither consent nor adhere in any manner whatsoever to the proposed decree, in anything that is contrary to God, to His holy word, to our right conscience, to the salvation of our souls."

    "What! we ratify this edict! We assert that when Almighty God calls a man to His knowledge, this man nevertheless cannot receive the knowledge of God!" "There is no sure doctrine but such as is conformable to the word of God. . . . The Lord forbids the teaching of any other doctrine. . . . The Holy Scriptures ought to be explained by other and clearer texts; . . . this Holy Book is, in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of understanding, and calculated to scatter the darkness. We are resolved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pure and exclusive preaching of His only word, such as it is contained in the biblical books of the Old and New Testaments, without adding anything thereto that may be contrary to it. This word is the only truth; it is the sure rule of all doctrine and of all life, and can never fail or deceive us. He who builds on this foundation shall stand against all the powers of hell, while all the human vanities that are set up against it shall fall before the face of God."

    "For this reason we reject the yoke that is imposed on us." "At the same time we are in expectation that his imperial majesty will behave toward us like a Christian prince who loves God above all things; and we declare ourselves ready to pay unto him, as well as unto you, gracious lords, all the affection and obedience that are our just and legitimate duty."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6.

    A deep impression was made upon the Diet. The majority were filled with amazement and alarm at the boldness of the protesters. The future appeared to them stormy and uncertain. Dissension, strife, and bloodshed seemed inevitable. But the Reformers, assured of the justice of their cause, and relying upon the arm of Omnipotence, were "full of courage and firmness."

    "The principles contained in this celebrated Protest . . . constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses, Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the prophets and apostles, 'We must obey God rather than man.' In presence of the crown of Charles the Fifth, it uplifts the crown of Jesus Christ. But it goes farther: it lays down the principle that all human teaching should be subordinate to the oracles of God."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6. The protesters had moreover affirmed their right to utter freely their convictions of truth. They would not only believe and obey, but teach what the word of God presents, and they denied the right of priest or magistrate to interfere. The Protest of Spires was a solemn witness against religious intolerance, and an assertion of the right of all men to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    The declaration had been made. It was written in the memory of thousands and registered in the books of heaven, where no effort of man could erase it. All evangelical Germany adopted the Protest as the expression of its faith. Everywhere men beheld in this declaration the promise of a new and better era. Said one of the princes to the Protestants of Spires: "May the Almighty, who has given you grace to confess energetically, freely, and fearlessly, preserve you in that Christian firmness until the day of eternity."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6.

    Had the Reformation, after attaining a degree of success, consented to temporize to secure favor with the world, it would have been untrue to God and to itself, and would thus have ensured its own destruction. The experience of these noble Reformers contains a lesson for all succeeding ages. Satan's manner of working against God and His word has not changed; he is still as much opposed to the Scriptures being made the guide of life as in the sixteenth century. In our time there is a wide departure from their doctrines and precepts, and there is need of a return to the great Protestant principle--the Bible, and the Bible only, as the rule of faith and duty. Satan is still working through every means which he can control to destroy religious liberty. The antichristian power which the protesters of Spires rejected is now with renewed vigor seeking to re-establish its lost supremacy. The same unswerving adherence to the word of God manifested at that crisis of the Reformation is the only hope of reform today.

    There appeared tokens of danger to the Protestants; there were tokens, also, that the divine hand was stretched out to protect the faithful. It was about this time that "Melanchthon hastily conducted through the streets of Spires toward the Rhine his friend Simon Grynaeus, pressing him to cross the river. The latter was astonished at such precipitation. 'An old man of grave and solemn air, but who is unknown to me,' said Melanchthon, 'appeared before me and said, In a minute officers of justice will be sent by Ferdinand to arrest Grynaeus.'"

    During the day, Grynaeus had been scandalized at a sermon by Faber, a leading papal doctor; and at the close, remonstrated with him for defending "certain detestable errors." "Faber dissembled his anger, but immediately after repaired to the king, from whom he had obtained an order against the importunate professor of Heidelberg. Melanchthon doubted not that God had saved his friend by sending one of His holy angels to forewarn him.

    "Motionless on the banks of the Rhine, he waited until the waters of that stream had rescued Grynaeus from his persecutors. 'At last,' cried Melanchthon, as he saw him on the opposite side, 'at last he is torn from the cruel jaws of those who thirst for innocent blood.' When he returned to his house, Melanchthon was informed that officers in search of Grynaeus had ransacked it from top to bottom."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6.

    The Reformation was to be brought into greater prominence before the mighty ones of the earth. The evangelical princes had been denied a hearing by King Ferdinand; but they were to be granted an opportunity to present their cause in the presence of the emperor and the assembled dignitaries of church and state. To quiet the dissensions which disturbed the empire, Charles V, in the year following the Protest of Spires, convoked a diet at Augsburg, over which he announced his intention to preside in person. Thither the Protestant leaders were summoned.

    Great dangers threatened the Reformation; but its advocates still trusted their cause with God, and pledged themselves to be firm to the gospel. The elector of Saxony was urged by his councilors not to appear at the Diet. The emperor, they said, required the attendance of the princes in order to draw them into a snare. "Is it not risking everything to go and shut oneself up within the walls of a city with a powerful enemy?" But others nobly declared, "Let the princes only comport themselves with courage, and God's cause is saved." "God is faithful; He will not abandon us," said Luther.--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 2. The elector set out, with his retinue, for Augsburg. All were acquainted with the dangers that menaced him, and many went forward with gloomy countenance and troubled heart. But Luther, who accompanied them as far as Coburg, revived their sinking faith by singing the hymn, written on that journey, "A strong tower is our God." Many an anxious foreboding was banished, many a heavy heart lightened, at the sound of the inspiring strains.

    The reformed princes had determined upon having a statement of their views in systematic form, with the evidence from the Scriptures, to present before the Diet; and the task of its preparation was committed to Luther, Melanchthon, and their associates. This Confession was accepted by the Protestants as an exposition of their faith, and they assembled to affix their names to the important document. It was a solemn and trying time. The Reformers were solicitous that their cause should not be confounded with political questions; they felt that the Reformation should exercise no other influence than that which proceeds from the word of God.

    As the Christian princes advanced to sign the Confession, Melanchthon interposed, saying: "It is for the theologians and ministers to propose these things; let us reserve for other matters the authority of the mighty ones of the earth." "God forbid," replied John of Saxony, "that you should exclude me. I am resolved to do what is right, without troubling myself about my crown. I desire to confess the Lord. My electoral hat and my ermine are not so precious to me as the cross of Jesus Christ." Having thus spoken, he wrote down his name. Said another of the princes as he took the pen: "If the honor of my Lord Jesus Christ requires it, I am ready . . . to leave my goods and life behind." "I would rather renounce my subjects and my states, rather quit the country of my fathers staff in hand," he continued, "than receive any other doctrine than that which is contained in this Confession." --Ibid., b. 14, ch. 6. Such was the faith and daring of those men of God.

    The appointed time came to appear before the emperor. Charles V, seated upon his throne, surrounded by the electors and the princes, gave audience to the Protestant Reformers. The confession of their faith was read. In that august assembly the truths of the gospel were clearly set forth, and the errors of the papal church were pointed out. Well has that day been pronounced "the greatest day of the Reformation, and one of the most glorious in the history of Christianity and of mankind."--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 7.

    But a few years had passed since the monk of Wittenberg stood alone at Worms before the national council. Now in his stead were the noblest and most powerful princes of the empire. Luther had been forbidden to appear at Augsburg, but he had been present by his words and prayers. "I am overjoyed," he wrote, "that I have lived until this hour, in which Christ has been publicly exalted by such illustrious confessors, and in so glorious an assembly."--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 7. Thus was fulfilled what the Scripture says: "I will speak of Thy testimonies . . . before kings." Psalm 119:46.

    In the days of Paul the gospel for which he was imprisoned was thus brought before the princes and nobles of the imperial city. So on this occasion, that which the emperor had forbidden to be preached from the pulpit was proclaimed from the palace; what many had regarded as unfit even for servants to listen to was heard with wonder by the masters and lords of the empire. Kings and great men were the auditory, crowned princes were the preachers, and the sermon was the royal truth of God. "Since the apostolic age," says a writer, "there has never been a greater work or a more magnificent confession."--D'Aubigne, b. 14, ch. 7.

    "All that the Lutherans have said is true; we cannot deny it," declared a papist bishop. "Can you refute by sound reasons the Confession made by the elector and his allies?" asked another of Dr. Eck. "With the writings of the apostles and prophets--no!" was the reply; "but with those of the Fathers and of the councils--yes!" "I understand," responded the questioner. "The Lutherans, according to you, are in Scripture, and we are outside."--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 8.

    Some of the princes of Germany were won to the reformed faith. The emperor himself declared that the Protestant articles were but the truth. The Confession was translated into many languages and circulated through all Europe, and it has been accepted by millions in succeeding generations as the expression of their faith.

    God's faithful servants were not toiling alone. While principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places were leagued against them, the Lord did not forsake His people. Could their eyes have been opened, they would have seen as marked evidence of divine presence and aid as was granted to a prophet of old. When Elisha's servant pointed his master to the hostile army surrounding them and cutting off all opportunity for escape, the prophet prayed: "Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see." 2 Kings 6:17. And, lo, the mountain was filled with chariots and horses of fire, the army of heaven stationed to protect the man of God. Thus did angels guard the workers in the cause of the Reformation.

    One of the principles most firmly maintained by Luther was that there should be no resort to secular power in support of the Reformation, and no appeal to arms for its defense. He rejoiced that the gospel was confessed by princes of the empire; but when they proposed to unite in a defensive league, he declared that "the doctrine of the gospel should be defended by God alone. . . . The less man meddled in the work, the more striking would be God's intervention in its behalf. All the politic precautions suggested were, in his view, attributable to unworthy fear and sinful mistrust."-- D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 10, ch. 14.

    When powerful foes were uniting to overthrow the reformed faith, and thousands of swords seemed about to be unsheathed against it, Luther wrote: "Satan is putting forth his fury; ungodly pontiffs are conspiring; and we are threatened with war. Exhort the people to contend valiantly before the throne of the Lord, by faith and prayer, so that our enemies, vanquished by the Spirit of God, may be constrained to peace. Our chief want, our chief labor, is prayer; let the people know that they are now exposed to the edge of the sword and to the rage of Satan, and let them pray."-- D'Aubigne, b. 10, ch. 14.

    Again, at a later date, referring to the league contemplated by the reformed princes, Luther declared that the only weapon employed in this warfare should be "the sword of the Spirit." He wrote to the elector of Saxony: "We cannot on our conscience approve the proposed alliance. We would rather die ten times than see our gospel cause one drop of blood to be shed. Our part is to be like lambs of the slaughter. The cross of Christ must be borne. Let your highness be without fear. We shall do more by our prayers than all our enemies by their boastings. Only let not your hands be stained with the blood of your brethren. If the emperor requires us to be given up to his tribunals, we are ready to appear. You cannot defend our faith: each one should believe at his own risk and peril."--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 1.

    From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation. There, with holy calmness, the servants of the Lord set their feet upon the rock of His promises. During the struggle at Augsburg, Luther "did not pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer, and they were hours selected from those the most favorable to study." In the privacy of his chamber he was heard to pour out his soul before God in words "full of adoration, fear, and hope, as when one speaks to a friend." "I know that Thou art our Father and our God," he said, "and that Thou wilt scatter the persecutors of Thy children; for Thou art Thyself endangered with us. All this matter is Thine, and it is only by Thy constraint that we have put our hands to it. Defend us, then, O Father!"--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 6.

    To Melanchthon, who was crushed under the burden of anxiety and fear, he wrote: "Grace and peace in Christ--in Christ, I say, and not in the world. Amen. I hate with exceeding hatred those extreme cares which consume you. If the cause is unjust, abandon it; if the cause is just, why should we belie the promises of Him who commands us to sleep without fear? . . . Christ will not be wanting to the work of justice and truth. He lives, He reigns; what fear, then, can we have?"--Ibid., b. 14, ch. 6.

    God did listen to the cries of His servants. He gave to princes and ministers grace and courage to maintain the truth against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Saith the Lord: "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded." 1 Peter 2:6. The Protestant Reformers had built on Christ, and the gates of hell could not prevail against them.





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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:51 am

    What is the relationship between Human-Nature -- Positive-Thinking -- Self-Esteem -- and Strict-Honesty?? In conversation with a particular Individual of Interest -- "Fallen-Sinful Human-Nature" is brought-up over and over again. What is the relationship between the Human-Body -- the Human-Mind -- the Human-Soul -- the Creator-God -- and "Fallen-Sinful Human-Nature"?? The survival of the human-race might depend upon properly answering this question. Am I honestly "Terrific" -- even if I am truly a "Completely Ignorant Fool"?? I tried to do the "Right-Thing" -- but everything turned-out "Wrong". Should I try it the other way in my next incarnation?? "Give Them What They Want" while "Taking What They Have"?? What if the "Bottom-Line is the Bottom-Line" in This Solar System?? What if the "Bottom-Line is the Bottom-Line" in This Galaxy?? What if the "Bottom-Line is the Bottom-Line" in This Universe?? You really don't wish to ponder such provocative-questions -- do you?? Is there a point to this?? Damned if I know. Supposedly, everyone and everything has a point. Even Roses Have Thorns. What Would Oblio Say?? BTW -- Should I retain an attorney to assist me with an FoIA inquiry?? One more thing. Consider the Protestant-Reformation from the Catholic -- Protestant -- and Neutral-Observer perspectives. Everyone seems to wish to "take sides" and "win". Don't you think the "Bad-Guy" knows how to take-advantage of such simplistic-stupidity?? Would a Final-Jihad be the Epitome of Stupidity?? Notice that warfare eliminates the best genetic-examples. The fittest are on the front-lines -- and they often do not survive. And why do they 'bump-off' those who know too much?? Why don't they eliminate those who know too little?? Wouldn't that improve the gene-pool?? "Hey You!! Out of the Gene-Pool!!!"



    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    The Protest of Spires and the Confession at Augsburg, which marked the triumph of the Reformation in Germany, were followed by years of conflict and darkness. Weakened by divisions among its supporters, and assailed by powerful foes, Protestantism seemed destined to be utterly destroyed. Thousands sealed their testimony with their blood. Civil war broke out; the Protestant cause was betrayed by one of its leading adherents; the noblest of the reformed princes fell into the hands of the emperor and were dragged as captives from town to town. But in the moment of his apparent triumph, the emperor was smitten with defeat. He saw the prey wrested from his grasp, and he was forced at last to grant toleration to the doctrines which it had been the ambition of his life to destroy. He had staked his kingdom, his treasures, and life itself upon the crushing out of the heresy. Now he saw his armies wasted by battle, his treasuries drained, his many kingdoms threatened by revolt, while everywhere the faith which he had vainly endeavored to suppress, was extending. Charles V had been battling against omnipotent power. God had said, "Let there be light," but the emperor had sought to keep the darkness unbroken. His purposes had failed; and in premature old age, worn out with the long struggle, he abdicated the throne and buried himself in a cloister.

    In Switzerland, as in Germany, there came dark days for the Reformation. While many cantons accepted the reformed faith, others clung with blind persistence to the creed of Rome. Their persecution of those who desired to receive the truth finally gave rise to civil war. Zwingli and many who had united with him in reform fell on the bloody field of Cappel. Oecolampadius, overcome by these terrible disasters, soon after died. Rome was triumphant, and in many places seemed about to recover all that she had lost. But He whose counsels are from everlasting had not forsaken His cause or His people. His hand would bring deliverance for them. In other lands He had raised up laborers to carry forward the reform.

    In France, before the name of Luther had been heard as a Reformer, the day had already begun to break. One of the first to catch the light was the aged Lefevre, a man of extensive learning, a professor in the University of Paris, and a sincere and zealous papist. In his researches into ancient literature his attention was directed to the Bible, and he introduced its study among his students.

    Lefevre was an enthusiastic adorer of the saints, and he had undertaken to prepare a history of the saints and martyrs as given in the legends of the church. This was a work which involved great labor; but he had already made considerable progress in it, when, thinking that he might obtain useful assistance from the Bible, he began its study with this object. Here indeed he found saints brought to view, but not such as figured in the Roman calendar. A flood of divine light broke in upon his mind. In amazement and disgust he turned away from his self-appointed task and devoted himself to the word of God. The precious truths which he there discovered he soon began to teach.

    In 1512, before either Luther or Zwingli had begun the work of reform, Lefevre wrote: "It is God who gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by grace alone justifies to eternal life."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 1. Dwelling upon the mysteries of redemption, he exclaimed: "Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,--the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory."-- D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 12, ch. 2.

    And while teaching that the glory of salvation belongs solely to God, he also declared that the duty of obedience belongs to man. "If thou art a member of Christ's church," he said, "thou art a member of His body; if thou art of His body, then thou art full of the divine nature. . . . Oh, if men could but enter into the understanding of this privilege, how purely, chastely, and holily would they live, and how contemptible, when compared with the glory within them,-- that glory which the eye of flesh cannot see,--would they deem all the glory of this world."--Ibid., b. 12, ch. 2.

    There were some among Lefevre's students who listened eagerly to his words, and who, long after the teacher's voice should be silenced, were to continue to declare the truth. Such was William Farel. The son of pious parents, and educated to accept with implicit faith the teachings of the church, he might, with the apostle Paul, have declared concerning himself: "After the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." Acts 26:5. A devoted Romanist, he burned with zeal to destroy all who should dare to oppose the church. "I would gnash my teeth like a furious wolf," he afterward said, referring to this period of his life, "when I heard anyone speaking against the pope."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 2. He had been untiring in his adoration of the saints, in company with Lefevre making the round of the churches of Paris, worshipping at the altars, and adorning with gifts the holy shrines. But these observances could not bring peace of soul. Conviction of sin fastened upon him, which all the acts of penance that he practiced failed to banish. As to a voice from heaven he listened to the Reformer's words: "Salvation is of grace." "The Innocent One is condemned, and the criminal is acquitted." "It is the cross of Christ alone that openeth the gates of heaven, and shutteth the gates of hell." --Ibid., b. 13, ch. 2.

    Farel joyfully accepted the truth. By a conversion like that of Paul he turned from the bondage of tradition to the liberty of the sons of God. "Instead of the murderous heart of a ravening wolf," he came back, he says, "quietly like a meek and harmless lamb, having his heart entirely withdrawn from the pope, and given to Jesus Christ."--D'Aubigne, b. 12, ch. 3.

    While Lefevre continued to spread the light among his students, Farel, as zealous in the cause of Christ as he had been in that of the pope, went forth to declare the truth in public. A dignitary of the church, the bishop of Meaux, soon after united with them. Other teachers who ranked high for their ability and learning joined in proclaiming the gospel, and it won adherents among all classes, from the homes of artisans and peasants to the palace of the king. The sister of Francis I, then the reigning monarch, accepted the reformed faith. The king himself, and the queen mother, appeared for a time to regard it with favor, and with high hopes the Reformers looked forward to the time when France should be won to the gospel.

    But their hopes were not to be realized. Trial and persecution awaited the disciples of Christ. This, however, was mercifully veiled from their eyes. A time of peace intervened, that they might gain strength to meet the tempest; and the Reformation made rapid progress. The bishop of Meaux labored zealously in his own diocese to instruct both the clergy and the people. Ignorant and immoral priests were removed, and, so far as possible, replaced by men of learning and piety. The bishop greatly desired that his people might have access to the word of God for themselves, and this was soon accomplished. Lefevre undertook the translation of the New Testament; and at the very time when Luther's German Bible was issuing from the press in Wittenberg, the French New Testament was published at Meaux. The bishop spared no labor or expense to circulate it in his parishes, and soon the peasants of Meaux were in possession of the Holy Scriptures.

    As travelers perishing from thirst welcome with joy a living water spring, so did these souls receive the message of heaven. The laborers in the field, the artisans in the workshop, cheered their daily toil by talking of the precious truths of the Bible. At evening, instead of resorting to the wine-shops, they assembled in one another's homes to read God's word and join in prayer and praise. A great change was soon manifest in these communities. Though belonging to the humblest class, an unlearned and hard-working peasantry, the reforming, uplifting power of divine grace was seen in their lives. Humble, loving, and holy, they stood as witnesses to what the gospel will accomplish for those who receive it in sincerity.

    The light kindled at Meaux shed its beams afar. Every day the number of converts was increasing. The rage of the hierarchy was for a time held in check by the king, who despised the narrow bigotry of the monks; but the papal leaders finally prevailed. Now the stake was set up. The bishop of Meaux, forced to choose between the fire and recantation, accepted the easier path; but notwithstanding the leader's fall, his flock remained steadfast. Many witnessed for the truth amid the flames. By their courage and fidelity at the stake, these humble Christians spoke to thousands who in days of peace had never heard their testimony.

    It was not alone the humble and the poor that amid suffering and scorn dared to bear witness for Christ. In the lordly halls of the castle and the palace there were kingly souls by whom truth was valued above wealth or rank or even life. Kingly armor concealed a loftier and more steadfast spirit than did the bishop's robe and miter. Louis de Berquin was of noble birth. A brave and courtly knight, he was devoted to study, polished in manners, and of blameless morals. "He was," says a writer, "a great follower of the papistical constitutions, and a great hearer of masses and sermons; . . . and he crowned all his other virtues by holding Lutheranism in special abhorrence." But, like so many others, providentially guided to the Bible, he was amazed to find there, "not the doctrines of Rome, but the doctrines of Luther."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 9. Henceforth he gave himself with entire devotion to the cause of the gospel.

    "The most learned of the nobles of France," his genius and eloquence, his indomitable courage and heroic zeal, and his influence at court,--for he was a favorite with the king,-- caused him to be regarded by many as one destined to be the Reformer of his country. Said Beza: "Berquin would have been a second Luther, had he found in Francis I a second elector." "He is worse than Luther," cried the papists.--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 9. More dreaded he was indeed by the Romanists of France. They thrust him into prison as a heretic, but he was set at liberty by the king. For years the struggle continued. Francis, wavering between Rome and the Reformation, alternately tolerated and restrained the fierce zeal of the monks. Berquin was three times imprisoned by the papal authorities, only to be released by the monarch, who, in admiration of his genius and his nobility of character, refused to sacrifice him to the malice of the hierarchy.

    Berquin was repeatedly warned of the danger that threatened him in France, and urged to follow the steps of those who had found safety in voluntary exile. The timid and time-serving Erasmus, who with all the splendor of his scholarship failed of that moral greatness which holds life and honor subservient to truth, wrote to Berquin: "Ask to be sent as ambassador to some foreign country; go and travel in Germany. You know Beda and such as he--he is a thousand-headed monster, darting venom on every side. Your enemies are named legion. Were your cause better than that of Jesus Christ, they will not let you go till they have miserably destroyed you. Do not trust too much to the king's protection. At all events, do not compromise me with the faculty of theology."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 9.

    But as dangers thickened, Berquin's zeal only waxed the stronger. So far from adopting the politic and self-serving counsel of Erasmus, he determined upon still bolder measures. He would not only stand in defense of the truth, but he would attack error. The charge of heresy which the Romanists were seeking to fasten upon him, he would rivet upon them. The most active and bitter of his opponents were the learned doctors and monks of the theological department in the great University of Paris, one of the highest ecclesiastical authorities both in the city and the nation. From the writings of these doctors, Berquin drew twelve propositions which he publicly declared to be "opposed to the Bible, and heretical;" and he appealed to the king to act as judge in the controversy.

    The monarch, not loath to bring into contrast the power and acuteness of the opposing champions, and glad of an opportunity of humbling the pride of these haughty monks, bade the Romanists defend their cause by the Bible. This weapon, they well knew, would avail them little; imprisonment, torture, and the stake were arms which they better understood how to wield. Now the tables were turned, and they saw themselves about to fall into the pit into which they had hoped to plunge Berquin. In amazement they looked about them for some way of escape.

    "Just at that time an image of the Virgin at the corner of one of the streets, was mutilated." There was great excitement in the city. Crowds of people flocked to the place, with expressions of mourning and indignation. The king also was deeply moved. Here was an advantage which the monks could turn to good account, and they were quick to improve it. "These are the fruits of the doctrines of Berquin," they cried. "All is about to be overthrown--religion, the laws, the throne itself--by this Lutheran conspiracy."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 9.

    Again Berquin was apprehended. The king withdrew from Paris, and the monks were thus left free to work their will. The Reformer was tried and condemned to die, and lest Francis should even yet interpose to save him, the sentence was executed on the very day it was pronounced. At noon Berquin was conducted to the place of death. An immense throng gathered to witness the event, and there were many who saw with astonishment and misgiving that the victim had been chosen from the best and bravest of the noble families of France. Amazement, indignation, scorn, and bitter hatred darkened the faces of that surging crowd; but upon one face no shadow rested. The martyr's thoughts were far from that scene of tumult; he was conscious only of the presence of his Lord.

    The wretched tumbrel upon which he rode, the frowning faces of his persecutors, the dreadful death to which he was going--these he heeded not; He who liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, and hath the keys of death and of hell, was beside him. Berquin's countenance was radiant with the light and peace of heaven. He had attired himself in goodly raiment, wearing "a cloak of velvet, a doublet of satin and damask, and golden hose."--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 2, ch. 16. He was about to testify to his faith in the presence of the King of kings and the witnessing universe, and no token of mourning should belie his joy.

    As the procession moved slowly through the crowded streets, the people marked with wonder the unclouded peace, and joyous triumph, of his look and bearing. "He is," they said, "like one who sits in a temple, and meditates on holy things."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 9.

    At the stake, Berquin endeavored to address a few words to the people; but the monks, fearing the result, began to shout, and the soldiers to clash their arms, and their clamor drowned the martyr's voice. Thus in 1529 the highest literary and ecclesiastical authority of cultured Paris "set the populace of 1793 the base example of stifling on the scaffold the sacred words of the dying."--Ibid., b, 13, ch. 9.

    Berquin was strangled, and his body was consumed in the flames. The tidings of his death caused sorrow to the friends of the Reformation throughout France. But his example was not lost. "We, too, are ready," said the witnesses for the truth, "to meet death cheerfully, setting our eyes on the life that is to come."--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 2, ch. 16.

    During the persecution of Meaux, the teachers of the reformed faith were deprived of their license to preach, and they departed to other fields. Lefevre after a time made his way to Germany. Farel returned to his native town in eastern France, to spread the light in the home of his childhood. Already tidings had been received of what was going on at Meaux, and the truth, which he taught with fearless zeal, found listeners. Soon the authorities were roused to silence him, and he was banished from the city. Though he could no longer labor publicly, he traversed the plains and villages, teaching in private dwellings and in secluded meadows, and finding shelter in the forests and among the rocky caverns which had been his haunts in boyhood. God was preparing him for greater trials. "The crosses, persecutions, and machinations of Satan, of which I was forewarned, have not been wanting," he said; "they are even much severer than I could have borne of myself; but God is my Father; He has provided and always will provide me the strength which I require."--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, b. 12, ch. 9.

    As in apostolic days, persecution had "fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." Philippians 1:12. Driven from Paris and Meaux, "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." Acts 8:4. And thus the light found its way into many of the remote provinces of France.

    God was still preparing workers to extend His cause. In one of the schools of Paris was a thoughtful, quiet youth, already giving evidence of a powerful and penetrating mind, and no less marked for the blamelessness of his life than for intellectual ardor and religious devotion. His genius and application soon made him the pride of the college, and it was confidently anticipated that John Calvin would become one of the ablest and most honored defenders of the church. But a ray of divine light penetrated even within the walls of scholasticism and superstition by which Calvin was enclosed. He heard of the new doctrines with a shudder, nothing doubting that the heretics deserved the fire to which they were given. Yet all unwittingly he was brought face to face with the heresy and forced to test the power of Romish theology to combat the Protestant teaching.

    A cousin of Calvin's, who had joined the Reformers, was in Paris. The two kinsmen often met and discussed together the matters that were disturbing Christendom. "There are but two religions in the world," said Olivetan, the Protestant. "The one class of religions are those which men have invented, in all of which man saves himself by ceremonies and good works; the other is that one religion which is revealed in the Bible, and which teaches man to look for salvation solely from the free grace of God."

    "I will have none of your new doctrines," exclaimed Calvin; "think you that I have lived in error all my days?" --Wylie, b. 13, ch. 7.

    But thoughts had been awakened in his mind which he could not banish at will. Alone in his chamber he pondered upon his cousin's words. Conviction of sin fastened upon him; he saw himself, without an intercessor, in the presence of a holy and just Judge. The mediation of saints, good works, the ceremonies of the church, all were powerless to atone for sin. He could see before him nothing but the blackness of eternal despair. In vain the doctors of the church endeavored to relieve his woe. Confession, penance, were resorted to in vain; they could not reconcile the soul with God.

    While still engaged in these fruitless struggles, Calvin, chancing one day to visit one of the public squares, witnessed there the burning of a heretic. He was filled with wonder at the expression of peace which rested upon the martyr's countenance. Amid the tortures of that dreadful death, and under the more terrible condemnation of the church, he manifested a faith and courage which the young student painfully contrasted with his own despair and darkness, while living in strictest obedience to the church. Upon the Bible, he knew, the heretics rested their faith. He determined to study it, and discover, if he could, the secret of their joy.

    In the Bible he found Christ. "O Father," he cried, "His sacrifice has appeased Thy wrath; His blood has washed away my impurities; His cross has borne my curse; His death has atoned for me. We had devised for ourselves many useless follies, but Thou hast placed Thy word before me like a torch, and Thou hast touched my heart, in order that I may hold in abomination all other merits save those of Jesus." --Martyn, vol. 3, ch. 13.

    Calvin had been educated for the priesthood. When only twelve years of age he had been appointed to the chaplaincy of a small church, and his head had been shorn by the bishop in accordance with the canon of the church. He did not receive consecration, nor did he fulfill the duties of a priest, but he became a member of the clergy, holding the title of his office, and receiving an allowance in consideration thereof.

    Now, feeling that he could never become a priest, he turned for a time to the study of law, but finally abandoned this purpose and determined to devote his life to the gospel. But he hesitated to become a public teacher. He was naturally timid, and was burdened with a sense of the weighty responsibility of the position, and he desired still to devote himself to study. The earnest entreaties of his friends, however, at last won his consent. "Wonderful it is," he said, "that one of so lowly an origin should be exalted to so great a dignity."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 9.

    Quietly did Calvin enter upon his work, and his words were as the dew falling to refresh the earth. He had left Paris, and was now in a provincial town under the protection of the princess Margaret, who, loving the gospel, extended her protection to its disciples. Calvin was still a youth, of gentle, unpretentious bearing. His work began with the people at their homes. Surrounded by the members of the household, he read the Bible and opened the truths of salvation. Those who heard the message carried the good news to others, and soon the teacher passed beyond the city to the outlying towns and hamlets. To both the castle and the cabin he found entrance, and he went forward, laying the foundation of churches that were to yield fearless witnesses for the truth.

    A few months and he was again in Paris. There was unwonted agitation in the circle of learned men and scholars. The study of the ancient languages had led men to the Bible, and many whose hearts were untouched by its truths were eagerly discussing them and even giving battle to the champions of Romanism. Calvin, though an able combatant in the fields of theological controversy, had a higher mission to accomplish than that of these noisy schoolmen. The minds of men were stirred, and now was the time to open to them the truth. While the halls of the universities were filled with the clamor of theological disputation, Calvin was making his way from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, and speaking to them of Christ and Him crucified.

    In God's providence, Paris was to receive another invitation to accept the gospel. The call of Lefevre and Farel had been rejected, but again the message was to be heard by all classes in that great capital. The king, influenced by political considerations, had not yet fully sided with Rome against the Reformation. Margaret still clung to the hope that Protestantism was to triumph in France. She resolved that the reformed faith should be preached in Paris. During the absence of the king, she ordered a Protestant minister to preach in the churches of the city. This being forbidden by the papal dignitaries, the princess threw open the palace. An apartment was fitted up as a chapel, and it was announced that every day, at a specified hour, a sermon would be preached, and the people of every rank and station were invited to attend.

    Crowds flocked to the service. Not only the chapel, but the antechambers and halls were thronged. Thousands every day assembled--nobles, statesmen, lawyers, merchants, and artisans. The king, instead of forbidding the assemblies, ordered that two of the churches of Paris should be opened. Never before had the city been so moved by the word of God. The spirit of life from heaven seemed to be breathed upon the people. Temperance, purity, order, and industry were taking the place of drunkenness, licentiousness, strife, and idleness.

    But the hierarchy were not idle. The king still refused to interfere to stop the preaching, and they turned to the populace. No means were spared to excite the fears, the prejudices, and the fanaticism of the ignorant and superstitious multitude. Yielding blindly to her false teachers, Paris, like Jerusalem of old, knew not the time of her visitation nor the things which belonged unto her peace. For two years the word of God was preached in the capital; but, while there were many who accepted the gospel, the majority of the people rejected it. Francis had made a show of toleration, merely to serve his own purposes, and the papists succeeded in regaining the ascendancy. Again the churches were closed, and the stake was set up.

    Calvin was still in Paris, preparing himself by study, meditation, and prayer for his future labors, and continuing to spread the light. At last, however, suspicion fastened upon him. The authorities determined to bring him to the flames. Regarding himself as secure in his seclusion, he had no thought of danger, when friends came hurrying to his room with the news that officers were on their way to arrest him. At that instant a loud knocking was heard at the outer entrance. There was not a moment to be lost. Some of his friends detained the officers at the door, while others assisted the Reformer to let himself down from a window, and he rapidly made his way to the outskirts of the city. Finding shelter in the cottage of a laborer who was a friend to the reform, he disguised himself in the garments of his host, and, shouldering a hoe, started on his journey. Traveling southward, he again found refuge in the dominions of Margaret. (See D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 2, ch. 30.)

    Here for a few months he remained, safe under the protection of powerful friends, and engaged as before in study. But his heart was set upon the evangelization of France, and he could not long remain inactive. As soon as the storm had somewhat abated, he sought a new field of labor in Poitiers, where was a university, and where already the new opinions had found favor. Persons of all classes gladly listened to the gospel. There was no public preaching, but in the home of the chief magistrate, in his own lodgings, and sometimes in a public garden, Calvin opened the words of eternal life to those who desired to listen. After a time, as the number of hearers increased, it was thought safer to assemble outside the city. A cave in the side of a deep and narrow gorge, where trees and overhanging rocks made the seclusion still more complete, was chosen as the place of meeting. Little companies, leaving the city by different routes, found their way hither. In this retired spot the Bible was read aloud and explained. Here the Lord's Supper was celebrated for the first time by the Protestants of France. From this little church several faithful evangelists were sent out.

    Once more Calvin returned to Paris. He could not even yet relinquish the hope that France as a nation would accept the Reformation. But he found almost every door of labor closed. To teach the gospel was to take the direct road to the stake, and he at last determined to depart to Germany. Scarcely had he left France when a storm burst over the Protestants, that, had he remained, must surely have involved him in the general ruin.

    The French Reformers, eager to see their country keeping pace with Germany and Switzerland, determined to strike a bold blow against the superstitions of Rome, that should arouse the whole nation. Accordingly placards attacking the mass were in one night posted all over France. Instead of advancing the reform, this zealous but ill-judged movement brought ruin, not only upon its propagators, but upon the friends of the reformed faith throughout France. It gave the Romanists what they had long desired--a pretext for demanding the utter destruction of the heretics as agitators dangerous to the stability of the throne and the peace of the nation.

    By some secret hand--whether of indiscreet friend or wily foe was never known--one of the placards was attached to the door of the king's private chamber. The monarch was filled with horror. In this paper, superstitions that had received the veneration of ages were attacked with an unsparing hand. And the unexampled boldness of obtruding these plain and startling utterances into the royal presence aroused the wrath of the king. In his amazement he stood for a little time trembling and speechless. Then his rage found utterance in the terrible words: "Let all be seized without distinction who are suspected of Lutheresy. I will exterminate them all.--Ibid., b. 4, ch. 10. The die was cast. The king had determined to throw himself fully on the side of Rome.

    Measures were at once taken for the arrest of every Lutheran in Paris. A poor artisan, an adherent of the reformed faith, who had been accustomed to summon the believers to their secret assemblies, was seized and, with the threat of instant death at the stake, was commanded to conduct the papal emissary to the home of every Protestant in the city. He shrank in horror from the base proposal, but at last fear of the flames prevailed, and he consented to become the betrayer of his brethren. Preceded by the host, and surrounded by a train of priests, incense bearers, monks, and soldiers, Morin, the royal detective, with the traitor, slowly and silently passed through the streets of the city. The demonstration was ostensibly in honor of the "holy sacrament," an act of expiation for the insult put upon the mass by the protesters. But beneath this pageant a deadly purpose was concealed. On arriving opposite the house of a Lutheran, the betrayer made a sign, but no word was uttered. The procession halted, the house was entered, the family were dragged forth and chained, and the terrible company went forward in search of fresh victims. They "spared no house, great or small, not even the colleges of the University of Paris. . . . Morin made all the city quake. . . . It was a reign of terror." --Ibid., b. 4, ch. 10.

    The victims were put to death with cruel torture, it being specially ordered that the fire should be lowered in order to prolong their agony. But they died as conquerors. Their constancy were unshaken, their peace unclouded. Their persecutors, powerless to move their inflexible firmness, felt themselves defeated. "The scaffolds were distributed over all the quarters of Paris, and the burnings followed on successive days, the design being to spread the terror of heresy by spreading the executions. The advantage, however, in the end, remained with the gospel. All Paris was enabled to see what kind of men the new opinions could produce. There was no pulpit like the martyr's pile. The serene joy that lighted up the faces of these men as they passed along . . . to the place of execution, their heroism as they stood amid the bitter flames, their meek forgiveness of injuries, transformed, in instances not a few, anger into pity, and hate into love, and pleaded with resistless eloquence in behalf of the gospel."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 20.

    The priests, bent upon keeping the popular fury at its height, circulated the most terrible accusations against the Protestants. They were charged with plotting to massacre the Catholics, to overthrow the government, and to murder the king. Not a shadow of evidence could be produced in support of the allegations. Yet these prophecies of evil were to have a fulfillment; under far different circumstances, however, and from causes of an opposite character. The cruelties that were inflicted upon the innocent Protestants by the Catholics accumulated in a weight of retribution, and in after centuries wrought the very doom they had predicted to be impending, upon the king, his government, and his subjects; but it was brought about by infidels and by the papists themselves. It was not the establishment, but the suppression, of Protestantism, that, three hundred years later, was to bring upon France these dire calamities.

    Suspicion, distrust, and terror now pervaded all classes of society. Amid the general alarm it was seen how deep a hold the Lutheran teaching had gained upon the minds of men who stood highest for education, influence, and excellence of character. Positions of trust and honor were suddenly found vacant. Artisans, printers, scholars, professors in the universities, authors, and even courtiers, disappeared. Hundreds fled from Paris, self-constituted exiles from their native land, in many cases thus giving the first intimation that they favored the reformed faith. The papists looked about them in amazement at thought of the unsuspected heretics that had been tolerated among them. Their rage spent itself upon the multitudes of humbler victims who were within their power. The prisons were crowded, and the very air seemed darkened with the smoke of burning piles, kindled for the confessors of the gospel.

    Francis I had gloried in being a leader in the great movement for the revival of learning which marked the opening of the sixteenth century. He had delighted to gather at his court men of letters from every country. To his love of learning and his contempt for the ignorance and superstition of the monks was due, in part at least, the degree of toleration that had been granted to the reform. But, inspired with zeal to stamp out heresy, this patron of learning issued an edict declaring printing abolished all over France! Francis I presents one among the many examples on record showing that intellectual culture is not a safeguard against religious intolerance and persecution.

    France by a solemn and public ceremony was to commit herself fully to the destruction of Protestantism. The priests demanded that the affront offered to High Heaven in the condemnation of the mass be expiated in blood, and that the king, in behalf of his people, publicly give his sanction to the dreadful work.

    The 21st of January, 1535, was fixed upon for the awful ceremonial. The superstitious fears and bigoted hatred of the whole nation had been roused. Paris was thronged with the multitudes that from all the surrounding country crowded her streets. The day was to be ushered in by a vast and imposing procession. "The houses along the line of march were hung with mourning drapery, and altars rose at intervals." Before every door was a lighted torch in honor of the "holy sacrament." Before daybreak the procession formed at the palace of the king. "First came the banners and crosses of the several parishes; next appeared the citizens, walking two and two, and bearing torches." The four orders of friars followed, each in its own peculiar dress. Then came a vast collection of famous relics. Following these rode lordly ecclesiastics in their purple and scarlet robes and jeweled adornings, a gorgeous and glittering array.

    "The host was carried by the bishop of Paris under a magnificent canopy, . . . supported by four princes of the blood. . . . After the host walked the king. . . . Francis I on that day wore no crown, nor robe of state." With "head uncovered, his eyes cast on the ground, and in his hand a lighted taper," the king of France appeared "in the character of a penitent."--Ibid., b. 13, ch. 21. At every altar he bowed down in humiliation, nor for the vices that defiled his soul, nor the innocent blood that stained his hands, but for the deadly sin of his subjects who had dared to condemn the mass. Following him came the queen and the dignitaries of state, also walking two and two, each with a lighted torch.

    As a part of the services of the day the monarch himself addressed the high officials of the kingdom in the great hall of the bishop's palace. With a sorrowful countenance he appeared before them and in words of moving eloquence bewailed "the crime, the blasphemy, the day of sorrow and disgrace," that had come upon the nation. And he called upon every loyal subject to aid in the extirpation of the pestilent heresy that threatened France with ruin. "As true, messieurs, as I am your king," he said, "if I knew one of my own limbs spotted or infected with this detestable rottenness, I would give it you to cut off. . . . And further, if I saw one of my children defiled by it, I would not spare him. . . . I would deliver him up myself, and would sacrifice him to God." Tears choked his utterance, and the whole assembly wept, with one accord exclaiming: "We will live and die for the Catholic religion!"--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 4, ch. 12.

    Terrible had become the darkness of the nation that had rejected the light of truth. The grace "that bringeth salvation" had appeared; but France, after beholding its power and holiness, after thousands had been drawn by its divine beauty, after cities and hamlets had been illuminated by its radiance, had turned away, choosing darkness rather than light. They had put from them the heavenly gift when it was offered them. They had called evil good, and good evil, till they had fallen victims to their willful self-deception. Now, though they might actually believe that they were doing God service in persecuting His people, yet their sincerity did not render them guiltless. The light that would have saved them from deception, from staining their souls with bloodguiltiness, they had willfully rejected.

    A solemn oath to extirpate heresy was taken in the great cathedral where, nearly three centuries later, the Goddess of Reason was to be enthroned by a nation that had forgotten the living God. Again the procession formed, and the representatives of France set out to begin the work which they had sworn to do. "At short distances scaffolds had been erected, on which certain Protestant Christians were to be burned alive, and it was arranged that the fagots should be lighted at the moment the king approached, and that the procession should halt to witness the execution."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 21. The details of the tortures endured by these witnesses for Christ are too harrowing for recital; but there was no wavering on the part of the victims. On being urged to recant, one answered: "I only believe in what the prophets and the apostles formerly preached, and what all the company of saints believed. My faith has a confidence in God which will resist all the powers of hell."--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 4, ch. 12.

    Again and again the procession halted at the places of torture. Upon reaching their starting point at the royal palace, the crowd dispersed, and the king and the prelates withdrew, well satisfied with the day's proceedings and congratulating themselves that the work now begun would be continued to the complete destruction of heresy.

    The gospel of peace which France had rejected was to be only too surely rooted out, and terrible would be the results. On the 21st of January, 1793, two hundred and fifty-eight years from the very day that fully committed France to the persecution of the Reformers, another procession, with a far different purpose, passed through the streets of Paris. "Again the king was the chief figure; again there were tumult and shouting; again there was heard the cry for more victims; again there were black scaffolds; and again the scenes of the day were closed by horrid executions; Louis XVI, struggling hand to hand with his jailers and executioners, was dragged forward to the block, and there held down by main force till the ax had fallen, and his dissevered head rolled on the scaffold."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 21. Nor was the king the only victim; near the same spot two thousand and eight hundred human beings perished by the guillotine during the bloody days of the Reign of Terror.

    The Reformation had presented to the world an open Bible, unsealing the precepts of the law of God and urging its claims upon the consciences of the people. Infinite Love had unfolded to men the statutes and principles of heaven. God had said: "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 4:6. When France rejected the gift of heaven, she sowed the seeds of anarchy and ruin; and the inevitable outworking of cause and effect resulted in the Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

    Long before the persecution excited by the placards, the bold and ardent Farel had been forced to flee from the land of his birth. He repaired to Switzerland, and by his labors, seconding the work of Zwingli, he helped to turn the scale in favor of the Reformation. His later years were to be spent here, yet he continued to exert a decided influence upon the reform in France. During the first years of his exile, his efforts were especially directed to spreading the gospel in his native country. He spent considerable time in preaching among his countrymen near the frontier, where with tireless vigilance he watched the conflict and aided by his words of encouragement and counsel. With the assistance of other exiles, the writings of the German Reformers were translated into the French language and, together with the French Bible, were printed in large quantities. By colporteurs these works were sold extensively in France. They were furnished to the colporteurs at a low price, and thus the profits of the work enabled them to continue it.

    Farel entered upon his work in Switzerland in the humble guise of a schoolmaster. Repairing to a secluded parish, he devoted himself to the instruction of children. Besides the usual branches of learning, he cautiously introduced the truths of the Bible, hoping through the children to reach the parents. There were some who believed, but the priests came forward to stop the work, and the superstitious country people were roused to oppose it. "That cannot be the gospel of Christ," urged the priest, "seeing the preaching of it does not bring peace, but war."--Wylie, b. 14, ch. 3. Like the first disciples, when persecuted in one city he fled to another. From village to village, from city to city, he went, traveling on foot, enduring hunger, cold, and weariness, and everywhere in peril of his life. He preached in the market places, in the churches, sometimes in the pulpits of the cathedrals. Sometimes he found the church empty of hearers; at times his preaching was interrupted by shouts and jeers; again he was pulled violently out of the pulpit. More than once he was set upon by the rabble and beaten almost to death. Yet he pressed forward. Though often repulsed, with unwearying persistence he returned to the attack; and, one after another, he saw towns and cities which had been strongholds of popery, opening their gates to the gospel. The little parish where he had first labored soon accepted the reformed faith. The cities of Morat and Neuchatel also renounced the Romish rites and removed the idolatrous images from their churches.

    Farel had long desired to plant the Protestant standard in Geneva. If this city could be won, it would be a center for the Reformation in France, in Switzerland, and in Italy. With this object before him, he had continued his labors until many of the surrounding towns and hamlets had been gained. Then with a single companion he entered Geneva. But only two sermons was he permitted to preach. The priests, having vainly endeavored to secure his condemnation by the civil authorities, summoned him before an ecclesiastical council, to which they came with arms concealed under their robes, determined to take his life. Outside the hall, a furious mob, with clubs and swords, was gathered to make sure of his death if he should succeed in escaping the council. The presence of magistrates and an armed force, however, saved him. Early next morning he was conducted, with his companion, across the lake to a place of safety. Thus ended his first effort to evangelize Geneva.

    For the next trial a lowlier instrument was chosen--a young man, so humble in appearance that he was coldly treated even by the professed friends of reform. But what could such a one do where Farel had been rejected? How could one of little courage and experience withstand the tempest before which the strongest and bravest had been forced to flee? "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." Zechariah 4:6. "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1 Corinthians 1:27, 25.

    Froment began his work as a schoolmaster. The truths which he taught the children at school they repeated at their homes. Soon the parents came to hear the Bible explained, until the schoolroom was filled with attentive listeners. New Testaments and tracts were freely distributed, and they reached many who dared not come openly to listen to the new doctrines. After a time this laborer also was forced to flee; but the truths he taught had taken hold upon the minds of the people. The Reformation had been planted, and it continued to strengthen and extend. The preachers returned, and through their labors the Protestant worship was finally established in Geneva.

    The city had already declared for the Reformation when Calvin, after various wanderings and vicissitudes, entered its gates. Returning from a last visit to his birthplace, he was on his way to Basel, when, finding the direct road occupied by the armies of Charles V, he was forced to take the circuitous route by Geneva.

    In this visit Farel recognized the hand of God. Though Geneva had accepted the reformed faith, yet a great work remained to be accomplished here. It is not as communities but as individuals that men are converted to God; the work of regeneration must be wrought in the heart and conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by the decrees of councils. While the people of Geneva had cast off the authority of Rome, they were not so ready to renounce the vices that had flourished under her rule. To establish here the pure principles of the gospel and to prepare this people to fill worthily the position to which Providence seemed calling them were not light tasks.

    Farel was confident that he had found in Calvin one whom he could unite with himself in this work. In the name of God he solemnly adjured the young evangelist to remain and labor here. Calvin drew back in alarm. Timid and peace-loving, he shrank from contact with the bold, independent, and even violent spirit of the Genevese. The feebleness of his health, together with his studious habits, led him to seek retirement. Believing that by his pen he could best serve the cause of reform, he desired to find a quiet retreat for study, and there, through the press, instruct and build up the churches. But Farel's solemn admonition came to him as a call from Heaven, and he dared not refuse. It seemed to him, he said, "that the hand of God was stretched down from heaven, that it lay hold of him, and fixed him irrevocably to the place he was so impatient to leave."-- D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 9, ch. 17.

    At this time great perils surrounded the Protestant cause. The anathemas of the pope thundered against Geneva, and mighty nations threatened it with destruction. How was this little city to resist the powerful hierarchy that had so often forced kings and emperors to submission? How could it stand against the armies of the world's great conquerors?

    Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power. (See Appendix.) The gospel of Christ had enabled its adherents to meet danger and endure suffering, undismayed by cold, hunger, toil, and poverty, to uphold the banner of truth in face of the rack, the dungeon, and the stake. To combat these forces, Jesuitism inspired its followers with a fanaticism that enabled them to endure like dangers, and to oppose to the power of truth all the weapons of deception. There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.

    When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed. It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.

    To give them greater power, a bull was issued re-establishing the inquisition. (See Appendix.) Notwithstanding the general abhorrence with which it was regarded, even in Catholic countries, this terrible tribunal was again set up by popish rulers, and atrocities too terrible to bear the light of day were repeated in its secret dungeons. In many countries, thousands upon thousands of the very flower of the nation, the purest and noblest, the most intellectual and highly educated, pious and devoted pastors, industrious and patriotic citizens, brilliant scholars, talented artists, skillful artisans, were slain or forced to flee to other lands.

    Such were the means which Rome had invoked to quench the light of the Reformation, to withdraw from men the Bible, and to restore the ignorance and superstition of the Dark Ages. But under God's blessing and the labors of those noble men whom He had raised up to succeed Luther, Protestantism was not overthrown. Not to the favor or arms of princes was it to owe its strength. The smallest countries, the humblest and least powerful nations, became its strongholds. It was little Geneva in the midst of mighty foes plotting her destruction; it was Holland on her sandbanks by the northern sea, wrestling against the tyranny of Spain, then the greatest and most opulent of kingdoms; it was bleak, sterile Sweden, that gained victories for the Reformation.

    For nearly thirty years Calvin labored at Geneva, first to establish there a church adhering to the morality of the Bible, and then for the advancement of the Reformation throughout Europe. His course as a public leader was not faultless, nor were his doctrines free from error. But he was instrumental in promulgating truths that were of special importance in his time, in maintaining the principles of Protestantism against the fast-returning tide of popery, and in promoting in the reformed churches simplicity and purity of life, in place of the pride and corruption fostered under the Romish teaching.

    From Geneva, publications and teachers went out to spread the reformed doctrines. To this point the persecuted of all lands looked for instruction, counsel, and encouragement. The city of Calvin became a refuge for the hunted Reformers of all Western Europe. Fleeing from the awful tempests that continued for centuries, the fugitives came to the gates of Geneva. Starving, wounded, bereft of home and kindred, they were warmly welcomed and tenderly cared for; and finding a home here, they blessed the city of their adoption by their skill, their learning, and their piety. Many who sought here a refuge returned to their own countries to resist the tyranny of Rome. John Knox, the brave Scotch Reformer, not a few of the English Puritans, the Protestants of Holland and of Spain, and the Huguenots of France carried from Geneva the torch of truth to lighten the darkness of their native lands.






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    orthodoxymoron

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    Re: The United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 (Book Six)

    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:57 am


    Perhaps I should attempt to End the Thread for the rest of 2018. I think this effort is much worse than a waste of time, and an exercise in futility. Has anyone bothered to study this thread?? I tend to doubt that. I've been told that I've been arguing with myself. That might be because no one will argue with me. I often take a contrarian-position just to clarify various issues, and explore a potpourri of possibilities. You'd probably have to do a Doctoral-Dissertation (at an Ivy-League University) on the four United States of the Solar System, A.D. 2133 threads to really get what I intended. I haven't even come close to getting what I intended (as ludicrous as THAT sounds)!! I remain a Highly-Hamstrung Completely Ignorant Fool. I have no idea what the Real-Deal is regarding Life, the Universe, and Everything. My threads are Highly-Hypothetical which is why I've restricted my pseudo-intellectual speculative-research to this little website (which seems to wish to have little to do with me). I have NOT chosen a receptive and gullible audience!! Just the Opposite!! I never intended This Present Quest for my local-community. Unfortunately the PTB had other ideas, and the responsibility for any resulting problems rests upon Their Shoulders Alone. My intentions were never evangelistic and recruiting in nature. My threads are NOT an Evangelistic-Crusade for the General-Public.

    I wished to employ Contextual-Superimposition in an Alternative-Research Non-Christian Context (for Intellectual and Character-Building Purposes for starters). What if one made an exhaustive-study of the New-Testament Red-Letters and the Seven-Genuine Pauline-Epistles?? What if one created a New-Testament Psalter based-upon this study?? What if one included the Old-Testament Wisdom-Books and Major-Prophets in this ambitious project?? As an introduction and/or conclusion to this project, there might be a significant breakthrough in understanding if one reads Job through Daniel side-by-side with Luke through Jude (NIV) straight-through, over and over. I don't feel capable of properly doing this, so I'm hoping properly qualified persons will attempt this difficult task, and properly communicate their discoveries. I get a bit nervous as I approach the 19th century in the book The Great Controversy. There's been so much controversy in (and out of) the SDA church concerning the French Revolution and onward. Perhaps this is an excellent place to STOP (again).







    The Great Controversy
    Between Christ and Satan
    In the Conflict of the Ages
    by
    Ellen G. White

    CONTINUED

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp

    In The Netherlands the papal tyranny very early called forth resolute protest. Seven hundred years before Luther's time the Roman pontiff was thus fearlessly impeached by two bishops, who, having been sent on an embassy to Rome, had learned the true character of the "holy see": God "has made His queen and spouse, the church, a noble and everlasting provision for her family, with a dowry that is neither fading nor corruptible, and given her an eternal crown and scepter; . . . all which benefits you like a thief intercept. You set up yourself in the temple of God; instead of a pastor, you are become a wolf to the sheep; . . . you would make us believe you are a supreme bishop, but you rather behave like a tyrant. . . . Whereas you ought to be a servant of servants, as you call yourself, you endeavor to become a lord of lords. . . . You bring the commands of God into contempt. . . . The Holy Ghost is the builder of all churches as far as the earth extends. . . . The city of our God, of which we are the citizens, reaches to all the regions of the heavens; and it is greater than the city, by the holy prophets named Babylon, which pretends to be divine, wins herself to heaven, and brags that her wisdom is immortal; and finally, though without reason, that she never did err, nor ever can."--Gerard Brandt, History of the Reformation in and About the Low Countries, b. 1, p. 6.

    Others arose from century to century to echo this protest. And those early teachers who, traversing different lands and known by various names, bore the character of the Vaudois missionaries, and spread everywhere the knowledge of the gospel, penetrated to the Netherlands. Their doctrines spread rapidly. The Waldensian Bible they translated in verse into the Dutch language. They declared "that there was great advantage in it; no jests, no fables, no trifles, no deceits, but the words of truth; that indeed there was here and there a hard crust, but that the marrow and sweetness of what was good and holy might be easily discovered in it."--Ibid., b. 1, p. 14. Thus wrote the friends of the ancient faith, in the twelfth century.

    Now began the Romish persecutions; but in the midst of fagots and torture the believers continued to multiply, steadfastly declaring that the Bible is the only infallible authority in religion, and that "no man should be coerced to believe, but should be won by preaching."--Martyn, vol. 2, p. 87.

    The teachings of Luther found a congenial soil in the Netherlands, and earnest and faithful men arose to preach the gospel. From one of the provinces of Holland came Menno Simons. Educated a Roman Catholic and ordained to the priesthood, he was wholly ignorant of the Bible, and he would not read it for fear of being beguiled into heresy. When a doubt concerning the doctrine of transubstantiation forced itself upon him, he regarded it as a temptation from Satan, and by prayer and confession sought to free himself from it; but in vain. By mingling in scenes of dissipation he endeavored to silence the accusing voice of conscience; but without avail. After a time he was led to the study of the New Testament, and this, with Luther's writings, caused him to accept the reformed faith. He soon after witnessed in a neighboring village the beheading of a man who was put to death for having been rebaptized. This led him to study the Bible in regard to infant baptism. He could find no evidence for it in the Scriptures, but saw that repentance and faith are everywhere required as the condition of receiving baptism.

    Menno withdrew from the Roman Church and devoted his life to teaching the truths which he had received. In both Germany and the Netherlands a class of fanatics had risen, advocating absurd and seditious doctrines, outraging order and decency, and proceeding to violence and insurrection. Menno saw the horrible results to which these movements would inevitably lead, and he strenuously opposed the erroneous teachings and wild schemes of the fanatics. There were many, however, who had been misled by these fanatics, but who had renounced their pernicious doctrines; and there were still remaining many descendants of the ancient Christians, the fruits of the Waldensian teaching. Among these classes Menno labored with great zeal and success.

    For twenty-five years he traveled, with his wife and children, enduring great hardships and privations, and frequently in peril of his life. He traversed the Netherlands and northern Germany, laboring chiefly among the humbler classes but exerting a widespread influence. Naturally eloquent, though possessing a limited education, he was a man of unwavering integrity, of humble spirit and gentle manners, and of sincere and earnest piety, exemplifying in his own life the precepts which he taught, and he commanded the confidence of the people. His followers were scattered and oppressed. They suffered greatly from being confounded with the fanatical Munsterites. Yet great numbers were converted under his labors.

    Nowhere were the reformed doctrines more generally received than in the Netherlands. In few countries did their adherents endure more terrible persecution. In Germany Charles V had banned the Reformation, and he would gladly have brought all its adherents to the stake; but the princes stood up as a barrier against his tyranny. In the Netherlands his power was greater, and persecuting edicts followed each other in quick succession. To read the Bible, to hear or preach it, or even to speak concerning it, was to incur the penalty of death by the stake. To pray to God in secret, to refrain from bowing to an image, or to sing a psalm, was also punishable with death. Even those who should abjure their errors were condemned, if men, to die by the sword; if women, to be buried alive. Thousands perished under the reign of Charles and of Philip II.

    At one time a whole family was brought before the inquisitors, charged with remaining away from mass and worshiping at home. On his examination as to their practices in secret the youngest son answered: "We fall on our knees, and pray that God may enlighten our minds and pardon our sins; we pray for our sovereign, that his reign may be prosperous and his life happy; we pray for our magistrates, that God may preserve them."--Wylie, b. 18, ch. 6. Some of the judges were deeply moved, yet the father and one of his sons were condemned to the stake.

    The rage of the persecutors was equaled by the faith of the martyrs. Not only men but delicate women and young maidens displayed unflinching courage. "Wives would take their stand by their husband's stake, and while he was enduring the fire they would whisper words of solace, or sing psalms to cheer him." "Young maidens would lie down in their living grave as if they were entering into their chamber of nightly sleep; or go forth to the scaffold and the fire, dressed in their best apparel, as if they were going to their marriage."--Ibid., b. 18, ch. 6.

    As in the days when paganism sought to destroy the gospel, the blood of the Christians was seed. (See Tertullian, Apology, paragraph 50.) Persecution served to increase the number of witnesses for the truth. Year after year the monarch, stung to madness by the unconquerable determination of the people, urged on his cruel work; but in vain. Under the noble William of Orange the Revolution at last brought to Holland freedom to worship God.

    In the mountains of Piedmont, on the plains of France and the shores of Holland, the progress of the gospel was marked with the blood of its disciples. But in the countries of the North it found a peaceful entrance. Students at Wittenberg, returning to their homes, carried the reformed faith to Scandinavia. The publication of Luther's writings also spread the light. The simple, hardy people of the North turned from the corruption, the pomp, and the superstitions of Rome, to welcome the purity, the simplicity, and the life-giving truths of the Bible.

    Tausen, "the Reformer of Denmark," was a peasant's son. The boy early gave evidence of vigorous intellect; he thirsted for an education; but this was denied him by the circumstances of his parents, and he entered a cloister. Here the purity of his life, together with his diligence and fidelity, won the favor of his superior. Examination showed him to possess talent that promised at some future day good service to the church. It was determined to give him an education at some one of the universities of Germany or the Netherlands. The young student was granted permission to choose a school for himself, with one proviso, that he must not go to Wittenberg. The scholar of the church was not to be endangered by the poison of heresy. So said the friars.

    Tausen went to Cologne, which was then, as now, one of the strongholds of Romanism. Here he soon became disgusted with the mysticisms of the schoolmen. About the same time he obtained Luther's writings. He read them with wonder and delight, and greatly desired to enjoy the personal instruction of the Reformer. But to do so he must risk giving offense to his monastic superior and forfeiting his support. His decision was soon made, and erelong he was enrolled as a student at Wittenberg.

    On returning to Denmark, he again repaired to his cloister. No one as yet suspected him of Lutheranism; he did not reveal his secret, but endeavored, without exciting the prejudices of his companions, to lead them to a purer faith and a holier life. He opened the Bible, and explained its true meaning, and at last preached Christ to them as the sinner's righteousness and his only hope of salvation. Great was the wrath of the prior, who had built high hopes upon him as a valiant defender of Rome. He was at once removed from his own monastery to another and confined to his cell under strict supervision.

    To the terror of his new guardians several of the monks soon declared themselves converts to Protestantism. Through the bars of his cell Tausen had communicated to his companions a knowledge of the truth. Had those Danish fathers been skilled in the church's plan of dealing with heresy, Tausen's voice would never again have been heard; but instead of consigning him to a tomb in some underground dungeon, they expelled him from the monastery. Now they were powerless. A royal edict, just issued, offered protection to the teachers of the new doctrine. Tausen began to preach. The churches were opened to him, and the people thronged to listen. Others also were preaching the word of God. The New Testament, translated into the Danish tongue, was widely circulated. The efforts made by the papists to overthrow the work resulted in extending it, and erelong Denmark declared its acceptance of the reformed faith.

    In Sweden, also, young men who had drunk from the well of Wittenberg carried the water of life to their countrymen. Two of the leaders in the Swedish Reformation, Olaf and Laurentius Petri, the sons of a blacksmith of Orebro, studied under Luther and Melanchthon, and the truths which they thus learned they were diligent to teach. Like the great Reformer, Olaf aroused the people by his zeal and eloquence, while Laurentius, like Melanchthon, was learned, thoughtful, and calm. Both were men of ardent piety, of high theological attainments, and of unflinching courage in advancing the truth. Papist opposition was not lacking. The Catholic priest stirred up the ignorant and superstitious people. Olaf Petri was often assailed by the mob, and upon several occasions barely escaped with his life. These Reformers were, however, favored and protected by the king.

    Under the rule of the Roman Church the people were sunken in poverty and ground down by oppression. They were destitute of the Scriptures; and having a religion of mere signs and ceremonies, which conveyed no light to the mind, they were returning to the superstitious beliefs and pagan practices of their heathen ancestors. The nation was divided into contending factions, whose perpetual strife increased the misery of all. The king determined upon a reformation in the state and the church, and he welcomed these able assistants in the battle against Rome.

    In the presence of the monarch and the leading men of Sweden, Olaf Petri with great ability defended the doctrines of the reformed faith against the Romish champions. He declared that the teachings of the Fathers are to be received only when in accordance with the Scriptures; that the essential doctrines of the faith are presented in the Bible in a clear and simple manner, so that all men may understand them. Christ said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me" (John 7:16); and Paul declared that should he preach any other gospel than that which he had received, he would be accursed (Galatians 1:Cool. "How, then," said the Reformer, "shall others presume to enact dogmas at their pleasure, and impose them as things necessary to salvation?"--Wylie, b. 10, ch. 4. He showed that the decrees of the church are of no authority when in opposition to the commands of God, and maintained the great Protestant principle that "the Bible and the Bible only" is the rule of faith and practice.

    This contest, though conducted upon a stage comparatively obscure, serves to show us "the sort of men that formed the rank and file of the army of the Reformers. They were not illiterate, sectarian, noisy controversialists--far from it; they were men who had studied the word of God, and knew well how to wield the weapons with which the armory of the Bible supplied them. In respect of erudition they were ahead of their age. When we confine our attention to such brilliant centers as Wittenberg and Zurich, and to such illustrious names as those of Luther and Melanchthon, of Zwingli and Oecolampadius, we are apt to be told, these were the leaders of the movement, and we should naturally expect in them prodigious power and vast acquisitions; but the subordinates were not like these. Well, we turn to the obscure theater of Sweden, and the humble names of Olaf and Laurentius Petri --from the masters to the disciples--what do we find? . . . Scholars and theologians; men who have thoroughly mastered the whole system of gospel truth, and who win an easy victory over the sophists of the schools and the dignitaries of Rome."--Ibid., b. 10, ch. 4.

    As the result of this disputation the king of Sweden accepted the Protestant faith, and not long afterward the national assembly declared in its favor. The New Testament had been translated by Olaf Petri into the Swedish language, and at the desire of the king the two brothers undertook the translation of the whole Bible. Thus for the first time the people of Sweden received the word of God in their native tongue. It was ordered by the Diet that throughout the kingdom, ministers should explain the Scriptures and that the children in the schools should be taught to read the Bible.

    Steadily and surely the darkness of ignorance and superstition was dispelled by the blessed light of the gospel. Freed from Romish oppression, the nation attained to a strength and greatness it had never before reached. Sweden became one of the bulwarks of Protestantism. A century later, at a time of sorest peril, this small and hitherto feeble nation--the only one in Europe that dared lend a helping hand--came to the deliverance of Germany in the terrible struggle of the Thirty Years' War. All Northern Europe seemed about to be brought again under the tyranny of Rome. It was the armies of Sweden that enabled Germany to turn the tide of popish success, to win toleration for the Protestants,--Calvinists as well as Lutherans,--and to restore liberty of conscience to those countries that had accepted the Reformation.

    While Luther was opening a closed Bible to the people of Germany, Tyndale was impelled by the Spirit of God to do the same for England. Wycliffe's Bible had been translated from the Latin text, which contained many errors. It had never been printed, and the cost of manuscript copies was so great that few but wealthy men or nobles could procure it; and, furthermore, being strictly proscribed by the church, it had had a comparatively narrow circulation. In 1516, a year before the appearance of Luther's theses, Erasmus had published his Greek and Latin version of the New Testament. Now for the first time the word of God was printed in the original tongue. In this work many errors of former versions were corrected, and the sense was more clearly rendered. It led many among the educated classes to a better knowledge of the truth, and gave a new impetus to the work of reform. But the common people were still, to a great extent, debarred from God's word. Tyndale was to complete the work of Wycliffe in giving the Bible to his countrymen.

    A diligent student and an earnest seeker for truth, he had received the gospel from the Greek Testament of Erasmus. He fearlessly preached his convictions, urging that all doctrines be tested by the Scriptures. To the papist claim that the church had given the Bible, and the church alone could explain it, Tyndale responded: "Do you know who taught the eagles to find their prey? Well, that same God teaches His hungry children to find their Father in His word. Far from having given us the Scriptures, it is you who have hidden them from us; it is you who burn those who teach them, and if you could, you would burn the Scriptures themselves."--D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, b. 18, ch. 4.

    Tyndale's preaching excited great interest; many accepted the truth. But the priests were on the alert, and no sooner had he left the field than they by their threats and misrepresentations endeavored to destroy his work. Too often they succeeded. "What is to be done?" he exclaimed. "While I am sowing in one place, the enemy ravages the field I have just left. I cannot be everywhere. Oh! if Christians possessed the Holy Scriptures in their own tongue, they could of themselves withstand these sophists. Without the Bible it is impossible to establish the laity in the truth."--Ibid., b. 18, ch. 4.

    A new purpose now took possession of his mind. "It was in the language of Israel," said he, "that the psalms were sung in the temple of Jehovah; and shall not the gospel speak the language of England among us? . . . Ought the church to have less light at noonday than at the dawn? . . . Christians must read the New Testament in their mother tongue." The doctors and teachers of the church disagreed among themselves. Only by the Bible could men arrive at the truth. "One holdeth this doctor, another that. . . . Now each of these authors contradicts the other. How then can we distinguish him who says right from him who says wrong? . . . How? . . . Verily by God's word."--Ibid., b. 18, ch. 4.

    It was not long after that a learned Catholic doctor, engaging in controversy with him, exclaimed: "We were better to be without God's laws than the pope's." Tyndale replied: "I defy the pope and all his laws; and if God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scripture than you do."--Anderson, Annals of the English Bible, page 19.

    The purpose which he had begun to cherish, of giving to the people the New Testament Scriptures in their own language, was now confirmed, and he immediately applied himself to the work. Driven from his home by persecution, he went to London, and there for a time pursued his labors undisturbed. But again the violence of the papists forced him to flee. All England seemed closed against him, and he resolved to seek shelter in Germany. Here he began the printing of the English New Testament. Twice the work was stopped; but when forbidden to print in one city, he went to another. At last he made his way to Worms, where, a few years before, Luther had defended the gospel before the Diet. In that ancient city were many friends of the Reformation, and Tyndale there prosecuted his work without further hindrance. Three thousand copies of the New Testament were soon finished, and another edition followed in the same year.

    With great earnestness and perseverance he continued his labors. Notwithstanding the English authorities had guarded their ports with the strictest vigilance, the word of God was in various ways secretly conveyed to London and thence circulated throughout the country. The papists attempted to suppress the truth, but in vain. The bishop of Durham at one time bought of a bookseller who was a friend of Tyndale his whole stock of Bibles, for the purpose of destroying them, supposing that this would greatly hinder the work. But, on the contrary, the money thus furnished, purchased material for a new and better edition, which, but for this, could not have been published. When Tyndale was afterward made a prisoner, his liberty was offered him on condition that he would reveal the names of those who had helped him meet the expense of printing his Bibles. He replied that the bishop of Durham had done more than any other person; for by paying a large price for the books left on hand, he had enabled him to go on with good courage.

    Tyndale was betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and at one time suffered imprisonment for many months. He finally witnessed for his faith by a martyr's death; but the weapons which he prepared have enabled other soldiers to do battle through all the centuries even to our time.

    Latimer maintained from the pulpit that the Bible ought to be read in the language of the people. The Author of Holy Scripture, said he, "is God Himself;" and this Scripture partakes of the might and eternity of its Author. "There is no king, emperor, magistrate, and ruler . . . but are bound to obey . . . His holy word." "Let us not take any bywalks, but let God's word direct us: let us not walk after . . . our forefathers, nor seek not what they did, but what they should have done."--Hugh Latimer, "First Sermon Preached Before King Edward VI."

    Barnes and Frith, the faithful friends of Tyndale, arose to defend the truth. The Ridleys and Cranmer followed. These leaders in the English Reformation were men of learning, and most of them had been highly esteemed for zeal or piety in the Romish communion. Their opposition to the papacy was the result of their knowledge of the errors of the "holy see." Their acquaintance with the mysteries of Babylon gave greater power to their testimonies against her.

    "Now I would ask a strange question," said Latimer. "Who is the most diligent bishop and prelate in all England? . . . I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. . . . I will tell you: it is the devil. . . . He is never out of his diocese; call for him when you will, he is ever at home; . . . he is ever at his plow. . . . Ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. . . . Where the devil is resident, . . . there away with books, and up with candles; away with Bibles, and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at noondays; . . . down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pickpurse; . . . away with clothing the naked, the poor, and impotent, up with decking of images and gay garnishing of stocks and stones; up with man's traditions and his laws, down with God's traditions and His most holy word. . . . O that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine, as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel!"--Ibid., "Sermon of the Plough."

    The grand principle maintained by these Reformers--the same that had been held by the Waldenses, by Wycliffe, by John Huss, by Luther, Zwingli, and those who united with them--was the infallible authority of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith and practice. They denied the right of popes, councils, Fathers, and kings, to control the conscience in matters of religion. The Bible was their authority, and by its teaching they tested all doctrines and all claims. Faith in God and His word sustained these holy men as they yielded up their lives at the stake. "Be of good comfort," exclaimed Latimer to his fellow martyr as the flames were about to silence their voices, "we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." --Works of Hugh Latimer, vol. 1, p. xiii.

    In Scotland the seeds of truth scattered by Columba and his colaborers had never been wholly destroyed. For hundreds of years after the churches of England submitted to Rome, those of Scotland maintained their freedom. In the twelfth century, however, popery became established here, and in no country did it exercise a more absolute sway. Nowhere was the darkness deeper. Still there came rays of light to pierce the gloom and give promise of the coming day. The Lollards, coming from England with the Bible and the teachings of Wycliffe, did much to preserve the knowledge of the gospel, and every century had its witnesses and martyrs.

    With the opening of the Great Reformation came the writings of Luther, and then Tyndale's English New Testament. Unnoticed by the hierarchy, these messengers silently traversed the mountains and valleys, kindling into new life the torch of truth so nearly extinguished in Scotland, and undoing the work which Rome for four centuries of oppression had done.

    Then the blood of martyrs gave fresh impetus to the movement. The papist leaders, suddenly awakening to the danger that threatened their cause, brought to the stake some of the noblest and most honored of the sons of Scotland. They did but erect a pulpit, from which the words of these dying witnesses were heard throughout the land, thrilling the souls of the people with an undying purpose to cast off the shackles of Rome.

    Hamilton and Wishart, princely in character as in birth, with a long line of humbler disciples, yielded up their lives at the stake. But from the burning pile of Wishart there came one whom the flames were not to silence, one who under God was to strike the death knell of popery in Scotland.

    John Knox had turned away from the traditions and mysticisms of the church, to feed upon the truths of God's word; and the teaching of Wishart had confirmed his determination to forsake the communion of Rome and join himself to the persecuted Reformers.

    Urged by his companions to take the office of preacher, he shrank with trembling from its responsibility, and it was only after days of seclusion and painful conflict with himself that he consented. But having once accepted the position, he pressed forward with inflexible determination and undaunted courage as long as life continued. This truehearted Reformer feared not the face of man. The fires of martyrdom, blazing around him, served only to quicken his zeal to greater intensity. With the tyrant's ax held menacingly over his head, he stood his ground, striking sturdy blows on the right hand and on the left to demolish idolatry.

    When brought face to face with the queen of Scotland, in whose presence the zeal of many a leader of the Protestants had abated, John Knox bore unswerving witness for the truth. He was not to be won by caresses; he quailed not before threats. The queen charged him with heresy. He had taught the people to receive a religion prohibited by the state, she declared, and had thus transgressed God's command enjoining subjects to obey their princes. Knox answered firmly:

    "As right religion took neither original strength nor authority from worldly princes, but from the eternal God alone, so are not subjects bound to frame their religion according to the appetites of their princes. For oft it is that princes are the most ignorant of all others in God's true religion. . . . If all the seed of Abraham had been of the religion of Pharaoh, whose subjects they long were, I pray you, madam, what religion would there have been in the world? Or if all men in the days of the apostles had been of the religion of the Roman emperors, what religion would there have been upon the face of the earth? . . . And so, madam, ye may perceive that subjects are not bound to the religion of their princes, albeit they are commanded to give them obedience."

    Said Mary: "Ye interpret the Scriptures in one manner, and they [the Roman Catholic teachers] interpret in another; whom shall I believe, and who shall be judge?"

    "Ye shall believe God, that plainly speaketh in His word," answered the Reformer; "and farther than the word teaches you, ye neither shall believe the one nor the other. The word of God is plain in itself; and if there appear any obscurity in one place, the Holy Ghost, which is never contrary to Himself, explains the same more clearly in other places, so that there can remain no doubt but unto such as obstinately remain ignorant."--David Laing, The Collected Works of John Knox, vol. 2, pp. 281, 284.

    Such were the truths that the fearless Reformer, at the peril of his life, spoke in the ear of royalty. With the same undaunted courage he kept to his purpose, praying and fighting the battles of the Lord, until Scotland was free from popery.

    In England the establishment of Protestantism as the national religion diminished, but did not wholly stop, persecution. While many of the doctrines of Rome had been renounced, not a few of its forms were retained. The supremacy of the pope was rejected, but in his place the monarch was enthroned as the head of the church. In the service of the church there was still a wide departure from the purity and simplicity of the gospel. The great principle of religious liberty was not yet understood. Though the horrible cruelties which Rome employed against heresy were resorted to but rarely by Protestant rulers, yet the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience was not acknowledged. All were required to accept the doctrines and observe the forms of worship prescribed by the established church. Dissenters suffered persecution, to a greater or less extent, for hundreds of years.

    In the seventeenth century thousands of pastors were expelled from their positions. The people were forbidden, on pain of heavy fines, imprisonment, and banishment, to attend any religious meetings except such as were sanctioned by the church. Those faithful souls who could not refrain from gathering to worship God were compelled to meet in dark alleys, in obscure garrets, and at some seasons in the woods at midnight. In the sheltering depths of the forest, a temple of God's own building, those scattered and persecuted children of the Lord assembled to pour out their souls in prayer and praise. But despite all their precautions, many suffered for their faith. The jails were crowded. Families were broken up. Many were banished to foreign lands. Yet God was with His people, and persecution could not prevail to silence their testimony. Many were driven across the ocean to America and here laid the foundations of civil and religious liberty which have been the bulwark and glory of this country.

    Again, as in apostolic days, persecution turned out to the furtherance of the gospel. In a loathsome dungeon crowded with profligates and felons, John Bunyan breathed the very atmosphere of heaven; and there he wrote his wonderful allegory of the pilgrim's journey from the land of destruction to the celestial city. For over two hundred years that voice from Bedford jail has spoken with thrilling power to the hearts of men. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners have guided many feet into the path of life.

    Baxter, Flavel, Alleine, and other men of talent, education, and deep Christian experience stood up in valiant defense of the faith which was once delivered to the saints. The work accomplished by these men, proscribed and outlawed by the rulers of this world, can never perish. Flavel's Fountain of Life and Method of Grace have taught thousands how to commit the keeping of their souls to Christ. Baxter's Reformed Pastor has proved a blessing to many who desire a revival of the work of God, and his Saints' Everlasting Rest has done its work in leading souls to the "rest" that remaineth for the people of God.

    A hundred years later, in a day of great spiritual darkness, Whitefield and the Wesleys appeared as light bearers for God. Under the rule of the established church the people of England had lapsed into a state of religious declension hardly to be distinguished from heathenism. Natural religion was the favorite study of the clergy, and included most of their theology. The higher classes sneered at piety, and prided themselves on being above what they called its fanaticism. The lower classes were grossly ignorant and abandoned to vice, while the church had no courage or faith any longer to support the downfallen cause of truth.

    The great doctrine of justification by faith, so clearly taught by Luther, had been almost wholly lost sight of; and the Romish principle of trusting to good works for salvation, had taken its place. Whitefield and the Wesleys, who were members of the established church, were sincere seekers for the favor of God, and this they had been taught was to be secured by a virtuous life and an observance of the ordinances of religion.

    When Charles Wesley at one time fell ill, and anticipated that death was approaching, he was asked upon what he rested his hope of eternal life. His answer was: "I have used my best endeavors to serve God." As the friend who had put the question seemed not to be fully satisfied with his answer, Wesley thought: "What! are not my endeavors a sufficient ground of hope? Would he rob me of my endeavors? I have nothing else to trust to."--John Whitehead, Life of the Rev. Charles Wesley, page 102. Such was the dense darkness that had settled down on the church, hiding the atonement, robbing Christ of His glory, and turning the minds of men from their only hope of salvation--the blood of the crucified Redeemer.

    Wesley and his associates were led to see that true religion is seated in the heart, and that God's law extends to the thoughts as well as to the words and actions. Convinced of the necessity of holiness of heart, as well as correctness of outward deportment, they set out in earnest upon a new life. By the most diligent and prayerful efforts they endeavored to subdue the evils of the natural heart. They lived a life of self-denial, charity, and humiliation, observing with great rigor and exactness every measure which they thought could be helpful to them in obtaining what they most desired--that holiness which could secure the favor of God. But they did not obtain the object which they sought. In vain were their endeavors to free themselves from the condemnation of sin or to break its power. It was the same struggle which Luther had experienced in his cell at Erfurt. It was the same question which had tortured his soul--"How should man be just before God?" Job 9:2.

    The fires of divine truth, well-nigh extinguished upon the altars of Protestantism, were to be rekindled from the ancient torch handed down the ages by the Bohemian Christians. After the Reformation, Protestantism in Bohemia had been trampled out by the hordes of Rome. All who refused to renounce the truth were forced to flee. Some of these, finding refuge in Saxony, there maintained the ancient faith. It was from the descendants of these Christians that light came to Wesley and his associates.

    John and Charles Wesley, after being ordained to the ministry, were sent on a mission to America. On board the ship was a company of Moravians. Violent storms were encountered on the passage, and John Wesley, brought face to face with death, felt that he had not the assurance of peace with God. The Germans, on the contrary, manifested a calmness and trust to which he was a stranger.

    "I had long before," he says, "observed the great seriousness of their behavior. Of their humility they had given a continual proof, by performing those servile offices for the other passengers which none of the English would undertake; for which they desired and would receive no pay, saying it was good for their proud hearts, and their loving Saviour had done more for them. And every day had given them occasion of showing a meekness which no injury could move. If they were pushed, struck, or thrown about, they rose again and went away; but no complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of pride, anger, and revenge. In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the decks as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sang on. I asked one of them afterwards, 'Were you not afraid?' He answered, 'I thank God, no.' I asked, 'But were not your women and children afraid?' He replied mildly, 'No; our women and children are not afraid to die.'"--Whitehead, Life of the Rev. John Wesley, page 10.

    Upon arriving in Savannah, Wesley for a short time abode with the Moravians, and was deeply impressed with their Christian deportment. Of one of their religious services, in striking contrast to the lifeless formalism of the Church of England, he wrote: "The great simplicity as well as solemnity of the whole almost made me forget the seventeen hundred years between, and imagine myself in one of those assemblies where form and state were not; but Paul, the tentmaker, or Peter, the fisherman, presided; yet with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power."--Ibid., pages 11, 12.

    On his return to England, Wesley, under the instruction of a Moravian preacher, arrived at a clearer understanding of Bible faith. He was convinced that he must renounce all dependence upon his own works for salvation and must trust wholly to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." At a meeting of the Moravian society in London a statement was read from Luther, describing the change which the Spirit of God works in the heart of the believer. As Wesley listened, faith was kindled in his soul. "I felt my heart strangely warmed," he says. "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation: and an assurance was given me, that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."-- Ibid., page 52.

    Through long years of wearisome and comfortless striving-- years of rigorous self-denial, of reproach and humiliation-- Wesley had steadfastly adhered to his one purpose of seeking God. Now he had found Him; and he found that the grace which he had toiled to win by prayers and fasts, by almsdeeds and self-abnegation, was a gift, "without money and without price."

    Once established in the faith of Christ, his whole soul burned with the desire to spread everywhere a knowledge of the glorious gospel of God's free grace. "I look upon all the world as my parish," he said; "in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation."-- Ibid., page 74.

    He continued his strict and self-denying life, not now as the ground, but the result of faith; not the root, but the fruit of holiness. The grace of God in Christ is the foundation of the Christian's hope, and that grace will be manifested in obedience. Wesley's life was devoted to the preaching of the great truths which he had received--justification through faith in the atoning blood of Christ, and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, bringing forth fruit in a life conformed to the example of Christ.

    Whitefield and the Wesleys had been prepared for their work by long and sharp personal convictions of their own lost condition; and that they might be able to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, they had been subjected to the fiery ordeal of scorn, derision, and persecution, both in the university and as they were entering the ministry. They and a few others who sympathized with them were contemptuously called Methodists by their ungodly fellow students--a name which is at the present time regarded as honorable by one of the largest denominations in England and America.

    As members of the Church of England they were strongly attached to her forms of worship, but the Lord had presented before them in His word a higher standard. The Holy Spirit urged them to preach Christ and Him crucified. The power of the Highest attended their labors. Thousands were convicted and truly converted. It was necessary that these sheep be protected from ravening wolves. Wesley had no thought of forming a new denomination, but he organized them under what was called the Methodist Connection.

    Mysterious and trying was the opposition which these preachers encountered from the established church; yet God, in His wisdom, had overruled events to cause the reform to begin within the church itself. Had it come wholly from without, it would not have penetrated where it was so much needed. But as the revival preachers were churchmen, and labored within the pale of the church wherever they could find opportunity, the truth had an entrance where the doors would otherwise have remained closed. Some of the clergy were roused from their moral stupor and became zealous preachers in their own parishes. Churches that had been petrified by formalism were quickened into life.

    In Wesley's time, as in all ages of the church's history, men of different gifts performed their appointed work. They did not harmonize upon every point of doctrine, but all were moved by the Spirit of God, and united in the absorbing aim to win souls to Christ. The differences between Whitefield and the Wesleys threatened at one time to create alienation; but as they learned meekness in the school of Christ, mutual forbearance and charity reconciled them. They had no time to dispute, while error and iniquity were teeming everywhere, and sinners were going down to ruin.

    The servants of God trod a rugged path. Men of influence and learning employed their powers against them. After a time many of the clergy manifested determined hostility, and the doors of the churches were closed against a pure faith and those who proclaimed it. The course of the clergy in denouncing them from the pulpit aroused the elements of darkness, ignorance, and iniquity. Again and again did John Wesley escape death by a miracle of God's mercy. When the rage of the mob was excited against him, and there seemed no way of escape, an angel in human form came to his side, the mob fell back, and the servant of Christ passed