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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 2

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    THE WILFUL KING—THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

    That an event of such magnitude as the French Revolution, and coming, as it does, within the range of the great leading events of prophecy, the history of the four great governments of the earth, should receive no notice in the prophecy, is not to be credited. And if it is to receive notice anywhere, what more likely place to find it than in this most singularly definite and particular prediction in the 11th chapter of Daniel? And where in this chapter, except in the decline, and before the overthrow of popery? In short, where, but in the very place in which we find the following exact description of a government perfectly answering the history of the revolution in France?PREX2 89.3

    Verses 36, 37: “And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every gods and shall Speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”PREX2 90.1

    Such a system as is here described was the French Revolution. It was founded in Atheism, and triumphed in the overthrow of everything which interposed a barrier to their object. The seed of this revolution were sown by Voltaire, the noted French infidel, who in early youth vowed to dedicate his life to the extermination of Christianity. He used to say, “I am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it”. To accomplish his object he associated with himself a band of philosophic infidels, such as Rousseau, De Alembert, Didervit, and others. Their numbers rapidly increased, and their success was beyond measure. In speaking of Christ, one of the watchwords of the fraternity was, “Crush the wretch.” They held the following language and sentiments:—“The fear of God is so far from being the beginning of wisdom, that it is the beginning of folly. Modesty is only an invention of refined voluptuousness. The supreme king, the God of the Jews and Christians, is but a phantom. Jesus Christ is an impostor.”PREX2 90.2

    With millions of Frenchmen, imbued with a spirit and sentiments like these, as the materials for revolution, the engine was first brought to bear on the French government, in 1789. The first blow was struck by the capture and destruction of the Bastile. In 1790, all the spiritual orders and cloisters were suppressed, and also the parliaments were suppressed soon after. Next followed the abolition of all the titles of the nobility, coats of arms, and decorations of the orders of chivalry. (June 19, 1790.)PREX2 91.1

    In 1792, France became a republic, and on the 26th day of August, 1792, an open profession of Atheism was made by the national convention. The reign of terror then commenced in earnest; and the most horrid scenes were constantly occurring. On the 21st of January, 1793, the king of France was beheaded; and the queen shared the same fate on the 1st of October of the same year. At this juncture all religious worship was prohibited, save of LIBERTY and the COUNTRY.PREX2 91.2

    It was thus that the government magnified itself above every god, and spoke marvellous things against the God of gods, and did not regard any god.PREX2 91.3

    I do not know that I can in a few words give the reader a more full idea of the reign of Atheism, than by an extract from Smith’s Key to Revelation, pp. 323-4:—PREX2 91.4

    “In August 26, 1792, an open profession of atheism was made by the National Convention; and corresponding societies and atheistical clubs were everywhere fearlessly held in the French nation Massacres and the reign of terror became the most horrid. Hear one report of the National Convention of January 30, 1795: ‘Last year you maintained 1,100,000 fighting men. France stood armed on the one side, and Europe on the other; and victory constantly followed the tricolored standard. Holland is conquered; and England trembles; twenty-three regular sieges terminated; six pitched battles gained; 2,000 cannon taken; 2,000 towns submitted;—such is the glorious result of the last campaign; the next promises, if possible, more surprising success! The loss of men in the armies of France, from 1789 to 1796, slain, was said to be 1,200,000, besides the huge hosts of slaughtered citizens, men, women, and children, who were said to amount to 2,000,000. General Denican, a French officer, declared that 3,000,000 of the. French perished within five years of the revolution in 1789. The ‘Terrible Republic’ (a name they assumed before they became an empire) having by public authority denied God and the Christian religion, were prepared to patronise any and every enormity; the burning of the Bible in a public place; the parading of the sacramental vessels through the streets on an ass, in contempt; posting in their places of burial, ‘Death is an eternal sleep!’ abolishing the Sabbath, and shutting up the houses of God; declaring Christ an impostor; the gospel a forgery; and swearing to extirpate Christianity from the world; assuring the public as follows,—‘Man, when free, wants no other divinity than himself!—reason dethrones both the kings of the earth and the king of heaven;-no monarchy above, if we wish to preserve our republic below;-every other than a republic of atheists is a chimera;-if you admit the existence of a heavenly sovereign, you introduce the wooden horse; what you adore by day, will be your ruin by night.’ A comedian, as a priest of Illuminism, publicly attacked God thus: ‘No, thou dost not exist! If thou hast power over the thunderbolts, grasp, and aim them at the man who dares to set thee at defiance in the face of thine altars. But no!-I blaspheme-thee, and yet I live! No, thou dost not exist!’”PREX2 91.5

    Nor the desire of women.” The abolition of the marriage covenant was one of the acts of the revolutionary government, and on the 6th of June, 1794, fornication was established by law, and the most unbounded licentiousness prevailed.PREX2 93.1

    Verse 38: “But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”PREX2 93.2

    “Honor the god of forces.”—Liberty and the country were the objects of adoration.PREX2 93.3

    “A god whom his fathers knew not.”-The goddess of reason. This system was established in January, 1794. The history of this event will be best given by a quotation from Scou’s Life of Napoleon. This extract will show how they renounced the worship of God, and vowed henceforth to pay homage to liberty, equality, virtue, and morality. The next step was the worship of the goddess of reason, and the abolilion of the marriage vow.PREX2 93.4

    Reader, ponder well this article, and learn what man is when he is left to himself, and what infidelity is when the restraints of law are thrown off, and the power is in its own hands.PREX2 93.5

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