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    POWER SHE MUST HAVE

    As she was now trusting in her own merit and her own sufficiency, and seeking to draw disciples to herself, she was left to her own inventions to attract them. She accommodated herself to the ways of the sun-worshiping heathen; she perverted the right way of the Lord, and spake perverse things. She decked herself in gold and jewels and costly array. By such means her adherents multiplied greatly. But lo! just here she encountered a serious difficulty: she found it impossible of herself to hold her converts in subjection to her bidding.CAR 77.2

    The chiefest trouble in this respect was in securing conformity to her will in the matter of the observance of Sunday as a holy day, which, instead of the Sabbath of the Lord, the sign of his power and authority, she had set up as the sign of her authority to command the obedience of men. To accomplish this, she realized the want of a power beyond herself, a power other than her own. The power of God was not open to her in this; nor, in fact, in anything else that she commanded, for none of these things had the Lord required. It is the Church’s duty to obey God, not to command men.CAR 78.1

    True, the power of God was still for her and free to her, but the way to it lay only through sincere repentance, through humbling herself, confessing her sins, and separating from her heathen customs, and from all iniquity. This she would not do. But power she must have, and power she would have, even though it were illegitimate. Having forsaken the heavenly power, she now sought for earthly power. Having forsaken the arm of the Lord, she sought the arm of man. Having disconnected herself from the kingdom of heaven, she would now connect herself with kingdoms of earth. Still trusting in her own beauty, and her own bedecking of silk and gold and precious stones and pearls, and holding in her hands the proffer of rich gifts to any lover that would receive her pernicious advances and form an alliance with her, she finally succeeded, through Constantine, in gaining imperial favor and forming an adulterous connection with an earthly lord. The now unholy Church formed an unholy connection with the unholy State. And the very first fruit of it was an imperial law enforcing her will in Sunday observance; the next was the definite placing of the imperial authority at her disposal, with which to compel conformity, and to punish obstinate heretics.CAR 78.2

    Thus did she who had been espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ; she who had been joined in the bonds of pure and holy marriage to him who is perfect in power, in love, and purity; she who had known the blissful delights of his love,—thus did she violate her virgin vows, break her marriage ties, and became a bloody, murderous harlot, and the very symbol of confusion. Accordingly, the next view that is given of her is this: “I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Revelation 17:3-6.CAR 78.3

    And though in the course of time she had scattered her pernicious ways to all the heathen, and had indulged her lascivious propensities with every kingdom on earth, even yet the Lord would have healed Babylon. In the Reformation he sent a balm for her, if so be that she might be healed. But she would not. Therefore such as loved the Lord were obliged to forsake her.CAR 79.1

    But lo! these that had forsaken her to join themselves to the Lord, instead of remaining faithful to him, followed her evil example, and forsook him and joined themselves also to the kingdoms of the earth in illicit connection. Thus it was with every professed Protestant church, except the Baptist, that ever had a chance, from the Reformation to the founding of the national government of the United States. This government, by utterly prohibiting to itself any connection with the Church or religion, intended to shut off all opportunity for any church to follow here the Romish-Babylonish example of joining itself to the national government, though even then and ever since, it was sorely against the will of some professed Protestant churches.CAR 79.2

    Yet in spite of this national principle of government, and in the face of the warnings of the history of eighteen hundred years, the churches of the United States for the last fifty years have been gradually drifting into the course of the original apostasy, and in the last fifteen years their progress in this way has been most rapid, until its culmination in 1892. We might here give representative facts with reference to the festivals, and fairs, and ring-cakes, and grab-bags, and fish-ponds, and kissing-bees, and sleeping beauties, and raffles, and selling young ladies by auction, etc., etc., all carried on in the church and for the church, showing the progress of this apostasy all the way; but what is the use of it when the final step has now been taken before the eyes of all the world?CAR 80.1

    Everybody knows that for several years the professed Protestant churches of the United States have boasted of the greatness of their numbers, but yet have openly and repeatedly-by pulpit, platform, and press-confessed their lack of power to maintain the observance of Sunday as the “Christian Sabbath” by their own adherents. But what have they done to recover this loss of power? Did they resolve to insist upon strict conformity to discipline on the part of these disloyal adherents?—No, no; instead of this, one prominent preacher lately expressed the sentiment that has pervaded all upon this subject, when he declared that he himself would go out of the church, as he stated it, “body, boots, and breeches,” before he would discipline a single one of them.CAR 80.2

    Did they resolve to preach the gospel fervently in the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God?—No; for in this they experienced the same difficulty that was met in the original apostasy-they were compelled to confess that there is no “thus saith the Lord” for Sunday observance. There was therefore no authority of God to which they could appeal to arouse the conscience, no word of the Lord through which they could invoke the agency of the divine Spirit to touch the heart.CAR 80.3

    Did they then act upon this confession of no “thus saith the Lord” for the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, and turn about and seek to conform their ways to what the Lord has indeed spoken with his own voice, and written with his own finger with respect to the day which shall be observed?—No, they did not do this, either. What, then, did they do?CAR 81.1

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