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    THE MEANING OF THE CENTURIES

    Nevertheless we have found the meaning of the four centuries. The meaning of the four centuries has been made plain. And now when, in the face of all this, the order is reversed, and this nation is turned back again into the evil tide of the old order of things, how much greater the guilt than that of all the nations before it! How much greater the guilt, and how appropriate the scriptures which tell what will result to the nation which has done it!CYMFC 34.2

    And now as the meaning of the four centuries has been made plain before the face of all people, and as this meaning has been not only ignored but reversed, there still lingers that for which God has set every nation in its place—that men should seek him if haply they might feel after him and find him.CYMFC 34.3

    We have found in all the other nations, that as long as there were any remaining who would seek the Lord, feel after him and find him, so long the nation would stand. But when all turned away from the Lord, and none would seek him and feel after him that they might find him, then nothing more could be done for them, and they had to be swept away. This was true of all the ancient nations and even of the Roman nation itself. Rome continued until under the evil influence of the papacy it became so corrupt that there was no longer any hope for it; and then, by the barbarians of the North, it was swept from the earth no less completely than were all before it.CYMFC 34.4

    The meaning of these four centuries being that God might show to all the earth the principle which he has established for all nations; this meaning having been made plain; and men here free and untrammeled to seek the Lord, and worship him; then if the time should come when the people of this land should refuse to seek the Lord, refuse to feel after him and find him, in the very nature of things the time would be near when it must be cut off.CYMFC 35.1

    What, then, has been set before our eyes this present 400th anniversary year? Among the people in this land who profess to be the people of God there has been a religious controversy discussed, a religious contest carried on. One side of the question has felt the need of more power than they had to lead the people to accept their idea of the question. What did they do to obtain that power? Did they seek God for it? Did they feel after him that they might find him?—No. From one end of the land to the other they sought the Congress of the United States. They felt after that—and found it too. But in doing that, they had to turn away from seeking the Lord that they might find him. Why did they not send up their petitions to the Lord to come to the rescue of the Sunday institution—their side of this religious controversy? One great reason is, of course, that the Lord has not said anything in favor of that side of the subject, so they could not send up their petitions to him with any prospect of success.CYMFC 35.2

    But this is not the reason why they sought the Congress of the United States, and found it. They did that for the reason that attaches to every proceeding of this kind. It can be seen at a glance. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth. Romans 1:16. This people acknowledged the need of power that they did not have. The power of God is a gift to every one that believes. Then when they sought to earthly government for power, did they not thereby testify that they had lost the power that belongs to the gospel? And did they not therefore confess that their belief of the gospel is a thing of the past? They lacked faith; and having no faith how could they receive the power that belongs to faith? And having no power from God to persuade men, the only power they could get was the power of the government to compel men. And that is the reason they sought not God, but the government of the United States, and found it.CYMFC 36.1

    When, instead of fulfilling the purpose which God had in view in this nation that the people should seek the Lord, they seek after earthly power, and get hold of that, and begin to sway that, even against the plain commandment of the Lord, then what can be the outcome? What can possibly be the outcome? Only that which has come upon every nation that has followed this course before!CYMFC 36.2

    Yet though they refuse to seek after him and find him, the Lord would linger and still wait to call after those who might feel after him and find him. And when these are brought to him, there remains nothing but the destruction of the mass of evil and corruption that remains. So now that the churches of this nation have turned from the Lord and sought after the government of the United States and found it, there goes forth the call, “Come out of her, my people.” “From such turn away.” Revelation 14:6, 7; 2 Timothy 3:1-5. God sends forth a special call to his people now to seek after him and find him. He sends a special message to all his who are there, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues.” When this has been accomplished, what will be the end? Just as before, God will bring forth a people that will sweep away the hypocrisy, the iniquity, and the sin that lie hidden beneath this apostasy. When the transgressors have again come to the full, God will bring forth a people to sweep away this mass of iniquity just as he has done in the cases of the other nations.CYMFC 36.3

    But where will the people come from to sweep this away? When the Lord wished to find a people to sweep away the iniquity of the Amorites, he sent to a far country, even to Egypt, and brought forth the children of Israel. When Israel followed the course of the nations that were cast out before it, he called up Babylon, and left the land utterly desolate. When he desired to find a people to sweep away the iniquity of Babylon, he brought a people from a far country to accomplish his great purpose, even the Medes and Persians. When they became so corrupt that the angel of the Lord could no longer stay, he brought again a people from a far country, even the Grecians, and swept away this evil combination. When among these the transgressors were come to the full, again he brought from a far country a strange people, even the Romans, and swept away the corrupt power of the Grecians. And when under the corrupting influence of the union of Church and State the Roman empire had filled up the measure of her iniquity, the barbarians of the North swept over her in floods and left not a trace behind.CYMFC 37.1

    But where is he going to find a people to sweep away the corruption and hypocrisy that will surely be brought in with this return to the old order of things? Here is the answer:—CYMFC 37.2

    “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hack not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks. Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Joel 2:1-11.CYMFC 37.3

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21.CYMFC 38.1

    That is where the people will come from, and these are the people, even the armies of heaven. There is no longer a new people on earth that God can get to sweep away the hypocrisy, the sin, that this wickedness will bring about through this order of things. All the nations have been discovered; all the countries have been reached; the earth has been compassed; and, mark, just as this nation, in exemplifying that divine principle for governments has been the enlightenment of all the nations of the earth, so having reversed that principle, gone back into the old order of things, and united Church and State, and thus given over the civil power to be used in religious things, the evil example in this will curse all the nations of the earth. The influence that this nation has exerted in conveying to all the world the enlightenment of this divine principle, will be exerted just as much the other way when that principle is reversed. Just as certainly as the opposite of this principle when exerted by Roman power in the interests of the papacy resulted in the ruin of the Roman empire, just so certainly this reversal of this same principle by this nation will result in the ruin of this nation. But this ruin will not be confined to this nation alone. As its influence is world-wide, so also will the ruin be world-wide. And the armies of heaven will sweep away this world-wide corruption, at the coming of the Lord. And behold it is near and hasteth greatly.CYMFC 39.1

    O that the meaning of the four centuries was continued! O that this people, who, professing to know God, professing to know his gospel, had considered the meaning of these four centuries and sent up their petitions to the Lord instead of to the government of the United States!CYMFC 39.2

    O that this people had known the meaning of the four centuries and what it meant for the nations of the world, and had sought the Lord and found the power of God; that from this nation to the world might have gone the power of God, and the blessing that God would have been, manifested through them in gathering the nations to the heavenly rest!CYMFC 40.1

    But alas! alas! instead of this they have gone away from the Lord, and have become the instruments to gather the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.CYMFC 40.2

    But the meaning of the four centuries has been made plain. The divine principle has been illustrated before them and all the world. And when they turn their backs upon it, none are to blame but themselves.CYMFC 40.3

    And now, from this nation also, there goes forth again as at the first the “everlasting gospel to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” just as it went forth to the nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples that were then upon the earth. Calling them to “fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7. And as that everlasting gospel now goes forth again, it goes as at the first, as that which it is—“the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25. The gospel being the power of God, and the power of God being preached for what it is, it will go in such a way that all the nations will know it is the gospel, the everlasting gospel itself. It will go in such a way that they will not query whether it is the gospel or not. They may not believe it, they may not yield to it, but they will know that the power is there. They will know that it is what the Scriptures say that the gospel is, the power of God unto salvation, and Christ in men the hope of glory.CYMFC 40.4

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