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    THE DIVINE PRINCIPLE FOR GOVERNMENTS

    There is one principle which God has established for the nations which was referred to before, but which, when Christ came, was announced in its fullness. That principle is the total separation of religion and the State. Jesus in more than one place separated religion—the realm of God—entirely from the State—the realm of man. In one place: “Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” In another place, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In still another, when one desired him to judge between him and his brother in the matter of an inheritance: “Who made me a judge or a divider over you?” And again: “If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world but to save the world.” Consequently our Lord refuses to condemn any man for not believing in him. He judges no man for his refusal to believe in him. So when Christ established the principle that no one can be judged by any one but God for not believing in him, he left all interference with anybody’s belief—all interference with anybody’s worship or failure to worship, entirely out of the province or jurisdiction of men in any way whatever.CYMFC 7.4

    This is the divine principle that the Lord has established for governments and nations. If that principle had not been announced in the Bible, God could have saved individuals, and his salvation could have been illustrated in the individual; but here is a principle announced for nations, and as salvation for the individual is to be illustrated in the individual before all the world, so this principle for governments will be illustrated before all the nations of the world. And that is the purpose and the meaning of these four centuries. The meaning of these four centuries is that this principle should be made manifest to all the earth—this divine principle that a man’s faith, his religion, pertains to himself alone, and not to any other individual, nation, government, or set of men. That divine principle and the illustration of it, the setting of it before all the nations of the earth, is the meaning of these four centuries.CYMFC 8.1

    This can be seen by a glance at what has been done. When the gospel first went forth,—the everlasting gospel to be preached to every nation and to every creature,—it went forth under just such a state of things as is directly opposed to this divine principle. Every man was compelled to be religious just as the Roman state said; and the state itself absorbed the individual with all his individuality.CYMFC 8.2

    Yet the disciples of Christ preached everywhere in all that empire the principle that with religion or men’s worship no government can of right have anything to do. The Roman empire would not admit the principle, and opposed it with all the might of that mightiest government of all former times. But the principle is divine and could not be quenched.CYMFC 8.3

    And in spite of that mightiest government on earth, this divine principle prevailed, and was at last admitted in official utterances even by that imperial government. But mark, that principle was not definitely established as a principle of the government. By force of circumstances and of the divine principle, it was admitted that every one should worship as he pleased. It was only a question of time, however, when it would have become a recognized principle of the government if it had been maintained in its integrity. But just then there were ambitious bishops and political priests, professing Christianity, who seized upon the government, established the new religion as a part of the government, and used the state to an extent in matters of religion, which man had never before attempted, in carrying on for twelve hundred dreary years, the cruel despotism of the papacy.CYMFC 9.1

    Finally came Protestantism announcing anew the principle to all the world that every man should worship as he pleased, and that religion should be separate from earthly government. Yet in not a single Protestant nation was the principle illustrated.CYMFC 9.2

    The principle was announced by Protestantism, but the nations, and the governments of the nations, held on in the same old way, with the newly announced principle. Consequently Lutheranism fell into a union of Church and State; Calvinism, claiming to be Protestantism, also established a union of Church and State. Puritanism, although claiming to be Protestantism, tried to establish a union of Church and State in England, and could not, and came over to New England and did it.CYMFC 9.3

    So, although this divine principle was announced by original Christianity and again by genuine Protestantism, the principle was never established or recognized as a governmental principle till the rise of this splendid nation, the outgrowth of that splendid day when Columbus sighted land, four hundred years ago to-day. When this nation established its government, it announced this principle and proclaimed “A New Order of Things.” The United States government not only announced to all the world a new order of things, but pledged itself forever to the new order of things, by placing on the national seal that declaration, “A New Order of Things,” and “God has Favored the Undertaking.” Of course God has favored the undertaking.CYMFC 9.4

    Now this nation—the one of all the nations the most glorious, is the one that has been acknowledged as the enlightenment of all the nations, the one that has reached the highest place in the shortest time, of all that have ever been upon the earth. It is ahead of all the nations of the earth. Where on the earth then could there possibly be a better place to illustrate that principle announced by Jesus Christ for all nations, than right here? And this is the meaning of the four centuries.CYMFC 10.1

    The meaning of these four centuries is that in this government, in this nation, there should be established and illustrated before all the world this divine principle which was enunciated for the benefit of the world. And this purpose has been met.CYMFC 10.2

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