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    HISTORY

    History, both national and church, as separate, as related and as interrelated, is an essential study in all Christian schools. And for the study of universal history, of national history, and of church history, from the Flood until now, and to the end of the world, the Bible is the one grand text-book, the Book of fundamental and sure-guiding principles. There alone are given the origin and distribution of the race. There alone are given the origin and causes of history. There alone are given the origin and causes of civil government, of the state, of monarchy, of empire.PBE 213.3

    “The God of nature has written His existence in all His works, and His law in the heart of man.” He has written His character in the Bible and His providence amongst the nations. He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” “He divided to the nations their inheritance;” “that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” “There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” “He is the Governor among the nations.” “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings;” “calling from a far country the man that executeth His counsel.’PBE 213.4

    “History, therefore, with its dusty and moldering pages, is to us as sacred a volume as the book of nature;” for history properly studied is but the study of the progress of the grand purposes of God through all the vicissitudes of man and the nations. History thus studied is found to be far more than a record of marches, battles, and sieges in the rise and fall of nations: far more than the story of the Nimrods, the Pharaohs, the Alexanders, Caesars, and Napoleons. All these events and persons will to be found o be but incidents in the far greater story of the significance of events, and of the real meaning of the life of man and nations on the earth: only incidental to the grand philosophy of things that is over all and through all and in all. “History” has been aptly defined as “philosophy teaching by example.” But upon this as upon other subjects the important question is, What philosophy? Shall it be a human philosophy conjured up and read into the “example,” or extracted from the example? or shall it be the divine philosophy revealed and preceding all, and so being really philosophy teaching, and philosophy really teaching, by example? In the Bible alone is found the philosophy of universal history.PBE 214.1

    In history as in other studies the Bible supplies the text, stating the principle, the leading fact, or a symbolical description, each of which contains a volume: this for the text and guide, then all that can be found in the Bible, in native inscriptions, or in any other writings on that subject, will be the study-book. The Bible, as it stands from Genesis to the captivity to Babylon, is the true text-book of the history, both national and church, of that period. From the captivity to Babylon to the end of the world, that portion of the Bible from the captivity to Babylon unto the end of the Book is the text-book of the whole history, both national and church. And in this portion of the Bible the books of Daniel and Revelation are the keys: Daniel especially to national history, and Revelation especially to church history.PBE 215.1

    When once this secret of history is found, he who finds it will be surprised to find how much of the history of the world there is in the Bible alone. Instances will be found in which, with the exception of dates and individual names, the whole history of a nation is told in from one to half a dozen verses in the Bible. Take, for instance, Daniel 7:4: “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” That one verse tells the whole history of the Babylonian Empire. And when all that has been elsewhere written on that subject has been read, it will be found that, though more specific facts and details and the names of men are told, not more of the truth of the story is told than is couched in the symbolism of that one verse. Indeed it will be found that all that is elsewhere written of the history of the Babylonian Empire is truly but the filling in of the expressive outline thus drawn. There are in the Bible enough other such instances to make a book; but this is sufficient to illustrate the principle of the Bible as the text-book and guide in the study of history.PBE 215.2

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