FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
February 27, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XXV
DEADLY RESULT OF ATHEISM AND LICENTIOUSNESS COMBINED – Part VI
“And their bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” Rev. 11: 7, 8, 10, K.J.V.
In The Geat Controversy (1911), “The Bible and the French Revolution,” ch. 15, pp. 269-74, Ellen G. White reviews the historical fulfillment of this prophecy:
“According to the words of the prophet [John], then, a little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land where the testimony of God’s two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom.
“This prophecy has received a most and striking fulfillment in the history of France. During the Revolution, in 1793, ‘the world for the first time heard an assembly of men, born and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most solemn truth which man’s soul receives, and renounce unanimously the belief and worship of a Deity.’ – Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol. 1, ch. 17.
“‘France is the only nation in the world concerning which the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the universe. Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world’s history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced that there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with joy in accepting the announcement.’ – Blackwood’s Magazine, November, 1870.
“France presented also the characteristics which especially distinguished Sodom. During the Revolution there was manifest a state of moral debasement and corruption similar to that which brought destruction upon the cities of the plain [Sodom, a city in the plain of the Jordan, usually mentioned with Gomorrah, Gen. 10: 10; 13: 10].
And the historian presents together the atheism and the licentiousness of France, as given in the prophecy: ‘Intimately connected with these laws affecting religion, was that which reduced the union of marriage—the most sacred engagement which human beings can form, and the permanence of which leads most strongly to the consolidation of society–to the state of a mere civil contract of a transitory character, which any two persons might engage in and cast loose at pleasure. . . .If fiends [demons] had set themselves to work to discover a mode of most effectually destroying whatever is venerable, graceful, or permanent in domestic life, and of obtaining at the same time an assurance that the mischief which it was their object to create should be perpetuated from one generation to another, they could not have invented a more effectual plan than the degradation of marriage [instituted by God only between man and woman before they sinned, Gen. 2: 20-25; 1: 27, 28]. . . . Sophie Arnault, and actress for the witty things she said, described the republican marriage as ‘the sacrament of adultery.’ ‘- Scott, vol. 1, ch. 17.
Where also our Lord was crucified. “This specification of the prophecy was also fulfilled in France. In no land had the spirit of enmity against Christ been more strikingly displayed. In no country had the truth encountered more bitter and cruel opposition. In the persecution which France had visited upon the confessors of the gospel, she had crucified Christ in the person of His disciples.
“Century after century the blood of the saints had been shed. While the WALDENSES laid down their lives on the Piedmont [in Italy] ’for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ,’ similar witness to the truth had been borne by their brethren, the ALBIGENSES of France. In the days of the Reformation its disciples had been put to death with horrible tortures. King and nobles, highborn women and delicate maidens, the pride and chivalry of the nation, had feasted their eyes upon the agonies of the martyrs of Jesus. The brave HUGUENOTS [French Protestants], battling for those rights which the human heart holds most sacred, had poured out their blood on many a hard-fought field. The Protestants were counted as outlaws, a price was set upon their heads, and they were hunted down like wild beasts.
“The Church in the Desert,’ the few descendants of the ancient Christians that still lingered in France in the eighteenth century, hiding away in the mountains of the south, still cherished the faith of their fathers. As they ventured to meet by night on mountainside or lonely moor, they were chased by dragoons and dragged away to lifelong slavery in the galleys. The purest, the most refined, and the most intelligent of the French were chained, in horrible torture, amidst robbers and assassins. (See Wylie, b. 22, ch. 6).
“Others, more mercifully dealt with, were shot down in cold blood, as, unarmed and helpless, they fell upon their knees in prayer. Hundreds of aged men, defenseless women, and innocent children were left dead upon the earth at their place of meeting. In traversing the mountainside or the forest, where they had been accustomed to assemble, it was not unusual to find ‘at every four paces, dead bodies dotting the sward [grassy surface of land], and corpses hanging suspended from the trees.’ Their country laid waste with the sword, the ax, the fagot, ‘was converted into one vast, gloomy wilderness.’ ‘These atrocities were enacted. . . . in no dark age, but in the brilliant era of Louis XIV. Science was then cultivated, letters flourished, the divines of the court and of the capital were learned and eloquent men, and greatly affected [assumed, pretended, feigned] the graces of meekness and charity.’ – Ibid., b. 22, ch. 7.
“But the blackest in the black catalogue of crime, the most horrible among the fiendish deeds of all the centuries, was the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre. The world still recalls with shuddering horror the scenes of the most cowardly and cruel onslaught. The king of France, urged on by Roman priests and prelates, lent his sanction to the deadly work. A bell, tolling at the dead of the night, was a signal for the slaughter. Protestants by thousands, sleeping quietly in their homes, trusting to the plighted honor of their king, were dragged forth without warning and murdered in cold blood.
“As Christ was the invisible leader of His people from Egyptian bondage, so was Satan the unseen leader of his subjects in this horrible work of multiplying martyrs. For seven days the massacre was continued in Paris, the first three with inconceivable fury. And it was not confined to the city itself, but by special order of the king was extended to all the provinces and towns where Protestants were found. Neither sex or age was respected. Neither the innocent babe nor the man of gray hairs was spared. Noble and peasant, young and old, mother and child, were cut down together. Throughout France the butchery continued for two months. Seventy thousand of the very flower of the nation perished.
“When the news of the massacre reached Rome, the exaltation of the clergy knew no bounds. The cardinal at Lorraine rewarded the messenger with a thousand crowns; the cannon of St. Angelo thundered forth a joyous salute; and bells rang out from every steeple; bonfires turned night into day; and [pope] Gregory XIII, attended by the cardinals and other ecclesiastical dignitaries, went in long procession to the church of St. Louis, where the cardinal of Lorraine chanted a Te Deum. . . . A medal was struck to commemorate the massacre, and in the Vatican may still be seen three frescoes of Vasari, describing the attack upon the admiral, the king in council plotting the massacre, and the massacre itself.
Gregory sent Charles the Golden Rose; and four months after the massacre, . . . he listened complacently to the sermon of a French priest,. . . .who spoke of ‘that day so full of happiness and joy, when the most holy father received the news, and went in solemn state to render thanks to God and St. Louis.’” – Henry White, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, ch. 14, par. 34.
“The same master spirit that urged on the St. Bartholomew Massacre led also in the scenes of the Revolution. Jesus Christ was declared to be an impostor, and the rallying cry of the French infidels was, ‘Crush the Wretch,’ meaning Christ. Heaven-daring blasphemy and abominable wickedness went hand in hand, and the basest of men, the most abandoned monsters of cruelty and vice, were most highly exalted. In all this, supreme homage was paid to Satan; while Christ, in His characteristics of truth, purity, and unselfish love, was crucified.
“The atheistical power that ruled France during the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, did wage such a war against God and His holy word as the world had never witnessed. The worship of the Deity was abolished by the National Assembly. Bibles were collected and publicly burned with every possible manifestation of scorn. The law of God was trampled underfoot. . . . announcements posted conspicuously over the burial places declared death to be an eternal sleep. The fear of God was said to be so far the beginning of wisdom that it was the beginning of folly.” (end quote)
The Bible solemnly declares: “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” Ps. 14:1. “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.” Prov. 17: 12. “A fool also multiplies words.” Eccl. 10: 14. “The great God who formed all things gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages. As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Prov. 26: 10, 11. (Continued next week)