FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
March 6, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XXVI
PERVERSION OF LIBERTY AND REASON – Part VII
First this: The New York Times reports that recent studies show that the percentage of Protestant Americans is in steep decline:
“For the first times since researchers began tracking the religious identity of Americans, fewer than half said they were Protestants, a steep decline from 40 years ago when Protestant churches claimed the loyalty of more than two-thirds of the population. A new study released . . . by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that it was not just liberal mainline Protestants, like Methodists and Episcopalians, who abandoned their faith, but also more conservative evangelical and ‘born again’ Protestants.
The losses were among white Protestants, but not among black or minority Protestants, the study found, based on surveys conducted this summer. When they leave, instead of switching churches, they join the growing ranks who do not identify with any religion. Nearly one in five Americans say they are atheist, agnostic, or ‘nothing in particular.’” www.nytimes/2012/10/10/us/study-finds-that-percentage of-protestant-americans-is declining.
Now, lest the members of the commandment-keeping remnant church (Rev. 12:17; 14:12), forget: “The Reformers whose protest has given us the name of Protestant, felt that God had called them to give the light of the gospel to the world; and in the effort to do this they were ready to sacrifice their possessions, their liberty, even life itself.” E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, p. 627. “We are engaged in an important and essential work, and must carry on an aggressive warfare. We are to stand on Protestant principles; for the policy of the papacy will edge their way into every possible place to proscribe liberty of conscience.” – Ibid, Review & Herald, vol. 5, Sept. 9, 1909, p. 540.
Quoting historians, Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, (1911 ed.) pp. 274- 278, wrote that during the French Revolution, “All religious worship was prohibited, except that of liberty and that of country. The ‘constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to play the principal part in the most impudent and scandalous farce ever acted in the face of a national representation. . . . He was brought forward in full procession, to declare to the Convention that the religion which he had taught so many years was, in every respect, a piece of priestcraft, which had no foundation either in history or sacred truth.
He disowned, in solemn and explicit terms, the existence of the Deity to whose worship he had been consecrated, and devoted himself in future to the homage of liberty, equality, virtue, and morality. He then laid on the table his Episcopal decorations, and received a fraternal embrace from the president of the Convention. Several apostate priests followed the example of this prelate.’ – Scott, vol. I, ch. 17.
See Revelation 11: 10. “Infidel France had silenced the reproving voice of God’s two witnesses. The word of truth lay dead in her streets, and those who hated the restrictions of God’s law were jubilant. Men publicly defied the King of heaven. Like the sinners of old, they cried: ‘How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?’ Psalm 73: 11. With blasphemous boldness almost beyond belief, one of the priests of the new order said: ‘God, if You exist, avenge Your injured name. I bid You defiance! You remain silent; You dare not launch your thunders. Who after this will believe in your existence?’—Lacratelle, History, vol. 11, p. 309; in Sir Archibald Alison, History of Europe, vol. 1, ch. 10. What an echo is this of the Pharaoh’s demand: ‘Who is Jehovah, that I should obey His voice?’ I know not Jehovah!’ [Exo. 5: 2, K.J.V.]. . . .
“And the Lord declares concerning perverters of the truth; ‘Their folly shall be manifest to all.’ 2 Timothy 3: 9. After France had renounced the worship of the living God, ‘the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity [Isa. 57:15],’ it was only a little time till she descended to degrading idolatry, by the worship of the Goddess of Reason, in the person of a profligate woman. And this in the representative assembly of the nation, and by its highest civil and legislative authorities! Says the historian: ‘One of the ceremonies of this insane time stands unrivaled for absurdity combined with impiety.
The doors of the Convention were thrown open to a band of musicians, preceded by whom, the members of the municipal body entered in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty, and escorting, as the object of their future worship, a veiled female, whom they termed as the Goddess of Reason. Being brought within the bar, she was unveiled with a great form, and placed on the right of the president, when she was generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera. . . . To this person, as the fittest representative of that reason whom they worshipped, the National Convention of France rendered public homage. This impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion; and the installation of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imitated throughout the nation, in such places where the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal to all the heights of the Revolution.” – Scott, vol. I, ch. 17.
“ ‘Said the orator who introduced the worship of Reason: ‘Legislators! Fanaticism has given way to reason. Its bleared eyes could not endure the brilliancy of the light. This day an immense concourse has assembled beneath those gothic vaults, which, for the first time, re-echoed the truth. There French have celebrated the only true worship, –that of Liberty, that of Reason. There we have formed wishes for the prosperity of the arms of the Republic. There we have abandoned inanimate idols for Reason, for that animated image, the masterpiece of nature.’ – M.A. Thiers, History of the French Revolution, vol. 2, pp. 370, 371.
“When the goddess was brought into the Convention, the orator took her by the hand, and turning to the assembly said, ‘Mortals, cease to tremble before the powerless thunders of a God whom your fears have created. Henceforth acknowledge no divinity but Reason. I offer you its noblest and purest image; if you must have idols, sacrifice to only such as this. . . . Fall before the August Senate of Freedom, oh! Veil of Reason!’
“The goddess, after being embraced by the president, was mounted on a magnificent car, and conducted, amid, an immense crowd, the cathedral of Notre Dame, to take the place of the Deity. There she was elevated on the high altar, and received the adoration of all present.’- Alison, vol. I, ch. 10.” – GC 276.
NOTE: “The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) was first constituted in the chapel of Notre Dame De Montmartre in 1534 A.D. Now in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Paris.” – Caption photo by the late photographer and historian, James Arrabito, “Glorifying Ignatius Loyola,” The New Illustrated Great Controversy, Laymen for Religious Liberty, Inc.,
“This was followed, not long afterward, by the public burning of the Bible. On one occasion ‘the Popular Society of the Museum’ entered the hall of the municipality, exclaiming, ‘Viva la Raison’ and carrying on the top of a pole the half-burned remains of several books, among others breviaries, missals, and the Old and New Testaments. Which ‘expiated in a great fire,’ said the president, ‘all the fooleries which they have made the human race commit.’ – Journal of Paris, 1793, No. 318. Quoted in Buchez-Roux, Collection of Parliamentary History, vol. 30,
Popery and Atheism. – “It was popery that had begun the work which atheism was completing. The policy of Rome had wrought out those conditions, social, political, and religious, that were hurrying France into ruin. Writers, in referring to the horrors of the Revolution, say that these excesses are supposed to charged to the throne and the church. In strict justice they are to be charged upon the church. Popery had poisoned the mind of the kings against the Reformation, as an enemy to the crown, an element of discord that would be fatal to the peace and harmony of the nation. It was the genius of Rome that by this means inspired the direct cruelty and most galling oppression which proceeded from the throne.
“The spirit of liberty went with the Bible. Wherever the gospel was received, the minds of the people were awakened. They began to cast off the shackles that had held them bondslaves of ignorance, vice, and superstition. They began to think and act as men. Monarchs saw it and trembled for their despotism.
“Rome was not slow to inflame their jealous fears. Said the pope to the regent of France in 1525: ‘This mania [Protestantism] will not only confound and destroy religion, but all principalities, nobility, laws, order, and ranks besides.’ –G. D. Felice, History of the Protestants of France, b. I, ch. 2, par. 8. A few years later a papal nuncio warned the king: ‘Sire, be not deceived. The Protestants will upset all civil as well as religious order . . . . The throne is in as much danger as the altar. . . . The introductions of a new religion must necessarily introduce a new government.’ – D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 2, ch. 36. And theologians appealed to the prejudice of the people by declaring that the Protestant doctrine ‘entices men away to novelties and folly; it robs the king of the devoted affection of his subjects, and devastates both church and state.’ Thus Rome succeeded in arraying France against the Reformation. ‘It was to uphold the throne, preserve the nobles, and maintain the laws, that the sword of persecution was first unsheathed in France.’ – Wylie, b. 13, ch. 4.
“Little did the rulers of the land foresee the results of that fateful policy. The teachings of the Bible would have implanted in the minds and hearts of the people those principles of justice, temperance, truth, equity, and benevolence which are the very cornerstone of a nation’s prosperity. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation.’ Thereby ‘the throne is established.’ Proverbs 14: 34; 16: 12. ‘The work of righteousness shall be peace;’ and the effect, ‘quietness and assurance forever.’ Isaiah 32: 17. He who obeys the divine law will most truly respect and obey the laws of his country. He who fears God will honor the king in the exercise of all just and legitimate authority.
“But unhappy France prohibited the Bible and banned its disciples. Century after century, men of principle and integrity, men of intellectual acuteness and moral strength, who had the courage to avow their convictions of the faith to suffer for the truth—for centuries these men toiled as slaves in the galleys, perished at the stake, or rotted in dungeon cells. Thousands upon thousands found safety in flight; and this continued for two hundred and fifty years after the opening of the Reformation.” (Continued next week)