Pope Francis: Fighting a Pandemic: ANTIVAXXERS threat, Free Vaccines: “All these states were declared free and independent, except that the Romans (pretending that Antiochus, king of Syria, threatened the safety of Greece) retained, for the present, the strong places of Chalcis and Demetrias in their own hands.” 10 PRUS 145.4

“All these states were declared free and independent, except that the Romans (pretending that Antiochus, king of Syria, threatened the safety of Greece) retained, for the present, the strong places of Chalcis and Demetrias in their own hands.” 10 PRUS 145.4

Religion, once the foundation of the laws and rule of personal conduct, had subsided into opinion. The educated, in their hearts, disbelieved it. Temples were still built with increasing splendor; the established forms were scrupulously observed. Public men spoke conventionally of Providence, that they might throw on their opponents the odium of impiety; but of genuine belief that life had any serious meaning, there was none remaining beyond the circle of the silent, patient, ignorant multitude.

The whole spiritual atmosphere was saturated with cant-cant moral, cant political, cant religious; an affectation of high principle which had ceased to touch the conduct, and flowed on in an increasing volume of insincere and unreal speech. The truest thinkers were those who, like Lucretius, spoke frankly out their real convictions, declared that Providence was a dream, and that man and the world he lived in were material phenomena generated by natural forces out of cosmic atoms, and into atoms to be again dissolved. PRUS 140.3

“Tendencies now in operation may a few generations hence land modern society in similar conclusions, unless other convictions revive meanwhile and get the mastery over them; of which possibility no more need be said than this, that unless there be such a revival, in some shape or other, the forces, whatever they be, which control the forms in which human things adjust themselves, will make an end again, as they made an end before, of what are called free institutions. Popular forms of government are possible only when individual men can govern their own lives on moral principles, and when duty is of more importance than pleasure, and justice than material expediency.” 4 PRUS 142.1

Then it was that there came upon the Romans that extraordinary spirit of expansion, which led them to believe that theirs was a manifest destiny to rule the entire world; and in a few short years, from being a snug little country, locked in the arms of twin seas, Rome was transformed into an imperialism, set for the despoliation of every conquerable nation. On this point Froude has said:— PRUS 142.2

“Italy had fallen to them by natural and wholesome expansion; but from being sovereigns of Italy, they became a race of imperial conquerors. Suddenly and in comparatively a few years after the one power was gone which could resist them, they became the actual or virtual rulers of the entire circuit of the Mediterranean. The southeast of Spain, the coast of France from the Pyrenees to Nice, the north of Italy, Illyria and Greece, Sardinia, Sicily, and the Greek islands, the southern and western shores of Asia Minor, were Roman provinces, governed directly by Roman magistrates. On the African side, Mauritania (Morocco) was still free. Numidia (the modern Algeria) retained its native dynasty, but was a Roman dependency. The Carthaginian dominions, Tunis and Tripoli, had been annexed to the empire. The interior of Asia Minor up to the Euphrates, with Syria and Egypt, were under sovereigns, called allies, but like the native princes in India, subject to a Roman protectorate. Over this enormous territory, rich with the accumulated treasures of centuries, and inhabited by thriving, industrious races, the energetic Roman men of business had spread and settled themselves, gathering into their hands the trade, the financial administration, the entire commercial control of the Mediterranean basin. They had been trained in thrift and economy, in abhorrence of debt, in strictest habits of close and careful management. Their frugal education, their early lessons in the value of money, good and excellent as these lessons were, led them, as a matter of course, to turn to account their extraordinary opportunities. Governors with their staffs, permanent officials, contractors for the revenue, negotiators, bill-brokers, bankers, merchants, were scattered everywhere in thousands. Money poured in upon them in rolling streams of gold. The largest share of the spoils fell to the Senate and the senatorial families. The Senate was the permanent council of state, and was the real administrator of the empire. The Senate had the control of the treasury, conducted the public policy, appointed from its own ranks the governors of the provinces. It was patrician in sentiment, but not necessarily patrician in composition. The members of it had virtually been elected for life by the people, and were almost entirely those who had been quæstors, ædiles, prætors, or consuls; and these offices had been long open to the plebeians. It was an aristocracy, in theory a real one, but tending to become, as civilization went forward, an aristocracy of the rich. How the senatorial privileges affected the management of the provinces will be seen more and more particularly as we go on. It is enough at present to say that the nobles and great commoners of Rome rapidly found themselves in possession of revenues which their fathers could not have imagined in their dreams; and money, in the stage of progress at which Rome had arrived, was convertible into power.” 5 PRUS 142.3

This is a good description of the territory of Rome’s expansion, and what she did with it, when once it fell into her possession. The next question that calls for solution is, How did Rome get started in her “expansion policy”? The answer is short, simple, and, with the sound of recently uttered phrases still ringing in our ears, perhaps familiar: the expansion of Rome, which also means the imperialism of Rome, began in a “war for humanity, in the cause of humanity, solely for humanity.” This is the story. PRUS 143.1

When the second Punic war came to an end, with such a disastrous issue for the Carthaginians, and such a favorable outcome for the Romans, the latter determined immediately to crush the power of Philip, king of Macedon. True, peace had been concluded with him two or three years before, “yet the grounds of a new quarrel were soon discovered.” He was accused of having attacked the Athenians and some of the other friends of Rome. At this time the southern part of Greece was divided into a number of small republics, all of which paid more or less tribute to Philip of Macedon. Rome was a republic, a great and a strong republic, and she considered it her duty to assist these poor, little, weak, struggling republics against the tyranny of the king of Macedonia. “The war was undertaken by the Romans chiefly, as was pretended, on their [the small republics of Greece] account.” 6 It was “under pretext of an invitation from the Athenians to protect them from the king of Macedon that the ambitious republic secured a foothold in Greece.” 7 To all appearances this was a piece of disinterestedness not common among nations; but it was only “to all appearances.” “The barbarous tribes on the north and west of Macedonia were also led, by the temptation of plunder, to join the confederacy; and their irruptions served to distract the councils and the forces of Philip.” 8 PRUS 143.2

The parallel or analogy between that war “solely for humanity” and the one through which the United States has just passed, is quite complete. The little republics of Southern Greece stood related to Philip of Macedon much the same as Cuba, Porto Rico, and other places stood related to Spain at the time when this nation, “solely in the cause of humanity,” declared war in their behalf. And, moreover, it may not be out of the way to compare “the barbarous tribes on the north and west of Macedonia,” who were led to join the confederacy, and whose irruptions served to distract the councils and forces of Philip,-it may not be out of the way to compare-these to Aguinaldo and his “barbarous” hordes of Negritos, who, by a United States consul and a commodore of the United States navy, were led to “join the confederacy,” and whose “irruptions served to distract the councils and forces of Spain.” PRUS 144.1

At the battle of Cynocephale, in 197 b. c., Philip was signally defeated, his country was exposed to invasion, “and he was reduced to accept peace on such terms as the Romans thought proper to dictate.” PRUS 145.1

“These, as usual, tended to cripple the power of the vanquished party, and at the same time to increase the reputation of the Romans, by appearing more favorable to their allies than to themselves. PRUS 145.2

“Philip was obliged to give up every Greek city that he possessed beyond the limits of Macedonia, both in Europe and in Asia; a stipulation which deprived him of Thessaly, Achaia, Phthiotis, Perrhæbia, and Magnesia, and particularly of the three important towns of Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias, which he used to call the fetters of Greece.” 9 In other words, Philip of Macedon lost all his outlying dependencies; and this is just about what happened to Spain at the treaty of Paris. Both alike were stripped of by far the greater part of their territory outside of the home land. PRUS 145.3

“All these states were declared free and independent, except that the Romans (pretending that Antiochus, king of Syria, threatened the safety of Greece) retained, for the present, the strong places of Chalcis and Demetrias in their own hands.” 10 PRUS 145.4

The war had been waged by Rome at an infinite cost of blood and treasure to herself. Freely she had sacrificed the blood of her sons, and caused the tears of her daughters to be shed, in this war, “solely for humanity.” She had marshaled her armies, and mobilized her fleets, put the former in the field, and the latter in the sea, solely and only for the purpose of bringing liberty to these small and distressed dependencies, the little sister republics, who were struggling for their freedom. She asked no money nor land for all this; her cup of joy was full to the overflowing, because she had done such a great act of disinterested kindness “in the cause of humanity.” In a striking proclamation she published to the world the liberty of these people, won by her valor at arms, and freely given to them:— PRUS 145.5

“The senate and people of Rome, and Titus Quintius the general, having conquered Philip and the Macedonians, do set at liberty from all garrisons, imposts, and taxes, the Corinthians, the Locrians, the Phocians, the Phthiot-Achaians, the Messenians, the Thessalians, and the Perrhebians, declare them free! and ordain that they shall be governed by their respective customs and usages. PRUS 145.6

“Then followed the memorable scene at the Isthmian games, when it was announced to all the multitude assembled on that occasion, that the Romans bestowed entire freedom upon all those states of Greece which had been subject to the kings of Macedonia. The Greeks, unable to read the future, and having as yet had no experience of the ambition of Rome, received this act with the warmest gratitude; and seemed to acknowledge the Romans in the character they assumed, of protectors and deliverers of Greece.” 11 PRUS 146.1

Following this was a war with Antiochus, king of Syria. He was reduced to the condition of a suppliant in b. c. 190, by the event of the battle of Magnesia. Philip of Macedon had helped the Romans in their campaigns against him. This king seems “vainly to have hoped that by a faithful and a zealous observance of the treaty of peace, he might soften the remorseless ambition of the Romans.” The Ætolians fell before the Roman arms, and then the Galatians, and now the way was open for Rome to continue her ambitious designs against Perseus, king of Macedon. At the battle of Pydna his army was overthrown, and his power broken. This was in b. c. 168. “Macedonia was then divided into four districts, each of which was to be under a republican government. Half of the tribute formerly paid to the king was henceforward to be paid to the Romans, who also appropriated to themselves the produce of all the gold and silver mines of the kingdom. The inhabitants were forbidden to fell timber for ship-building; and all intermarriages and sales of land between the people of the several districts were forbid den. With these marks of real slavery, they were left, for the present, nominally free; and Macedonia was not yet reduced to the form of a Roman province.” PRUS 146.2

Then, says Arnold, and his words are pregnant with deepest instruction for the people of the United States at the present time:— PRUS 146.3

“It is curious to observe, how, after every successive conquest, the Romans altered their behavior to those allies who had aided them to gain it, and whose friendship or enmity was now become indifferent to them. Thus, after their first war with Philip, they slighted the Ætolians; after they had vanquished Antiochus, they readily listened to complaints against Philip; and now the destruction of Macedon enabled them to use the language of sovereigns rather than of allies to their oldest and most faithful friends, Eumenes, the Rhodians, and the Achaians. The senate first tampered with Attalus, the brother of Eumenes, hoping that he might be persuaded to accuse his brother, and to petition for a share of his dominions; but when they found him deaf to their temptations, they retracted some promises which they had made him, in the hope that he would listen to them. Afterward, when Eumenes himself landed in Italy on his way to Rome, with a view to removing the suspicions entertained against him, the senate, aware of his purpose, issued an order that no king should be allowed to come to Rome; and despatched one of the quæstors to announce it to him at Brundusium, and to command him to leave Italy immediately. The Rhodians had offended by declaring openly ‘that they were tired of the war with Perseus; that he, as well as the Romans, was the friend of their commonwealth; that they should wish to see the contending parties reconciled; and that they would themselves declare against those whose obstinacy should be an impediment to peace.’ This declaration, which was received at Rome most indignantly, had been privately recommended by Q. Marcius, the Roman consul, to one of the Rhodian ambassadors, who had visited him in his camp in Macedonia, during the preceding year; and Polybius reasonably conjectures that Marcius, confident of a speedy victory over Perseus, gave this advice to the Rhodians, with the treacherous purpose of furnishing the senate with a future pretense for hostility against them. However, their fault was punished by the loss of Lycia and Caria, which the senate now declared independent; and the individuals who were accused of favoring Perseus were given up to the Romans, or at the instigation of Roman officers were put to death by the Rhodian government. Nor should it be omitted that a general inquiry was instituted throughout Greece into the conduct of the principal men in the several states during the late war. Those who were accused by their countrymen of the Roman party of having favored Perseus were summoned to Rome to plead their cause as criminals; and some were even put to death. But if the mere opinions and inclinations of individuals were thus punished, the states which had actually taken part with Macedon met with a still heavier destiny. Let it be forever remembered that by the decree of the senate seventy towns of Epirus were given up to be plundered by the Roman army, after all hostilities were at an end; that falsehood and deceit were used to prevent resistance or escape; and that in one day and one hour seventy towns were sacked and destroyed, and one hundred and fifty thousand human beings sold for slaves. The instrument employed on this occasion was L. Emilius Paulus, the conqueror of Macedon, and one of those whom we are taught to regard as models of Roman virtue. There is no reason to doubt his sincere affection for his country, his indifference to money, and his respectability as a citizen, husband, son, and father. But it is useful to see what dreadful actions the best men of ancient times were led unhesitatingly to commit, from the utter absence of a just law of nations, and the fatal habit of making their country the supreme object of their duty. Nor is it possible that these evils should be prevented, unless truer notions have insensibly established themselves in the minds of men, even of those who are least grateful to the source from which they have derived them; and if modern Europe be guided by purer principles, the Christian historian can not forget from what cause this better and happier condition has arisen. PRUS 146.4

“It remains now that we speak of the conduct of the Romans toward the Achaians. The early history of the Achaian League, and the leaning of its councils toward a friendly connection with Macedon, has been already noticed. In the war between the Romans and Philip, however, the Achaians were persuaded to join with the former, a step which Polybius describes as absolutely necessary for their safety; whether it were altogether equally honorable we have hardly the means of deciding. But their new connection, whatever may be thought of its origin, was ever afterward faithfully observed, insomuch that the Romans, though sufficiently adroit in finding matter of complaint, when they were disposed to do so, and though offended by the free and independent tone which the Achaian government always maintained toward them, could yet obtain no tolerable pretext for attacking them. There was, however, a traitor among the Achaians, named Calicrates, who, jealous of the popularity of the ruling party in the councils of his country, endeavored to supplant them through the influence of Rome; and to ingratiate himself with the senate by representing his opponents as despisers of the Roman authority, which he and his friends vainly endeavored to uphold. After the Macedonian war, his intrigues were carried to a greater extent than ever. He accused a great number of the most eminent of his countrymen of having favored the cause of Perseus; and although the conduct of the Achaian government toward Rome had been perfectly blameless, and nothing was found among the papers of the king of Macedon which confirmed the charge, even against any of its individual citizens, yet, on the demand of the Romans, more than a thousand of the most eminent men in the commonwealth were arrested and sent into Italy, under pretense that they should be tried for their conduct at Rome. On their arrival in Italy, they were confined in the different cities of Tuscany, and there remained nearly seventeen years. The senate repeatedly refused the petition of the Achaian government, that they might either be released or else be brought to trial. It is added that whoever among them were at any time detected in endeavoring to escape were invariably put to death. At last, after most of them had died in captivity, the influence of Cato, the censor, was exerted in behalf of the survivors, at the request of Scipio Æmilianus, who was anxious to serve one of their number, his own familiar friend, the historian Polybius. But the manner in which Cato pleaded their cause deserves to be recorded. He represented the Achaian prisoners as unworthy of the notice of the senate of Rome. ‘We sit here all day,’ said he, ‘as if we had nothing to do, debating about the fate of a few wretched old Greeks, whether the undertakers of Rome or of Achaia are to have the burying of them.’ We have dwelt the more fully on this treatment of the Achaians, because it sets in the clearest light the character of the Roman government; and enables us to appreciate the state of the world under the Roman dominion, when such men as Polybius were subject to the worst oppression and insolence from a nation which boasted of Cato the censor as one of its greatest ornaments. PRUS 148.1

“Hitherto, however, Achaia and the rest of Greece still enjoyed a nominal independence, notwithstanding the real supremacy of the Roman power. But within little more than twenty years from the overthrow of Perseus, even these poor remains of freedom were destroyed.” 12 PRUS 149.1

Into the details of this it is not necessary to go; suffice it to say that the same course of treachery, duplicity, and base perfidy which had marked the course of Rome in other cases also marked her trail in this one. Achaia was one of the last allies of Rome, in whose behalf she had entered upon war “solely in the cause of humanity,” but with other enemies or friends, as the case might be, disposed of, it was decided that her hour for destruction was now arrived. The Achaian league was dissolved, and Greece was henceforth treated as a province, was subjected to tribute, and was governed by a Roman proconsul, or prætor. PRUS 150.1

Such are the military facts connected with the story of the “expansion” and “imperialism” of Rome. Upon them, the historian Rollin has written some “Reflections on the conduct of the Romans with regard to the Græcian states, and the kings both of Europe and Asia.” His reflections contain the wisest philosophy on these events that the writer has ever discovered. His words are full of instruction concerning that time; but they are also full of truths applicable to all times and places, and the present crisis in the United States, perhaps more than any other. He says:— PRUS 150.2

“The reader begins to discover, in the events before related, one of the principal characteristics of the Romans, which will soon determine the fates of all the states of Greece, and produce an almost general change in the universe; I mean, a spirit of sovereignty and dominion. This characteristic does not display itself at first in its full extent; it reveals itself only by degrees; and it is only by insensible progressions, which at the same time are rapid enough, that it is carried at last to its greatest height. PRUS 150.3

“It must be confessed that this people, on certain occasions, show such a moderation and disinterestedness as (judging them only from their outside) exceed everything we meet with in history, and to which it seems inconsistent to refuse praise. Was there ever a more delightful or more glorious day than that in which the Romans, after having carried on a long and dangerous war, after crossing seas, and exhausting their treasures, caused the heralds to proclaim in a general assembly that the Roman people restored all the cities to their liberty, and desired to reap no other fruit from her victory than the noble pleasure of doing good to nations, the bare remembrance of whose ancient glory sufficed to endear them to the Romans? The description of that immortal day can hardly be read without tears, and without being affected by a kind of enthusiasm of esteem and admiration. PRUS 150.4

“Had this deliverance of the Græcian states proceeded merely from a principle of generosity, void of all interested motives; had the whole tenor of the conduct of the Romans never belied such exalted sentiments,-nothing could possibly have been more august, or more capable of doing honor to a nation. But, if we penetrate ever so little beyond this glaring outside, we soon perceive that this specious moderation of the Romans was entirely founded upon a profound policy; wise indeed, and prudent, according to the ordinary rules of government, but, at the same time, very remote from that noble disinterestedness, so highly extolled on the present occasion. It may be affirmed that the Græcians had abandoned themselves to a stupid joy; fondly imagining that they were really free, because the Romans declared them so. PRUS 151.1

“Greece, in the times I am now speaking of, was divided between two powers; I mean the Græcian republics and Macedonia; and they were always engaged in war, the former to preserve the remains of their ancient liberty, and the latter to complete their subjection. The Romans, being perfectly well acquainted with this state of Greece, were sensible that they needed not to be under any apprehensions from those little republics, which were grown weak through length of years, intestine feuds, mutual jealousies, and the wars they had been forced to support against foreign powers. But Macedonia, which was possessed of well-disciplined troops, inured to all the toils of war, which had continually in view the glory of its former monarchs; which had formerly extended its conquests to the extremities of the globe; which harbored ardent, though chimerical desire of attaining universal empire; and which had a kind of natural alliance with the kings of Egypt and Syria, sprung from the same origin, and united by the common interest of monarchy,-Macedonia, I say, gave just alarms to Rome, which, from the time of the ruin of Carthage, had no obstacle left with regard to their ambitious designs, but those powerful kingdoms that shared the rest of the world between them, and especially Macedonia, as it lay nearer to Italy than the rest. PRUS 151.2

“To balance, therefore, the power of Macedon, and to dispossess Philip of the aid which he flattered himself he should receive from the Greeks, which, indeed, had they united all their forces with his, in order to oppose this common enemy, would perhaps have made him invincible with regard to the Romans; in this view, I say, this latter people declared loudly in favor of those republics, made it their glory to take them under their protection, and that with no other design in outward appearance than to defend them against their oppressors; and further to attach them by a still stronger tie, they hung out to them a specious bait (as a reward for their fidelity); I mean liberty, of which all the republics in question were inexpressibly jealous; and which the Macedonian monarchs had perpetually disputed with them. PRUS 152.1

“The bait was artfully prepared, and swallowed very greedily by the generality of the Greeks, whose views penetrated no farther. But the most judicious and most clear sighted among them discovered the danger that lay concealed beneath this charming bait; and accordingly they exhorted the people from time to time, in their public assemblies to beware of this cloud that was gathering in the west, and which, changing on a sudden into a dreadful tempest, would break like thunder over their heads, to their utter destruction. PRUS 152.2

“Nothing could be more gentle and equitable than the conduct of the Romans in the beginning. They acted with the utmost moderation toward such states and nations as addressed them for protection; they succored them against their enemies, took the utmost pains in terminating their differences, and in suppressing all commotions which arose among them, and did not demand the least recompence from their allies for all these services. By this means their authority gained strength daily, and prepared the nations for entire subjection. PRUS 152.3

“And, indeed, upon pretense of offering them their good offices, of entering into their interests, and of reconciling them, they rendered themselves the sovereign arbiters of those whom they had restored to liberty, and whom they now considered, in some measure, as their freedmen. They used to depute commissioners to them, to inquire into their complaints, to weigh and examine the reasons on both sides, and to decide their quarrels; but when the articles were of such a nature that there was no possibility of reconciling them on the spot, they invited them to send their deputies to Rome. Afterward, they used, with plenary authority, to summon those who refused to be reconciled, obliged them to plead their cause before the senate, and even to appear in person there. From arbiters and mediators being become supreme judges, they soon assumed a magisterial tone, looked upon their decrees as irrevocable decisions, were greatly offended when the most implicit obedience was not paid to them, and gave the name of rebellion to a second resistance; thus there arose, in the Roman senate, a tribunal which judged all nations and kings, from which there was no appeal. This tribunal, at the end of every war, determined the rewards and punishments due to all parties. They dispossessed the vanquished nations of part of their territories, in order to bestow them on their allies, by which they did two things from which they reaped a double advantage; for they thereby engaged in the interest of Rome such kings as were in no way formidable to them, and from whom they had something to hope; and weakened others, whose friendship the Romans could not expect, and whose arms they had reason to dread. PRUS 152.4

“We shall hear one of the chief magistrates in the republic of the Achaians inveigh strongly in a public assembly against this unjust usurpation, and ask by what title the Romans are empowered to assume so haughty an ascendent over them; whether their republic was not as free and independent as that of Rome; by what right the latter pretended to force the Achaians to account for their conduct; whether they would be pleased, should the Achaians, in their turn, officially pretend to inquire into their affairs, and whether matters ought not to be on the same footing on both sides? All these reflections were very reasonable, just, and unanswerable; and the Romans had no advantage in the question but force. PRUS 153.1

“They acted in the same manner, and their politics were the same in regard to their treatment of kings. They first won over to their interest such among them as were the weakest, and consequently the least formidable; they gave them the title of allies, whereby their persons were rendered in some measure sacred and inviolable; and it was a kind of safeguard against other kings more powerful than themselves; they increased their revenues, and enlarged their territories, to let them see what they might expect from their protection. It was this which raised the kingdom of Pergamus to so exalted a pitch of grandeur. PRUS 153.2

“In the sequel the Romans invaded, upon different pretenses, those great potentates who divided Europe and Asia, and how haughtily did they treat them, even before they had conquered! A powerful king, confined within a narrow circle by a private man of Rome, was obliged to make his answer before he quitted it; how imperious was this! But then how did they treat vanquished kings? They command them to deliver up their children, and the heirs to their crown, as hostages and pledges of their fidelity and good behavior; oblige them to lay down their arms; forbid them to declare war, or conclude any alliance, without first obtaining their leave; banish them to the other side of the mountains; and leave them, in strictness of speech, only an empty title, and a vain show of royalty, divested of all its rights and advantages. PRUS 154.1

“We are not to doubt but that Providence had decreed to the Romans the sovereignty of the world, and the Scriptures had prophesied their future grandeur; but they were strangers to those divine oracles; and besides, the bare prediction of their conquest was no justification of their conduct. Although it be difficult to affirm, and still more difficult to prove, that this people had from their first rise formed a plan, in order to conquer and subject all nations, it can not be denied but that, if we examine their whole conduct attentively, it will appear that they acted as if they had a foreknowledge of this, and that a kind of instinct determined them to conform to it in all things. PRUS 154.2

“But be this as it will, we see by the event, to what this so much boasted lenity and moderation of the Romans was confined. Enemies to the liberty of all nations, having the utmost contempt for kings and monarchy, looking upon the whole universe as their prey, they grasped, with insatiable ambition, the conquest of the whole world; they seized indiscriminately all provinces and kingdoms, and extended their empire over all nations; in a word, they prescribed no other limits to their vast projects, than those which deserts and seas made it impossible to pass.” 13 PRUS 154.3

The expansion fever which laid such firm hold upon the people of the Roman republic has come upon the people of the republic of the United States. In both cases the game of the despoliation of nations and peoples has opened with a war “solely in the cause of humanity.” In the former instance, the Romans did declare the people of the small Greek republics free and independent. The United States has not yet even done this much. The republics of Greece never became free. The “war for humanity” never gave them their liberty. They soon found, and that to their bitter disappointment, that they had only exchanged masters, and that the little finger of Rome was thicker than the loins of Philip of Macedon, and that if the king had chastised them with whips, the republic chastised them with scorpions. They soon found to their intense sorrow that in the “war for humanity” there had been a transfer made, and that they had been the subject of barter. It did not take them long to discover that they had only acquired a slavery more abject and complete than that which they had endured under their previous ruler. It was as much more complete as Rome was more powerful than Macedon. PRUS 155.1

Rome never withdrew her foot from the Greek states, and it is even now doubtful whether the United States will ever withdraw from Cuba. Recent public utterances indicate that a great change of sentiment is sweeping over the country on this point. At the meeting of the members of the Associated Press, held in Chicago, May 18, 1899, in the star speech of the evening, St. Claire McKelway, editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, said:— PRUS 155.2

“There is no newspaper which believes that we are in Porto Rico ever to get out. We are there to stay. There is none which believes that we are in Cuba to get out-soon. I think we will stay there about as long as Great Britain will stay in Egypt, and that Great Britain will stay in Egypt about as long as the Anglo-Saxon race has a habit of staying where it settles down. I am willing to differ from my brethren on this subject, but as my estimate has been only comparative, perhaps there is less room for difference than might superficially appear. The duration of our stay in the Philippines is prodigiously debated. While the debate goes on, we stay. If the debate coincides with our stay, I think it will be a protracted debate.” PRUS 155.3

Indeed, as time goes on, the prospects of this country’s withdrawing from Cuba seem to be more and more remote. A silent revolution has been taking place, a revolution more fatal to the United States than any that ever went on in Cuba could possibly have been to the Spanish throne and power. PRUS 156.1

The things which have come to pass, and which are written out in this book, both those concerning Rome and the United States, have also been written long before in the prophecies of the Book of books, on the sacred leaves of the Holy Scriptures. This is not a chimera, but a fact, a reasonable fact, and one of deepest interest to all the citizens of the United States. It is fashionable nowadays to scoff at the idea that the Bible gives any instructions concerning the affairs of nations; but nevertheless a very large portion of the Word of God is simply a history of the nations, and a record of God’s dealings with them. Nothing can be more true or evident than that God keeps an account, not only with every individual, but also with every family, every city, and every State. PRUS 156.2

When Abraham and his followers entered the land of Canaan, they were not permitted to destroy the sinful inhabitants; but, said Jehovah, addressing the father of the faithful, and referring to Israel: “In the fourth generation they shall come hither again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” 14 And “in the fourth generation” they did “come hither again,” and by the command of the Lord they slew and spared not; and wrote of Sihon: “Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took. From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us: only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou earnest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbade us.” 15 These wars of the Israelites are often taken to prove the position that God approves of war and acts of bloodshed. But the truth is not so. When Israel was commanded to destroy the people of the land into which she entered, it was because their cup of iniquity was full, and because it would be only cruelty on the part of the Creator to permit them a longer existence. Had God permitted them to live longer, their accumulation of sin would only have grown greater, and the penalty which they would have had to receive as individual sinners would necessarily have been more severe. They were utterly destitute of the Spirit of God; it had fled away forever. And being utterly destitute of that which alone can make us holy and good, there was nothing left in them for God to ally himself to, or which he could use as a means to bring them salvation. In principle they were demons; for what are Satan and his angels but beings entirely destitute of the Spirit of God? It is in mercy, therefore, that God brings the career of wicked individuals and evil nations to a close. It is not an arbitrary act, it is the kindest thing that a merciful God can do. PRUS 156.3

When the angels visited Abraham under the oaks on the plains of Mamre, the Lord spake through them, concerning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah:— PRUS 157.1

“And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment: that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” 16 The angels went on their way, and Abraham remained before the Lord, and pleaded with him, first that he should spare the cities if there could be found fifty righteous persons there; and then if there could be found forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty, or even ten righteous persons within their walls. And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” Only righteous Lot and his family were found, and to them it was said: “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plains; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed…. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” 17 PRUS 157.2

In the case of these cities the limit of God’s forbearance had been reached, the hour of their probation had closed. It was useless to give their inhabitants a further opportunity for salvation; they had sinned away their day of grace, and were given over to wickedness. PRUS 158.1

The same God who watched over the nation of the Amorites, and destroyed them when their cup of iniquity was full; the same God who kept record of the gay pleasures and grievous sins of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, and who consumed them in the fearful flames when they had passed the unseen line,-that same One also kept watch over the republic of Rome, and is keeping watch over the republic of the United States. In the wonderful prophecies traced with the pencil of the Holy Ghost, the history of these last two is written, and was written long before either came into existence. It was written “to the intent that the living might know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” PRUS 158.2

There are many who believe that the churches and churchmen should have nothing to do with politics. None hold this view more stanchly than I do. Nevertheless, it is as true to-day as it was in centuries past and gone that prophets and priests are sent by the Lord to warn kings and nations concerning the retribution which will be visited upon them by the King of kings and Lord of lords, if they depart from the path which a divine hand has mapped out for their feet. In this sense, and in this sense only, do I believe that the voice of the ambassadors of Jesus Christ should be heard in the courts and congresses of human powers, of earthly governments. And it is because I firmly believe that if the United States persists in the course she has entered upon, her ruin and the ruin of the world can be the only result, that I have penned these lines. Prophets were sent to heathen kings, as well as to the monarchs who sat on Israel’s throne. They were sent because God loved the people, and did all that infinite love and mercy could do to save them from a general doom. If the nation as a whole heeded not, as was often the case, there were individuals who listened to the voice of the ambassadors of the Lord, and were kept from the dire troubles which God sent upon the rebellious state. My life has been devoted to the affairs of religion and spirituality. I have never been a member in any sense of any political party, and have never in my life cast a vote in city, State, or national elections. In saying this I would in no sense judge my brethren who have considered it their duty to do this; suffice it to say that it has been my conviction that as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, I would serve humanity the best by holding entirely aloof from the political strifes which divide men into factions and parties, and devoting my strength to the sweetest of all ministries, that of reconciliation between Christ and sinners. It is only in instances like the present, when the things which are done are the things which are warned against in the Word of God, that I feel free to lift my voice and pen, trusting and praying that the spirit in which I write may rest upon and enter into those who read. With me the events which are now transpiring are not the working out of mere political theories, but of great prophetical principles. It is for this reason that I write. It is because I wish my position upon this matter of Christians in politics to be clearly understood that I have taken time and space for this digression. PRUS 158.3

In the Bible, by the pen of the prophet Daniel and of the revelator John, we have in advance of its enactment the history of Rome and the United States, the two great republics of the West. Daniel spake, and said:— PRUS 159.1

“I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 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. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it.” 18 PRUS 159.2

Such is a part of the vision. Daniel was grieved and troubled, and he asked one of “them that stood by,” “the truth of all this.” He was told that the great beasts are “four kings which shall arise out of the earth.” Not content with this answer he said: “I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet…. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and tread it down, and brake it in pieces.” 19 PRUS 160.1

Now these four kingdoms are named outright in other places in the Bible. They were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Rome was the fourth, and was diverse from all before it, in that it was a republic. Now it was while it was a republic that Rome “devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet.” Moreover, in Daniel 8:24, 25 it is written of this same power: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” PRUS 160.2

Just what was this crafty, peaceful, destroying policy, and how his power became mighty, but not by his own power, has already been set forth clearly from the history in this chapter. By the history I have shown that Rome, being a republic, a government of the people, made high pretensions to liberty and to the love of liberty, only for the sake of liberty; that for this reason Rome pretended to love and desire liberty for other people; that the little states of Greece were struggling against monarchies, that they might themselves be free and be republics. Solely from love of liberty for the sake only of liberty, and for the sake of humanity, Rome sent her armies and navies across seas to fight the battles, and win the causes of those other peoples, only to set them free from oppressive powers, to enjoy the blessings of liberty of which Rome was the conservator in the world. And then when the battles were fought, the victories won, and the peoples delivered, those peoples were not free. They were more bound, and more hopeless than ever before, because of Rome’s greater power than that of the former oppressors. And to-day no man can intelligently read that history of the republic of Rome before any audience in the United States without that audience seeing the republic of the United States perfectly outlined up to date. PRUS 160.3

Now a point particularly to be considered is that this history of the republic of Rome was sketched in the book of Daniel three hundred and forty years before it occurred; and then that sketch was closed up and sealed, not for three hundred and forty years, not till 198 b. c. and onward; but for twenty-four hundred years, till “the time of the end.” PRUS 161.1

Why was that sketch of the Roman republic written, and then closed up and sealed until a time two thousand years after that republic had failed as a republic and become imperial?—It was because at this time, “the time of the end,” there would be another republic that would go over the same course as did that republic,-would apostatize from republicanism into imperialism. PRUS 161.2

Moreover it was a state composed of this apostasy of a republic into imperialism,-it was such a state with which the apostate church of early days, the man of sin, of the Bible, united, and this union made the papacy, “the first beast” of the Bible, as mentioned in Revelation 13. PRUS 161.3

In the same thirteenth chapter of Revelation it is written: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” 20 Here is depicted the rise of the United States, coming up peacefully out of the earth, instead of forming amidst long years of tumults and fightings, as was the case with all the other powers. It is represented as having two horns like a lamb. A horn in prophecy signifies power, and the two great principles which have given power to the United States and made her what she is to-day are Protestantism and Republicanism. But Protestantism and Republicanism are both in their spirit pacific; that is, they are lamblike, hence the words, “had two horns like a lamb.” It is obvious from this that should these two horns of power be plucked up, as it were, should they be abandoned, and Roman Catholic principles in things religious, and monarchical ideas in things civil, take possession of this government; then, at once, everything that is lenient and lamblike in the government would at that very moment disappear, and nothing but despotism be in their place. In other words, it is the prevalence of these two principles, Protestantism and Republicanism, which alone makes the government lamblike in its nature. PRUS 161.4

Now the nature of Protestantism is well set forth by D‘Aubigne, the historian of the Reformation. Speaking of the diet of Spires, where the famous Protest of the Princes was drawn up, and from which we get the name of Protestant, and the word Protestantism, he says:— PRUS 162.1

“The principles contained in this celebrated protest of the 19th of April, 1592, constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this protest opposed two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses, Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the Word of God above the visible church.” 21 PRUS 162.2

This is the essence of Protestantism in very truth. There may be sects many and varied; but this is the underlying, fundamental, basic principle. True Protestantism opposes the “intrusion of the civil magistrate” in things pertaining to the church. PRUS 162.3

On this point George Bancroft, the great historian of the United States Constitution, has also said of the new nation:— PRUS 162.4

“Vindicating the right of individuality in religion, and in religion above all, the new nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relation to God the principle first divinely ordained of God in Judea. It left the management of temporal things to the temporal power; but the American Constitution, in harmony with the people of the several States, withheld from the federal government the power to invade the home of reason, the citadel of conscience, the sanctuary of the soul; and not from indifference, but that the infinite Spirit of eternal truth might move in its freedom and purity and power.” PRUS 163.1

And the very first amendment to the national Constitution reads:— PRUS 163.2

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” PRUS 163.3

Thus was the horn of power, the principle of Protestantism, established as a fundamental doctrine of the United States. PRUS 163.4

With equal truth it may be said that the “essence” of republicanism is, that “all men are created equal,” and that “governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” PRUS 163.5

The principles of Protestantism are the true principles of Christianity,-the Christianity of the Bible. The principles of Republicanism are also the principles of God and the Bible in things civil. PRUS 163.6

But it is said concerning the beast which symbolizes the United States in the Bible that “he had two horns like a lamb, and spake as a dragon.” Here are two things happening together, at the same time, and totally incompatible with one another,-that which is lamblike speaking as a dragon. Now a thing that is lamblike can not possibly speak as a dragon, and still retain its lamblike disposition. It therefore follows that the Scriptures have portrayed that the United States will in name retain its lamblike principles of Protestantism and Republicanism, but in nature and in practise it will deny them. This is national hypocrisy; yea, it is national apostasy. There may never in these United States exist, openly, avowedly, and in name, a union of church and state, which constitutes in itself the abandonment of Protestantism; but the thing itself will be, and even now is, here. We may never have an emperor with a crown upon his brow; but Rome was imperial, and an empire for long years, while still retaining the image and name of a republic. PRUS 163.7

Now the “first beast” was Rome, once a republic, but apostatized into an imperial monarchy, degenerated into a military despotism; united with a church once Protestant in principle, but apostatized into the papacy. The union of these two was, I say, the “first beast.” PRUS 164.1

Now when in the prophecy the image of the beast is to be made, it is said “to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.” This shows that it is a government of the people where the image is made. And it is said to them that they shall make a union of church and state. This shows that this is all done in a place where there is no union of church and state. That is true of the United States at its formation, and it is not true of any other nation that was ever on earth. PRUS 164.2

These things show that the nation is first a republic, and that this nation is the one where these things are at last done. But these things can not be done in a true republic, for they are positively antagonistic to it in principle. For these things to be done in a country professing to be a republic, there must be an apostasy from the principles of a true republic. PRUS 164.3

Already there has been an apostasy from the principles of Protestantism, from the principle of a separation of church and state. The Congress of the United States, the executive, and the judiciary of the United States are already committed to the papal principles as opposed to Protestantism. This has already been done, by congressional legislation, executive action, and judicial decision. All three arms of the federal government have already interfered in behalf of a religious institution,-in behalf of Sunday and Sunday laws. Already here in the home of freedom men have been arrested and thrown into prison, and even committed to the chain-gang, in company with loathsome criminals, simply because they could not conscientiously observe the first day of the week. Into the history of this apostasy from Protestant principle I can not go. It is fully written out in other works. 22 PRUS 164.4

A true republic can never unite with papal principles; but now the Republic is apostatizing from republicanism and uniting with apostate Protestant principles, and this is in itself an “image to the beast.” PRUS 165.1

Already this nation has commenced to war against men who plead for republican principles in their island home; and according to the prophecy it is yet to go the furthest step in this awful path, and kill men for desiring Protestant principles in these United States. For it is written of the United States:— PRUS 165.2

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” 23 PRUS 165.3

The union of church and state in Rome hastened and actually wrought the ruin of that apostate republic. So even now will this union hasten and cause the ruin of this so far apostate republic. And the sketch of the history of the former was written in the book of the prophet Daniel then, and closed up and sealed until now, so that they that be wise may understand what to do to escape the evil and the ruin that will come, and even now hastens,-a ruin that will come to this modern great Republic as surely as came the ruin of that ancient great Republic. PRUS 165.4

This national apostasy is proceeding daily before the eyes of all the people; and as national apostasy progresses, national ruin hastens. And with this national ruin comes the ruin of the world, and of every nation in the world. PRUS 165.5


Prev result

Back to search


Next result

The Peril of the Republic of the United States of America, p. 143.1 (Percy Tilson Magan)

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

Welcome to Adventist Angels Watchman Radio now Live International official Page preparing the People of the world For Jesus Christ second coming. find us on Facebook YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Palcity and Gettr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: