Doctrine of the Bible in one hand and the shotgun in the other, CEASAR and God Unite to Convert World?


It is said that we can Americanize these people. We can not, we dare not, do it. To educate them would be to make rebels of them. Could we teach them the history of our glorious past? Could we tell them of the deeds of the Fathers in behalf of freedom and independence? Just as surely as we did, the spark of liberty and independence would be kindled in their breasts, and they would demand of us by what right we were their masters. Our only hope would be to keep them in superstition and ignorance. It is far easier for Great Britain to rule colonies and to better their condition than it is for us. She has no past like ours. She never had a war of independence, nor did she ever take her stand upon the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, or that all men are created equal. While upon our own platform of eternal truth, we stood upon a plane immeasurably superior to any which it was possible for her to occupy. Now that we have fallen from our first estate, and lost our Edenic purity, we are weaker and more impotent than it is possible for her to be. This is manifest destiny as far as the governing of the Filipinos is concerned. PRUS 118.2

Then again, if this doctrine of the Bible in one hand and the shotgun in the other is a good one for the Philippine Islands, how long will it be ere it is considered a good one for every State in the Union? Should one religious sect get control of the governmental affairs, why may it not use force to compel all others to come into line, and think and pray as it thinks and prays? This idea may be received by some with ridicule, but the beginnings of the loss of liberty, both civil and religious, are always insidious, and very small precedents have oftentimes started tremendous changes in things. There has been persecution in the past, there is persecution for religious views even at the present, and there will be persecution for conscience’ sake in the time to come. Allow a new doctrine to pass unchallenged to-day, it quickly gains strength and standing, and by to-morrow it is heterodoxy to question its application. 

It has been urged by many that there is a duty incumbent upon the United States to take the Philippines for the purpose of Christianizing the natives, even although such occupation be against the wishes of the inhabitants, and contrary to the principle of government by consent. It is argued that the opportunity to purchase the islands constituted a “divine call” to this “Benjamin of nations” to enter that neglected part of the Master’s vineyard. Zealous advocates, in earnest tones, tell of the blessings which will accrue to these benighted souls when an army of missionaries, filled with an undying love for those who know Him not, can, without fear of molestation, proclaim, beneath the protecting ægis of the stars and stripes, the sufferings of the Saviour and the joys of the better world. Vividly they portray how much more rapidly the gospel can be carried to those who know it not, when the islands are controlled by the government of the United States, than it could possibly be if these isles which wait for His law were ruled by the heathen. These are for the most part a devoted and consecrated class of people, who are thoroughly conscientious in the views they express. PRUS 118.3

In these days of toil and bustle, when more is compressed into a decade than was formerly the portion of man’s allotted span, many of us Christians are like Martha of Bethany, who was “cumbered about much serving,” and “careful and troubled about many things,” and in our anxiety to work for the Lord we neglect to choose the “good part,” “the one thing needful,” which her sister Mary took, and which shall not be taken away. We fail to take the necessary time to sit “at Jesus’ feet, and hear his word.” PRUS 119.1

The weapons of carnal warfare vary and change with the onward march of scientific discovery. But the holy arms of the Christian remain ever the same. Like the Father of Lights, who changeth not, in them “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The same arms which apostles, prophets, and our own dear Saviour used are the only true weapons for the Christian to-day. Beautifully has it been said of the Reformers and the Reformation: “The Reformation was accomplished in the name of a spiritual principle. It had proclaimed for its teacher, the word of God; for salvation, faith; for king, Jesus Christ; for arms, the Holy Ghost; and had by these very means rejected all worldly elements. Rome had been established by ‘the law of a carnal commandment;’ the Reformation, by ‘the power of an endless life.’” Whatever is accomplished in the line of Christian reformation in this day and age of the world, will be accomplished in the name of this same spiritual principle. Jesus never sought the civil power as an aid wherewith to accomplish his mission, and on one occasion, at least, he distinctly refused it. PRUS 119.2

When the Redeemer was alone in the wilderness, fasting in behalf of fallen man, it is written: “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” 10 Here was an opportunity. The gospel was to be preached. The world, and all the governments of the world, stood arrayed in open hostility against it. But here were the kingdoms of the world, and the glory-the power-of them, freely offered. Could not the gospel be carried to better advantage if Christ controlled the reins of the civil power? He did not so believe. Was not this whispering a “providential call, a new mission, a distinct call to duty,-manifest destiny?” It was a whispering, not from the Almighty, but from Satan, and was repulsed with the words, “Get thee hence, Satan.” PRUS 120.1

In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant with his sword. “But Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. Jesus therefore said unto Peter, Put up again thy sword into the sheath: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” And to these words he added, “Or thinkest thou that I can not beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” PRUS 120.2

Again, when the Master was in the judgment hall, Pilate “called Jesus and said unto him, art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” 11 PRUS 120.3

The triumphs of the gospel in those early days were won without the aid of the civil power. The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church. Never did the Christian church make greater progress than when she stood alone, unaided by any civil power. Yea, more than this, the times of her greatest purity and progress have been the times when every earthly power has been arrayed against her. Then it was that her members sought their Lord and Master most earnestly, and reflected his blest image most brightly. PRUS 120.4

One United States senator, in the course of his speech on the Philippine question, declared that “the Anglo-Saxon advances into the new regions with the Bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other. The inhabitants of those regions which he can not convert with the Bible and bring into his markets, he gets rid of with the shotgun” This is not altogether irony. Ministers of the Christian church are everywhere praising the war in these islands, and preaching that it has come about in the providence of God in order that the gospel may go more rapidly. Just as far as this idea gets hold of the Christian sects, just that far they assent to the doctrine of a union of church and state; just that far they are extolling that system of things which we hoped we had forever discarded in “the new order of things.” Will the people whose fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons have been shot down in this ruthless war, be more ready to accept the gospel at the hands of the murderers of their relatives? Will it cause them to be kindly inclined toward the teachings of the Saviour? Will they not look upon our religion as being similar to that of the Mohammedans, who think it virtuous to propagate their faith by means of fire and sword?—Nay, verily, it will steel their souls against the gospel, and fill them with prejudice and suspicion. Better, ten thousand times better, for a few missionaries to lose their lives at the hands of heathen savages than for heathen savages to lose their lives at the hands of those calling themselves Christians. The missionaries are certain of eternal life, but not so the poor heathen. PRUS 121.1

Then again, if this doctrine of the Bible in one hand and the shotgun in the other is a good one for the Philippine Islands, how long will it be ere it is considered a good one for every State in the Union? Should one religious sect get control of the governmental affairs, why may it not use force to compel all others to come into line, and think and pray as it thinks and prays? This idea may be received by some with ridicule, but the beginnings of the loss of liberty, both civil and religious, are always insidious, and very small precedents have oftentimes started tremendous changes in things. There has been persecution in the past, there is persecution for religious views even at the present, and there will be persecution for conscience’ sake in the time to come. Allow a new doctrine to pass unchallenged to-day, it quickly gains strength and standing, and by to-morrow it is heterodoxy to question its application. 

The Peril of the Republic of the United States of America, p. 121.2 (Percy Tilson Magan)

… persecution

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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