The United States Of America
By F. E. PITTS
In two discourses delivered in the capitol of the United States, at the request of several members of Congress, on the anniversary of Washington's birthday in 1857.
(Reprinted from) ELEVENTH EDITION
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by F. E. PITTS in the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
"Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalm138:2
Doomed by an edict written in the sky, The monarchies of earth shall be no more: Heaven's sealed wonders open to the eye In rising glories on the western shore.
The theory of Armageddon, by the Rev. F. E. Pitts, has been in course of preparation for years. Immense research and mental labor have brought it into being: For nearly two years it has been before the public and met the favorable notice of many of the ablest journals and reviews in America.
Learned theologians, civilians and statesmen have freely accredited its truthfulness, and mathematicians pronounce its chronological argument demonstration. Indeed, almost all who examine it believe it. The exceptions to this rule are generally found amongst the subjects of the British Crown, or those who imagine that England, par excellence, is the model of the nations.
Having learned that Armageddon leaves the
autocracy of Britain in the whirlpool too, they have become offended, and of
course denounce it.
Mr. Pitts believing most firmly the principles and positions of the theory to be true, and that a correct appreciation of the subject is of untold interest to the American people, he has, from motives sincerely patriotic and pious, discussed the claims of this sublime theory before thousands of our countrymen in various portions of the United States.
Mr. Pitts certainly deserves the highest praise of his countrymen. Modest and unassuming, though a giant in intellect, and richly stored with the treasures of science, he has brought out a work that must elevate and encourage our noble confederacy more effectually than any book that has appeared since the birth of the Republic.
The work has now passed into the fourth edition, and will, we have no doubt, soon be issued by the hundred thousand. This book should be in the hands of every American citizen, because of the advance that it will give to true patriotism, and the enthusiasm that it has and necessarily will create for the Union.
By F. E. Pitts 1857
Editors comment: As you read keep in mind that this sermon was preached 80 years after we became a nation and 4 years before the civil war.
There are always two sides.
Rev. Pitts and other clergymen of times past claimed that God established the United States in 1776 in fulfillment of Bible prophecy and that these united 13 colonies, now 50, are "the mountains of Israel" mentioned in Ezekiel 38.
Modern radio and TV evangelists disagree. They say, "The nation called Israeli established in 1948 by The United Nations in Palestine, that nation is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
Who is more correct?
Where and who are the "mountains of Israel" mentioned in Bible prophecy? Who will be invaded in the end-time? The United States or Palestine?
Rev. Pitts: In entering the sublime arcana of inspired prophecy, we are deeply impressed with a scene that is laid in the land of Midian, where, from the burning bush, the voice of Almighty God arrested the attention of the wondering prophet: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
No subject presented to the human mind imposes profounder reverence, greater caution, and deeper research, than an elucidation of prophetic truth; and yet no theme has been more prolific of fanaticism among the incautious and adventurous in almost every age.
We must look to the Scriptures themselves for direction to a true and legitimate interpretation of their own meaning. It is important also to discriminate between "secret things that belong to God, and things that are revealed, which belong to us and our children." For want of this discernment, Millerism, and all that class of fanatical fancies, have deluded misguided thousands.
Whenever, therefore, an interpreter of prophecy attempts to tell when the day of judgment will come, just rest assured he is wise above what is written; for we are taught by the Great Prophet himself, "Of that day, and hour, knoweth no man; no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. "This Divine announcement should always quiet such unauthorized pretensions.
It must be universally conceded that the Almighty has interdicted a knowledge of some sublime subjects, which he alone will fully reveal and explain by their own accomplishment. Notwithstanding, it is equally evident that there are certain portions of prophetic truth that he himself designed should be understood by the sons of men, for it is written, "Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy."
Here, then, is a Divine encouragement to study inspired prophecy. But how can we be beneficiaries of this promise, though we may both read and hear, if, at the same time, we cannot understand them?
A few self-evident propositions we will now submit, as indispensable principles for the investigation of prophecy --principles that must form the only true and infallible criteria to determine their intended meaning.
First. All prophecy is either plain and literal, or obscure and symbolical.
Second. A plain and literal prophecy may be understood prior to fulfillment, just as well as subsequent to the event predicted. For example, Jesus Christ said, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." His meaning was too obvious to be misunderstood.
Third. But an obscure or symbolic prophecy cannot possibly be fully known, however impressive the general outline of the subject; yet the special application of the prediction to time, event, and circumstances cannot be understood until fulfillment settles the true meaning. There may be several interpretations of an obscure prophecy offered a priori, provided they are legitimate; that is, if such definitions are not unreasonable or incompatible with the nature of the subject. Nevertheless, we must bide our time till fulfillment determines the meaning intended.
As an example, it is written, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. "Now, it is evident that one legitimate interpretation of this prophecy was the same entertained by the Jews, that God would send the old prophet in person, for it expressly states, "Elijah the prophet." But it so happened that another man altogether, John the Baptist, coming "in the spirit and power of Elias," is said by Christ to be "the Elias which was for to come."
Fourth. A perfect coincidence of character, circumstances, and events with any given prophecy, is perfect fulfillment. This is so plain and patent that we cannot deny it without denying the very proof of the Messiahship of the Son of God. When John sent his disciples to Christ to inquire, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them." As much as if he had said, John will have sense enough to know that in whomsoever these coincidences are found, he is the Messiah.
With these principles to guide us, we proceed to the investigation of our subject.
The United Stales of America, our great country, is foretold in the Holy Scriptures.
We are fully apprised that the novelty and sublimity of our subject, upon its bare announcement, will awaken the incredulity of some, and enlist the opposition of others. To all such we politely bespeak the courtesy of a candid hearing. We are not concerned that you receive or reject the truth of this theory, but we are concerned that you carefully examine the testimony upon which it rests. Do you believe the Holy Scriptures? "Then hear me for my cause."
But that you may understand that we do not attempt to prove what is unreasonable and absurd, we propose the following question:
Is it at all probable that our great country, with its teeming magnificence, now the fear and glory of all lands, would have been overlooked by prophecy? How comes it to pass that smaller countries, and lesser kingdoms, retired hamlets, solitary island, and seaport towns; that Edom, Moab, Egypt, and Syria; that Tarshish, Tyre, and Sidon, with the rest, are particularly programmed upon the inspired page, and our land the only portion of God's terrafirma that is proscribed a place in the book -- that prophetic book that professes to map the world till the end of time? Has the inspired penman no account, no place for a nation that is at this very moment telling more upon the intellectual and moral destiny of the world than any other under heaven? Do you believe it? And yet you must believe it if our theory is a fable.
The possibility of the truthfulness of our subject is certainly deeply interesting; the probability of the fact is startling; but the clear and unanswerable demonstration of that truth is actually sublime.
The predictions of the Bible touching the nations, down to the destruction of the Jewish capitol, are indeed but a literal history of Egypt, Moab, Syria, Edom, and Judea. Here all is plain and self-evident, as time has witnessed the fulfillment. But from that memorable event, the downfall of Jerusalem, on to a certain chronological period, called by Daniel "the time of the end," all is obscurity. No interpretation breaks the seal of its wonders. Clouds curtain the heavens; and the symbols that glow in the vision of God's holy prophets are alike mysterious to them and to the wondering seraphim.
To Daniel, the prince of the prophets, this great truth seemed first to have been announced. When the prophet had the stupendous visions covering that symbolic period, he exclaimed: "I heard, but I understood not: then said I, 0 my Lord, What shall be the end of these wonders? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
This positive declaration of Jehovah was thrice repeated to the prophet. But Gabriel gives him to understand personally thus much: These wonders will not occur in your day, Daniel; you will rest with your fathers long before the seal shall be broken; nevertheless, you will arise in the resurrection of the just; therefore, go thy way, and be comforted with the blessed hope. Such we suppose to be the meaning of the angel, when, closing his sublime mission to the prophet, he said, "But go thou thy way till the end before thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot in the end of the days."
That the time of the end was a certain chronological length, and not the end of the world, is very certain, for things are said of the time of the end not at all consistent with the scriptural account of the day of judgment. In the time of the end "many should run to and fro, and knowledge be increased'" then "the wise should understand, but none of the wicked should understand."
Whereas, in the final day, we suppose the wise and the wicked will both understand. These expressions evidently characterize that period called the time of the end, as an age of great locomotion, intelligence, and enterprise. And the words "wise" and "wicked," being generic terms, and nouns of multitude, doubtless refer to nations. The friends of civil and religious liberty shall understand, but subjects of absolutism, and the dupes of despotism, shall not understand.
As the visions of Daniel, that covered the lapse of ages to the time of the end, were sealed and closed up, it is conclusive that the visions of Isaiah and Ezekiel, Jeremiah and John, embracing the same subjects and measuring the same period, are interdicted also. This is a legitimate and necessary deduction.
Now, is it not very surprising that eminent men, deeply pious and profoundly learned, have never discovered the "seal" of the Divine interdiction placed upon these visions? The impenetrable mystery, by Divine authority, hangs before their eyes, while the vague and unsatisfactory explanations of the most gifted commentators confirm the truth of the Divine prohibition. The truth is, there is not one writer in the long learned catalogue of commentators on the prophecies, down to our present theory, but has attempted to explain the meaning of these symbols by principles and rules that were known and applied during the interdicted ages, and are consequently necessarily erroneous; for God had again and again declared, "the vision is sealed, and the words are closed up till the time of the end."
Two obvious truths are here revealed:
1. The closing up of the vision down to a certain period.
2. As the sealing of the vision was only till that time, of course when that time should come the seal would be broken and the vision be understood.
If, therefore, the period when these sublime disclosures should be made was to be characterized as an age of vast enterprise, intellectual energy, and moral adventure; and if we live in such an age -- an age marked with unparalleled progress and discovery -- we ask, with the profoundest reverence, may we not venture to inquire, and to inquire hopefully, for the meaning of these wonders?
Should it be demanded, why have not the erudite and the learned in ages past apprehended this interpretation of prophecy, we have already anticipated the inquiry: that God had sealed a knowledge of these wonders during those ages. But should the unassuming pretensions of the learned author of Armageddon be looked upon as a barrier to a candid investigation of this most deeply interesting theory, we have only to suggest that great and ingenious minds are too magnanimous for such uncandid evasion.
As the gifted author himself has asked, "May not a child find a gem?" Was it not a poor peon of the mountains that first discovered the riches of Peru? But perhaps one material reason why our great country has hitherto never been dreamed of as the burden of prophetic truth, has been owing to the fact that most of the principal writers on prophecy have been Englishmen, who putting one foot of the compasses down on Great Britain as the center of creation, and describing a circle, have invariably left out the United States of America; somewhat after the fashion of a Chinese map of the world, which, after giving to the Celestial Empire almost the entire map, puts down Europe and America on a space no larger than a penny, calling them the "Barbarian Islands."
We will certainly be excused for disposing of another class of captious cavilers. It has been asked with much emphasis, "What good, or what purpose, could the truth of such a theory accomplish?" This inquiry, we will apprise you, is never made by the learned or the considerate; certainly not by one who reveres the truth of the Holy Scriptures.
What is the design of prophecy? Surely, wise and glorious accomplishments were intended by the Almighty in communicating to his servants the words and visions of prophecy. Doubtless, to inspire the hope of man for their realization, and to confirm the faith of mortals in the divinity of those truths by their fulfillment. But where will you find a broader field for such accomplishments, or a more glorious theatre for the fulfillment of prophetic truth, than in the providential rise and prosperity of a great nation that should be the exponent and example of popular freedom -- a nation whose principles and progress should excite the admiration and arouse the emulation of the whole earth?
Let men but behold, on this magnificent scale, a fulfillment of those sublime symbols and announcements that have staggered the philosophy of men, and baffled their profoundest learning from age to age; then indeed infidelity would seek annihilation for shelter, and its last refuge of lies be swept from the face of the earth.
We shall first consider the symbolic predictions of the United States.
The rise of a great nationality is evidently predicted by Daniel, when "the power of the holy people," or friends of civil and religious liberty, shall cease to be scattered; when the wise nations should understand, and "many should run to and fro, and knowledge be increased. "This glorious era was to be the period called "the time of the end. "The rise of the United States of America synchronizes with that "time, "and no other nation under heaven.
The chronological argument is purely mathematical, and we believe unanswerable.
The decree of Cyrus for the emancipation of Israel was published in the last month of the year 537 B.C., (about December 6th,) as is found by the coincidence of an eclipse of the sun, predicted by Thales the Milesian, that occurred B.C. 601, as well as the historic account of those ages. The crucifixion of Christ was on the 25th of March, A.D. 29, (Vulgar era,) as found also by an eclipse of the moon in historic records.
And the destruction of the Jewish state began on the 21st of Nisan, A.D. 68. The 70 weeks of Daniel were to begin at the decree of Cyrus, and to end at both the other named epochs. From the decree of Cyrus to the crucifixion, was 564 years and 109 days; and from the same decree to the last general Jewish Passover, was 603 years and 129 days. These two lengths were embraced in the 70 weeks, and show the precise duration of those weeks, as exactly those many years and days transpired to reach the events predicted. This fact no one can deny.
Now the explanation of the matter is simple: the 70 weeks are Hebrew weeks of years, or 490 years. But these are abbreviated weeks; that is, they require the addition of one or more kinds of sacred time to complete them. By adding the sabbatic days which would be in 490 years, we have 560 years. These are symbolic years of 360 parts; and as a symbolic year may stand for any Hebrew year of years, it may stand for the one of 364. Then we have the equation of time, as 360: 364 - 560: 566 2/9.
These 566 2/9 years are composed of 364 days each; and by reducing them to solar time of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 47 1/10 seconds to the year, we have 564 years and 109 days, as the fulfillment exhibits.
In a similar manner the other results will be found; but this example is a sufficient illustration of the principle of explaining sacred time.
The 3½ times of Daniel, chapter 12, are, by this mode of explanation, easily understood. Three and a half times, or years, are equal to 1260 symbolic years. To this, if we add sabbatic years proportionally, we have 1440 years; and again adding proportionable sabbatic years, or one to every six, we have 1680 years.
Then, as the symbolic year
of 360 parts may represent any Hebrew year, it may represent the year 366
days or parts. We then have the following equation:
360:366 x 1680 equals 1708 years, or 623,833 days, 17 hours, 1 minute, and 40 seconds.
These 3½ times were to begin at the cessation of the daily sacrifice. The Daily sacrifice was offered at sunrise. The sun arose at the meridian of Old Jerusalem oil the 189th day of the year 68 A.D., about 5 o'clock A.M. This, then, is the beginning of the 3½ times, or the 1260 days, or the 2300 "evening mornings."
An "evening morning" was a lamb sacrifice at sunrise, and a lamb sacrifice at sunset - two lambs to a day; so 2300 are equal to 1150 days; add the: proportion of sabbatic time, and 23000 evenings mornings equal 3½ times.
These lengths all agree, and embrace, in solar time, 623,833 days and 17 hour; and from the last Jewish sacrifice, end, at the meridian of Philadelphia. at a quarter to three o'clock in the afternoon of July the 4th, 1776.
Another length of time these times is 1335 days. which by the same rule, equal 1810 solar years, and will end in 1878. These two endings begin and close "the time of the end," and answer to the rise of the American Republic and the expansion into the millennium. The 1260 and the 1335 days coincide with the two lengths of the 3½ times.
In breif, Daniel's 70 symbolic weeks embrace the time from the decree of Cyrus to build and restore the city and temple, to the crucifiction of Christ and the final destruction of Jerusalem, which, in solar time was 564 years to the first event and 603 years to the latter. And from this last event, the destruction of the holy place, it was to be 3½ times or 623,833 days and 17 hours, to the rise of the great nationality.
Now iif 70 symbolic weeks are equal to 564 solar years, 3½ times, or 1260 symbolic day, are equal to 1708 solar years, but 1708 solar years, or 623,833 days, reach from the burning of the temple on the 189th day of the year 68 A.D., to the 4th of July 1776.
Let it be remembered, The 70 weeks call for two endings -- the cutting off of Messiah and the destruction of the holy place. But these two events are 39 years apart. The two lengths are made out legitimately by adding the proper sabbatic time of days, weeks, and years, as authorized by the Jewish calendar; for the weeks themselves are "determined," cut short or abbreviated weeks, So that both lengths are accurately fulfilled, and are correctly firmed "70 weeks."
But to suppose, as do most all of the old commentators, that a day means a year, and that 70 weeks are to be understood as 490 years, is to fall short of the events predicted, 94 years in the first case, and 113 years in the second; consequently, their theory is false. But time has not only demonstrated the error in their opinion of the 70 weeks, but also their error in relation to the 1260 and 1290 days that were to follow. If days meant years, pray tell us what great nationality arose at the end of the 1290 years after the destruction of Jerusalem? or what other great event happened that could possibly be construed into a fulfillment? Positively none.
The calculation, being purely mathematical, and guided by astronomy, has been rigidly made to the tenth fraction of a second, and must be reliable. The interpretation of the chronology is legitimate, for it is governed by Daniel's 70 weeks; consequently, the fulfillment is shown in the rise of a glorious civil and religious republic exactly at the end of these symbolic lengths, and that republic is the United States of America.
The fifth government in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, or the stone kingdom, symbolizes our great nationality.
The king of Babylon saw in his vision a vast image, "whose brightness was excellent, and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. "In this terrific image, as interpreted by the prophet, God showed to the Assyrian monarch the whole of monarchy to the end of time, in four great dynasties that should consequently arise, his being the first of the series: "Thou art this head of gold. After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee," etc. It is universally admitted by the learned, that the Assyrian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedonian, and the Roman empires, are clearly and unequivocally represented here, and that, too, in the order in which they arose.
In the fourth or iron portion of this image, another substance enters into
the formation of its feet and toes, of which a more minute and extended
description and the interpretation are given than of any other part of the
dream: "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay,
and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided,' and there shall be in it of
the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the
miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay,
so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou
sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the
seed of men,' but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not
mixed with clay." That the two materials constituting the feet and toes
should always have been understood to represent a division of the kingdom
into a stronger and weaker part of the civil government, is the only opinion
perhaps ever offered by commentators in every age.
The theory of Armageddon alone maintains that The division of the fourth empire, as represented by the feet and toes, symbolizes the ten kingdoms, which according to Bishop Newton, was the exact number that actually did arise from the old Roman empire; but that the iron and clay in the feet and toes symbolized the union of Church and Stale, and nothing else. With this interpretation of the words of the angel perfectly agree, and are impressively intelligible: "Whereas' thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. "That is, as a perfect chemical amalgam with the two cannot be formed, because the ingredients will not adhere, so the union of Church and State will never be happy in its combination -- never a harmonious and peaceful union -- but a illegitimate commerce, unsanctioned by the will of God, and runiounous, to the best interests of the human family. "They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men." That is, a superior order of men will join an inferior order: or the Church shall be joined to the State, and, consequently such a government must always be partly strong and partly broken -- a politico-ecclesiastical concubinage that would curse the nations of the earth.
This interpretation is greatly strengthened by the chronological character of the image, the iron and clay enter into the composition of the feet and toes, after that the Roman empire for a thousand years had stood upon iron legs, a nation of soldiers. The date of the feet synchronizes most wonderfully with the event represented; for Church and State union in the Roman empire began under Constantine, A.D. 325, and was perpetuated with each of the ten-toe kingdoms that swarmed out of the old Roman hive.
Such was the image and its legitimate interpretation, a knowledge of which is essential to a correct understanding of the fifth or stone kingdom.
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
Of this sublime symbol the angel gives the following interpretation: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Let it be observed, the word kingdom, in the prophecies, is a convertible term with government, and must be so understood in this passage.
The absurdity of applying the stone kingdom to Christianity is so very obvious, it is indeed remarkable that the learned should endorse such an opinion. The stone could not symbolize Christianity,
1. Because it did not arise at the proper time for Christianity. "In the days of these kings" must refer to that plurality of kings last mentioned, the ten-toe kings or kingdoms; that arose from the Roman empire. The philosophy of our language demands this sense. But Christianity arose in the days of one king, Augustus Caesar. In point of fact, then, the truth of history for ever forbids any other interpretation. Our great nationality arose exactly in the days of that very plurality of kings or kingdoms that came out of the old Roman dynasty.
2. The stone kingdom did not arise in the proper place for Christianity. Rome arose where the Grecian empire had stood, the Grecian or Macedonian succeeded Mede-Persia, and Mede-Persia was successor to the Babylonian or Assyrian kingdom; but the stone kingdom had no previous connection with this corporate image of monarchy; did not grow up under its shadow, precincts, or presence, but comes from a distance, and strikes the image from without, and, at one dreadful stroke of external violence, breaks the colossal image to fragments; and its atoms, ground to infinitesimal dust, fly like chaff before "the winds of the summer threshing-floors." But Christianity arose within the dominions of Rome: Judea was a Roman province where Christianity was born.
3. The stone kingdom could not have arisen at all at the time that Christianity arose, or it would have risen in the Roman empire also; for Rome at that time embraced the known world. At the birth of Christ, "There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."
But there was a land, my countrymen, where the Roman cohorts were never marshaled -- a land that Heaven had concealed from the cupidity and ambition of her conquering armies. That land is our own beloved America, the only portion of the globe, beyond the limits of ancient Rome, where a great nationality, in its constitution, character, and mission, could possibly answer the true meaning of the fifth symbolic kingdom that the God of heaven would set up.
As the political governments of monarchy were severally represented by a symbol taken from the mineral kingdom in one corporate connection, showing the uniformity of the genius that pervaded the whole, so the fifth government, being political also, is symbolized by a mineral type (a stone) likewise. But being entirely distinct from and unconnected with the image of monarchy, it is very clear that the fifth government is not only a political organization, but an anti-monarchical government; consequently, a political republican government, arising under the supervision of Almighty God. "a stone cut out of the mountain without hands:" brought into being and glorious nationality by a wonderful chain of Divine providences.
The violent destruction of the monarchical image by the stone, necessarily implies political organization and military power. The mild and tranquil genius of Christianity offers no violence to any man, or any nation; but it wins its gradual conquests by moral persuasion. But here is a power dreadful as the enginery of battle, swift and destructive as the bolt of heaven. And did Christianity indeed break down and annihilate the Roman empire? What a failure! Was it not the barbarian hordes of Goths and Vandals from the North that overran imperial Rome? But how are we to account for the stone smiting the image "on the feet?" Why was the attack not made upon the head, or upon some vital part?
Let it be remembered, the feet was the point of the union of Church and State; consequently, the mission of this great fifth nationality was the destruction of State and Church union, as well as the utter and ultimate extermination of ecclesiastical and political despotism from the face of the earth.
Now, we appeal to the assembled wisdom before us, to profound
statesmen, and venerable ministers of God, if the antagonism of the stone
to the iron and clay is not fully answered in the genius of the American
people? Are not the
sentiment and feeling of this great nation more harmonious and universal in their hostility to Church and State union than on any other subject?
Has not the Constitution of the United States, in devoting a whole chapter to the subject, raised an eternal barrier against it? And is not our nation the only enlightened government among the nations of the earth, where the illegitimate union of Church and State is most solemnly interdicted? thus leading our free people to "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's."
While it is, therefore, conclusive that the stone kingdom is a providential political government, "cut out of the mountain without hands," incompatible with, hostile to, and destined in its great mission to annihilate the last vestige of monarchy from the nations of the earth, it is equally evident that "the mountain" out of which the stone is cut is Christianity.
So our great government is founded upon the Bible. Remove this indestructible basis that supports the fair fabric of our political institutions, and we have no government. The Declaration of American Independence evidently recognizes the obligations of the first, and fully embraces the principles of the second great commandment. The smiles of a Christian Sabbath inspire the devotion, and call from labor to rest our toiling millions; while the obligation of every officer of state, from the chief magistrate of the nation down to the humblest minister of justice, is rendered inviolate by a solemn averment upon Divine revelation.
The history of the world confirms the fact, that a nation's religion moulds the character of its civic government. A despotic, superstitious, and blood-thirsty system of religion will form and fashion its political economy after the same model. So a pure, enlightened, and divinely authorized religion has ever been the maternal source of a pure, liberal, and happy civil government.
As, therefore, the four great empires were to be succeeded by a fifth great
government, altogether differing in its principles and character, and as
the United States of America is the only great nation that ever has or ever
can arise to answer the description and fill the mission of the fifth
empire, the conclusion is inevitable, that our glorious republic is the
stone kingdom that the God of heaven was to "set up."