“The State and the Church” The American Sentinel 4, 38, pp. 300, 301.

IN the Christian Statesman of August 22, 1889, Mr. John A. Dodd got off some National Reform doctrine that is worthy of notice. He says:—

“In due time he (Christ) gave his life a ransom for the eternal salvation of the individual, and for the temporal salvation of the State and the family, neither of which would have been rescued from the Adamic wreck had it not been that God had intended to make use of both in building up his spiritual kingdom, his church in the world. The life of each depends absolutely on their attitude to his church. If they do their duty, they will last like the sun; it not, they will be destroyed. ‘For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee (the church) shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.’ The destruction of nations can be accounted for only in this light.”

The principal difficulty with this statement is that it is not true. It does not in any sense accord with the facts. The Roman Empire from Constantine onward was used only for the building up of the church; and in about a hundred and fifty years it was brought to such a condition of immorality and wicked pollution to be blotted out of existence, and that by hordes of utterly savage barbarians; yet savage, were morally less impure than those who composed the Church and State system which they destroyed.

After the ruin of the western empire the Eastern empire remained still as the champion, the support, and the builder up of the church. Justinian was the model builder up of the church of the eastern empire. The one grand object of his life was to glorify the church and to see that everybody in the empire was orthodox. It was so with many others beside him, and yet the Mohammedans blotted out the last vestige of the Eastern Empire.

Charlemagne built up an empire devoted wholly to the service of the church. He “Christianized, or wiped out,” people by the thousands in the service of the church. Thus he did his “duty” to the church and constantly expected that his empire would last like the sun, but it didn’t worth a cent.

Afterward, the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither Roman nor holy, was built up to serve the church, and it did it as thoroughly as that service was ever done, in its service to the church it set itself against God in the Reformation. It too expected to last like the sun, and the church promised that it should, but it didn’t. It was not, however, only in the Reformation that [301] the Holy Roman Empire set itself against God. Every State and every empire sets itself against God when it makes itself the champion of the church, and undertakes to build up the church; and the church sets itself against God whenever it consents to be partaker of any such offices on the part of the State. And when a State and the church thus unitedly set themselves against God, there is produced that which at the first made the mystery of iniquity, and that which ever since has been carrying out, the spirit of the mystery of iniquity. And when the United States falls into this wicked condition, the same wicked spirit will show itself, and the same wicked works will be the result, as in all the cases before it.

A. T. J.

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