“What Only Can Be the End?” American Sentinel 12, 28, pp. 433-435.

THE forces which worked in Greece and Rome wrought steadily and only to ruin as their end.

Those same forces are steadily at work to-day among the nations, and to no other end than they wrought before.

The forces that wrought in Greece and Rome are the chief forces at work in the great nations to-day: they are deliberately chosen to be the chief and all-guiding forces for to-day.

All through Europe, and all over the United States, to-day, the leading and all controlling forces in education are Greek and Roman. And by compulsory-education laws it is sought to oblige all to surrender to these forces. But as originally these forces only ruined Greece and Rome, to compel people to surrender to these forces is only to compel them to the way of ruin.

Nor is it only the States schools that are so led; but private, denominational, and independent schools, academies, colleges, and universities, are all conducted after the same lead; so that Greek and Roman conceptions and ideals practically dominate the whole educational world of Europe and America to-day. Greek and Roman literature, ethics, philosophy, art, and mythology, are the supreme models, they are indeed the goal of all intel- [sic.] [434] forces which have worked in Greece and Rome, are at work in our century; why should he say that to what end these forces are now working “we may not know”?

Why may we not know? Do we not know to what end these forces worked in Greece and Rome? There is no room for any possible question, that irretrievable and awful ruin was the only end to which these forces worked in Greece and Rome.

That being beyond all question, and it being also perfectly true that the same forces are now at work in society and nations, how then can there be any possible question that to this same end and no other, these same forces are now working?

Human nature is the same now that it was in the former days: the same in Europe and America to-day that it was in Greece and Rome in ancient days. Human nature being the same, and the forces working being the same, the end can be nothing else than the same that it was before. The material being the same upon which the same forces act, only at different dates, the like causes must inevitably produce like results.

In view of the plain and well-known facts of the history that records the ruin of Greece and Rome as the clear result of the same forces that are at work in the nations to-day, surely it is a willful shutting of the eyes to palpable truth to say that we may not know to what end those forces are working to-day. It will not pay to shut the eyes, even to unwelcome truth, for the dubious honor of being reckoned “an optimist.” No, no; let all open wide the eyes to the truth as it may be, and prepare to meet that which it portends, rather than for a moment to gloze it, and thus we and our fellow-men be unprepared for calamities which, though unwelcome, the truth shows must inevitably come.

However, while professor thinks that we may not know to what end these forces are working, he says that “God knows.” Very good. But shall it be said that God knows that which involves all the interests of whole nations of people, and yet will not let any of those people know?! Shall it be said, and even though said shall it be believed, that “God hath forsaken the earth”? Has he abandoned the nations to blind fate? No: with absolute certainty every person may say, No.

This is certain by the indisputable fact that when these forces were working in Greece and Rome, God, knowing, did tell to all the people precisely to what end those forces were working. He did this then. And with him “there is no variableness neither shadow of turning“: he is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Therefore, being ever the same, and have told Greece and Rome to what end the forces in them were working, it is certain that he has told and will continue to tell the nations to-day what the end is to which these same forces are now working.

In ancient time God did by the scriptures of his prophets distinctly, and more than once, name the nation and kingdom of Greece. By the prophet Daniel, “in the third year of Cyrus,” the Lord told how that the fourth king of Persia from Cyrus should stir up all his dominion “against the realm of Grecia.”

He then also told how that the power of Grecia through her “first king” should overthrow and break in pieces the kingdom of Persia. And then how the dominion of Grecia would be “divided toward the four winds of heaven.”

He told also that in the latter times of these divisions “when the transgressors are come to the full,” another nation “of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences should stand up,” and “break in pieces all kingdoms;” and how that it itself, in turn, should be broken in pieces.

Such was the end to which worked the forces that were in Greece and Rome. God knew it, and told it to Greece and Rome. Such also is the end to which these same forces are now working; and God knows it, and also in the scriptures of the prophets tells it to the nations to-day.

Thus doubly it will not do to say “We may not know” what is the end to which these forces are working in our century. It will not do, because the lesson of the history is plain enough to cause any one to know; and it will not do, because the Lord has told it as certainly to the people to-day as he did to those anciently. To hold that “we may now know,” is only to shut the eyes both to the plain lessons of the history and the plain instruction of the revelation of God given for the express purpose that we may certainly know.

It is very likely that the most eminent scholars of Greece in the days of Alexander, observed that “The same forces which have worked in Babylon and Persia are at work also in our day, but to what end we may not know—God knows.” Yet they might have known, not only by the plain lessons of the history, but from the revelation of God.

It is likely also that the most eminent scholars of Rome in the days of Theodosius and the Valentinians, observed that “The same forces which have worked in Persia and Greece are at work also in our century; to what end we may not know—God knows.”

Yet they ought to have known full well—both from all the history itself, and from the clear statements of the revelation of God. To say that they might now know, was but to shut their eyes to both sources of all-sufficient knowledge on the subject.

Truly all through the history of Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, God did know to what end those forces were working, and he told all those nations just what that end was: and it was ruin only. He had this information written out for their instruction. But when, against this specific instruction, and ignoring the palpable lessons of the history, clear to every observer, the people of those times insisted that we may not know, and the ruin came upon them unawares and found them unprepared, that was their fault—their supreme, unmitigated fault.

It is true that the same forces which worked in Greece [435] and Rome are at work in our century. And to what end we may know, both because of the clear lessons of the history, and because God knows. These forces are working to the same end now that they worked before. God knew it before and told those nations. God knows it now, and has told, and will continue to tell, these nations. That end is ruin. If eminent scholars and other people will insist that we may not know, that is certainly their fault; for the information is abundant, both out of the Bible and in the Bible.

We sincerely admire and honor eminent scholarship. But we must be allowed to remark that it is not the most eminent mark of the most eminent scholarship to ignore or evade the plainest lessons in both history and Revelation, on a subject which most eminently and imminently concerns all the greatest nations of the century.

The same forces which have worked in Greece and Rome are at work in our century, and to what end we may certainly know. We may know it both because the lessons of the history are so plain that none need to mistake; and because God knows, and he has told.

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