APPENDIX - The Slaying of the Witness.

NOTE Q, p. 268. The Slaying of the Witness.

Is it past, or is it still to come? This is a vital question The favourite doctrine at this moment is, that it is past centuries ago, and that no such dark night of suffering to the saints of God can ever come again, as happened just before the era of the Reformation. This is the cardinal principle of a work that has just appeared, under the title of The Great Exodus, which implies, that however much the truth may be assailed, however much the saints of God may be threatened, however their fears may be aroused, they have no real reason to fear, for that the Red Sea will divide, the tribes of the Lord will pass through dry shod, and all their enemies, like Pharaoh and his host, shall sink in overwhelming ruin. If the doctrine maintained by many of the soberest interpreters of Scripture for a century past, including such names as Brown of Haddington, Thomas Scot, and others, be well founded--viz, that the putting down of the testimony of the witnesses is still to come, this theory must not only be a delusion, but a delusion of most fatal tendency--a delusion that by throwing professors off their guard, and giving them an excuse for taking their ease, rather than standing in the high places of the field, and bearing bold and unflinching testimony for Christ, directly paves the way for that very extinction of the testimony which is predicted. I enter not into any historical disquisition as to the question, whether, as a matter of fact, it was true that the witnesses were slain before Luther appeared. Those who wish to see an historical argument on the subject may see it in the Red Republic, which I venture to think has not yet been answered. Neither do I think it worth while particularly to examine the assumption of Dr. Wylie, and I hold it to be a pure and gratuitous assumption, that the 1260 days during which the saints of God in Gospel times were to suffer for righteousness' sake, has any relation whatever, as a half period, to a whole, symbolised by the "Seven times" that passed over Nebuchadnezzar when he was suffering and chastened for his pride and blasphemy, as the representative of the "world power."*1* *2* But to this only I call the reader's attention, that even on the theory of Dr. Wylie himself, the witnesses of Christ could not possibly have finished their testimony before the Decree of the Immaculate Conception came forth. The theory of Dr. Wylie, and those who take the same general view as he, is, that the "finishing of the testimony," means "completing the elements" of the testimony, bearing a full and complete testimony against the errors of Rome. Dr. Wylie himself admits that "the dogma of the `Immaculate Conception' [which was given forth only during the last few years] declares Mary truly 'divine,' and places her upon the altars of Rome as practically the sole and supreme object of worship" (The Great Exodus, p. 109). This was NEVER done before, and therefore the errors and blasphemies of Rome were not complete until that decree had gone forth, if even then. Now, if the corruption and blasphemy of Rome were "incomplete" up to our own day, and if they have risen to a height which was never witnessed before, as all men instinctively felt and declared, when that decree was issued, how could the testimony of the witnesses be "complete" before Luther's day! It is nothing to say that the principle and the germ of this decree were in operation long before. The same thing may be said of all the leading errors of Rome long before Luther's day. They were all in essence and substance very broadly developed, from near the time when Gregory the Great commanded the image of the Virgin to be carried forth in the processions that supplicated the Most High to remove the pestilence from Rome, when it was committing such havoc among its citizens. But that does in no wise prove that they were "complete," or that the witnesses of Christ could then "finish their testimony" by bearing a full and "complete testimony" against the errors and corruptions of the Papacy. I submit this view of the matter to every intelligent reader for his prayerful consideration. If we have not "understanding of the times," it is vain to expect that we "shall know what Israel ought to do." If we are saying "Peace and safety," when trouble is at hand, or underrating the nature of that trouble, we cannot be prepared for the grand struggle when that struggle shall come. 2bab053.htm

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