But how with those referred to above who have kept Sunday in the past, and the majority of those who are keeping it to-day? Do they keep it as an institution of the papacy? No. Have they decided between this and the Sabbath of the Lord, understanding the claims of each? No. On what ground have they kept it, and do they keep it? They suppose they are keeping a commandment of God. Have such the mark of the beast? By no means. Their course is attributable to an error unwittingly received from the church of Rome, not to an act of worship rendered to it.
But how is it to be? The church which is to be prepared for the second coming of Christ must be entirely free from papal errors and corruptions. A reform must hence be made on the Sabbath question. The third angel proclaims the commandments of God, leading men to the true in the place of the counterfeit. The dragon is stirred, and so controls the wicked governments of the earth that all authority of human power shall be exerted to enforce the claims of the man of sin. Then the issue is fairly before the people. On one hand, they are required to keep the true Sabbath; on the other, a counterfeit. For refusing to keep the true, the message denounces the unmingled wrath of God; for refusing the false, earthly governments threaten them with persecution and death. With this issue before the people, what does he do who yields to the human requirement? He virtually says to God, I know your claims, but I will not yield to them. I know that the power I am required to worship is anti-Christian; but I yield to save my life. I renounce your allegiance, and bow to the usurper. The beast is henceforth the object of my adoration; under his banner, in opposition to your authority, I henceforth array myself; to him, in defiance of your claims, I henceforth yield the obedience of my heart and life. Such is the spirit which will actuate the hearts of the beast-worshipers; a spirit which insults the God of the universe to his face, and is prevented only by lack of power from overthrowing his government and annihilating his throne. Is it any wonder that Jehovah denounces against so Heaven-daring a course the most terrible threatening that his word contains?
The Beginning Of The End.