Read this carefully

 

This question was then as it always has been, very far-reaching. When the right was claimed to worship according to the dictates of conscience, in that was claimed the right to DISREGARD ALL THE ROMAN LAWS ON THE SUBJECT OF RELIGION, and to deny the right of the State to have anything whatever to do with the question of religion. But this, according to the Roman estimate, was only to bid defiance to the State and to the interests of society altogether. The Roman State, so intimately and intricately connected with religion, was but the reflection of the character of the Roman people, who prided themselves upon being the most religious of all nations, and Cicero commended them for this, because their religion was carried into all the details of life. “The Roman ceremonial worship was very elaborate and minute, applying to every part of daily life. It consisted in sacrifices, prayers, festivals, and the investigations, by auguries and haruspices, of the will of the gods and the course of future events. The Romans accounted themselves an exceedingly religious people, because their religion was so intimately connected with the affairs of home and State. . . . Thus religion everywhere met the public life of the Roman by its festivals, and laid an equal yoke on his private life by its requisition of sacrifices, prayers, and auguries. All pursuits must be conducted according to a system carefully laid down by the College of Pontiffs. . . . If a man went out to walk, there was a form to be recited; if he mounted his chariot, another.” —  James Freeman Clarke. 5   {1891 ATJ, TTR 149.1}

 

But this WHOLE SYSTEM OF RELIGION WAS FALSE. The gods which they worshiped were false gods. Their gods, in short were but reflections of themselves, and the ceremonies of worship were but the exercise of their own passions and lusts. Neither in their gods nor their worship was there a single element of good. Therefore upon it all Christianity taught the people to turn their backs. The Christian doctrine declared all these gods to be no gods, and all the forms of worship of the gods to be only idolatry, and a denial of the only true God — the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. {1891 ATJ, TTR 149.2}

 

THE GAMES AND ALL THE FESTIVAL DAYS WERE AFFAIRS OF STATE, AND “WERE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE CHEERFUL DEVOTION OF THE PAGANS, AND THE GODS WERE SUPPOSED TO ACCEPT, AS THE MOST GRATEFUL OFFERING, THE GAMES THAT THE PRINCE AND PEOPLE CELEBRATED IN HONOR OF THEIR PECULIAR FESTIVALS.” — Gibbon. 6   {1891 ATJ, TTR 150.1}

 

The festivities of the WEDDING AND THE CEREMONIES OF THE FUNERAL WERE ALL CONDUCTED UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE gods. More than this, “the number of the gods was as great as the number of the incidents in earthly life.” — Mommsen. 7 The “pagan’s domestic hearth was guarded by the penates, or by the ancestral gods of his family or tribe. By land he traveled under the protection of one tutelar divinity, by sea of another; the birth, the bridal, the funeral, had each its presiding deity; the very commonest household utensils and implements were cast in mythological forms; he could scarcely drink without being reminded of making a libation to the gods.” — Milman. 8 All this heathen ceremony Christianity taught the people to renounce, and every one did renounce it who became a Christian. BUT SO INTRICATELY WAS THE IDOLATRY INTERWOVEN INTO ALL THE ASSOCIATIONS OF BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE, OF BOTH STATE AND SOCIAL ACTION, THAT “IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE TO ESCAPE THE OBSERVANCE OF THEM WITHOUT AT THE SAME TIME RENOUNCING THE COMMERCE OF MANKIND AND ALL THE OFFICES AND AMUSEMENTS OF SOCIETY.” Yet with any of it true Christianity did not compromise.   {1891 ATJ, TTR 150.2}

 

Every Christian, merely by the profession of Christianity, severed himself from all the gods of Rome and everything that was DONE IN THEIR HONOR. He could NOT ATTEND A WEDDING OR A FUNERAL OF HIS NEAREST RELATIVES, BECAUSE EVERY CEREMONY WAS PERFORMED WITH REFERENCE TO THE GODS. He could NOT ATTEND THE PUBLIC FESTIVAL, FOR THE SAME REASON. Nor could he escape by absenting himself on such occasions, BECAUSE ON DAYS OF PUBLIC FESTIVITY, THE DOORS OF THE HOUSES, AND THE LAMPS ABOUT THEM, AND THE HEADS OF THE DWELLERS THEREIN, MUST ALL BE ADORNED WITH LAUREL AND GARLANDS OF FLOWERS IN HONOR OF THE LICENTIOUS GODS AND GODDESSES OF ROME. IF THE CHRISTIAN TOOK PART IN THESE SERVICES, HE PAID HONOR TO THE GODS AS DID THE OTHER HEATHEN. IF HE REFUSED TO DO SO, WHICH HE MUST DO IF HE WOULD OBEY GOD AND HONOR CHRIST, HE MADE HIMSELF CONSPICUOUS BEFORE THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE, all of whom were intensely jealous of the respect they thought due to the gods; and also in so refusing the Christians disobeyed the Roman law which commanded these things to be done. {1891 ATJ, TTR 150.3}

 

ALL THIS SUBJECTED THE CHRISTIAN TO UNIVERSAL HATRED, and as the lawspositively forbade everything that the Christians taught both with reference to the gods and to the State, the forms of law furnished a ready channel through which this hatred found vent. This was the open way for the fury of the populace to spend itself upon the “deniers of the gods, and enemies of the Caesars and of the Roman people;” AND THIS WAS THE SOURCE OF THE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANITY BY PAGAN ROME.   {1891 ATJ, TTR 151.1}

 

The candles, flowers, gowns, the taking of the weddings and funerals in the church is the devising of Babylon in honor of their gods. To be separate from Babylon is to come out of all these fanaticism. Its going to be a close call and narrow path for us to take and it will cause persecution that we have never seen before. Dan 12:1 says a time of trouble that has never been.

 

The light we have received upon the third angel’s message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world. The Lord’s command to His servants is: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.  {6T 17.1}

 

There is to be no change in the general features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in the lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.  {6T 17.2}

 

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