"The teachings of the church, for the most part, are far from following the teachings of Jesus. Nay, they are far from recognizing what those teachings are. The organization of the church is planned and patterned upon a policy which is the very antithesis of a true society of Jesus.
"Our Protestant churches are composed, for the most part, of a constituency drawn from the well-to-do classes, and they see nothing essentially unsound or unethical in the economic system of the day. The pulpit, therefore, is rarely free to deliver its soul, if it has one, upon the burning questions of our generation.
"Blind leaders of the blind, both seem hastening to fall into the ditch which lies before our civilization. And yet within the Christian church is the very ideal that the world hungers for, the very power to solve these problems. Infinitely pathetic is the situation."
Within the past few years Protestantism has been making considerable progress in Catholic France; but it is to be remembered that there the term Protestant includes all systems of religion and irreligion opposed to Roman Catholicism.
As might be expected, this in turn arouses the ire of Romanists, especially the clergy, who, long accustomed to full control of the masses, and to having their mandates pass without dispute or criticism, are now furious in their attempts to hinder their people from slipping the bonds of gross religious ignorance and superstition, and escaping from their control. Deprived of the civil power of the past—lost a century ago—and unable to torture or destroy those who protest against their system, they nevertheless clearly show that the spirit of the past still dominates them, and that only opportunity is lacking, and this by reason of a higher civilization and a more generally enlightened public conscience—not because of a higher and holier religious standing.
Words are the cruelest weapons now permitted, and these are used with energy and venom and regardless of the truth. For instance, the Bonne Presse, the organ of the Assumptionists (a Roman Catholic order), and many Croix, or Catholic Church papers, are seeking to arouse prejudice and public sentiment against everything not Catholic, by confounding Jews, Freethinkers and Freemasons with Protestant Christians—charging all with treachery to France, etc.,—and the general name of "Huguenots" has been revived as applicable to all those to whom Romanism is opposed. The inference is deducible from some of the writings, that their authors would like to see these modern "Huguenots" massacred as were the others—for the glory of God and the peace of the Roman Catholic Church.—See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., pages 332-353.
"The Huguenots go hand-in-hand with the traitors of the fatherland and with the foreign foes of France, just as their religious fellows did in the year 1870....The Protestants force their way into the houses of the French people, ostensibly to sell Bibles, but in truth to spy out where the honest peasant has [R2679 : page 244] hidden his savings. They are picking out quarters for the army of the invasion. Therefore, we must keep a watch over these imbeciles and force them to leave our towns....These pious gospel messengers do not propose so much to make converts to Protestantism, as to demoralize our good people and to lay plans for facilitating the proposed invasion of our country. We appeal to the peasants to become new crusaders in the interests of the good cause."
"The Protestant Conspiracy" charges that the queen of England annually contributes five million dollars to propagate Protestantism in France, and thus to make the latter a vassal state to Great Britain. Another work is entitled, "The Treachery of Protestantism." "Treason's Formation" is another of these. It says:—
"The Huguenot is a born traitor. A Catholic will die for his faith; a Jew to save his money; but a Protestant knows no martyrdom....The claim of the innocence of Dreyfus was simply a specimen of Protestant treachery in order to make it possible for England to occupy Fashoda, and William II. to make his journey to Jerusalem. All the defenders of Dreyfus are open or secret Protestants."
"The Protestant Conquest" is the title of another of these blasts of ignorance and falsity, designed to prejudice the populace so that they will give Protestants and the Bible no hearing. It suggests the wisdom and propriety of murdering leading opponents, both political and religious, as follows:—
"The Catholics are too scrupulous. Nobody can bake an omelet without breaking some eggs. No revolution can be achieved without advancing over dead bodies. Do you think it would be a crime to condemn and put to death such men as Zadok Kahn, Reinach, Scheurer-Kestner, Picquart, Zola, Brisson, Yves Guyot, Jaures, Clemenceau, Monod, and Ranc, because they have organized the Dreyfus conspiracy? I confess openly that I would have no hesitancy to vote for the death of this Reinach, etc., and such pastors as Monod, etc."
French Protestants are justly indignant at such unscrupulous methods of opposition, and are crying out for freedom and fair and honest treatment; and to offset it are publishing pamphlets entitled "Away from Rome," and scattering them widely.
But now note the difference between the sentiments of Protestants in France, and Protestants here. Where they are in the minority they want liberty and God's Word to prevail, and appeal to reason and the Bible as in offset to ignorance, superstition and priestcraft. But how is it here in "the land of the free" where Protestantism controls the great majority? Ah! here we see the weakness of fallen human nature displayed; for here Protestants, like the Catholics of France, are most bitterly opposed to any advanced light—especially any further light from the Bible;—not only denying what they cannot gainsay Scripturally, but becoming the more angry in proportion as they find present truth unanswerable.
True, they have not published volumes in opposition to our presentations, but this is no doubt due to two facts: (1) There is no opportunity to confound the gospel we preach with any class of politicians or political aspirations; and (2) they know nothing to say against our position, and fear to call attention to it lest their closely guarded and tightly penned "sheep" should get a taste of "the good word of God," and break away from sectarianism to the "green pastures and still waters" of divine truth. But most of their fears are groundless, for the majority of their flocks are not "sheep" anyway; and the "goats," true to a perverse nature, would prefer tin cans, paper, filthy rags, or any thing of a sensational character—Evolution, Higher Criticism, human philosophy, and "science falsely so called"—rather than the truth.
United States Protestant methods differ from French Roman Catholic methods, but both have the same object; namely, to prejudice the minds of the people under their control who are trusting to them as their guides and spiritual advisers; thus to hinder them from investigating truth on its merits and in the light of the divine Word.
Having mentioned the Roman Catholic method, it is but just that we cite instances illustrating the Protestant method. For instance, some years ago the pastor of the North Ave. M.E. Church of this city made a most furious attack upon the Editor of this journal, whom he had never met, and whose writings he probably had never read—as would seem to be implied by the false statements of our position made by him in a discourse over an hour long. What was the ground for the attack? Simply that five members of his congregation had been baptized by us the week previous, and that he knew, in some way or other, that we believed in the imminence of the Kingdom of God. He railed at the fact that this teacher did not belong to any of the sects, and was not recognized by any of them, informed his people that he had been specially educated so as to be able to guide them in all spiritual matters; and that they should seek no other counsel respecting God's Word.
He then demonstrated his wisdom and ability as "a scribe instructed respecting the Kingdom" by declaring that the second coming of Christ must be many thousands of years future, because in his judgment, this was clearly taught, not by the Bible writers, but by the coal fields and ore deposits of earth, which he thought would last that long.
If the learned gentleman had only thought of it he might have prophesied a still longer interim—millions [R2680 : page 245] on millions of years—basing his calculations on the supply of limestone for macadam and whitewash, and on the supply of granite for tomb-stones. This encouraging (?) sermon on "The Second Coming of Christ" ended with an attempt to arouse the murder spirit amongst the "goats" of his flock and to intimidate the "sheep" with words, understood by all to refer to the Editor of this journal, who was (by request of the recently baptized ones) present in the audience thirty feet from the reverend and learned speaker, who in loud and angry tones shouted, "Do you know what they would have done to such a man eighteen centuries ago? They would have led him outside their city and would have stoned him to death!"
Here is the same murderous spirit manifested by the French Catholics—and in both incited by a bitter hatred of the truth—or rather by a fear of the truth, and a desire to preserve, by any and every means, the human organization they have been taught to regard as divine. "By any means" is none too strong; for we know of numerous instances in which professed ministers of God's truth have most outrageously falsified for the good of the cause, as the Jesuits would say.
For instance, it makes the false shepherds (who seem to predominate) very angry when members of their flocks receive present truth and request that their names be stricken off the sectarian roll because they consider it quite enough and much more in accord with the Lord's will and Word to have it written only in "the Lamb's book of life,"—and quite sufficient to be members of "the Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven," and thus in fellowship with all true "sheep," wherever found. In some instances reported to us the pastor kept the letter to himself, and long afterward charged the one who had withdrawn with backsliding, neglect of covenant in not attending service and hence unworthy of respect or fellowship.
In one instance a dear sister who had been a Bible class teacher of prominence and influence was so feared by her erstwhile pastor that he deliberately, and with much hypocritical show of sorrow, circulated the report that she had "gone insane"—"a very pitiable case." His crafty satanic method succeeded; and her church friends and neighbors "let her alone," for fear they would "excite her" and "make it necessary to send her to an insane asylum." Needless to say, the sister is of much sounder mind than ever before;—of much sounder mind than any who can believe the unscriptural and God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment, taught by the jarring creeds labeled "Orthodox."
It was in view of such cowardly and disreputable methods coming to our notice that we prepared what are known as "Withdrawal Letters"—setting forth the truth in kindly language—which we supply freely to all who desire them, so that each member of the congregation receiving one may be truthfully informed as to our reasons for renouncing membership in sectarian systems; and thus, too, the temptation to misrepresent is taken from the false shepherds whose love for the sheep is chiefly for the sake of their "golden fleece." But those kindly-worded letters are feared and hated as much as the DAWNS.
Space forbids us to mention numerous instances of perfidy and misrepresentation by "ministers" against our publications—especially MILLENNIAL DAWN. Publicly and privately they warn their people against it, and advise those who have it not to read it, but to "saturate with oil and burn it," evidently thinking us so opposed to eternal torment that we would use some kind of fire-proof paper that would need oil to make it burn. Others, learning that colporteurs had reached their city and had sold DAWN to their parishioners, have gone about from house to house, warning, threatening and entreating (according to the intelligence and financial dignity of the person) that they violate their engagements and refuse to take the books, and if they already have them to be sure to burn them.
Why all this warning, etc.? Love for the "sheep"? Oh no, indeed! but love for themselves. They well know that wherever the true light of the Word of God goes their "craft is in danger." (See Acts 16:16-24.) Often they hear of their "sheep" getting into by-paths of sin, but who ever heard of their working themselves into a frenzy of energy on that account? Why then are they so excited the moment MILLENNIAL DAWN is mentioned, or seen in the houses of their sheep?
Their fear is (1) that if their people read the DAWNS they will know far more about the Bible, and will begin to think and to ask questions which they cannot answer. (2) It will show them that they have been hiring shepherds to lead them to the green pastures of truth, who, instead, have been penning them up in sectarian folds and forcing them to subsist on the God-dishonoring doctrines of the dark ages. (3) It will lead the true "sheep" to get out from among the "goats" and "wolves in sheep's clothing," by showing them that the "harvest" time of separation has come, and that the great Chief Shepherd is calling forth his own sheep to himself and to fellowship with all other sheep—free from human creed-pens. (4) No wonder these worldly-wise shepherds resent a teaching which would gather the few grains of "wheat" from a parishful of "tares." It would look bad to call his a wheat-field if there were no wheat in it. Then, too, it would count in numbers (tho far less than they suppose [R2680 : page 246] —for the "tares" take little or no interest in present truth), and their prestige and salary depend so much on numbers; how could they regard DAWN otherwise than as their enemy likely to bring all kinds of trouble to their slumbering flocks by awaking them to thought and Bible study?
This seems to make no allowance for honest preachers, lovers of the truth who should be glad to find it in DAWN or anywhere, and glad to proclaim it at any cost,—some one complains. No, we do not deny that there are honest, God-fearing and truth-loving men in the Christian ministry, scattered probably among all denominations; but, evidently, as at the first advent, the Doctors of Divinity as a class are, by their training and selfish interests, enemies of the true light, the wisdom from above, and friends and patrons of earthly wisdom. The majority are blind and cannot see the true light, and of the remainder a large proportion seem to love the present world, and to be willing to sell the truth for its "mess of pottage." Nevertheless, here and there some "forsake all" for the sake of the truth,—to suffer with Christ, if so be that they may also reign with him by and by.
Nor does it always stop with threatening words: these in small towns are often followed by social ostracism and business boycott too often successful. For instance, a brother wrote us a short time ago, changing his address, explaining that he had been obliged to move onto a farm because his cotton-gin, saw-mill and grist-mill in town had been boycotted until he could no longer earn a living—because of his attempt to explain the truths of the Bible to his neighbors. The charge against him was that he "had too many different translations of the Bible" and "had many texts marked in his Bible which neither the preacher nor his neighbors could find in theirs;"—not being so well acquainted with their Bibles as with their almanacs, daily papers, dominoes, cards and chess.
Alas, poor world! It is still true that "men love darkness rather than light," and that this is their condemnation, leading surely to the great time of trouble with which this age is predicted to end, as the same love of darkness led natural Israel to its great trouble and overthrow, in the end of the Jewish age.
Yet none of these things move the Lord's people, for the same light upon the Word shows not only that the Lord's true people will be hated and maligned even to the end of this age, and that whosoever will live godly must suffer persecution; but it shows also the object of such tests and trials and sacrifices—to fit and prepare a little flock to be faithful and merciful kings and priests of God during the coming age, when with their Lord, Jesus, whom they follow through evil as well as good report, they shall, as God's representatives, "judge the world"—giving to all the fullest opportunity to come back to full harmony with God and righteousness.
It is our expectation that Spiritism, as one of the latter day delusions, is to play an important part in the next few years in connection with the great falling away already begun, in which "a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand." Romanism taught, and still teaches, a Purgatory to which their dead go at death for purification for heaven; and that while there the prayers and paid masses of their friends on earth avail for them to a sooner release—to heavenly bliss. Protestantism at its start, through Luther and its principal exponents, denounced this as a Papal deception to fill its coffers with the money of its deluded people; and failing to grasp the truth that a dead person is not alive anywhere, but awaits the resurrection of the dead as his only hope of a future life, Protestantism took its illogical position still held—that death ends all hope, and that all not fit for heaven go to a hell of everlasting torment. And, in harmony with this, prayers to and for the dead were reprobated—the righteous needing none, and the wicked being hopeless.
It has often surprised us that with the thought that their dead are not dead, but more than ever alive and "hovering" among the friends at the funeral, as some ministers explain (?), there has not been a greater disposition to follow the lead of Spiritism and seek communion with those supposed to be alive and near, and able to assist. The explanation seems to be that Romanists are under the control of the priests instructed who are the saints who may be prayed to, and [R2681 : page 246] instructed that those who need to be prayed for can only be reached or assisted through the priests,—who alone must do the mass-saying and praying. And Protestants have been restrained by the original declaration of the leaders that prayers to and for the dead were both Romish superstitions, unsanctioned by the Word of God—to which we heartily agree.
But the Boer-British war has started a fresh discussion of the question of prayers for the dead. As Roman Catholics, after news of a battle, repaired to their cathedrals to pray for the Catholic dead, and to offer mass on their behalf in Purgatory, Protestants have been perplexed and felt their need of something to offset the hard error of their creed that if the soldier were a saint he went at once to glory, but if not a saint at once to an endless and hopeless torment in [R2681 : page 247] hell. Loving fathers and doting mothers were unable to hide from themselves that their sons, and the army in general, were far from being saints or "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light;" and yet they felt sure that they were far too good and noble and patriotic to be turned over to the care of devils to be roasted eternally: and this coming now, at a time when people are thinking more than ever before, and when human sympathy is greatly expanded, is awakening serious thought in Britain.
As usual, however, the Adversary manages to turn thought into a wrong direction; and so they fail to see that all the dead must wait for the second coming of the Lord and for the resurrection awakening then due, and that then (during the Millennial age) the whole world will be a grand and good Purgatory;—when Satan will be bound, and when so many as will, can have the assistance of the Royal Priesthood in getting rid of their errors and weaknesses, and coming back to perfection by a process of restitution. No, on the contrary, the suggestion is that the early Reformers must have erred in rejecting that feature of Rome's teachings which permits and encourages prayers for the dead. Note the sentiments promulgated by the influential Christian World of London. It says:—
"Here is theology in the roughest; its chiefest problem thrust on you in a fashion which brooks no shirking. What has really happened? Where or what is he who, a moment ago so near, is now at a remove to which our space computations offer no clew? We are all on-lookers to-day at tragedies of this sort, and the questions behind them press us with relentless force. Do our dead still think or love? Have we any sort of relation with them? Can we do aught for them or they for us?...
"What on this subject [communion with the dead] is the position of Protestant Christians to-day? Signs are abundant that the standpoint from which it is approached by non-conformists, not less than by conformists, is a somewhat different one from that held by the Reformers and the Puritans.
"And why should we not pray for the dead? What is prayer, in the best conception of it, but the following of those we love, with aspiration and affection, with desire for their highest good, with the whole best emotion of our soul? What barbarous infidelity has taught us that death interposes a limit to this outgoing? The notion that those who now rest in God are, because of that, beyond the reach or need of prayer is heathen, and not Christian. It is disloyal at once to God, to the departed themselves, and to our own best instincts. There is no position, not that of heaven's central point; there is no condition, not that of supremest blessedness, that is outside the range of love....
"We have neglected our dead, and in so doing have weakened one of the most intimate of our links with the unseen. We have put up in our minds barriers that do not correspond with the reality, and so have obstructed the flow of some of the grandest of the human inspirations. The mind revolts against these limitations. Its prophetic instinct recognizes them as a mistake. The vagaries of Spiritualism are a rough protest against the policy of cutting the cable between here and the Beyond. And that other side protests also. Near to us, on the other side of a very thin veil, lies a great realm of life which has the closest connection with our own. What that connection is we at present only dimly discern. Our organs of perception seem only in the most rudimentary condition. It may be that our later indifference on this side has hindered their development. But develop they must, for they are among humanity's most priceless possessions. A stage will yet be reached when they will be part of the soul's general apparatus, and when, not to a stray prophet here and there [mediums?], but to the common man will it be given to stand with Bunyan's pilgrim on the Delectable Mountains and behold what was visible there."
"Spiritualists have been severely criticized and ridiculed for affirming that the departed are frequently benefited by the advice, sympathy, and prayers of earth-dwellers. We have been denounced for teaching that progress after death, following upon repentance and effort, is possible for the ignorant and sinful dwellers on the threshold....
"Think of it! Spiritualism is a 'protest against the policy of cutting the cable between here and the Beyond!' Aye, and evidently the protest has not failed, it has not been in vain. While the writer laments that 'our organs of perception [psychical, mediumistic perception, or "spiritual gifts"] seem only in the most rudimentary condition,' he suggests that indifference has 'hindered their development,' and he fully justifies us and our long struggle for recognition against, not only indifference, but prejudice, intolerance and active hostility, by affirming 'develop they must, for they are among humanity's most priceless possessions!'
The German Emperor preached a sermon on board his yacht Sunday, July 29, from the text, Exodus 17:9-11. His argument was that as Moses prayed and got a blessing for Israel, so all Germans at home should pray that their brethren gone to war in China might successfully slaughter the heathen Chinese, who should be like the Amalekites. The press report of the discourse follows:—
"The soldiers shall be the strong arm which punishes assassins. They shall be the mailed fist which [R2681 : page 248] smites that chaotic mass. They shall defend, sword in hand, our holiest possessions. True prayers can still cast the banner of the Dragon into the dust and plant the banner of the cross upon the walls.
"Again is heard God's command, 'Choose us out men and go out to fight with Amalek.' A hot and sanguinary struggle has begun. Already a number of our brethren are over there under fire. Many more are traveling along hostile coasts. You have seen them, the thousands who, to the call of volunteers to the front who will guard the empire, have assembled themselves to battle with victorious banners. We who remain at home are bound by other sacred duties. Woe unto us if we remain slothful and sluggish while they are engaged in their difficult and bloody work, and if from our place of security we only curiously look on while they wrestle in battle.
"Not only should we mobilize battalions of troops, but we should also, and shall, set in motion an army of trained people to beg and entreat [God] for our brethren that they may strike into the wild chaos with sword in hand. May they strike for our most sacred possessions. We would pray that God the Lord may make heroes of our men and lead those heroes to victory, and that then, with laurels on their helmets and orders on their breasts, he may lead them home to the land of their fathers.
"Our fight will not be finished in one day; but let not our hands grow weary or sink until victory is secured. Let our prayers be as a wall of fire around the camp of our brethren. Eternity will reveal the fulfilment of an old promise—'Call upon me in trouble, and I will deliver thee.' Therefore pray continuously."
The Emperor and many other militant "Christians" fail to see that Israel was used of God as a typical people and that the duly authorized slaughter of the Amalekites was because their iniquity was "come to the full" (Gen. 15:16), and God would use them as types of evil and evil-doers to be overthrown by the antitypical Moses, the antitypical Mediator, Christ—as Pharaoh and his hosts previously typified the same thing. Similarly the "Land of Promise," Canaan, was typical of the heavenly Canaan.
The Spiritual Israelite is to watch and fight and pray, but against a different kind of enemies and with different weapons—mighty through God to the pulling down of error, and the gaining of victories over sin and self and Satan. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal," says the inspired Apostle—not swords, machine-guns and battle-ships.—2 Cor. 10:4
As for the "Christian soldiers" going to "heathen China" from "Christian Europe" we fear they have not a true "soldier of the cross" among them, and [R2682 : page 248] but few who have any knowledge whatever of the sword of the spirit—the Word of God. They are probably no better than the thousands of their comrades already there and of whose unchristian conduct, after the capture of Tien Tsin, the telegraphic dispatches published say:—
"This day has been devoted entirely to looting the native city [Tien Tsin]. The Chinese killed many of their women to keep them from falling into the hands of the allied troops. It is impossible to cable a description of the scenes that were enacted....American and Japanese troops were the only ones who made any attempt to restrain the civilian or soldier looters."
The Emperor is practically the pope of the German National Church system; we presume he has received the collegiate degree of "D.D.," as did Bismarck. He is evidently another "man of blood and iron." He has surely placed himself, by recent utterances, at the head of the revived ancient order of Christian soldiers of the period of the crusades. The "Boys' Brigades" should all be pointed to this fact;—and be advised to resign and turn in the opposite direction from the general Christian (?) drift of our day. The following from the Presbyterian Banner is to the point. It says:—
"'Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.' Is this passage in the German New Testament? Has the Emperor William ever read it? If he has he must have forgotten it, or lost its spirit, for last week, in dispatching German troops to China, he is reported to have said to them, 'Every civilization not founded on Christianity is sure to be brought to naught. I send you out. If you close with the enemy, remember this: spare nobody, make no prisoners; use your weapons so that for a thousand years hence no Chinaman will dare look askance at any German.' The whole address breathes the spirit of ruthless destruction to the Chinese. The great 'war lord' doubled up his 'mailed fist' and threatened to pound China to pieces. The vain emperor, swollen with a sense of his own importance, seemed to be sublimely unconscious of the violent inconsistency of his fierce paganism with his professed Christianity. He would outdo Mohammed in spreading religion with the sword. There are difficulties, however, in the way of this plan. Christ himself told Peter, who was eager to use it for defending the Kingdom, to put up his sword, and there is no evidence that he has handed this weapon to William II. for this purpose. And further, there are the Chinese themselves; there are 400,000,000 of them, and they may prove a considerable obstruction in the way of William's policy. In fact, the German emperor's plan is about the worst possible one that could be announced in the present emergency. It would consolidate the Chinese and turn them into a horde of fanatics that might easily turn out to be a genuine 'yellow terror.' It is believed that the emperor's rash words will render the cooperation of the powers difficult, if not impossible. England and America will not set out on any such bloodthirsty mission. [R2682 : page 249] When Christianity seizes the sword, it may perish by the sword. Poor old China, in its paralysis, needs pity. Something must be done in the way of chastisement and reorganization, but let not passion seize the sword and sweep it with a besom of destruction. Justice must be done, but let it be tempered with mercy, and let the Christian nations act in a Christian and not a pagan spirit."
"I am absolutely sure that in the future Russia will gain the supremacy. It is also true that, taught by Western genius, the Eastern hordes will yet break in awful avalanches on the West. The greed, the rapacity, the Christless, godless selfishness of European nations will get its reward. All the Christianity that has been wrought in China will be small, counting in the terrible final balance that shall be made against so-called Christian nations, who have poisoned China with opium and made them look upon Christians as only another division of rapacious foreign devils.
"Considered morally, there are two sides to the question. These Chinese are fighting for their homes, their land, their institutions. They know the Christian nations are ready to rob and cheat them; and when they find the missionaries backed up by guns and swords and bloodthirsty Cossacks, by rude and godless soldiery, ready to kill and slay, they are only the more infuriated and determined in the opinion that any white man is a devil and needs to be slain.
"It was not so that Paul won Macedonia and Rome. When he went to Rome he did not say, 'Down with Nero! Down with the powers that be!' On the contrary, he counseled Christians to recognize that here Nero's government, bad as it was, was permitted by God and that Christians should submit.
"It was by the blood of martyrs our church won at first: not by the blood of their foes, but their own blood; not shed with arms in their hands, but shed at the stake or rack or block with prayer on their lips and love in their hearts."