Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
in general was most miserable. No wonder that many of them slew their masters and then suicided, utmost woe overtaking unsuccessful attempters thereat.
Be it noted that the Bible did not charge the overthrow of slavery; but it inculcated principles which, as they were gradually imbibed, as gradually led to healthy reforms. The following were the main ones of such principles: One should not enslave or hold in slavery fellowmen since God created all in His image, and Christ's precious life was the price that He laid down to free all; Christian brethren should not make, or hold any of their brethren slaves; slaves are Christ's freemen; those who partake of the same spiritual food, baptism and communion are brethren, while so engaged, not lords and slaves; master and slave are alike children of God and brethren; all—master and slave—must stand before the same judgment seat to give an account of their deeds. Under the influence of such principles first spontaneously among professed Christians and then by law among others, slavery with the above-mentioned connected evils was almost totally broken up. Christian masters were like loving fathers, freely giving their slaves freedom, the same and pertinent principles endearing their Christian masters to Christian slaves who therefore served them all the better, and in this relationship, of course, the enslavement of Christians by Christians became impossible. Often the relation between Christian master and slave was so tender as to cause the latter to reject the voluntary offer of freedom that they might continue to serve them whom they loved in the best of bonds. Thus by Justinian's times the slavery of Christians among Christians ceased, and among others ceased, was much reduced or was changed into serfdom.
The exposure of children in the Old heathen Roman Empire formed another large field for the reforming operation of the Bible. Race suicide for the unconsecrated is a great sin, and prevailed to a limited extent among the upper classes only of the old Roman heathen. Among the lower classes it was but little
known and less practiced. But among all classes the exposure of children prevailed, i.e., shortly after unwanted children's birth many parents abandoned such in the fields, etc., e.g., near Rome there was a certain field that was the place where such children were left either to death by starvation and exposure or by wild beasts. Some people resorted to such places to collect such exposed babes, especially females, whom they raised that later they might sell them into prostitution. The causes for exposure were various: concealment of the fact that the children were illegitimate, freeing of mothers from the cares of child raising, the poverty of parents disabling them from supporting more children, parental hope that the children might be found by those better able than themselves to raise them, etc. Some of the greatest of the Romans supported the practice, e.g., Cato the elder, Cicero, etc. Roman law, if it did not sanction, winked at it, and for it none were punished. The father of Augustus was, by a ruse, frustrated from exposing his son who later became Rome's first and perhaps greatest emperor. But the Bible's principles condemned such an inhuman practice, e.g., its high estimate put upon the value of the family, its principle that for the natural man a large family is an especial blessing from the Lord, its examples of noble fathers and mothers, its high estimate put upon children as gifts from God to be raised unto good and useful men and women, the high regard in which the child Jesus was held by parents, shepherds and the Magi as an infant, and by the doctors in the temple when He was 12 years old, His love for and kind words to, and on, and Acts toward, children as pictures of the kingdom class, and above all Jesus' babyhood. These principles, inculcated by the faithful as the salt of the earth, as they gradually spread during the 500 years under review as gradually changed babe exposure, first in diminishing it in the Old Heathen Roan World, then in abolishing it utterly after the empire changed into nominally Christian.
The Bible's principle of humaneness stood in direct opposition to the cruelties of the heathen Roman Empire; for, e.g., it is a peculiar fact that in the first three centuries of our era the consecrated, while admitting the propriety of the unconsecrated to partake in combative service, themselves, on the basis of the Savior's precept and example to the Elect to save and not destroy men's lives, refused to take part in combative service while rendering service in relieving the miseries created by war. On this point Mr. Brace, in Gesta Christi, p. 91, makes the following remark: "Le Blant, in his investigation of Christian inscriptions, mentions that among 10,050 Pagan inscriptions, which he had examined, 545 were those over the bodies of soldiers, while in 4,734 Christian inscriptions only 27 were memorials of military men." The stand of Christians on this subject led to not a few martyrdoms; but it had its influence for good. The Bible's influence during the 500 years' period of which we are now treating decidedly diminished torture in legal investigations and the most torturous deaths. It abolished branding of people, diminished the number and severity of scourgings and abolished crucifixion and impaling, the two most torturous forms of execution, the former doubtless for being the form of our Savior's execution. It led to forbidding overhard work and to requiring a day's rest every seven days, very beneficial to man and beast. Its principles led to prison reform and the freeing of prisoners from extreme prison rigors; and it led to arbitration of disputes between nations, classes and individuals.
As a final reform of evil conditions in the old heathen Roman Empire a better distribution of property resulted from the influence of the Bible. At that time there were almost no middle classes insofar as wealth is concerned; for then, generally speaking, the human family was divided into the few rich and the many poor, even as we saw above that poverty was the main cause of the exposure of infants. The few rich were
the aristocrats who owned almost all wealth, real and personal, as well as immense hoards of slaves, while the bulk of the people were as slaves, free laborers and paupers desperately poor. In Rome, e.g., during the three centuries of Pagan Rome under study, the vast bulk of the unenslaved were on perpetual "relief" given by the state in an unsystematic way. Undoubtedly the Bible's teaching on each providing for his own, on each one working with his hands that he might have to give to the poor, on the able feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless, on the blessedness of mercy and giving, on doing good and communicating [distributing], on ministering to the necessities of others, backed by the example of the Ancient Worthies, Jesus, the Apostles and the Apostolic Church, contributed greatly to this end. On the one hand, the Bible discourages pauperism by its exhortations and examples to diligence and industry; but on the other hand, it encourages the able to help the unable. These principles harmonized will overcome pauperism. Hence the Bible's tendency has always been toward a more equal distribution of the earth's wealth. The above-mentioned principles gradually improved the pertinent evil and resulted in bequests being made to better the condition of the extreme poor, in the institution of refuges, orphanages, homes for the aged, the blind, the infirm and the helpless widows, strangers' rests, hospitals, etc., things previously unknown in heathen Rome. Indeed, the opportunity to relieve the poor and unfortunate was seized upon as treasures to be sought; hence it was quite natural for persecuted deacon Laurence when required by the heathen governor within 24 hours to deliver up to him the treasures of the church at Rome, to appear the next day in the court with the church's poor, of whom he truly told the pagan judge, "These are the church's treasures."
The above-given facts, a few among many, prove sufficiently that the Bible's uplifting effects on the civilization of the old heathen Roman world are such
as we should expect a Divine Revelation to have. We will, therefore, now turn to the consideration of its effects on the medieval world, when it came into closer contact with the Celtic and Germanic races, the latter including the Scandinavian races; for a change came over the Roman world through its inherent corruption and the wandering of nations with their inroads upon, conquests in, overpowering of, and settling in it. The barbarisms of the Celtic and Germanic races opened up to the Bible's principles new worlds of labor and conquest; and the heathen customers of these afforded the salt of the earth an opportunity to use its seasoning, preserving and nourishing powers to heal another set of evils, those prevalent in the Celtic and Germanic world. The corruption that here prevailed was not like what the Lord's people confronted in the old heathen Roman world; but was of the kind that flows from the abuse of physical strength, when it is made the overemphasized ideal and prerequisite of right and law; for deeply imbedded in pagan Celtic and Germanic character was the principle that might makes right; for from the practice of this principle the evils of the Germanic races and Celtic races (those of France and Britain) are more or less traceable, e.g., woman's low social status, feuds, private wars, wager of battle, the ordeal, torture, injustice to foreigners, plunder of the shipwrecked, piracy, slavery and serfdom. The principle that might makes right appears in the Germanic character in both phases of the World War, particularly in its second, its late, phase, which witnessed a revival of the old Germanic pagan character advocated and practiced as such by certain Nazis. In this world the three great principles, centering in the one God, in man's worth and Jesus' character and office, as well as other Biblical teachings, wrought wonders of reform as they did in the old heathen Roman world.
We begin with the status of woman in the old pagan Germanic and Celtic world; for in both sets of
races the general evils of the medieval pagan world were much alike. Their heathendom did not debase these two sets of races to the same great depth of corruption as the old Roman heathenism did its subjects. In general woman was there appreciated for her chastity, her intuition, her home keeping, her obedience to her husband and her care of her children; for in these respects the Celtic and Germanic women were famed. But there were evils under which their women as such labored, e.g., tutelage (guardianship), purchased as a piece of property, tyrannized over by husband and guardian, free marriage and divorce at the husband's will. Against these evils, the faithful, using the same Bible principles as were used for similar conditions in the old heathen Roman world, gradually wrought wonders of reform resulting in the change of purchase money into dower, in elevating woman's social position, in strengthening marriage, in all but abolishing divorce, in lessening and then abolishing tutelage, and in setting aside the Germanic ideal that strength gaged worth and civil status.
Another great evil of the pagan Celtic and Germanic world was private feuds and wars. These arose through personal violence, denials of justice, infliction of wrongs and personal grudges, and resulted in individuals, families, clans and even tribes declaring private war and waging it on one another. In such cases individuals publicly sent declarations of war against individual towns, clans, etc., in all of which very much evil and bloodshed resulted. Even to this day such declarations of war, reduced to writing, are preserved in museums. Such feuds and wars desolated large parts of Germany and France, less so of Britain. To reduce these evils stress was by the Elect laid on the Bible principles of preserving peace, of forgiveness, of doing good to enemies, of leaving vengeance to God, as solely His prerogative, etc. They even resorted to ameliorating these very prevalent evils by outlawing such wars during Sundays, during festival days, during the period
between Thursday night and Monday morning and during saints' days. They advocated observance of "the peace of God," whereby in many cases strife was by agreement interdicted for long periods, during which overheated wrath was given time and opportunity to cool off. Penalties and fines were substituted for such private feuds and wars. Veritable crusades of peace were made in France. Pledges of peace like modern temperance pledges-were made. Peace associations were formed to counteract these evils. Messengers of peace went wherever such private feuds and wars were waged, preaching peace, brotherly love and forgiveness. Truces of God, truces instituted for the love of God, were made. Arbitration was advocated and entered into; and peace treaties were advocated and made; and thus these great evils were gradually diminished and finally set aside entirely.
The wager of battle and the use of the ordeal were other abuses that flowed from the German ideal of might making right. If, e.g., in a lawsuit one felt himself wronged or being misrepresented, by the custom of the wager of battle he could interrupt the trial and challenge the judge or the witness, or the plaintiff, if he was the defendant, or the defendant, if he was the plaintiff, to single combat, to decide who was in the right by the outcome of the test of physical strength and skill. And the challenged had to accept the challenge on pain of being declared in the wrong. Sometimes substitutes would do the fighting for the principals; and the winner in the wager of battle was considered the one in the right proven so by the God of battles! The theory, of course, was entirely wrong; but it took centuries to eradicate it, it prevailing in England even into the nineteenth century. But God's faithful people continued unweariedly to preach Bible principles against it, like those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, to which they added others: the folly of expecting God's judgment manifested by such wrongdoings; the certainty of the innocent being defeated,
if he were less strong and skillful than his opponent, etc. The ordeal, which was an evil kindred to that of the wager of battle, was very widely practiced by the Celtic and Germanic races; for the superstitious and the tempters of God thought that by the ordeal, e.g., putting the hand and arm in boiling water, holding a burning coal on the bare hand or in the mouth, walking barefoot on burning wood or coal, drinking poison, etc., the innocent would by God's interposition on his behalf emerge unharmed, unpained and with no outcry, as a proof of his innocence, while the guilty would by God be made therein to suffer and cry out in pain, as a proof of his guilt. It took centuries of effort on the part of the faithful, who stressed the fact that such a thing was foreign to the Gospel, was tempting God, and from many known facts caused the weak innocents to be regarded as guilty and the strong, guilty ones to be regarded as innocent. Here, too, the principle that might makes right operated. The faithful's fight against this evil was so prolonged, because the corrupt hierarchy and clergy of the Romanist church, siding with the popular evil, more or less condoned it; but it finally succumbed to the influence of the Bible.
Torture inflicted to secure evidence was another evil that the influence of the Bible ameliorated in the medieval world and banished in the modern world. This evil was transmitted to the medieval world from the old pagan Roman world, where it was used quite generally, especially on slaves and freedmen, but not on uncondemned Roman citizens, until later in the first century. We recall the preparations made to torture uncondemned Paul, given up when the authorities learned that he was a Roman citizen (Acts 22: 24-29), and the consternation of the authorities at Philippi on finding out that they had scourged and imprisoned Paul, a Roman citizen, untried (Acts 16: 19-24, 35-39). But the tortures that old Pagan Rome inflicted to elicit evidence were mild indeed when compared with those that the Romanist church, especially
through the Inquisition, introduced to obtain evidence for trials. A mere accusation, unknown to the accused, was sufficient to expose him to torture, which was also inflicted on unaccused persons supposed to have pertinent evidence in order to obtain it. Many innocent persons on being accused admitted the charge, even when certain of execution, in order to avoid the tortures, whose pains would force them to accuse themselves of uncommitted crimes and then suffer execution therefore. Over 900 different kinds of instruments of torture were used to extract evidence by the Inquisition, some of them being so very effective in inflicting extreme torture that they doubtless were suggested by fallen angels. The Bible nowhere countenances torture of the accused, which is strikingly opposed to the Golden Rule and to reason; and it is significant that it came into its blooming period when Romanism was dominant, and continued so as long as it had the power to influence states to use it in its interests or to allow it to use it. The Christian spirit was alive enough to prevent the Inquisition from operating freely in Britain, Germany and Scandinavia; but it was quite vigorous in Italy, Austria, France and especially in Spain and its dependencies. It was always testified against by the faithful, who were generally the victims of the Inquisition and other persecuting agencies. Indeed, torture as a means of extorting evidence continued in some countries long after the medieval period, some of it occurring in Italy and Austria during this century in secular cases. But gradually the faithfuls' Biblical protests changed public opinion, until it is about extinct.
Having presented part of the effects of the Bible during the Middle Ages on the Germanic and Celtic nations, it is in order to discuss the rest of these effects on them during that period, all of us remembering that these effects of the Bible were wrought mainly through the ministry of God's faithful people. The first of these effects, now to be considered, concerns
the rights of strangers and foreigners. One of the faults of extreme sectualism and nationalism is their arousing the spirit of despising and mistreating the stranger and foreigner. Both the Teutons (Germans and Scandinavians) and the Celts (French and British) of the Dark Ages despised and mistreated them, e.g., a stranger staying more than three days among them was imprisoned and made a serf of the count in whose territory he overstayed this 72-hour period. The foreigner was even more severely treated, being tortured and then reduced to slavery. This occurred even in the case of merchants who sojourned for business reasons longer than these three days. But under the benign influence of the Bible exercised through the ministry of God's saints, a great change in this matter occurred. Not only was this change manifested in the conduct of the people whose hospitality and good will were gladly shown such; but it worked its way into the laws of these nations, some of which laws were largely clothed in the language of the Bible. Closely related to this mistreatment of strangers and foreigners were the related evils of wreckers and pirates. Piracy abounded on all hands, whereby sailors were killed or enslaved; merchants were plundered; and ships and their contents were seized from their owners. It was quite dangerous for a foreign ship to visit many a harbor, because of such piracy, which extended to such harbors, as well as was plied on the high seas. But a change came over this condition, largely through the influence of the Bible teachings on brotherhood, honesty, industry, mercy, etc., though trade reasons in a minor degree cooperated therein. Such trade reasons were responsible for the formation of leagues between certain cities whereby they defended the rights of the sea and of commerce against piracy, e.g., the Hanseatic League (1150-1669 A.D.), embracing the main German and Scandinavian cities of the North and Baltic Seas.
The wreckers did even worse than the pirates. They set up false beacons to lure ships upon hidden rocks by which shipwrecks occurred and near which the wreckers lurked to plunder the wrecks, kill or enslave their unfortunate victims. Especially during storms did they ply their cruel trade. Instead of pity for the storm-wrecked, they unmercifully plundered and killed or enslaved the survivors. But the preaching of the Bible love, brotherhood, mercy and kindness gradually over several centuries, mellowed the hard hearts of the wreckers, and thereafter the beacons were properly stationed to warn of danger and guide amid them; and the shipwrecked were rescued by life-boat crews and shown mercy and hospitality, and were sent on their way in safety, with wishes of God's blessing and with as much money, etc., as the ability of the rescuers was able to give them. The effect of the Bible upon the laws of the Germanic and Celtic nations was Marked indeed. The whole spirit of these laws as well as the principles underlying them underwent a change for the better. Vindictiveness was taken out of them, and in their place human justice with allowances for human weakness in the wrongers were embodied in them. They were given as Biblical a cast as was possible; very frequently they were worded in exact Biblical language, or in nearly exact Biblical language. Contrasted with the laws previously in existence, they showed great advancement. They taught morals on religious grounds. In a Christian spirit they condemned feuds, oppression and perjury, favored marriage, curbed divorce, bore down on unnatural vices, protected the poor, the shipwrecked, the stranger and the foreigner. If the laws of Charlemagne and Alfred the Great are examined and contrasted with the heathen laws formerly in vogue, their superiority is easily recognized, and this on their face is seen to be due to the Bible's influence.
The influence of the Bible on education is very plainly seen as working in the period that is now under study (600-1517 A.D.). At the beginning of this
period densest ignorance prevailed among the poor and rich, small and great, low and high, a thing much opposed to the spirit and letter of the Bible, which in both Testaments discountenances ignorance and commends knowledge and study. Early in this period the change from the former ignorance to the spread of knowledge set in. Many monasteries became the centers of education. In the days of Charlemagne not only schools, but colleges were established. Alfred the Great strove earnestly to educate the people of his kingdom. Soon after the days of these two rulers in their respective domains the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy German Roman Empire as the domains of the former, and England as the domain of the latter, schools and colleges developed into universities, some of which still exist. Let us not be understood as meaning that education was universal, e.g., serfs and not a few others, even some of the clergy had almost none even of primary education; but those of the middle,, and higher classes caused their children to receive educations; and those showing talent, whether poor or otherwise, were given opportunity to qualify for medicine, law, religion and theology. In fact during this period, though for a while education was limited comparatively to the few, its recipients were an ever increasing number, until the end of this period witnessed large numbers in all walks of life having at least a primary education. Summarizing: At the beginning of this period almost none among the Germanic and Celtic nations had any book knowledge; but as it progressed, through the influence of the Bible an ever increasing advancement in education, both as to the subjects studied and students studying them, took place, until at its end the majority, except the bulk of the peasants, could at least read. Thus in a somewhat different sense from that of the following passage, the Bible has caused education to spread, as one of the effects to be expected from a Divine Revelation: "The entrance of Thy words giveth light" (Ps. 119: 130). It certainly promotes education.
In the beginning of this period, slavery and serfdom prevailed very generally among the Germanic and Celtic nations and tribes, though by the end of the former period in the Roman Empire, due to the Bible's influence there, they, especially the slavery and serfdom of Christians, practically ceased to exist. But the salt of the earth transplanted to the Germanic and Celtic lands began to season, nourish and preserve the social earth as it was forming under the Bible's influence. This influence exercised itself through synodical and councilar actions, preaching, conversation and Acts of freedom conferred upon the slaves, from motives similar to those shown before as acting in the first period. Not only during their life time did Christian Germanics and Celtic liberate slaves; but even more often in their last wills and testaments did they free them, as they said, "for the good of my soul." And by the end of this period, slavery ceased among these peoples, for by law it was forbidden. The matter of serfdom—binding people to the soil of nobles, and requiring of them stated proportions of the earth's increase—was somewhat different. At the beginning of this period there was but little difference between the slave and the serf; but with the gradual freeing of the former, there was a lightening of the oppression of the latter, and that in proportion to the spread of Bible teachings and spirit. Thus gradually an ever larger proportion of the fruitage of their labor was permitted to remain with the serfs; their labor, which was at the beginning of this period a matter of seven days a week all year around, was decreased, as they were freed from it Sundays, holidays and saints' days; they were allowed greater freedom in their home life, and were permitted greater liberty in choosing their spouses and regulating their children. And while serfdom was not ended during this period, the most of it persisting into the next period, the last of it giving way about the middle of the 19th century, it was ever ameliorated as the centuries of this period passed. And that this was mainly due to the influence of the Bible is
manifest from the facts of the case, the pertinent laws and the Christian customs connected with such reforms. Thus freeing of slaves and relieving the main hardships of serfdom were direct results of the Bible's influence during the Dark Ages.
Another Marked effect of the Bible's influence on the Germanic and Celtic peoples was the institution of chivalry and the conduct of its knights, which the Bible certainly was instrumental in producing. At the opening of this period there were widespread robber bands among these peoples. These plundered the rich and poor indiscriminately, kidnapping women, devastating church institutions, killing the missionaries, burning towns and villages—in a word were a plague on all. To counteract such and other evils of a rude and largely uncivilized society, under Bible teaching reforming influences were set into operation to end these evils. Sometime later among such agencies chivalry was introduced; and its members were first as candidates put under a set of rules as probationaries, and then later as full-fledged knights, when they qualified therefore, to which they were given a ceremony of religious induction. Their rules reflect the influence of the Bible. They were oath-pledged to avoid avarice, revenge, fraud, deceit, pride, talebearing and slander, not to fight with more than one against one, to protect, honor, and reverence women and maidens, to defend Christianity, justice, and the virtue of women, unto death, if necessary, to be loyal to their rulers, to relieve the poor, weak, oppressed, orphans and widows, to bring criminals to justice, to watch and pray, to exercise the Christian graces, especially Christian courtesy and gentleness, to keep promises, to exercise a dignified obedience and subordination to elders and superiors without flattery, to pity their enemy in distress, to care for peasants, and above all to exercise Christian benevolence and charity. We have all heard of the deeds of the knights of King Arthur's round-table. With very rare exceptions these knights kept their vows. And the influence of these for good was large, deep and widespread. And
without any doubt, this influence was due to the faithfuls' spreading the principles and spirit of the Bible.
We now come to the modern period—from the time of the Reformation, 1517 to 1878; for as said before, since the casting off of the nominal church, and nominal Christendom in 1878, and the commencement of the verbal attack on Satan's empire, especially since the attack on them by force beginning in 1914, and since the removal of the saints from it and other institutions of Christendom, a gross falling away in faith and practice has set in—a fact that all observers of the signs of the times recognize; for with the saints leaving these, their influence has not been going out through or in these beneficially. Hence we restrict our study of the Bible's effects on society, to the time prior to 1878. We begin with our discussion of the Bible's effect on woman. Her status has differed in various nations of Christendom. In Romanist countries she has since the Reformation occupied a lower status than in Protestant countries, and in these her status has not been uniform. In almost all countries at the beginning of this period she held a status distinctly lower than the Bible sanctions as hers, e.g., in England the legal viewpoint was that she was her husband's property; hence could own no property in her own name, could not sue nor be sued, her husband being answerable for her in law as though she were a minor child, as he also controlled her property, and could use it at will. But under the influence of the Bible, the position of the English wife and daughter, which was much like that of other European wives and daughters, has greatly changed into giving her a legal standing equal to that of man; hence she can answer and be answered in court, can own property in her own name, sue and be sued, bequeath and inherit property, can gain court protection against a tyrannous husband, and can sequester her property from her husband's control and use. Thus in Britain, whose common law standards for woman were taken over from the Saxon laws which, seen in the discussion of the former period's status for woman
in the Germanic law, assigned her practically no rights as against her husband, there has been a gradually nearer approach, since the Reformation, to the Bible status of the wife as being her husband's junior partner and companion. And what has happened in Britain on this score is symptomic of the rise of the Protestant European woman in general. But in America, which in early colonial days gave woman the same status as the British woman had under the common law, woman as such and as wife and daughter, gradually as Bible ideals spread, attained the place Biblically assigned her as woman, wife and daughter; for by 1878 woman in America, apart from the national franchise, exercised the full rights of citizenship, became fully recognized as her husband's full junior partner and companion, and was honored, deferred to, respected with a courtesy nowhere else shown her. And this is a gradual effect of the Bible.
There has been progress as to legal divorce. In the beginning of this period, while a man could divorce his wife, a woman could not divorce her husband. While for the consecrated the Bible sanctions absolute divorce with the right to remarry to the innocent party for adultery only, and for desertion allows a limited divorce, i.e., separation from bed and board, for the unconsecrated it allows absolute divorce for additional reasons, like continued cruelty, insanity, conjugal indifference and disability, refusal of conjugal rights, refusal of support and care of the home. The reason for the difference is this. The consecrated are to be to one another as Christ and the Church; and as only unfaithfulness to, and abandonment of the Lord Jesus warrant a separation between Christ and any member of the Church; so only these two things warrant a divorce between the consecrated. But the unconsecrated in their marriage are not as Christ and the Church; but are married in the sense that the Mosaic Law warrants; hence divorce may set in where the purposes of marriage are perseveringly set aside or made impossible. The marriage of the unconsecrated being a matter
of civil law, it is competent to sanction its entrance and dissanction its continuance in harmony with its judgment as to the best interests of society. If the consecrated are illy mated in the flesh, they are still to abide in their marriage, knowing that the Lord will overrule their proper conduct under the circumstances 'for their spiritual good. Hence they can well abide as they are; but the unconsecrated, having no such incentives f or maintaining wedlock, should, if the relation is beyond their reasonable endurance, seek peace through divorce, and may, for reasons apart from adultery, contract another marriage, which apart from adultery, the consecrated innocent party to a divorce can not do, without committing adultery. But the influence of the Bible upon the unconsecrated increasingly during this period has lifted up their marriage ideals to heights that have in many cases made them decidedly better spouses than they otherwise would have been and have given them a far happier home life than they otherwise would have had. At the same time, through its Old Testament pertinent teaching, it has given the hopelessly mismated among them an opportunity for escape from a bond that is a curse to them. But the Bible gives no warrant to thoughtless marriage and divorce for trivial reasons. It inculcates upon the unconsecrated the duty and privileges of marriage as solemn things which should by them be carefully fulfilled. Hence we do not find, apart from exceptional cases, up to 1878 the gross carelessness in forming and breaking the marriage tie that prevails now in apostate Christendom, particularly in France and America, the latter of whose homes once were the happiest in the world. All acquainted with the history of marriage and divorce from 1517 to 1878 know that the influence of the Bible was toward ever increasingly better married life and happier homes and against easy and careless divorce; and thus its influence wrought a world of good during this period; while at the same time its influence was in favor of divorce for the unconsecrated in hopelessly unhappy
marriages—those in which the ends of marriage were made impossible of reasonable attainment.
The Bible's influence on international law, whereby contributions to international comity have been furthered, has been very Marked. It is noteworthy that among heathen and Mohammedans there has been no such a thing as international law regulating peaceably the relations of nations with one another. Certainly these were non-existent in the old Greek and Roman worlds, and almost non-existent in Christendom before the Modern period. It was especially the third generation of Protestants who began to lay the basis and form the principles of international law, the leader among whom was the great legal light, the Hollander Grotius, who was a devout and scholarly Christian. Previously wars knew no law; hence were' barbarous and cruel; the wounded were feelinglessly neglected; the treatment of prisoners of war had been cruel beyond description; privateering was engaged in on a large scale; and many so-called Christian nations thought that they had the right to possess themselves of heathen nations and lands, and acted out their supposed rights; but gradually through the influence of the Bible's principles changes were wrought; and the inviolability of private property on the high seas became recognized; privateering gradually was given up; the wounded were given decidedly better treatment; war prisoners were given kindlier treatment; wars became less frequent; and methods of conciliation and arbitration were set into operation, settling disputes over territorial boundaries and other international questions. As landmarks in this matter, we may mention the Congress of Paris in 1856 and the Genevan Settlement of 1872. The strength of the Bible's pertinent influence on these subjects was at high tide by 1878, and resulted in creating the Hague Court of International Justice and Arbitration in 1899 before it had wholly receded. Such effects are to be expected of a Divine Revelation.
Slavery and serfdom came to an end during this period, and that as a result of the Bible's influence. Perhaps the worst manifestations of slavery came to the surface during this period through the slave trade and slavetraders, who ruthlessly plied their unholy and cruel traffic in the African Negro. Language is incapable to describe the heart-breaking scenes and experiences that characterized this traffic in its corralling the slaves, in its spiriting them, chained to one another's necks, to the ports, in its crowding them into the dark and suffocating hulls of ships and in its selling in public Markets the hopeless victims of this Satanic traffic. Christian sentiment rebelled against this condition. The names of Wilberforce of England, Gough of America, with those of a host of able coworkers in their crusades against this traffic, will never be forgotten. They rallied public sentiment to a fever heat against it; the former and his supporters secured its being outlawed in the British Empire; and the latter and his co-workers created such a public sentiment in America as ultimately led to Lincoln's emancipation proclamation of freedom for the slaves. Spain, Portugal, etc., gave up their guilty part in this traffic; and before 1878 it and slavery were extinct in Christendom. The anti-slavers continually appealed to the Golden Rule as forbidding slavery; and by their Bible arguments created the public sentiment that destroyed slavery in Christendom. Contemporaneously with this agitation on Bible principles went the agitation against serfdom, which succumbed in defeat before it in the countries where it prevailed, especially Germany, France, Hungary, Austria, Poland and Russia.
The duel is another relic of the heathen Germanic and Celtic nations that persisted into the Modern period. It is certainly a most unreasonable theory that one's honor is vindicated by the outcome of the duel; for in most cases it is the strong and skillful, not the innocent, who triumphs in the duel. God's saints have ever in Germanic and Celtic countries raised their voices against it, and so far prevailed against it that
it became an illegal thing in those countries and could only be practiced in extreme secrecy as to the courts and their officials. One of the greatest American statesmen, Hamilton, fell a victim of the duel at the hand of Burr. Its crushing is doubtless due to the public sentiment created by the Bible. Prison reform is another direct effect of the Bible's influence. When this period began, the cruelties of prison life were most inhuman. tailors furnishing no food nor heat nor beds nor bedding, the prisoners starved, froze and endured torture, unless their friends supplied their needs. The cells were dark, suffocating, foul, low, narrow, short, filthy, verminous and contagioned, veritable torture chambers. Frequently the prisoners were tortured most barbarously, all of which tended to deprave, harden and envile them. Beginning with Howard, who made a study of prison and prison methods, in most European countries, a large number of prison reformers, on the basis of Bible principles, aroused public sentiment against the way prisons were built and maintained and the way prisoners were mistreated, until mighty reforms set in to the great betterment of these conditions. They created the sentiment that prisons should be primarily directed, not to the punishment of the prisoners, but to their reformation; and this reform spread Christendomwide by 1878. Among other things imprisonment for debt and hanging for petty thievery, e.g., theft of a chicken or a lamb, have been banished from legal codes. Practically everywhere helpful methods of housing and treating the prisoners have been introduced, calculated to reform and make them useful members of society. Thus again we see a triumph of the Bible's influence achieved.
The Bible's influence can be seen during this period in the extension of methodic charity and the effacing of much pauperism. Indiscriminate and thoughtless charity is an evil; for it tends to pauperize its beneficiaries and to encourage beggary. The best help that can be given the poor is to teach them to learn to supply their own needs by honest work (Eph. 4: 28),
which the Bible inculcates, as it discourages pauperism (Ps. 37: 25). Public beggars should not be encouraged by bestowing alms upon them, many of whom have been found out to be quite well off. But there are genuine cases of poverty that require Christian benefactions; and in such cases the Bible encourages charity (Rom. 15: 25-27). Unknown beggars should not be given more than food until their case has been properly examined, and then, if proven to be worthy, are to be helped as needed, and especially encouraged to help themselves by such work as they are able to perform. Increasingly such principles have been put into operation. Christian charity during this period has been especially active in providing institutions of mercy for the helpless, aged, orphaned, widowed and sick. And all this has flown from the spirit of love and practical helpfulness inculcated by the Bible.
The influence of Bible principles on governments has been in the way of uplift. Certainly throughout the period under review there has been a humanizing of international relations, a freer intercourse between nations, with a more sympathetic appreciation of their several peculiar institutions and problems. Trade barriers during this period, under the influence of the Bible, have in some cases been lowered, and in not a few broken down entirely, and thus free trade among the nations spread with resulting good feelings; for protection as against tariff for revenue only is almost exclusively a perversion increasingly introduced by national selfishness since 1878. The Bible certainly favors democracy as the ideal government, as Satan has in his empire favored autocracy; and as its influence increasingly spread the spirit of freedom, it spread the spirit of democracy, even though through the backwardness of some nations, it favors for them, until they are ripe for democracy, such forms of government as their conditions require; for be it ever remembered that the Bible spreads its influence not revolutionarily against unideal conditions;— but slowly by an educational process it fits individuals and nations
in character for the more ideal conditions. Its influence has ever been to treat inferior nations and races helpfully and upliftingly, despite the selfish course of exploiting nations toward an opposite condition. Its influence certainly was, in the period under review, in the interests of education of the masses, as well as the classes, and it prevailed to the extent of nearly banishing illiteracy from Protestant countries, while the papal countries, because of opposing many Biblical principles, have succeeded in keeping the bulk of the masses in illiteracy, as can be seen in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Under its influence during this period the liberalizing of government continually increased; and the franchise was given the people in every Protestant land, and in most papal lands, in all of which constitutions were granted the people limiting the power of rulers and increasing the liberty and power of the people. Its influence on the laws of Christendom was always an uplifting and ennobling one. And, finally, as a result of the Bible's influence, governments during this period increasingly charged themselves to advance the physical, mental, moral and religious prosperity, and health of their nationals. Verily, the Bible was in the period under review a powerful reformer of governments.
It did much during this period to suppress intemperance and to advance temperance, to curb the avarice of the grasping, to spread prosperity more evenly among the people, to increase happiness in the home and honesty in business. Its spread of the doctrine on man's brotherhood and responsibility to God for his fellows, enured to the enlargement of philanthropy, to the spread of good feeling and betterment of social conditions. Its insistence on industriousness and helpfulness to the needy enured to progress in invention, prosperity and relief of the necessities of the unfortunate. Its influence was ever in the direction of suppressing vice, criminality, slummery, squalor, uncleanness, disease and pestilence, poverty, lawlessness, discontent and ambitionlessness, and was ever in the
direction of cultivating their opposites. Its principle of love enured to the curbing of national, social, religious and professional intolerance and to the spread of tolerance, liberality and humanity within Christendom. One of the Bible's most signal victories in this period was its breaking up the gross persecution evidenced in the methods that papacy as Antichrist and the Inquisition as Antichrist's handmaid introduced. During the Reformation papal persecution reached its high tide; and many Protestants coming out of Rome brought from her practice of persecution, though in comparison with Rome's systematic forms of cruel torture in its persecution Protestants were mild therein. Persecution is certainly opposed to the entire tenor of the Bible, since God desires a free-will service only (John 4: 23, 24); and its papal forms are a most convincing factual proof of the Satanic origin of the papacy and the Inquisition; for their special victims were the saints (Rev. 17: 6). But after the Bible's principle that it is the people's prerogative to test all teachings and principles and to assent to those only that strike them as true (1 Thes. 5: 21; 1 John 4: 1-3) and after its principle that God desires a free service only (John 4: 23, 24) wrought their natural effects on Protestants, they gave up the bad heredity of persecution transmitted to them by papacy; and where the Bible's pertinent principles prevailed, violent persecution by the church and state soon ceased, except in purely Romanist countries, where it took centuries and the power of the French revolution, with its freedom, fraternity and equality (all three Biblical principles) largely to suppress; it is in papal countries, where the fires of persecution still smolder. Surely all will concede that the Bible's influence secured the suppression of the evils and the inauguration of the benefits mentioned in this paragraph, for which God be thanked.
Even upon Mohammedan and heathen countries the Bible wrought wonderously in removing evils and introducing good, e.g., in Turkey, the Levant, Egypt,
"darkest Africa," Japan and China. But India is the special example of such wondrous effects. When we think of the evils of Indian caste, of child marriage, child widowhood, the burning of the widows with their husband's corpses in the suttee, the degradation of womanhood, the effects of the Hindu doctrine of the transmigration of souls—non-killing of any animal life, resulting in India swarming with deadly animals and poisonous serpents, to the destruction of multitudes of Indians—self-inflicted penitential tortures, the degradation of the untouchables, the harlotry of priestesses connected with the worship in temples as a part of such worship, etc., etc., and realize that through the Bible's influence, some of these evils were eradicated and others of them were started on the road to eradication, and that great reforms were given a great impetus through the Bible's influence, we are again shown that the Bible has in the period under review, wrought such effects as we should expect from a Divine Revelation. On the other hand, since Nominal Christendom in State, Church and Society has been cast off from special favor by God since 1878, and the faithful have been removed therefrom, the great deterioration in State, Church and Society that has increasingly throughout Christendom set in is a negative proof of the Bible's being the Divine Revelation, since where its good effects were once enjoyed by its principles being allowed to abound, evil effects increasingly manifest themselves where these formerly active principles are set aside, as has increasingly been done since 1878.
We have now finished our discussion of the third general external effect of the Bible,—and have found from a multiplicity of evils which it set aside and a multiplicity of reforms which it inaugurated, that its effects during the eighteen Christian centuries, i.e., on the Old Roman, the Middle and the Modern periods, have been what we should expect from a Divine Revelation. Accordingly, these effects come to us as credentials of the Bible's being a Divine Revelation.