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"THE LORD SAID, WRITE THE VISION,
AND MAKE IT PLAIN."
The United States a Chosen Nation
Dissertation on Economics
REV. T. M. C. BIRMINGHAM
Copyrighted, 1903, by D. W. Pettegrew.
PRICE, TEN CENTS
PRESS OF JENNING? AND PYR ^.
Two Copies Receiver 1
ctoc^. /i - /^^-J
CLaS!^ ^ XXC No
1 1 ^ ^ *^
Despise not prophesy ings. â€” Paul.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. â€” John.
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth the
secret unto his servants the prophets.â€” Amos.
This pamphlet presents the writer's vision of
the United States as a chosen nation. It also states
the prophecy of Christ declaring there would be such
a nation under the New Testament, to evangelize
the world and elevate the human race. Let the
churches, schools, newspapers, and institutions of
government in this land accept the mission and des-
tiny of the United States, to which God is calling
the American people, and this nation will continue
to prosper. In addition there will be such showers
of blessings coming down on us, and from here
spreading worldwide over the whole habitable earth,
as to surpass in glory both Tabor and Pentecost.
Should this work assist in the consummation, and
also lead the churches and of all denominations to
greater faithfulness in proclaiming the whole coun-
sel of God, and particularly in declaring what the
Scriptures teach in reference to nations, the Author
will be more than satisfied.
Wellston, O. T.,
July 2, ipoj.
SERMON ON UNITED STATES.
A CHOSEN NATION.
I. Text and Introduction, .... ^
II. Proved by Experience, - . . . . 6
III. Rewards and Punishments, - - - - 7
IV. Wealth of Nations, - - - 8
V. National Possibilities, - - - 9
VI. Chosen Nations, 10
VII. American Progress, n
VIII. Fall of Nations, - - - - . - 12
IX. Israel in Canaan, 13
X. Isaiah the Prophet, - - - 14
XL Daniel in Babylon, 16
XII. Praying and Voting, 17
XIII. Prophesying up to Date, - . . - 18
XIV. Mission of United States, - - - - 19
XV. Prophesy of Christ, 20
XVI. A World Power, - - - - - 21
XVII. American Destiny, 22
XVIII. Duty of the Pulpit, 23
XIX. Glory of Christ, - - - 24
XX. Future of the Nation, 25
11. DISSERTATION ON ECONOMICS.
I. The Proposition, 27
II. Wages a Test, - .... 27
III. Idolatrous Lands, - - - 28
IV. Mohammedanism, - 29
V. Eastern Churches, 30
VI. Christian Nations, 30
VII. Purchasing Power, 31
VIII. Density of Population, . . . . 32
IX. Soil and Climate, ^3
X. Cause of Prosperity, - . . . . 34
XL Principle Universal, 35
XII. Mormonism, 36
XIII. Political Economy, -37
XIV. Gospel for Nations, 38
XV. Healing of the Nations, - - - 40
XVI. Kingdom Coming, 41
XVII. Government of Cities, 42
XVIII. Spiritual or Machine Religion, - . - 43
XIX. Failure of Israel, 45
XX. American Opportunity, .... 46
THE UNITED STATES A CHOSEN
I. SERMON ON UNITED STATES A
Reported as preached on October 8, 1902, before the Ministerial Institute
in Perry, Oklahoma.
I. Text and Introduction.
Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
people. â€” Proverbs xiv, 34.
This text was first penned by a man who had a
lifelong experience in government. He was wise
above most rulers with the anointing of the Holy
Ghost upon his pen, and the theme here presented
is surely one of great importance. If to do good to
an individual is worth our study, and still more to
benefit a family, how much greater the service to
bring prosperity to the million homes of a whole
nation ? Manifestly that is the doctrine of this text.
It undertakes to state for us the way the industry of
a people may thrive; how the commerce of a whole
nation may flourish, and the very land teem with
the wealth of the harvest. What not only does this
for a people at home, but also gives them prestige,
standing, and influence abroad. All that, and much
more, is included in the idea of a nation being lifted
up and exalted. Solomon here, in this text, asserts
the very reasonable doctrine that righteousness is
the foundation of national welfare; the mainspring
The United States a Chosen Nation.
of a people's happiness and prosperity, and the cause
of causes that lifts them up, and sets them on high
in the scale of progress and the onward march of
civilization. The Lord Jesus Christ came down from
heaven to produce this righteousness in all men and
in the government of all nations. Does it not follow
that, if his grace is adequate for the work, the gospel
is the most patriotic thing in existence, and ought to
be accepted by all men, everywhere, and not only for
the benefits it brings to the soul, but also for the wel-
fare of the land and prosperity of the nation?
II. Proved by Experience.
The doctrine of this text is abundantly sus-
tained, and by the best of all evidence, the testimony
of experience. It is proved by the present con-
dition of every nation on the face of the whole earth.
Surely that ought to be sufficient to establish the
fact. Indeed, there has never been a nation in all
the annals of time that did not verify what Solomon
has here penned. I suppose, too, that I may ad-
vance one step farther, and declare that, for all the
ages of time that are yet unrolled and to come, the
experience of nations will also establish the truth of
this principle. Look to-day over the world, and
see where the hungry are best fed, wages are high-
est, and there is the greatest degree of general pros-
perity among the people, and you will find it to be
in almost exact proportion as the gospel of Christ is
preached and observed. Look again, and see where
the sick are healed, days are multiplied, years are
lengthened, and there is the greatest average dura-
tion of human life, and you will find it to be in pro-
portion as the gospel of Christ is preached and ob-
served. Look a third time, and see where the mind
receives most light, schools thrive, colleges flourish,
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
universities are founded, and the printing-press
makes knowledge accessible to everybody, and you
will also find it to be in proportion as the gospel of
Christ is preached and observed. These are the
greater works, in feeding the hungry, healing the
sick, and opening the eyes of the blind, the Lord
Jesus Christ told his disciples would follow their
labors after he ascended on high and sent upon them
the Holy Ghost, and would continue down to the end
of time in elevating the people of whole nations,
III. Rewards and Punishments.
God holds all persons and all nations respon-
sible for their acts, but there is a difference in the
way it is administered. Occasionally, even to-day,
you may see a just man serving God far down in the
vale of poverty as, of old, Lazarus. You may still
at times see a wicked man, and the wheel of fortune
has him on top until he goes through this world in
wealth, in affluence, and in splendor as, of old. Dives.
Are we, therefore, to infer that there is no justice
with heaven in dealing with men for their conduct
while here on earth? By no means. But if we
would learn of the justice God exercises upon indi-
viduals, we must not confine our observation to the
threescore and ten years they may spend here in the
body. Follow Lazarus within the vale, and see him
ascending on high, and there receiving an ample
recompense for all he endured here in the trial of
his faith. Follow Dives within the vale, and see
that man, who possessed such an abundance here,
now bereft of all things and without even as much
as water to satisfy his thirst. God does not promise
to here always reward a righteous person in their
outward circumstances ; or here always to punish
Thi5 United States a Chosen Nation.
transgressors. He declares that in each individual
there is a soul, and after death the judgment. In
view of what good people sometimes here sufifer
and evil persons often here obtain, nothing is more
just and nothing more reasonable than a judgment
after death. Then does God promise surely and cer-
tainly to rectify everything that has here gone amiss
with the individual â€” amply rewarding the righteous
and punishing transgressors.
IV. Wealth of Nations.
Nations are under a different rule. They are
responsible to God for their acts, but without a soul.
The existence of a nation is limited to time con-
fined to this earth, and never, like a soul, survives
into the future. Hence the justice of God is pledged
to here always reward a righteous nation, or here
punish it for transgressions. The present condition
of the people in all lands proves the principle. Mul-
hall's Balance Sheet of the World makes it exceed-
ingly clear in economics. Who there has the wealth
of the world but the Christian nations ? Who there
controls the commerce of the whole world but the
Christian nations? Who there leads in the manu-
facturing industries of the whole world but the
Christian nations? The lands where the gospel is
preached do not contain more than one-tenth part of
the inhabitants of the world; but they have more
wealth, more power, and more influence than all the
other nine-tenths combined. That one-tenth where
the gospel is preached to-day sways the world's
scepter and wields the rod of empire and dominion
over mankind, world-wide, throughout the whole
habitable earth. The preaching of the gospel, and
the true men and noble women who enshrine its truth
in their hearts and exemplify its teachings in their
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
lives, are beyond question the salt that is saving the
Christian nation. It is the leaven in the meal work-
ing in them for righteousness that brings intelli-
gence, prosperity, and supremacy in its train. How
much higher, then, might even the best of them as-
cend were all their inhabitants composed of moral,
upright people, who were possessed of the grace of
the Lord Jesus Christ, that would make of them wor-
shipers of God in sincerity and truth, and lead them
also to render justice to their fellow-man? '
V. National Possibilities.
Many signs point to the United States as a
chosen nation set apart and ordained of God for
an example to the modern world of the progress
possible under the gospel. It was a desire for
the spread of the gospel that prompted both
Columbus and Isabella in discovering America.
The two great controlling influences in the settle-
ment of this nation were liberty and the spread of
the gospel. Our Supreme Court, after an elaborate
historical review of the discovery, settlement, and
founding of the United States, has in one of its
judgments declared that ''This is a Christian na-
tion."* Suppose, then, the gospel with its grace was
accepted as the rule of life by all officers of the
United States; by the governors and members of
the legislature in every State of this Union ; by the
mayors and aldermen of every city in the land ; by
all the school teachers, editors, army, navy, and the
great body of the American people. Were I to state
the heights in progress and civilization to which
righteousness can exalt a nation where it is observed
=-See United States Supreme Court Reports, 147, in the case of Church
of the Holy Trinity vs. United States. The judgment was prepared by
Justice Brewer, and all the Judges concurred in the decision.
The: United State;s a Chosen Nation.
by a majority of the people and their pubhc authori-
ties, my tongue would have to be dipped in all the
bright and brilliant hues of the rainbow to describe
the scene. Even then I could not do full justice to
the subject. But if I may not paint that scene in all
its beauty, and describe the splendor and prosperity
that would then appear in the land, thanks be to
God that I can point out the way and direct you
all in the path that will best promote the welfare
of this or any nation. Every one who will, hunger
and thirst after righteousness, and steadfastly be-
lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ, shall through the
atonement he has made for the sins of the whole
world, receive the grace that not only brings life
and immortality to the soul, but also promotes lib-
erty, prosperity, and civilization among the people
of any and all nations.
VI. Chosen Nations.
Religion is, and ever will remain, an important
element in human affairs. Like the star of Bethle-
hem, it shines on the cradle of infancy, guides the
activities of mature life, and finally becomes the
staff on which old age leans for support. In some
form it exists among all people, but has only caused
the origin of two nations. One was the common-
wealth of Israel, and the other the free republic
of the United States. You may search into the
history of Greece, Rome, France, Germany, or any
other nation, and you will find, while they all had
religions, it did not cause their national existence.
But it was the gospel brought Israel out of bondage
in Egypt, made of it a nation, and did the same for
the American people here in the United States.
Oppressions in government and what always attends
it, and, in fact, at the root is the cause â€” an unfaith-
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
fill priesthood in the Church â€” were to the colonists
who founded this nation like the whips of the task-
masters of Egypt. Puritans in New England, Bap-
tists in Rhode Island, Presbyterians in the Jerseys,
Quakers in Pennsylvania, Catholics in Maryland,
Huguenots in the Carolinas, and Moravians in
Georgia, had all practically the same experience in
becoming colonists. When the pen of history re-
cords "they emigrated for conscience' sake," it is
only in other words saying they acted on gospel
principles in resisting what was wrong in church
and state, and contending for truth, right, and
justice among men. With the bright angel of hope
to go before and lead them, and the black demon of
despair standing behind to drive them out, they
crossed the ocean, like the Israelites did the Red
Sea, founded commonwealths on the other side, and,
with their faith, sacrifice, and privations, dedicated
this nation to freedom, the worship of God, and
the elevation of man.
VII. American Progress.
On the authority of this text, and many others
to be found in the Scriptures teaching the same
doctrine, I claim the gospel of Christ is here on
earth, not only to save souls, but also through
righteousness to exalt to liberty, prosperity, and
civilization the people of whole nations. The two
most eminent examples of the benefits of this
principle are, under the Old Testament, the
commonwealth of Israel, and under the New
Testament, the free and prosperous republic of
the United States. There is, in many respects, a
striking similarity in these two nations. Counting
the Levites separate, there were thirteen tribes in
Israel, the same as there were thirteen colonies in
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
founding the United States. Both commenced their
national hfe in a wilderness, and with a population
in each almost identical in numbers of about three
millions. From that small beginning under the more
free and wide development of the New Testament,
this nation has advanced by leaps and bounds until,
in one century, it reached the leadership of the
world. The American people have felled the forest,
cleared the land, built the roads, bridged the streams,
constructed irrigation works, dotted the plains with
cities, and from ocean to ocean, have conquered the
wilderness with a speed never before attained. Their
fame also for inventions and labor-saving contriv-
ances has justly spread to all lands. Even now the
grain fields of the world are being cut by the Amer-
ican reaper; the freight of the world is now being
hauled by the American locomotive ; the news of the
whole world is now being carried on the American
telegraph ; and the garments of the whole world are
now being made on the American sewing-machine.
These things that America has produced are only
beginnings of the greater and grander things the
people of this nation are destined to accomplish.
Let the grace and righteousness of the gospel only
be more generally received and observed, and there
will be greater prosperity in the land, more won-
derful inventions produced, and a still higher civili-
zation developed in these United States.
VIII. Fall of Nations.
Having to some extent presented the affirmative
of this text, perhaps it is not amiss to turn it over
and now state the negative of the proposition. It
is a text that readily divides in two parts, so that
the old way in preaching, of firstly, secondly, and
The; United States a Chosen Nation.
thirdly, would not in this instance be suitable. The
first part states the cause of national welfare, and
the latter points out the source of national ruin and
destruction. Nations do not, like individuals, decay
and die from age, but corruption. Sin is always
at the root the cause. Sin is more penetrating than
any acid, and more destructive than any dynamite.
Sin is able, not only to produce death in the souls
of men, but also to blast, blight, wither, impoverish,
and destroy nations. So potent for evil is sin that
historians tell us, nations never leave anything but
ruins. Broken walls, shattered arches and columns,
with the remains of temples and palaces that have
not one stone on top of another, are all, they say,
that now exists of some of the mightiest empires
of antiquity. In all the past, sin has prevailed to
such an extent that no nation has ever existed for
a thousand years. Amid this well-nigh universal
destruction, let it be well understood that there is
in Christ a sure and certain remedy for sin that
gives life to the soul, causes cities to endure and
nations to prosper. More than fortifications, it is
the moral character of the people that causes cities
to flourish and become centers of trade, commerce,
and civilization. More than soil, climate, and the
natural resources of the land, it is the deliverance
from sin this text suggests, and that Christ makes
possible for ''any people," that brings wealth and
prosperity to nations.
IX. Israel in Canaan.
Lest there should be any doubt about the peril
from sin to nations, let me briefly describe what
did occur, and under most favorable conditions.
God once took the people of a whole nation and gave
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
them a land flowing with milk and honey. He
then told them to worship God, use the gospel
means of grace that would make them strong for
truth and right, and not turn aside from his com-
mandments for judge, king, priest, or even an angel
from heaven, and Canaan and prosperity was theirs
forever. The great object of the devil in all ages
is to turn people away from truth and the word of
God. To do that, opens the floodgates of sin and
iniquity and leads to sure and certain destruction.
With a very transparent deception the devil led
Adam and Eve to transgress until they lost Eden.
In the same way, and with one of the simplest tricks
imaginable, he caused the Israelites to lose Canaan.
He got them divided up into sects, and then their
priesthood became so absorbed in preaching on
minor differences that they failed to assert the
supremacy of God over the nation. Under the
narrow preaching of Sect ! Sect ! ! Sect ! ! ! the He-
brew nation perished. Some pulpits among us are,
I fear, to-day repeating the same mistake. They
go from year-end to year-end without a single ser-
mon on the way a nation may avoid evil and its
people become prosperous, although more than half
of the Scriptures are given up to the subject. Surely
there is a lesson in the fall of Israel in Canaan it
would be well for the churches to understand, and
proclaim the truth of the gospel in all its fullness,
that a like fate may never come down on the United
X. Isaiah, the Prophet.
When the priesthood in Israel became so narrow,
sectarian, and unfaithful that they would not preach
the governmental ideas of the gospel in a final efifort
for the preservation of that nation, God raised up
The; United States a Chosen Nation.
prophets. Isaiah was one of their greatest. In
explaining to the Israehtes that the Scriptures are
a guide in government, and that nations were re-
sponsible to God for their acts and the good they
may and ought to accomplish, he used this com-
parison : A man had a vineyard in a very fruitful
hill, and he fenced it, gathered out the stones, planted
it with the choicest vines, built a tower and wine-
press in the midst ; but when he looked for fruit and
some return for his labors, behold, the vineyard
persisted in growing only wild and worthless grapes.
Judge, O inhabitants of 'Jerusalem, between me and
my vineyard! I intend to break down the wall,
remove the hedge, neither have it pruned nor digged
any more; but let it grow up in weeds and briers
until it will be wasted and utterly consumed. Then
when all could see the justice of the proposition
that la..d, well-watered and cultivated, ought to yield
some return for the labor expended, he would say,
The vineyard of the Lord is the hosts of Israel,
and his pleasant plants are the men of Judah. With
a strong hand and a mighty arm he brought us out
of the land of Egypt, settled us in a good country,
where we might prosper and become an example of
the benefits of the gospel. After giving us such
a great opportunity for good to ourselves and the
people of the surrounding countries, unless we fulfill
that purpose, and walk worthy of our high calling,
this nation will surely perish. Tlie Israelites failed
to heed the warning, and even their rulers and
priesthood seemed careless and indifferent about the
purpose for which the nation was established. In
consequence of the general unfaithfulness arnong
priests, rulers, and people, after repeated warnings,
the Israelites were banished from Canaan and scat-
tered to the four winds of destruction.
The: United States a Chosen Nation.
XI. Daniel in Babylon.
No fact comes down to us more clearly from the
past than that, through sin and transgression, na-
tions, either Jew or Gentile, may and do fall. God
wrote this lesson on the very walls of Babylon, but
the blind priests and astrologers of Heathendom
did not understand the doctrine. It was only when
the prophet Daniel was called in that the writing
on the palace wall was explained to the court of
Belshazzar. The prophets were ministers who un-
derstood that nations are responsible to God for
their acts and the good they may and ought to
accomplish, just the same as individuals. God again
wrote the same lesson in letters of fire and blood
on the walls of government over the question of
slavery in these United States. There was the same
consternation in Washington that occurred in Baby-
lon, and inability of many of our statesmen to rec-
ognize the hand of God in the crisis of events that
followed in this land in the early 'sixties. It was
only after the destroying angel with the sword
had passed over the land, leaving a son a dead
corpse in almost every household North and South,
the same as of old in Egypt, that the American
people began to get their eyes open to what is
taught in this text, that God is just and nations,
even the mightiest, must do what is right or else
sufifer the pains and penalties for transgression.
Now we are face to face with other great questions,
and instead of repeating the mistakes of the past,
would it not be best for the press, pulpit, patriotic
citizens, and influential statesmen to open their eyes,
read the signs of the times, and, recognizing that
God is guiding us as a nation the same as of old
when he moved before Israel with a cloud by day
and pillar of fire by night, and all help to fulfill the
mission of the United States?