Page:Studies in the Scriptures - Series I - The Plan of the Ages (1909).djvu/271

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As we compare the condition of the world to-day with its condition at any former period, we find a marked differ- ence in the sentiments of the masses. The spirit of inde- pendence is now abroad, and men are not so easily blind- folded, deceived and led by rulers and politicians, and therefore they will not submit to the yokes of former days. This change of public sentiment has not been a gradual one from the very beginning of man's effort to govern L t pi- self, but clearly marked only as far back as the sixteenth century ; and its progress has been most rapid within the last fifty years. This change, therefore, is not the result of the experience of past ages, but is the natural result of the recent increase and general diffusion of knowledge among the masses of mankind. The preparation for this general diffusion of knowledge began with the invention of printing, about 1440 A. D., and the consequent multiplica- tion of books and news periodicals. The influence of this invention in the general public enlightenment began to be felt about the sixteenth century ; and the progressive steps since that time all are acquainted with. The general edu- cation of the masses has become popular, and inventions and discoveries are becoming every-day occurrences. This increase of knowledge among men, which is of God's ap- pointment, and comes to pass in his own due time, is one of the mighty influences which are now at work binding Satan curtailing his influence and circumscribing his power in this " Day of Preparation" for the setting up of God's kingdom in the earth.

The increase of knowledge in every direction awakens a feeling of self-respect among men, and a realization of their natural and inalienable rights, which they will not long per- mit to be ignored or despised j rather, they will go to an op- posite extreme. Glance back along the centuries and sec how the nations have written the history of their discontent ia

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