Edw. Beecher on Human Society
"A system of the universe centering in god and
the church, according to the Scriptures (489) ... alone so presents
God and his government as to furnish the logical means of effecting
in principle and spirit a radical destruction of those despotic
civil and ecclesiastical organizations in which is the great
stronghold of the god of this world, and which are the chief
impediment to the spread of the gospel and the conversion of the
world. It calls for reorganizing human society in accordance with
the principle of the kingdom of God (491). ...
All hostile rule and authority and power shall be
put down and that all enemies shall be put beneath the Redeemer's
feet (1 Cor 15:24-5) (498). ...
It is not enough that the existing system can do
some good: we need a system that shall give us the power
intelligently to meet and logically to solve all of the great work
of converting the world, and thoroughly reorganizing human society
... solidly by the gospel of Christ, in its purity and power, as
applied to all the relations of human society. (iii) ...
The conflict is a conflict of the heart ... the
subject of this conflict has been no less a theme than THE MORAL
RENOVATION OF MAN. Through a long course of centuries, the Christian
world has been divided into opposing parties on this great question
... the divine and mysterious sovereignty (vs.) desire of urging
society onward in the pursuit of moral excellence." (1-3)
Conflict of Ages: by Edward Beecher,
1853. Beecher was a leader in the evangelical abolitionist cause.
"1. That we are first of all to use all
possible means to ascertain the purposes of God ... 2. Never hope
finally to avert a discussion of the great fundamental principles of
human society, which is called for by the course of God's providence
and the movements of the age. 3. Let the movements of God's
providence decide as to the time of the discussion. ... 4. Employ
the time allowed by Providence in studying the subject, and the
structure of human society ... 5. ... let no amount of popular
prejudice, and no fear of personal sacrifice deter us from following
out our own convictions of duty, in the fear of God. ...6. Let all
discussions of truth be conducted under a vivid sense of the
presence of God ... to diffuse a spirit of holiness throughout the
community; and decidedly and boldly to rebuke every form of sin. 7.
Avoid giving needless occasions of irritation, excitement, and
lawless violence. 8. Aim to diffuse kind feelings throughout the
community and especially to strengthen the bonds of union among good
men. 9. ... A community deeply involved in the commission of evil
loves neither disturbance, repentance, nor rebuke. Their language
is, Let us alone. And any exhibition of the truth, however well
meant, which reaches the conscience will cause bitterness and
Narrative of Riots at Alton by Edward
Beecher, Dutton & Co, 1965 (1837), p7-8.