As the faithful remnant was about to be swallowed up by the flood of water cast out of the serpent's mouth, not only did God stay the power of the serpent by the Reformation in northern Europe, but strange tidings of the discovery of a vast new world reached the ears of the oppressed. And while adventurers thirsting for gold and worldly honor were rushing to South America, God mysteriously guarded and reserved North America "for the spread and the sway of a purer faith. The inestimable treasures of truth, which had just been recovered from the debris of the ages, were destined to find here a theatre for their fullest expansion and for the unfolding of their noblest products." This land should be the land of the free, the true child of the Reformation, and men who had learned the lessons of Christian liberty from God's Word in the trying school of persecution, would lay the foundation of a new government in which freedom of conscience and the right of the individual would be sacredly guarded. The earth helped the woman indeed; a new government arose, coming up out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb. Rev 13:11. And as intolerance threatened this fair land, Roger Williams, a noble Baptist, after enduring many persecutions, finally found in the territory now called Rhode Island (1636) a safe retreat, which he fittingly called "Providence." "He was the first person in modern Christendom to assert in its plentitude the doctrine of the liberty of conscience." Rhode Island was the very colony in which the first Seventh-day Baptist missionaries from London raised up their first church (1671). In 1776 the United States of America declared its independence, and threw off the tyranny of the Old World. Its Constitution, Article 6 and Amendment 1 reads: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." True to its lamblike character, it was the first government to assure liberty of conscience.

 

from pages764-765, History of the Sabbath