The Christian Church or Kingdom of the Saints, that Stone cut out of the mountain without human hands, (Daniel 2) now made all one with the mountain or Civil State, the Roman Empire, from whence it is cut or taken: Christ’s lilies, garden and love, all one with the thorns, the daughters and wilderness of the World.1 ~Roger Williams, Bloudy Tenent (1644)
Roger Williams’ view of the Stone Kingdom was remarkably accurate. He understood from reading church history that Christianity could not be the Stone of Daniel 2 because it had fallen away long ago. In his “Bloudy Tenent,” he wrote, “Christianity fell asleep in the bosom of Constantine, and the laps and bosoms of those Emperors who professed the name of Christ.”2
Roger Williams saw that Christianity fell asleep (died spiritually) when it had grown comfortable and compromised with the state. “Good” Christian emperors had seduced the church and she could never regain her lost purity.
This Stone, according to Williams, had been cut of the mountain of the world in the time of the early church. Something radical had happened when it merged with the Roman civil power, however. The change was so radical it ceased to have the nature of the Stone that would judge the whole world. Instead it became one with the world from which it had been cut, undoing the work of Messiah and doing the work of the evil one.3
Williams’ imagery is from the Song of Songs. He speaks of Christ’s beloved, His Bride, the Church4 as being one with the thorns and the wilderness. This refers to a tasteless and saltless church that is good for nothing anymore, and which will one day be trampled under foot by men.5 Equally so, he knew the day would come when the Stone would be cut out of the mountain of the world, which all the holy prophets had said would be fulfilled.6
Until that time, Roger Williams would only call himself a “waiter” or a “seeker”. His was a costly honesty, for his greatest desire was to serve the God he loved so much, and to do so in sweet communion with all other sincere believers. Yet he knew that until true restoration came through the re-establishment of apostolic authority, Christianity was merely an outward form in which he could not in good conscience take part.