The symbolical earth of St. Peter's prophecy doubtless refers to the social order of things or organized society, represented in the various forms of government now existing. In referring to the last times or the last days, our Lord foretold a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation–`Mat. 24:21` and the scriptures in general show how this "trouble" will be developed, and that it will be so destructive in character that it will result in the dissolution of the present evil, selfish, social structure, preparatory to the establishment of the "new earth"–`verse 13`–founded upon principles of equity, justice and love. The "elements" which constitute the present "earth" or social order, are the socialistic element, the capitalistic element, the labor element, etc. Who can not see that the friction existing between the various elements is constantly increasing, and that it is a question of but short time when the friction will become so intense that the elements, bursting forth into open flame, "will melt (be dissolved) with fervent heat," and thus the entire social fabric will be destroyed? As showing that the "fire" is not literal, we have in mind the Prophet's description of this same destructive time of trouble, in which it is stated that after the "fire" has done its work, the Lord will "then" turn to the people a pure language. `Zeph. 3:8,9`.