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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THE DAWN of the twentieth century has naturally led to the launching of new programs along ethical and religious lines. The United Free Churches of Great Britain, it is announced, “have been quietly working to bring about one of the greatest and most striking revivals on record.” Their primary effort, for which they have prepared for more than a year, is the conversion of London, tho it expected to extend more or less to the whole world. In the same metropolis Rev. Dr. Joseph Parker has for a week tried to demonstrate the advantages of a religious daily newspaper. In our own land various Union-movements have been started which welcome Jews, Romanists, and Unitarians who deny the ransom, to unite with the so-called “Orthodox” who ignore the ransom. The general plaint of all is that an effort to uplift mankind must be made, and yet they ignorantly oppose or ignore the divinely appointed uplift so near at hand—the Millennial Kingdom of God’s dear Son, the result of the great sin-offering finished at Calvary over eighteen centuries ago, but delayed until now for the calling and perfecting of the elect Church to be joint-heirs with her Savior and Bridegroom in that heavenly Kingdom.
What these various “movements” and “crusades” will accomplish is hard to guess: our surmise is that they will amount to little socially so long as times are prosperous; and that they will amount to nothing spiritually—along the lines of true spirituality—”sanctification through the truth;” because they are not built upon the truth of God’s Word, but upon various human philosophies and theories.
Some, however, seem impressed with the fact that the new century opens under conditions very unfavorable to peace on earth and good will amongst men. For instance,—
CARDINAL VAUGHN DECLARES THE WORLD OUT-OF-JOINT
In a recent address in London he is reported to have said: “The twentieth century will dawn on a world badly out-of-joint and sick unto death. The sense of uncertainty and unrest is universal. Races are exasperated against races. Rival nations have provoked each other to strife by gibes and insults, and men are asking whose influence is to dominate mankind when Asia is armed like ourselves? Will the heathen races prevail against Christian?
“Envy, jealousy, hatred, desires for revenge, avarice, greed of power and influence, have broken out among the nations like a plague of vices that threaten to destroy them. Remedies have been applied, but remedies are worthless.
“The nations called a conference for peace, but excluded the pope. They have forged weapons of destruction; harbored compulsory education without religion; preached the gospel of commerce; of the ‘open door’ and ‘spheres of influence,’ and then dispatched armies to fight the people.
“They have dug passionately into the bowels of the earth for more and more of the precious metals; yet taxation is increased and wants multiplied, and there is a chaos of conflicting cries, but no common agreement.”
THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE’S VIEW OF THE NEW CENTURY
“The nineteenth century goes out in war all around the world. The Hague Conference led some to sing ‘Hosanna!’ and to cry, ‘The age of peace dawns!’ We sat among the doubters; for human nature unregenerated is the same all over the world.
“The Christians are still cutting one another’s throats in South Africa. The Christians are not done cutting one another’s throats in the Phillipine Islands. The Christians and the pagans are but pausing for breath in China.
“Clouds are rising over various parts of Northern Africa, and the shadow of revolution is upon a score
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of nations in South and Central America and on the continent of Europe.
“An epidemic of lynching pervades this country. Prize-fighting is a great popular amusement. New York loves it, and also can breed a race riot. …
“Those premillennarians who think that the world must get worse before Christ can come are solemnly pointing to these things as portents.”
HOW THE NEW CENTURY LOOKS TO A MILLIONAIRE
At the annual meeting of the Educational Alliance recently held, former Mayor of New York City, Abram S. Hewitt made caustic criticism of the rich men of New York City and of the country, and prophesied that unless they changed their attitude toward the masses of society the twentieth century would bring forth a social cataclysm such as the world has never seen. Mr. Hewitt said in the course of his remarks:
“The rich are blind. There is not one among them who is giving what he would give if his conscience were properly aroused. They do not seem to realize that this is a government by the majority. Ours is the only country in which there is universal suffrage. To be exercised rightfully and righteously, that suffrage must needs be educated. The rich in contributing to its education are but building for their own protection. If they neglect so to build, barbarism, anarchy and plunder will be the inevitable result.
“I believe that in the twentieth century the spirit of commercialism will steadily grow less strong and the spirit of altruism stronger. I believe that the rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,’ will more generally prevail than in all the centuries which have gone before.
“If I am mistaken in this—if the spirit of commercialism and greed continues to grow stronger—then the twentieth century will witness a social cataclysm unparalleled in history. It is only by the discountenancing of commercialism and the spreading of altruism that we can safeguard justice, property and liberty.”
How much the above words resemble the Scriptural declarations respecting our day, and their assurances that the growing selfish rapacity will eventuate in that great time of trouble “such as was not since there was a nation,” in which “every man’s hand shall be against his neighbor,” and lead to mutual distrust and anarchy!—James 5:1-5; Zech. 8:9,10.
The closing words of Mr. Hewitt’s address remind us forcibly of Malachi’s words (4:6), “He shall turn the heart [sentiment] … or else I will come and smite the earth with a curse.” Here the Lord puts an alternative, as Mr. Hewitt suggests; but other Scriptures clearly indicate that no such reform will occur, and that the “curse” or trouble will surely come. How refreshing it is to have the Lord’s assurance that the coming trouble (in which the groaning creation will suffer and groan still more than ever) is but a preparation for their introduction to the long promised Millennial Kingdom blessings. How the Lord links the fire upon the tare-field with the speedy shining forth thereafter of the Sun of Righteousness to heal and bless all the families of the earth! (Matt. 13:43.) How this trouble, in which every man’s hand shall be against his neighbor, is prophetically connected with the building of the great spiritual temple!—Zech. 8:9,10.
All faithful “Watchers” may well lift up their heads and rejoice in the evidences which abound on every hand corroborative of what the Scriptures so clearly show is to be expected now. These evidences portend the speedy finishing of the Gospel age “harvest,” the binding of Satan, and the inauguration of the reign of righteousness. Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory to God while patiently waiting for the consummation of his plans, and seeking to become more and more copies of his dear Son and meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.
— February 1, 1901 —