VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.
THE RELIGIOUS VIEW.
AS in Christianity the tendency for the past twenty-five years has been markedly toward agnosticism-- every new invention and discovery seeming to further call in question the reliability of all things old--and as ambitious doctors of divinity and professors of theological Seminaries have improved the opportunities thus offered by the tendency of public sentiment to push themselves into notice by their so-called "higher criticism" of the Bible, and as this is leading to a crisis as between those who are Christians in faith, as well as in name and morals, and those who are Christians in morals and name and ceremony only--denying the ransom and its atonement and other fundamentals--so it is with Judaism.
Judaism has been passing through a similar experience. The leading Jews led by Rabbis now call themselves "Reformed Jews;" and a "Reformed Jew" is one who, while of the blood of Abraham, repudiates entirely his faith; while of the nation organized by Moses, denies his Law. In a word, they are generally Infidels, and many of them Atheists, who merely maintain circumcision and other rites as national characteristics, and whose meetings on Sundays are as social or literary clubs.
The "orthodox"--Law-obeying, prophecy-believing-- Jews are beginning to awaken to the fact that he is not a Jew who is one in outward matters only, and they are inquiring upon what grounds the unbelieving Jews claim to be Jews at all.
A leader and spokesman has arisen in their midst, Mr. Leo N. Levi, who as much as seven years ago through the Jewish press addressed the Rabbis on this subject in behalf of "orthodox" Jews generally. His thirty questions on the subject of What constitutes a Jew, the Rabbis have tried, but in vain, to answer, some claiming in substance that for any man to say that he is a Jew is sufficient. Others add that a moral life, but irrespective of faith, is essential to his being a true Jew.
(This reminds us of the similar disregard of the quality of faith amongst Christians of the "new theology" and "higher-criticism" schools of thought. At the Parliament of Religions, 1893, it was claimed that reverence for holy things and good moral character constitute Christianity, and not faith in the Bible and its teachings respecting Christ and his work for men. It was inquired upon what ground the Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists and Confucianists could come together as one Church, and it was suggested that the name of Christ might be dropped as well as his doctrines.)
A Hebrew Convention was held in New Orleans on the 3rd of December of last year, and from the speech of its leading orator, the Mr. Levi above mentioned, we quote some excellent passages which, if he expresses the sentiments of any considerable number of Hebrews, or if his sentiments should make the deep impression which their value deserves, will greatly assist that people in coming to the condition which Scripture indicates must be theirs very shortly; and which will prepare their hearts for the reception of Messiah at his second advent in its Millennial Kingdom majesty. This is the class whose eyes will open first to the light of the Millennial dawn. He said, as reported by the daily press:--
"From their exalted positions the Rabbis in turn lead and drive us, with appeals and denunciations, and we hearken and heed or remain obdurate as the case may be, with never an opportunity to say one word by way of rejoinder. To-day, from this rostrum, in the presence of and in the name of the laymen of our faith, I venture for once to 'talk back.'
[R1762 : page 28]
"As children we were taught a simple faith from a simple catechism, prepared by those charged with the duty of studying, knowing and expounding the religion of our fathers. The education bestowed upon us by our progenitors, we in turn must bestow upon our descendants. We cannot escape the obligation if we would, we would not if we could. Neither can we escape the obligation to be honest with our children, and to require their teachers to be honest with us. It is our duty as it is our privilege, when we have reached man's estate, to catechise those who have catechised us and who will catechise our children. We are entitled to know what we are asked to believe and why. We are entitled to know what our teachers believe and why. And when we ask, we are entitled to replies that even our children can comprehend, instead of answers that not even we can understand.
"I have already shown that the so-called reform rabbis in the United States are not generally in accord, and they are unable or unwilling to define Judaism, and to indicate the common ground upon which they all stand, however great their differences may be upon minor matters. In many instances they have suffered themselves to become intoxicated by the iconoclastic and revolutionary spirit of the age. They have yielded themselves to the superficial skepticism of the present era, which is, after all, but a repetition of the same manifestations at different periods of the world's history. Whenever a man has made great progress in the subjugation of nature to his own wants, he has set up his own reason, his own intellect, as an object of worship. The human understanding is set up by a process of deification to be worshiped by itself. It undertakes to test every proposition by its own powers, and whatever it is not able to grasp, conceive or comprehend, it rejects as necessarily untrue.
"Even in the time of that great philosopher, Montaigne, it was the case, and of it he says:
"''Tis a very great presumption to slight and condemn all things for false that do not appear to us likely to be true; which is the ordinary vice of such as fancy themselves wiser than their neighbors. Reason has instructed me that resolutely to condemn anything for false and impossible, is to circumscribe and limit the will of God and the power of nature, within the bounds of my own capacity, than which no folly can be greater. If we give the names of monster and miracle to everything our reason cannot comprehend, how many such are continually presented before our eyes! Let us but consider through what clouds, as it were, groping through what darkness, our teachers lead us to the knowledge of most of the things which we apply our studies to, and we shall find that it is rather custom than knowledge that takes away the wonder and [R1763 : page 28] renders them easy and familiar to us, and that if those things were now newly presented to us we should take them as strange and incredible, if not more so than any others.
"'He that had never met a river imagined the first he met to be a sea; and the greatest things that have fallen within our knowledge, we conclude the extremes that nature makes of the kind. 'Things grow familiar to men's minds by being often seen, so that they neither admire nor are inquisitive into the things they daily see (Cicero).' The novelty rather than the greatness of things tempts us to inquire into their causes. But we are to judge with more reverence, and with greater acknowledgement of our own ignorance and infirmity, of the infinite power of nature. How many unlikely things are there testified by people of very good repute which, if we cannot persuade ourselves absolutely to believe, we ought at least to leave them in suspense, for to condemn them as impossible is by presumption to pretend to know the utmost bounds of possibility.'
"The innovations which find their genesis in such a mental process as is here condemned are necessarily diverse and without cohesion, because the mental process differs in the ratio of the minds in which they occur. And when to this erratic mental process is added an abnormal thirst for novelty, it is readily conceivable how great and how numerous must be the consequent errors.
"Lord Bacon in his essay on Innovation justly appreciates and gives warning against this tendency, in the following words:
"'Beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change and not the desire for change that pretendeth the reformation; and lastly that the novelty though it be not rejected yet be held for a suspect.'
"It would be easy to show how the greatest minds of every age have reached the conclusion that there can be no greater folly than to limit one's faith to facts that the mind can comprehend and fully explain. It would be equally easy to demonstrate by authority that the understanding or reason can not safely be relied upon as a guide to conduct. If reason is set up as an object of worship or even as a guide to conduct, it should possess the quality of constancy, it should operate uniformly in all men, and in all men possessed of the same data it should reach the same conclusion. But, on the contrary, nothing is so inconsistent as reason. It not only operates differently in different men, in different eras, but it operates differently in the same man at different times. If truth or the conception of it is to depend upon the constant changes in the operations of the human intellect, it is unworthy of man's aspirations. But the truth exists whether men apprehend it or not, and it cannot be measured by man's capacity to apprehend it.
"Mr. Edison, one of the foremost, if not the foremost man of his time, one who has done more to distinguish this age, than any other; one who has mastered more mysteries of nature than any other man of his time, has truly observed that 'We don't know a millionth part of one per cent about anything.' Again, he has said, 'I find that the conceit of man is in the inverse ratio to the square of his knowledge.' This is but stating in a different way a proposition accepted of all wise men, that the greater our learning, and the greater our wisdom, the more we appreciate how little we know, and how much is beyond the capacity of man to know. Nothing could so clearly demonstrate the inconsistency and the importance of reason as the subject of this discussion. Men who have refused and do refuse to believe those things which their reason cannot comprehend or explain, find themselves totally unable by resort to their reason and understanding, to explain so simple and historical a fact as the essential nature of Judaism.
"It is a common error to claim that a want of faith is peculiar to men of great learning and wisdom, and that the enlightenment of this age is responsible for the decadence of faith. That this is an error is easily shown. Faith is no easier or harder now than it was aforetime. The discoveries of this age render it no more difficult to believe the Bible now than in times gone by. The ethical qualities of the Bible are not impaired in the least by any discoveries of science in this or any other age; and as to the narrative portion of the Scriptures, scientific discoveries have not augmented the difficulties over what they were two thousand years ago. It was as difficult for the human mind to comprehend and believe some portions of the Bible twenty centuries ago as it is now. Skepticism has always arisen from [R1763 : page 29] the deification of the human intellect by superficial thinkers who do not realize that with the infinite the most exalted mind compares no better than the lowest. It is true that increase of knowledge involved the decrease of superstition and in the decadence of superstition faith necessarily suffered. Superstition bears the same relation to faith that alchemy does to chemistry. It is doubtless true that chemistry has suffered by reason of relation to alchemy, but it would be the height of folly to entirely set aside and decry chemistry, because it was once aligned with the spurious doctrines of false science.
"True wisdom dictates that we should separate the wheat from the chaff, that we should rid ourselves of the false and guard the true. This distinction which wisdom demands has not been observed by many so-called Reform Rabbis in the United States. With them there has been no preservation or constructive process. It is not to be gainsaid that even those who have departed radically from the traditional faith of their fathers have preached virtue and righteousness of conduct. But upon what basis? They have not derived it from God, nor from his law, but from their own minds. They have based it upon utility, man's nature, man's natural rights, duties, etc., leaving it at last without any warmth or vitality which stir the emotions and influence the heart. The religion which they have taught is like an artificial flower which may deceive the eye for a time, but when closely inspected excites the keenest disappointment.
"There can be no religion without faith, and that faith cannot be limited by man's power of comprehension. Even when it involves something beyond the comprehension of the intellect it is not repugnant to reason, for it is altogether reasonable that revelation and miracles should have occurred for the ends for which they did occur. To deny that they could have occurred is to deny the omnipotence of the Creator and to limit his power to those achievements that man can understand.
"Moreover, the extraordinary occurrences that men reject on the ground of reason were in no sense more wonderful than those which we see every day and unhesitatingly accept. They differ only in their rarity from phenomena that are daily apparent. The faith that is made to accommodate itself to the powers of comprehension in the individual begins and ends nowhere, for, as has been shown, the power of comprehension is constantly changing and necessarily the faith must change with it. The faith that is based on reason alone, as reason is defined by the so-called reformers, is in the highest sense unreasonable, for it has no stability and cannot be imparted to others. No man can teach a faith that has such narrow limitations, neither can he inspire faith in his reason, for to inspire faith in his reason he must have reason in his faith. The Jews in America cannot with safety permit the demoralization which exists in their synagogues to continue. If they desire to preserve their ancient religion and impart it to their children, they must insist that their spiritual leaders shall define that religion, adhere to it themselves, and teach it to the congregations. Such a demand made by the members of each congregation upon their respective ministers will, doubtless, result in much temporary demoralization, acrimony and strife. Many of those who are now posing as Jewish Rabbis will doubtless find that they must recede from some of the propositions they have held, or must separate themselves from Judaism. But when that is accomplished we will no longer see the sacred doctrines of Judaism assailed from Jewish pulpits to Jewish hearers by so-called Jewish Rabbis. Time and again have the priests, among the Jews, taught false doctrines, time and again have they been compelled to recant or depart from the Jewish fold.
"When Ezra came, he found the law being violated by the priests, and disregarded by the people, and with the aid of Nehemiah, he drove out the false priests and led the people back to an observance of the law. History repeats itself and in this country there will arise some one who, animated with the spirit that governed the life of Ezra, will point out to the people wherein they are disregarding the law, and by inspiring the people with love and obedience for the law will cause them to scourge from the pulpits the false priests who are scandalizing the ancient faith. The people are ripe for the coming of such a leader. They have come to distrust their Rabbis. They have come to regard with indifference the doctrines which are preached from the pulpit. They find themselves unable to teach morality to their children except upon grounds of expediency. They find in short that they have departed from their ancient bearings, and are drifting without rudder or compass; they are beginning to look with suspicion upon Rabbis who recommend themselves almost exclusively by their skill in oratory, by their grace of diction, by their capacity to entertain, but who are wanting in the true elements of the ideal Rabbi.
"The ideal Rabbi, for whose coming they are longing, will be a man imbued with a perfect faith in God's law as written in Torah; he will study it with a broad and liberal [R1764 : page 29] mind, seeking always to comprehend the will of the Creator to the end that he may observe it; he will be imbued with this faith and filled with this understanding, devoting himself to teaching and practicing the ancient religion, not as a mere matter of form, but as a vital and forceful agency to accomplish the true development of man's highest nature. To him eloquence will consist in deeds, not words; to him entertainment will only be incident to instruction; to him theology only an aid to piety; to him ceremonies will be divinely ordered means to a divinely ordered end; to him the human intellect will be infinitely small compared with the infinite mind of God; to him man will be most clearly distinguished from the animal in that he has received by revelation the will of God. Such a man believing, following, teaching and practicing the doctrine, the rites, and the ceremonies of Judaism will stand forth before the eyes of the Jews as a leader to be followed. Around him will be gathered disciples eager to learn and eager to follow, and the multitude will take from his lips, and from the lips of his disciples, the truths which have been hidden from them so long. And as in the days of Ezra, after many years of indifference the people will gather in the temples to pray with a truly worshipful spirit. It is only then that the doubts, the vexations, the groanings of spirit which now so commonly manifest themselves among the people will disappear; then will the people rest their doubts, their difficulties and their troubles upon the altar of their faith, accepting whatever betides as the will of their Creator."
Amen! Say we, and add, Under such a leader the outcasts
of Israel will again become the objects of divine favor.
Out of Zion shall come forth the Deliverer, and he shall
turn away ungodliness from Jacob. It is the Messiah that
Israel needs. No other competent rabbi will be found.
Thank God that the set time to remember and bless Israel
is nigh; soon they shall be saved from their blindness, and
"what shall the receiving of them be but life from the
dead?" "God hath concluded them all in unbelief that he
might have mercy upon all."--Rom. 11:15,26-31.
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SEEKING FELLOWSHIP WITH ROME.
The following letters show the tendency of Protestants to cease protesting and to seek reconciliation as true daughters of their dear "Mother," the Church of Rome.
"Dear Cardinal:--You are, without doubt, familiar with and interested in the fact that there is a movement among the Protestant churches toward reunion. If such a reunion is to take place, why may it not include the Roman Catholic church? Has not the Roman church some foundation to propose upon which we may all stand? Can not she meet us with concessions which may be temporary, if she believes us wrong, until we learn of Christ and his plans more perfectly?
"Of one thing I feel sure, that personally I have a growing tendency to look more and more carefully for the good in all branches of the Christian church, and I apprehend that I am not alone in this. Sincerely yours,
Geo. W. King, First M. E. Church."
To this the Cardinal replied as follows:
Cardinal's Residence, Baltimore.
"Rev. Geo. W. King, Dear Sir:--In reply to your favor I beg to say that your aspirations for the reunion of Christendom are worthy of all praise.
"This reunion would be only fragmentary if the Catholic church were excluded.
"It would also be impossible; for there can be no union possible without a solid Scriptural basis, and that is found in the recognition of Peter and his successor as the visible head of the church.
"There can be no stable government without a head, either in civil, military or ecclesiastical life. Every State must have its governor, and every town must have its mayor or municipal chief with some title.
"If the churches of the world look for a head, where will they find one with the standard of authority or prescription except the Bishop of Rome?--not in Canterbury or Constantinople.
"As for the terms of reunion, they would be easier than is commonly imagined. The Catholic church holds to all the positive doctrines of all the Protestant churches, and the acknowledgment of the Pope's judicial supremacy would make the way easy for accepting her other doctrines. You are nearer to us than you imagine. Many doctrines are ascribed to the church which she repudiates.
Faithfully yours in Christ, J. Card. Gibbons."
To this the following was sent in reply and by consent of both gentlemen the letters were made public in the interest of the union desired.
"Dear Cardinal: Your reply has been read with much interest. May I not now inquire if it would not be a wise and valuable thing for the Catholic church to set forth to the Protestant churches a possible basis of union (describing the matter in sufficient detail) somewhat after the order of the Chicago Lambeth propositions of the Episcopal church? I know how much the Methodist church, and indeed the entire Christian church, is misunderstood by many, and I conceive it more than possible, inevitably, that the Catholic church should likewise be misunderstood and misjudged in many things. Cannot the Catholic church correct this misunderstanding on the part of Protestants to a large degree at least, and would not this hasten the desired reunion?
"I believe the present divided condition of Christendom to be full of folly, shame and disgrace, and have no objection to a central authority under certain conditions of limitation or restraint.
Sincerely yours, Geo. W. King."
ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEW OF PROTESTANTISM.
The Roman Catholic view of Protestantism, and its present tendency Romeward, is commented upon by the Catholic Mirror in a manner that speaks for itself of the "Mother's" (Rev. 17:5) view of her wayward "daughters," and their inability to keep house unless they more closely pattern after her crafty methods. They will not return to her, however, but they will unite themselves and more independently follow her deceitful policy. The Mirror says:--
"In a recent article under the title of 'Religious Fads' the writer endeavored to show that the intelligent minds of the day are drifting from Protestantism into any new phase of belief which may claim their allegiance as satisfying the moral and intellectual cravings.
"Upon consideration, the subject broadens its scope, taking in not only the large percentage of gifted men, but all the rank and file, the mediocre intelligence and the illiterate that go to make up the Demos--the masses.
"Sociology has become the leading study of the age as well as its controversy. Before it the apparent conflict of religion and science fades into insignificance. As a writer in the Westminster Review has put it:
"'The arena has changed from the professor's chair to the Trades-union, the Socialist club, the Anarchist den. The whole social body is gravitating toward the scene of strife. The pace of the whole thing is quickening till sober judgment and cool measures become almost impossible. It is a battle between Briareus and the gods. Briareus, the many-headed and many-handed giant of Labor, and the gods of Plutocracy.'
"'Can religion nerve and deliver this generation, face to face with dangers so threatening?'
"This many-handed and many-headed giant [the labor problem] has risen to such a degree of prominence in the social world that its voice must be heard. This age is essentially the age of the people, and the wage-earners and bread-winners constitute a very large percentage of the people as compared with the owners of capital.
"Each succeeding year witnesses new troubles and disasters growing out of the conflict of labor with capital, some of the most harrowing results of which are the destruction of life and property. The State is called upon to suppress violence; punishment is justly meted out to the offenders, but the trouble has not ended. Arbitration is resorted to, and the difficulties are presumably settled. Would to God that so easy a solution were possible! The wound is only partially healed, it is bleeding beneath, for the cause of the evil has not been eradicated.
"In this dissatisfied and discontented condition, led on by the counsel of malignant men, the sons of toil band together and meditate the overthrow of all good order and of society.
WHO SHALL LEAD THEM?
"From the history of the past, it is not difficult to understand which has the greater hold upon the masses, Protestantism or Catholicism.
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"Not many years ago all England was aroused by one of the greatest labor troubles the world has witnessed. In vain did the State exercise its power to suppress it. The giant was increasing in proportions day by day. The ministers and bishops of the established church lifted their voices in protest--they were unheard. The saintly archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Manning, left the quiet of his retired life, and going among the people, many of whom were not of his flock, he spoke to the excited multitudes, condoled with their misfortunes, gave of his scanty means to their immediate relief, and counseled temperance and patience. The result was instantaneous. The people who had shortly before threatened destruction to the nation, who were bringing upon themselves endless woe and misfortune, retired peacefully to their homes and the trouble subsided as quickly as it had originated. [R1765 : page 31]
"Witness again not later than last summer in our own land the enormous proportions of the railroad strike, and the prominent part which the Catholic clergy took in influencing the sons of toil to desist from unlawful acts. Will it be said that force of arms had greater power than the timely admonition of God's anointed?
"Has Protestantism produced a treatise upon the labor problem which from a purely ethical and social standpoint can compare with the now celebrated Encyclical of our holy Father, Pope Leo XIII., in which he, the head of millions of people over the whole face of the globe, comprising alike the rich and the poor, capitalists and laboring men, sets forth in incontrovertible terms the individual rights of each, the principles which must guide them in seeking the desired results, and the evils which will certainly follow from the rejection of the said principles. Truly it is the Catholic church who is the mother of them all.
"The day-star of Protestantism is waning. She has lost her hold upon the foremost intellects of the day who seek refuge in some of the numerous fads of the time. She has lost her hold upon the masses by her indifference to their wants and social grievances.
"With the lapse of a generation, or perhaps sooner, who shall say but that Protestantism is a thing of the past, buried without epitaph or memorial other than the sad recollection of the once unprofitable existence?"
Without offering either denials or excuses for Protestantism we can assure the laboring classes and the capitalists in the light of history past and present that the policy of the church of Rome is thoroughly selfish. She squeezes large sums from the rich, but craftily remembers that the pennies and dimes wrung from the poorest millions of the civilized world amount in the aggregate to more than the larger sums from the fewer wealthy. She now as always stands aloof from both classes, offering the one class immunity from present difficulties and the other quicker release from purgatorial pains upon condition that they fill her coffers and recognize her authority. She prefers the position of Arbitrator, because there she can hold control of all parties and manipulate matters the better in her own interest.
Papacy, with Satanic cunning, balances herself upon every great public question, so that she can speak for either capital or labor, government or people as may seem best policy at the moment, to keep herself in favor with the majority. She builds orphanages and hospitals wherever they will pay, by giving her not only a reputation for charity, but by drawing from the public treasury large sums of money for their support,--and for other uses.
If we want to see evidences of her love for the poor and the ignorant we must look to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Western Ireland, Mexico and all of Central and South America. She loves them so much that she keeps them poor and ignorant. And it is the millions of these, her blinded dupes, that chiefly threaten society, and the control of whom the Catholic priesthood frequently use to their own advantage as above cited. A leading iron manufacturer (a Lutheran) told the Editor that his firm always contributed liberally to the support of the Catholic church in the neighborhood of his mill; because "no one else can control those ignorant Catholic laborers, who necessarily form a large part of the employees at every mill."
In Mexico and Brazil the government has had to interfere and stop the priests from robbing the poor benighted laboring people who, after selling their produce, would give liberally for Masses to get their relatives out of Purgatory and to secure for themselves Indulgences and then get drunk and squander the remainder amongst storekeepers until they could not pay their government taxes. The poorest servant girl is required to go regularly to Masses and would be insulted and refused a seat if she did not put at least ten cents into the treasury.
This is the good "Mother," and these are her good methods for holding down the masses by the screws of ignorance and superstition which she will teach Protestants to copy so as to bring back the peace of ignorance.
THE ROMAN CHRISTIANS PROTESTANTS DESIRE TO
The saloon business, which is spreading poverty, disease and discontent throughout the whole world, yields large revenues to the Catholic treasury. Saloon keepers generally belong to the communion of saints to which Protestants are turning with longing eyes. On this point, under the head of "Birds of a Feather," the Omaha Christian Advocate says:
"It has often been said that if the Roman Catholic church would take a stand against the saloon it would do more good than all the efforts that are now making to abolish that nuisance. But this church is going to do nothing of the kind, for the simple reason that a vast deal of its revenues are derived from the unholy traffic in intoxicating liquors. The following figures showing the relation of the Roman Catholics to the saloon business in the city of Philadelphia are furnished by a reliable correspondent with the assurance that they can be depended upon. They make very interesting reading.
"Sixty-five per cent of the manufacturers of alcoholic liquors for beverage in the city of Philadelphia are Roman Catholics, and of the brewers 75 per cent are Roman Catholic communicants and pay revenue to the Roman Catholic church.
"In the same city there are 8,034 persons in the retail liquor business, selling liquor over the bar for drinks, as follows:
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2 Chinamen..............................Not Roman Catholics.
2 Jews..................................Not Roman Catholics.
18 Italians.............................All Roman Catholics.
140 Spaniards...........................All Roman Catholics.
265 Negroes.....................200 of them Roman Catholics.
160 Welsh.......................125 of them Roman Catholics.
285 French..............................All Roman Catholics.
497 Scotch......................435 of them Roman Catholics.
568 English.....................543 of them Roman Catholics.
2,179 Germans...........................All Roman Catholics.
3,041 Irish.............................All Roman Catholics.
205 Americans..........................They commune nowhere:
a majority of them are of Roman Catholic parentage.
Of this number, 3,696 are women, all foreigners but
one, as follows:
German......................1,104, All Roman Catholics.
Irish.......................2,558, All Roman Catholics.
Of the 8,034 total, 6,418 have been arraigned for crimes."
THE SOCIAL VIEW.
The strike in Brooklyn, of the motormen and conductors of the electric street-car lines, against what they consider unreasonable arrangements respecting hours and pay, has the attention of the civilized world. We sympathize with the employees in that the conditions were unreasonable; but we cannot sympathize with their rioting, destruction of property and injury of others who even less favorably situated were glad to get the work they used their liberty to refuse.
Such questions are difficult to adjust while the rule governing all is selfishness. But since the car lines are corporations created by the state, they are properly subject to state regulation--which might include a provision respecting minimum wages and maximum hours. But no such arrangement having been made, the employees probably see no relief except by the exercise of brute force.
The brutal conduct of the exasperated mob, including the strikers' friends, male and female, in the use of sticks, stones, firearms, red pepper and horrible curses, shows that the veneer of civilization is very thin, and indicates to a slight extent what may be expected when the great trouble shall have increased the despair, venom and frenzy. The Scriptures point us to the French Revolution and the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, as inferior illustrations.
* * *
Although the strike is practically ended, Judge Gaynor's just and wise opinion will be of interest to all. He holds that the street railroads are chartered by the State as public servants, and that to hold their charters they must accommodate the public, regardless of profits and dividends. They may bargain with men for hours and wages as much to their own advantage as possible, but must not stop, nor run less cars than public convenience requires. They must pay wages required by their employees until they have found others willing and able to do the work for less, so as to avoid stoppages, etc.
The effect of this decision will undoubtedly be to make the railways and all chartered public servants more careful and moderate in their dealings with their employees.
Selfishness caused the unreasonable terms, selfishness fought them and caused the strike, and selfishness, on the part of the public, leads to a decision modifying the conditions. It is difficult, and always would be, for selfishness to bring any satisfactory conclusion to any question. It is insatiable. We long and hope for the time when "A King [Christ, and the Church, his body] shall reign in righteousness, and princes [the overcomers of the former dispensation] shall execute judgment;" and we pray, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven, O Lord.
* * *
The resignation of the President of France created quite a stir; but the prompt election of his successor, without commotion or bloodshed, gave evidence that the present social order is not as near its conflagration and wreck as many have surmised. The Scriptural dates will be found [R1766 : page 32] consistent with the facts. A.D. 1914 will be soon enough to expect complete collapse; although radical changes from the present order, experiments with various impractical social theories, etc., may be expected six or eight years sooner.
"TO WAGE WAR ON INFIDELITY.
"CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT UNION AT BAY CITY, MICH.,
FOR THE EXTERMINATION OF BIGOTRY.
"Special to the Chicago Record.
"Bay City, Mich., Jan. 16--Something of a sensation has been caused here by the union of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers in a movement for the extermination of religious intolerance and bigotry. A memorial declaring the principles of the compact has been signed by five priests and ten Protestant preachers. After several preliminary meetings a general invitation was extended to the clergy of both cities, and a representative body met at St. James' rectory, at which the situation was freely discussed, and all admitted that much moral energy was lost through prejudice and in consequence the cause of Christianity was weakened.
"It was acknowledged that all those who believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ should direct their united force against the common foes, infidelity and immorality. The memorial declares that it is unnatural that the members of the same body should tear one another to pieces. They should protect and assist one another. The means to attain this end are declared to be of two kinds: 'Fraternal meetings of the ministers of the different churches, with a view to becoming better acquainted and for devising means whereby to carry on our mutual work; public lectures on 'Christian Unity,' 'Christian Tolerance,' 'Christian Charity,' and kindred subjects, the lectures to be delivered alternately by priest and minister.' It is said that this union is without precedent in this country.
The above is in full harmony with what we have been expecting. Its lesson is two fold. First, it shows how ready are the two ends of the ecclesiastical heavens--Catholicism and Protestantism--to "roll together as a scroll." (Isa. 34:4; Rev. 6:14.) Second, it shows that all not disposed to unite with either side of the "scroll" are not only liable, but likely, to be classed as "Infidels," not only by unionists, but also by the worldly. How evidently the time is [R1766 : page 33] hastening on when a religious, social, political and financial "boycott" will be waged against all who will refuse to worship either the "beast" or his Protestant "image." (Rev. 13:15-17.) But those who already feel some of the boycott, and those who soon will feel still more of it, may take comfort in the Lord's appreciation of their fidelity as expressed in the promise of Rev. 20:4,--that of such are the heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom soon to be established for the blessing of mankind, the restitution of all things.
And yet those who will have to do with the "boycott" will doubtless be as ignorant of the parts they are really playing in the great drama as was Saul of Tarsus who, when persecuting the true saints, verily thought that he was doing God service. Such as are as honest as he will doubtless be stopped in the way and see the great light of the Millennial morning: but the vast majority, "blind leaders of the blind," will fall into the Adversary's snare, fight against God and share the "plagues" and great trouble coming upon Babylon. (Rev. 18:2,4.) "For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be judged [openly condemned] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in injustice." --2 Thes. 2:11,12.
INTERNATIONAL PROTESTANT FEDERATION.
Rev. Dr. Henry Lunn, an English clergyman, has just come to the United States "to interest American clergymen of almost all denominations in the International Movement for a federation of all Protestant churches." This movement has "grown out of the now famous Grindewald Conference." Dr. Lunn arrived on Jan. 19, and brings with him "the cordial indorsement of Archdeacon Farrar and a number of other English clergymen of note." Dr. Lyman Abbott, of the Plymouth church, Brooklyn, among other clergymen had been notified of his coming. Dr. Lunn's first explanation of the proposed scheme is fixed for Jan. 27, from Mr. Beecher's old pulpit.
From this it will be noted that our suggestion of some time ago that the coming union will not be an amalgamation, but a federation is holding good. Mr. Lunn is the first (aside from the TOWER) to use the word "federation," in connection with this Union movement, so far as we have observed.