VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.
DR. Horton, in the Methodist Times, says:--"On the church of England it is impossible to rely. She is permeated with the Roman virus. Her clergy denounce the Reformation. Whatever love they had for the gospel of Nazareth and the Son of Man is dying away. They are fascinated by the gospel of Rome and the Vicegerent of Christ. The apostasy is not yet complete, but its progress is amazing. I venture to say that but for the accessions to the church of England from the Nonconformist churches at this time Protestantism would be as good as dead within her borders. And those accessions cannot continue. Presently the Nonconformist churches will claim and use their own sons, and will not be able to spare them for a Romanised Establishment. The hope of England lies in the Free churches, in the homes of the Spirit of Christ which have been provided and kept by the Spirit of God against this time."
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On Feb. 25, Archbishop Ireland addressed the students of the University of Chicago in the chapel,--Subject, "Religion, Science and Good Citizenship."
The Chicago University is under Baptist patronage. What Romanism does not know about true "Religion, Science and Good Citizenship" would fill many volumes; and, judging from the past, a Roman Catholic Arch-bishop should make a remarkable instructor upon these subjects!!
According to an article which has been going the rounds of the Press over the signature A. Tyler, this same Bishop Ireland on the occasion of his last visit to Rome encouraged the Cardinals there in the following (patriotic?) words:--
"We can have America in ten years, and I give three points for your consideration--the Indian, the negro, and the public schools. The importance of the possession of America cannot be overestimated. It is a providential nation. The movements of the modern world have their highest tension in the United States. The natural order is seen here in its best, and here displays its fullest strength. The church, unhampered by dictates of government or by despotic custom, can, with freedom, choose its arms, and, making straight for the opposing foe, bring the contest to a speedier close. I am aware there are those among us who do not partake of my hopefulness. What can be done, they say, in America? Catholics are a handful. What can be wanting? Why should we fear or hesitate? We number 10,000,000--a powerful army, if the forces are well drilled, and their latent strength put in action. Catholics in America are loyal to the faith, brave in confessing it, self-sacrificing in its interests, devoted to their chieftains; when combined efforts are called for, ready, and at all times prompt to obey when orders are given."
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As a sign of the times we note that the Socialists of France are adopting a form of civil baptism for their children. In the town of St. Denis, where socialism has quite a hold, the Mayor, himself a socialist, recently baptised as many as nine children in one day--using a socialist formula, with the express statement that the parents desired to withdraw them from the guardianship of the church. The account says, "The god-parents took a pledge to bring up the children 'in the love of labor and liberty and the sentiment of fraternity necessary to make them good citizens and fervent republicans.'"
Not only with these, but with many of the "leading lights" here, who follow more conservative lines, the idea is growing, that "the doctrines of Christ" and "faith in his blood" belong to a religion which has been outgrown; and that the true religion for the future, and the only one that will gain the attention of the masses, is the [R1784 : page 68] gospel of social revolution--humanitarianism and utilitarianism. All who see clearly the true gospel of redemption through the precious blood and as a result, by and by, the offer to all men of restitution (Acts 3:21), and these alone, are prepared to point out clearly to the deluded that they have mistaken the false, earthly systems of men for the Church of God whose names are written in heaven, and that the only hope of the groaning creation is described by St. James (Chap. 5:7,8) and St. Paul.--Rom. 8:22,21.
THE HIGHER CRITICS IN BAD COMPANY.
"It has just leaked out," says Truth, "that at a Baptist congress in Detroit lately the Higher Critics got a deserved set-back. This is the story.
"President Harper [of Chicago University] and President Andrews, of Brown University, with others, had been advocating the methods of modern Higher Criticism, and saying that the last twenty-seven chapters of Isaiahwere written by some other man, when Prof. Howard Osgood of Rochester arose in reply. He spoke briefly, completely answered the Higher Critics, and then said, 'I have here an article written almost exactly one hundred years ago. I will read it and tell you the author.' He read a criticism on the Bible, and especially on Isaiah, advocating a double authorship of the latter, in almost exactly the language of Harper and his friends. He made a few comments upon the clearness of the ideas of the author, and showed his teachings to be identical with modern Higher Criticism. He then exclaimed after a long pause, 'The author of this paper was Thomas Paine.' The effect was wonderful. There was a look of surprise on the faces of the critics, and then, as the applause rang out, they looked as though they would like to escape....It was carefully kept out of the papers for some reason."
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Prof. Drummond, in his "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," after cautiously advancing the doctrine of Evolution--so guardedly that many of his readers absorbed his suggestions without realizing what they implied of Scripture contradiction--has now thrown off the mask and declares his anti-Scriptural views in his new book, "The Ascent of Man."
How could we expect this learned gentleman (See Isa. 29:14) to be interested in, or to appreciate, the Bible doctrines of redemption and restitution from the FALL? (See Acts 3:21.) Far easier for him would it be to forget all the greatness of the past--the statesmanship of Moses, the wisdom of Solomon and Confucius, the logic of Paul and Socrates and Plato; the poetry of the Psalmist, Job and Shakespeare; the "lost arts" of manufacture, elastic glass, tempered copper and Damascus steel; and the musicians and sculptors and painters of the past; and to think only of the greatness of the present so-called "brain-age." Far easier would it be for him to conclude that St. Peter and "all the holy prophets since the world began" were mistaken, deluded, and that he and all the "higher critics" are correct. Because, forsooth, the "times of restitution" which Peter and all the holy prophets and apostles hold [R1785 : page 68] forth as the hope of the world, would, according to these self-styled critics, be a return to ape-hood. Truly the words of the Lord are fulfilled--"The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE SOCIAL STRUGGLE.
"In a recent number of the Forum, Prof. Goldwin Smith directed attention to the belief current throughout Europe that a wide-reaching and violent social upheaval is not distant. Whether the movement will result merely in temporary collision and disorder, or in complete revolution, depends of course upon the relative strength of the disruptive agencies and of the forces arrayed upon the side of the existing order. At first sight an immense preponderance of material power would be attributed to the upholders of the present social system, but the history of the French Revolution proves that such preponderance cannot be maintained unless there is a corresponding moral power behind it. That this moral support must come mainly from the Roman Catholic Church is the averment made in an interesting article contributed by Mr. Charles Robinson to the American Magazine of Civics.
"It would be, indeed, a mistake to say that no European Catholics are infected with socialistic doctrines. A wing of the Centrist or Catholic party in Germany has evinced considerable sympathy with socialism, and the same thing may be said of a section of the Clerical party in Belgium. These sporadic phenomena are doubtless explicable by the fact that Catholics and Socialists encountered for many years in Belgium a common opponent in the liberalism of M. Frere-Orban, and in Germany a common oppressor in Prince Bismark. Such inclinations, however, to fellowship in feeling and action seem destined to be transient, for the reason that the causes which produced them have ceased to operate. Liberalism of the Frere-Orban type is now almost extinct in Belgium, and Bismark made the journey to Canossa before he retired from public life. Moreover, the head of the Church of Rome, whom every Catholic is bound to obey, has declared himself of late in the most distinct and authoritative terms on the side of the social system which has individualism for its basic principle. Catholicism, therefore, is already in theory, and will presently become in fact, a unit in resistance to the social solvents which range from the collectivism that professes to seek the fulfilment of its aims by constitutional means alone, to anarchy of the most irrational and malignant type.
"On the other hand, no Protestant denomination has yet taken an unequivocal position with regard to the contest between socialism and individualism. Not even in Germany have the so-called Christian Socialists, among whom Chaplain Stocker has been so conspicuous, received any official rebuke from the Lutheran and Evangelical churches. Although, too, we might deem it probable that most of the Protestant sects will be eventually enlisted among the protective forces of society, yet, as Mr. Robinson points out, there can be nothing simultaneous, coherent, and effectual in their action, owing to their innumerable subdivisions and their traditional dissensions. The moral support, then, which is indispensable to the retention of material power by the defenders of the existing order, must come principally from the Church of Rome. In a word, it is not liberalism, as Gambetta thought, but socialism that may see in Catholicism its chief enemy.
"Mr. Robinson does not fail to note the striking change in the attitude of European statesmen toward the Catholic [R1785 : page 69] Church, since they have begun to apprehend the approach of a revolutionary epoch. Crispi in Italy and Castelar in Spain have publicly acknowledged the necessity of securing the cooperation of Catholicism, if the politico-social fabric reared on parliamentary institutions and the individual right of property is to be upheld. The Opportunists, who formerly were the most implacable assailants of the Catholic Church in France, are now disposed to welcome the conciliatory overtures of Leo XIII. and to form a species of alliance with the so-called "rallied" Republicans. In the Reichstag only the other day a bill permitting the Jesuits to resume educational functions in Germany was passed for the second time; and, should it now be sanctioned by the Bundesrath, the last vestige of the Falk legislation, aimed against Catholics, will have disappeared. These incidents are indications of a general awakening to the magnitude of the service which the Catholic Church may render, should the existing social system be seriously threatened."
--New York Sun.
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Protestants are rapidly preparing for federative union and to take a hand in protecting both the good and the bad of the present social structure. The world, especially the rich and aristocratic class, is turning to the great religious systems for help. And religious people generally are and will more and more be inclined to assist, because they clearly see that the wreck of society would be a general calamity to the poor as well as to the rich; and because they believe that it would greatly retard mission work for the conversion of the world--which they think to be their special commission; and all this because they do not recognize the times in which we are living. As with the Jews in the end of their age, they "know not the time of their visitation." They know not that the Lord's time has come for the transfer of the control of earth from the princes and kings of the earth (and especially from the great Prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience--1 Thes. 5:2-4; 2 Pet. 3:10) to the control of Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, "whose right it is."
"But ye [faithful, watching], brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief"--although it will come upon all others as a thief and a snare.-- 1 Thes. 5:1-5.
Although you are powerless to rectify the evils of the present social order, while numbers and power and influence uphold it, you are waiting for God to do this according to his promise, and not in vain you pray continually, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is [done] in heaven." You know, too, that the conversion of the world under present conditions is hopeless, and you are waiting for the King of glory to take full possession and to bless all the families of the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, which shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep.
While your influence must always be for godliness, for contentment and for peace, yet you may sustain your hearts and the hearts of others with the Lord's promises of deliverance. And even though the trouble be severe, "such as was not since there was a nation," you need fear no evil; for the Lord is the refuge and habitation of his people, and for them all things shall work together for good. Your hearts are sustained by such promises and by the prospect of the glory and blessing of the Millennial age which will be thus introduced by--
"The signs and groanings promised
To precede a second birth."
"Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather [all] the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy [justice, anger]. For then [following this great trouble, upon the ruins of present systems, I, the God of heaven, will set up my kingdom and] I will turn unto the people a pure language [the unadulterated truth], that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."--Zeph. 3:8,9.
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Evidently Protestants are feeling the jibes of the world, that their forces are too scattered to be of much avail in the coming "battle of the great day of God Almighty." In evidence note the following items.
EX-PROTESTANTS WORKING FOR CHURCH UNITY.
"The Rev. Dr. Lunn, editor of The Review of the Churches, London, England, and President of the Grindewald Conference, has returned to the Murray Hill Hotel, after conducting a most successful series of meetings in Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
"In several of these cities the recommendation of the Grindewald Conference, that Whit Sunday in each year should be observed as a day of special prayer for unity, and as the occasion for each preacher to give a sermon dealing with the good qualities of some denomination other than his own, has been enthusiastically adopted.
"The ministers of Chicago, Washington and Baltimore all unanimously agreed to observe Whit Sunday in this manner, and in Washington an interdenominational association has been founded as the result of Dr. Lunn's visit.
"Dr. Lunn will address a meeting of ministers, and laymen on 'English Movements Toward Christian Unity.'"
--N. Y. Times.
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"The Ram's Horn, of Chicago, has offered a prize, $100 in gold, to anyone who presents the best plan and creed to unite the churches of Christendom. It is specified that the plan of organization or government or federation shall not exceed 500 words, and that the statement of creed (which may be in the language of Scripture) shall not exceed [R1786 : page 69] 500 words. A preliminary examination will select the best twelve papers, which will be referred for final award to a committee composed of John Henry Barrows, D.D., LL.D., George Dana Boardman D.D., LL.D., Bishop Samuel Fallows, Bishop John H. Vincent and Joseph Cook."
"Say ye not, a confederacy, to all them to whom this
people shall say, a confederacy."
[R1786 : page 70]
THE JEWISH VIEW.
The movement in New York City for the conversion of the Jews is at present principally represented in the mission work of the converted Jew, Hermann Warszawiak. Considerable progress has been made of late, and now it has been decided to erect a building specially suited to the needs of the work. It will be called, "The Christ's Synagogue," and will have a separate entrance to, and special apartments for, a Jewish Missionary Training School. A library, a gymnasium, etc., will add to its attractions for the younger Hebrews.
We rejoice in every good work, including such efforts to turn away blindness from Israel. And this, as we have elsewhere shown, is due to come about when the Gospel Church has been completed. But we would rather see them remain "blind," than see them deluded into the no-ransom views of Antichrist. We know not what gospel Mr. Warszawiak is preaching, but we trust that it is the old theology, of which the cross of Christ is the center. With the Jewish mind in its present skeptical state, it would be no difficult thing to lead many of them to acknowledge pseudo-Christianity. Many will admit that the great Jew, Jesus, whose name is claimed and whose character and teachings are generally reverenced if not obeyed throughout Christendom, was a martyr to Jewish prejudices, etc., if only you do not make it a condition that he shall believe that this Jesus died for the sins of the Jews and the whole world. There "the offense of the cross," mentioned by the Apostle, comes in. Leave out the cross, the ransom, and many Jews are ready thus to join in what we may be excused for calling, "Christian Infidelity."
But by and by, as soon as the Gospel Church, the Bride, has been selected, the true gospel will be preached with demonstration to the whole world, and again it will be "to the Jew first;" and then, through the Jews, to others of the world--the gospel that in Christ the sin-offering types of the Jewish law have their fulfilment, and that in Christ the promises to Abraham must all be fulfilled. (Gal. 3:16,29.) This is the gospel that must ultimately open the eyes of the "blind."--Rom. 11:25-31; Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7,16.
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Urging Jewish scholars to study the New Testament, the Jewish Messenger says:--
"The subject should receive more attention than it does in our seminaries; the day is past to regard it as dangerous. We Jews have no right to be so self-satisfied as to refuse new light, if it be good and wholesome, from any source. Perhaps Judaism as it is in the lives of the great mass of us would have more depth, beauty, and spirituality if we did not shut ourselves in an intellectual ghetto and call that process loyalty to religion."
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Miss Barlee, who has been connected with the London Jews' Society in Jerusalem for about ten years, thus describes the changes which have taken place during her residence there:--
"Innumerable houses have been built outside the city walls, and new colonies formed. Rows of new houses are to be seen in places where, when I first came, I used to pick wild flowers among the rocks and stones. Progress is written upon everything. The Jaffa Railway, now an established thing, ceases to be an object of wonder to the native population; new lines will soon be open in other parts of the country; a boat now crosses the Dead Sea, and lately I received a letter from Kerak in Moab, where postal communication with Jerusalem has been established. In Jerusalem itself, civilization has made rapid strides, carriages of every description are now flying to and fro in the different new roads. It would seem that the Lord's time to favor Zion is at hand."
SOME BETTER THINGS.
Though wintry wind the yellow leaf displaceth,
For Spring's sweet harbingers it maketh room;
Ere long the tender bud the forest graceth,
New verdure waketh from old Nature's tomb.
The snowy blossom from the orchard fadeth,
'Tis then the earnest of fair fruit we find;
Though morning mist the landscape overshadeth,
The sunlit mountain-peaks are just behind.
Lo, in the crimson West the glory dieth,
And from his throne Day's monarch hath withdrawn!
Herein the promise of the sunrise lieth--
Already we are waiting for the dawn.
O heart bereaved, some better thing remaineth,
Though God should seem thy treasures to remove;
Some better thing his gracious hand retaineth,
He will not fail the children of his love.
Some better thing! Thy life-joy all departed--
Its glory trailing sadly in the dust;
O cleave to Him,--the Savior tender-hearted;
Thou canst not understand, but thou canst trust.
Perchance he leads to depths of self-abasement,
And storms awake, and billows round thee roll.
Give thanks! Contrition is the open casement
Through which the Dove of Peace shall reach thy soul.
O patient heart, thy best, thy brightest bringing,
With full consent upon His altar lay!
Some fair new blessing even now is winging,
All unobserved, its sure and noiseless way.
Thy purpose crossed, each sunny prospect clouded,
Still to His changeless promise learn to cling.
Although His plan may be in darkness shrouded,
Jehovah hath reserved some better thing!
--Lucy A. Bennett.