VIEWS FROM THE TOWER.
FAILING to receive from the present Czar assurances of a more liberal government than his father's, the Nihilists of Russia are conspiring and threatening his life. Bombs, arms, revolutionary literature and nine hundred conspirators have recently been seized at Moscow.
The war between the German Socialists and the German Emperor progresses. The latter has taken to flattering the army, and recently, at the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the victory of Sedan, speaking to his Guard at the close of the review of 30,000 troops he said: "May the whole people find in themselves strength to repel these monstrous attacks. If they do not I now call upon you to resist the treasonable band, and to urge a war which will free us from such elements." A Berlin correspondent telegraphs,--"Never before has he [the Emperor] so energetically and plainly appealed to the army as the final arbiter in the struggle against Social Democracy."
Two days later the editor of "Vorwarts" was arrested and two editions of his journal seized, for articles criticizing the national war policy, considered uncomplimentary to the Emperor. The real secret is that the Social Democrats are increasing, and polled 1,500,000 votes at the last election.
These things show that while the movement toward political liberty has been rather quiet for some time, it has not died. It will be on hand to fulfill the predictions of Scripture in due time. It cannot overwhelm the mountains [governments], and sweep them into the sea [anarchy] (Psa. 46), until first the servants of God are "sealed in their foreheads."
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The Benedictine monks of St. Vincent (Beatty, Pa.) have long made a beer almost as celebrated as that made by the monks near Ligonier, Pa. Roman Catholic temperance workers are endeavoring to have Satolli rebuke and close both distilleries.
Through the "Wine and Spirit Gazette" we learn that a London wine firm is advertising by circular to give a "guaranteed summary" of their "most important customers." These are classified as follows:
Titled Gentlemen,................................. 358
Judges of the courts,............................. 9
Army and navy officers,........................... 708
Other clergymen,.................................. 2,203
Medical doctors,.................................. 1,522
Baronets, knights, M.P's, etc.,................... 2,600
Attorneys, merchants, etc.,....................... 4,250
Think of it! All these the customers of one firm!
The oldest Presbyterian church in Pittsburg has, for about thirty-five years to our knowledge, and probably longer, rented property for the wholesale, and latterly for the retail, liquor business. The revenue of course has been a snug sum; and now it is proposed to demolish the present structure and to erect a very fine Office Building, in which all the Presbyterian Missions and other Boards and Societies can be housed, with rooms to let to others-- none of which, we hope, will be rented for the liquor traffic.
We rejoice that the evidences are that the anti-alcoholic sentiment is spreading, tho slowly, so far as professing Christians are concerned; but we have no hope that anything short of "Thy Kingdom come" will release the race from this great slave-holder and tyrant, Alcohol.
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The Governor of California recently decided in reference to the "Boy's Brigade", that neither it nor any other organization could be allowed to drill and carry weapons, unless first they had sworn allegiance to the State,--that they would never bear arms against the State, and that they [R1863 : page 212] would bear arms and do duty for the State, the same as the regular National Guard. Thus the Church and State are being drawn together by well-intentioned but deluded leaders. The Governor properly looked out for the welfare of his charge, and other Governors of other states will probably take similar action in time.
What a great mistake it is to attempt to mix the good fight against sin, inculcated by the Prince of Peace, the Chief Captain of all the soldiers of the cross, with any other soldiers and any other methods or warfare. The Salvation Army was the first innovation on this line, and is the least objectionable; but doubtless it has opened the door to the Boy's Brigade, and the results are not yet. The tendency is always downward, however noble the original intention. The simplicity of the gospel of Christ should never be lost sight of.
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Free Masonry was an attempt at a religious military movement. The Boston newspapers tell that at their recent Conclave there the saloons did a thriving business, and that many of the Sir Knights carried their crosses upside down as they crowded each other in and out of the saloons. The papers tell also of their religious services; we quote:--
"After the Deus Misereatur, the Eminent Commander Seymore gave the orders: 'Attention, Sir Knights! Draw swords! Present swords!' The Apostles' Creed was then repeated. Then followed:
"Eminent commander--'Return swords.'
"Prelate--'The Lord be with you.'
"Knights--'And with thy spirit.' At this point the Sir Knights knelt.
"Prelate--'O Lord, show thy mercy upon us;'
"Knights--'And grant us thy salvation.'
"Prelate--'O God, make clean our hearts within us;'
"Knights--'And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.'
"Prelate--'Let us pray.'
"The prayers that followed included the collect for the 11th Sunday after Trinity, the collect for peace, the collect for and against perils, and the prayer for the President of the United States and all in civil authority.
"The commemoration of the order followed. After the prayer of St. Chrysostom and the Grace, was the hymn, 'My Faith Looks Up to Thee.'"
As Christ was crucified by his kinsmen according to the flesh, so he is frequently put to an open shame and wounded afresh "in the house of his friends." Alas! how many have taken his name in vain,--to no purpose, to the dishonor of his cause! Let each one of us who has named the name of Christ put on Christ and walk in him; clothed, not with showy symbols, but with humility and true devotion.
Yet according to the course of this world there are few organizations that can boast as many noble men as the Sir Knights, and concerning them one of their number, a chaplain, preaching, said: [R1864 : page 212]
"All these men have vowed by heart and hand to uphold Christ and Christianity. Remember also that these are only a vanguard of the mighty army that, when Christianity or education need assistance, are bound to protect them."
As God sometimes uses the wrath of man to praise him, so he has used human antagonisms and superstitions to keep the world in general equilibrium during the period in which he is selecting, polishing and testing his "little flock" for his Kingdom. When it is complete and exalted to power, the scene will change radically. Truth will then be mighty, and error shall no longer prevail. The world knew not our Captain, and likewise knows not his real "soldiers of the cross." "As he is, so are we in this world."--1 John 4:17.
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The Christian Endeavorers are showing more and
more of a disposition to take a hand in Politics and Reform.
They see not the grandeur and greatness of the
Kingdom for which we wait, in which God's will shall
"be done on earth as it is done in heaven." They see not
how God is preparing to establish this Kingdom, so they
propose to take a hand themselves and wait for the King
no longer. The Canadian branch recently "Resolved"
that, "Christ will never be King of this world till he is
King of politics." This is in accord with the sentiments
of the Order in the U.S., as heretofore pointed out. Indeed,
a movement is now on foot to have united action by
the Christian Endeavorers, the Epworth Leaguers and the
Baptist Young People of Philadelphia in favor of some reform
candidates in Philadelphia; and the same thing is
agitated in New Jersey. We have already pointed out that
this seemingly harmless Political Crusade is likely to result
in a measurable union of Church and State.
[R1870 : page 212]
GOD HOLDS THE KEY.
God holds the key of all unknown,
And I am glad;
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if he trusted it to me,
I might be sad.
What if to-morrow's cares were here,
Without its rest?
Rather would I unlock the day,
And as the hours swing open, say
"Thy will is best."
The very dimness of my sight
Makes me secure;
For, groping in my misty way,
I feel his hand--I hear him say,
"My help is sure."
I see not all his future plans;
But this I know,
I have the smiling of his face,
And all the refuge of his grace,
While here below.
Enough! this covers all my want,
And so I rest;
For what I cannot, he can see,
And in his care I sure shall be