VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
THE OUTCOME OF THE WAR.
VARIOUS are the speculations on the outcome of the present war in the far East. Russia's prime minister has surprised Europe by declaring that Russia will neither accept any mediations for peace, nor be willing at the close of the war, should it end in her favor, to allow other nations to have any say in regard to the terms of peace. The journals of the world generally agree that this is an early boast, and that when the end of the war comes, even if Russia win, she will be so weakened by the struggle as to be in poor condition to resist the will of the Great Powers, all of whom are deeply concerned in the future of China and Japan.
The Japanese, pardonably intoxicated by their success over one of the greatest nations of Europe, are speculating on what they will do when the war ends favorably to them, as they expect it will. Some of their leading papers counsel moderation, but others picture Japan as the head and leader of all Mongolia --of China, Korea, etc., some even thinking of Siberia as ultimately a part of Greater Japan.
Russia includes numerous subjected peoples-- Finns, Poles, etc., all of whom have been treated with great harshness, which they have been powerless to resist. The failure of Russian ships and armies in the present war emboldens these peoples to hope that some kind of relief for them may be part of the outcome of the war,--either through open rebellion or through the change of the general government of Russia from a despotism to a more liberal government in which they would have some share. We quote from one of their journals, as follows:--
"The roar of the bombs shattering the Russian vessels at Port Arthur must resound with a double echo in the heart of every Pole. It proclaims to us not only the defeat of our foe, the executioner of our fatherland, who for a century and a quarter has been torturing so many millions of our countrymen, but it announces something else. Out there in the Far East wedges are being driven into the granite, into the apparently indestructible might of Russia. There, amid the whizz of the balls and the groans of the dying, conditions are forming by means of which all upon whom Russia has laid her heavy hand may derive advantage. The name of these sufferers is legion. There is perhaps no corner of the Russian empire in which feelings of hatred have not thus accumulated, in which there does not seethe in the hearts of the people the desire for liberation, for the final removal of the cause of so much misery and of so many wrongs....Rendered especially audacious in recent times by her diplomatic successes, convinced that her external foes would not dare attack her and that her internal foes would be subdued the more easily the more severity she displayed in oppressing them, Russia discarded all restraints. She created one enemy after another. After the workingmen and the students came the turn of the peasants. Next the Jews learned the meaning of Russian rule. After the Jews, Russia laid her iron hand upon the proverbially loyal Finns. Finally came the turn of Armenia, which only recently was turning a yearning eye to Russia, the deliverer from Turkish chains. Of the Poles there is no need to speak. With the exception of the conciliationists, there is no one who does not long to cast off the hated yoke. Any action having that object in view would certainly meet with the approval of the Poles."
In any event the war means a wakening of the nations--a preparation for the general and awful anarchy which the Scriptures forewarn us will wind up the present Gospel age and be the forerunner of the Millennial age. During the next ten years many of the great nations will become similarly weakened.
Whatever price for Jewish liberty in Palestine might be acceptable to the Sultan of Turkey, its actual [R3380 : page 180] ruler, the matter would require the acquiescence of Great Britain and Russia, and Germany might like to be consulted. Negotiations between Dr. Herzl of the Zionists and the Sultan of Turkey were reported satisfactory some time ago, but nothing could be done without Russia's consent--Great Britain and Germany being understood to have been favorable all along.
Now, under date of May 26, press dispatches report that just as the Zionist Congress at Hamburg, Germany, was closing, the announcement was made by Dr. Klee that the Russian government had replied favorably to the request of the Zionists that it would use its influence with the Sultan of Turkey in favor of Jewish colonization of Palestine.
CHURCH MUST DO SOME FIGHTING.
At the City Ministers' Union meeting yesterday, Dr. Charles A. Eaton spoke on "The Relation between Churches and Men." He said in part:--
"Seven million young men in this country are alienated from the Christian churches, according to Dr. Cressey. To this number a vast army of older men must be added. I do not attribute this condition to the preacher; nor do I attribute it to the innate depravity of these 7,000,000 and more men.
"We can refer this alienation to a deeper cause. Biological science, for one thing, is at the root of the evil. We eliminate the supernatural revelation. We burrow ourselves in nature. Each man becomes his own god. The idealistic philosophy, as taught today, is that God and man are one. That's the plain English of Monism."
Following another detail of this line of thought, Dr. Eaton said: "I don't believe the world today could produce Jesus; I don't believe the United States could produce Jesus; I don't believe the city of Cleveland could produce Jesus; not even the Church--could it, Dr. Jackson?"
"We'd crucify him, probably, if he came among us," shouted Dr. Jackson.
"Yes," Dr. Eaton went on; "we'd find him the most inconvenient member of our Church, and the hardest to get along with. His doctrines would stagger us.
"We have failed to use our scientific heritage, but we are better off than we were ten years ago. We have had our scientific deluge. We have discovered that a man can have a thorough knowledge of science, and yet die of a broken heart. We have discovered that science is not infallible.
"We're beginning now to feel hungry for some meat and some milk, something that will sit well on the stomach. We have tried all the isms, all the new things, and now we are about ready to turn to the truth."--Cleveland Plain Dealer.
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How strange such confessions sound to the well-nurtured children of God. While realizing that science, falsely so called, has done great harm--has destroyed the faith of many--Dr. Eaton is seemingly oblivious to the fact that his own faith is undermined. Otherwise how could he talk about our day being unable to produce a man the equal of Jesus. Evidently Dr. Eaton believes that our Lord Jesus was a mere man, a sinner, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," even as others. Evidently he rejects the Biblical teaching that our Lord had a preexistence, and that his life was transferred, and so peculiarly born that he was "holy, harmless, separate from sinners." And yet this gentleman has accepted and avowed a creed which declares that Jesus was Jehovah. Alas, such inconsistency! Is it any wonder that the "world" is gradually seeing through such theological deceptions and double dealings? How hard theologians sometimes seem to struggle in their endeavor to be honest with themselves and their hearers. Years of systematic [R3381 : page 180] dishonesty with their own consciences has put them now at great disadvantage in any attempt they may make to grasp or to tell the Truth.
REV. DR. BURT ON ROMANISM.
A DESCRIPTIVE VIEW OF CONDITIONS IN ITALY.
The following is from the Geneva Daily Times:--
"Rev. Dr. William Burt of Rome, Italy, spoke to a large audience in the First Methodist Church last evening. So closely did he hold the attention of the people that when the fire alarm sounded only the firemen present withdrew.
"Dr. Burt gave a concise review of the history of Italy, leading up to the events of 1870, when the Romish Church lost its temporal power. He showed that the growth of education and of liberal thought, as represented by Protestantism, had resulted in the fall of the temporal power of Papacy. He gave an eloquent portrayal of the work of Garibaldi in establishing freedom and uniting the petty states of Italy into one strong kingdom.
"Mr. Burt contended that the Papacy of Italy is essentially pagan; that its influence upon personal character is pagan; that it places responsibility not upon the individual but upon the Church; that it teaches that salvation depends not upon faith in Jesus Christ but upon some external ceremony. He declared that the rank and file of the Italian priests are ignorant and helpless, so far as practical notions of life are concerned; that many of them are anxious to escape from their positions as they come into contact with the liberal ideas of Protestantism.
"There are two great classes in Italy--the poor, ignorant people, who are idolatrous and superstitious followers of the Papal Church, and the educated class, who are agnostics and infidels. The young men of Italy, he said, are bitter and intense in their hatred of the Romish system. The popular estimate of the Papal hierarchy is that the names of cardinal, bishop, priest, are synonyms for deceit, hypocrisy, lust, avarice and intolerance. The press of Italy deals constantly in charges of corruption and lust against the clergy, such as would be considered too indecent for public utterance in America.
"Dr. Burt declared that the present pope is considered [R3381 : page 181] only a figurehead by the authorities at Rome; that within the Vatican there is a representative of the Associated Press, whose business it is to see to it that the world gets a favorable impression of the pope, while the Jesuitical powers that elected him are really guiding the policy of the Church. The pope turns one face to France, another to Austria, another to Italy and another to America.
"Mr. Burt closed with an earnest appeal to Americans to be more on the alert against the encroachments of Romanism in politics and their interference in our schools. He said, 'If you want to know what Romanism really is, look at Mexico, look at Spain, look at South America, look at Porto Rico! Look at them!'
"One of the most surprising statements of the speaker was, that much of the detailed description of the imposing scenes connected with the burial of Pope Leo XIII, was prepared and sent out from Rome two weeks before the pope died."
Chancellor MacCracken, of the New York University, at the recent opening of that institution, complained of the gross ignorance of the Bible on the part of students. He spoke as an educationist, looking to the production of noble and effective manhood and womanhood. Ignorance of the Bible is to all a great loss; in Jews it is a disgrace. If the clubs and classes formed for the study of Browning and Shakespeare are evidences of culture, what shall be said of those who neglect the study of the Bible?
It is not inopportune to present some reasons for the study of the Bible:
1. It is the charter of our religion.
2. It is the storehouse of its principles.
3. It has essentially moulded our civilization.
4. It is an ancient classic.
5. It is the inspired Word of God.
6. It is the history of our people.
7. Its language is worthy of study.
8. Its characters are striking and original.
9. Its principles are exemplary and most powerful. 10. It is an ethical force. 11. It unveils an ancient civilization to the world. 12. Its fundamental ideals are yet far from realized and its declarations unexhausted mines, yielding ever fresh treasures. 13. Its facts and principles and characters pervade all literature, which is unintelligible to those ignorant of its contents. ("The Bible in Shakespeare," "The Bible in Browning," are two recent books.) 14. It is the battle-ground of a great science. 15. It is the basis of three great religions. 16. It is culture-building. 17. Ignorance of it is gross stupidity. 18. Knowledge of it is presupposed in every educated man and woman. 19. It enables men to reach and move the heart of all. 20. It is faith-giving. 21. A great comfort in time of sorrow. 22. An ever-present help in temptation. 23. A great stimulus to noble living. 24. Its view encompasses heaven and earth, opens a path in this life to walk in, and a hope for the future. --Jewish Exponent.
REFORMED PRESBYTERIANS DECRY THE SPECTACULAR.
Holding fast to the "faith of the fathers," a movement has been inaugurated by the Philadelphia Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church for concerted interdenominational action to "correct abuses in the forms of worship" among Protestant churches. The first steps in the movement were taken this week at a meeting of the Presbytery, and arrangements are under way for a joint meeting of representatives of several denominations in the near future.
The resolutions, among other declarations, state as follows:--
"Churches in general, in the present day, have departed far from the apostolic system and method of divine worship.
"The existing tendency is to lower and degrade the holy and solemn service of God's house to a sensuous and spectacular entertainment.
"The preaching of the Word of God has been quite generally reduced to soul-starving brevity.
"The churches, by will-worship, are endangering their religious inheritance won in the great Reformation at the cost of much precious blood.
"Let all bear testimony against the presumption of men who attempt to improve upon God's own plan and system of divine service. The law of God relating to the matter and manner of worship, as revealed in his Word is, in our judgment, a foundation stone of primal importance in a basis of union for all the churches of Christian faith."
WANT TO CLASP HANDS.
At the closing session of the recent Baltimore (Md.) conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church the following resolutions pertaining to the unification of the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Protestant churches of the country were adopted:--
"Whereas, Providence evidently plans the union of Methodism, and negotiations are now progressing between the Methodist Protestant and other communions; therefore be it
"Resolved, That the Baltimore annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church invite the Maryland annual conference of the Methodist Protestant Church to join with us in requesting their delegations to their respective general conferences to memorialize to appoint commissioners to confer upon the terms of union."
PRESBYTERIANS FAVOR UNION.
Buffalo, N.Y., May 27.--The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, by an overwhelming vote, today adopted the report of the committee on union with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The resolutions adopted included not only favorable action on the report but recommends certain other steps to be taken to secure the union of the churches and to make plain the position of the Church.
The question of proposed basis of union will now [R3381 : page 182] go to the presbyteries of the General Assembly. If it be approved by two-thirds of them, the necessary steps will be taken at the next General Assembly to effect the union. The announcement of the result was received with great cheering.
METHODISTS FAVOR UNION.
Washington, May 27.--The Methodist Protestant Conference today completely cleared the way for union between itself and every one of the four denominations with which negotiations are pending, by the adoption of a supplemental report from its committee on union.
The report provides: First, that the annual conferences of the denomination should vote on the proposition of union with the Primitive Methodist denomination. Should a two-thirds vote for union be recorded--the same action being taken by the Primitive Methodists--the union will have been consummated. Second, the memorial from the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was received "in a most heartily reciprocating spirit."