VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.
WILL BAPTISTS AND CHRISTIANS UNITE?
WITH a proposition before it looking towards the merger of two great religious denominations, the ninth annual congress of the Disciples of Christ, which will meet at the Central Christian Church in Cincinnati the first week of April, will be of national importance and of great significance in the religious world. At the 1906 congress, held in Indianapolis, a committee of ten was appointed to make overtures and formulate a plan for "closer relations between the Baptists and the Disciples of Christ." This committee will report at the conclusion of the three-days' session of the congress in Cincinnati. Its report will advocate the merger of the two churches, and it is probable that an agreement will follow, which, within the next few years, will bring about consolidation.--Cincinnati Times-Star.
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These two great denominations claim to have "no creed but the Bible." They, however, advocate very different views of baptism, which is one of the cardinal doctrinal tests of both. Nevertheless, if the preachers can unite, undoubtedly their flocks will follow them, for they generally do not comprehend the doctrinal difference. The people of both would be quite ready for the clearer Bible teachings presented in ZION'S WATCH TOWER were it not for the power of their preachers, exercised to suppress thought and Bible study and liberty.
SOCIAL SYSTEM DOOMED UNLESS IT IS REFORMED
Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman, president of Cornell University, in an address delivered recently in Old Trinity Church, New York, attacked the present industrial system and declared that, unless something was done for the wage-earner by the big capitalists, the end would be social revolution. Dr. Schurman's remarks created a sensation. He said in part:
"Steam, electricity and consolidated capital are in our own days eliminating the small producer and the small trader. The chance of young men becoming independent producers and traders, when business is conducted on the scale of millions, instead of thousands or hundreds of dollars, is vastly less than it was in the time of our fathers.
"The wage-earner, feeling himself and his children doomed to poverty, rises in rebellion against the economic system which makes such things possible. He protests that capital gets too large a share of the product which laboring men create. His remedy, when he has a remedy, is confiscation of private capital in the public interests and the establishment of a socialistic State, in which all such workers shall receive compensation in proportion to their deserts.
"Somehow--I know not how, but somehow--the organizers and financiers and managers of our modern establishments of production and transportation must devise a method whereby the men whose labor builds them up shall become shareholders in the enterprises. The present discontent and rankling sense of injustice must be got rid of, if our economic and industrial system is to survive."
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Thus we note from time to time that some see what is coming, even though they follow not with us and are ignorant of the Bible's teaching on this subject. They "fear for looking after those things coming upon the earth." Our Lord says that his followers, better instructed, may lift up their heads and rejoice, knowing that their redemption draweth nigh.
INSANITY IN CHICAGO
A newspaper dispatch from Chicago says:--"The State Board of Charities, in an official report to the Governor, declares one in every ninety Chicagoans is insane and needs watching, and that 58,000 persons in the State are unfit to be at large."
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Insanity is greatly on the increase, proving that this is not the "brain age," in a good sense of the term. New York State statistics show 25,000 insane, or one out of every 300 population. Worse still, if applied to adults, these figures show one out of every 150 of the population so badly gone as to be in an asylum. The "fall" has wounded some worst physically, others [R3967 : page 100] worst morally and others worst mentally. Oh, how the poor world deserves the Apostle's term, "the groaning creation." Oh, how much it needs the great Restorer and his work during the "times of restitution."-- Acts 3:19-21.
AVERAGE HUMAN BRAIN SHOWS NO IMPROVEMENT
The average human brain is not only no better than it was thousands of years ago, but it is really deteriorating, according to Professor William I. Thomas of the University of Chicago, in an article in the January number of the Journal of Sociology, issued by the University.
"Nature is not producing a better average brain than in the time of Aristotle and the Greeks," says the professor. "The brain is less likely to improve now than in earlier time, because the struggle for existence has been mitigated so that the unfit survive along with the fit. Indeed, the rapid increase in idiocy and insanity shown by statistics indicates that the brain is deteriorating slightly on the average as compared with earlier times."
A KANSAS BOAST
"The Kansas press is just now boasting of the superior moral conditions of their State, and they have good reason for the boast, for 85 out of its 105 counties have not a single officially reported pauper, and 25 of these counties have no almshouses and 35 are without a criminal case on the docket. Something more than twenty years have passed since Kansas adopted prohibition. The present condition of the State is a splendid object-lesson to the rest of the country; and yet we still hear the cry 'prohibition takes away the people's liberty' and 'you can't make people moral by law.'"-- Homiletic Review.
AMERICAN FARMERS FORMING A UNION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I enclose a farm paper which I am sure will interest you. The farmers are joining forces with the labor unions. This paper is the official organ of the "American Society of Equity," published weekly.
I am a reader of MILLENNIAL DAWN; was formerly a member of "Dr. Dowie's Church"; excommunicated because of the enclosed letter.
May God our Father continue to bless your work.
Yours in the Christ, CHARLES C. STEWART.
Following is the letter above referred to:--
Overseer W. G. Voliva, Zion City, Ill:
Dear Brother,--I want to make a gentlemanly, Christian protest. I love the work of the Kingdom--I want to see its servants honored. I desire what Solomon did--wisdom--the kind that cometh down from above. I invoke the Father for his guidance in writing this letter.
In looking over the Leaves (Oct. 30, 1906) I find a reference to MILLENNIAL DAWN, in which you say that certain, or rather many, of its statements are "gross misinterpretations of the plain Word of God," that it is largely "Seventh Day Adventism spiritualized," etc.
I know not how far you have read into Mr. Russell's works (now in six volumes), but you could not have followed his plain directions: "to prove by Scripture each statement he makes." If you had you would never say that he "grossly misinterpreted" God's Word. There is not a man in the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church (that I have heard) who knows one-twentieth of God's plan as Mr. Russell. Our Church is almost as barren of true exposition as the apostatized denominations. My soul longs for some true bread. Elder Cossum is the only man who really does expound--a grand, good, noble Christian gentleman.
I have studied the Scriptures with MILLENNIAL DAWN and the tracts since 1899--seven years. I read the WATCH TOWER--glad, happy, to see it come into the house. The WATCH TOWER reflects a kindly, Christlike power that edifies and draws one toward the great Father. I understand Greek and Latin and can translate. I have compared many of Mr. Russell's claims with the original. He is right. He has a sound mind, given by the Spirit of Jehovah. He is Scriptural, reasonable, consistent. He has no vituperative, striving spirit in any of his writings nor in his addresses.
Here are some of the points that I have studied and am convinced that the Scriptures endorse them as Mr. Russell expounds:--
The pre-existence, birth and resurrection of Jesus.
The impersonality of Jehovah's Spirit.
The difference between the Christ's trial, the Church's trial, the world's trial.
The doctrine of Sheol (and Hades), Gehenna and Tartarus, in that the dead are waiting for the call of Jesus, that they are not in heaven or hell (so-called place of torture).
The difference between mortality and immortality.
These are only a few of those I might mention.
As you will see by this enclosed postal I have interest in this work (the Lord's). I inquired for these tracts to give to Overseer Piper and Elder Hammond that they might get right on the subject of the "Holy Spirit."
I am not a Russellite, Dowieite, Volivaite. I am truly striving to grasp the knowledge of the Plan of God and run for the prize--patiently, intelligently, diligently.
This study has helped me greatly in my junior work. I have charts that I have used and will soon plan another to explain to the children what God expects to do with them. I study the Scriptures and then teach what I find.
The people don't need scolding--they need systematic teaching. They need to get the "mark in their foreheads."
I have a full new set of "Millennial Dawns" at home waiting for some consecrated follower of the Lord Jesus. I should be glad to send them (or lend them) free if you would like to read them. I am sure your opinion would change. May I send them?
Your brother in the Kingdom,
CHARLES C. STEWART.
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We are glad to know of Brother Stewart's progress in the knowledge of the Truth and thank him for the paper referred to in his letter. On its margin he wrote, "James 5in process of fulfilment." From the paper we clip the below items:--
"Better farming has had the attention of colleges, institutes and the press, increased production has been the slogan, and several increased crops, with diminished value, proved that doctrine's fallacy, when taught alone, until the bumper crops of some of our most important products compelled the Secretary of Agriculture to figure on them a money loss to the farmers of $120,000,000.
"Up-to-Date Farming says again, as it has so many times said before, raise big crops, they are all right, we are glad to hear of them, but learn to so market the crops, big or little, that they will yield commensurate reward to those who produce them. [R3967 : page 101]
"Farmers cannot get anything from Congress until they are organized. Other farm papers have been doing these things for years, and their readers applauded, but what did Congress do for the farmers? Very little. We do not believe in such a foolish waste of good time and energy. We want to see farmers organized and then they won't need to petition--beg--for what is their right, but they will demand and get what they want or in equity should have."
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We quite agree that the cry of the reapers will ere
long be heard. We have just had seven years of wonderful
crops and great prosperity: will we perhaps now
have seven lean years? And will trade arrangements
make this an extra burden to all workers? We shall
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THE PASSOVER DATE THIS YEAR
When the new moon comes a little before the Spring Equinox it starts the Jewish ecclesiastical year;--provided the full moon be not before the Equinox. It was so this year: our reckoning March 28, evening, as the beginning of the 14th of Nisan was in accord with Jewish observances.