VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
REV. LYMAN ABBOTT ON RESURRECTION
WHEN addressing the students of the Yale University on the subject of "Human Immortality" from the text, "The dead shall rise again," Doctor Abbott is reported to have said:--
"I do not think the dead will rise again. I do not think that good people ever die. Their spirits, I think, just drop off the body, as clothing, and they go on into a higher and larger life.
"When people really die, I do not think they ever live again. There are some people who in their lives on earth become wholly animal, wholly sensuous. These people, with the going out of life from their bodies, I think really die, for they have no place in a higher life.
"I do not think of those whom we see no longer as being in spotless raiment afar off, knowing nothing of what we are doing and being happy in only a sort of negative bliss. I believe they are with us still, though we cannot see them, and that they are still very interested in what we do. A year ago my wife died in a foreign land, but I still feel that she is beside me helping and inspiring me."
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This is a frank statement of what Doctor Abbott thinks or guesses. He is to be commended for not trying to prove that his text means the reverse of what it says. How much better it would be for the world if all Bible teachers thus distinguished between what they think and what the Bible teaches. But what is the value of the doctor's thought? On what is it based? What does he know on the subject on which to base speculations and surmises? Was he ever dead? Does he really know anyone who passed through the experience of death? Until we get such a demonstration we prefer to believe the Bible, corroborated by our five senses, rather than trust to the infallibility of Doctor Abbott's thinking apparatus.
Dr. Abbott is a gentleman and a scholar of no mean caliber, yet his teachings, here reported, are in line with the claims of Spiritism, which the Bible teaches us is demonism. Should the doctor resist the seductive proposition of Spiritism to put him into communication with his dead wife, etc., it will be because of his strong character. Many of those who read his words may be far less strong to resist and may fall under a demoniacal spell, led on by the doctor's words, to seek communication.
Well do the Scriptures declare of our day, "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish; the understanding of their prudent men shall not be manifest."-- Isaiah 29:14.
PEACE! PEACE! AND DREADNOUGHTS
"Britain built a ship which created a class by itself. By a strange fatality she called the ship the Dreadnought, but experience is teaching her that from it she has everything to dread. Germany began to build new ships and naturally these were Dreadnoughts. Other Powers are about to follow. Among them we regret to find our own land. But it is inevitable that if any ships are to be built they must be Dreadnoughts.
"An interesting suggestion has been made by a London writer proposing the co-operation of the fleets of the two English speaking peoples, Britain to guarantee the safety of our possessions on the Pacific and we to guarantee the safety of hers in the North Atlantic."--Ex.
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Peace! Peace! is the cry, as the Scriptures predicted. Yet there is no peace, as they declare. True, no war is being waged at the present time; but it is surely expected, and the great nations dread it and spend millions on war preparations in harmony with those convictions. Would the world's wise and rich men tax themselves to the point of distress for war purposes if they believed as Mr. Carnegie seeks to convince himself and others? Surely not!
But why is there no peace? Because sin has entrenched itself in fallen human nature. Selfishness is sin and the cause of war; wickedness is the Scriptural name--"There is no peace for the wicked, saith my God."
If Mr. Carnegie can tell the world how to convert its people, giving them tender instead of stony hearts, then the peace proposition will be quickly realized. But aside from such a wholesale conversion there is hope for peace only along the lines predicted in the Bible; namely, by the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom in spiritual glory and with unlimited power. This the Bible assures us is nigh at hand. But, alas! its blessings must be introduced by wars of selfishness which will wreck present institutions and prepare humanity to cry to God for his relief and the new heart. "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven!"
RAPIDLY GROWING BURDEN OF MILITARISM
The "Dallas Morning News" says that "Militarism has reduced more people to slavery and crushed more nations into the earth than any of the other burdens. It is unaccountable that the civilization of to-day will promote or endure it. It means the same thing over again, and yet the educated people of the twentieth century tolerate it and hurrah over it just as the Assyrians and Persians did in the remote ages of passion, tyranny and [R4373 : page 116] conquest. The penalties of it are incalculable. The appropriations for armies and navies, tremendous as they are, are by no means the heaviest of the losses. There is no other line of jobbery and graft that is comparable to that of the sharp opportunity hunters who invent causes of war, and who sell to their pets in military politics the stores, supplies and equipments which are consumed by armies and navies, whether idle or active. But more scandalous than all the costly plundering and grafting is that loss of self-reliance, of ability to make a living, of civic character and peaceful purpose that follows in many instances the change from a life of working for a living to a life of idling or fighting for a living.
"Truly, as an observant contemporary says, it is of little use for consumers to protest against a tax on coffee and sugar, for property owners to protest against income taxes, or for States to object to Federal inheritance taxes, unless a similar protest is made against the policies which relate to these taxes as cause to effect. What causes the deficit in National finances? Out of a total of $810,000,000 appropriated, exclusive of the postal Department, $526,000,000 was required to meet the war bills of the government! We are paying $1,440,000 a day for war! That is more than the cost of the first year of the Civil War, and more than half the cost of the last year, in which great armies were maintained in action. We are at peace with the world, but we are maintaining a war standard of equipment. We must pay for it. We have followed the nations of Europe in our military policy. In this we have taken on the deadly curse of the ages. As a nation we have never committed before any blunder that is comparable to it in either its material or moral penalties."
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The above is the serious side of this matter. The amusing side is that this war fever attacks nations in proportion as they become "Christianized" or "Civilized." Would we not better term this warlike spirit unchristian and uncivil? Ah, yes! to be a Christian is a personal and not a national matter. Not until Messiah takes the reins of government will there be an end of wars.
As respects the war-expenditures, they cost the poor nothing and the middle class almost nothing. Why object to the rich having the costly toys--battleships costing millions to build and other millions to maintain? Do not these monies circulate amongst the masses? Does not the employment of men in the building and maintaining of a war-outfit relieve the pressure upon the labor market, too, and thus inure to the maintenance of wage-rates? Let the poor world have its way. Let it play with its toys and find by experience their little worth. Surely they will become the more ready for the new King and Kingdom of Righteousness!
INTERNATIONAL PEACE FESTIVAL
Andrew Carnegie, presiding at the International Peace Festival held by the Peace Society of New York to celebrate the peace now prevailing throughout the world, told an audience representing a score of foreign countries in Carnegie Hall that the only shadow on the occasion was the competition of great nations in building battleships. But he predicted that the day of universal peace is at hand.
The stage presented a brilliant scene, "Peace" blazing forth in hugh white letters from the centre, flags of eighty nations adorning the hall, and delegations in costumes representing a dozen different nations, including seven Japanese girls in the front row in native dress, Russian belles in costume and others adding to the color scheme. Except the speeches of Mr. Carnegie and Dr. Wu Tingfang, the Chinese Ambassador, the programme was musical. Japan received the warmest reception of the evening, and nearly all the nations were represented by singers.
Mr. Carnegie said in part:
"It was thought proper that the Peace Society assemble to-night to celebrate the fact that the world at the present moment is at peace.
MORE WAR ENGINES
"The first thought that arises is an unpleasant one, viz., that never in the history of the world have the leading powers been engaged to such extent in hastening the construction of engines of destruction such as the world has never seen, a deplorable fact which cannot but give pain to every lover of his race."