THE PROPHETIC ASPECT.
Babylon is fallen, is fallen. Rev. 14:8; 17:5; 18:2. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which never can have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain. Isaiah 56:10,11.
The words here used by the Prophet and Revelator to describe the last or Laodicean (Rev. 3) stage of the gospel house and her ministers (watchmen) are evidently now fulfilling in the demoralized condition of the nominal church, and in her culpable negligence and wilful ignorance of the character of God, and the plan of redemption. This is shown by the tenacity with which she holds to theories of the dark ages established on false premises, borrowed from heathen fables without a shadow of foundation, and out of harmony or in direct conflict with positive Scripture testimony; and more recently by the endorsement and adoption of Evolution and other devices of Satan which ignore by inference or positive statement the fall of man and his redemption, and yet professedly and with great inconsistency maintain that the Scriptures are the word of God, as was done recently by the directors of a Presbyterian Theological Seminary, as reported in the Toledo Blade, which we quote below:
EVOLUTION ENDORSED BY
Report of Dr. Woodrow's Address--
The Creation of Adam--Four Synods
to Adjudicate the Matter.
COLUMBIA, S.C., Sep. 20.--The annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Theological Presbyterian Church has adjourned. The directors had an exhaustive discussion of the recent address of Prof. James Woodrow on "Evolution," which has attracted so much attention and discussion, and which consumes a large portion of nearly every Presbyterian publication in the United States, and especially its State Synods, which control the Seminary. The following was finally adopted --eight to three:
The Board having carefully considered the address of Dr. Woodrow, published in pursuance of the request of this Board, adopts the following:
First--That the Board does hereby tender Dr. Woodrow its thanks for the ability and faithfulness with which he has complied with their request.
Second--That in the judgment of this Board the relation subsisting between the teachings of Scripture and the teachings of natural science are plainly, correctly and satisfactorily set forth in said address.
Third--The Board are not prepared to concur in the view expressed by Dr. Woodrow as to the probable methods of the creation of Adam's body, yet in the judgment of the Board there is nothing in the doctrine of evolution as defined and limited by which it appears inconsistent with perfect soundness in faith.
Fourth--That the Board takes this occasion to record its ever-growing sense of the wisdom of our Synod in the establishment of the chair of the "Perkin's Professorship of Natural Science, in Connection with Revelation," and of the importance of such instruction as is thereby afforded, that our ministry may be better prepared to resist the objections of infidel scientists and defend the Scriptures against their insidious charges.
The minority then entered their protest against the action of the Board in refusing to enjoin one Prof. Woodrow not to teach that evolution is God's plan of creation, and that the body of Adam was probably evolved from lower animals. The matter will be carried before the four Synods controlling the [R718 : page 7] Seminary, and be adjudicated by them. These are the Synods of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
There are two theories of evolution both equally false and subversive of God's word. The older, and that from which the other has probably proceeded, is known as that advocated by Darwin, Huxley and others, which teaches that man was evolved or developed from the lowest order of animal life. The other, which seems like an attempt on the part of theologians so called to accept evolution as a fact only in a modified sense, claiming that Adam was not evolved from the lower animals, but from lower races of men, is said to be based on the dissimilarity of languages, because of which it is claimed mankind could not have sprung from one common parentage, and that the Caucasian or European, the highest type of man, only is the offspring of Adam. This they endeavor to make more plausible by misapplying the promise of God to Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 28:14), as being fulfilled in the civilizing influence exerted by this so-called Adamic seed over the rest of mankind. But that this promise could have no fulfillment whatever through men in the flesh, is conclusively shown by that great theologian who never assumed the titles of Doctor of Divinity or Reverend.
Paul says, To Abraham and his seed were the promises made;...he saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one...which is Christ....And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise, i.e., heirs to the promise of being made a blessing to all families of the earth; and we shall cease to be heirs when we obtain the promised inheritance. But the advocates of this theory not only misapply this promise and ignore or reject the "fall" and the Ransom, but they either twist or limit Moses' account of the deluge and the confusion of tongues, as recorded in Genesis: "All flesh died that moved upon the earth...every living thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man...and every living substance was destroyed... both man and cattle...and Noah only remained alive and they that were with him in the ark" (Gen. 7:21-23).
If, as is asserted, the word earth means land, and the distinction was limited, did God then destroy the highest of mankind excepting only Noah and his family and spare the lowest entire? For it is evident all were equally sinful and depraved, and because of this God destroyed them. Of Noah's posterity assembled in the plain of Shinar to build Babel, it is said, "The whole earth (all mankind) was of one language and of one speech.... the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth (Gen. 11:6-9). Therefore the confusion was not in that which did exist, but was the result of the introduction of new elements-- strange languages. And as a type it is very significant, and more particularly so now, because fulfilled in its anti-type, the Babel of the nominal gospel church, that has said, as in the type, "Let us make us a name" (Gen. 11:4). Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.: into which have been introduced new elements--traditions and precepts of men which make the word of God of no effect; all this the Lord calls "Babylon the great" (the great confusion).
We further add to this the testimony of Jesus and his Apostles that the last days or end of the gospel dispensation would be characterized by general declension in religion, and especially by the falling of pastors or teachers from the truth, of such Jesus said, as spoken by Isaiah, "In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men" (Matt. 15:9); and adds: "Leave them; they are blind guides: and if the blind lead the blind both will fall into the pit" (verse 14, ED.). These words, though applied by Jesus to the Jewish house, were also intended to apply to that of which it was the shadow, the gospel house, and corresponds with a like command to those who would be faithful to the Lord in her. Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Rev. 18:4).
This very evident blindness and apathy of the teachers of the nominal church, and their consequent unfitness to minister to the "sheep," are well illustrated by the prophet in likening them to "blind watchmen." The blindness charged is evidently not the lack of natural vision so necessary to watchmen, but of mental perception; "they are ignorant" of the character and purposes of God, therefore they cannot speak-- and are contemptuously compared to "dumb dogs that cannot bark" faithfully for the Master, but love to lie down in slumber--self-gratification and ease. They have turned away their ears to fables and science falsely so called-- "every one their own way" or ism: and "as greedy dogs which never can have enough," the majority seek high sounding titles and lucrative church appointments--"every one for his gain" (Isaiah 56:10-11). This application of the prophecy was undoubtedly intended and is fully sustained by Jesus in his charges against the seventh or last stage of the gospel house--"in Laodicea."
First, by declaring himself "the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God," he implies that she is not a faithful witness for the truth, and in acknowledging the supremacy of the Father as his Creator, shows his opposition to the man made dogma of the trinity. He then amplifies his charge by declaring her "neither cold nor hot": I would that thou wert (he prefers open hostility to half-heartedness), so then, because that thou art lukewarm and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth, i.e., I will no longer use you to give expression to my word... thou art the wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked one. (Var. Rend. Rev. 3:14-17.) Her misery and wretchedness is caused by her blindness and unnatural alliance with the world by which she is being overcome. The Lord informed his disciples in strong negative language, that few rulers would be found giving to the household of faith meat in due season at his coming (presence). "Who then (at this time) is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them MEAT IN DUE SEASON? Surely not these unfaithful 'watchmen.' Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (Matt. 24:45,46).
In fulfillment of the Master's words, the rulers of the nominal church have not only not given them the meat now due, but have positively warned them against tasting it, and continue to feed their flocks on milk mixed with the muddy waters of tradition on which Babylon is built. And this pitiable condition is very contrary to the self-satisfied opinion she entertains and statements she makes concerning herself. The Lord says, "Thou sayest I am rich ...and have need of nothing" (i.e., I have all the truth--I am Orthodox-- Evangelical--I need nothing more), and knowest not, etc. is not aware of her true condition (Rev. 3:17).
We quote below some very startling statements made at a recent meeting of the Evangelical Alliance, held at Copenhagen, published in the Cleveland Leader September 30:
"Professor Christlieb, of Bonn, Germany, read a paper before the recent meeting of the Evangelical Alliance at Copenhagen which contained some very startling statements. According to the statistics of the last twenty years, he said, there has been a large falling off in attendance upon religious services throughout Europe, and this has been followed by an increase of crime. Paris has more atheists to-day than ever before existed in any great city. In no Christian country, however, were things so bad as in Germany. In many districts of Berlin there was only one church to every 59,000 of the population. In New York there were 200 places of public worship; in Berlin only 50. Besides this, out of the whole population of Berlin, nearly 1,000,000, only 20,000, or 2 per cent., attend divine service. Hamburg was even worse, for, out of a population of 400,000, public worship on Sundays was attended only by 5,000. In certain provinces of Germany there are suicides at the rate of forty a week. The ordinary religious teaching of the country is quite dead, and Christianity resolved into mere education. Skeptical works are popular with the working classes, and in the middle and upper classes hundreds are led away by the influence of scientific discovery and invention."
These calculations embrace a period of twenty years, and show that the great river Euphrates (people), on which Babylon is built, is being dried up--"a large falling off." Her epitaph is written, --"The ordinary religious teaching... is quite dead." They received not the love of the truth; and for this cause God is sending (Sinaitic MSS.) them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." The father of lies has been permitted to delude them into building on falsehood and making lies their refuge, and now "none speaketh publicly in truthfulness (Var. Rend.), nor any pleadeth for truth. They hatch cockatrices' (adders') eggs...he that eateth them dieth, and that which is crushed (analyzed) breaketh out into a [R718 : page 8] viper (Isaiah 59:5). The adders' eggs are Satan's (the serpent's) lies, these men made systems have hatched them; thinking minds, unable to see their origin, have analyzed them, and the vipers, Infidelity and Spiritualism, the progeny of Satan, have come forth. The application of these and other Scriptures to the times we live in, to those who are wakeful and watchful, confirm the accuracy and truthfulness of the prophetic records as being from God; but to those who are not taking heed unto the "sure word of prophecy," everything is doubt and uncertainty; [page 8] and notwithstanding that they say "peace and safety" and give assurances of growth and prosperity, the facts are to the contrary. The Bishop's report at the last General Conference of the M.E. Church, shows an increase of less than four to each church in four years, or less than one to each church per year; and this includes probationers; and if only one in each church goes back to the world per year, which would, we think, be a very small number, probably far below the average, then as a result there is not only no increase, but there is a positive falling off. We have quoted these Scriptures and applied them with no uncharitable or unkind feeling to anybody, but in a spirit of love, that we might confirm the faith of some, and that we might, if possible, awaken others to the signs of the times as confirming the words of prophecy.
S. O. BLUNDEN.