THE recent onslaught of the Chinese upon the missionaries in certain parts of China, and the general feeling against them in all parts, gives force to the remarks of Rev. E. R. Donehoo of Pittsburg, who has for a long time been identified with Chinese missions in the United States. In an interview, published in the public press, July 29, he said"He believes the efforts to convert Chinese from Paganism are futile; that although Chinamen go to Sunday School and seem to take an interest in the Christian religion and even profess Christianity, yet they cling to their heathen ideas and ceremonies." "Mr. Donehoo is looked upon as the leader and adviser of the resident Chinese, and has formed his opinion after years of experience and study."
If this be true, if Christianity has no influence on these people who constitute so large a proportion of earth's population, what hope has Rev. Donehoo for the conversion of the world? In what manner does he propose that every knee shall be made to bow and every tongue to confess Jesus Christ? How will he expect to see fulfilled the prayer of our Lord"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven?"
We have long seen that the task which Christians have set for themselvesto convert the world and make of it God's Kingdomis a hopeless one. After more than eighteen centuries not only is there but a fragment of the world Christianized, but many, yea, the majority of those who bear the name of Christ have evidently neither part nor lot in the matter; and like some of old are twofold more the children of destruction than they were before.Matt. 23:15.
Surely, Mr. Donehoo and all others, seeing their own impotency to fulfil the promises of God, should begin to inquire for the Bringing Back of the King. The eyes of their understanding should quickly see that in him is the only hope of victory over Satan, sin, ignorance and degradation.
One great difficulty in the way of such is the false view of the King and the Kingdom, presented to them by Pre-millennialists;that Christ will come again in the flesh and with his Church in the flesh set up a fleshly Kingdom. Here is the opportunity for all whose eyes are open to the correct view of the subject to show, to all who have ears to hear, that the Kingdom of God cometh not with outward show, neither shall any say, Lo, here! or lo, there! for it will be in their midst, a spiritual, invisible, powerful Kingdom, like that of the present "Prince of this world," Satan, except that its objects and methods will be right and pure and good, and its servants the servants of righteousness.
Discourage the hopes some are building upon Communistic Colonies, etc., all of which will certainly fail; and encourage them to look beyond the enveloping great and general trouble, which will completely destroy present institutions, to the new order of things which will be established in the hands of the seen agents and representatives of the coming Kingdom"Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets."See Luke 13:28; Psa. 45:16.
One lesson to us is, that notwithstanding the greater advantages and opportunities of life every way, over all past times, yet the poor human family is still and increasingly a "groaning creation." Their groans and pains are often directly and indirectly the result of sin reigning in them and producing discontent. Perhaps pride or ambition have utterly failed to attain foolish or sinful aims; or perhaps after attaining have failed and have wrecked the little emptiness which filled the soul.
Well has the Apostle said to Christians that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." And we might add that the godliness which does not bring contentment is of little value, and not likely to last. We do not mean the contentment of sloth and indolence; but the intelligent contentment which springs from full confidence in the Lord's love, wisdom and power to cause all things to work for good to those who devotedly love him. Such have the peace of God to rule their hearts and can sing:
Business prosperity has suddenly returned to the United States to the great relief of many who for some time have been finding it difficult to hold on to life and its necessities. WATCH TOWER readers have been pinched considerably, for amongst them are not many great or rich. About 5,000 have been unable to even pay for their TOWER. The colporteurs too, who have found it difficult to pay their ways during the past year and a half are doing better now, and we rejoice with them.
Of course the Tract Fund suffered too, but we refrained from mentioning the fact lest it should cause pain to some who have been unable to do all that their hearts had hoped in the beginning of the year; and lest some should strain themselves or deny themselves life's necessities in order to have a share in this service. Indeed now that the pressure is easing up we may say to the praise of our Lord that he has supplied the necessities of the work most wonderfully,from one source or another: hundreds of thousands of tracts have been printed and shipped to all parts of the world; and MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., in Swedish and in Danish are nearly ready.
At the beginning of the year we feared that we should be unable to keep Brother McPhail on the road continuously: but as the reports of his visits showed them to be profitable to the Lord's flock spiritually, and as the Lord continued to supply the means, he has been continued; and now we have in view another traveling representative, hoping to add thereby to our Lord's glory and to your spiritual prosperity. Remember that the Tract Society's "pilgrims" never solicit money and never take up collections.
Some seem to forget that present prosperity is as much in line with our expectations and expositions of Scripture as were the adverse times. We have repeatedly pointed out that the "pangs" of trouble will grow more sharply severe and more frequent until the birth of the new order of things, applying the great Apostle Paul's simile of 1 Thes. 5:3. Indeed, we expected the present interval of quiet and prosperity six months earlier than it came; and so announced in our issue of July 1, '94, p. 226, and 230. See also Jan. 1, '92, View; and MILLENNIAL DAWN Vol. I, Chap. 15.