Recently W. F. Clarke, of Wilkesbarre, Pa., addressed to President Baer of the Reading R.R., appealing to him on religious grounds to end the anthracite coal strike. Mr. Baer's reply, which has excited general criticism, follows:—
"I do not know who you are. I see that you are a religious man, but you are evidently biased in favor of the right of the workingman to control a business in which he has no other interest than to secure fair wages for the work he does.
"I beg of you not to be discouraged. The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for—not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends. Do not be discouraged. Pray earnestly that right may triumph, always remembering that the Lord God omnipotent still reigns, and that His reign is one of law and order, and not of violence and crime. "Yours truly,
Now that the world is passing under the dominion of the "giants" (trusts, combines, etc.), it should not surprise us to find the claim advanced that these are of divine creation and have divine rights. Mr. Baer's view is not hypocritical in our opinion; but is the result of failure to discern that Satan is the "prince of this world" or dispensation, who under his law of selfishness is permitted of God to "deceive the whole world:" in order that eventually all may see to what lengths Selfishness would lead—ultimately wrecking the present order—social, political, financial and religious—and thus preparing for the establishment of Christ's Millennial Kingdom of love and righteousness upon the ruins of Satan's dominion and the binding of Satan that he may "deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are ended."—Rev. 20:1-4.
Seeing present conditions foretold in Scripture we can look with sympathy on both parties to the coming conflict. We see the battle between them clearly set forth in God's Word. We see both parties to that struggle awake to certain truths and blind to each other's arguments. From our vantage point we see both right and both wrong—both contending conscientiously for "rights", yet both missing the real standard of right, because blinded by selfishness. We see that the fault lies less with the people on both sides of these controversies, and more with the false selfish standards which constitute the warp and woof of all present institutions: so much so that it cannot be patched, but will be permitted of the Lord to work out its own destruction, as a preparation for the new order of things promised the groaning creation under the glorified Christ and his Kingdom.
"Strict-construction theologians have before now insisted upon the close relations between Calvinism and coal. It is something new, however, to find a hardheaded financier setting up as a doctrine of the business world the predestination of the Pennsylvania coal mines to the all-wise control of President Baer and his fellow presidents of coal companies. Doubtless good Calvinists have accepted the management of the coal operators, like everything else that is, as being somehow or other in some mysterious way in harmony with the ultimate designs of a God who endures evil and makes even the wrath of men to praise Him. But few of them have reached the point of considering the so-called 'coal barons,' as shining examples of God's perfect work, in which His loving designs for the welfare of the whole human race were made manifest. It seems, however, that is the true doctrine which all religious men should hold....
"It will take a load from the consciences of many earnest people to have this authoritative declaration that God, through the kindness of the coal operators, will be able to manage this strike in accordance with the dictates of infinite wisdom. There have been some persons who believe in law and order, and have no sympathy with riotous strikers or demagogic agitators, who have not hitherto been able to detect infinite wisdom sitting at any of the coal presidents' desks, but doubtless they were mistaken. In their blindness they have said it was the duty of the operators to operate; that they should either meet their men half-way and settle the difficulty, or, under the protection of the State, put other men to work and mine coal. They have had a notion that God put the coal in the earth to furnish heat for men's needs, and thought there was some slip in the cogs of the universe when they could not buy coal because President Baer, God's vicegerent at the mines, would not work them. But if it is a part of the divine order that we should all pay $10 a ton till the surplus stock is worked off, so let it be. Only we should like to ask a question or two. Are the coal operators infallible individually, or only when they are gathered together, like a church council, about an office table to fix rates and say what each retailer must sell his coal for on pain of having his God-given supply cut off? Was the agreement of two years ago, which the operators say was so unwise and has made so much trouble, also dictated by infinite wisdom?"
The New York American & Journal, always extremely caustic in referring to labor troubles, and evidently predisposed to score the wealthy to the extremest limit, uses the following very severe language:—
"'The rights and interests of the laboring man,' writes President Baer, of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, to a correspondent who appealed to him as a Christian to end the coal strike, 'will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given control of the property interests of the country.'
"Mr. Baer, as one of the most influential members of the Coal Trust, no doubt sincerely feels that he is especially commissioned to carry out the Divine will as a protector of labor and manager of the property interests of the country. He is so happily constituted that he can see no satire in the old syllogism:
"Heaven, whose deputy Mr. Baer so ingenuously and modestly declares himself to be, while endowing him with a shark's appetite and capacity for seizing things, has mercifully denied him the sense of humor. Thus is he spared the consciousness of sin when he blasphemes. Indeed, when Mr. Baer blasphemes he does so solemnly, with a warming and uplifting feeling that he is performing a religious rite and doing a virtuous deed. This blessing is vouchsafed only to those who in all things except money-getting are dense beyond the understanding of ordinary men.
"Not since last February has one of the pious plutocracy—who protect the 'rights and interests of the laboring man' and 'to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country'—favored a subject people with a specimen of unconscious blasphemy at all approaching in stupendous insolence and monstrous self-righteousness that of Brother Baer.
"It was in February that young Mr. Rockefeller, heir apparent to the Standard Oil millions, informed the Young Men's Christian Association of Brown University that the trusts are God's work—that it is by the Almighty's design that small competitors are killed off in order that a great monopoly may arise. He soared to flowery illustration, thus:
"'The American Beauty rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working out of a law of nature and a law of God. There is no real difference between business and the Christian life.'
"Brother Baer, proclaimed by himself an agent sent of God to take possession of and care for the property of the rest of us, though blind to blasphemy in himself, has doubtless a hawk's eye for detecting a sacrilegious spirit in others.
"The Coal Trust, according to Mr. Baer, being, like that American Beauty rose in the commercial garden, the Standard Oil Trust, a Divine institution, it manifestly follows that he regards any meddling with its sacrosanct operations as an affront to Heaven. It is true the Coal Trust violates those human laws which forbid the railroad companies that comprise it to engage in coal mining and to form a combine, but the Coal Trust being of celestial origin and under the direct protection of Deity (President Baer vicegerent), what are human laws to it?
"The pious pirate is no new thing. Often in the old days the prayerful buccaneer imperilled in a stormy sea vowed candles to the Virgin in exchange for a safe deliverance, and to add a wing or a tower to a church was not an unheard of act of gratitude after a voyage in which much booty had been gathered and many passengers and seamen on captured galleons made to walk the plank.
"But President Baer and the relations between a just God and the thieving trusts must be left to the pulpit for adequate treatment. Only the pulpit can deal with blasphemy so crass and horrible as it ought to be dealt with, without seeming to be as blasphemous as Baer himself. And all the privileges and immunities of the sacred desk will be needed for a task which no layman may undertake who would not sin against reverence even in appearance.
To avoid extremes of sentiment on questions of this kind which appeal to the favored classes in one light and to the masses in another, it is necessary that we take a broad comprehensive view of the subject— [R3074 : page 277] past and present. Selfishness has been the law of our race ever since Sin and Death gained control; and even where the nobler organs are given a voice in shaping our convictions and conduct, Selfishness, more or less, twists and colors all conclusions. Even amongst those begotten of the Spirit to newness of mind the fact that the new mind must be exercised through the fallen flesh is very sure to pervert its judgment in some measure, for a time, at least, until the new will learns to use the Golden Rule with accuracy.
It was natural that the doctrine of "the divine right of kings" should establish itself—that the favored classes and individuals should claim divine power in attaining and maintaining their authority and power over mankind. Indeed in ancient times the great rulers claimed not only divine favor, but further that they were related to the gods and were, therefore, properly objects of worship: in accordance with this thought the Emperors of Rome were styled Pontifex Maximus (Chief Priest), and their statues were set up for homage and adoration. This view possibly came originally from Israel, whose kings were, indeed, of divine appointment as part of a typical system which foreshadowed the yet to be Kingdom of Heaven established upon earth, for which we still pray, "Thy Kingdom come." With the passing of Israel's Kingdom as a type, all kingdom-types passed away and we now look only for the antitype. Nevertheless, the Czar of Russia and the Pope of Rome are each still accepted as "Pontifex Maximus" by millions; and all kings—especially the German Emperor—like to appeal to their people for obedience and support along this line.
"We are not fighting labor organizations. We fully recognize the right of men to organize to protect themselves from oppression and to benefit themselves in any legitimate way. But we do oppose their unreasonable interference with the discipline and ordinary management of our business. We will not permit them to select our employes. Neither politics, religion, nationality nor membership in labor organizations shall debar any competent man from working for us. We are fighting the battle of freedom for the individual, and his right to labor on his own terms.
"The coal operators say that they cannot mine coal, because the miners make demands which render it impossible to mine coal profitably, and that the state has enacted laws prohibiting the employment of men in the mines unless they have worked two years in the anthracite mines, and therefore they cannot, for the time being, mine coal. How, then, under the circumstances can there be any violation of public duty?
Professor W. G. Moorehead of Xenia College, is well known to readers of Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower, as the one man in the world found capable of writing a tract against Millennial Dawn that has circulated widely. His has made the Professor famous in heaven and in earth; because no one else being able to write anything on the subject worthy of printers' ink, his tract has been reprinted by the hundreds of thousands by various of our enemies North, South, East and West. The Professor owes something to Millennial Dawn for his earthly fame surely; but alas, we fear he has a contra account in heaven where sophistical "dust" deceives none, and where a man's condemnation corresponds with his misuse of his talents!—Matt. 25:20.
The "Moorehead Tract" may have blinded some, we know not, "God knoweth"; but we feel sure that it has injured and permanently blinded none of "the very elect," and we are giving ourselves no concern about it, but are trusting that the Lord will overrule it and all things to his praise, according to his own wisdom. Those who have seen it will remember that the Professor's chief objection to the Millennial Dawn was that it was being "forced upon the people at the ridiculously low price of 25 cents." Why he should object to this we do not know, unless he has some publications which look dear in comparison. However, he is even with us now, since his tract is absolutely free and being literally forced upon many.
Brother Moorehead is a "Pre-Millennialist," too, by the way; and we presume that his wrath against Millennial Dawn is chiefly on account of our "following not with him." (Mark 9:38,39.) His tract was his method of forbidding us, and stopping us; though he must admit that it has proved a miserable failure; for Millennial Dawn has gone forward amazingly and his opposition and that of his friends has had no evil effect so far as we are aware, except upon those who use it to fight against God, and against the truth.
Why do these so called "Pre-Millennialists" of whom Prof. Moorehead is an acknowledged leader, oppose the truths heralded by Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower? What different views do they hold? We don't mind advertising their views, and are sure that all of our readers are sufficiently in advance of them to appreciate the distinctions quite clearly.
(1) They are generally members of so-called "Orthodox" sects and hold in common with them that the great mass of mankind have gone to an eternal hell and a small minority to heaven; and that the conditions of all of these are eternally fixed at death, so that "the Kingdom of God's dear Son" (Col. 1:13) will profit them nothing. They hold that all who will be so lucky as to be alive when the Kingdom is established, will be blessed with extravagant opportunities and privileges of which their fellow-members of Adam's race have for six thousand years been deprived, to the eternal torment of almost all of them! True, they accept as true the Lord's words "All that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth," (Jno. 5:28,29) but they explain the transaction a little differently—that all that are in heaven shall come down and all that are in hell shall come up, at the Lord's command. They generally conceive this to be the work of a 24-hour judgment day at the close of the Millennium, and that the poor creatures will merely come forth for a farcical exhibition and be [R3074 : page 278] remanded to heaven and hell, and that at the same time the Lord and the good of earth will go off to heaven and the earth then take fire and burn up.
We, on the contrary, hold that none but the elect have gone into the heavenly condition; that the remainder of mankind are still sleeping in the tomb (sheol, hades) unconscious of the lapse of time or of anything else (see Eccl. 9:5), and that the Millennium is the promised time for the blessing of all with a clear knowledge of the truth and a full opportunity to embrace and obey it under the guidance and assistance of their Redeemer and his Bride; and that wilful rejectors will eventually be destroyed—not tormented.—Acts 3:23. We hold, with the Scriptures, that "the earth abideth forever" and that the "fire" coming is symbolic of the great social, financial and religious trouble which will overwhelm "the present evil world" and usher in the Millennium.—Eccl. 1:4; Zeph. 1:18; 3:8; Gal. 1:4.
(3) They still hold the dark ages view of Trinity—that three times one is one. That Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three names for one God. Hence, that the Father and Holy Spirit died if Christ died. But that since God cannot die, and the universe could not be supposed to go on for even one day without its Creator and Ruler, and since Christ is "the same in substance" with the Father and Holy Spirit, therefore Christ cannot have died really, but merely in appearance [R3075 : page 278] —deceptively. That similarly, to produce an effect, our Lord cried on the cross "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" That again for effect and deceptively he said to Mary, "I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
Surely it is high time that thinking Christians should repudiate such nonsense for which not a word of Bible testimony can be produced! Will not the Professor, if he still differs with us, take the trouble to publicly meet the editor of this journal in a candid, Christian, brotherly discussion of the disputed points, using for proof the Word of God only? We will bear all the expense, willingly. We suggest to him that in our opinion this would be a much more noble, much more gentlemanly, much more Christian method of procedure than sending out a scurrilous tract full of invectives and appealing only to the prejudices, and calling the writer "hydrophobic" and styling Millennial Dawn "nocturnal hallucination" and "the product of insanity," because it is perhaps too reasonable and logical and Scriptural for him to appreciate it.
(4) They believe with us that Jesus was a spirit-being before he became a man; but they deny that in his resurrection he became a spirit-being as in the beginning. They claim that he is still "the man Christ Jesus" in heaven, altho they admit that all the holy angels are ministering spirits; and would doubtless admit that conditions suitable to spirit beings would be quite unsuited to fleshly beings. They hold that our Lord's second coming will be in flesh and that he and the apostles and all the saints will have thrones and palaces and earthly court and pomp and splendor much as earthly kings now do, only on a more lavish scale, etc., etc.
We object to this as being contrary both to the Scriptures and to sound judgment. It is not reasonable to suppose that our Lord's obedience to the performance of the Father's will even unto death, (Heb. 10:9), should to all eternity cost him the encumbrance of the flesh—and that with scars and wounds, as is claimed. We hold with the Bible that "Now the Lord is that spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17); and that though he was "put to death in the flesh he was quickened in spirit" (I Pet. 3:18); and that "tho we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth, know we him [so] no more." (2 Cor. 5:16.) We hold with the Bible that "flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:50), and that when that Kingdom is established it will be spiritual and invisible; and hence that men shall not say, "Lo here" or "Lo there!" for "the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (outward show) but shall be in the midst of men unseen.—See Luke 17:20,21.
We hold that Christ and his glorified Church will be as invisible to men as are Satan and his angels now;—because they will be spirit beings; that this is the meaning of the "change" promised; "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (I Cor. 15:51,52), "we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (I Jno. 3:2), and share his glory; and his glory and presence are now like those of the Father, "whom no man hath seen nor can see," "dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." (I Tim. 6:16). Only because of her "change" can the Church behold her Lord's glory and that of the Father.
We will let the Professor tell us of his troubles—how he stared, and rubbed his eyes and felt vexed and annoyed by our "astonishing translation of John 1:1 ",—the more so because he could not deny its correctness. The clipping (from Watchword and Truth) reads thus:—
A NEW RENDERING OF JOHN 1:1 .
The publication of the little tract entitled "Brief Review of Millennial Dawn" by the Watchword and Truth seems to have disturbed somewhat the defenders of the heresies of that book. From three different sources there has come to the writer an astonishing translation of Jno. 1:1. One is found in "Zion's Watch Tower," dated April 1, 1902, and received a few days ago. The translation in this paper is [R3075 : page 279] heavily marked with a blue pencil, and on the margin are written in blue pencil the words, "Moorehead should read this." Well, yes; he has read "this," and had read it before with some attention. Here it is: "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a God: the same was in the beginning with the God." (The italics are in the paper referred to above.) When I first read this translation I rubbed my eyes and stared. When the last of the three came with its blue pencil emphasis and the marginal exhortation, I polished my glasses, re-read and stared! Obviously the import of it is, to remove this text from the sphere of testimony to our Lord's pre-incarnate Deity. It is thus employed in the little tract. Therein it is asserted the verse teaches (1), Christ's eternity: (2), His eternal separate existence: (3), His Deity. The Millennial Dawn translation seems intended to exclude this interpretation and to fasten another and a very different meaning on the verse. It makes Christ a God as distinguished from the God!
The Millennial Dawn people may perhaps ask: "but is not our translation of the verse exactly literal?" Yes, surprisingly literal. The reader who is not acquainted with the Greek may be here informed that the definite article the is very often attached (not always) to the term God in the original of the N.T. Its use there is idiomatic. Our English forbids it save in certain well-defined cases, as e.g. "The God of Abraham," etc. Its presence or absence in each is governed by the genius of the two tongues respectively.
But let us follow the example of the above queer rendering of Jno. 1:1, and apply the method to other places of Scripture. In this same first chapter of John four times the Greek word God is found without the definite article the. Let us read these and hear how they sound: verse 6. "There was a man sent from a God whose name was John:" verse 12, "But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the children of a God: verse 13, "Which were born...of a God:" verse 18, "No man hath seen a God at any time." Quite recently I read the eighth chapter of Romans through in the original, and found that ten times the apostle uses the name without the article, and in each instance the name is employed to designate the Supreme God. Let us read but one verse with Dawn-ist translation inserted: verse 14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of a God, they are the sons of a God." How does it sound, brethren? This silly nonsense is matched only by the Reims version of Heb. 11:21: "By faith Jacob when he was a dying
Nor is this all. One of the commonest rules of Greek Grammar as touching the use of the definite article the is this: In a simple sentence the subject generally takes the article while its predicate omits it. Jno. 1:1, third clause, is a simple, definite statement with a subject and a predicate; the subject is, "the Word" (Logos), and its predicate unquestionably is, "God," and hence the latter word does not take the article. Will some one kindly loan these gentlemen a Greek Grammar?
Furthermore, there is a Greek adjective that expresses exactly the idea of a divine or god-like being, but who is not necessarily himself God. It is the word theios. This word John might have used had he wished to convey the idea that Christ in his pre-incarnate state was like a God. But John does not use this term, instead he employs the supreme title of God and applies it most emphatically to the Lord Jesus Christ in his eternal pre-existent state.
Once more, if John had inserted the article the before the term God in the third clause of the verse, then the word would have embraced the entire Godhead, and a distinction of the Persons in the Trinity would have been obliterated. Had he written (to follow again the example of the Dawn translation), "and the Word was the God," then Christ would have been the whole of the Trinity. He might as well have written, "The Son is the Father," for that would have been the exact equivalent.
But enough of this. The only justification of this brief article lies in the bizarre rendering of Jno. 1:1 which has been offensively thrust upon the writer as a triumphant reply to his use of that text as proof of Christ's everlasting equality with the Father, as himself God; and this, too, with blue pencil emphasis and marginal admonition.
We are sorry that such trifles so worry the Professor, and advise our friends that they hereafter remember that the more head a Professor has the more bother he has in using it,—if the arguments are against him. We reflect, that if the brief reference to John 1:1 made so much rubbing of eyes necessary, it is fortunate that the Professor did not first see the full and extended treatment of this and cognate passages in Millennial Dawn, Vol. V., for then he might have rubbed his eyes out. However, on the other hand, blind eyes need considerable rubbing and washing [R3076 : page 279] and especially anointing before sight comes. We hope and pray that the Professor may have such a blessing in this respect as the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians.—Eph. 1:17,18;
And now, what about the above? It is certainly an improvement on the "Moorehead Tract" in that it is a little more honest and Christian in its general style, avoiding some of the slang and invective of the latter; yet, we must confess disappointment that ten years of "growth in grace" has accomplished so little improvement: that the Professor is still so willing to "handle the Word of God deceitfully" and to throw "dust" into the eyes of those who have reason to expect better things of him as a minister and a Professor of theology! See what the Lord says respecting such bell-wether professors who befoul the waters of truth so that his sheep cannot drink at the streams of truth.—Ezek. 34:18,19, read also verses 10-16.
The Professor being unable to deny the exactness and literalness of the translation, acknowledges it in such a manner as to mislead those unacquainted with the Greek and who trust to his candor, by effecting irony, saying, "Yes, surprisingly literal" and again referring to it as "this queer rendering of John 1:1." Again, without denying the absolute correctness of the rendering, he throws more "dust" into the eyes of his credulous friends by a little "acting," to deceive; [R3076 : page 280] saying, "Will some one kindly loan these gentlemen a Greek Grammar?" His assurance in this is based upon the fact that only a small minority of his readers have Greek New Testaments or any ability to understand them and to see his trickery.
We make no claim to originality in respect to John 1:1. It was written and printed nearly eighteen centuries before we were born. It is God's Word and not ours—the article showing emphasis and all, and any sport made of it is answerable for to God, and to him who said "Whosoever is ashamed of me and of my words of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed." We do not even claim originality as to the proper translation of John 1:1. Our attention was called to it by The Emphatic Diaglott—an interlineary word for word Greek and English New Testament, in general use and of high repute.
The Professor's quotations from John 1, and Romans 8, "a God" is so much more "dust". We make no claim that the Greek article showing emphasis is used every time the Father is referred to as God; but, on the contrary, that its use in John 1:1 is made necessary to distinguish between God the Father and God the Son, and to show what our Saviour's words fully attested; saying, "My Father is greater than I." "I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." "I seek not to do mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."—John 14:28; 6:38; 5:30.
Notice carefully the next to last paragraph of the Professor's article. He here most positively acknowledges the correctness of our translation;—acknowledges that the article (the) in the third clause must be omitted, in order to show that Christ is not the God but a God. The Professor evidently has a Greek grammar and knows how to use it too, if only it suited his theory to tell the whole truth.
What is the real character of our present civilization? We may as well face the facts. It is gigantic in invention, discovery, enterprise, achievement; but it is gigantically worldly; sometimes and somewheres monstrously God-denying and God-defying. This "Christian civilization" has produced giants in these days, men of renown, but they often use their intellect, knowledge and fame only to break down, as with the iron flail of Talus, all Christian faith. Philosophy now blooms into a refined and poetic Pantheism, or a gross, blank Materialism, or a subtle Rationalism, or an absurd Agnosticism. Science constructs its systems of evolution, and leaves out a personal God; Spontaneous Generation becomes the only creator, Natural Law the only determining power, and Natural Selection the only Providence.
"Such men as Strauss and Renan, Hegel and Comte, Goethe and Kant, Mill and Spencer, Darwin and Huxley, Matthew Arnold and Theodore Parker are specimens of men who owe their education, refinement, accomplishment, to the very Christianity they attack. The cubs first nurse the dam, and then turn and strike their fangs into her breast. Civilization itself is turned into the stronghold of unbelief; its imaginations and inventions are high towers that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and the thoughts of our great thinkers have not been brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. "We have the ripest form of worldly civilization, but the ripeness borders on rottenness; while men boast of the fabric, its foundations are falling into decay, and that awful Anarchy which is the last result of Atheism even now threatens to dissolve society itself. Government is rendered helpless by the destructive forces which science has put into the hands of the ignorant and lawless. The ballot and the bullet alike become weak in competition with dynamite, and wars become impossible until men are ready for mutual extermination. Rev. A. T. Pierson, D.D.