WE HAVE already noted in these columns an instance of how surgery, the trepanning of the skull and the removal of a tumor from the brain, changed a bad boy into a good one. We now note, in the American-Journal-Examiner, the account of another such case: a bandit, desperado, train robber and murderer of the Northwest, after being imprisoned was found to have some good traits and became a very useful man in the prison service, but nevertheless retained a vindictive, murderous spirit. Seizing his opportunity he was about to kill one of the keepers. The record says: "He fought like a madman, and it was only after a spirited struggle that the handcuffs were placed upon his wrists. When the man regained his feet he said, "I never expected to be taken alive. Give me my arms and I will defy the whole town." The man's name is Charles Holzhay, but he was generally known as Black Bart.
The attention of the surgeons connected with the prison was drawn to the man, an operation was performed, a tumor removed from the brain, since which time Black Bart gives every evidence of being greatly changed in his general disposition, and, as the newspaper records—"Before they cut out the bad spot in the brain of Black Bart, the murderous bandit, he was the wildest, fiercest villain and freebooter of the Northwest; now he is tame and mild, a teacher in a Sunday School, a reader of tracts, a praying man full of noble impulses."
No one for a moment supposes that all the meanness and weakness of the world are caused by brain tumors; but from our standpoint we can readily see that all the badness and meanness of the world is caused more or less directly by the fall, the imperfect twists and ruts of the human mind in consequence of depravity. Sin and death working in our race have wrought the general havoc of mind and morals and physique which makes of the human family what the Apostle describes as the "groaning creation." We can readily see that the will may have large influence in rectifying these defects, so that those who give their hearts to the Lord and turn from sin and meanness to copy the Lord's character to the best of their ability, may and do make considerable progress; but we all are witnesses that perfection is not attainable by any of us, however much we will to have it. As the Apostle said, "To will is present with me, but how to do [all that I will] that which is good, I find not."—Rom. 7:18.
What the world needs, then, is the great Restorer, who, during the "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," shall lift up the poor, degenerate race from its fallen condition and bring it gradually back to all that was lost in Eden by the first man's transgression—back to the image and likeness of God. True, there will still be room for the human will to exercise itself, and any who knowingly, willingly, understandingly reject and oppose the divine restitution work will be utterly destroyed in the Second Death.—Acts 3:19-23.
The whole world, then, is waiting for the good Physician, and the Scriptures tell us how long they must wait and what blessings will come to them as soon as the waiting time is ended. They must wait until the Church, the Body of Christ, has been selected from the world and proven itself worthy of its call by willing and glad participation with Jesus in his work of sacrifice, that they may also be participators in his coming work of glory and blessing and uplifting. Then all the blind eyes shall be opened, all the deaf ears shall be unstopped and the lame shall be healed—physical, mental and moral healing and enlightenment are herein proclaimed as the work of the great Restorer, soon to begin. The entire work will require one day's time—not a twenty-four-hour day, but the "Day of Christ," for, as the Apostle Peter declares, "we should not be ignorant of this one thing, that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years."—2 Pet. 3:8.
The Toledo News-Bee says:—"Nearly a year has elapsed since Doctors J. & P. Donnelly operated on Harold Hurley, an incorrigible boy, at St. Vincent's hospital, and since that time four other operations of similar character have been performed. The Hurley boy was a burden to his family and a menace to the neighborhood: he is a changed youngster, obedient, kind, tractable, and the parents are ready witnesses to the efficacy of the operation which rescued their boy from degradation, vice and crime.
"From all over the country, especially from large cities, come eager inquiries for the Toledo surgeons seeking information as to the nature of the operation and its results. Already in Philadelphia the city is bearing the expenses of the operations on incorrigibles and considers them a good investment, while New York is seriously considering the same problem.
"The last operation of this kind was performed in St. Vincent's hospital Friday morning (Aug. 24) by Dr. J. Donnelly, on a 13-year-old boy, who was released from the workhouse and taken directly to the hospital for the operation.
"Dr. Alfred Gordon reports that he has discovered a surprisingly large number of cases of feeble-mindedness among children supposed to be victims of cruelty, who are really in a condition bordering closely upon imbecility, and calling for constant and patient care, of a character their busy parents are unable to give them.
"It is proposed that these children in many cases shall be sent to the Institution for Feeble-Minded, which is to be built at Spring City, where the evil can be corrected to a great extent and perhaps result in the total cure of the children, who would otherwise be turned out upon the world, misunderstood and regarded as common criminals, for it is believed that the criminal instinct in their brains, caused by the defect, would increase as they grow older.
"The Philadelphia Inquirer tells of the organization of a Society there for surgical operations on juvenile incorrigibles apparently destined to a criminal career through some physical defect. It says:
"'In all seven children were put under the knife by a number of the city's most prominent surgeons, who performed operations of varied natures from the most delicate to those of minor importance, calculated to improve the mental and moral conditions of the patients. The total number of children examined was 147, and about fifty per cent. of these were found to be suffering from refraction of the eyes. Glasses have been ordered for all of these, and wherever possible the parents have been required to meet the cost, but the Society furnishes them free to the others.'"
"In the first place, the unlawful acts prompted by anarchism should be made crimes, in so far as they are not, strictly speaking, crimes already, and as crimes they should be visited with such penalties as are particularly distasteful to the criminals and therefore the most effective deterrents to crime. In dealing with a convicted anarchist two facts may well be remembered: the chances of his real reformation are so small that they may be safely neglected, and we can appeal for practical purposes to but one motive on his part to discourage a repetition of his offence, namely, the fear of physical pain and death.
"On anarchists the death penalty should be unequivocally imposed by law and inflexibly executed whenever the prisoner has sought, directly or indirectly, to take life. For offences of less gravity, I advise a comparatively brief, but very rigorous imprisonment, characterized by complete seclusion, deprivation of all comfort, and denial of any form of distraction, which could be, to my mind, advantageously supplemented by a severe, but not a public whipping; the lash, of all punishments, most clearly shows the culprit that he suffers for what his fellowmen hold odious and disgraceful and not merely for reasons of public policy.
"The final and most truly vital condition of success in ridding our country of anarchism in practice is that American public opinion should recognize the utter emptiness, the inheritent folly of its theory, and of all the kindred ready-made, furnished-while-you-wait schemes for the social regeneration of mankind. Civilized society, as it exists to-day, if it be nothing more, is the outcome of all the strivings for justice and happiness of the human race during thousands of years. What monstrous presumption, what preposterous conceit, for any man, were he the wisest, the most learned, the most justly famed of his own age or of all ages, to imagine that, with but the dim, flickering lights of his own dull, feeble mind, with but the few imperfect lessons of his own short, ill-spent life to guide his hand, he could cast down and build up again this incredibly vast, this infinitely complex fabric and improve on its structure!"
Poor world! All are deranged in some measure as a result of the Adamic fall. Some go crazy on religion, others on politics, others are money-mad. Only a few have what the Apostle calls, "the spirit of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7.) All deserve our sympathy as all have the Lord's sympathy and are soon to have his aid, through Christ's Millennial Kingdom.
Anarchists are probably as sincere as others, but their brains have a different twist from those of the majority. They have lost all hope of the establishment of a reign of righteousness by human instrumentality; and in their selfishness and sympathy exaggerate the woes and wrongs suffered by themselves and others, and propose the extermination of the rich; because lacking the spirit of love, "the spirit of a sound mind," they see them as wholly evil.
From the standpoint of God's Word we see that in the near future Socialists will become quite strong throughout the civilized world, as in opposition to anarchy, but that later on their failure to achieve their hopes will make anarchists of the majority of them and speedily convulse the world in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known, which will completely overthrow present institutions. Thank God we see still further in his Word—that on that anarchistic [R3890 : page 357] wreck the Lord will establish the Kingdom of his dear Son, "under the whole heavens."
No doubt Mr. Bonaparte's prescription of death for anarchists will soon become law, under the claim that society's life, as well as the lives of its individual members must be preserved, secured. And no doubt, also, at about that time the law of might will become so powerful as to throttle all liberty. And no doubt about then the enemies of Present Truth, as we expound it, will be numerous enough and powerful enough to throttle Zion's Watch Tower publications, if not to persecute its subscribers. Opposition to civil government being esteemed injurious and worthy of a death sentence, it may be that a further step will be to declare a State Church standard of religious doctrine, and to proscribe us and others who cannot assent to it as "religious anarchists" also worthy of death. Let us not forget that our Lord and his apostles thus suffered as religious anarchists, because not in accord with the so-called orthodoxy of their day. "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads and rejoice; knowing that your redemption [deliverance] draweth nigh."—Luke 21:28.