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THE growing sentiment of anti-militarism is now noticeable in almost every country in Europe. The trials and troubles of the British recruiting sergeants have been described at length by these "harpies" of the army, who, with multi-colored ribbons, flying from their headgear, and a braggadocio swagger, lure unsophisticated yokels to accept the "Queen's shilling."
That it is by appeals to their vanity and not to any intelligent appreciation of the merits of the case is amply demonstrated by the study of the birthplaces of those who make up the personnel of many Scottish regiments when the preponderance of those entitled to wear the kilts will be found to be natives of countries outside of Scotland. Today the great plaint of those interested in the upkeep of Scottish traditions is that although the regiments who don the picturesque garb of various clans are quite numerous, there are not more than two who have not a large admixture of others than sons of Caledonia. All the dialects found between Giants Causeway and the Cove of Cork can be found in one regiment, and the Forty-second, better known as the Black Watch, is a Babel.
All of these facts are in themselves straws showing the decadence of "local" patriotism, and indicative of the waning devotion of those martial pursuits that in the past have formed so thrilling a theme of song and story. That it is the costume rather than the much-vaunted love of country that attracts was unanimously the verdict of the recruiting sergeants in England, tacitly given, of course, when they declaimed so loudly against khaki replacing the brilliant red coat because of its deterrent effect upon prospective animated packages of food for powder.
The practical suppression by the newspapers of all news regarding the opposition in different countries to military service is a recognition of its development and a realization that if the reports of outbreaks from time to time be allowed free circulation the effect will necessarily be antagonistic to the exploiting class.
The riots in various parts of Spain at the different ports from which reinforcements were being shipped to Melilla for the Moroccan campaign were protests on the part of those who, awakening from the hypnotism of past generations, realize that war is prosecuted only for the gratification of those desiring profit therefrom, and all the talk about the "defense of honor," upholding the flag, freedom's cause, are so many catchpenny phrases that have outlived their usefulness.
The increase of Socialistic philosophy in Germany, with its concomitant anti-militarism, goes on apace despite the outbursts of censure from the Kaiser stigmatizing these subjects as "vaterlandlos," etc. It is very likely that an impasse may be reached in the kingdom of Prussia in 1912.
There are reports current that the army will be mobilized in that year, which means temporary disfranchisement, whereby a diminution of the Socialist vote may be affected and candidates more favorable to imperialistic policies elected.
There is this "fly in the ointment"—the fear is felt, and more or less openly voiced, that, inasmuch as the supporters of Bebel, Singer, Auer, et al., know the motive for the mobilization is because those deprived of the privilege of voting are opposed to the present regime, a coup d'etat would very probably be, not only attempted, but carried to a successful issue.
It is not very generally known by the world at large who do not read Labor's papers that when Sweden and Norway dissolved partnership there was a strong element among the jingoistically inclined for a resort to a trial by combat, and that it was averted as a result of the conferences between the workingmen's unions of the two countries deciding that their members would refrain from so fratricidal a war. Much praise was given to the late King Oscar concerning his tact and diplomacy in that controversy, but he was merely the Deus ex machina of the commonsense workingmen of the two countries interested.
In Canada all the available machinery of press and pulpit has been called into requisition for the purpose of engendering the war fever; but this propaganda, though most extensive, has not met with much favor, and as a consequence Canadians have been called "ingrates" to the Mother Land.
Why should this country burden herself with the expenses incident to floating junk piles in the shape of battleships, cruisers, torpedo-boat destroyers? Junkpile may be considered a wrong term to use for these Leviathans of the sea, but let the inquisitive look into the cost, life and final resting-places of these monuments to man's stupidity!
"Adam had eaten the elaborate repast furnished by his helpmeet with every indication that he relished every morsel. He complimented her upon the dainty manner in which the blue-points were served, the flavor of the puree of pea, the seasoning of the fish and entree, and finally reached a delicious salad. Adam paused, and with a worried look on his face, he demanded of Eve where she found the ingredients. She enumerated all except the lettuce. 'Where did you get those leaves?' he demanded. 'Why, they were lying on a bush in the back yard,' she replied, sweetly. 'Well, they were my best Sunday trousers,' sobbed Adam, adding, 'Ah, woe is man,' which was corrupted into 'Woman,' the term by which we know Eve's daughters."—Newark Star.
The above is a fair sample of clerical wit. It is also valuable as a finger-post pointing the way, showing how the Bible account of creation has been abandoned by Presbyterian orthodoxy and has become ridiculous, silly and absurd even to those who profess to believe the Bible is an "inspired book."—The Philistine.
Is it any wonder that the rising generation thinks lightly of the holy Scriptures when all the modern ministers and brightest college professors make light of its statements? Yet these men think that they are but doing their duty to benighted people who have not enjoyed their opportunities of examining the Bible along the lines of Higher Criticism. They do not wish to be sacrilegious. They have themselves lost all faith in the Bible and cannot always keep up an outward pretense of respect for it.
The effect upon Christendom is growing terrible. The God of the Bible is ignored, if not dethroned, from the [R4719 : page 372] minds of humanity. Instead, mammon is worshiped—riches, money. The result is summed up by The Christian and Evangelist, from which we extract the following:
"We are finding that there are crowds at all the Legislatures, State and National, buying legislation all the time. And the horror of all this is that many of these men have not moral sense enough to realize that they are both dishonest and dishonorable! They are surprised that such a turmoil is aroused over the mere giving and receiving of bribes. Now, these men are our so-called respectable men. They are the men who wear high hats and frock coats, and go to church and have boxes at the opera or symphony concert. Have they lost all sense of honor and honesty? Has their moral nature become atrophied by the handling of bribes as are the hands of certain men paralyzed who work in certain chemicals? And when we turn to our own neighborhood, we find contractors cheating the builders by poor material, and laborers cheating the contractors by slovenly, deceitful work. The city employes are cheating the city in every way—by short hours, exorbitant and unearned salaries, illicit favors shown by one to another, bills entered for things never bought.
"When we turn to business we find graft being practised everywhere: merchants paying for markets, employes being bribed to get trade of their employers, newspapers being controlled by advertisers. Any employer of numbers of young men will tell how rare the sense of honor and honesty is among them; how they will shirk work, and feel no constraint to render full and interested service. Young men steal stamps and even money to pay betting debts. Even college boys cheat in entrance examinations.
"Now, if this goes on much longer, where can we issue except in moral chaos? We need a new sense of honor; we need a new generation of men with such a sense of honor that they will despise and turn from anything that deprives them of pure hands and clean hearts, who will hate a lie in any form."
As dreadnaughts increase in number and size and power, invention prepares fresh agencies for their destruction. These sometimes are from unexpected quarters. The world is evidently getting ready for a most sanguinary conflict. When it is ended, in a most dreadful desolation, the world will be sick of war and will be ready to learn Messiah's more excellent way. God will make the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder he will restrain. In permitting this dreadful condition of warfare to culminate the Lord will be giving humanity a needed lesson and, in the language of the Prophet, he will thus command them, "Be still, and know that I am God."
The latest invention of torpedoes is by a truck gardener of Missouri, named Ikerman. His torpedoes have been tested on the battleship Texas. One naval officer is quoted as saying that with twelve men and enough of Ikerman's torpedoes he could withstand the attack of the combined navies of the world.
The September number of the Upper Iowa Methodist Conference this year faced the fact that fifty-seven "charges" in the Conference have been vacated. Newspapers say:—"Fifty-seven men, the greater number of them young and in the prime of life, will quit the ministry at this time to engage in secular lines of work. Many of these men are only a few years out of the university and seminary. The general complaint is that the salary paid is not sufficient."
Such a condition of things should not cause astonishment. Nearly all of the ministers that have been graduated from all colleges and seminaries within the last fifteen years left the Alma Mater Higher Critics—unbelievers in the Bible—and many of them skeptical as respects a personal God. This is the general teaching of all the colleges and seminaries, male and female—not openly and avowedly sometimes, but really and truly, nevertheless. If there are exceptions, they are rare.
What incentive is there for the preaching of a message, which the preacher does not believe, from a text which he considers uninspired and believes he could improve upon himself? The motives must be either pride, money, approbativeness or ease. The world is holding out greater inducements to-day along all these lines, for clericalism is growing in disesteem and it is becoming more and more difficult to squeeze money out of unconsecrated pockets.
How much ministers and people both need the true Gospel, which shows the harmony of Divine Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power, and mankind the Divine inspiration of the Bible, showing its complete harmony with itself and with the true principles of godliness!
"These instances of united action indicate only a primitive [R4719 : page 373] form of Federal Union. Nothing more could be expected within nineteen months. But, primitive though it is, it is real. The American States, when they were first federated, were as truly a nation as they are to-day. They were a weak nation, an immature nation, but a nation, nevertheless. To-day the Federal Council demonstrates that not only Church Union is practicable, quite wise, but also that it has been achieved."
A cablegram from Sheffield, England, announces that Drs. Hutchinson and Russell, who have been experimenting in soil fertility, made a report to the British Association, proclaiming the discovery of a micro-organism which demonstrates bacteria essential to the fertility of the soil. One speaker declared this the most important agricultural discovery in fifty years.
"Heaven is only an evolution of this world. A Christian may love a baseball game and, loving it, remain a Christian. Why, then, is it not safe to prophesy that even the game of baseball will have its place in some spiritual form in heaven? Imagine an everlasting rivalry for the pennant! Think of the new eternal question, 'What's the score?'"
A veritable bombshell was thrown at the annual conference of the Western Reform Union, opened at Sheffield, England. The newly elected president, J. H. Freeborough, speaking on the hope for the future unity of the Christian Church, said he firmly believed the great agency for the unification of Christendom was the Roman Catholic Church. No other Church, he said, had the outlook, machinery, tradition or wealth and ability to bring together all the forces of Christendom.
It was a strange thing to say in a Protestant union, he continued, but the secret lay there, and if they could move that great power to the hearts and needs of humanity the day of Christ's coming would be in our time.—North Eastern Gazette.
There is a strong agitation in military circles of Germany against that country acting any longer as war instructor of other nations. It is a well-known fact that the Turkish, the Japanese, and also the Chinese army, which is long past the first stages of modern development, has been organized and developed by German officers. After the war with Russia the Japanese gladly admitted that their magnificent victory over the much more powerful and resourceful enemy was due to the German schooling and strategy. Since the war in Manchuria many more Japanese officers have entered the German army for the purpose of study than ever before, and also Chinese are coming in ever greater numbers. Against this, even military authorities, irreproachable for either pessimism or hatred of foreigners, are now objecting. It is asserted that the strategical schooling of the half-barbarians of the far and near east by Germany must be brought to an end if the "yellow peril" is not to become a fearful reality. Sooner or later this willingness of instruction on the part of the Germans will avenge itself on that country, and it is even now being made merchandise of by England and the other powers as a reason for suspicion and attack upon Germany.
The Federation of Churches and Religious Organizations of Greater Boston became a reality at a meeting at Ford Hall not long since. Twenty-eight churches and organizations were represented at the meeting, which was presided over by the Rev. George L. Paine.
The general object of the federation is to inform, associate and assist the churches and religious and civic organizations of Greater Boston for intelligent, aggressive co-operative work in behalf of the spiritual, educational, social economy and physical interests of its individual family and community life.—Boston Post.
"A declaration by the Rev. Dr. Charles E. McClellan, pastor of the Fairhill Baptist Church, that 'Protestantism in the United States is fast decaying and will soon be a thing of the past,' aroused a storm of protest at the fifty-third session of the North Philadelphia Baptist Association, [R4720 : page 373] in the Fiftieth Baptist Church, at Seventh street and Susquehanna avenue.
"Other ministers were on their feet in an instant, declaring that Doctor McClellan must be mistaken. Instead of dying out, they said, Protestantism is now at its zenith, with unbounded opportunities for advancement on all sides.
"Doctor McClellan spoke on what he called the decline of Protestantism while making his report as chairman of the missionary committee. 'The spirit of Protestantism is dying in the United States, and it will soon be a thing of the past,' he said. 'Philadelphia, both denominationally and religiously, is going to perdition at a rapid rate.
"'Recently I attended the services in one of our churches, at which I had been invited to speak. I found in attendance nineteen adults and one child. The same condition exists all over the city. We have large, magnificent churches, but small congregations, showing that it is easy to get money, but hard to get men.
"It has been estimated that the fertile lands of the globe amount to 28,000,000 square miles, the steppes to 14,000,000 and the deserts to 1,000,000. Fixing 207 persons to the square mile for fertile lands, 10 for steppes and one for deserts, as the great population that the earth could properly nourish, the conclusion has been arrived at that, when the number of inhabitants reaches about 6,000,000,000, our planet will be peopled to its full capacity. At present it contains a little more than one-quarter of that number, says Harper's Weekly. If the rate of increase shown by recent censuses should be uniformly maintained, it is thought that the globe would be fully peopled about the year 2072."—Exchange.
The writers of the above cannot be accused of having any sympathy with THE WATCH TOWER presentations of the Divine purposes respecting our earth. Notwithstanding the fact that such statements are published and republished [R4720 : page 374] in the newspapers of the world, public thought is very slightly influenced by such statistics. Professors in colleges and seminaries prate about the age of the earth and humanity inhabiting it and about millions of years to come and the wonderful things that Evolutionists will accomplish. They totally ignore facts—statistics like the above. Why is this? Evidently the human mind is peculiarly constituted!
We remind our readers again that we recently published reports from physicians of Great Britain and America which declare that the world is rapidly becoming insane and that, at the present rate of progress, the whole world would be insane in two hundred and sixty-eight years. We published not long ago statistics showing that at the present rate of increase in the use of coal the world's supply would be exhausted in less than two hundred years. Reports from the lumber interests in the world show that timber must soon be cultivated to supply the present population of earth, not taking into consideration a future great increase. Now we have, as above, statistics showing that in one hundred and ten years all the tillable earth of the whole world will be under cultivation and its regular produce will be necessary for the maintenance of the human family without any off-years. What would the world do for food in two hundred years from now?
The Bible alone gives the answer to the problem of human life prolonged upon this earth and the Bible answers only through its proper interpretation. It assures us that now, soon, before these dire calamities would be due, the whole matter will be solved satisfactorily, happily, blessedly, in the establishment of God's Kingdom—Messiah's Kingdom—by the rolling back of the curse—by the Divine blessing instead, making the fields fruitful and lifting mankind from dust and ashes and death to nobler heights, mental, moral and physical—up to perfection and everlasting life. The earth has an abundance of room, as we have already shown, for all of Adam's race that have ever lived. All that it will need will be more fertility and, if necessary, more continents can be raised from ocean depths. The blessing of the Lord shall fill the whole earth. In Messiah's day the righteous shall flourish and the evildoer shall be cut off in the Second Death.
"It is high time the Church saw to it that the Jericho road is cleared of thieves and robbers. We cannot preach chastity without considering the tenement-house problem, or temperance without realizing that poverty leads to drunkenness, as well as drunkenness to poverty."
Undoubtedly many dear people have a zeal for God and for Church Federation—not, however, according to the wisdom from above, as we see it. Nevertheless, what they are attempting will succeed, and, according to the Scriptures, will be the beginning of the end of "Churchianity."
To us its success is an encouragement as demonstrating the fulfilment of prophecy. To the unionists it is a hollow self-deception to assume that any union in unbelief and ignoring of the Bible and of conscience can work real good.
In an exceedingly interesting address delivered in New York a short time ago Moreton Frewen, the English economist and author, pointed out some features of the world's currency problems which have been overlooked for the most part by the man in the street. The subject of his paper was "The Serious Depreciation of Gold."
The speaker took up the subject of the relation of Asia to the situation. "The most serious aspect of the depreciation of gold," he said, "or, to word it more simply, of the great rise of gold prices, is that it is stimulating the industrial development of Asia with eight hundred millions of people, and involves a competition which, though little noticed thus far, is a menace to our Western civilizations. The great abundance of the new gold inflates our currencies, but there is no equivalent inflation of the silver currencies of the Far East. The result is a great stimulus to all that Asia exports to us and if the rise of gold prices continues during the next quarter of a century, as I believe it will, we shall hand over the control of many great industries, such as steel and coal, cotton, leather and jute, to an awakening China.
"Within the past few months a steel rolling mill has commenced to roll rails of the highest quality at Hankow. The wages per hand paid in the mill are one-fifteenth of the wage at Pittsburg and the efficiency of this skilled, patient Chinese labor is, I understand, estimated by Mr. Watson, an inspector of the United States Steel Corporation, at 90 per cent. of the highly paid skilled white workers at Pittsburg. The wage of coal miners in China and of ordinary unskilled coolie labor there is much lower still; not more than six to eight cents per day gold.
"In the past thirty years, because of falling silver exchanges, the entire character of England's trade with Asia has changed. Instead of an improving market for our exports of manufactured goods, cheap silver is making of Asia one vast factory. When I think of the creations I have myself seen—the cotton mills of Bombay, the jute mills of Calcutta, the boot factories of Cawnpore, and now this terribly ominous competition of Hankow, Shanghai, Hongkong—I find myself wondering what white industries menaced by this murderous Mongolian competition will survive.
"I suppose that there is no man living today who brings a wider mental horizon to these economic problems than your distinguished countryman, Mr. James J. Hill. A friend has given me an important letter written to him a few weeks since by Mr. Hill, with a portion of which I may properly conclude my remarks:—
"'It appears certain that as long as the workers of the Orient are content to accept silver at par for their low wage, while merchants and manufacturers can sell their products abroad for gold and turn it into silver at current rates of exchange, not only must our exports to the Orient tend to decrease rather than increase, but it will presently become a question whether the markets of the rest of the world can be saved from a competition stimulated by exchange [R4720 : page 375] conditions that we are powerless to control.'
"The crises of 1893 and 1907 will not be found where you are looking for them; they were not either in your banking or in your currency systems. The trouble is in your foreign exchanges. In that direction you must find the remedy. We must discover a way to obtain much higher rates of exchange with Asia; that is the road to your safety and to ours."—Bulletin of the American Institute of Banking.
A scientific gentleman in England startles the world with the declaration that he has discovered a certain electric ray that can be focused like light and be used to paralyze armies as easily and as quickly as though lightning [R4721 : page 375] had desolated their ranks. This new weapon of destruction, it is said, has been tendered to the British War Department. It is called an "attribute of high-frequency electric current," which can be separated and, by mechanical contrivance, be deflected and aimed in much the same way as a stream of water from a hose pipe. The Scientist says:—
"The most striking experiment of all had a horse for its subject. By a mechanical device, which is, of course, a secret invention, it was brought to bear upon the horse at a range of four miles. The results could not have been more rapid or more destructive had the range been four yards. The brute staggered as though dazed by a blow from some unseen hand, then fell stone dead. The same thing would have happened had the range been doubled or trebled, and the fate of a horse might have been the fate of an army corps."
Surely the increase of knowledge of our day can be safely entrusted only to perfect beings controlled by the Law of Love, or controlled by a higher power, until their uplifting shall have been effected—or their destruction in the Second Death, exactly as the Bible shows.