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"DEATH is mortal error!" This is the declaration of Christian Science. All Christian Scientists thus far have made failure; at least, according to their own theory. They had hoped that Mrs. Eddy would never yield to mortal error and hence that she would never die. But she, too, has gone the way of all the earth. How uncomfortable must be the religious theory which fails its votaries at the very last! Every other religious system at least claims progress, growth, from grace to grace; from knowledge to knowledge; from one attainment to another. But Christian Science must admit that thus far all of its votaries have made shipwreck of their faith in the end—have yielded, according to their own theory, to "mortal error"—to the error of thinking that there is such a thing as death and going into it. Alas! how poor and weak is the human mind! How easily deluded!
We have already pointed out that the teachings of Christian Science (that there is no sin and there is no death) is in direct contradiction to God's Word—"The wages of sin is death," "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." We have pointed out, on the contrary, that Christian Science is in full agreement with Satan's first falsehood, by which he deceived our first parents, saying, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4.) We do not mean to say that Christian Scientists are knowingly in league with Satan and willingly propagating his falsehoods. We have, however, declared and now repeat that we believe that Christian Science delusion is of Satan, with whose word it agrees, and that it is not of God, whose Word it contradicts.
The Apostle speaks of the "depths of Satan," and again says that "we are not ignorant of his devices." We have pointed out the probability that Satan would prosecute his work in the near future through various materializations for the further deception of humanity and their further enslavement to error. But it had not occurred to us that the Adversary might make more use of Mrs. Eddy after death than before it—that her "mortal error" might be made an occasion for the still further delusion and enslavement of well-meaning but deceived people. The latest pronouncement from one of Mrs. Eddy's most prominent followers, Augusta E. Stetson, implies much:—
(1) Christian Scientists are now directed to expect that, as Jesus arose from the dead and appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, so will Mrs. Eddy do. This, to us, means that, if possible, the fallen angels will materialize and personate Mrs. Eddy for the further deception of those who have almost worshipped her. Such materializations and deceptions are only what we have expected, although we looked for nothing of this kind from the Christian Science quarter.
(2) That the teachings of Christian Science will hereafter be modeled more carefully along the line which we believe to be the Truth—teaching that the millennium is nigh, even at the door, with its reign of righteousness and inauguration of a new social order. We may be sure, however, that our great Adversary, Satan, will not advocate any measure of the Truth except for the purpose of injuring it or to take advantage of seeds of Truth, which the Lord has been permitting us to plant through millions of copies of the Press. It is a part of his policy, as the Apostle explains, to put light for darkness and darkness for light. At every presentation of the Truth of the past Satan has more or less successfully introduced grievous errors under its cloak.
Undoubtedly wonderful times are immediately ahead of us. It behooves all those who have been blessed of the Lord with the opening of the eyes of their understanding to walk very faithfully—to remember that theirs is a covenant of sacrifice and to count all earthly things but as loss and dross, that they may win Christ and be found in him—members of his Body in glory, members of the Anointed Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator between God and men.
"The same situation exists today as when Jesus of Nazareth died and was buried. After three days he manifested himself, to prove that there is life after death. Mrs. Eddy will do the same, for she occupies in the world of today precisely the same position that Jesus occupied in his day.
"It may take, will take, longer for Mrs. Eddy to pass through the experience of material death to the stage of demonstration of everlasting life. It may not occur for years, or it may occur tomorrow or next week. But she will manifest herself, and all men shall know of it.
"Those in the church who profess doubt of such a demonstration are like the disciples who doubted till they saw and felt of Jesus. I shall see Mrs. Eddy again, and I shall walk by her side, holding her hand, along the path that leads to [R4744 : page 20] life which has no death. All men who will believe will be shown how they may, by spiritual means, demonstrate over death, but first they must await Mrs. Eddy's manifestation.
"Yesterday I would not answer questions relating to the expected demonstration by Mrs. Eddy—her resurrection, as some call it. I felt then that the hour for me to speak had not come. Today I am convinced the time is proper. From all quarters I am receiving reports of demoralization and sadness in the field of Christian Science because of the delay in the demonstration and because of the spreading abroad of declarations that Mrs. Eddy will not manifest herself.
"The age of the gospel is closed," went on Mrs. Stetson, speaking in the most earnest way. "A new era is opening, the era of the one thousand years which the Bible tells us will follow the second appearance of Christ, the opening of the millennium. Christ means Truth, and Mary Baker Eddy was Truth on earth again. I am waiting and watching, and my students are waiting and watching, for we know the moment is at hand when God will prove, in the person of Mrs. Eddy, that she was his inspired mouthpiece, to teach and unfold the glories of Truth and Love and Life which are represented by Christian Science."
At a time when Christendom is talking about converting the world by a rush of Christian missionaries upon heathen lands—each missionary to convert thirty-two thousand heathens in a year—it is well that we try to view the situation rationally, as well as sympathetically.
We certainly have every sympathy for the heathen. We surely greatly appreciate the benevolent intentions of the so-called Laymen's Missionary Movement, which proposes to raise millions of money and accomplish the conversion of heathendom instanter.
Seriously let us ask, How many suitable missionaries, able to really assist the heathen out of darkness into light—to a true knowledge of God—can be found? And where are they? Alas! we know as a fact that our great schools and colleges, so richly endowed, are graduating infidels, instead of Christians. To send such men to the heathen would be to do more harm than good.
Instead of converting the heathen, present appearances are that the world is on the verge of a general conflict with heathendom. In Africa, in India, in China there is general unrest. The civilized of Europe and America have assumed the burden of governing the uncivilized, taking from them their land and its riches and compelling submission. Undoubtedly this maintains to some extent a form of law and order, but it also involves a certain amount of injustice against which the heathen mind is rebellious, as the civilized certainly would be under similar circumstances.
It looks as though the New Year, 1911, might be expected to be a strenuous one. Behind all the military activity and naval preparations of the civilized world there lie an ambition and a fear. Embroilment in wars with the heathen to maintain hold upon their possessions and to maintain the peace and order of the world may so weaken the strength of some great nations at home as to invite conflict in Europe—possibly between Great Britain and Germany. Nor could we expect the United States, with its interests in the Panama Canal and the Philippine Islands and in the open door of China, to be free from a share in these troubles.
How long will Christendom require to learn that the present order of things is far from what we may reasonably expect of Messiah's Kingdom? To learn this great lesson in the great time of trouble which approaches will lead all nations to look for, pray for, desire the Kingdom of God's dear Son. With it "The desire of all nations shall come."—Haggai 2:7.
Amongst the most staunch adherents to the Bible are the Baptists. It, therefore, caused all the more astonishment that at their Convention in Canada they endorsed Higher Criticism—Infidelity. In their Toronto Educational Institution the Bible and its so-called Higher Critics had a contest. When the decision went against the Bible, an appeal was made to the Convention. The Convention upheld Higher Criticism in its endorsement of the continued teaching of Higher Criticism in Baptist Theological Schools.
For about twenty years Higher Criticism has been taking a more and more pronounced stand in all the Baptist Theological Seminaries, as well as in all other Protestant Seminaries. The surprising thing about the proceedings of the Convention is that this brand of infidelity has gained such strength and such courage that it is willing to announce itself publicly to the whole world as Anti-Biblical. Here we see reflected what we have for some years been pointing out, namely, that all the young ministers of all denominations are being graduated as Higher Critics, Infidels, with exactly the same view of the Bible as Robt. Ingersoll and Thos. Paine held and advocated.
The only difference is that these young ministers pose as Christians and believers in a personal God and in his revelation of his character and Plan in the Bible, whereas they are totally unbelievers. Christianity is losing its hold when its very foundation is laughed at by its most prominent representatives. He who disbelieves the Bible record of Adam and Eve and the fall must also disbelieve any necessity for a redemption of the fallen race.
Those who believe that Adam fell upward, instead of downward, cannot have sympathy or appreciation for the words of the Master, that he came to seek and to recover that which was lost. They do not believe that we were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. They totally deny the Master's own words that he came into the world to give himself a ransom-price, a corresponding offset, for human sin and condemnation. What Gospel have such ministers to preach and how few ministers there are in any denomination that are not Higher Critics—Infidels? The remainder are classed as old fogies and are not in demand.
Thus we see fulfilling before our eyes the Master's words, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith in the earth?" The faith once delivered to the saints is certainly not very generally held today, even amongst those who profess to be the special advocates, mouthpieces and champions of true religion.
A group of college men were discussing an odd incident that took place recently in a university located in the western part of the State. Two of the most conspicuous young men in the graduating class had been assigned to take opposite sides of a debate during their last term, upon a religious theme relating to the authenticity of the Scriptures. It happened that the man assigned to defend the Biblical position was known to entertain pronounced infidelistic views, while the counter argument was given to one of the most active church and Y. M. C. A. workers in the class.
The young men studied hard upon the theme for some weeks, and when the debate came off each maintained his side vigorously. The strange sequel was that after the debate the infidel had so convinced himself that he became a member of the church, while the other young man also changed his views and became fully as skeptical as his opponent had once been.
The above illustrates a principle to which we have already called attention time and again. We find what we seek! Those who approach the Bible with earnest desire to find in it God's Message will be guided of the Lord. As it is written, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness (Truth). They shall be filled."
On the other hand, those who approach the Bible from the standpoint of cavil, unbelief, antagonism are equally sure to find what they seek—flaws, contradictions, etc. Note how Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll illustrate this principle, and compare their experiences and findings with our own blessings, as we feast upon the Bible as the Lord's bountifully spread table of good things, "meat in due season for the household of faith."
The same principle holds true with the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Those who so desire can pick flaws in the Bible and turn and twist its statements into unreason; they can also similarly pick to pieces the Divine Plan of the Ages.
"We walk by faith and not by sight." This principle holds true in respect to all of God's dealings with his people during the night of weeping preceding the glorious morning of joy, when they shall see as they are seen and know as they are known. Hence, to approach God's Word and have a right understanding of it implies:—
(4) While expecting and seeking and looking in the direction of their expectations and leadings, they should exercise their reasoning faculties and thereby approve or disapprove what is presented to them.
(5) They should beware how they neglect these favors of God; they should take heed to headiness and high-mindedness, lest, after having enjoyed the light and the blessing, it should slip from them and leave them in the outer darkness in which we see the whole world groping.
Wake up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near. Gather ye together in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the valley of death). Let the weak say, I am [R4745 : page 21] strong. Beat your pruning-hooks into spears and your plowshare steel use for swords.—Joel 3:10.
What it will by and by mean to go to war may be guessed at from the description of the gun given below. In connection with this preparation for war between nations let us not overlook the fact that governments and generals are becoming afraid of their troops. As the militia declined to serve in Ohio in connection with the strike disturbances, and as the marines rebelled against the government in Brazil, and the soldiers of Portugal against their generals, so it may soon be in every land in the world.
Germany with her great army is becoming fearful because Socialism is gradually making its way amongst the soldiers. And even in Great Britain it was recently found necessary to disarm some of the militia or yeomanry. The secret of all this insubordination is knowledge, and behind the knowledge lies education, and behind education the printing press and God's wonderful enlightening power, lifting the veil of ignorance and preparing mankind for the great day of Messiah with its prelude of trouble.
We wondered some time ago how the insurrection, such as the Scriptures seemed to imply, could ever sweep over the whole earth; how anarchy could break loose in spite of all the combined power and influence of capital and civilization opposed to it. But now we see that education, knowledge, is preparing the way for the world's great disaster, which the Scriptures seem to indicate may be expected within five years, but which, in any event, cannot longer be postponed. Now we can see that the very men who have been trained to use the most up-to-date apparatus for the destruction of human life may be found amongst those who have the charge and care of the armories and ammunitions of war. Truly that day will be a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Following is the article referred to:—
"This gun, weighing less than twenty pounds, and manipulated after the fashion of an ordinary fowling piece, pours out a stream of bullets when in action at the rate of 400 shots per minute. The new arm is called the Benet-Mercier, and is of French invention. It has a stock that is placed against the shoulder. In action the soldier lies on the ground, resting the gun on two supports. This gives an advantage in safety over the Hiram Maxim rapid-firing model, since the operator of that gun is compelled to stand in feeding it. This brings him into full sight of the enemy—or rather it brings all three men into sight, for three are required for the manipulation of this heavier weapon.
"Where the original French model weighed about twenty pounds, the new gun as turned out by the Government experts will weigh even less. Its effectiveness, however, it is claimed, will in no wise be impaired. It is said to be certain that the army in time will be equipped with the weapon."
Enclosed you will find Report of the harvest work done
here in Germany:—
DAWN-STUDIES and MANNA sent out............... 7,306
Vol. 1 in TOWER form.......................... 1,630
Booklets and TOWERS on "hell"................. 20,634
Regular issue of TOWERS (12mo), copies........ 36,168
Sample copies of TOWERS....................... 15,450
Sample TOWERS represented in tract pages...... 772,500
TOWERS on "hell" as above..................... 1,326,500
67,000 tracts, old volunteer matter........... 656,000
3,839,200 PEOPLES PULPIT......................107,497,600
Total free literature in tract pages..........110,252,600
Letters and cards received.................... 6,726
Letters and cards sent out.................... 3,025
Expense for printing, distribution of P. P.
through newspapers and special volunteers,
Pilgrim service, freight, postage,
rent, light, heat, etc................47,953.54 Marks
Receipts from European friends, Good
Hopes, etc............................17,123.49 "
Balance from Brooklyn office..............30,830.05 "
I am glad to say that the friends everywhere, where large or small gatherings meet, seem to be more alert and appreciative of the fact that the time is short. Of the little more than 3,000 readers of the German TOWER (or subscribers, I should say), a good many have freely assisted the cause financially (not out of an abundance), and some liberally, so that we have received over 7,000 marks more the past year than the year previous. May the dear Lord guide and direct all things to his praise and to the glory of our dear heavenly Father, is our prayer continually.