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THE trust system seems to be laying hold of everything—railroads, steamships, steel production, smelting, bridge works, oil refining and selling, meat, produce, groceries. Above all it has made a money combination or banking system, the most gigantic the world has ever known. Billions of dollars of the people are in the banks, and the banks are controlled by wealthy syndicates. This money trust has a power of control which is marvelous. As in Great Britain the titled aristocracy hold the land and collect immense revenues and bring great pressure to bear socially and financially, so now it is in this country, with evidently more to follow.
As an illustration of this power we note the facts recently set forth in the New York Press respecting the Magazine Trust. This Trust has recently bought up several magazines and put them under one management. And directly and indirectly it is able to dictate the policies of nearly all the others. The Editor of Hampton's Magazine sets forth that, having refused to enter the [R4772 : page 67] combine, his magazine is suffering boycott. Thus the capitalist syndicate, which is said to be headed by J. P. Morgan, the banker and trustifier, says: "Hampton's Magazine is warned to cease 'muck-raking,' to cease attacks upon Wall Street methods, to cease attacks upon the trusts in general." Mr. Hampton says:—
"Constantly increasing pressure has been brought to bear on us to change our policy since Wall Street started its attempt to corner the magazine market and organize the biggest of all trusts. First this took the form of withdrawal of advertising. That failing to be effective we have been threatened in various ways. A few months ago we were notified that if we printed an article relative to a certain great corporation, the president of that corporation would make trouble for us with our stockholders. We printed the article. Within a month various magazines and newspapers and 'news bureaus' began to attack the stock of Hampton's Magazine.
"About this time we were advised that 'no bank with Wall Street connections' would have anything to do with this corporation as long as it remained under its present management. Also stockholders advised us that they had been approached, apparently by agents of Wall Street brokerage houses, who endeavored to secure their proxies to vote at the meeting.
"The American people are in the grasp of the 'money trust.' In the past the banker's only question has been the character of the business man, his experience and skill, the nature of his business, its conditions and the probable chances of success. Conditions have changed. 'Thou shalt not run counter to Wall Street' is not the eleventh commandment—it is the first in the American business world. The money of the United States is cornered in Wall Street, just as wheat is cornered by a small group of men. No banking institution of whatever size dares to hazard a conflict with this influence.
"As an illustration of what can be done, the current issue of Hampton's Magazine is being held up on the news stands. The Union News Company, because the magazine contains an article that offended Standard Oil, has ordered its agents not to sell it. The magazine lies on the stands, but the agents have their orders not to dispose of it, and when February 20 comes the copies will be returned unsold."
This matter of coercion along financial lines is one of the most powerful methods of warfare ever known. Yet it keeps within the law. The effect will be to keep the surface of things quite smooth, whatever may be the turbulence beneath. The cry of "Peace, peace," where there is much discontent, will apparently be borne out by the facts, so far as the great newspapers and magazines represent them. The excuse will be that the public will get as much information as is good for them. What will happen to personal liberty under such conditions no one can foretell. God's people are to be peacemakers, to "seek peace and pursue it." Nevertheless the Scriptures forewarn us that all of these attempts to control the pressure and growing discontent of our time will prove unavailing, so, ultimately, there will be a great explosion, which will reach to the uttermost corner of the earth—the time when newspapers and banks, politicians and everybody will be lost, and when every man's hand will be against his neighbor. We see it coming.
While we see the storm coming, let us remember the words of the Prophet, "We will not fear though the earth (society) be removed, and though the mountains (kingdoms) be carried into the midst of the sea (anarchy)."—Psa. 46:2.
"BE AT PEACE AMONGST YOURSELVES"
[1 THESS. 5:13.]
Because general discontent prevails in this our day, and because God's children, although not of the world, are in it, are influenced by it, therefore it becomes daily more necessary that each child of God shall be on the [R4772 : page 68] alert to keep his body under, to keep his tongue from murmuring, to keep his heart from discontent, to be filled with thankfulness and gratitude to God in appreciation of all his benefits towards us.
Additionally the characters being called and drawn of the Lord during this Gospel Age must all be firm of texture—strong characters. God seeketh such to be of his Son's Bride and joint-heirs. Their firmness, positiveness, is in contrast with the supineness and indifference of others. Their weaknesses through heredity are as great as those of others. Hence when a number of these are brought together, as in a class for Bible study, there is a great need of patient forbearance one with the other. If differences and clashes come, the damage one to another is sure to be greater than with people of less character, of less positive convictions, of less determination. Consequently these find the Apostle's words true, "Ye have need of patience."
With the Truth, therefore, to this class God proposes there shall also go the spirit of the Truth, the spirit of holiness, meekness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love; otherwise serious friction and damage would result.
If in any class of Bible Students, STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES be neglected, weakness, worldliness, love of pleasures, lack of zeal in the Lord's service, etc., are sure to manifest themselves. And if STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES are prosecuted but not applied to the heart and life the fruits of the Spirit will be deficient—meekness, gentleness, etc. Every item of knowledge should be used as the foundation for soil in which further graces of the Spirit will be developed for the enrichment of the character of the New Creature.
We have had occasion at times to call the attention of the classes to the fact that those chosen to be their servants, ministers, elders, are not to be recognized as their "lords," and are not to be upheld in any attempts to "lord it over God's heritage." (1 Pet. 5:3.) Now, on the other hand, we wish to call special attention to the fact that a hypercritical spirit might be engendered by the class, which might lead some of the members to take a wrong attitude. It would evidently be just as contrary to the Lord's Spirit if the class were to "lord" it over the elders. They are to be loved, to be upheld, to be appreciated; and if they have some imperfections, like other men, they are no less worthy of sympathy and forgiveness and exoneration.
In proportion as the Elders or ministers are faithful, humble, diligent, in the service of the flock, they should have the hearty co-operation of every member of the class. "Honor to whom honor is due; praise to whom praise is due."
Some of God's people, like some of the people of the world, take a hypercritical view of some trifling things, such, for instance, as parliamentary usages in connection with meetings. We are to remember that the Bible lays down no particular parliamentary usages, but gives to God's people the one broad, general law to govern each one of them in all the affairs of the Church. This Law the Master mentioned in few words, saying, "A New Commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."—John 13:34.
Let this law of love measure all of our relationships as God's people; whether we be of those chosen to be Elders or not chosen, the law of love should be used to measure our every act, our every word—yea, our very thoughts. If we can all, dear brethren, have this rule continually in mind, it will save a great deal of friction, heart-burnings and heart-achings. It will make us more like our blessed Master, better representatives of him before each other and before the world. It will incline us to be as methodical and careful as possible ourselves in all that we do and then lovingly not to expect quite as much of others until after they shall have learned the beauty of the right way by observing our course. Let us be content whatever the method adopted by the majority, if it expresses the will of the majority, however the conclusion may be reached. If we think the majority less wise than we, let us learn patience and wait, as the Lord does, until they learn the error of their course and amend it. In a word, let us each more and more seek to be peacemakers: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."—Matt. 5:9.
The present Pope is taking steps for the elimination of all Higher Critics and other unbelievers in the Bible from the Catholic priesthood. All the clergy and all the clerical students are required to swear their allegiance to the sacred traditions and to oppose what is styled "modernism," higher critical infidelity. The oath includes not merely the teachings of the Bible, but also the teachings of the Church.
If loyalty to the Bible alone had been enjoined we could have wished that all the different Protestant denominations might have followed suit. That would have meant the cutting off of more than half of the ministers, trustees, etc., who freely confess that they have lost all faith in the Bible and are Bible teachers in name only—Bible opposers, in fact.
"Few people realize that most of the important Protestant denominations in America are united in a federation that is as real as the federation of States. Even the members of those denominations themselves who are [R4773 : page 68] aware of that fact are, for the most part, probably unaware of its significance. Nothing has so seriously hampered the Church as a moral force, as its sectarian divisions. If the Protestant branch of the Church is undertaking to remove from the field of moral power the hurtful influence of these sectarian differences, its power in shaping the lives of men will be incredibly enhanced. That is just what the Protestant churches of America are doing.
"As our readers know, there assembled in Philadelphia two years ago last December, for the first time, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. These churches found their common interest, not in a creed—though they agreed in the assertion of their attitude toward Christ—nor in a common ritual or form of government, but in a common work. On the 24th and 25th of last month, in the city of Washington, the Executive Committee of that Council held their second annual meeting. It is noteworthy that all their discussions pertained to common activities of service. Whatever discussion there was concerning beliefs was the by-product of the consideration of a practical measure, and it was of no effect upon the final action. In all such organizations the crucial question is the financial one. People are ready to gather together for talk; but when they make appropriations, one may be sure that they are to be reckoned with. The denominations constituting the Federal Council are assessed, and most of them have paid their assessments already. Moreover, out of these assessments the Executive Committee have appropriated funds for defraying the cost of the common work.
"Under authority of this Executive Committee there has been a careful investigation conducted in co-operation with the chief Home Missionary Societies; and the resulting recommendations have been adopted by nearly five-sixths of the home missionaries west of the Mississippi river. Under the authority of the Committee a branch of the Council, the Commission on the Church and Social Service, has made an important report on the relation of the Church to industrial conditions in a center of steel manufacture. The Executive Committee of the Council at its meeting appropriated $5,000 for the use of the Commission on the Church and Social Service.
"Compared with the great mass of people composing the constituency of this Council—about fifteen millions—the sum appropriated seems minute. But the size of the sum is of much less significance than the fact that thirty denominations, including virtually all the larger ones, have formed a Federation that is exercising the power of the purse. By disregarding differences in creed, polity, and traditions, and by federating with the object of engaging in a common work that costs, these thirty denominations have, we believe, followed the course that will lead to real Church Union."—The Outlook.
Turkey has long had the honor of being one of the few countries in which Jews enjoyed all the rights and privileges of preferred citizens. The Turkish Revolution was supposed to mark an era of special favor to the Jews residing in Turkey. It now seems that this is not the case. We quote from the Hebrew Standard:—
"Dr. Israel Auerbach states that the era of good feeling produced by the successful outcome of the revolutionary movement among the young Turks has vanished. Turkish officials were disposed to exhibit an anti-Semitic tendency toward the Jews in the last year. In place of efforts to make the Jews of Turkey an important element of the body politic, an attempt to repress them is noticeable. Unlimited immigration of Jews into the Ottoman empire is likely to prove a chimera; an immigration statute, providing for restrictions more or less severe, is in process of enactment."