BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
ARRAIGNED BEFORE THE
The Civil, Social and Ecclesiastical Powers of Babylon, Christendom,
Now Being Weighed in the Balances--The Arraignment of the Civil
Powers--The Arraignment of the Present Social System--The Arraignment
of the Ecclesiastical Powers--Even Now, in the Midst of Her
Festivities the Handwriting of Her Doom is Traced and May Be
Distinctly Read, Though the Trial is Not Yet Completed.
mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from
the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. He shall call
to the heavens from above [the high or ruling powers], and to
the earth [the masses of the people], that he may judge his [professed]
O my people, and I will speak; O Israel [nominal spiritual Israel--Babylon,
Christendom], and I will testify against thee. ...Unto the wicked
God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that
thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest
instruction and castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest
a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker
with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil and thy tongue
frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother
[the true saints, the wheat class]; thou slanderest thine own
mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence;
thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself;
but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine
consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces,
and there be none to deliver." `Psa.
the logical consequence of the great increase of knowledge on
every subject providentially granted in this "day of preparation"
for Christ's Millennial reign, the civil and ecclesiastical
<PAGE 76> powers of Christendom, Babylon,
are now being weighed in the balances of Justice, in full view
of the whole world. The hour of judgment having come, the Judge
is now on the bench; the witnesses--the general public--are present;
and at this stage of the trial the "Powers that be"
are permitted to hear the charges and then to speak for themselves.
Their cases are being tried in open court, and all the world looks
on with intense and feverish interest.
object of this trial is not to convince the great Judge of the
actual standing of these powers; for already we are forewarned
of their doom by his "sure word of prophecy"; and already
men can read upon the walls of their banqueting halls the writing
of the mysterious, but fateful, hand-- "MENE, MENE, TEKEL,
UPHARSIN!" The present trial, involving the discussion of
rights and wrongs, of doctrines, authorities, etc., is to manifest
to all men the real character of Babylon, so that, though men
have long been deceived by her vain pretensions, they may eventually,
through this process of judgment, fully realize the justice of
God in her final overthrow. In this trial, her claims of superior
sanctity and of divine authority and appointment to rule the world,
as well as her many monstrous and contradictory doctrinal claims,
are all being called in question.
evident shame and confusion of face before such a throng of witnesses,
the civil and ecclesiastical powers, through their representatives,
the rulers and the clergy, endeavor to render up their accounts.
Never, in all the annals of history, has there been such a condition
of things. Never before were ecclesiastics, statesmen and civil
rulers examined, cross-questioned and criticized as now at the
bar of public judgment, through which the heart-searching Spirit
of the Lord is operating upon them to their great confusion. Notwithstanding
their determination and effort to avoid
<PAGE 77> the examination and cross-questioning
of the spirit of these times, they are obliged to endure it, and
the trial proceeds.
Babylon Weighed in the Balances
the masses of men are today boldly challenging both the civil
and ecclesiastical powers of Christendom to prove their claims
of divine authority to rule, neither they nor the rulers
see that God has granted, or rather permitted, a lease of power*
to such rulers as mankind in general might choose or tolerate,
whether good or bad, until "the Times of the Gentiles"
expire; that during this time, God has permitted the world largely
to manage its own affairs and take its own course in self-government,
to the end that, in so doing, all men might learn that, in their
fallen condition, they are incapable of self-government, and that
it does not pay to try to be independent either of God or of each
other. `Rom. 13:1`
rulers and the ruling classes of the world, not seeing this, but
realizing their opportunity, and taking advantage of the less
fortunate masses of men, by whose permission and tolerance, whether
ignorant or intelligent, they have long been sustained in power,
have endeavored to foist upon the illiterate masses the absurd
doctrine of the divine appointment and "divine right of kings"--civil
and ecclesiastical. And to the end of perpetuating this doctrine,
so convenient to their policy, ignorance and superstition have
for many centuries been fostered and encouraged among the masses.
in very recent times have knowledge and education become general.
And this has come about by force of providential circumstances,
and not by efforts of kings and ecclesiastics. ---------- *Vol.
II, p. 80.
<PAGE 78> The printing press and steam transportation
have been the chief agencies in promoting it. Prior to these divine
interpositions, the masses of men, being to a large extent isolated
from one another, were unable to learn much beyond their own experiences.
But these agencies have been instrumental in bringing about a
wonderful increase of travel and of social and business intercourse,
so that all men, of whatsoever rank or station, may profit by
the experiences of others throughout the whole world.
the great public is the reading public, the traveling public,
the thinking public; and it is fast becoming the discontented
and clamorous public, with little reverence left for kings and
potentates that have held together the old order of things under
which they now so restlessly chafe. It is only about three hundred
and fifty years since a statute of the English Parliament made
provision for the illiterates among its members, in these words--"any
Lord and Lords of the Parliament, and Peer and Peers of the Realm
having place or voice in Parliament, upon his request or prayer,
claiming the benefit of this act, though he cannot read."
Of the twenty-six Barons who signed the Magna Charta, it is said
that three only wrote their names, while twenty-three made their
that the tendency of the general enlightenment of the masses of
the people is toward a judgment of the ruling powers and not conducive
to their stability, the Russian Minister of the Interior proposed,
as a check to the growth of Nihilism, to put an end to the higher
education of any members of the poorer classes. In 1887 he issued
an order from which the following is an extract: "The gymnasia,
high schools and universities will henceforth refuse to receive
as pupils or students the children of domestic servants, peasants,
tradesmen, petty shopkeepers, farmers, and others
<PAGE 79> of like condition, whose progeny
should not be raised from the circle to which they belong, and
be thereby led, as long experience has shown...to become discontented
with their lot, and irritated against the inevitable inequalities
of the existing social positions."
it is too late in the day for such a policy as this to succeed,
even in Russia. It is the policy which the Papacy pursued in the
days of its power, but which that crafty institution now realizes
would be a failure, and sure to react upon the power attempting
it. Light has dawned upon the minds of the masses, and they cannot
be relegated to their former darkness. With the gradual increase
of knowledge republican forms of government have been demanded,
and the monarchial have been of necessity greatly modified by
force of their example and the demands of the people.
the dawning light of the new day men begin to see that under the
protection of false claims, supported by the people in their former
ignorance, the ruling classes have been selfishly making merchandise
of the natural rights and privileges of the rest of mankind. And,
looking on and weighing the claims of those in authority, they
are rapidly reaching their own conclusions, notwithstanding the
poor apologies offered. But being themselves actuated by no higher
principles of righteousness and truth than the ruling classes,
the judgment of the masses is as far from right on the other side
of the question, their growing disposition being hastily to ignore
all law and order rather than to consider coolly and dispassionately
the claims of justice on all sides in the light of God's Word.
Babylon, Christendom--the present organization and order of society,
as represented by her statesmen and her clergy--is being weighed
in the balances of public opinion, her many monstrous claims are
seen to be foundationless
<PAGE 80> and absurd, and the heavy charges
against her--of selfishness and of nonconformity to the golden
rule of Christ, whose name and authority she claims--have already
overbalanced, and lifted the beam so high that, even now, the
world has little patience to hear the further proofs of her really
representatives call upon the world to note the glory of their
kingdoms, the triumphs of their arms, the splendor of their cities
and palaces, the value and strength of their institutions, political
and religious. They strive to reawaken the old-time spirit of
clannish partriotism and superstition, which formerly bowed in
submissive and worshipful reverence to those in authority and
power; which lustily shouted, "Long live the king!"
and reverently regarded the persons of those who claimed to be
the representatives of God.
those days are past: the remains of the former ignorance and superstition
are fast disappearing, and with them the sentiments of clannish
patriotism and blind religious reverence; and in their place are
found independence, suspicion and defiance, which bid fair ere
long to lead to world-wide strife--anarchy. The peoples of the
various ships of state talk angrily and threateningly to the captains
and pilots, and at times grow almost mutinous. They claim that
the present policy of those in power is to lure them to the slave
markets of the future and to make merchandise of all their natural
rights and reduce them to the serfdom of their fathers. And many
insist with increasing vehemence upon displacing the present captains
and pilots and letting the ships drift while they contend among
themselves for the mastery. But against this wild and dangerous
clamor the captains and pilots, the kings and statesmen, contend
and hold their places of power, shouting all the while to the
people, "Hands off! you will drive the vessel onto the rocks!"
Then the religious teachers come forward and
<PAGE 81> counsel submission on the part of
the people; and, seeking to emphasize their own authority as from
God, they connive with the civil powers to hold the people under
restraint. But they, too, begin to realize that their power is
gone, and they are casting about for some means to re-enforce
it. So they talk of union and cooperation among themselves, and
we hear them arguing with the state for more assistance from that
source, promising in return to uphold civil institutions with
their (waning) power. But all the while a storm is rising, and
while the masses of the people, unable to comprehend the danger,
continue to clamor, the hearts of those at the helms of the ships
fail them for fear of that which they now see must surely come.
ecclesiastical powers, particularly, feel it incumbent upon them
to render up their accounts in order to make the best possible
showing; thus, if possible, to restrain the revolutionary current
of public sentiment against them. But as they attempt to apologize
for the meager good results of the past centuries of their power,
they only add to their own confusion and perplexity, and arouse
the attention of others to the true condition of affairs. These
apologies are constantly appearing in the columns of the secular
and religious press. And in marked contrast with these are the
fearless criticisms from the world at large of both the civil
and ecclesiastical powers of Christendom. Of these the following
extracts from floating press reports are samples.
The World's Arraignment of the Civil Powers
all the strange beliefs of the race, there is none stranger than
that which made Almighty God select with care some of the most
ordinary members of the species, often sickly, stupid and vicious,
to reign over great communities under his special protection,
as his representatives of earth." New York Evening Post.
journal some years ago had the following, under the caption--"A
Poor Lot of Kings:"
is stated with some appearance of truth that King Milan of Servia
is insane. The king of Wurttemberg is a partial lunatic. The last
king of Bavaria committed suicide while mad, and the present ruler
of that country is an idiot. The Czar of Russia fills that office
because his brother, the natural heir, was adjudged mentally incapable;
and the present Czar is afflicted with melancholia since the time
of his coronation, and has called to his aid the mental specialists
of Germany and France. The king of Spain is a victim of scrofula
and will probably not reach manhood. The Emperor of Germany has
an incurable abcess in his ear which will eventually affect his
brain. The king of Denmark has bequeathed poisoned blood to half
a dozen dynasties. The Sultan of Turkey is afflicted with melancholia.
There is not a throne in Europe where the sins of the fathers
have not visibly descended upon the children, and in a generation
or two more there will be neither Bourbon, Hapsburg, Romanoff
nor Guelph to vex and rule the world. Blue blood of this kind
will not be at a premium in the 1900's. It is taking itself out
of the problem of the future."
writer for the daily press figured up the cost of royalty as follows:
bargain made with Queen Victoria on her accession gives her #385,000
a year, with the power of granting new pensions to the amount
of #1,200 a year, estimated to be equal to an annuity of #19,871.
This makes a grand total of #404,871 a year for the Queen alone,
of which #60,000 is for her privy purse; that is, simply pocket
money. The duchy of Lancaster, which still remains under crown
management, also pays #50,000 a year into the privy purse. Thus
the Queen has #110,000 a year spending money; for the other expenses
of her household are provided for by other items of the Civil
List. When a gift of #50 or #100 to charity by the Queen is announced,
it must not be supposed to come out of the privy purse, for there
is a separate item of #13,200 a year for royal bounty, alms and
charity. Among the appointments in the royal
<PAGE 83> household are 20 classed as political,
with total salaries of #21,582 a year, the rule being that one
man draws the salary and another does the work. The medical department
includes 25 persons, from physicians extraordinary to chemists
and druggists, all to keep the royal body in good health, while
36 chaplains in ordinary and 9 priests in ordinary minister to
the royal soul. The Lord Chamberlain's department includes a wearisome
list of offices, among which, all jumbled up with the examiner
of plays, the poet laureate and the surveyor of pictures, are
the bargemaster, the keeper of the swans, and the keeper of the
jewels in the Tower. The most curious office under the head of
the Royal Hunt is that of hereditary grand falconer, held by the
duke of St. Albans at a salary of #1,200 a year. Probably the
Duke does not know the difference between a falcon and a penquin,
and never intends to find out. Since her accession Queen Victoria
has abolished many useless offices, thereby making a considerable
saving, all of which goes into her capacious privy purse.
thus generously provided for the queen, the British nation had
to give her husband something. Prince Albert received #30,000
a year by special vote, besides #6,000 a year as field marshal,
#2,933 a year as Colonel of two regiments, #1,120 a year as Governor
of Windsor Castle, and #1,500 as Ranger of Windsor and the Home
Parks. Altogether the Queen's husband cost the nation #790,000
during his 21 years of married life, and begat a large family
to be quartered on the nation. Next comes the Empress Augusta
of Germany, who draws #8,000 a year, besides having a dowry of
#40,000 and #5,000 for wedding preparations. But this liberal
allowance is not enough to pay her fare to England to see her
mother, for on every such occasion #40 is paid for her passage.
When the Prince of Wales attained his majority he received a little
matter of #601,721 as a birthday gift, this being the amount of
the accumulated revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall up to that period.
Since that time he has received an average of #61,232 a year from
the Duchy. The nation has also spent #44,651 on repairs to Marlborough
House, the Prince's town residence, since 1871; pays him #1,350
a year as
<PAGE 84> Colonel of the Tenth Hussars; gave
him #23,450 to pay his marriage expenses; allows his wife #10,000
a year, and gave him #60,000 for spending money on his visit to
India in 1875. Altogether he has drawn #2,452,200 (over $12,000,000)
from John Bull's pocketbook up to ten years ago and has been drawing
regularly ever since.
for the younger sons and daughters. Princess Alice received #30,000
on her marriage in 1862, and an annuity of #6,000 until her death
in 1878. The Duke of Edinburgh was granted #15,000 a year on coming
of age in 1866, and an additional #10,000 a year on his marriage
in 1874, besides #6,883 for wedding expenses and repairs to his
house. This is what he gets for doing nothing but being a Prince.
By work as a captain, and lately as an admiral in the navy, he
has earned #15,000. Princess Helena, on her marriage to Prince
Christian, of Schleswig-Holstein, in 1866, received a dowry of
#30,000 and a grant of #7,000 a year for life, while her husband
receives #500 a year as Ranger of Windsor Home Park. The Princess
Louisa received the same favors as her sister Helena. The Duke
of Connaught began life in 1871 with #15,000 a year from the nation
and this was increased to #25,000 on his marriage, in 1879. He
now holds the command of the Bombay army, with #6,600 a year and
valuable perquisites. The Duke of Albany was granted #15,000 a
year in 1874, the amount being increased to #25,000 on his marriage
in 1882, and his widow receives #6,000 a year. The ill-fated Duke
was the genius of the family; and, if he had been an ordinary
citizen with average opportunities, could have earned a comfortable
living as a barrister, for he was an orator. The Princess Beatrice
on her marriage received the usual dowry of #30,000 and an annuity
of #6,000. Thus the nation, from the Queen's accession up to the
end of 1886, had paid #4,766,083 for the luxury of a Prince Consort,
five Princesses, and four Princes, leaving out of account special
pocket fares, rent-free residences and exemption from taxes.
this is not all. The nation has not only to support the Queen's
descendants but her cousins and uncles and aunts. I will only
record the amounts these royal pensioners have received since
1837. Leopold I., King of the Belgians,
<PAGE 85> simply because he married the Queen's
aunt, received #50,000 a year until his death, in 1865, a total
of #1,400,000 during the present reign. However, he had some sense
of decency, for when he became the King of the Belgians in 1834,
he had his pension paid over to trustees, stipulating only for
annuities to his servants and the keeping up of Claremont House,
and when he died the whole amount was repaid into the Exchequer.
Not so the King of Hanover, an uncle of the Queen. He took all
he could get, which, from 1837 to 1851 amounted at #21,000 a year
to #294,000. Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV., drew #100,000
a year for 12 years, or #1,200,000 in all. The Queen's mother
the Duchess of Kent, received #30,000 a year from her daughter's
accession to her death, a total of #720,000. The Duke of Sussex,
another uncle, received #18,000 a year for six years, a total
of #108,000. The Duke of Cambridge, uncle No. 7, absorbed #24,000
a year, or #312,000 in all, while his widow, who still lives,
has received #6,000 a year since his death, or #222,000 in all.
The Princess Augusta, another aunt, had about #18,000 in all.
The landgravine of Hesse, aunt No. 3, secured about #35,000. The
Duchess of Gloucester, aunt No. 4, got away with #14,000 a year,
for 20 years, or #280,000 in all. The Princess Sophia, still another
aunt, received #167,000, and the last aunt, Princess Sophia of
Gloucester, niece of George III., received #7,000 a year for 7
years, or #49,000. Then the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the
Queen's cousin, was paid #1,788 a year for 23 years of her reign,
Duke of Cambridge, as Commander-in-chief of the British army,
with pensions, salary as Commander-in-chief, colonelcies of several
regiments and rangership of several parks, large parts of which
he has transformed into private game preserves, has received #625,000
of public money. His sister the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz,
has received #132,000, and his second sister, "Fat Mary,"
Duchess of Teck, has taken #153,000. This makes a grand total
of #4,357,124 which the nation has paid for the support of the
Queen's uncles, aunts and cousins during her reign.
the amounts given in the Queen's Civil List, the original cost
and the cost of maintenance of the four royal
<PAGE 86> yachts is included in the navy estimates,
although legitimately part of the expense of royalty. The original
cost was #275,528, and the total cost of maintenance and pay,
of allowances and victualling of the crew for ten years was #346,560,
a total of #622,088 for this single item.
sum up, the Queen's numerous uncles, aunts and cousins have cost
#4,357,124; her husband, her sons and her daughters, #4,766,083;
herself and her household, #19,838,679; and her yachts #622,088.
This makes a total of #29,583,974 [nearly one hundred and fifty
million dollars] which the British nation has spent on monarchy
during the present reign. [To the year 1888.] Is the game worth
the candle? This is a pretty steep price to pay for stability,
for it means that the people are taxed to the limit of their powers
to keep in idleness a number of persons who would do more good
to the country if they were earning an honest living."
spectacular coronation of the Czar of Russia was a marked illustration
of royal extravagance, designed, as are all the flaunting plumes
of royalty, to impress the masses of the people with the idea
that their rulers are so far above them in glory and dignity as
to be worthy of their worship as superior beings, and their most
abject and servile obedience. It is said that the great display
of royalty on this occasion cost $25,000,000.
this extravagance, so in contrast with the wretched conditions
of its peasant millions, with whose miseries the whole world became
so well acquainted during the famine of 1893, we extract from
the comments of an English journal, The Spectator, as follows:
is difficult to study the accounts of the preparations for the
Russian coronation, which read as if they ought to be printed
in gold upon purple silk, without a sensation of disgust, more
especially if we read at the same time the descriptions of the
massacres of Armenians whom the Russians have refused to protect,
although they had the power. We can, with an effort, call up the
marvelous scene presented in Moscow, with its Asiatic architecture
<PAGE 87> cupolas, its streets full of gorgeous
European uniforms and more gorgeous Asiatic dresses, white Princes
in red, yellow Princes in blue, brown Princes in cloth of gold,
the rulers of tribes from the far East, the Dictator of China,
and the brown Japanese General before whom that Dictator has fallen
prone, side by side with members of all reigning Houses in Europe,
and representatives of all known Churches except the Mormon, of
all the peoples who obey the Czar--there are, we believe, eighty
of them--and of every army in the West, all moving amidst regiments
endless in number and varieties of uniform, and through millions
of humble folk--half Asiatic, half European--filled with excitement
and with devotion to their earthly lord. We can anticipate the
roar of the endless crowds, the choruses of the multitudinous
monks, the salvoes of artillery, which are repeated from station
to station till throughout the whole north of the world, from
Riga to Vladivostock, all men hear at the same moment of time
that the Czar has placed the crown upon his head. The Englishman
studies it all as he would study a poem by Moore, and finds it
at once gorgeous and sickly. Is not this too grandiose for grandeur?
Is it not rather of the opera than of life? Is there not something
like guilt, in an Empire like Russia, with its millions upon millions
of suffering people, in the gigantic expenditure which produces
these purple effects? Five millions sterling for a ceremonial!
Is there a principle upon which an expenditure like that can even
be plausibly justified? Is it not the waste of a Belshazzar, the
display of an almost insane pride, a pouring out of treasure as
Oriental kings sometimes pour it out, solely to excite an emotion
of glory in one oversated mind? Nothing could induce an Englishman
to vote such a sum for such an object, and England could spare
the money at least ten times as readily as Russia.
it may be feared that those who rule Russia are wise in their
generation, and that this reckless outlay of energy and treasure
secures a result which, from their point of view, is an adequate
return. The object is to deepen the Russian impression that the
position of the Czar is in some way supra-natural, that his resources
are as limitless as his power, that he stands in some special
relation to the Divine,
<PAGE 88> that his coronation is a consecration
so solemn and with such meaning for mankind that no external display
to make it visible can be excessive, that mankind may be summoned
to gaze without derogation, that the momentary hush of peace which
has been so carefully spread throughout the Northern world is
caused not by order but by expectation of an adequate event. And
the ruling Russians believe that the result is attained, and that
the impression of the coronation equals throughout the Empire
the impression of a victory which would cost as much in money
and much more in tears. They repeat the ceremonial on every devolution
of the throne, with an ever-increasing splendor and vastness of
design, corresponding to the increase of Russian position, marked
just now, as they think, by the sullen retrogression of Japan,
by the submissiveness of China and by the crawling servility of
the ruler of Constantinople. They even believe that the coronation
increases their master's prestige in Europe, that the grandeur
of his Empire, the multitude of his soldiers, his possession of
all the resources of civilization as well as of all the resources
of a barbaric Power, is borne more closely home to the collective
mind of the West, and increases the dislike which is there to
face the great Northern Power. In Berlin, there is, they think,
a deeper shiver at the thought of invasion, in Paris more exultation
as men remember the Alliance, in London a longer pause as her
statesmen meditate, as they are always meditating, how next the
march of the glacier may be stayed or turned aside. Can any one
assert with confidence that they are wholly wrong, or that for
a year the diplomacy of Russia will not be bolder in consequence
of the national festival, the resistance of those who resist more
timid because they have seen, at least with their mental eyes,
a scene which might perhaps, if brevity were sought, be best described
as the review of an Empire held within the walls of its capital,
or the march past of Northern Europe and Asia in honor of its
may be misleading, but of this we feel assured, that scenes like
that presented at this coronation form one of the risks of the
world. They must tend to demoralize its most
<PAGE 89> powerful man. Of the present Czar
no one knows anything, except, says one who was thrown into close
contact with him, that he is 'a man of deep emotional feeling;'
but he must be more than the ordinary mass, if he, a descendant
of Alexander I who signed the Treaty of Tilsit, can feel himself
for days the center of that coronation scene, can, in fact, be
worshiped as if he reigned in Nineveh, without dreaming dreams;
and king's dreams are usually of dominion. There is an intoxication
of rank, we take it, as well as an intoxication of power, and
the man on whom every eye is fixed, and before whom all princes
seem small, must be of temperate mind indeed if he does not at
moments swell with the conviction that he is first among mankind.
The rulers of Russia may yet find that, though in raising their
Czars so high they have strengthened loyalty and deepened obedience,
they have dissolved the power of self-restraint which is the necessary
defense of the mind."
the fact that these rulers of so-called Christian Kingdoms are
as a whole devoid of true Christian sentiments are as a whole
devoid of true Christian sentiments and lacking in even human
sympathy is abundantly proved by the fact that, while wealth is
squandered like water in the support of royalty and its vain pomp
and show, and while millions of soldiers and sailors, and a most
marvelous military armament are at their command, they heard unmoved
the cries of the poor Armenian Christians, whom the Turks were
torturing and killing by the tens of thousands. The wonderful
armies evidently are not organized for humanity's sake, but for
the merely selfish purposes of the political and financial rulers
of the world; viz., to grasp territory, to protect interests of
bondholders, and to fly at each other's throats, inflamed with
murderous spite, whenever a good opportunity is seen to enlarge
their empires or to increase their wealth.
marked contrast with this royal extravagance which prevails, to
some extent in every country where a royal family is maintained,
is The Enormous Indebtedness of European Countries.
Economiste Francais published an elaborate article, by
M. Rene Stourm, on the Public Debt of France. The most usual estimate
of the capital of the debt is said to be $6,400,000,000. The most
moderate estimates place it a few millions lower. M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu
figures it at $6,343,573,630. The result of M. Stourm's computation
is a total of $5,900,800,000 with the qualification, however,
that he has omitted $432,000,000 of life annuities, which other
economists have treated as part of the capital of the debt. The
annual charge for interest and sinking fund, on the entire debt,
including the life annuities, is $258,167,083. Of the funded debt
$2,900,000,000 are perpetual 3 per cents, $1,357,600,000 perpetual
four and a half per cents, and $967,906,200 redeemable bonds of
various descriptions. Annuities to divers companies and corporations
of $477,400,000, and $200,000,000 of floating debt, make up the
balance of M. Stourm's total. This is by far the heaviest burden
borne by any nation on the globe. The nearest approach to it is
the debt of Russia, which is stated at $3,605,600,000. England
is next, with $3,565,800,000, and Italy next, with $2,226,200,000.
The debt of Austria is $1,857,600,000, and of Hungary $635,600,000.
Spain owes $1,208,400,000, and Prussia $962,800,000. These are
the figures of M. Stourm. None of these nations, excepting England
and Prussia, raise sufficient revenue to guarantee a permanent
equilibrium of the budget, but France is the most heavily burdened
of them all, and the increase of her debt has been the most rapid
in the recent past and is the most threatening of the future.
conclusion M. Stourm says: 'We refrain from dwelling upon the
afflicting reflections which the result of our labor awakens.
Under whatever aspect we regard these 29 1/2 milliards, whether
in comparison with the debts of other countries or with our own
debt of ten or twenty years ago, they appear like a summit of
unknown height, surpassing the limit which any people of the world,
at any epoch, have supposed attainable. The Eiffel Tower will
be their veritable counterpart; we dominate our neighbors' and
our history with the height of our debt,...in the presence of
which it is time that our country felt patriotic fright.'"
London Telegraph once published the following resume of the
national financial outlook:
hangs like a dark and almost universal cloud over the nations
of Europe. Times are very bad for the Powers all round, but worst
of all for the small ones. There is hardly a nation on the Continent
whose balance-sheet for the departed year does not present a gloomy
outlook; while many of them are mere confessions of bankruptcy.
Careful reports upon the financial conditions of the various States
exhibit a struggle in the several exchequers to make two ends
meet which has never been so general. The state of things is indeed
almost world-wide; for, if we look outside our own Continent,
the United States on one hand, and India and Japan, with their
neighbors, on the other, have felt the prevalent pinch...
Great Republic is too vast and resourceful to die of her financial
maladies; though even she is very sick. Great Britain, too, has
a deficit to face in the coming Budget, and has sustained costly,
perhaps irreparable, losses by the mad business of the coal strike.
France, like ourselves and America, is one of the countries which
cannot well be imagined insolvent, so rich is her soil and so
industrious are her people. Her revenue, however, manifests frequent
deficits; her national debt has assumed stupendous proportions,
and the burden of her Army and Navy well-nigh crushes the industry
of the land. Germany must also be written in the category of Powers
too solid and too strong to suffer more than temporary eclipse.
Yet during the past year it is computed that she has lost #25,000,000
sterling, which represents about half the national savings. Much
of this loss has been due to German investments in the stocks
of Portugal, Greece, South America, Mexico, Italy and Servia;
while Germany has also sharply felt the confusion in the silver
market. The burden of her armed peace weighs upon her people with
a crushing load. Among the Powers which we are grouping together
as naturally solvent, it is striking to find that Austria-Hungary
has the best and happiest account to give...
we turn aside from this great group and cast our eyes on Italy,
there is an example of a 'Great Power' well-nigh
<PAGE 92> beggared by her greatness. Year
by year her revenue drops and her expenditures increase. Six years
ago the value of Italy's external commerce was 2,600,000,000 francs;
now it has fallen to 2,100,000,000. She must pay #30,000,000 sterling
as interest on her public debt, besides a premium for the gold
necessary. Her securities are a drug in the market; her prodigious
issue of bank notes has put silver and gold at fancy prices. Her
population is plunged in a state of poverty and helplessness almost
unimaginable here, and when her new Ministers invent fresh taxes
sanguinary riots break out.
for Russia, her financial statements are shrouded in such mystery
that none can speak of them with confidence; but there is little
reason to doubt that only the bigness of the Czar's empire keeps
it from becoming bankrupt. The population has been squeezed until
almost the last drop of the life-blood of industry is extracted.
The most reckless and remorseless Financial Minister scarcely
dares to give the screw of taxation another half-turn.
moderate and accurate native authority writes about the situation
in Russia in the following words:
copeck which the peasant contrives to earn is spent, not in putting
his affairs in order, but in paying up arrears in taxes...The
money paid by the peasant population in the guise of taxes amounts
to from two-thirds to three-fourths of the gross income of the
land, including their own extra work as farm laborers.' The apparent
good credit of the government is sustained by artificial means.
Close observers look for a crash alike in the social and financial
arches of the empire. Here, too, the stupendous incubus of the
armed peace of Europe helps largely to paralyze commerce and agriculture.
The example of Portugal lies outside our purview; for, though
the once famous kingdom if a defaulter, her unfortunate position
is certainly not due to military ambition or to feverish expenditures.
Greece, however, although insignificant among the Powers with
her population of two millions, affords a glaring instance of
the ruin to which financial extravagance and inflated designs
will bring a nation. The 'great idea' has been the curse of little
Greece, and we have recently seen her driven to shirk the load
of her public debt by an act of absolute
<PAGE 93> dishonesty, only partially suspended
in face of the protests of Europe. The money wasted on her 'Army
and Navy' might as well have been thrown into the sea. Politics
have become with her a disease, infecting her best and most capable
public men. With a common people too educated to work; university
students more plentiful than bricklayers; public debts and private
debts which nobody ever means to pay; a sham Army and Navy, eating
up funds; dishonesty made a principle in politics; and secret
plans which must either mean more loans or a corrupt and perilous
bargain with Russia--these things characterize contemporary Greece.
the Continent all round, therefore, it cannot be denied that the
state of things as regards the welfare of the people and the national
balance-sheets is sorely unsatisfactory. Of course one chief and
obvious reason for this is that armed peace which weighs upon
Europe like a nightmare, and has turned the whole Continent into
a standing camp. Look at Germany alone! That serious and sober
Empire! The Army Budget rose there from #17,500,000 sterling in
1880 to #28,500,000 in 1893. The increase under the new Army Defense
Act adds #3,000,000 sterling a year to the colossal mass of Germany's
has strained her strength to the same point of proximate collapse
to match her mighty rival. It is needless to point out the terrible
part which these war insurances bear in the present popular distress
of Europe. Not merely do they abstract from profits and earnings
the vast sums which buy powder and shot and build barracks, but
they take from the ranks of industry at the commencement of their
manly force millions of young workmen, who are also lost for the
same periods to the family and the reinforcement of populations.
The world has not yet invented a better clearing-house for the
international cheques than the ghastly and costly Temple of war."
notwithstanding the heavy indebtedness and financial embarrassment
of the nations, it is estimated by able statisticians that the
actual cost to Europe of the various army and navy budgets, the
maintenance of garrisons and the loss of industrial labor by the
withdrawal of men from
<PAGE 94> productive industry, may be reasonably
taken as $1,500,000,000 per annum, to say nothing of the immense
loss of life, which in twenty-five years of the past century (from
1855 to 1880) is stated at 2,188,000, and that amidst horrors
which beggar description. Mr. Charles Dickens has very truthfully
talk exultantly, and with a certain fire, of 'a magnificent charge!'
of 'a splendid charge!' yet very few will think of the hideous
particulars these two airy words stand for. The 'a splendid charge'
is a headlong rush of men on strong horses, urged to their fullest
speed, riding down and overwhelming an opposing mass of men on
foot. The reader's mind goes no further; being content with the
information that the enemy's line was 'broken' and 'gave way.'
It does not fill in the picture. When the 'splendid charge' has
done its work and passed by, there will be found a sight very
much like the scene of a frightful railway accident. There will
be the full complement of backs broken in two, of arms twisted
wholly off, of men impaled upon their own bayonets, of legs smashed
up like bits of firewood, of heads sliced open like apples, of
other heads crunched into soft jelly by iron hoofs of horses,
of faces trampled out of all likeness to anything human. That
is what skulks behind a 'splendid charge.' This is what follows,
as a matter of course, when 'our fellows rode at them in style,'
and 'cut them up famously.'"
to yourselves," says another writer, "the toiling millions
over the whole face of Europe, swarming forth day by day to their
labor, working ceaselessly from early morn to dewy eve, in the
cultivation of the soil, in the production of fabrics, in the
exchange of commodities, in mines, factories, forges, docks, workshops,
warehouses; on railways, rivers, lakes, oceans; penetrating the
bowels of the earth, subduing the stubbornness of brute matter,
mastering the elements of nature, and making them subservient
to human convenience and weal, and creating by all this a mass
of wealth which might carry abundance and comfort to every one
of their homes. And then imagine the hand of power coming in and
every year sweeping some six hundred
<PAGE 95> millions of the money so laboriously
earned into the abyss of military expenditure."
following from the Harrisburg Telegram is also to the point:
costs the 'Christian' nations of Europe something to illustrate
their notion of 'peace on earth and good will to men.' That is,
it costs them something to keep themselves all ready to blow one
another into small fragments. Statistics published in Berlin show
the amount of military expenditures of the great powers during
the three years 1888, 1889, 1890. The following expenditures in
round figures are given: France, $1,270,000,000; Russia, $813,000,000;
Great Britain, $613,000,000; Germany, $607,000,000; Austria-Hungary,
$338,000,000; Italy, $313,500,000. These six powers have expended
altogether $3,954,500,000 for military purposes in three years,
or at the rate of more than $1,318,100,000 a year. The total for
the three years considerably exceeds the national debt of Great
Britain, and is nearly large enough to pay the interest-bearing
debt of the United States three times over. The corresponding
expenditure in the United States has been about $145,000,000,
exclusive of pensions. If we should add these our total expenditure
would be swelled to about $390,000,000."
to the estimates of French and German statisticians, there have
perished in the wars of the last thirty years 2,500,000 men, while
there has been expended to carry on those wars no less than $13,000,000,000.
Dr. Engel, a German statistician, gives the following as the approximate
cost of the principal wars of the last thirty years: Crimean war,
$2,000,000,000; Italian war of 1859, $300,000,000; Prusso-Danish
war of 1864, $35,000,000; War of the Rebellion (North), $5,100,000,000;
South, $2,300,000,000; Prusso-Austrian war of 1866, $330,600,000;
Franco-German war of 1870, $2,600,000,000; Russo-Turkish war,
$125,000,000; South African wars, $8,770,000; African war, $13,250,000;
Servo-Bulgarian war, $176,000,000.
these wars were murderous in the extreme. The Crimean war, in
which few battles were fought, cost 750,000
<PAGE 96> lives, only 50,000 less than were
killed or died of their wounds North and South during the war
of the Rebellion. The Mexican and Chinese expeditions cost $200,000,000,
and 85,000 lives. There were 250,000 killed and mortally wounded
during the Russo-Turkish war, and 45,000 each in the Italian war
of 1859, and the war between Prussia and Austria."
a letter to Deputy Passy of Paris, the late Hon. John Bright,
member of the English Parliament, said:
present all European resources are swallowed up in military exigencies.
The people's interests are sacrificed to the most miserable and
culpable fantasies of foreign politics. The real interests of
the masses are trodden under foot in deference to false notions
of glory and national honor. I cannot help thinking that Europe
is marching toward some great catastrophe of crushing weight.
The military system cannot indefinitely be supported with patience,
and the populations, driven to despair, may possibly before long
sweep away the royalties and pretended statesmen who govern in
the judgment of the civil powers is going against them. Not only
is the press thus outspoken, but the people everywhere are loudly
talking and clamoring against the powers that be. The unrest is
universal, and is becoming more and more dangerous every year.
The World's Arraignment of the Present Social System
social system is also under inspection--its monetary regulations,
its financial schemes and institutions, and, growing out of these,
its selfish business policy, and its class-distinctions based
mainly on wealth, with all that this implies of injustice and
suffering to the masses of men--these are as severely handled
in the judgment of this hour as the civil institutions. Witness
the endless discussions on the silver question, and the gold standard,
and the interminable disputing between labor and capital. Like
surging waves of the sea under a rising wind, sound the concerted
<PAGE 97> mutterings of innumerable voices
against the present social system, particularly in so far as it
is seen to be inconsistent with the moral code contained in the
Bible, which Christendom, in a general way, claims to recognize
is indeed a notable fact that in the judgment of Christendom,
even by the world at large, the standard of judgment is the
Word of God. The heathen hold up the Bible, and boldly declare,
"You are not as good as your book." They point to its
blessed Christ, and say, "You do not follow your pattern."
And both the heathen and the masses of Christendom take up the
golden rule and the law of love, wherewith to measure the doctrines,
institutions, policy and general course of Christendom; and all
alike testify to the truth of the strange handwriting on her festive
walls--"Thou art weighed in the balances, and found wanting."
world's testimony against the present social system is heard everywhere
in every land. All men declare it to be a failure; the opposition
is increasingly active, and is spreading alarm all over the world,
"terribly shaking" all confidence in existing institutions,
and ever and anon paralyzing industry with panics, strikes, etc.
There is not a nation in Christendom where the opposition to the
present social arrangements is not pronounced, obstinate and increasingly
Mr. Carlyle, "British industrial existence seems fast becoming
one huge prison-swamp of reeking pestilence, physical and moral,
a hideous living Golgotha of souls and bodies buried alive. Thirty
thousand needle-women working themselves swiftly to death. Three
million paupers rotting in forced idleness, helping said needle-women
to die. These are but items in the sad ledger of despair."
another paper called The Young Man, we clip the following
article, headed, "Is the World Growing Better?" It says:
men, eager for honest toil, are enduring the agonies of hunger
and exposure, and in many cases the additional sorrow of beholding
the sufferings of their families. On the other hand, overwhelming
wealth is often allied with avarice and immorality; and while
the poor starve by inches, the rich, to a large extent, ignore
the needs of their brethren, and are only solicitous that Lazarus
should not become inconveniently prominent. Thousands of young
men are forced to slave in stuffy shops and cheerless warehouses
for seventy and eighty hours a week, with never an interval for
physical or mental recreation. At the East End women sew shirts
or make matchboxes all day for a wage which is insufficient for
the rent of a bed--not to speak of a separate room--and
are often compelled to choose between starvation and vice. At
the West End whole thoroughfares are in the possession of the
rouged and painted sirens of sensuality and sin--every one a standing
rebuke to the weakness and wickedness of man. As for the young
men, thousands are gambling themselves into jail or drinking themselves
into early graves; and yet every respectable newspaper is occupied
with long reports of horse races, and Christian (?) Government
permits a public house to be planted at the corner of every street.
Sin is made easy, vice is made cheap, trickery prevails in trade,
bitterness in politics and apathy in religion."
Philadelphia Press some time ago published the following:
Ahead! There is no doubt about it that New York is divided into
two great classes, the very rich and the very poor. The middling
classes of reputable, industrious, fair-to-do people are gradually
disappearing, going up in the scale of worldly wealth or down
into poverty and embarrassment. It seems unquestioned that between
these classes exists, and is rapidly growing, under intentional
fostering of evil men, a distinct, pronounced, malignant hatred.
There are men here who are worth $10,000,000 and $20,000,000,
of whom you know nothing. I know one lady, living in a magnificent
house, whose life is as quiet as that of a minister should be,
who has given away not less than $3,000,000 in five years, whose
benefactions prior to her
<PAGE 99> death will reach not less than $7,000,000,
who has in her home paintings, statuary, diamonds, precious stones,
exquisite specimens of gold and silver, with costly works of every
imaginable art, an inside estimate of which is $1,500,000, and
she is not as rich as many of her neighbors by several million
dollars. There are men here who twenty years ago sold clothes
on Chatham street, who today live at an annual expense of $100,000,
who wear jewels costing in reasonable stores $25,000.
with me in a Madison avenue car any day, rain or shine, between
the hours of ten o'clock in the morning and 5 or 6 in the afternoon,
and I will find you car after car closely packed with ladies in
whose ears are diamonds worth from $500 to $5,000 each, on whose
ungloved hands, red and fluffy, sparkle fortunes. Walk with me
from Stewart's old store, at the corner of Ninth street and Broadway
to Thirtieth street and Broadway any day. I do not mean Sundays,
holidays, or special occasions, but all times, and I will show
you on block after block women in sealskin circulars down to their
heels, worth from $500 to $1,000 each, with diamond earrings and
with diamond finger rings, and other precious stones as well,
carrying in their hands dainty pocket books stuffed with money.
They represent the new rich with which New York is filling up.
that same street, at that same time, I can show you men to whom
a dollar would be a fortune, whose trousers, torn and disgraceful
in their tatters, are held about their pinched waists by ropes
or twine or pins, whose stockingless feet shuffle along the pavement
in shoes so ragged that they dare not lift them from the pavement,
whose faces are freckled, whose beards are long and straggling,
as is their hair, while their reddening hands taper at the nails
like claws. How long before those claws will fasten on the newly
rich? Make no mistake about it, the feeling is born, the feeling
is growing, and the feeling, sooner or later, will break forth.
last night I walked through Fourteenth street, on which there
are but few residences left, and in front of one, leading from
the door to the curbstone, was a canopy, under which charmingly
attired ladies, accompanied by their escorts, went from their
carriages to the open door, through
<PAGE 100> which floods of light and sounds
of music came. I stood with the crowd, a big crowd, a moment,
and there was born this idea of an inevitable outbreak unless
something was done, and speedily done, to do away with the prejudice
which not only exists, but is intentionally fostered, against
the very rich by the very poor. It would make you shudder to hear
the way the women spoke. Envy, jealousy, malignant ferocity, every
element needed, was there. All that is wanted is a leader."
world is contrasting with the horrid conditions of the Sweater
System of human slavery and with the miseries of the vast army
of people out of work, and another vast army of underpaid workers,
the luxury and extravagance of immense wealth, as did a London
journal some time ago-- thus:
Millionaire's Modest Home. We learn from New York that Mr. Cornelius
Vanderbilt, the New York millionaire and railway king, has just
opened his new palace with a grand ball. This modest home, which
is to shelter about ten people during six months of the year,
and to remain closed during the other six, stands at the corner
of Fifty-seventh street and Fifth Avenue, and has cost its owner
#1,000,000. It is of Spanish design outside, built of grey stone,
with red facings, turrets and battlements. It is three stories
high with a lofty attic. The ball room is the largest private
ball room in New York, being 75 ft. long by 50 ft. wide, decorated
in white and gold, Louis xiv. style. The ceiling cost a fortune,
and is made in the form of a double cone, covered with painted
nymphs and cupids. Round the cornice are delicately modeled flowers,
each with an electric light in its heart, while an immense crystal
chandelier hangs from the centre. The walls on the night of the
opening ball were covered from floor to ceiling with natural flowers,
at a cost of #1,000; and the entertainment is said to have cost
the host #5,000. Adjoining the mansion is the most expensive garden
for its size in the world, for although it is only the size of
an ordinary city lot, the sum of #70,000 was paid for it, and
a house which had cost #25,000 to build was torn down to make
room for the few flower beds."
San Francisco, Calif., journal, Industry, published the
following comment on the extravagance of two wealthy men of this
Wanamaker dinner in Paris, and the Vanderbilt dinner at Newport,
costing together at least $40,000, perhaps a good deal more, are
among the signs of the times. Such things presage a change in
this country. This, which is only typical of a hundred more cases
of like ostentatious money show, may well be likened to a feast
in Rome before the end came, and the luxury in France that a century
ago was the precursor of a revolution. The money spent annually
by Americans abroad, mostly for luxury and worse, is estimated
at a third as much as our National revenue."
following very interesting bit of information, quoted in the National
View, is from Ward McAllister, once a great New York Society
average annual living expenses of a family of average respectability,
consisting of husband and wife and three children, amounts to
$146,945, itemized as follows: Rent of city house, $29,000; of
country house, $14,000; expenses of country house, $6,000; indoor
servants' wages, $8,016; household expenses, inclusive of servants'
wages, $18,954; his wife's dressing, $10,000; his own wardrobe,
$2,000; children's clothing and pocket money, $4,500; three children's
schooling, $3,600; entertaining by giving balls and dances, $7,000;
entertaining at dinner, $6,600; opera box, $4,500; theater and
supper parties after theater, $1,200; papers and magazines, $100;
jeweler's running account, $1,000; stationery, $300; books, $500;
wedding presents and holiday gifts, $1,400; pew in church, $300;
club dues, $425; physician's bill, $800; dentist's bill, $500;
transportation of household to country and return, $250; traveling
in Europe, $9,000; cost of stables, $17,000."
M. Depew is quoted as having said:
men in the United States have it in their power by reason of the
wealth they control, to come together within twenty-four hours
and arrive at an understanding by which every wheel of travel
and commerce may be stopped from revolving, every avenue of trade
be blocked and every electric
<PAGE 102> key struck dumb. Those fifty can
control the circulation of the currency and create a panic whenever
The World's Judgment of the Ecclesiastical Powers
criticism of Ecclesiasticism is fully as severe as that of Monarchy
and Aristocracy; for they are recognized as one in interest. Of
these sentiments the following will serve as illustrations.
North American Review some years ago contained a brief
article by John Edgerton Raymond, on "The Decline of Ecclesiasticism."
Describing the forces which are opposed to the church, and which
will eventually accomplish its overthrow, he said:
Christian Church is in the midst of a great conflict. Never since
the organization of Christianity have so many forces been arrayed
against her. What certain theologians are pleased to call the
'world power' was never stronger than it is today. No longer is
the church opposed by barbaric races, by superstitious philosophers,
by priests of mythical religions, but by the highest culture,
the deepest learning and the profoundest wisdom of enlightened
nations. All along the line of her progress she is resisted by
the 'world power,' which represents the highest attainments and
the best ideals of the human mind.
are all her opponents found beyond the pale. Within her solemn
shades, robed in her vestments, voicing her commands, representing
her to the world, stand many who are ready to cast off her authority
and dispute her supremacy. Multitudes who yet obey her decrees
are beginning to question; and doubt is the first step towards
disobedience and desertion. The world will never know how many
honest souls within the church groan in spirit and are troubled,
yet keep a seal upon their lips and a chain upon their tongues
'for conscience sake,' lest they 'cause their brother to offend.'
They are silent, not for fear of rebuke, for the time has gone
by when to speak freely was to suffer persecution, and when to
suggest that the church
<PAGE 103> might not be infallible was to
be accused of infidelity."
says the demand is not for a new gospel, but for an old gospel
with a new meaning:
the demand is made for a more literal and faithful proclamation
of the precepts of the founder of Christianity. 'The Sermon on
the Mount' is to many the epitome of divine philosophy. 'Preach
it! preach it!' cry reformers of every school everywhere; 'not
only preach it, but exemplify it!' 'Show us,' they say, 'that
your practices conform to these precepts, and we will believe
you! Follow Christ, and we will follow you!'
just here lies the controversy. The church professes to teach
the precepts of Christ, to preach his gospel. The world listens,
and replies: 'You have perverted the truth!' And behold the spectacle
of an unbelieving world teaching a believing church the true principles
of her religion! This is one of the most striking and significant
signs of the age. And it is altogether new. The world has been
familiar from the beginning with the retort: 'Physician, heal
thyself.' But only in modern times have men ventured to say: 'Physician,
let us prescribe the medicine!'
the poor and needy, the oppressed and sorrowing, who are taught
to look to heaven for future recompense, saw holy priests and
favored princes robed in purple and fine linen and faring sumptuously
every day; saw them laying up treasures on earth in defiance of
moth and rust and thieves; saw them, with easy consciences, serving
God and mammon, they began to doubt their sincerity.
presently they began to affirm that all truth does not dwell under
a church spire, that the church is powerless; that she cannot
prevent misfortune, cannot heal the sick, cannot feed the hungry
and clothe the naked, cannot raise the dead, cannot save the soul.
Then they began to say that a church so weak, so worldly, could
not be a divine institution. And soon they began to desert her
altars. They said: 'To deny the infallibility of the church, the
efficacy of her ordinances, or the truth of her creeds, is not
to deny the efficacy of religion. We are not at war with Christianity,
<PAGE 104> with the church's exposition of
Christianity. Reverence for divine truth is compatible with the
most profound contempt for ecclesiasticism. For the sublime Person
who trod the earth, whose touch was life and whose smile was salvation,
we have only veneration and love, but no longer for the institution
that claims to represent him.
church denounces her accusers as unbelievers, and goes on her
way amassing treasure, building temples and palaces, making compacts
with kings and covenants with mighty men, while the forces arrayed
against her are increasing in numbers and power. She has lost
her supremacy, her authority has passed away. She is but a sign,
a shadow. And it is impossible for her to regain her lost ascendancy,
or to return to her throne. Dreams of her universal dominion are
a delusion. Her scepter has been broken forever. Already we are
in a transition period. The revolutionary movement of the age
is universal and irresistible. Thrones are beginning to totter.
A volcano smoulders beneath the palaces of kings, and when thrones
topple over, pulpits will fall.
have been revivals of religion in the past, more or less local
and temporary. There is yet to be a revival of religion which
is to be world-wide--a restoration of faith in God and love for
man--when the brightest dreams of universal brotherhood shall
be realized. But it will come in spite of, rather than through,
the church. It will come as a reaction against ecclesiastical
tyranny; as a protest against mere forms and ceremonials."
an article in The Forum of October, 1890, on "Social
Problems and the Church," by Bishop Huntington, we have his
comment on a very notable and significant fact, as follows:
a great mixed audience in one of the public halls in New York
cheered the name of Jesus Christ and hissed the name of the church,
it settled no question, solved no problem, proved no proposition,
expounded no Scripture, but it was as significant as half the
sermons that are preached.' He then referred to the fact that
the time was
<PAGE 105> when the people heard the words,
'Christ and the church,' with reverent silence if not with enthusiastic
devotion, and then remarked: 'Only in these latter days when workingmen
think, read, reason and reflect, does a promiscuous crowd rudely,
rather than irreverently, take the two apart, honoring the one
and scouting the other.'"
significant expressions through the press, of the popular judgment,
are as follows:
Catholic Review and some other papers insist that there
should be 'religious instruction in the prisons.' That's right.
We go further than that. There should be religious instruction
in other places besides the prisons--in the homes, for instance,
and in the Sunday schools. Yes, we will not be outdone in liberality,
we favor religious instruction in some churches. You can't have
too much of a good thing if you take it in moderation."
Chaplain of a certain penitentiary said that twenty years ago
only about five percent of prisoners had previously been Sunday
school pupils, but that now seventy-five percent of actual and
suspected criminals have been such. A certain pastor also gives
an account of an inebriate asylum where the percent is eighty,
and another of fallen women where all have been in Sunday schools.
The press comment on these facts was that the term formerly applied
to the school, 'the nursery of the church,' is getting to be a
ghastly satire. What shall be done?"
the discussions with reference to the opening of the World's Columbian
Exposition at Chicago, on Sundays, the following was elicited:
Comfort Left. If the worst comes to the worst and fairs, like
theaters and saloons, are opened on Sundays in Chicago, it is
a very comforting reflection that not a single American citizen
is obliged to go. Nobody is worse off in this respect than were
the apostles and the early Christians. They were not allowed the
use of a policeman or of the Roman legions for the purpose of
propagating their opinions and compelling their neighbors to be
more godly than they
<PAGE 106> wanted to be. And yet it was that
primitive Christianity with no aid from the State--nay, a Christianity
persecuted and suffering--which really conquered the world."
the general commotion of these times, many in the church as well
as in the world are greatly perplexed and bewildered by the great
confusion. The sentiments of such were clearly voiced some time
ago in the New York Sun, which said:
question, 'Where are we?' 'Where are we?' is becoming a pregnant
religious one. Professors sit in the chairs of seminaries teaching
doctrines far enough removed from the originals to make the ancient
benefactors turn in their graves; clergymen sign pledges on ordination
which they probably know the administrator does not believe himself;
the standards are in many cases only the buoys which show how
far the ships of the churches have gotten away from the mapped
out channels. It is the age of 'go as you please,' of 'every man
for himself,' and all that. Nobody knows where it is all to end,
and those who are interested most seem to care the least."
only are the conduct and influence of the churches thus severely
criticised, but their most prominent doctrines also. Note, for
instance, how the blasphemous doctrine of eternal torment for
the great majority of our race, by which men have long been held
in control through fear, is similarly slurred by the thinking
public. On this subject the clergy begin to see a very urgent
necessity for emphasis, in order to counteract the growing sentiments
Rev. Dr. Henson of Chicago some time ago ventilated his views
of this subject; and as reporters interviewed other clergymen
with reference to it, their flippant, heartless, jesting way of
dealing with a subject about which they evidently know nothing,
but which they claim to believe involves the eternal interests
of millions of their fellowmen, was indeed worthy of the persecuting
spirit of Romanism.
Dr. Henson said, "The hades of the New Version is only hell
in disguise; death is death though we call it sleep, and hell
is hell though we call it hades; hell is a reality, and is infernally
horrible. In hell we shall have bodies. The resurrection of the
body implies place and implies physical torment. But physical
is not the worst. Mental pain, remorse, anticipation, that makes
the soul writhe as the worm writhes on glowing embers, is the
worst; and this sinners will have to suffer. Thirst with no water
to quench; hunger with no food to satisfy; a knife thrust into
the heart, but to be thrust there again--endless, awful. This
is the hell we have to meet. Death offers a release from life's
treadmill, but there is no relief in hell."
impression did the "Doctor's" sermon make? Perhaps one
may judge from the following interviews of reporters and ministers
do you think of hell, and are we all going to be baptized in a
lake of molten brimstone and pig-iron if we do not mend our ways?'
said a reporter to Prof. Swing, one of Chicago's famous preachers.
Then it was that Prof. Swing laughed a hearty side-splitting laugh,
until his rugged cheeks became as rosy as a school girl's. The
eminent preacher drums a tattoo on the edge of an inlaid table,
and the chimney on his little study lamp rattles and seems to
laugh too. 'In the first place,' said he, 'I suppose you realize
that this subject of hell and future punishment is something about
which we actually know very little. Now, my method for making
everything harmonize in the Bible is to spiritualize it. My idea
is that the punishment will be graded according to the sins; but
as the next world is to be spiritual, so must the rewards and
punishments be spiritualized.'
Rev. M. V. B. Van Ausdale laughed when he read a report of Dr.
Henson's sermon, and said: 'Why, he must be right. I have known
Dr. Henson for some time, and would vote for him with my eyes
closed. We admit, all of us, that there is a hell or a place of
retribution, and it combines all the properties assigned to it
by Dr. Henson.'
Ray had seen the sermon in print and thought Dr.
<PAGE 108> Henson expressed the same views
he himself would take on the subject.
Congregational ministers, assembled at the Grand Pacific in regular
session, with doors closed and securely sentried, admitted an
Evening News reporter who, after the meeting ended, propounded
the query: 'Have you read or heard about Dr. P. S. Henson's sermon
on hell, preached last night?'
interested spectator during the meeting was Dr. H. D. Porter,
of Peking, China. He arose early this morning, and read in the
papers Dr. Henson's sermon in brief. He said, "I do not know
Dr. Henson, but I think the sentiments attributed to him are about
right. Over in China I shall not preach the brimstone and real
physical torture, nor shall I say hell will be a place where all
sufferings of a real nature will give place to intense mental
suffering and anguish of mind alone, but I will take the medium
view, which portrays hell as a place of retribution, combining
the physical and mental suffering and embodying the principles
generally accepted by modern ministers.'
stranger, the Rev. Spencer Bonnell, of Cleveland, O., agreed with
Dr. Henson in every detail. 'There is coming a time,' he said,
'when some universal ideas of hell should be advanced,
so as to bring all minds into a state of equilibrium.' The Rev.
H. S. Wilson had little to say, but admitted that he agreed with
Dr. Henson. The Rev. W. A. Moore expressed the same sentiments.
Rev. W. H. Holmes wrote: 'Dr. Henson is a brilliant preacher who
understands well his own positions and is able to express them
clearly and pointedly. This abstract indicates that he gave the
people, as usual, a very interesting sermon. His positions therein
were generally well taken. About the body of flesh I do not know--'
do not know?'
A man might die and find out for certain.'
Baptist ministers think that Dr. Henson's orthodox sermon on hell
was just about the right thing, and those who discussed it at
the morning meeting praised it warmly.
<PAGE 109> An Evening News reporter
showed the report of the sermon to a dozen of the ministers, but
while all of them said they agreed with the sermon, but four were
found who would discuss it at all. The Rev. C. T. Everett, publisher
of the Sunday-School Herald, said that the views as expressed
by Dr. Henson were generally held by Baptist ministers. 'We teach
eternal and future punishment for the sins of this world,' he
said, but as for the real hell of fire and brimstone, that is
something that is not talked of to any great extent. We believe
in the punishment and know it is severe, but a great many of us
realize that it is impossible to know in what way it is given.
As Dr. Henson says, it is only brutish men who think that hell
implies physical punishment altogether; mental pain is the worst,
and this poor sinners will have to suffer. Dr. Perrin said, with
great emphasis, that it was almost useless to deny that whatever
Dr. Henson preaches would be found in the Bible, and just about
Rev. Mr. Ambrose, an old-time minister, was greatly pleased with
the sermon. He believed every word of what Dr. Henson had said
about future torment for poor sinners. 'Hell is what most Baptist
preachers believe in,' he said, 'and they preach it, too.'
Rev. Mr. Wolfenden said he had not seen the report of the sermon,
but if there was anything in it about a hell of future punishment
he agreed with the Doctor, and he thought most Baptist ministers
held the same views, although there were a few who did not believe
in hell in the strict orthodox sense.
what the reporter gathered it is safe to say that, should the
question come to an issue, the Baptist ministers would not be
at all backward in supporting every argument for Dr. Henson's
real, old-fashioned, orthodox hell."
clergy thus express their views, as if the eternal torture of
their fellowmen were a matter of only trivial consequence, to
be discussed with flippant jest and laughter, and declared as
truth without a particle of evidence or Bible investigation. The
world marks this presumptive arrogance, and draws its own conclusions
in the matter.
Globe Democrat says: "Good news comes from New York
that the American Tract Society proposes to call in the pabulum
it has offered for the last fifty years, and revise its religion
altogether. The fact is the world has outgrown the redhot and
peppery dishes that suited the last generation, and it is quite
beyond the power of a very few solemn gentlemen to produce a reaction.
The churches also are ambling along pleasantly with the rest of
the world, preaching toleration, humanity, forgiveness, charity
and mercy. It may be all wrong, and that these prophecies of a
blue-black sort are just the proper thing for us to continue to
believe and read, but then the people don't, and won't."
Rossiter W. Raymond, in opposing sending contributions to the
American Board of Foreign Missions, said pretty energetically:
'I am sick and tired of going to the American Board in sufferance
to aid in supporting missionaries who believe out and out in the
damnation of all the heathen and that damnable heresy that God
doesn't love the heathen. I am tired of the whole miserable humbug,
and I won't give a cent to spread the news of damnation. I won't
let the doctrine be disseminated by my money. That God is love
is good news, but it is made stale old stuff by these men who
drag a Juggernaut car over the heathen and want us to feed the
beasts that haul it. It is my Christian duty not to give to any
concern that will teach the heathen that their fathers went to
thus see the present order of things trembling in the balances
of public opinion. The appointed time for its overthrow having
come, the great Judge of all the earth lifts up the scales of
human reason, points to the weights of truth and justice, and,
turning up the light of increasing knowledge, invites the world
to test and prove the righteousness of his decision in condemning
to destruction the hollow mockery of Christendom's false pretensions.
Gradually, but rapidly, the world is applying the test, and in
the end all will arrive at the same decision; and as a great millstone,
<PAGE 111> the great city of confusion, with
all her boasted civil and ecclesiastical power, and with all her
assumed dignity, her wealth, her titles, her influence, her honors,
and all her vain glory, will be cast into the sea (the restless
sea of ungovernable peoples) to rise no more.
destruction will be fully accomplished by the end of the appointed
"Times of the Gentiles"--1915. Events are rapidly progressing
toward such a crisis and termination. Though the trial is not
yet completed, already many can read the handwriting of her doom--"Thou
art weighed in the balances and found wanting!" and by and
by the fearful doom of Babylon, Christendom, will be realized.
The old superstitions that have long upheld her are fast being
removed: old religious creeds and civil codes hitherto reverenced
and unhesitatingly endorsed are now boldly questioned, their inconsistencies
pointed out, and their palpable errors ridiculed. The trend of
thought among the masses of men, however, is not toward Bible
truth and sound logic, but rather toward infidelity. Infidelity
is rampant, both within and outside the church nominal. In the
professed Church of Christ the Word of God is no longer the standard
of faith and the guide of life. Human philosophies and theories
are taking its place, and even heathen vagaries are beginning
to flourish in places formerly beyond their pale.
a few in the great nominal church are sufficiently awake and sober
to realize her deplorable condition, except as her numerical and
financial strength is considered, the masses in both pews and
pulpits being too much intoxicated and stupefied by the spirit
of the world, so freely imbibed, even to note her spiritual decline.
<PAGE 112> and financially her waning condition
is keenly felt; for with the perpetuity of her institutions are
linked all the interests, prospects and pleasures of the present
life; and to secure these the necessity is felt of keeping up
a fair showing of fulfilling what is believed to be her divine
comission--to convert the world. Her measure of success in this
effort we will note in a succeeding chapter.
we thus see Babylon arraigned to answer for herself in the presence
of an assembled world, with what force does the Psalmist's prophecy
of this event, quoted at the beginning of this chapter, recur
to the mind! Though God has kept silence during all the centuries
wherein evil triumphed in his name and his true saints suffered
persecution in multiplied forms, he has not been oblivious to
those things; and now the time has come whereof he spoke by the
prophet, saying, "But I will reprove thee, and set them
in order before thine eyes." Let all who would be awake
and on the right side in these times of tremendous import mark
well these things and see how perfectly prophecy and fulfilment
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON