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VIEWS FROM THE TOWER
THE wonders of our day, “the time of the end,” are so many and so astounding that even prudent, cautious thinkers hesitate to pronounce the most unreasonable things untrue. The present year has introduced to the world one of the most remarkable discoveries of modern times; one which, had it been advanced a century ago, would have been esteemed the ravings of a maniac, but which to-day is received at once by the scientific men of the whole world within two weeks of its first announcement. We refer to the discovery made by Prof. Roentgen, of Wurzburg University, Germany, that an electric ray can be passed through opaque substances, such as paper, wood, cloth, leather, aluminum, animal flesh, etc., although to varying degrees, and that the same ray does not penetrate bone, stone, and metals generally.
Experiments show the photograph of coins in a purse, of a razor in its case, of the bones and sinews of a man’s hand, of the contents of a wooden box, etc. Although still an infant of a month, the professional men of Europe and America are busy with various experiments which may yet lead to great improvements and to wider usefulness. The chief value of the discovery, so far, would seem to be in aiding surgery, by locating bullets and other foreign substances, “gravel” in the kidneys, “gall stones,” etc., saving life and sufferings; for not infrequently good surgeons err in diagnosing.
But a lesson goes with this discovery which will not be generally recognized at first, and yet one that sooner or later is sure to influence many. For centuries, skeptics and Infidels have been disposed to smile incredulously at the words of our Lord, “Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door pray to thy Father which is in secret, and the Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matt. 6:6.) Can these scientists any longer mock at Christians for “credulity,” because we believe that “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do?” (Heb. 4:13.) Surely human pride and positiveness may well be abashed by its own nineteenth century discoveries. “He that formed the ear shall he not hear? He that formed the eye shall he not see?” And we begin to see how that other prediction can be fulfilled, largely in a “natural” way—”There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”
Step backward only one century and you can sympathize with the Infidelity which disputed and denied everything which it could not see and handle and comprehend; for their unbelief in unseen things and powers was in full accord with their experiences. But when God’s set time for “knowledge to be increased,” “the time of the end,” had come, he began gradually to lift the curtain, and to show the world invisible things and to teach them faith in invisible powers, and ultimately through these lessons to see him “who is invisible,” with the eyes of their understanding.
The Telephone, by which men hundreds of miles apart, may speak to each other through little boxes on their office walls, and recognize each other’s voices, tells us, suggestively, that God can hear infinitely better, and without the wires and batteries necessary to our service.
The Phonograph, recording our words and tones, preserving them if needful for years, and repeating them with their original emphasis and intonation, reminds us, suggestively, that similarly our brains are much more delicately constructed, and can not only record words but also thoughts and feelings, and classify these, and lay them away for future use, subject to the call of memory. It gives us a hint, also, of how simple a matter it will be for God to resurrect
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the dead, by creating new bodies with brains having similar convolutions to the deceased, which, thus revived by the breath of life, would reproduce beings which would recognize and identify themselves by the memory of their past thoughts and experiences.
Machinery and cars moved by the invisible electric current of power are common everywhere to-day, though undreamed of fifty years ago. And through these we and all men have illustration of the invisible power divine, “which holds all nature up,” and runs the vast machinery of the universe.
These lessons to the child of God enforce the salutary thought that God hears the “groaning of the prisoners” of sin and death, the prayers or the murmurs, the thanks or the sighs of his children; that “Thou God seest me;” that “the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good;” and that divine power, although invisible, is omnipotent and everywhere present. The same lessons will be valuable to the world, by and by, when God’s Kingdom shall shine forth and chase away the night-shades of sin and sorrow: but meantime the Prince of darkness will no doubt continue to deceive many, and will use even these wonderful signs of the Millennial dawn to support delusions and to oppose the truth. For instance, the natural man, not led by the spirit of God, will thereby be led, by the Adversary, toward Spiritism, Theosophy, etc.
* * *
The Superior Council of the “American Protective Association,” commonly known as the “A.P.A.,” met in annual session on Jan. 28 and 29 at Rochester, N.Y. This association, formed to offset the oppression of Papacy, especially against the Public School system, has been growing greatly but noiselessly for the past five years, and now claims to represent a voting strength of 3,500,000. These large figures will be a general surprise—not only to its enemies of Rome, but to its friends as well.
The American Protective Association demands as the consideration for its support of any party for President, that the platform of the national convention of that party shall reaffirm the principle of the total separation of Church and State, the restriction of immigration, and the reform of the laws regarding citizenship and right of franchise. Such party, too, shall reaffirm its faith in the American school system as the basis of liberty and prosperity.
One of the delegates to the Convention gave the following as the voting strength of this and other “allied orders”—
American Protective Association………..3,500,000
Nat. League for Protection of American Institutions…….1,590,000
Junior Order United American Mechanics…. 500,000
Patriotic Sons of America…………….. 350,000
Order of Deputies……………………. 125,000
Various other Patriotic orders………… 250,000
It was reported at the Council that one hundred and eight members of Congress, the Governors of four states, majorities in the Legislatures of several States, the school boards of two hundred and fourteen cities and towns, and a majority of city and town officials in every central and western state were members of or allied with the American Protective Association.
These facts, seemingly authentic, indicate that some have learned not to trust Papacy’s recent professions of love for the Bible and education, but to stand guard over their own liberties. Although we may recognize the hand of Providence in this, and all such affairs, we are to remember, still, that the saints of God are enlisted in another branch of divine service. If it is the service of some to manage homes and orphanages, and hospitals, and reformatories, and temperance work, and liberty protections, we know that our commission is to preach the Gospel. We who are “ambassadors for God” are to wait upon our ministry (service) and not upon another, however much we may sympathize with or feel interested in every good work. We advise, therefore, that those who have been favored with the truth and the divine commission of ambassadors of it give it all their energies, aside from the providing of
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things needful, to this service. And we here remark, that if any understood our words in our issue of June 15, ’95 to be a commendation of Beneficiary Societies and an advice to join them, they misunderstood our meaning. Said societies are not without their good features while matters run along smoothly, but when the time of trouble will shortly overspread the world, all of these societies which depend upon assessments will quickly crumble; and then those who are leaning upon them will be most wretchedly disappointed, and many of them will by their despair be helped toward anarchism.
— February 15, 1896 —