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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
LUTHERAN VIEW OF BAPTISM
THE clipping below from The Young Lutheran is not, as some might suppose, from a couple of centuries back, but from the January, 1905, issue:
“Often we are asked questions concerning Baptism, the proper time and place for it, who should be the sponsors, etc. It may be well to explain at this place:
“Baptism is that act, commanded by God and promised his blessing, by which we are forgiven our sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) and are made children of God. A person who wilfully neglects baptism is surely lost, as we read John 3:5: ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’
“This may seem hard, but God simply says: ‘If you wish to enter my kingdom you must enter the way I want you to by being baptized,’ just as any society can say: ‘If you wish to belong to this society you must go through the order adopted by us to become a full member.’ Surely all would say they have a right to do that; just so God has a right to say how he wants us to enter his kingdom.
“So we see that it is very important for every one to be baptized. Neglecting to have our children baptized as early as possible is taking a risk which none of us can afford.”
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Some have thought that in treating the subject of Baptism in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. VI., chapter 10, we were rather severe in our strictures upon the views of “Christendom” which make a child liable to eternal torment because its parents neglected to have some drops of water put on its head with a formula of words. The above shows that we were quite within the truth, however strange it may seem that seemingly safe and sane people can so believe and teach. Would that all might see the true meaning of this important ordinance! How much it would assist them to an understanding of the divine character and plan. Get your friends in all denominations to read that one chapter.
RISING OF RUSSIAN PEASANTRY
The Russian landowners are alarmed at last. All over the great middle belt the peasants are murdering the landlords, pillaging and burning houses and refineries. The inhabitants of the country towns who belong to the reactionary little bourgeoisie are frightened for their own safety and that of their property. Even in Moscow and Nijni Novgorod there is great uneasiness. One result has been the demand of the nobles who met at the old capital that some small concessions in the way of popular representation should be made in order that the rising flood of disorder may be stemmed in time.
As long as the outbreaks were confined to the big cities there was not much to fear. There the trouble was as much industrial as political. But many of the workmen have gone back to their villages as political propagandists. These persons act as agents for the revolutionists. They are successful, however, because they found the conditions favorable. …
This dangerous Jacquerie, or peasant uprising, is called pugachevshchina in Russia, after the eighteenth century rebel leader, Pugachey, who championed the autocracy against the officials and the landlords. In the same way the peasants of today have no grievance against the Emperor. To the mujiks he is still the “Little Father.” It is the Tchvnorniks who, in the opinion of the peasants brought on the war, who precipitated the strikes, who attacked the people. The official class is blamed for supporting the landlords against the cultivators and the manufacturers against the workpeople.
When the decree of the Holy Synod called on the loyal population to combat the enemies of the Czar and the government the ignorant peasants were told that it was directed against the nobles and the landed proprietors. Mysterious leaflets were circulated, stating that Nicholas was in danger and had been deposed and thrown into prison by the nobles. The appeal continued: “Hasten to help him, plunder the landlords, slay the enemies of the Czar and the Fatherland.” …
The situation in certain details suggests the early stages of the French Revolution. The Paris mob that went to Versailles, when it started back with the King, Queen and Dauphin, said: “We are bringing the baker
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the baker’s wife and the baker’s little boy.” In the provinces popular hatred was vented on the good-for-nothing nobility. It was only later in the uprising that the popular leaders determined to get rid of the sovereign in the most radical way.
The most conservative Russian newspapers say that the growing domestic disorders are as serious as the repeated defeats of the army in Manchuria. So the empire now fairly stands between two fires.—New York Evening Sun.
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Poor Russia! All things seem to be working together for evil to her of late. Nevertheless the retribution seems to be well deserved. For long centuries human rights have been trampled upon by those in power. Practical slavery has long held the place of brotherhood, and now those so long kept in ignorance and superstition can be expected to do nothing less than take vengeance to the extent of their ability. By and by all will discern the wisdom as well as the justice of the divine law—”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, being and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”
CRAZED BY CITY LIFE
Chicago, Ill.—Dr. H. N. Moyer, one of the most noted experts in mental diseases in the city, has made an answer to the charge that “Chicago is going crazy.” He shows that the other big cities are going crazy as fast as Chicago. He says:
“The fact is that the insanity ratio in both New York and Boston is increasing faster than in Chicago. New York’s proportion is 1 out of every 340; Boston and New England 1 out of every 320, while Chicago has only one out of every 400.”
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The above, brought out by a desire to free Chicago from the charge of being the most crazy city is a sad commentary on the so-called Evolution that has lifted man to almost the plane of gods. Alas! How much the poor world needs the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. Restitution would not land then in monkeyhood either, but in the safe and sane condition of father Adam, who lived 930 years without doctors, pills and plasters, and had no need of an asylum. Let God be true and let men know of it, even though it requires that our race pass through terrible experiences to learn of its own unwisdom and of God’s grace in Christ.
A FORM AND “YELL” OF GODLINESS
Before his regular meeting last night, Evangelist Tilman Hobson at Olivet Congregational Church, spoke to the “Sunbeam Society,” composed of boys and girls of the Sunday School of Olivet Church.
“You know, boys and girls,” said the speaker, “that it is quite the thing nowadays for the schools to have a ‘yell.’ I have a ‘yell’ for you to learn to-night. It is this:
“‘Rah, ‘rah, ‘rah, have you seen Second Timothy, two fifteen ‘?
“The words of that particular verse are these: ‘Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
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How peculiar it does seem to teach the little ones such formalistic piety of which they can know really nothing, and at the same time to send their older brothers and sisters to schools where they will be systematically taught by higher critics that the Bible is not the Word of Truth.
Alas! how little studying of the Word there is today. The possession of a Bible and the committing to memory of a few texts is all that is thought necessary. What wonder that it has no “power” to keep in the present time of falling.
PREPARING FOR THE “TARE” HARVEST
“Did Adam and Eve ever live? If so, how did they originate?”
With these and similar questions University of Chicago medical students are in a perplexing frenzy. A hundred prospective physicians gathered in the physiological lecturing room yesterday and heard Dr. A. P. Mathews, professor of physiological chemistry, declare that there was no such thing as divine creation.—Des Moines Capitol.
— July 15, 1905 —