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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
ZIONISM’S SPLIT ON THE LINE OF FAITH
THE recent division of the “Zionists” into two parties is evidently along the lines of faith and unbelief—a sifting. Dr. Herzl’s death prepared the way. Zangwill, one of the principal subsequent leaders, favored the acceptance of the offer of the British Government of a large and fertile tract of land in Africa, nearly a thousand miles south of Palestine. He threw the weight of his influence toward it and swayed a considerable number, who doubtless, like himself, viewed the Zionist movement merely from the humanitarian standpoint.
It is to the credit of the movement as a whole that it rejected the proposal. It proves that the Zionist movement is not merely for social betterment of the Russian Jews, but mainly a race regeneration built upon faith in the divine promises which attach to Palestine—the Land of Promise. It is worthy of note that not one American representative joined the Zangwill split, though he visited this country specially to advocate the acceptance of the British offer.
THE MOVEMENT’S GROWING FORCE
It is worthy of note also that each year this Zionist movement gains favor with the Jews. At its start a few years ago the learned generally scoffed at it. Now we read that, notwithstanding the death of the able leader, Dr. Herzl, the last congress held at Basle, Switzerland, was one of extra power intellectually. The movement is in accord with prophecy, and delay will only enkindle the desire and hope and faith necessary to a successful entrance into the land when once the Turks grant the privilege of so doing and some degree of self-government.
In a signed statement Professor Warburg of the Berlin University, an eminent Zionist and economist, says:—
“The East African resolutions are not a backward step. The fact that Zionism can afford to decline the British offer is a proof of its strength and determination to remain steadfast in adherence to its basic principles. Zionism does not contemplate an economic experiment, but the renewal of national life by the Jewish peoples, whose future lies in the Orient. The world must realize that the Zionists are bent on the restoration of Palestine to Israel.”
A press report of the conference thus describes some of its features:
Herzl was called the new Moses, at first derisively, but now he deserves the name in earnest. His words are quoted everywhere as those of the new prophet of regenerated Israel.
Delegates from the intellectual aristocracy of the world were there. It is doubtful if any parliamentary body ever held equalled it in brain power. The flower of the Jewish people were there. The orators spoke in English, German, Russian, French and classic Hebrew. All physical types were represented—giants, dwarfs, Jerusalem rabbis in Oriental robes, speaking to English baronets, all bound together by the common idea of re-building the Jewish State in Palestine, where the Jews, now crushed by Cossack rule, shall show the world what the race can accomplish through concerted effort. Scholars and writers galore were there; the foremost, Nordau and Marmock of Paris, Warburg of Berlin and Zangwill of London.
Nordau, pale with emotion, opened proceedings, standing near Herzl’s vacant seat. Sobs were audible throughout the hall as, with admirable oratory, Nordau eulogized the dead leader to an immense audience standing with bowed heads, the Jewish mourning attitude.
Nordau stigmatized the selfishness of the Jews who, although best able to second Herzl’s efforts, were holding aloof. He pictured the Jewish people as a family divided against itself. He exclaimed, “Our people had Herzl, but Herzl, alas, had no people.”
Addressing Herzl as though present, he invoked the dead leader’s emperor-like personality. He said: “Rest in peace, for what you built we shall forever treasure.”
KEEPING THE LORD INFORMED
Bishop Potter (Episcopalian), of New York “subway tavern” fame, promptly prepared the following prayer for his people on the eve of the Russo-Japan Peace Conference. From the wording of the prayer the Lord may be expected to infer that the arbitrators are “saints” and representatives of saintly nations. The mention of the Millennium, when swords will be beaten into plowshares, seems a trifle strained in view of the fact that armaments on land and sea are increasing as never before and wars are multiplying, and presumably the Bishop is a pre-Millennialist whose hope is the conversion of the world by the preaching which has accomplished so little in nineteen
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centuries. The Millennium is near indeed, but coming through wars and anarchy such as never yet have been—coming by the interposition of Immanuel as King of kings and Lord of lords, in power and great glory. The Bishop’s prayer follows:—
“Almighty God, whose is the spirit of unity and concord, and who makest men to be of one mind in an house, be, we beseech thee, with thy servants who shall soon assemble on these shores to seek for a basis of peace. Overrule their deliberations with thy heavenly wisdom, fill them with the spirit of brotherhood, and so hasten the day when all men shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, when thy children shall be taught of the Lord and when great shall be the peace of thy children. All of which we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
MISSIONARY MOTIVES SET FORTH
The following letter will be read with interest by many. It appears that Secretary Barton, of the American Board of Foreign Missions, communicated with Mr. J. D. Rockefeller, requesting his contribution to the work being done by the Board, and Mr. Rockefeller commissioned his Private Secretary to look into the matter and to report. It was on the strength of that report (see the letter below) that Mr. Rockefeller contributed the $100,000, the acceptance of which made such a stir last spring. Whether Secretary Barton’s share of the donation was one-half (the amount allowed solicitors in some other similar societies) we are not informed.
The letter, or “report,” it will be noted, deals with Foreign Missions from the standpoint of Civilization rather than Christianization. It appeals to morals and trade and dollars, rather than, as of old, to flames and devils and torments. Mr. Gates’ report to Mr. Rockefeller runs thus:
THE VALUE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS
“We have had long interviews with Dr. Barton, and we have examined each item of proposed expenditure presented by him in detail, with maps before us. We have given it careful attention, both here at the office and at my home in Mont Clair. In every instance we were satisfied that the money asked would be wisely expended and would fill a real need and perform substantial service for mankind.
“No one can observe foreign peoples at all without being impressed with the great need of foreign people in education, medicine and surgery, morals and religion, applications of science to agriculture, manufacture, transportation, hygiene, civil and social institutions and in all things which tend to relieve man from misery and make for health, happiness and progress.
“A vast amount of good has been done. Statistics of mere converts furnish no sort of measure. The fact is that heathen nations are being everywhere honeycombed with light and civilization and with modern industrial life and applications of modern science through the direct or indirect agencies of the missionaries. Look at Japan, for illustration. Quite apart from the question of persons converted, the mere commercial results of missionary effort to our own land is worth—I had almost said a thousand-fold what has been spent.
“For illustration: Our commerce today with the Hawaiian Islands, which are now Christianized and no longer take missionary money, is, I am told, $17,000,000 a year. Five per cent. of that in one year would represent all the money that was ever spent in Christianizing and civilizing the natives. When the missionaries went there the Hawaiians were cannibals, without a dollar of exports or imports. Today these islands are composed of great wealth. What is true of Hawaii is true of Japan. Missionary enterprise, therefore, viewed solely from a commercial standpoint, is immensely profitable. From the point of view of subsistence for Americans, our import trade, traceable mainly to the channels of intercourse opened up by missionaries, is enormous. Imports from heathen lands furnish us cheaply with many things, indeed, which we now regard as necessities.
“Gladstone declared that modern applications of steam and modern machinery had multiplied the productive power of each man in England by (was it not?) 600 over what it was 200 years ago. Never mind the exact figure. We know the multiplication is great. Missionaries and missionary schools are introducing the application of modern science, steam and electric power, modern agricultural machinery and modern manufacture into foreign lands. The result will be eventually to multiply the productive power of foreign countries many times.
“This will enormously enrich them as buyers of American products, and enormously enrich us as buyers of their products. We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that dawn, with all its promise, more than to anything
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else, to the pioneer work and the channels opened up by Christian missionaries. Missionaries are largely influential today in the diplomacy of the Orient. The value to America, therefore, of missions is simply incalculable. The fruitage is only in its beginning.
“So I think the subject of foreign missions should command the interest of patriots and philanthropists, men of all creeds and of no creed, men of commerce, manufacture, finance, of bankers, importers and exporters of our country, and of all who have the well-being of their own country or of mankind at heart. In the long run it will be found that the effect of the missionary enterprise will be to bring to them the peaceful conquest of the world.”
MOB VIOLENCE INCREASING
We have all noted the increasing tendency to mob violence, anarchy, disregard of law, in our own land, especially in connection with strikes and lock-outs. The same spirit grows everywhere, as evidenced by the following late press cablegrams:
FINNISH MOB THREATENING
Viborg, Finland, Aug. 15.—The court-martial which tried Prokope, who killed Col. Kremarenke, Chief of Police of Viborg, July 21, today sentenced him to be hanged. A regiment of dragoons has arrived to reinforce the garrison, as the mob threatens reprisals. Prokope refused to plead unless tried by a Finnish court, and the witnesses summoned by the prosecution said they would testify only before a Finnish Judge. A crowd of 5,000 persons made a demonstration outside the Governor’s house here yesterday against the trial by court-martial.
BALTI PROVINCES ALARMED
St. Petersburg, Aug. 15.—The situation in the Baltic provinces becomes daily more terrible. The Slav population, exasperated against the landed proprietors, for the most part nobles of German blood, is constantly making attacks on life and property. The upper classes and higher bourgeoisie are hastily leaving the country. The Government has appointed an extraordinary commission to report on the situation and the necessary measures to be taken.
5,000 HUNGRY MEN IN ARMS IN SPAIN
Seville, Spain, Aug. 15.—A commission of landed proprietors and farmers have laid before the authorities the conditions prevailing in and about Osuna in Andalusia. They estimate that there are 5,000 workmen armed with rifles roaming about the country. The municipal authorities disclaim
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responsibility for this condition of affairs. The jails are crowded with persons who have committed no offense, but who have surrendered to the police on the pretense of having committed crimes in order to get shelter and food. The charitable societies have exhausted their resources, and government action is awaited. Hunger riots are of daily occurrence, and are becoming more and more serious. Theft and pillage are common, and it is impossible to maintain order. Reinforcements of the civil guard are needed in every town and village. Not a drop of rain has fallen in that district since March, and the summer and autumn crops will be ruined unless rain falls soon. It is feared that the peasantry will take the law in their own hands, and even now signs of open revolt are plentiful and exasperation at the Government’s inaction is becoming daily more pronounced.
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This is the spirit which must be expected more and more to develop during the next few years, according to the Scriptural forecast—”Every man’s hand against his brother and no peace to him that goeth out nor to him that cometh in.”
— September 15, 1905 —