July 26, 1894
THERE is another passage of scripture, in the same line of things as that noticed last week, that so fully describes the present situation, in another phase of it, that it is worth noting.
ALL men see the way that things are going, and they know that the times are perilous, and they resort to combinations of different sorts by which, if possible, to save themselves from results which they see must certainly follow, even viewed from the standpoint of the world. The laborers combine in unions, leagues, etc., to save themselves from what seems to them must certainly come. The farmers do the same, and the capitalists do the same.
NOW, in the eighth chapter of Isaiah, this course of things is described, and the word says: “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, [that is, the Lord says to us], Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread…. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.” Isaiah 8:9-17.
THUS it is clearly shown that in the time of waiting and watching for the coming of the Lord, there will be this time of general distress and fear, in view of what is coming; and also this time of association and combination and confederation of many together to save themselves from that which they fear. It shows also that none of these associations, combinations, or confederacies will help those who enter into them. But the word which they speak “shall not stand;” the counsel which they take together will “come to nought;” and the combinations which they make, and even they, themselves, in those confederations, “shall be broken in pieces.”
NO, no. Confederation or association of men will not save them in this time. Every effort made in that way will only increase the trouble and the danger which they hoped to escape. This also is apparent to every one who looks at these things as they are to-day; for never was there a time in the world when there were such vast combinations of capital, and never was there a time when capital was so insecure. Never were there such vast organizations and combinations of labor, and never was labor in a worse plight. Unions, federations, combinations, will not help matters. These evils will grow worse and worse. Men themselves will grow worse and worse. 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13. And by no combination or invention can men save themselves from themselves.
NONE but the Lord can save, even temporally, in this time. Therefore, in the presence of these things, when men are in fear in dread, their hearts moved as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind, He counsels us, “Stablish your hearts,” let your hearts be fixed, so that you shall be safe and unmoved when others are in fear and in dread. “Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him by your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary,” that is, for a refuge, a place of safety and security, a dwelling-place, a shelter in the time of storm. For, “he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty;” and in the shadow of his wings can we make our refuge till these calamities be overpast.
ANOTHER scripture in this line, worthy of note, is in Habakkuk, first and second chapters. There, in the first chapter, is related how that in vision the Lord caused the prophet to see violence and strife, grievances and contentions, injustice and oppression. “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” Verses 2-4. In astonishment the prophet inquired how that the Lord, who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon iniquity,—how he could look upon such a scene as this and not do something; how he could keep silence while there was such treacherous dealings, and the wicked devouring the man who is more righteous than he. Verses 13-15.
AFTER the prophet had presented thus his earnest inquiry, he says: “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” In Hebrews 10:36, 37, this passage of scripture is applied directly to the coming of the Lord in these words: “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
IN Habakkuk, the counsel of the Lord to the prophet proceeds to describe those men who enlarge their desire as the grave (which is one of the things that never  say, I have enough); and who are as death, that is, will never let go that which they have gained, and cannot be satisfied. He also describes on the other hand, those who are oppressed and robbed by these, and says: “Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? … Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?”
HERE is a description of the very things that are going on. There is a cry against the rich that there must be a more equal distribution of the good things of this world. Already the cry has been often raised, How long shall this continue? Already threats have been made, not secretly, but openly and loudly, not by the lowest of the rabble, but by men in high places, that the wealth that is so abundant and that is hoarded shall be made booty for those who have not. Booty is that which is taken away by violence, and in view of the looting that has occurred in the Chicago strikes, and other places in Illinois, this time seems to have begun.
HERE, also, is the word of a man to that effect, who, to-day, is Secretary of State of one of the States of the Union, and was such when the statement was made:—
I want to make a prediction. It is that there will be no overt act until the next election, then simultaneously with the returns, the flames will shoot up into the air from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
And here is another, not by a man in any official position, but one who spoke for thousands:—
In Massachusetts the workingmen were browbeaten and not heard. If things go on in this way, and the rich and the lawmakers turn their backs upon the poor, refusing to listen to the workingmen, there will follow an epidemic of assassination. Bombs will be exploded, and all the devices known for taking off oppressors will be the fate of our delinquent legislators and capitalists.
In view of what has occurred within the present year in Europe, it would seem that there the epidemic of assassination has even already begun, and with such a stirring up as this in the United States, with what has already appeared, it would seem also that such things could not be far off here.
AND the scripture which we are examining continued to describe this very element: “Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.” Habakkuk 2:8. If we have not now reached the time when there is violence in the city, and in the land, and amongst all that dwell therein, certainly things cannot go on much longer as they have been going since last Easter day, without bringing the country, and even the civilized world, positively to that condition. And the Lord said more than once, As it was in the days of Noah, “so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” In the days of Noah the earth was “filled with violence,” and for these three months and more, continuously, violence has almost covered this land from ocean to ocean.
AND the time when this should be is also made clear by the statement that it is among the “remnant of the people.” The remnant of anything is the last portion of it. The scripture speaks of the remnant of the church and the remnant of God’s people, plainly referring to the last stage of the church and the last of God’s people who should be upon the earth,—those who shall be delivered at the coming of the Lord. But here is the remnant, not of the church, nor of God’s people, but the remnant of all the people, the remnant of the people of the earth, and that is just as clearly the last of the people that should be upon the earth. And these things which are being carried on before the eyes of all the people, this continual strife and violence that is being manifested throughout the land, and throughout the civilized world, this the scripture said would be in the time of “the remnant of the people.” Therefore it is certain that the people that are now upon the earth are the remnant, the last of the people who shall be upon the earth. “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord.” “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”