The Signs of the Times, vol. 29


March 16, 1904

“History of Government. Departure from Principle. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times 30, 11, pp. 4, 5.


IT is true that the people of the earliest church brought their belongings and put them into a common fund, and “had all things common.” And this is cited by the advocates of socialism as the true example, and assurance that socialism is the true order in government and society on earth. But in this deduction in behalf of socialism, the most important elements, indeed the strictly vital elements, are all left out. It is true that at that time the church had all things in common, and no one said that aught that he had was his own. But that was the church, not the State, nor society, as such; and it was the church immediately after Pentecost, when “all were filled with the Holy Ghost.” And not all who cite this in advocacy of socialism are thus filled with the Holy Ghost. Another item in that action of the early church is that the matter of having all things common was altogether and absolutely voluntary on the part of every one of those who were in it. While in the socialism proposed, it is intended to conduct a political campaign, and get a majority vote, and then have this majority compel by force all to have all things common. But the thing can never be accomplished by force, nor by any political or any other worldly scheme. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.1

Another vital element, which in this socialism is ignored, is that the Holy Spirit reigned so completely there that those who were the leaders had, by that divine Spirit, the faculty of detecting those who would use the system for merely selfish purposes, as the means of sponging, while in the system of socialism, as now advocated for the United States, this power is entirely lacking. And without that element, every scheme of having all things common will surely fail; for it is perfectly certain that there never can be given perfect assurances that amongst these advocates of socialism there are, and ever will be, absolutely none actuated by the motives that characterized Ananias and Sapphira. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.2

These items demonstrate that no scheme of having all things common, whether it be distinct socialism or what not, whether in the church or in the world, ever can be true, or ever can be successful; into which all composing it do not enter individually, of their own free choice; in which all who compose it are not entirely free from selfishness; in which every one in it is not filled with the Holy Ghost, as the consequence of having personal faith in Jesus Christ as the Saviour from sin; in which all are not absolutely subject to the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit; and in which the Holy Spirit does not preside to such a degree as absolutely to guard the community from all selfishness and all hypocrisy. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.3

Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that this mistaken system of socialism will continue to be advocated; and will even be advocated as “Christian” socialism. It is also scarcely to be doubted that, at least to some extent, the scheme will be made effective in governmental affairs. But to whatever degree the thing shall be made effective, it will prove itself only that much of an element in the hastening of the anarchy, which is the only logic of the socialistic proposition from the beginning. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.4

Government of the people, both in the individual life and in the public life, is so far gone that, in every phase of the public life, government is of a few. The contest between capital and labor has reach the point where it is truly a contest as to which shall control the formal governmental machinery to the disadvantage of the other. This contest is as certain to grow as that day and night continue. And as it grows, confusion and uncertainty will only the more grow, and expedients of government will certainly have to be resorted to as means of balancing issues and preserving order. And, at the rate that things have been going lately, it will be but a little while before SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.5

A Triumvirate

will be the surest expedient of the balancing of issues. For at the point at which things almost stand to-day, the chief representative of capital, and the chief representative of labor, and the chief political manager of whatever national party should be in power, by agreeing together, could decree that nothing should be done in the commonwealth without the consent of each of the three; and such a triumvirate would form a power as complete and beyond any other combinations to resist, as was that of the triumvirate of Pompey, Crassus, and Cesar. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.6

And while events have reached this pass, and are fast hastening to a crisis. Of which some such expedient can be the only salvation,—while all this is occurrent on the part of the State, the religious power (and that the power of the Papacy, flattered and favored by apostate Protestantism) is striding at even greater pace to position of supremacy at Washington, and, from this, the supremacy of the world. For, of all the elements that are working to-day to exalt the Papacy once more to world supremacy, there are none so potent, none so sure, and none so rapid, as the influence of the United States. And with that supremacy there comes also the persecution and the anarchy that are the inevitable accompaniments of undisputed papal power. But this time, thank the Lord, SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.7

Her Reign Will Be Short,

for the Scriptures point out that the period allowed her in this thing is the shortest of all the prophetic periods named by inspiration—“one hour.” Her power over the kingdoms of the earth is received for but “one hour,” and in “one hour” her judgment comes. In “one hour” all her wealth and glory vanish. And then that mighty angel takes up a stone like a great millstone, and throws it into the sea, saying: “So shall Babylon, the great city, be violently overthrown, never more to be seen. No more shall the music of harpers, minstrels, fluteplayers, or trumpeters be heard in you; no more shall any worker, skilled in any art, be found in you; no more shall the sound of the mill be heard in you; no more shall the light of a lamp shine in you; no more shall the voices of bridegroom and bride be heard in you. Your merchants were the great men of the earth, for all the nations were deceived by your magical charms. Yes, and in her was to be found the blood of the prophets and of Christ’s people, and of all who have been put to death upon earth.” Revelation 18:21-24 (Twentieth Cent. Version). SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.8

And then there will be heard that loud voice of a great throng in heaven, saying: “Praise the Lord! To our God belongs salvation, glory, and power, for true and just are His judgments. For He passed judgment on the great prostitute, who was corrupting the earth by her licentiousness, and He took vengeance upon her for the blood of His servants.” And again the voices cried, “Praise the Lord!” SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.9

Then when the earth shall have been cleansed with fire from on high, He who sits on the throne, says, “Behold, I make all things new,” and, “It is done.” Then comes the kingdom of God indeed, in all its beauty, glory, and power, “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion shall serve and obey Him.” “And the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.10

NOTE.—After the foregoing article was written, the annual congress of the German Socialists was held at Dresden, Germany, Sept. 14, 1903. The following passage from the brief report of the proceedings the very first day and at only the second meeting of the congress is strongly illustrative and confirmatory of the points made in the article as it relates to that subject:— SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.11

Gaylor Wilshire, in the name of the societies of the United States, congratulated the Republican Social Democrats of Germany on their “marvelous organization, and still more marvelous electoral triumphs.” Wilshire said the antagonism of capital and labor was assuming in the United States for us more acute than in Europe,” owing mainly to the developments of the trusts.” The crisis in the existing capitalistic system, he asserted, would be precipitated first in the great trans-Atlantic republic, and would spread thence to Europe, “leading to the universal dominion of Social Democracy.” SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.12

A stormy discussion took place at the afternoon session of the congress, due to a resolution of the executive council, prohibiting the literary members of the socialist party from contributing articles to non-socialistic papers. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.13

The resolution was mainly directed against the so-called academicians, who claim the place of honor in the party by virtue of their learning, while gaining their livelihood by writing for newpapers antagonistic to the socialistic movement. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.14

Angry recriminations were indulged in, and at one time violent scenes appeared to be imminent. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.15

“It is an untruth,” shouted Herr Bebel in a frenzied rage, to Heinrich Braun, who was engaged in proving that even the classic leaders of Social Democracy were guilty of this. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.16

Herr Singer, the president of the congress, stopped Herr Nenel, and asked the members to preserve their dignity and refrain from behaving like schoolboys. Herr Bebel, who was much excited, demanded to know whom the president meant. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.17

Later there were lively passages at arms between Herr Babel and Herr Voltmar. Finally the debate was adjourned until to-morrow. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.18

When such a crowd as that get governmental power and control of all property, their attempt to have “all things common” will be a good deal farther from peace and harmony than was this meeting of Sept. 1, 1903. To any sober-minded person the mere contemplation of the prospect thus presented is surely sufficient to demonstrate that socialism successful will develop nothing short of sheer anarchy. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.19

A. T. J.

NOTE 2.—After the foregoing article was written, the American Bar Association held its annual session for 1903; and the report of its committee on trusts contains the remarkable forecast of a one-man power, of how near it may be, and what it can be when it comes:— SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.20

The modern combination’s primary object is to control trade and commerce in plain articles of production and substitute a more or less perfect monopoly in place of a more or less free competition. It changes entirely the basic principle of commercial relation between man and man, and if they are to continue to grow and develop in the future, as in the past, will render necessary most important changes on the principles of our commercial laws. Combination as an economic force, is fast coming to take the place of competition. The producers are combining, the transportation companies are containing, trades-union are combining; workmen, as well as employers, are combining; everything seems to be coming into some form of combination, and everybody seems to be a combiner. The competition that still remains is fast disappearing. Workmen are refusing to compete for jobs. Labor unions are enlarging the spheres of their activity and extending their operations. SITI March 16, 1904, page 4.21

The union of the employers is still stronger and more far-reaching than the union of workmen. We are now having combinations of combinations. The United States Steel Corporation is a combination of a dozen theretofore competing producers, who themselves were combinations of still other producers, and these, in turn, often combinations of still others. To have them back to their beginning is like discovering all the multitude of sources that go to make up the volume of the swollen Mississippi. SITI March 16, 1904, page 165.1

The ambition of the shipping trust, perhaps the pet project of the great American combiner, has been to control all the ships that sail the ocean. A hundred years ago there were hardly two ships owned by the same individual or corporation, and even fifty years ago there was scarcely a ship owner, individual or corporation, that owned a half dozen ships. No one knows but that within the next ten years a greater man than J. P. Morgan will arise, who will combine into one organization all the industries of the land, so that the workman who works for wages can find but one possible employer, and the purchaser of wares can find but one possible seller. The steps toward the formation of one universal industrial corporation, which shall crowd out all other corporations and assume to itself all the industries of the land have already been more than half taken. It is not so far to go from now to that end, as we had to go to reach the present condition. SITI March 16, 1904, page 165.2

And when that point shall have been reached, the event will bring the sure fulfilment of Revelation 13:16, 17. So true is it that the best view of the signs of the times is presented in the daily march of events. SITI March 16, 1904, page 165.3

A. T. J.