VIEW FROM THE TOWER.
It is astonishing with what rapidity matters are shaping themselves for the great time of trouble predicted in the Scriptures. When, some fourteen years ago, we presented the Scriptural declaration that the Millennium of peace and blessing would be introduced by forty years of trouble, beginning slightly in 1874 and increasing until social chaos should prevail in 1914-- few believed, some scoffed; for the whole cry then was Peace! Arbitration! Harmony! --hoped for through increasing intelligence.
Gradually the storm-clouds have been gathering since 1874--so gradually that many have failed to notice the great changes of public sentiment already accomplished. Yet many are now waking up, and the inquiry is heard, "Where will matters end if present conditions continue?" Ah! the answer to this query can be given from no earthly source. The Word of God is the only revelation of what lies behind the vail of futurity. It declares trouble, more general and greater than the earth has ever yet known (Dan. 12:1); that troubles financial, political and religious will fill the earth with distress; that there will be no hire for man nor hire for beast, nor any peace to him that goeth out or to him that cometh in, because every man's hand shall be against his neighbor. (Zech. 8:10.) Yet this is not all; for in connection with these changes, necessary to prepare for the Millennium Kingdom, will come some physical changes to the earth, incidental to its preparation for increased fertility and for rest from storms and cyclones, that it may be more suitable for the race in the "times of restitution."
The irregularity of the seasons begins to show even to infidels that it is altogether within the power of the Creator, when he is ready, to make it warmer at the poles and cooler at the equator. And these irregularities in turn show, by their effect upon the crops of the world, how even a slight change may bring about a general scarcity of food. And when the increasingly general dissatisfaction of mankind under present plenty and prosperity is considered, it is not difficult to see what is likely to be the general sentiment should a real shortage of the necessities of life compel economy.
Discontent is the general malady of the world to-day. Selfishness is harassing the vitals of society, in its every class. The rich are generally grasping for more millions; the comfortably fixed are anxious to be wealthy; the poor and the mechanics are grasping for "rights" and for "hours" and for "more pay." All are having beginnings of trouble already in the strikes, lockouts, etc., and all are finally coming to see that the Peace! Peace! cry is a delusion, and that more trouble instead of less lies ahead of them. Every day seems to spring some new complication. Almost every day's dispatches in the daily press for the past year have brought fresh news of strikes or riots; sometimes near, sometimes far off. It is one time a strike of the London police or letter carriers, again a riot among German miners or Belgian workers, again it is a mutiny among English soldiers; and at home it is a never-ending record of railroad, mining, iron and other labor strikes.
The only safe place for God's children is as far as possible out of all the strife. Remember the statement of the Bible, "Godliness with contentment is great gain," and lay in a large stock of both. These two qualities will serve to separate you and your aims from the worldly and their aims, ambitions and greeds. Rather be willing to be classed as "old fogy" and "lacking ambition," and to earn a humbler living with godliness and contentment and the great gain of peace of heart, communion with the Lord and some more time to spend in his service, doing good unto all as you have opportunity--especially to the household of faith.
Look at the list below and choose which you will have as your experience. You cannot mix them: an attempt to do so will only discomfort yourself and others. Choose the second list and endeavor to shape your course accordingly. Ambition for self: Ambition for God: Selfishness, Godliness, Discontent, Contentment, Impatience, Patience, Pride, Meekness, Rudeness, Gentleness, Anger, Self-control, Malice, Brotherly kindness, Hatred, Strife, Love, Joy, Peace, Bitterness of soul. Fellowship with God.
The Lord says to all, even to those who are not saints: "Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be that ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Leave, in general, most of your grievances and wrongs for the Lord to make right. Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed and generally blessed.--Psa. 37:3.
As evidence that those who have long been prophesying Peace and Arbitration! and a gradual moulding over of public opinion in harmony with justice and love are coming to see that the masses have no real conception of justice and love, and cannot think cooly and candidly and unselfishly on both sides of any question where their interests are at stake, note the following from a recent article by Mr. Hugh O. Pentecost. After reviewing the situation as he sees it, he says:--
"What the outcome will be no man can prophesy. Economic education may be so rapid that needful modifications will be made, or stupid indifference may lull the mass of the people into a carelessness that will be punished by complete industrial servitude--a mighty plutocracy living in unparalleled splendor, with millions of human drudges providing them with whatever their vitiated tastes may demand; or an increase of the power and impudence of the capitalists may lash an awakened and outraged people into fury that will express itself in bloody and dreadful war.
"Will there be any considerable change in the situation by which the next generation will benefit? I believe there will. I think the industrial system will not last fifty years longer. It will be peacefully improved or violently overthrown to give place to a better. That our civilization, like some civilizations of the past, will be utterly destroyed is not probable. What changes come are likely to be improvements, and some great accomplishment for the social betterment of men will probably occur within the next fifty years. The only question is whether the improvement will come through evolution or revolution. Through evolution, I hope; through revolution, I fear."
One fault to be found with this statement of the situation is, that while it no doubt honestly expresses its author's convictions, it is only a one-sided statement of the case. True, the light of this nineteenth century has introduced the labor-saving machinery which is so greatly to bless the world in the Millennium, and which has a tendency to compete so with labor that, if permitted, it would crowd the artisan to the wall; and it therefore justifies the combination of labor to preserve itself and secure to itself some of the increased advantages and blessings. But it is not true that this state of things has in any sense come about by combinations of capital for the purpose of oppressing labor.
An unbiased view of the matter shows us (1), that the present situation has come about without intention or premeditation on the part of either capital or labor; (2), that the increase of skill and machinery among muscle-workers or mechanics has been under the lead and guidance of brain-workers, and that without these brain-workers there would, humanly speaking, be no such general increase of intelligence and improvement of condition in society as we see to-day. And since brains are the channel through which these blessings of God have been sent, and since in brains as in muscles selfishness predominates above love, it is not surprising that brain, while dispensing the increased blessings, took to itself the larger share. And in a general way men recognize this law. The coal-wheelers require less intelligence and ability than the coal-diggers, and in proportion as the latter class must have and use more intelligence, in that proportion they are considered as deserving better pay than muscle only, because unskilled labor is more plentiful. The fireman on a railroad has less responsibility and requires less skill and experience, or brain development, than the engineer, and hence, though he may perform more muscular exertion, he receives, justly, less pay. We say justly, because growth in skill and competency tend to the general good, and should, therefore, be encouraged by due reward. If a laborer received the same pay as a skilled brain-worker or a brain and muscle worker, many would be without ambition to improvement and excellence. And all men require some such stimulus. Without it the race as a whole would continually sink lower and lower into ignorance and sin and lack of self-control.
On this principle the railroad engineer receives more compensation than his assistant, the fireman; and the civil engineer capable of surveying the best route for the building of that railroad is and should be much better paid than the laborer who grades the road; and the one competent to oversee the construction, though he may not spike a single rail, is justly paid more than the man who does the spiking, because he exercises a rarer [R1244 : page 1] sagacity which is worth more to his fellowmen. And so it goes on up to the top. The men who have risen from being newsboys or from other humble positions in society to be millionaires and the heads of great works, railroads, etc. (and there are several such here and in all large cities), must have had a mental balance and acumen superior to that of the majority. And instead of jumping to the conclusion that they must have acquired their wealth by fraud, we should rejoice that there are men of so great ability; even though society may deem it necessary to enact some laws to prevent so great wealth and such keen intellects from taking any unjust advantage of those who have not those rarer talents.
Surely such men are a great blessing in some respects, even though without wholesome restraint they might become oppressors and a general evil. What would any great city be without some such men? It is the brain power of such men, their grasp of the needs of the country and their ability to manage men and money wisely and profitably to all concerned, that has in so short a time turned a wilderness into a vast workshop and girdled the earth with railroads, and that in this and a thousand other ways have blessed and are yet blessing us all with conveniences of every sort.
Society could no more get along without these brainy people, these financiers and [R1244 : page 2] managers, than a human being could get along without brains.
Nor is this a new thing. The world has always had such a class who rise to the top of society and influence just as naturally as cream rises to the top of milk. Mix it over and over again as you may, the distinct quality is there and as soon as circumstances favor it will naturally rise to the top again. What society should desire is not to destroy the cream class, but to keep the cream class stirred in among the milk class of society, among the people and of the people, and to prevent the collection of the cream element as a separate class--a "plutocracy," as Mr. Pentecost calls it. The reason that millionaires are more common to-day than ever is, that we are living in the most favorable age for all classes to improve. Not only are there more whose annual income can be rated at a million, but there is a still larger increase of the number whose income is a thousand dollars a year and still many more whose income is five hundred. The millionaire class has increased much less rapidly than other grades and classes, and we are glad of it.
But does some one suggest that in the present enlightened day the brainy people who have the financiering and managing ability should make no use of their own superior genius that would specially benefit themselves, but should use it for the common benefit of their fellow creatures, and either accept no salary or at most the same pay as a laborer or a machinist? This would be very generous, very self-sacrificing, surely. But if there were just such men do we not all know that mankind would not believe them, but would traduce them as hypocrites and claim that they were secretly taking some advantage? In this men judge others by themselves; and knowing themselves to be too selfish for such a course they could not believe it of others.
Nor is there any reason for expecting such a course of any. Those who ask it are not sharing with their less skilled and less paid neighbors their overplus each week. They are wholly selfish and envious, though they may not realize it; for while grasping every dollar and hour they can get for the reward of their own skill, they would selfishly ask others to unselfishly share the reward of their genius with them. Can it not be seen by all that as an increase of reward is necessary to inspire the apprentice to skill and care to become a mechanic, so some stimulus is necessary for the brain-workers and managers of the world, else great railroads and mills would not be built to the same extent as now, and matters would settle into a rut from which no other class is capable of lifting them? Hence, so long as society is as it is, this dream element of society must not be injured, but merely kept stirred up for the common good of all. And, consequently, while legislation may be good for the purpose of preventing Trusts and Combinations inimical to the general welfare, it would be a great mistake to enact laws which would tend to destroy ambition and competition for wealth. Rather let that ambition operate to stimulate general progress and general improvement, and to cultivate in the same class a greater spirit of generosity to endow Colleges, build Public Libraries, found and endow Asylums and Homes and donate Public Parks, that thus they may have the ambition to carry on great works and enterprises with the desire to use the profits of their energy and genius for the public benefit.
These good results might be reached by the enactment of a law, that at his death no man could dispose of more than a million dollars worth of money and property; that whatever he possessed in excess of that amount must go into the public treasury and thus lighten the taxes of all his fellow citizens. With such a law in operation, rich men would be more generous during life and great wealth and its great power could not all accumulate in the hands of a few families.
LOVE AS A STIMULUS.
Ah, yes! Love would do instead of ambition and selfishness to push the world along the highway of progress. But how few have pure, unadulterated love. This love is one of the choicest fruits of the spirit of God. It is not, consequently, to be found growing wild in the worldly heart. It is found only very imperfectly developed in Christian people, absolutely perfect in none, and approximately perfect only in a very few--the saints. And of these few we remember that the Lord declares there are not many rich or great or wise. This "little flock" is mainly composed of the poor of this world (both in mind and in purse), whose only riches are riches of faith. The world will not think of these, their words and examples, but will go on blindly, talking about love and practicing selfishness, hatred, malice and envy, and all the unlovely elements of the spirit which is the reverse of the spirit of love, until the great time of trouble, which God's Word predicts, shall be precipitated.
While presenting, above, the only course of peace and blessing under the present condition of society governed by ambition and selfishness, we well know that the moderate course will not be pursued. Selfishness, envy, covetousness and hatred are souring the hearts of all classes, except the few in whom the very spirit of gratitude and love and appreciation of the numberless blessings of our day lead to thankfulness of heart toward God, the giver of every good gift. Mr. Pentecost, as above quoted, is coming to see that his dreams as a Nationalist, that such a new order of things as is sought and as Mr. Bellamy has pictured, will not come about peaceably, but through revolution.
Nor was Mr. Bellamy so blind as to hope for his pictured Millennium while men's hearts are as they are now. He pictures a world of men with changed hearts-- hearts in which love rules as the great dominating principle and ambition, and upon that foundation he builds his speculation as to what might be. Ah, yes! make men over into perfect beings--mentally, morally and physically--in whose very beings the law of God--the law of love--will be the ruling, governing motive; alter the climate of the earth and those conditions producing sudden changes and destructive storms and blights; and place the perfect race under such conditions, and the results ought to be glorious --much grander even than Mr. Bellamy's conception.
But who can work this grand and all-important change in mankind, without which all speculation is but a dream? Will the formation of a Nationalist club or party work such a change of heart? Nay, verily. Nationalism is a thought and an effort looking in a right direction, but no more. There is a chasm between where the race stands to-day, mired all over with sin and selfishness, and that ideal plane of holiness, love and purity, which no earthly power can bridge.
Is theirs, therefore, a hopeless glance in the right direction? It is hopeless so far as human power is concerned, but, as usual, man's extremity will be God's opportunity. Their desires are even far less grand than what God has already promised shall be accomplished. "The desire of all nations shall come." (Hag. 2:7.) Righteousness, truth and knowledge shall fill the whole earth. (Isa. 32:1; 11:9.) Love shall be the law; the stony heart of selfishness will be replaced by a tender one of sympathy, on every part of which will be stamped the law of love. (Jer. 31:33,34; Ezek. 11:19.) And this shall be, not only for the fortunates who have not died, but for all those also who fell asleep in death; and it shall be, not only for a few short years, but forever, to as many as shall fully conform themselves to that law of love, others being cut off as thorns and briers whose presence is an injury to the good of God's then great and happy family on earth.
But what lies between the present and that grand perfection for men? The Millennium --a thousand years of discipline under the most just and loving and sympathetic government conceivable; and yet under the strictest rule the world has ever known. This is God's bridge for spanning the chasm between the present state of sin, selfishness and imperfection and that future state of holiness, love and perfection. Its foundations were laid eighteen hundred years ago at Calvary--when "the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all;" and soon it shall be testified in God's due time to all men, and all shall have the fullest opportunity of crossing [R1245 : page 2] over by obedience and love to perfection and life by the bridge of restitution, and such alone as will not cross will perish in the second death.
But God's word reveals, too, that selfishness will be permitted to bring upon men one more final and to many an everlastingly profitable lesson, before the bridge of restitution is thrown open. This lesson will come in connection with the entrance of the world upon the restitution age, which as a bridge connects the present with the state of final perfection. In their rush for the coveted blessings and liberties God designs to give to all, selfishness is about to cause the great crush--the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, nor ever shall be again.
It is toward this bridge or age of judgment and trial, leading to Paradise restored, that all men, though ignorantly, are heading, each determined selfishly that he will get there first and secure the choice portion in the new Canaan. The wealthy and the brainy are in the lead; they have rather the advantage at present; already they are on the smoother way in which progress is less a drudgery, and surroundings are more elegant. They care not who may follow and generally hope that all may get a little, but are looking out for themselves specially. Behind and beside them are the millions of the medium classes of mechanics, etc., and the tens of millions of the poorer classes, laborers, etc., who have tasted some of the overflow blessings and advantages, and who see whither the new era is leading. Excitedly they push and pull for fear that, as the more favored ones pass on, there shall be none of the milk and honey left for them. And the favored ones resist, claiming custom, privilege, and their natural ability to lead. Wise would it be for both parties if they would be less selfish and more generous, insisting less upon their supposed rights wherever principle is not involved.
If they could but see it, there is bounty and blessing and room enough for all, and all will have the fullest opportunity to attain to all those blessings of Paradise restored. But they do not realize that it is God, through Christ, that is opening up the times of restitution of all things. They think that present day inventions and blessings are of men--an increase of human wisdom. They do not see that the flood of light which is now illuminating the world is of God, who has raised the curtain so that, as predicted, men are running to and fro and knowledge is increased. --Dan. 12:4.
A very few scattered here and there understand the real situation. These are God's holy ones, his special friends. He has revealed to them the real situation through his Word. They know what others are ignorant of, that the blessings now beginning are but a foretaste of greater ones yet to come, and long promised by Jehovah "by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) These strive not so anxiously as the others for their full rights and full share of present blessings. They thankfully take what comes, acknowledging that every good and perfect gift comes from their Heavenly Father. And what they do get, even in the present time, thus affords them more pleasure than the greater number of comforts does to others. "The little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked." (Psa. 37:16.) Even their faces distinguish them from others. Whatever their condition, whether sickness or health, whether very poor or in comfortable circumstances, these have peace within and realize that godliness with contentment is a great gain. Theirs is indeed a peace that the world can neither give nor take away. (John 14:27.) These are always rejoicing, and now so much the more as they see the great blessings of the Millennium drawing near. They are content to receive their share of coming blessings in God's way and in God's due time. These, if they cannot obtain their rights under present laws and regulations, will wait for justice, remembering the Apostle's words: "Be patient, brethren; the coming of the Lord draweth nigh"--his Kingdom will give full justice to all; wait for it. (James 5:7.) They remember that it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord;" and again, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath;" and again, "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, forbearing, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." (2 Tim. 2:24,25.) They remember, too, the outward characteristics of godliness enumerated by the Apostle-- sobriety, modesty, hospitality; not strikers, not greedy of filthy lucre, patient; not brawlers, not covetous. (1 Tim. 3:2,3.) They remember, also, that they are to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, who was the personification of gentleness, humility and love. These may be in the very midst of the trouble and anxiety of the world and yet retain in their hearts the peace of God which passeth all understanding.
God, who alone knows the outcome as well as the process of his plans, reveals the fact that the Millennial blessings will not come in peaceably as they might do if love controlled mankind. Men, believing that they are bringing about the change of dispensation, rejecting God at the helm of affairs, and seeking to gain by force the blessings longed for, must learn their mistake before they are ushered into the blessings. To bless their methods would be to confirm them in their error and to make them arrogant and proud. To enter the Millennium thus would be to their disadvantage. Accordingly, their [R1245 : page 8] own efforts are, under God's supervision, to teach men humility and their own utter inability to establish justice and peace in the world.
Accordingly, from the Scriptures we read the future thus: As inventions increase, men will become more and more vain and boastful as to what human power and ingenuity can accomplish. They will more and more lose sight of God and his provisions and supervisions. Nature will become the god of science and of the masses, and to nature's laws, not God's, they will bow. But nature will deceive them; most unusual and "unnatural" changes will occur; the laws of nature which they thought fixed will be found unsettled and unreliable; for God, knowing the necessities of the time, has arranged that great convulsions and changes of nature's operations (necessary for the betterment of the earth for man in the time of blessing about to begin) shall occur at this time, to humble the pride of men and to teach them their dependence upon nature's God.
These changes of nature will produce famines, pestilences, etc., at a time when men are boasting that such things are impossible because of greater facilities of communication and traffic, and because of the increased knowledge and power over disease. And extravagance and waste and ingratitude, for comforts and blessings now so liberally bestowed by him who sendeth rain and sunshine upon the just and upon the unjust, will receive a severe and lasting rebuke.
Meanwhile the self-assurance of men, which presumes that they need only to put their theories into practice to produce the longed-for Millennium of peace and prosperity, will also receive a severe and lasting rebuke. A haughty spirit leads to a fall. The haughtiness and pride of Capital will be rebuked; and equally the haughtiness of Labor. The pride and self-confidence of both is leading rapidly to that great struggle between them in which both will fall. Capital will fall first, not under peaceful strikes and victories, but in a reign of terror such as visited France a century ago; and it, indeed, is set forth in Scripture as an illustration of the greater and wider conflict now at the door. Both sides will become less and less reasonable. Labor already is so prejudiced that any suggestions offered which differ from its preconceived ideas are attributed to self-interest or other unworthy and bad motives--pandering to Capital, bought up by the money of the rich, etc. That generosity which is willing to see and to hear both sides, and to judge justly, is rapidly giving place to envy, malice and hatred of all and everything which lies in the way of its presumed rights. To what this will lead it is not difficult to forecast. It is a murderous spirit and will lead to bloodshed and general havoc.
Capital, too, is self-confident. It unwisely bases its expectations for the future upon the past. Seeing the attitude of Labor, Capital says there is no use attempting to reason with or to contract with Labor: we must do the best we can to protect ourselves. Labor shows us no quarter and would not hesitate to cause a loss of millions of dollars by a sudden strike for an alleged grievance. To yield would be to place ourselves in the hands of tyrants, not only malicious, but inexperienced, and for that reason, if for no other, incapable of handling great enterprises properly. We cannot submit to this and must conquer Labor effectually. Bad policy, gentlemen! It could be done in times gone by, but not now. You cannot conquer Labor; you will not pursue what would be the wiser course--Condescend to men of low estate, grant everything that is reasonable and a little more, and by meeting with the unreasonable be content to teach them gradually the general principles which you see they but imperfectly comprehend. They are but children in matters of finance and commerce and social science; be patient with them, for Labor is a child so giant-strong that if he be not thus patiently taught and often conceded to while getting his lesson, he will soon, very soon, totally destroy that which he has not fully comprehended is necessary in great part for his own comfort as for yours.
And thus it will be, the Scriptures declare: Society with all its present arrangements, laws, etc., will be utterly overthrown in this strife. Then men in the midst of anarchy will attempt to rear successively the various social structures (Socialism, Nihilism, Nationalism, etc.) which variously they now conceive to be the one thing needful to perfect equality and happiness [R1246 : page 8] and peace and plenty. Each, as it is tried, will but prove a fresh failure, bringing new discouragements and renewals of the general trouble, until it has become apparent to all that Sin is at the foundation of all the trouble, and that no government that could be designed could be expected to operate perfectly in the hands of imperfect officers, and that perfect laws would not be obeyed, even in their spirit by imperfect people more or less dominated by sin and selfishness. Then such of mankind as really love and desire righteousness will be ready to hail Immanuel and his strong government as the only way to peace and prosperity.
While our own views are not prophecy, but interpretations of the holy prophets of old, it may be interesting to our readers to read a brief extract from the pen of one who claims to be a scientific prophet and to note the close agreement of some of his "scientific" opinions and conjectures with the Scriptural presentation above, which we have been presenting for the past fourteen years. The extract below we quote from the daily Press reports.
PROF. J. R. BUCHANAN'S VIEW.
"In The Arena Professor Joseph Rodes Buchanan writes about 'The Coming Cataclysm of America and Europe,' which he places at nineteen years from the present time, and which 'in its magnitude and horror will surpass anything of which authentic history has preserved a record.' The Professor's paper is a prophecy containing conclusions demonstrated by the sciences which he has 'esoterically cultivated,' and the manner in which he goes into details convinces the reader that whatever there may be in the prophecy the prophet believes in himself. Professor Buchanan says that there will be a civil war in the United States, brought on by labor, race and church troubles, but chiefly the former, and that the aristocracy and money power will be overthrown, and a real democracy established on something like the lines laid down by Nationalism.
"Thousands are to-day impressed with the approaching dangers. The facts that should alarm them are conspicuous. The industrial classes in both city and country are profoundly discontented. The western farmers are not alone in their suffering. The decline in New York has been so great that State Assessor Wood, in 1889, expressed the opinion that in a few decades there will be none but tenant farmers in his state. While the farmers are going down, and nearly four-fifths of the city of New York live in tenement houses, the plutocracy is going up, the gulf is widening between wealth and poverty --between the man who may be arrested as a tramp for being out of work, and the millionaire who spends $700,000 on a stable for his horses.
"But one thing is necessary to insure a conflict. The armies must be gathered and organized into two hostile camps, for mobs do not make war. The organizing is going on now as never before in the world's history. The labor party, the anti-capital party, will soon embrace from one to two millions of men, bound together by common interest, common sympathy and common hatred of everything hostile to their interests, with a strong conviction that they are an oppressed class, and small patience with their oppressors, while the consciousness of their physical power will encourage a defiant and uncompromising attitude. In such a condition the disturbances or mobs, which are usually local and temporary, electrify the mass and become a national convulsion. A single individual may become the immediate cause of a civil war.
"And while man is fighting his battles, while democracy is overthrowing plutocracy in this country, and monarchy is being wiped out in Europe, nature will treat us to a terrible calamity. 'In the midst of our coming civil war the Atlantic coast will be wrecked by submergence and tidal waves.' Cities on the coast will be, according to the Professor, partially submerged and damaged beyond estimation. The loss of life he places at not less than a million persons.
"Professor Buchanan concludes his very interesting article by warning all who have faith in his judgment to leave the lowlands of the Atlantic coast south of New England within fifteen years. He is in the neighborhood of 80 years old, and does not expect to live to witness the fulfilment of his prophecy. 'It is with great hesitation and reluctance,' he says, 'that I have consented to present this horrid panorama; but truth should be our paramount aim, and if there be, as I maintain, any science which can look into the future, its proper presentation is by the statement of the future so far in advance of the event as to constitute a decisive test.'"