Chapter 07


(published October 1897)

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How and Why the Nations are Assembled—The Social Elements Preparing for the Fire—The Heaping of Treasures—The Increase of Poverty—Social Friction Nearing Combustion—A Word from the President of the American Federation of Labor—The Rich sometimes too Severely Condemned—Selfishness and Liberty in Combination—Independence as Viewed by the Rich and by the Poor—Why Present Conditions Cannot Continue—Machinery an Important Factor in Preparing for the Great Fire—Female Competition—Labor’s View of the Situation, Reasonable and Unreasonable—The Law of Supply and Demand Inexorable upon all—The Outlook for Foreign Industrial Competition apalling—Mr. Justin McCarthy’s Fears for England—Kier Hardie, M.P., on the Labor Outlook in England—Hon. Jos. Chamberlain’s Prophetic Words to British Workmen—National Aggression as Related to Industrial Interests—Herr Liebknecht on the Social and Industrial War in Germany—Resolutions of the International Trades Union Congress—Giants in These Days—List of Trusts and Combines—Barbaric Slavery vs. Civilized Bondage—The Masses Between the Upper and Nether Millstones—The Conditions Universal and Beyond Human Power to Regulate.

“WAIT ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy [wrath]. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.”

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The gathering of the nations in these last days, in fulfilment of the above prophecy, is very notable. Modern discovery and invention have indeed made the remotest ends of the earth neighbors to each other. Travel, mailing facilities, the telegraph, the telephone, commerce, the multiplication of books and newspapers, etc., have brought all the world to a considerable extent into a community of thought and action hitherto unknown. This condition of things has already made necessary international laws and regulations that each of the nations must respect. Their representatives meet in Councils, and each nation has in every other nation its ministers or representatives. International Exhibitions have also been called forth as results of this neighboring of nations. There can no more be that exclusiveness on the part of any nation which would bar every other nation from its ports. The gates of all are necessarily thrown open, and must remain so; and even the barriers of diverse languages are being easily surmounted.

The civilized peoples are no longer strangers in any part of the earth. Their splendid sea equipments carry their business representatives, their political envoys and their curious pleasure-seekers to the remotest quarters with ease and comfort. Magnificent railway coaches introduce them to the interior lands, and they return home laden with information, and with new ideas, and awakened to new projects and enterprises. Even the dull heathen nations are arousing themselves from the dreams of centuries and looking with wonder and amazement at their visitors from abroad and learning of their marvelous achievements. And they in turn are now sending their representatives abroad that they may profit by their new acquaintances.

In the days of Solomon it was thought a marvelous thing that the queen of Sheba should come about five hundred miles to hear the wisdom and behold the grandeur of Solomon;

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but now numbers even of the untitled travel over the whole world, a great portion of which was then unknown, to see its accumulated wealth and to learn of its progress; and the circuit of the world can now be made with comfort and even luxury in less than eighty days.

Truly, the nations are “assembled” in a manner not expected, yet in the only manner in which they could be assembled; viz., in common interest and activity; but alas! not in brotherly love, for selfishness marks every step of this progress. The spirit of enterprise, of which selfishness is the motive power, has prompted the construction of the railways, the steamships, the telegraphs, the cables, the telephones; selfishness regulates the commerce and the international comity, and every other energy and enterprise, except the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of benevolent institutions: and even in these it is to be feared that much that is done is inspired by motives other than pure love for God and humanity. Selfishness has gathered the nations and has been steadily preparing them for the predicted, and now fast approaching, retribution—anarchy—which is so graphically described as the “fire of God’s jealousy” or anger, which is about to consume utterly the present social order—the world that now is.  Yet this is speaking only from the human standpoint; for the Prophet ascribes this gathering of the nations to God. But both are true; for while man is permitted the exercise of his free agency, God, by his overruling providence, is shaping human affairs for the accomplishment of his own wise purposes. And therefore, while men and their works and ways are the agents and agencies, God is the great Commander who now gathers the nations and assembles the kingdoms from one end of the earth to the other, preparatory to the transfer of earth’s dominion to him

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The Prophet tells us why the Lord thus gathers the nations, saying—”That I may pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for the whole earth [the entire social fabric] shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” This message would bring us sorrow and anguish only, were it not for the assurance that the results shall work good to the world, overthrowing the reign of selfishness and establishing, through Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, the reign of righteousness referred to in the words of the prophet—”Then will I turn unto the people a pure language [Their communications with each other shall no longer be selfish, but pure, truthful and loving, to the intent] that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent.”

The “gathering of the nations” will not only contribute to the severity of the judgment, but it will also make it impossible for any to escape it; and it will thus make the great tribulation a short, as well as a decisive, conflict, as it is written: “A short work will the Lord make upon the earth.”