The cry is peace! peace! but there is and can be no permanent peace until the Prince of peace is Lord of all. Until he has taken his great power assumed control and put down oppression, injustice, and every error and wrong.
Overproduction has for the moment clogged the wheels of trade the world over, and a halt is called by producers from fear of loss. The result is first felt by the wageworkers, so many of whom live "from hand to mouth." Unrest is now more quickly developed than formally in this class because of a wider range of knowledge. Large gatherings of men have assembled in London and Paris lately demanding that some Public improvements be prosecuted to afford them work and wages.
Such crises tax the ingenuity of statesmen and not infrequently help to foment contentions and war. At present we find all the prominent powers of Europe intent on colonization schemes and the acquirement of increased territory. The object of this is two fold perhaps: to furnish employment and diversion for the thousands of regular paid soldiery and maintain among them the martial spirit without jeopardizing a revolution at home while at the same time these civilized (?) nations hope to take such advantage of poor ignorant barbarous tribes as may henceforth increase the home treasury by heavy taxes wrung from these heathen people for their protection (?)
France the liberal Republic which claims for itself and each citizen freedom, has on hand a war in Africa caused by the rebellion of some people who want their own freedom but whom France wants to govern and squeeze wealth from. She has another war with China growing out of the attempted annexation of Annam.
England's king long ago took possession of Ireland and divided it among his supporters who as Lords have since drawn large revenues from that little island to be squandered in high living in England. The sons of these Lords are now Lords in the British parliament and hold tightly to every ill-gotten acre. General education among the Irish peasantry has begotten bitterness against injustice which is leading to shocking outrages in Londondynamite explosions, etc. Unable to cope with their master and oppressor otherwise, leads some to attempt to justify this course by pointing out when and how Britain with less cause destroyed a thousand times as many innocent lives. Selfishness, greed and injustice are the causes of all this evidently.
Greed, a desire to "protect British interests" and to hold to other conquered countries from whom directly and indirectly large revenues are obtained led the great Christian (?) government of Britain which boasts that on its empire the sun never sets, into a war with the most ancient nationality of the worldEgypt. Failure to attend to its own business and let Egypt attend to her's has already cost much money and many lives, and the war seems to be but beginning.
Germany, more cunning, though equally selfish and, unscrupulous, rejoices to see her strongest competitors scattering their treasures, armies and ships afar and attempts to take the position of Umpire and calls conferences relative to the affairs of Egypt and the Congo country of Africa, and asks for a share of the spoils. Meanwhile Portugal has sent an army and forcibly taken possession of the congo country without conference.
Russia meanwhile is not idle, she has been building railroads and massing troops in the direction of the Indian Ocean with evident desire to be in a position to injure England's vast interests in India should the latter offer objections to the long nourished Russian scheme of taking possession of Turkey.
Thus one thing leads to another and somewhat so only worse and worse it will be throughout the "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation" until these present governments with their prince (Jno. 12:31 and 14:30,) falsely called "Kingdoms of God" shall fall before the true kingdom, and the dominion under the whole heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high God. No wonder then that those who appreciate these matters truly, should and do pray "Thy Kingdom comeThy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." No wonder that those in ignorance should groan for a better government than any their present Prince has ever provided. "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now waiting [ignorantly] for the manifestation of the Sons of God" clothed with heavenly power to lay justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet. Then "a king shall reign in righteousness and princes shall execute judgment [justice] in the earth." Then "all the families of the earth shall be blessed," and every man may sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree with none to molest or make him afraid. Micah 4:1-4.
While looking forward to the World's emancipation day, let us not forget that though the coming trouble is the preparation for that lasting peace, yet, the saints have no share in any conflict with carnal weapons. Our foes and besetments in this same "evil day" are of another, though not less dangerous character. Combined with and a part of these kingdoms which call themselves Kingdoms of God, are church systems calling themselves churches of God whose doctrines on religious subjects are as much a libel on God's truth as the earthly empires with which they are associated are libels on God's Kingdom. The two go hand in hand. The soldiers and guns and swords to compel submission, taxes, etc., and false doctrines to bind and fetter the poor heathen with fears of hell more awful than even their barbaric minds had ever conceived, and to uphold and defend the action of their kingdoms, as of God's appointment and the enslavement and robbery of the heathen as a mark of God's grace.
For these so called kingdoms of God and their armies, prayers are offered to God in the name of him whose command is peace good will toward man, and who announces himself as the one who shall set at liberty the captives and proclaim love, peace and liberty throughout the earth to allfor whose liberty he died.
Thank God the emancipation proclamation is going forth; shackles theological and political begin to break, and the groaning creation must shortly be delivered into the true liberty of sons of God under the dominion of Immanuel.