VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
LEADING SHEEP ASTRAY
WE HAVE already noted that at the Chicago Stock Yards they have what they call a bullock that meets the animals for the slaughter, tosses his head and gallops before them along a narrow passage leading to the slaughter. He has a niche into which he knows to turn aside, while the animals following him butt each other ahead into the slaughter pen.
It appears that at St. Louis they have a goat which serves a similar role towards the sheep. When a flock of sheep has been sold and it is to be transferred to the purchaser's pen a white billy-goat (that is said to chew tobacco with a relish) is trained to lead the sheep. He enters their pen, looks around upon them serenely and compassionately, and then, as though saying, "I sympathize with you; you are not being rightly treated; I will lead you to a better place," he stamps his foot, tosses his head, gives a snort and rushes out of the pen followed by the sheep. He leads them into the pen of the slaughterers.
The Lord likens his people to sheep. They are frequently less worldly wise than the goat class. All the more they need to take heed to the voice of the Shepherd and not to follow goats everywhere under any pretext. Failure to give heed to the Shepherd is an evidence of unfitness for the special purpose for which he is now selecting his "little flock." Of these it is written that they will not heed the voice of strangers, but know the voice of the Shepherd.
It seems natural for the goats to be leaders, and the sheep must be on their guard and discriminate, and follow none except those who have the sheep character of meekness, gentleness, patience, etc.--those who follow the Chief Shepherd's footsteps. If any have been doing otherwise let them take heed in time and rearrange matters. None should be in the Eldership of any class of Bible Students who does not give evidence of having been with Jesus and learned of him in doctrine, and been developed in the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit. "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. A stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him."
REFORMATION BY SURGERY
"The wonders performed by surgery constantly increase, and perhaps in no direction has the beneficence of the science been so much demonstrated as in the direction of making mental and moral cures through surgical operations. From time to time a number of cases have been reported whereby--with an operation on the head, removing some depression from the brain, or perhaps opening the skull to allow greater brain expansion-- backward and vicious boys have been given normal mental and moral conditions and a fair chance in life.
"Edward E. Grimmell, when 14 years of age, received a blow on the head from a picket, which fractured the skull and left a discernible depression. His parents paid little or no attention to the incident, but the boy grew up and from time to time showed criminal tendencies. He made little progress at school and was vicious, and was frequently the subject of police attention. After serving three terms in State's prison he was finally arrested and tried for forgery. He did not deny any of the facts, and his counsel contended that his criminal impulses were the result of injuries to the head.
RELEASE OF PRESSURE ON BRAIN CHANGED COURSE
OF MAN'S LIFE
"The Judge did not place credence in the claim made in his behalf, considered him a clever professional crook, dangerous to the community, and sentenced him to the Dannemora prison. The man begged the prison surgeon to perform an operation, saying he desired to lead a decent life, but could not resist the opportunity to commit crime whenever he had a chance. He preferred death to a continued career of crime, such as he felt he was doomed to have. He finally attracted the attention of an eminent surgeon of Boston, who performed the operation, relieved the pressure on the brain and changed the whole tendency of the man's thought and action, and from having the most perverse and criminal nature prior to the operation, he has since become, to all appearances, a moral man of the highest impulses.
"It has been found that surgical operations, removing adenoids and other growths of nose and throat, allowing proper breathing, has changed many cases of stupid children into bright and active ones. Crime comes ordinarily through an abnormal physical condition; viciousness is considerably the result of ignorance through the presence of abnormal conditions."--Plattsburg Sentinel.
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If accidents to the skull can produce degradation of morals, who will deny that the shape of the brain of the child is largely influenced by heredity--particularly by [R4752 : page 36] the mother? This agrees with the Scriptural declaration, I was born in sin, shapen in iniquity; in sin did my mother conceive me.--Psa. 51:5.
Who will deny, further, that the father has much to do with the child's physical vitality and vigor of constitution? But additionally he is largely responsible for the mother's surroundings and mental condition during the period of gestation. Injustice, harshness, cruel words at such a time from anybody, but particularly from the husband, would arouse in the mind of the mother grievous [R4753 : page 36] thoughts, gloomy thoughts, anger, hatred, etc., sure more or less to leave their impress upon the child she is carrying.
No one should be more generous to the weaknesses and vices of humanity than the parents; but all should have a measure of sympathy. While enforcing law and order let us remember that in the whole human family a reign of sin and death is in progress. And let us sympathetically do all in our power to promote righteousness and to be helpful to those who are in still greater difficulty than themselves along these lines.
Not only do such thoughts give us great charity toward all, but they cause us the more reverently to look up to God as the only One competent to fully release the groaning creation. Looking into his Word we perceive that the entire Plan of Salvation for the race is along the lines of uplift from mental and physical weaknesses to full perfection in God's likeness. And while praising the Almighty for this generous Plan soon to be put into operation for the world at the Second Coming of Messiah and the establishment of his Kingdom (Acts 3:19-21), let us also note with joy our own privileges --our "high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
FERTILITY OF PALESTINE
Prof. Richard Gottheil, of Columbia University, the director of the American school of archaeology in Jerusalem, believes that the time will soon come when Palestine will be in fact what the Hebrew Scriptures say in poetry it was at one time--"a land flowing with milk and honey." The professor admits that changes will have to come before the ideal is realized, but he believes that the changes will come.
When a friend suggested that there would have to be a change in the soil, as well as in the government, he replied that appearances were often deceitful in Turkey as well as America, and that what appeared to be rock on the hillsides of Judea was really a fertilizer in rock form. Prof. Gottheil is a truthful man, but a truthful man is sometimes called upon to explain statements which seem contrary to facts, and this is the explanation he made:
"The soil of Palestine is peculiar. It is remarkably fertile, as the primitive methods of cultivation show. If so much can grow as does grow with the mere scratching which the ground receives, how much might be produced if western methods were employed? I have seen trees growing where there was absolutely no dirt visible, but in some way the roots had reached the soil and they had obtained a foothold, which enables them to grow and bear fruit.
PREDICTS GREAT FUTURE
"But what is more remarkable still is the fact that there is in the rocks which one sees on these hillsides, chemical properties which correspond with those ingredients in the best fertilizers, and these rocks decompose from time to time, so that what seems so forbidding from an agricultural point of view is really going back into the soil as manure. There is an institution in Jerusalem, founded to give work to poor Hebrews, whose manager actually pounds up the soil, not waiting for it to decompose, and he produces very fine crops as a result of this mixture. Several cases might be cited where hillsides may be made to bear, not exactly forests, but a sufficient number of trees to prove my contention that a great future awaits this country, when conditions now prevalent are changed; and they will be changed; a new spirit is in the air, and in the government as well."
TO MAKE EDEN BLOOM AGAIN
Sir John Jackson has obtained the contract for the construction of the first dam in the irrigation works designed by Sir William Willcox for the Turkish Government, with the object of again making an Eden of Mesopotamia.
Sir William Wilcox, who has been engaged in surveying the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, in 1908 predicted that this vast territory, now an arid waste infested by swamps, but showing traces of ancient irrigation canals, would again blossom as the rose, provided that works, of which this dam is the first, be carried out.
DISOWNS FANCIFUL SPECULATIONS
Brother W. H. Bundy has forwarded to us a mimeographed three-page article speculating in regard to time prophecies and implying that the writer has some foreknowledge of the contents of STUDIES Volume VII., and that his presentations are in line therewith. Brother Bundy is credited with having presented these fanciful interpretations. His letter below denies all relationship to the article.
As for the Seventh Volume, the Editor can assure the readers that nobody knows what its contents will be, for not a word of it has yet been written. While our hands are so full of important work, and while the Church evidently needs to study more deeply the Six Volumes already possessed, we cannot consider it to be the Lord's will to turn aside from work in hand and pressing, to take up the writing of the Seventh Volume. No doubt in his own due time the Lord will give us the time and everything else necessary for an exposition of Revelation, if it be his will that we should thus serve his Church.
Our advice to the dear friends everywhere is to accept nothing in a way of Scriptural exposition as ours, except what is published by our Society or over our signature.
Brother Bundy's letter denying the fanciful, prophetic interpretations, follows:
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
This is the fourth letter of this kind I have received lately and I feel that I would be glad to have some way of assuring the friends that I have no sympathy for speculations, but endeavor always to confine myself to the Scriptural teachings of the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES and THE WATCH TOWER. There is no foundation for thinking I ever presented such fanciful teachings suggested in the enclosed letter and I fear my name is confounded with some other Pilgrim. Can you recommend some way whereby I can clear myself, if you think it advisable? It grieves me to think any of his little ones could suppose I would act so unwisely and so contrary to your admonitions. I love you! God bless you! In much gratitude.
Your Brother, W. H. BUNDY.