Thursday, March 26, 2009

Conditions in the Cities at the close of Time

There is coming rapidly and surely an almost universal guilt upon the inhabitants of the cities because of the steady increase of determined wickedness. We are living in the midst of an "epidemic of crime" at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud; every day brings its heartsickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering; of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide.

The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. Holidays are numerous; the whirl of excitement and pleasure attracts thousands from the sober duties of life. The exciting sports--theatergoing, horse racing, gambling, liquor drinking and reveling--stimulate every passion to activity.

The youth are swept away by the popular current. Those who learn to love amusement for its own sake open the door to a flood of temptations. They give themselves up to social gaiety and thoughtless mirth. They are led on from one form of dissipation to another, until they lose both the desire and the capacity for a life of usefulness. Their religious aspirations are chilled; their spiritual life is darkened. All the nobler faculties of the soul, all that link man with the spiritual world, are debased.

The intense passion for money getting, the thirst for display, the luxury and extravagance--all are forces that, with the great mass of mankind, are turning the mind from life's true purpose. They are opening the door to a thousand evils. Many, absorbed in their interest in worldly treasures, become insensible to the claims of God and the needs of their fellow men. They regard their wealth as a means of glorifying self. They add house to house and land to land; they fill their homes with luxury, while all about them are human beings in misery and crime, in disease and death.

By every species of oppression and extortion, men are piling up colossal fortunes, while the cries of starving humanity are coming up before God. There are multitudes struggling with poverty, compelled to labor hard for small wages, unable to secure the barest necessities of life. Toil and deprivation, with no hope of better things, make their burden heavy. When pain and sickness are added, the burden is almost unbearable. Care-worn and oppressed, they know not where to turn for relief.

The Scriptures describe the condition of the world just before Christ's second coming. James the apostle pictures the greed and oppression that will prevail. He says: "Go to now, ye rich men. . . . Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." James 5:1-6.

This is a picture of what exists today. "Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey." Isaiah 59:14, 15.

Testimonies fot the church Vol 9 pg 89,90,91 written in 1909

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