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    WILL THEY CONVERT THE WORLD?

    “In Philadelphia and Boston, it is believed at least three-fourths of the people habitually absent themselves from church, and the same may be said of New Bedford, Fall River, Lowell and Worcester. The religious denominations, too, have greatly decreased within ten years. The membership in the Baptist churches in New York city has decreased three hundred and sixty-two since 1845, although the population has increased 261,966. The Presbyterians in ten years, from 1843 to 1853, had decreased in numbers six hundred and sixty. The Methodist, in the same time had lost four hundred and sixty-one, and there has been but one self-supporting Reformed Dutch Church planted in New York during fifteen years. Such are some of the statistics of spiritual declension, while, as a contrast to this picture, we have six thousand grog shops, and twenty-five hundred brothers!”FT 13.1

    The Golden Rule says:FT 13.2

    “Our Sabbaths in New York are more like holidays, days of pleasure-seeking, feasting, gossiping, rowdyism and riot, than days of holy rest. O, what an infinite mercy that God has not, ere this, sent his hottest thunderbolts, his fiercest wrath, on this guilty city and guilty nation! Wo, wo, wo, to the bloody city—Wo, wo, wo to him that striveth with his Maker—Wo, wo!”FT 13.3

    The N. Y. Herald says:FT 13.4

    “Crimes of all descriptions are on the increase, especially those of the blackest dye, the increase being much greater than the proportionate increase of population.”FT 13.5

    Says the Expositor, a political paper:FT 14.1

    “Crimes, unprecedented in number, and unequaled in atrocity, fill every section of our country with horrors, exhibiting a hardened barbarity, in their details, only to be exceeded in the bosom of demons,” etc.FT 14.2

    Says the Scientific American:FT 14.3

    “It is admitted, by all parties, that crimes of the most outrageous and unprecedented character abound through the country, and probably throughout the world, to a degree wholly unparalleled.”FT 14.4

    Says the Boston Recorder:FT 14.5

    “Within the last forty years commitments for crimes have increased in England from five to thirty-one thousand, more than six-fold, and four times faster than the increase of population. In Scotland, the increase of crime in the same period has arisen from eighty-nine to three thousand eight hundred and eighty-four—forty-three fold, and has advanced twenty-five time faster than the population. That this prodigious increase has occurred during a period of almost unbroken peace, amid great improvements in criminal legislation and prison discipline, too, and notwithstanding unparalleled efforts to diffuse education and religion, creates a problem of no easy solution.”FT 14.6

    The N. Y. Herald, speaking of France, says:FT 14.7

    “Of separations between husband and wives, the number has arisen from six hundred and forty-three in A. D. 1837, to eleven hundred and eight in A. D. 1844. [Since then up to the present time, the records show an alarming increase.—M. E. C.] If we turn to criminal records, we shall find the same painful facts. It is estimated that there are annually, in the United States, five hundred thousand cases of assault and battery, one hundred thousand thefts, eight hundred suicides, eight hundred murders.”FT 14.8

    Mr. MACAULAY, of England, says:FT 15.1

    “We often hear it said that the world is constantly becoming more and more enlightened, and that this enlightening must be favorable to Protestantism, etc. We wish we could think so. But we see great reason to doubt whether this be a well-founded expectation. We see that, during the last two hundred and fifty years, the human mind has been to the highest degree active; that it has made great advances in every branch of natural philosophy, etc... . Yet we see that, during these two hundred and fifty years, Protestantism has made no conquests worth speaking of. Nay, we believe that, as far as there has been a change, that change has been in favor of the church of Rome.”FT 15.2

    Tract No. 470, of the American Tract Society, on the world’s conversion, says:FT 15.3

    “As yet there is no evidence that these expectations are about to be realized. The present generation of Christians exhibit no evidence that they are about to rise to higher piety, and to discharge their hitherto neglected duty to the perishing world. We discover no such cheering indications in those who are coming upon the stage. The young are not converted.... And the young who do experience religion are not rising to any higher piety, or putting forth more strenuous efforts, than their predecessors. What then is the ground to expect that the church will be better qualified to evangelize the world thirty years hence, than at the present, or will do more to accomplish it? Facts, so far as the present condition of the young is concerned, compel the answer, NONE.”FT 15.4

    The Apostle, speaking of the last days, declares that men shall be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:4.FT 16.1

    This has literally come to pass before our eyes; and is manifest by the peculiar bails thrown out by the captains of “vanity fairs” to draw in the multitude. We have seen on their show-bills, in blazing capitals, “lovers of pleasure. Attention!!!” and the following:FT 16.2

    “A good time coming, boys!”FT 16.3

    “Jim Myers, Emperor of all the clowns! High Priest of Fun! Prince of Jesters! Grand Duke of Nonsense! And the soul and embodiment of Wit.”FT 16.4

    These exciting announcements call together an indiscriminate mass of all classes of society, (church members not excepted,) where they listen to the “Grand Duke of Nonsense” until after ten o’clock at night; occasionally making the whole village ring with their united shouts of HURRAH! and laughter at the witticism of one of the most hardened rebels against God. With what fearful certainty do the above facts mark the present as “the last days” of “perilous times!”FT 16.5

    The following items from the papers will give some idea of the state of things in New York city:FT 16.6

    “MURDERS.—Three hundred murders committed in New York city within the last three years! All these murderers escaped the halter, save one, a man of color. The colored man, having ‘no rights which white men are bound to respect,’ and no fortune to expend on attorneys and judges, of course had to hang.”FT 16.7

    “A DARK PICTURE.—In the city department of one of the daily papers last week, we read the following heads: ‘Elopement from Saratoga,’ ‘The late Bank Defalcation,’ ‘Barnum Arrested,’ ‘A Pitiful Case,’—man found dying of consumption on the ground, ‘Highway Robbery, and Attempted Murder,’ ‘Arrest of Coiners,’ ‘Little Girl found in the Water,’ ‘Theft of Valuable Diamonds,’ ‘A Man Accidentally Killed,’ ‘River Thieves at Work,’—one shot, ‘Accidentally Drowned,’ ‘Forgery,’ ‘Swindling Operation,’ ‘Alleged Swindle by the Keeper of a Loan Office,’ ‘Supposed Infanticide,’ ‘Petty Theft,’ ‘Attempt to take Life,’ ‘Attempt at Suicide,’ and so on. This is a pretty good one day’s catalogue; but it would swell out an ordinary sized newspaper to record all the crimes and casualties that occur in this city during a day and night. Criminals are as thick as musquitoes in Jersey meadows, and a majority of them escape the vigilance of the police, while a countless gang of swindlers infest and curse the community whom the law does not pretend to interfere with, such as Peter Funks, Ticket swindlers, Tombs lawyers, and Wall-street brokers. We often wonder what sort of places Sodom and Gomorrah were, to be destroyed for their sins, when New York is still above ground.”FT 17.1

    The New Orleans Del says:FT 17.2

    “Although the murders in New Orleans will average one in every twelve hours, this (the conviction of Frank Smith for the murder of his wife) is the second conviction without qualification for eight years! There is a fault somewhere, and should be remedied. So many murders, assassinations, fights, drownings, and ‘found dead,’ should lead to some endeavors for their stoppage. As it is, no one is ever found guilty of murder here. We wish the wrong could be remedied, but have no reason to hope it will. A jury cannot be empanneled in New Orleans who will find any man guilty of murder if they can help it.”FT 17.3

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