Preparation for the Gospel.
The great pre-requisite for the ushering in of the kingdom of God seems to be unanimity and concentration of the attention. This was strikingly manifested on the day of Pentacost. Previous to the descent of the Spirit the disciples 'all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.' Their whole souls were unitedly breathing forth a desire that the kingdom and power of God might be manifested, and this concentrated desire, like the lightning rod pointing to the sky, afforded a good medium for the descent of the electricity of heaven. We may reasonably expect to see a preparation somewhat similar to this on the largest scale, previous to the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord.
Looking at the signs of the times, we can see many evidence of preparation of this sort. God is training the nations to unity and concentration of thought. All these facilities for traveling and rapid communication which steam and electricity afford, operate practically to bring people together into one great congregation, before which any subject may be presented as in an ordinary meeting where all are engaged in the exercises which are going on. This unitary tendency gives the true meaning and moral of the wonderful advance that is seen to exist in science, arts, and business facilities. The world of commerce is so compactly and delicately organized, thats some comparatively trifling event, perhaps in some remote corner of the earth, affects the stock market, which is the business thermometer in the great cities. In the literary world, a single meritorious work can find its millions of readers in a few months, as the rapid sale of Uncle Tom's Cabin testifies. In the manufacturing world multitudes of people are trained together in a manner admirably adapted to the concentration of thought and attention. Millions of newspapers and letters, streaming to their various destinations, through the multifarious arteries and veins of the Post Office system, give hitherto unparalleled solidarity to the more advanced nations. All these enterprises, however foreign in other respects their character may be to the nature of God's kingdom, inasmuch as they concentrate the attention, are directly in the line of God's purposes, and consequently are prosperous. With these wonderful facilities for catching and controlling the attention, how easy it would be to introduce the gospel of Communism and Salvation from Sin, and bring to bear upon it the united gaze of the world. Such an event, certainly would not be more strange than the attention that slavery has received through the wide-spread popularity of Mrs. Stowe's book. We may reasonably look for the judgment, and the advent of the new heavens and the new earth, as the result of this long period of preparation, during which so much valuable machinery that is appropriate for this consummation has been produced.
H. J. S.