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    INTRODUCTION

    THIS pamphlet is a report of an argument made upon the national Sunday bill introduced by Senator Blair in the fiftieth Congress. It is not, however, exactly the argument that was made before the Senate Committee, as there were so many interruptions in the course of my speech that it was impossible to make a connected argument upon a single point. By these questions, etc., my argument was not only forced to take a wider range than was intended when I began to speak, but I was prevented from making the definite argument that I designed to present. I do not speak of these interruptions and counter-arguments by way of complaint, but only to explain why this pamphlet is issued. Nevertheless it is a fact that while there were eighteen speeches before mine, occupying three hours, in all of which together there were only one hundred and eighty-nine questions and counter-arguments by all the members of the Committee who were present, I was interrupted by the Chairman alone, one hundred and sixty-nine times in ninety minutes, as may be seen by the official report of the hearing.-Fiftieth Congress, Second Session, Messages and Documents No. 43, pp. 73-102.NSLS27 iii.1

    A national Sunday law is a question of national interest. While it is true that the Sunday-rest bill did not become a law, the legislation having died with the expiration of the fiftieth Congress, it is also true that those who worked for the introduction and passage of that bill are now laying plans to have another national Sunday bill introduced as soon as possible in the fifty-first Congress, and will do all in their power to secure its enactment into law. The scope that was given to the subject by the questions asked of me by the Senate Committee, has opened the way for a somewhat exhaustive treatment of the subject. These questions being raised by United States senators,—men of national affairs,—show that a wider circulation of this matter is not out of place. The subject is worthy of the careful attention of the whole American people. The principles of the American Constitution, the proper relationship between religion and the State, the distinction between moral and civil law, the inalienable civil and religious rights of men,—these are questions that never should become secondary in the mind of any American citizen.NSLS27 iii.2

    An eminent American jurist has justly observed that in a government of the people “there is no safety except in an enlightened public opinion, based on individual intelligence.” Constitutional provisions against the encroachments of the religious upon the civil power are safeguards only so long as the intelligence of the people shall recognize the truth that no man can allow any legislation in behalf of the religion, or the religious observances, in which he himself believes, without forfeiting his own religious freedom.NSLS27 iv.1

    In enlarging as I have upon the matter presented in the original hearing, the meaning or intention of any statement has not been changed in the slightest degree. The argument is submitted to the American people with the earnest hope that they will give thoughtful consideration to the principles involved. The positions taken will bear the severest test of every form of just criticism.NSLS27 iv.2

    The bill proposed by Senator Blair, and upon which the argument was made, is as follows:—NSLS27 v.1

    “50th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION. S. 2983.

    “IN the Senate of the United States, May 21, 1888, Mr. Blair introduced the following bill, which was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Education and Labor:—NSLS27 v.2

    “A bill to secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord’s day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of religious worship.NSLS27 v.3

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That no person, or corporation, or the agent, servant, or employee of any person or corporation, shall perform or authorize to be performed any secular work, labor, or business to the disturbance of others, works of necessity, mercy, and humanity excepted; nor shall any person engage in any play, game, or amusement, or recreation, to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord’s day, or during any part thereof, in any territory, district, vessel, or place subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States; nor shall it be lawful for any person or corporation to receive pay for labor or service performed or rendered in violation of this section.NSLS27 v.4

    “SEC. 2. That no mails or mail matter shall hereafter be transported in time of peace over any land postal route, nor shall any mail matter be collected, assorted, handled, or delivered during any part of the first day of the week: Provided, That whenever any letter shall relate to a work of necessity or mercy, or shall concern the health, life, or decease of any person, and the fact shall be plainly stated upon the face of the envelope containing the same, the postmaster-general shall provide for the transportation of such letter.NSLS27 v.5

    “SEC. 3. That the prosecution of commerce between the States and with the Indian tribes, the same not being work of necessity, mercy, or humanity, by the transportation of persons or property by land or water in such way as to interfere with or disturb the people in the enjoyment of the first day of the week, or any portion thereof, as a day of rest from labor, the same not being labor of necessity, mercy, or humanity, or its observance as a day of religious worship, is hereby prohibited; and any person or corporation, or the agent or employee of any person or corporation, who shall willfully violate this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than one thousand dollars, and no service performed in the prosecution of such prohibited commerce shall be lawful, nor shall any compensation be recoverable or be paid for the same.NSLS27 v.6

    “SEC. 4. That all military and naval drills, musters, and parades, not in time of active service or immediate preparation therefor, of soldiers, sailors, marines, or cadets of the United States, on the first day of the week, except assemblies for the due and orderly observance of religious worship, are hereby prohibited, nor shall any unnecessary labor be performed or permitted in the military or naval service of the United States on the Lord’s day.NSLS27 vi.1

    “SEC. 5. That it shall be unlawful to pay or to receive payment or wages in any manner for service rendered, or for labor performed, or for the transportation of persons or of property in violation of the provisions of this act, nor shall any action lie for the recovery thereof, and when so paid, whether in advance or otherwise, the same may be recovered back by whoever shall first sue for the same.NSLS27 vi.2

    “SEC. 6. That labor or service performed and rendered on the first day of the week in consequence of accident, disaster, or unavoidable delays in making the regular connections upon postal routes and routes of travel and transportation, the preservation of perishable and exposed property, and the regular and necessary transportation and delivery of articles of food in condition for healthy use, and such transportation for short distances from one State, district, or Territory, into another State, district, or Territory as by local laws shall be declared to be necessary for the public good, shall not be deemed violations of this act, but the same shall be construed, so far as possible, to secure to the whole people rest from toil during the first day of the week, their mental and moral culture, and the religious observance of the Sabbath day.”NSLS27 vi.3

    Rev. A. H. Lewis, D. D., representative of the Seventh-day Baptists, had spoken, and asked that a section be added to the bill granting exemption to observers of the Seventh day; but in answering the questions that were asked by the Chairman, Mr. Lewis compromised his position, and was followed soon after by Dr. Herrick Johnson, of Chicago, who remarked that Dr. Lewis had “given his whole case away.” This is what is referred to in my introductory remarks to the effect that we did not intend to “give our case away.”NSLS27 vii.1

    A. T. J.

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