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    1899

    January 5, 1899

    “Union of Church and State” The Signs of the Times 25, 1, p. 14.

    By Alonzo T. Jones, Author of “Two Republics,” “Rights of the People,” etc

    TWENTY-FIVE years’ progress toward the union of Church and State in the United States!SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.1

    To many into whose hands this paper may fall it may be thought an exceedingly strange thing that there should be any progress at all, much less twenty-five years of it, toward a union of Church and State in the United States.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.2

    It is strange that such a thing should be so. But so it is.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.3

    The Government of the United States was founded upon the principle of total separation of religion and the State, as certainly as it was founded upon the principles of a republic. Indeed, the total separation of religion and the State is inherent in the principle of a republic; and logic and consistency demand that in every republic there shall be such a separation.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.4

    Yet, true as this is, the makers of this American republic did not leave it to logic and consistency to effect this important thing; they positively and continuously, in State papers and organic laws, declared it, from the time that the Declaration of Independence was made to the time when the National Constitution was finally established and ordained. The total separation of religion and the State is a fundamental Christianity principle enunciated in the words of Holy Writ, “Behold, the people [Israel] shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” “If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not.” “Render, therefore, unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.5

    It was in positive recognition of this principle as a Christian principle that it was made a fundamental feature in the establishment of the American republic. The men who made this nation said:—SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.6

    “Almighty God hath created the mind free; all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy Author of our religion, who, being Lord of both body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in His mighty power to do.—Rights of the People, p. 90.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.7

    “To judge for ourselves, and to engage in the exercise of religion agreeably to the dictates of our own consciences, is an inalienable right, which, upon the principles on which the Gospel was first propagated, and the Reformation from Popery carried on, can never be transferred to another.”—Ib. p. 89.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.8

    “It is impossible for the magistrate to adjudge the right of preference among the various sects professing the Christian faith, without erecting a claim to infallibility, which would lead us back to the Church of Rome.”—Ib., p. 87.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.9

    Therefore the supreme law of the land was made to declare that—SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.10

    “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”—Constitution.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.11

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.—First Amendment.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.12

    “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”—Treaty with Tripoli. 1[*According to the Constitution, all treaties are a part of the supreme law of the land.—ED. S. OF T.]SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.13

    Thus the constitutionally-declared principle of the total separation of religion and the State in the United States, is explicitly a Christian principle, as it is also “the logical consequence of either of the two great distinguishing principles of the Reformation—as well of justification by faith alone as of the equality of all believers.”—Bancroft.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.14

    Who only, then, could be expected to desire the governmental recognition of religion, the union of Church and State, in the United States?—Surely, none who respect either the principles of Christianity or of the Reformation. As the American principle of the total separation of religion and the State is a true principle of Christianity and the Reformation; and as a recognition of religion by the Government of the United States, the union of Church and State in the United States, would, on the face of it, be in open disregard of the principles of Christianity and of the Reformation, it follows plainly enough that no one who has any true regard for Christianity or respect for the Reformation can ever engage in any movement or combination to secure governmental recognition of religion, or any union of Church and State in the United States.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.15

    Yet we are publishing an article on “Twenty-five Years of Progress toward the Union of Church and State in the United States.” Who, then, are they who are aiming at this, that there should be any such progress at all?—Strangely enough, all the leading and active workers and organizations to this antichristian and anti-Protestant end, are loudly professed Christians and just as loudly professed Protestants.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.16

    Twenty-five years ago there was but one organization in the land definitely committed to this cause. This was an organization mostly of Reformed Presbyterians, tho including prominent men of other denominations, under the name of the “National Reform Association,” whose avowed purpose was to secure an amendment to the national Constitution “recognizing the being and attributes of Almighty God, the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, the law of God as the paramount rule, and Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour and Lord of all,” and “so placing all Christian laws, institutions, and usages upon an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.17

    This organization slowly gained strength and influence, until 1887, when it secured the alliance of the W.C.T.U. and the Prohibition party. In 1888 the American Sabbath Union, receiving its initiative in the Methodist General Conference held that year in New York, and including the leading denominations of the country, was added to the combination.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.18

    This combination had sufficient influence to secure, in that year, 1888, the introduction into Congress of a joint resolution and a bill, recognizing the Christian religion and establishing by law the observance of Sunday as the Christian sabbath. And these points have been held before Congress ever since.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.19

    In 1889 this combination sought and gained the cooperation of the Catholic Church.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.20

    In 1892 the judiciary department of the national government practically joined this combination, through a unanimous declaration of the Supreme Court that “the establishment of the Christian religion” is within the “meaning” of the Constitution, and that consequently “this is a Christian nation.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.21

    In 1893 the legislative department of the National Government and in legislating for the World’s Fair at Chicago, officially recognized and established Sunday as the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment; in which Congress did do the very thing which the makers of the nation said it was impossible to do without erecting a claim to infallibility,—Congress did adjudge the right of preference between different sects professing the Christian faith, adopted Sunday as the national sabbath, and in so doing did erect a claim to infallibility, which leads back to the Church of Rome.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.22

    At the same time the Executive Department of the national government also joined the combination, by the President’s official approval of this religious act of Congress; and, further, in 1896, by the declaration that “this is a Christian nation, and they will have to face the music.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.23

    As all this was the clear repudiation of the Christian and Protestant principle, and the adoption of the papal principle, the Papacy immediately began to build upon the foundation that had thus been laid. In October, 1893, Archbishop Ireland, in a panegyric at the Jubilee of Cardinal Gibbons, exclaimed:—SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.24

    “I preach the new, the most glorious crusade Church and Age! Unite them in the mind and heart, in the name of humanity, in the name of God, Church and Age! ... Rome is the Church; America is the Age.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.25

    In September, 1894, by a papal rescript, the United States was “declared to be a Catholic country,” and “was elevated to the first rank as a Catholic nation.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.26

    And in 1898 an official representative of the Papacy was received by the United States Government at Washington, upon official credentials from the Secretary of State of the Papacy addressed to the Secretary of State of the United States. And, having been so received by this government, international matters between the United States and Spain were conducted through this papal representative, until all negotiations were broken off by the declaration of war.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.27

    Such, briefly sketched, is the twenty-five years of progress toward the union of Church and State in the United States, up to date. And who can say but that this progress has been such as to demand the serious attention of every person in the land who has any regard for true Christianity, for true Protestantism, or for true American principles?SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.28

    And still this vast combination of National Reform, W. C. T. U., Prohibition, Sabbath Union, B. Y. P. Y., Y. P. S. C. E., Christian Citizenship, and papal elements, is steadily pushing forward the original design,—the union of Church and State in the United States.SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.29

    “It is high time to awake out of sleep.”SITI January 5, 1899, page 14.30

    ALONZO T. JONES

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