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January 30, 1890
“Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 5.
It seems that some effort was made in the last Congress to have some action taken on the Sunday-Rest bill, and that even on Sunday. The secretary of Legislation of the American Sabbath Union in complaining of “the God-defying, law-defying Sabbath desecration by Congress” on the Sunday before inauguration day, says: “The Christian men of Congress did not, as on a former occasion, prevent a Sunday session by denying the right of Congress to require Sunday work of any of its members, and retiring in a body, and so destroying the quorum. Instead of such a protest, there was only a shallow jest, called up by a Sunday motion relating to the Sunday-Rest bill, that it was not proper to work on such legislation on the Sabbath.” That was not a shallow jest. That was a very wise and a very pious observation. We suggest that that gentle-man be made chairman of the committee that has charge of the Sunday-Rest bill.AMS January 30, 1890, page 33.1
Mr. Joseph W. Morton of Chicago takes issue with the statement of the Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, of the American Sabbath Union, that the petition for certain Sabbath reforms which was presented to the last Congress was signed by more than ten million adults. “To contain ten million signatures,” says Mr. Morton, “would require at least 166, 667 sheets, making more than 347 reams, which, at the average rate of twelve and one•half pounds to the ream, would weigh more than two and one-sixth tons. The length of the petition would be a little more than sixty-three miles.” Mr. Morton is very confident that no such petition was ever presented to Congress on any subject.AMS January 30, 1890, page 33.3
Of course, no such petition was ever presented. The SENTINEL has repeatedly shown how the petitions referred to were made to represent such a vast number of petitioners, and it is certain that there has never been in any country a greater abuse of the right of petition. Whole denominations were counted on the strength of the vote of a few men not chosen for any such purpose; and even worse than that, the whole Roman Catholic Church was counted as petitioners, simply because Cardinal Gibbons wrote a letter to Mr. Crafts, saying: “I am happy to add my name.” It is true that, owing to the strenuous efforts being put forth by the friends of Sunday legislation, there is a growing sentiment in favor of such laws, but it is not true that any such number as they claim have ever petitioned for a Sunday law in any legitimate manner.AMS January 30, 1890, page 33.4
“Notes” American Sentinel 5, 5.
The smallest amount of rest which one ought to have is one day in seven; we mean by that, the Sabbath day, for that which is necessary for man is not a day of relief from labor only, but a day for true moral elevation.AMS January 30, 1890, page 39.2
If it is a day of rest simply from a social point of view, what matters it which day it is. From a social point of view, one man or a thousand men can rest just as well on one day as another. But that is not what the Congress meant to recommend. The Congress “means” that the Sabbath day is the one which shall be observed for rest and which is the smallest amount of rest that any man ought to take, and that not for physical rest primarily, but for true moral elevation. In this the Congress abandons the social point of view, adopts the religious, and places the day of rest upon the religious basis, and by so doing, it contradicts itself in it recommendation. But this is not an exceptional case by any means. No argument has ever yet been made professedly from a civil or social point of view that did not in fact rest upon the religious. And no such argument never can be made. The thing if religious in itself. It cannot be made anything else and by no argument can it ever be made consistently to appear anything else.AMS January 30, 1890, page 39.3
“Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 5.
The Christian Nation criticises the SENTINEL for maintaining that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and makes an extended argument to prove that this is not true. We know that it is not true according to the National Reform religious-legislation theory; but it is true according to the American theory, and the American theory is true according to the Word of God.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.1
Oh, certainly it is! Let the crusade be started at once. Let this cruel bondage be abolished. And in order that this may be accomplished swiftly and certainly, we suggest that the American Sabbath Union change its name to the American Abolition Union. Let slavery be abolished, say we, forever!AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.4
The national Lay Congress of Roman Catholics after correspondence and conference with the American Sabbath Union, passed its famous resolution in favor of co-operation with Protestants in Sabbath reform of which the following is a full and correct copy: “There are many Christian issues in which Catholics could come together with non-Catholics and shape civil legislation for the public weal. In spite of rebuff and injustice, and overlooking zealotry, we should seek alliance with non-Catholics for proper Sunday observance. Without going over to the Judeaic Sabbath, we can bring the masses over to the moderation of the Christian Sunday. To effect this, we must set our faces sternly against the sale of intoxicating beverages on Sunday. The corrupting influences of saloons in politics, the crime and pauperism from excessive drinking, require legislative restriction which we can aid in procuring by joining our influence with that of the other enemies of intemperance. Let us resolve that drunkenness shall be made odious, and give practical encouragement and support to Catholic temperance societies. We favor the passage and enforcement of laws rigidly closing saloons on Sunday and forbidding the sale of liquors to minors and intoxicated persons.”AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.6
When courtship has gotten so far along as the proposal, marriage is not far off, especially where the parties are so coy as is this species of Protestantism. And when this marriage between Protestantism and Catholicism is accomplished, what will become of the Protestant portion of the union? What kind of Protestantism is that, anyhow, which so willingly, or rather anxiously, carries on a courtship with Roman Catholics to the extent of receiving a proposal of marriage? Yes, that marriage is coming, and like every other great feature of Catholicism, it is contrary to nature-one woman marrying another. And the fruit of it will be, as pictured in the Scripture, a hideous, nondescript monster. Let there be raised up in this land a Protestantism that will assert itself not only against Roman Catholicism as such, but also against this degenerate Protestantism that has forgotten its place and its mission in the world.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.9
The resolution “that drunkenness shall be made odious” by giving it governmental and religious sanction six days in the week, is likewise worthy of the Catholic Church.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.10
The organ of the American Sabbath Union says that “the opposition to Senator Blair’s Sunday-Rest bill, introduced in the United States Senate, December 9, and printed in the Pearl of Days, is based upon a false assumption. That bill does not assume, as it is claimed, that civil legislation upon this subject appeals to the divine law for its support. Nothing of this kind appears in the bill.” Certainly nothing of the kind appears in the bill, for it has been omitted for the express purpose of disarming opposition to the measure. It is, however, not a false assumption to say that the bill is a religious measure and that the motives of its promoters are purely religious. A careful comparison of the bill as introduced in the Fiftieth Congress and as now pending in the Fifty-first Congress will convince anyone that precisely the same object is to be accomplished by the bill as it now stands, as it was hoped to accomplish by it as originally framed. We print on another page an article from one of our exchanges which shows this so plainly that none can fail to see it.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.11
We notice that some of our exchanges, as well as a number of our correspondents, make the mistake of confounding the Blair Educational Bill with the Educational Amendment. These are not identical by any means. The Blair Educational Bill is a measure that has been advocated by Senator Blair for several years, and has passed the Senate several tines. The object of this bill is to appropriate a certain amount-seventy millions, we think-from the surplus funds in the public treasury to the different States of the Union according to the proportion of illiteracy. But this bill does not propose in itself to have anything to do with religion in the public schools; it simply proposes to take some of the surplus in the public treasury and divide it amongst the States for the States to use according to their own educational systems.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.12
The Educational Amendment proposed by Senator Blair, is that which we have printed and commented upon in the SENTINEL. This proposes to amend the Constitution of the United States so that the principles of Christianity shall be taught in all the public schools in the Nation.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.13
The Educational Bill would become a law, and of force, merely upon the action of Congress and the approval of the President. The proposed Amendment would be of no force until it was approved by three-fourths of the States. We shall print soon a copy of the Blair Educational Bill that our readers may understand just what the intent of it is. We make these remarks just now, only for the purpose of correcting the mistake that some have made, of confounding the bill with the proposed amendment. Please don’t do it any more.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.14
The American Sabbath Union complains that, “New England is in peril from Sunday work and Sunday dissipation.” How can it be otherwise under Sunday laws? The effort of the Sunday-law workers is to preserve Sunday as a religious day. Secular work is not in harmony with the religious idea of the day, therefore, work is forbidden. When work is forbidden to those who are not religious they are compelled to be idle, dissipation is the sure outcome; and that also is out of harmony with the religious idea of day. As Sunday is held to be the palladium of salvation for the State; whatever State it is that has Sunday laws will always be in peril from Sunday work and Sunday dissipation.AMS January 30, 1890, page 40.15