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    February 21, 1890

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Christian Statesman remarks of Colonel Ingersoll’s recent article on “God in the Constitution” that “the bold Atheism which it inculcates, and on which the writer rests his opposition to religious acknowledgment in political constitutions, will create a powerful revulsion of feeling in favor of the National Reform movement.” It ought to do nothing of the kind. It is true that Mr. Ingersoll’s hatred of Christianity is plainly shown in everything which he says, but it does not follow that because he is unreasonable and intolerant that Christians should be so too. Proper opposition to so-called National Reform rests not upon any real or supposed demerit in Christianity, but upon the fact that National Reform would, if carried out, set up men in the place of God, and thus overthrow the very religion which it is designed to maintain. The truth or falsity of the Christian religion cuts no figure whatever in the case, and the sooner both Christians and infidels come to see this fact the better, and the more hope there will be of maintaining the religious liberty enjoyed under the national Constitution as it is.AMS February 21, 1890, page 57.1

    “Queer Christians” American Sentinel 5, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Mail and Express insists that the late political campaign, in Salt Lake City, for the power of the city government, was a contest between Mormons and Christians. It calls the successful ticket “the Christian ticket.” The result it magnifies as a “Christian victory.” And in its pean, it says:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.1

    It is as remarkable as creditable that the disturbances of the peace were so few and slight; but the leaders on both sides were determined to control their own forces and keep them from violence, and on the side of the Christians there was ample provision of deputy marshals, detectives and special police for the prevention of any considerable amount of either fraud or disturbance.AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.2

    That doesn’t look as though these “Christians’ were much better than other people. When it comes about that “provision of deputy marshals, detectives, and special police” must be made to prevent Christians from committing “any considerable amount of either fraud or disturbance,” then the fewer of such Christians as that there are in the world the better. And even then, it seems that the intention was only to prevent any considerable amount of fraud or disturbance! as though small or an inconsiderable amount of either were perfectly compatible with the Christian profession!AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.3

    We do not for a moment suppose that those who ran the anti-Mormon Campaign considered that they were doing so as Christians or that Christianity entered to any extent into the contest. We only notice the facility with which Col. Elliot F. Shepard manufactures Christians. This is perfectly consistent with the theory and methods of the American Sunday Law Union, of which he is president. It is another strong reminder of the times of the fourth century when fraud and violence were commendable if only committed in defence of orthodoxy.AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.4

    “The Puritan Idea” American Sentinel 5, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In Dr. Herrick Johnson’s address on “Sunday newspapers,” which has been circulated widely as a campaign document by the abettors of religious legislation, occurred the words, “Oh, for a breath of the old Puritan,” meaning that what the speaker wanted was a return to Puritan habits and customs. In the recent annual meeting of the Iowa Sabbath Convention, Mr. Gault said that what was wanted in Iowa was a wave of Puritanism. From these and other expressions we learn that the Puritan idea of government is the model for National Reformers of whatever stripe. A few quotations from a standard work may enable those who are interested to know just what kind of government a Puritan government would be. In a late work by Professor Fisk, of Harvard College, entitled, “The Beginnings of New England,” is the following with the account of the exodus of the Puritans from Holland:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.5

    All persons who came to Holland and led decorous lives there, were protected in their opinions and customs. By contemporary writers in other countries this eccentric behavior of the Dutch Government was treated with unspeakable scorn. All strange religions flock thither,” says one: “It is a common harbor of all heresies, a cage of unclean birds,” says another; “The great mingle-mangle of all religions,” says a third. In spite of the relief from persecution, however, the Pilgrims were not fully satisfied with their new home. The expiration of the truce with Spain might prove that this relief was only temporary, and, at any rate, complete toleration did not fill the measure of their wants. Had they come to Holland as scattered bands of refugees, they might have been absorbed into the Dutch population, as Huguenot refugees have been absorbed in Germany, England, and America. But they had come as an organized community, and absorption into a foreign nation was something to be dreaded. They wished to preserve their English speech and English traditions, keep up their organization and find some favored spot where they could lay the corner-stone of a great Christian State.AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.6

    This language is not written in any spirit of captious criticism. The author manifests a spirit of fairness, and writes in an impartial manner, simply giving historical facts. That he did not charge the Puritans with inconsistency is seen from the following, which very clearly sets forth the Puritan idea:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.7

    It is worthy while to inquire what were the real aims of the settlers of New England. What was the common purpose which brought these men together in their resolve to create for themselves a new home in the wilderness? This is a point concerning which there has been a great deal of popular misapprehension, and there has been no end of nonsense talked about it. It has been customary first to assume that the Puritan migration was undertaken in the interests of religious liberty, and then to upbraid the Puritans for forgetting all about religious liberty as soon as people came among them who disagreed with their opinions. But this view of the case is not supported by history. It is quite true that the Puritans were chargeable with gross intolerance, but it is not true that in this they were guilty of inconsistency. The notion that they came to New England for the purpose of establishing religious liberty, in any sense in which we should understand such a phrase, is entirely incorrect. It is neither more nor less than a bit of popular legend. If we mean by the phrase “religious liberty” a state of things in which opposite or contradictory opinions on questions of religion shall exist side by side in the same community, and in which everybody shall decide for himself how far he will conform to the customary religious observances, nothing could have been farther from their thoughts. There is nothing they would have regarded with more genuine abhorrence. If they could have been forewarned by a prophetic voice of the general freedom or as they would have termed it, license-of thought and behavior which prevails in this country to-day, they would very likely have abandoned their enterprise in despair. The philosophic student of history often has occasion to see how God is wiser than man. In other words, he is often brought to realize how fortunate it is that the leaders in great historic events cannot foresee the remote results of the labors to which they have zealously consecrated their lives. It is a part of the irony of human destiny that the end we really accomplish by striving with might and main is apt to be something quite different from the end we dreamed of as we started on our arduous labor. It was so with the Puritan settlers of New England. The religious liberty that we enjoy to-day is largely the consequence of their work, but it is a consequence that was unforeseen, while the direct and conscious aim of their labors was something that has never been realized, and probably never will be.AMS February 21, 1890, page 58.8

    The aim of Winthrop and his friends in coming to Massachusetts was a construction of a theocratic State which should be to Christians, under the New Testament dispensation, all that the theocracy of Moses, and Joshua, and Samuel had been to the Jews in Old Testament days. They should be to all intents and purposes freed from the jurisdiction of the Stuart king, and so far as possible the texts of the Holy Scriptures should be their guide, both in weighty matters of general legislation, and in the shaping of the smallest details of daily life. In such a scheme there was no room for religious liberty, as we understand it. No doubt the text of the Scriptures may be interpreted in many ways, but among these men there was a substantial agreement as to the important points, and nothing could have been farther from their thoughts than to found a colony which should afford a field for new experiments in the art of right living. The State they were to found was to consist of a united body of believers; citizenship itself was to be co-extensive with church membership; and in such a State there was apparently no more room for heretics than there was in Rome or Madrid. This was the idea which drew Winthrop and his followers from England at a time when-as events were soon to show-they might have staid there and defied persecution with less trouble than it cost them to cross the ocean and found a new State.AMS February 21, 1890, page 59.1

    The Puritans simply followed the customs of their time. Religious liberty was a thing unknown. Roman Catholicism and intolerance have been synonymous from the beginning. The Church of England was as intolerant as the Roman Church. The Puritans had not advanced far enough to perceive the error of the principle of religious intolerance, only they did not want the intolerance extended to themselves. They did not think that the Church of England ought to be intolerant, because they could see her errors, but, feeling sure that they themselves were right, they were equally sure that their opinions ought to prevail, and ought to be imposed upon others. In all New England, in the days of the Puritans, there was only one man who was far enough ahead to perceive that religion was a matter that rests with the individual, and not with the civil government, and that man was Roger Williams.AMS February 21, 1890, page 59.2

    Although the Puritans were intolerant, and persecuted others even as they themselves had been persecuted, they are not to be stigmatized as bad men. They thought they were right. They were but little removed from the darkest period of Roman superstition and oppression, and they had before them no example of perfect religious freedom. In consideration of their circumstances we can make allowance for the ideas of government which they had, and honor them for that spirit of independence which was perpetuated in their children, and which resulted in the complete religious liberty which was finally established in this country. But while we may make allowance for those men, considering their time, what allowance can be made for men who have before them the history of one hundred years of religious liberty in the United States? and who can compare its glorious work with the work of the religious despotism of the Old World? Those who in this age would institute the Puritan idea of government, must be either deplorably blind or else wickedly selfish.AMS February 21, 1890, page 59.3

    E. J. W.

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Pearl of Days, in giving “Reasons for Sabbath Laws,” says:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.1

    “The powers that be are ordained of God.” If “of God,” why not for God?AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.2

    The answer is, Because God has forbidden it by his word.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.3

    In the Washington City Sunday Law Convention, it was again stated, and the statement was let go without a sign of contradiction, that Rev. W. F. Crafts “is the American Sabbath Union.” This same statement was officially made last summer by one of the District Secretaries of the Union. We knew it before, but it is well to have authoritative statements in confirmation of the fact.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.4

    We have before explained in these columns that Colonel Elliott F. Shepard, president of the American Sabbath Union, owns the Mail and Express, a daily evening newspaper of this city; and that that paper, through its “Pearl of Days” columns, is the official organ of the American Sabbath Union. Colonel Shepard is quite a pious man. So pious is he, indeed, that he prints a verse of Scripture every day at the head of the editorial columns of his newspaper; and occasionally, perhaps as evidence of an extra quantity, he embellishes this by printing an advertisement of an intoxicating drink at the foot of the same columns, to say nothing of the same thing in other parts of the paper. For instance, in the issue of February 10 (and this is not the first time that it has been done), at the head of the editorial columns, he printed this text:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.5

    For he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through the power of God toward you.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.6

    And the same day, at the foot of the editorial columns, stood this other thing thus:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.7

    Piper Heidsieck Sec-The favorite everywhere. - Adv.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.8

    Now “Piper Heidsieck Sec” is a popular brand of champagne, possessing all the intoxicating qualities of champagne generally.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.9

    The Christian Advocate suggested, a short time ago, that the printing of texts of Scripture at the head of a daily newspaper “is a matter of taste.” Yes, no doubt. And it is altogether likely that the printing of “Piper Heidsieck Sec-the favorite everywhere”-at the foot of the same columns is also a matter of taste.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.10

    Since this was put in type we have received the Mail and Express of February 12. 1 Peter 2:7, 8, is printed at the head, and “A popular sparkling wine-Piper Heidsieck Sec,” at the foot of the editorial columns.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.11

    Speaking of the Chinese, the Mail and Express says:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.12

    Those who are willing to become American citizens, adopting our ways, customs, religion, and language, ought to be admitted to all the rights of American citizenship.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.13

    Is “our religion,” then, to be made a test of citizenship? By the way, Mr. Shepard, what is “our religion”? Is it the religion of the New Testament or of the saloon? Is it expressed in 2 Corinthians 13:4, or in “Piper Heidsieck Sec”? The president of the American Sabbath Union ought to be able to tell, and we hope he will.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.14

    A convention of the liberal thought women of the country will be held in Willard Hall, Washington, D. C., February 24 and 25, 1890. The object of the Convention is to form a national organization for the purpose of opposing the demands for religious legislation that are already so loud, so frequent, and so persistent. The call for the Convention says: “In order to help preserve the very life of the Republic by rousing public attention to the constantly increased danger of a union of Church and State, it is necessary that liberal thought women should unite in a national society for combined work.”AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.15

    This is a worthy object by whomsoever it may be desired, therefore we wish the coming Convention abundant success both in the organization and in the work proposed.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.16

    All persons in harmony with this are invited to correspond with Matilda Joslyn Gage, Willard Hotel, Washington, D. C., Willard Hotel will be the headquarters of the Convention; and speakers, delegates, and visitors are requested to report there, to Mrs. Gage, on their arrival in the city.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.17

    It is not alone on the question of Sunday observance that Congress is being asked to legislate in matters pertaining to religion. Representative Compton, of Maryland, has introduced a bill-Fifty-first Congress, H. R. 423-authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury “to refund the duties paid upon a clock and a chime, of bells, imported into the port of Baltimore for the use of Saint Timothy’s Episcopal church, of Catonsville, in Baltimore County, Maryland.” Why should the duty on this clock and those bells be refunded any more than on every other clock and every other bell or bells? The answer, of course is, that these are for a church. Then upon what principle is it that this money shall be given from treasury to this church; and not an amount of money be paid from the same source to every other church in the land. And if the national treasury is to pay for the support of the playing of the tunes and the keeping of the time, of the church, why shall it not also help support the singing and the preaching carried on by the church? If this can be granted, why should not the whole of the public funds be placed at once at the service of the church? That bill is a sneaking, unprincipled thing. Let it be killed so dead that it may never be heard of again.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.18

    The Christian at Work notices the fact that Pittsburg, like Boston, is stirred up over the proposition made by the Catholics that they be given a proportionate share of public taxes for the support of parochial schools, and says:-AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.19

    At a public meeting just held in that city a series of resolutions was adopted protesting against any concessions to Roman Catholics by the public school authorities, and against appropriation of any money to schools which advocated principles so directly in opposition to the fundamental ideas of American Government. This is the right ground. The public schools for all, and no public moneys devoted to sectarian purposes should be the American war-cry the country over.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.20

    But if this is to be the war cry of Americans, what will become of the Educational Amendment? The only way to keep sectarianism out of the public schools is to keep religion out; but that is just what both Catholics and Protestants are determined shall not be done. They both want religious instruction, the only question between them being what religion shall be taught. Religious instruction belongs not to the State, nor to State schools, but to the home, the Church and the Church school.AMS February 21, 1890, page 64.21

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