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    April 10, 1890

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Pearl of Days demands the closing of Castle Garden upon Sunday, and gives seven reason why, in the opinion of the American Sabbath Union, the landing of immigrants should be suspended upon that day. The reasons are of course “civil,” as are all the considerations urged by the Union and its friends in behalf of Sunday laws. But notwithstanding the “civil” gloss with which they seek to cover their demands for governmental recognition of Sunday sacredness, the covering is not thick enough to conceal the fact that the real ground of their demand is that the landing of immigrants involves “secular work” upon a religious day. It would seem to the ordinary mind that it would be a work of mercy if not of necessity to release from the crowded steerage the women and children who have been cooped up there for a week or more. But these self-constituted censors of the Government and of everybody else, say, No.AMS April 10, 1890, page 113.1

    The National Reform Association is making a strong effort now to get Congress to commit itself by legislation the sacredness of Sunday, by the World’s Fair bill a provision that will not allow the fair to be open on that day. The Secretary of the Association has interviewed some members of the committee, and other members of the House upon the question, but he gets little satisfaction, and it is to be hoped that whatever efforts they make in this direction may meet with much less satisfactory returns. Sunday is the very day when thousands upon thousands could visit the fair who could not visit it on other days; but that consideration is of little consequence compared to the immense consequences that would follow to the Nation if Congress is once committed to the guardianship of the sacredness of Sunday. That step once taken would be made the precedent for crowding upon the Government further recognition in the same way, and introducing other religious observances and practices to be enforced by the national power. We hope Congress will show even less favor to this than has been shown to any of the Sunday measures that have yet been brought to its attention.AMS April 10, 1890, page 113.2

    “Good Words in a Sunday Convention” American Sentinel 5, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the previous numbers of the SENTINEL we have shown the fallacy of the idea that civil government may enforce any portion of the moral law, and we have also shown the evil consequences which would necessarily result from an attempt to put such a fallacious idea into practice. We are glad to present in this number a corroboration of our views by a minister of the gospel. And we are the more glad because the argument which we shall quote was made in a Sunday convention, in the second annual meeting of the Sabbath Association of Iowa, which was held in Des Moines, November 12 and 13, 1889. Rev. J. K. Fowler, of Cedar Rapids, gave an address on “The Basis of the Civil Sabbath,” which was printed in full in the Iowa State Register, of November 13, from which we quote. Speaking of the laws already existing, and of the Sunday laws which the association is seeking to make, he said:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.1

    If these laws are right, why are they right? There needs to be a clearing up on this point. The ideas of many are vague and faulty as to the genius and intent of these Sunday regulations prescribe in the Church and out imagine that they prescribe a precept of the Christian religion; that they are simply a transcript of the fourth commandment to our statute-books. More than that, many ardent defenders of the Sabbath, justify them on that ground. They say, God has enjoined the observance of the Sabbath, and the State should do the same. But God has demanded that we be good stewards of his bounty, and give liberally to him. Is the State therefore to command this? God has commanded that we be given to hospitality. Is the State to see to it that this be accomplished? God has commanded that we honor one another and in honor prefer one another. Shall the State undertake the enforcement of these divine laws? It is time we had done arguing for Sabbath legislation before Congress or other legislative bodies on plea of its divine authority institution and scriptural authority. It is utterly untenable according to the spirit of our charters of government.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.2

    In this paragraph the question is fairly stated, and the statement in the closing sentence is correct. After referring to certain judicial decisions on certain laws against crime, the speaker continued as follows:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.3

    The civil law forbids these, not as offenses against God, but as crimes against man. The law has to do with the relations of men to each other, and not with the relations of men to God. To base these Sunday laws thus upon a divine command, as the civil ground, is to that extent to join Church and State, and to violate the fundamental principles of the State and federal governments.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.4

    In the above paragraph we have a just distinction made between sin and crime. Sin is the violation of the moral law. Crime is a violation of human law. We wish the reader to notice the latter part of the paragraph just quoted. In agreement with arguments we have before presented, he shows that for the State to base its law upon divine command, or to attempt to enforce any one of the divine commands, is the union of Church and State. This was wholesome truth to present before a Sunday convention. We wish every Sunday convention could listen to similar talk. Mr. Fowler continued as follows, concerning the idea that the State could enact a Sunday law on the basis of the divine commandment:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.5

    But such a basis of the Sunday law is not only illegal, but it may be even unscriptural. The Bible itself does not warrant us in inscribing upon the civil statute-books whatever we find to be the mind of the Lord. The Bible does give us a divine standard of moral duty, by which we may discriminate between right and wrong. But it also gives a divine model of wise legislation. It shows there are some things reasonable and some unreasonable to under-take by the civil statute, that statutory law is not to be framed always into exact correspondence with the criterion of individual duty. And this scriptural lesson is one of the very first importance for a Christian citizen of a republic like ours to learn.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.6

    We wish every citizen of this republic might learn this scriptural lesson. The fact that the great body of the National Reformers desire to have the State attempt to re-enact and enforce the law of God, shows, according to Rev. Mr. Fowler, of Cedar Rapids, that they are very deficient in scriptural knowledge; and in this we agree with him. Again Mr. Fowler said:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.7

    If our zealous, well-meaning, but deluded friends of the Sabbath, desire to defeat the very ends they aim at, they want to push to the front, and press upon the law makers this scriptural command for the basis of Sunday laws, until a furor of public’ feeling like that of 1826 again sweeps the country and takes with it every vestige of Sabbath legislation. Many good people, even in these boasted days of religious liberty, fail to understand that the State is not competent to enact divine precepts because they are divine. The law against murder is not on the civil statute-books because it is in the decalogue, but because society could not exist without such a law. The law against stealing is not in the civil code because it was found essential to maintain the rights of property. Government exists to secure to men life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to maintain a peaceful and orderly, a mutual, helpful condition of society. Hence its laws simply aim at these ends. They are passed because of some supposed public need, because it is believed the general good requires them. We are bound thus in the matter of the Sunday laws to stand outside of the Bible and argue for them on the same line as all the other laws, because the public need and advantage require them. If we cannot indicate them on these grounds, then they can claim and deserve no place on the statute-books.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.8

    With this also we heartily agree; only one statement might have been made a little stronger, and that is, that laws passed to secure men life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are passed on account of some supposed public need. There can be no supposition about it. If there is to be any public at all, it is an actual necessity that life and liberty be preserved. But in all these paragraphs which we have quoted the speaker has shown a clear perception of the limitations of human government, and we would that all could read his argument and see the force of it, and agree with him that, if Sunday laws are made to stand, it must be because the public good requires them. The next and closing paragraph of this speech shows how impossible it is to make it appear that the public good requires a Sunday law, and that the Sunday should be enforced for the same reason that laws are enacted against stealing. Said he:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.9

    That a law-guarded rest-day is one of these agencies will hardly be questioned by any reasonable man. On that day peace of God settles down over Sabbath-keeping land. The din of labor ceases, and the din of strife and merry-making, and a few quiet hours are given in which the most engrossed and toil-burdened soul may at least have the opportunity, if it will, to worship God and learn of truths that bear upon a right life. Remember that the law makes no attempt to enforce religion, or even religious observance, on Sunday. It simply institutes a weekly civil holiday, and surrounds it with safe-guards such as subserve the interests of morality and make as favorable as possible.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.10

    In this last paragraph the speaker went against all he had so clearly stated before. His attempt to show that society requires such a law, by stating that on Sunday, if enforced by law, peace settles down over the land, and a few quiet hours are given in which all may have the opportunity to learn of God and truths that bear upon a right life, shows that such laws are at least an attempt to enforce morality. There is not the slightest ground on which a so-called civil Sunday law can be based consistently with justice. If it is said that man needs one day in seven for rest, then we will point to the thousands who are observing the seventh day of the week, and to the scores of thousands who are observing the first day of the week, without any law compelling rest. That is sufficient evidence that no such law is needed. If the law is asked only in order that man may have one day in the week to rest, why is it that many who have strictly and quietly rested on the seventh day have been persecuted for not resting on the first day? They have surely rested one-seventh of the time, and nobody can claim that resting upon the first day of the week will do a man more good than resting upon the seventh. Of course it will be said that the seventh day is not the day that the law recognizes; that the great body of Christians recognize the first day, and therefore the law should demand rest on that day. So then the whole question of the civil Sunday law is given up, and it is admitted that the basis of the law is some supposed superiority of Sunday over other days.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.11

    It needs no argument to show that all the physical good that may be gained by resting on Sunday is gained to an equal extent by resting on Saturday, and as to the good of society we challenge anyone to demonstrate that a society observing the seventh day is not outwardly, to say the least, as good as one which observes the first. But in spite of Mr. Fowler’s little defection at the close of his speech, we think it is a good one, and commend it to the careful perusal of all our readers.AMS April 10, 1890, page 115.12

    E. J. W.

    “A Shaky Foundation” American Sentinel 5, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We are not the only ones who are curious to know how the American Secular Union is going to get a Manual of the purest principles of morals, without inculcating religious doctrines. One of their own number, Mr. Edward S. Stark, of this city, published an article in the Truth Seeker, of February 22, in which he said:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.1

    In its invitation to the contest for an Agnostic Manual of Morality, the Secular Union leaves us in the dark as to whether Agnosticism is meant in its narrow sense, as merely rejecting the religious belief, or that it applies also to the scientific field, in the sense of its purity from prejudices and obscurantism. Science, namely, is apt to produce objectionable consequences the same as religion, if it is not purified from superstitions, servility, and the worshiping of spurious authorities. Without such a purification it may bring about very deplorable results, particularly in such a delicate and entangled question as that of morality, which, while losing its transcendental foundation in religion, is bound to look for a basis elsewhere, and may obtain from the science such a shaky one that the whole structure would not be able to stand on it for a moment... The principal points at issue are: 1. Shall the manual adopt the unscientific hypothesis of a separate soul, existing person, and, under certain aspects, completely independent of the body? Those who may think that it is a question of psychology and not of morals, and that therefore it can be easily avoided, will soon change their mind about it if they try to write upon ethics. This or that hypothesis will, against their wish, transpire through the wording of every sentence. The author will find himself under the necessity of speaking about some sort of immaterial entity underlying moral actions, their righteousness or viciousness.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.2

    These points are well taken. Morals must have a basis. If it is proposed to remove ethics from a religious basis, some other basis must as certainly be supplied; and when any other basis is found, as Mr. Stark says, it will be such a shaky one that the whole structure would not be able to stand on it for a minute. Mr. Stark truly says, the author of such a scheme “will find himself under the necessity of speaking about some sort of material entity underlying moral actions their righteousness or viciousness,” and just as soon as the subject of righteousness is touched, the realm of religion is entered. The fact is, as we proved in our article before on this subject, it is an utter impossibility to inculcate morality without at the same time, inculcating religious doctrine. Morality has no basis other than the religious.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.3

    As time goes on we become more and more curious to see that Manual.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.4

    “Sunday Legislation in Canada” American Sentinel 5, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    March 5 “An act to secure the better observance of the Lord’s day, commonly called Sunday,” was introduced into the Dominion Parliament, and read once. On the following day it passed a second reading, and is in a fair way to become a law. The provisions of this bill are as follows:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.5

    Whoever on the Lord’s day, shall either labor, himself, or shall compel his apprentice, servant, or other person under his control or charge, to labor, or perform any other work than the household offices of daily necessity, or other works of necessity or charity, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.6

    Whoever on the Lord’s day sells, or publicly shows forth or exposes or offers for sale, or purchases, any goods, chattels, or other personal property, or any real estate whatsoever, or does any work or business of his ordinary calling, works of necessity and charity only excepted, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.7

    8. Whoever shall on the Lord’s day, be guilty of promoting, directing, or causing horse-racing, foot-racing, cock-fighting, or dog-fighting, or shall engage in any noisy public game whereby the peace and quiet of the Lord’s day is disturbed, and manual labor made necessary in preparing for and conducting the same, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.8

    4. Whoever shall on the Lord’s day, tipple in any inn, tavern, or house of public entertainment, or shall allow or permit tippling in any such inn, tavern, or house of public entertainment, or shall revel or publicly exhibit himself in a state of intoxication, or shall brawl or use profane language in the public streets or open air, so as to create any riot or disturbance or annoyance to Her Majesty’s peaceable subjects, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.9

    5. Whoever shall on the Lord’s day, hunt, shoot, or pursue or take or kill any game or any Wild bird or animal, or shall discharge firearms, except in the just defense of person or property, or in the performance of military or police duty, or shall use dogs, net, trap; or other appliance for the above-mentioned purposes, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.10

    6. Whoever shall on the Lord’s day, go out fishing, or shall take, kill, or destroy any fish, or use any gun, fishing-rod, net, or other appliance for that purpose, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.11

    7. Whoever shall on the Lord’s day, either as proprietor, publisher, or manager, engage in the printing, publication, and delivery of a newspaper, journal, or periodical; and whoever shall, on the Lord’s day, engage in. the sale, distribution, or circulation of any newspaper, journal, or periodical published on that day, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.12

    Sections 8, 9, 10, and 11 deal with traffic on the canals and railways, which is limited to cases of necessity and carriage of perish-able goods, under restrictions. The clause in regard to Sunday excursions is as follows:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.13

    Excursions on the Lord’s day by steamboats plying for hire, or by railway, or part by steamboat and part by railway, and having for their only principal object the carriage of passengers for amusement or pleasure, and to go and return the same day by the steamboat or railway or any other owned by the steamboat or railway or any other owned by the same person or company, shall not be deemed a lawful conveyance of passengers within the meaning of this act; and the owner or corporation, superintendent, or person by virtue of whose authority and direction such excursion is permitted or order on the Lord’s day, shall be deemed to be guilty of a misdemeanor.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.14

    The penalties are defined as follows:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.15

    12. Any person convicted before a justice of the peace of any offense declared in sections 1 to 7 of this act, inclusive, to be a misdemeanor, upon the oath of one or more than one credible witness, or upon view had of the said offense by the justice himself, shall for every offense be fined a sum not exceeding fifty dollars, nor less than one dollar, together with the costs and charges attending the proceedings and conviction, and such prosecution shall be commenced within one month of the commission of such offense and not afterwards; and shall be laid and tried in the county or municipality where the offense was committed.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.16

    13. The penalty for any offense committed under sections ten and eleven of the act shall be the imposition of a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars for each offense, to be recovered in any court having jurisdiction in civil cases to that amount, to be recovered by any person suing for the same under this section and for the purpose!AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.17

    14. All sums of money awarded or imposed as fines or penalties by virtue of this act shall be paid, one moiety to the party charging and prosecuting the offense, and the other moiety to the treasurer of the county or city wherein the offense was committed.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.18

    It is further provided that “a conviction under this act shall not be quashed for want of form; nor shall any warrant of commitment be held void by reason of any defect therein.” Persons accused of felony may still have the benefit of all doubts and errors, but violators of the Sunday law, should this bill pass, will not be permitted to escape through any error, no matter how glaring.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.19

    The bill provides no exemptions for any class except Indians, and for no work except “works of necessity and charity.” And no pretense is made that it is a “civil” measure. On the contrary, its author urges its passage because it is demanded by certain religious bodies. Nobody pretends to deny that it is religious legislation, and that it is designed to promote the religious observance of a religious institution. But such a law is no more religious in Canada than are similar measures in this country. And the motive underlying the demand for such legislation is a spirit of intolerance, wherever found.AMS April 10, 1890, page 116.20

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 15.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We will in our next number give our readers some account of the late National Reform Convention in Washington City.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.1

    Romanism is said to be making considerable headway in Japan, being favored by the emperor because of “its important influence on the civilization of the nation over which he rules.”AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.2

    The Rome correspondent of the Catholic Review states that South America is soon to have a Plenary Council of all its Catholic prelates. This simply means that Rome, warned by recent events in Brazil, is about to tighten her grip upon the entire continent.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.3

    It seems that strict Sunday observance under stress of civil law is not the sum of all virtues, nor even a virtue at all; for in Scotland, the country in which they have the strictest Sunday laws, the most rigidly enforced, illegitimacy is greater than in any other civilized country. This shows that something more than civil law is required to make people moral.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.4

    It is announced by Mr. Crafts in the Christian Statesman of March 20, that:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.5

    The fight against the mighty evils in this country seems to many of us an unfinished Waterloo. Reinforcements from the religious press must come, or “night.”AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.6

    It is to be hoped that that which comes to this fight of the American Sabbath Union, may be “night,” and everlasting night at that.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.7

    The Union Signal speaks of President Harrison as “the ruler of forty-four States.” He is no such thing. He is the servant of the people of forty-four States. The people are the rulers here, and no countenance should ever be given to those people who, imbued with foreign ideas, want to teach that those are rulers, who are only chosen to execute the will of the people. This is sound American doctrine.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.8

    The National Reform position is that Christ is the ruler of nations and that the moral law is the law of nations. But as nations are ruled by men, it follows that men must exercise authority in the name of Christ and interpret and administer the divine law. And as that law is spiritual, it follows that of necessity men must rule in spiritual things. And that is putting men in the place of God, which is the essential principle of the Papacy. Hence the principle of National Reform is identical with that of the Papacy.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.9

    An attorney-at-law in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.10

    “Some friend of mine is sending me the SENTINEL, and I wish to thank him for it. You are laboring in the right direction, for it is all nonsense, this trying to compel people to observe Sunday as a rest-day. Have not we, as a Nation, outgrown such nonsense? Do not the laboring people know when they are tired and need rest, without the appointment of the Nation as a guardian to tell them when they should rest?”AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.11

    In the Methodist ministers’ meeting in Chicago, on the 31st ult., there was a lively discussion on the question of “The Attitude of Rome toward Our System of Education.” Rev. D. R. Shepard, professor of political economy in the Northwestern University, attacked the parochial-school system and said that it appeared to be the design of the Catholic Church to incorporate into the very systems of the children its dogmas and beliefs. He denounced the Romish system of education as “mediæval, inadequate, and weak.” He thought, however, that there was little danger from the fact that the American Catholics are not in hearty sympathy with their own system.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.12

    Rev. Mr. Foster took a different view of the matter and asked: “Does the gentleman mean to say that there is no danger when we see $12,000,000 poured into the coffers of the Roman hierarchy in the city of New York alone, to carry on the work and the policy of that church?” He thought the danger a grave one.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.13

    Dr. W. C. Bennett, professor of the Methodist Institute at Evanston, Indiana, defended the Catholic Church and declared that it did not differ so much from the Methodist Church. He said:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.14

    The Catholic Church has been criticised for having a supreme head, but the Methodist Church and every other church which is not bound to disintegrate, must have a supreme authority, as well as the Catholic Church, and it is nonsense to deny it. The only difference between our church and the Catholic Church on that head is, that the Catholic clergy keep their pledges of obedience to their supreme head better than ours do. There are some things, brethren, from which we might derive useful lessons, in the Catholic Church.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.15

    And this is the attitude of very many Protestants. They are learning of Rome. There is danger in Romanism in this country, but it is more in the fact that Protestants are adopting Romish methods than in the aggressions of the Roman Catholic Church itself. Rome has ever appealed to the civil power for the help which she should have sought from the great Head of the Church, and the tide is setting very strongly in the same direction among American Protestants.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.16

    The Pennsylvania Miners’ Journal has the following excellent item:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.17

    The man who believes in the thorough separation of Church and State, cannot approve of reading the Bible in the public schools. Thy are essentially a part of the State institution. The Bible is even more a part of our religious structure. These facts render the two incompatible under the spirit of our Constitution, and make it possible for even our most sincere Christians to consider all religious exercises in school, out of pIace. Religion should be taught in the Church and at home, not in the schools. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religious faith to all, and we hope the day will never come when that guarantee is nullified even in the slightest degree.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.18

    It is not alone the fact that the giving of religious instruction by the State is incompatible with our institutions by that should cause Christians to consider it “out of place.” Every Christian should oppose even the slightest State interference in things religious because such interference is an infringement of the rights of conscience. The moment we concede the right of the State to require the reading of the Scriptures in the public schools, we admit its right to introduce any other religious instruction which the majority may wish to impose upon the minority.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.19

    The Better Day is a new temperance paper published by Funk & Wagnalls, of this city. In introducing to the public this new journal its publishers say:-AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.20

    We offer you something new in the history of the world. Temperance papers of every style are happily numerous, and many of the highest ability. But never yet has one appeared devoted directly to the great work of temperance education, which more than all else holds the future.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.21

    The temperance cause has reached a point where systematic study of its vast and rich literature is imperatively demanded. We propose a course of study which shall do for temperance what the Chautauqua course has done for literature and science. This plan is not partisan nor political, but simply an attempt to form an intelligent, public sentiment on the subject, on the importance of which all friends of temperance are absolutely agreed.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.22

    We are most happy that a paper of this kind has been started. Such a publication is much needed, and if properly conducted ought to command a good support. We wish The Better Day success in its educational temperance work. And we trust that it will succeed in avoiding the fate of all other so-called temperance papers, namely, that of becoming the mere adjunct of a political party, or the organ of an association or society.AMS April 10, 1890, page 120.23

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