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    Union of Church and State

    Notwithstanding the fact that the bill is wholly in the interest of the churches, and the religious observance of Sunday, which it styles “the Lord’s day,” we are told that they do not want a religious law, but only a civil law! Well, we don’t suppose that the civil government could enact any other kind of law than a civil law; but what we object to is a civil law enforcing a religious custom. It must be apparent to the most prejudiced mind, that the religious aspect of the day is uppermost in the minds of those who are working for the bill. But this will be as complete a union of Church and State as ever existed in Europe. In the days when the Inquisition was doing its bloody work, it was the civil government that put the heretics to death. They were all guilty of violating civil laws which the State had enacted at the instigation of the Church. That was all.BSRB 28.1

    Take the resolutions adopted at the Washington Convention, and the constitution of the “American Sabbath Union,” and what do they say? Read again the resolutions that appear on page 18. From them it will be seen that the basis of their legislation is the fourth commandment. This is plainly declared in Article 2 of the constitution. But the fourth commandment is wholly religious in its requirements; to enforce a law on the basis of the fourth commandment, would be to enforce religion. But this does not tell all. In the account of the Washington Convention, in the Detroit Christian Herald (Baptist), of December 27, 1888, Col. Elliott F. Shepard is reported as having said that “Congress and the law-making powers in this country have virtually repealed the fourth commandment.” By this he of course referred to the neglect to enforce Sunday observance. It is not our intention to make any argument on what is plain enough without, namely, that Sunday and the fourth commandment have nothing whatever to do with each other; but taking him on his supposition, that repealing the fourth commandment would affect Sunday, we wish to point out sharply the position which the “American Sabbath Union” proposes to assume. Note well the following:—BSRB 28.2

    Allowing that the failure to enact laws compelling people to keep Sunday, or the repealing of those already in existence, is a virtual repeal of the fourth commandment, then it follows that in their efforts to secure the enactment and enforcement of such laws, they are working for the re-enactment of the fourth commandment. Is not that a logical conclusion? Certainly it is, and Colonel Shepard, as the representative of the Union, would admit it. Then mark this point:—BSRB 29.1

    It was the Lord Jehovah who spoke the fourth commandment, with the other nine, from Sinai. It was God who enacted that law. Therefore the “American Sabbath Union,” in proposing to re-enact the fourth commandment, is proposing to re-enact the fourth commandment, is proposing to put itself in the place of God. Not only so, but it is putting itself above God, by assuming that it is more competent to vindicate his law than he is himself. It virtually says, “The Lord has been negligent in regard to his interests, and has allowed unrighteous governments to repeal the fourth commandment of his law; now we will take the matter into our hands and re-enact the commandment, and straighten things out for him.” In this it is showing itself a true child of the Papacy, that “man of sin,” the “son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Is not the likeness perfect? In other words, Is it not trying to make of this nation an image of the Papal beast?BSRB 29.2

    It would seem as though nothing more could be needed to show that the passage of this bill would really mark the union of Church and State; but to show that it is really regarded in that light, though not called by that name, we will quote from the Christian Statesman of December 27, 1888. The quotation will also show that the Sunday-Rest is a true National Reform measure. The article is an editorial entitled “A Frank and Earnest Word to Our Friends,” and after noting the progress of National Reform work, it says:—BSRB 30.1

    “Since the last annual meeting, and since the foregoing appeal was made, several remarkable events have transpired which greatly strengthen the argument to increased liberality. A bill to provide for the nation a National Sabbath law has been introduced into the Senate of the United States, and two important hearings in support of it have been held before one of the most important of the Senate Committees. The school question has been brought into unexpected prominence by stirring and remarkable controversies in Boston and Pittsburg; and this discussion has also been lifted to the floor of the National Legislature by the proposed Constitutional Amendment respecting establishments of religion and free public schools? Both of these measures involve the principles of National Christianity, and both afford such an opportunity for the discussion of these principles before the nation as was never before known in her entire history. They who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, cannot fail to perceive the immense significance of these and similar occurrences.”BSRB 30.2

    This is indeed most true. It is wonderfully significant that measures which confessedly “involve the principles of National Christianity,” which is but another name for union of Church and State, should be so enthusiastically indorsed by the great religious bodies of this country, and by the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. And yet they imagine that they are opposed to a union of Church and State! What spirit of blindness can have possession of them?BSRB 31.1

    It may not be amiss, in passing, to show that this Sunday-Rest bill which was framed in response to the request of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, meets their approval. In the Daily Union Signal of October 22, 1888, is a copy of Mrs. Bateham’s report at the annual meeting of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, in which we read this: “We were granted a hearing before the Senate Committee on Education and Labor, and Senator Blair introduced a bill in its main features covering our requests.” If there were no others, that statement alone would suffice to show that the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is pledged to the securing of “National Christianity,” or Church and State union.BSRB 32.1

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