Larger font
Smaller font
Civil Government and Religion - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    In a preceding chapter, we have given verbatim the Blair National Sunday bill, and have discussed some of its provisions. As we have seen, its object is clearly declared to be, to secure to the whole people rest on the Lord’s day, and “to promote its observance as a day of worship;” and everything in the bill is to be construed, as far as possible, to secure the observance of the Sabbath “as a day of worship.” This is the purpose of the bill: what is the purpose of those who are working so strenuously to have the bill become a law?CGRAS 91.2

    On Nov. 8, 1887, a convention was held in Elgin, Ill., which was “called by the members of the Elgin Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches, to consider the prevalent desecration of the Sabbath, and its remedy.” In that convention, Dr. W. W. Everts, of Chicago, said:—CGRAS 92.1

    “This day is set apart for divine worship and preparation for another life. It is the test of all religion.”CGRAS 92.2

    This clearly shows that the object of those who are working for Sunday laws is wholly religious, and that they are endeavoring to secure the power of the State to further their own aims. The Sabbath is indeed set apart for divine worship and preparation for another life; but the observances of divine worship, and the preparation of men for another life, are committed by Jesus Christ to the church. The State cannot of right have anything to do with religious observances, and it is impossible for the civil power to prepare men for another life. Therefore, as this work belongs wholly to the church, and as the church wants to use the civil power for this purpose, it follows that these church leaders of our day, like those of the fourth century, are determined to make use of the power of the State to further their own aims.CGRAS 92.3

    “It is the test of all religion,” says Dr. Everts. Then what can ever be the enforcement of it but the enforcement of a religious test? That is precisely what it is. Again, the same speaker said:—CGRAS 92.4

    “The people who do not keep the Sabbath, have no religion.”CGRAS 92.5

    Very good. The antithesis of this is also true: the people who do keep the Sabbath have religion. Therefore this demand for laws to compel men to keep the Sabbath, is only a demand for laws to compel people to have religion.CGRAS 92.6

    Again Dr. Everts said:—CGRAS 93.1

    “He who does not keep the Sabbath, does not worship God; and he who does not worship God, is lost.”CGRAS 93.2

    Admitted. Therefore this demand for laws to compel men to keep the Sabbath, is only a demand for laws to compel them to worship God.CGRAS 93.3

    Nor is Mr. Everts alone in this. Joseph Cook, in the Boston Monday lectureship of 1887, said:—CGRAS 93.4

    “The experience of centuries shows that you will in vain endeavor to preserve Sunday as a day of rest, unless you preserve it as a day of worship.”CGRAS 93.5

    And Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts, in the Washington, D. C., national Sunday convention, Dec. 11-13, 1888, said:—CGRAS 93.6

    “If you take religion out of the day, you take the rest out of it.”CGRAS 93.7

    These statements from the representative men of this movement, are sufficient to show that the movement is wholly religious. But, we repeat, religious observances and the promotion of religion, God has committed to the church only. Therefore this Sunday-law movement, as that in the fourth century, is only an effort on the part of the church to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of her aims. More than this, to the church, and to her alone, God has committed the power by which alone religion can be promoted; that is, the power of the Holy Spirit. So long as she has this power, she needs no other, and she will ask for no other. Therefore by this so widely prevalent movement on the part of the church to secure the power of the State by which to promote religion and religious observances, it is proved that the church has lost the power of promoting religious observances.CGRAS 93.8

    The object of this movement is not only identical with that of the fourth century, but the arguments and methods used to attain that object are identical with those of the fourth century. There it was pleaded that without a Sunday law the people would not sufficiently attend to things divine.CGRAS 93.9

    At the Elgin convention, the following resolutions were passed:—CGRAS 94.1

    “Resolved, That we recognize the Sabbath as an institution of God, revealed in nature and the Bible, and of perpetual obligation on all men; and also as a civil and American institution, bound up in vital and historical connection with the origin and foundation of our Government, the growth of our polity, and necessary to be maintained in order for the preservation and integrity of our national system, and therefore as having a sacred claim on all patriotic American citizens.”CGRAS 94.2

    Let us read the commandment according to this resolution: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it civilly. The seventh day is the American Sabbath, and you shall keep it civilly, because in six days the Americans made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day they rested. Wherefore they blessed the Sabbath day, and civilized it.CGRAS 94.3

    “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,“ is what the commandment says, and that is whose it is. The word Sabbath means rest. But the rest belongs to the one who rested. Who rested?—God. From what?—From the work of creation. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” says the commandment. It is religious entirely. There is nothing either American or civil about it. It is the Lord’s and it is holy. If it is not kept holy, it is not kept at all. And being the Sabbath of the Lord—the Lord’s day—it is to be rendered to the Lord, and not to Caesar. With its observance or nonobservance, civil government can never of right have anything to do. The second resolution was this:—CGRAS 94.4

    “Resolved, That we look with shame and sorrow on the non-observance of the Sabbath by many Christian people, in that the custom prevails with them of purchasing Sabbath newspapers, engaging in and patronizing Sabbath business and travel, and in many instances giving themselves to pleasure and self-indulgence, setting aside by neglect and indifference the great duties and privileges which God’s day brings them.”CGRAS 95.1

    That is a fact. They ought to be ashamed of it. But what do they do to rectify the matter? Do they resolve to preach the gospel better? to be more faithful themselves in bringing up the consciences of the people, by showing them their duty in regard to these things?—Oh, no. They resolve to do this:—CGRAS 95.2

    “Resolved, That we give our votes and support to those candidates or political officers who will pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcing of statutes in favor of the civil Sabbath.”CGRAS 95.3

    Yes, they are ashamed and sorry that Christians will not act like Christians, morally and religiously; therefore they will compel them to act both morally and religiously, by enforcing upon them a civil Sabbath! But if men will not obey the commandment of God, without being compelled to do it by the civil law, then when they obey the civil law, are they obeying God?—They are not. Do not these people, then, in that, put the civil law in the place of the law of God, and the civil government in the place of God?—They assuredly do. And that is always the inevitable effect of such attempts as this. It makes utter confusion of all civil and religious relations, and only adds hypocrisy to guilt, and increases unto more ungodliness. There is another important consideration just here. They never intend to secure nor to enforce a civil Sunday, but a religious one wholly; for in all the discussions of that whole convention, there was not a word said about a civil Sabbath, except in two of these resolutions. In the discussions of the resolutions themselves, everything was upon a religious basis. There is no such thing as a civil Sunday; and no man can argue three minutes in favor of a civil Sunday, without making it only what it is, religious wholly.CGRAS 95.4

    In a Sunday-law mass-meeting held in Hamilton Hall, Oakland, Cal., in January, 1887, Rev. Dr. Briggs, of Napa, Cal., said to the State:—CGRAS 96.1

    “You relegate moral instruction to the church, and then let all go as they please on Sunday, so that we cannot get at them.”CGRAS 96.2

    And so they want the State to corral all the people on Sunday, that the preachers may get at them. That is what they wanted in the fourth century. They got it at last.CGRAS 96.3

    They demand that the Sunday paper shall be abolished, because, as stated by Dr. Everts in the Elgin convention:—CGRAS 96.4

    “The laboring class are apt to rise late on Sunday morning, read the Sunday papers, and allow the hour of worship to go by unheeded.”CGRAS 96.5

    And Dr. Herrick Johnson, in the Illinois Sunday convention, in Farwell Hall, Chicago, Nov. 20, 21, 1888, said of the Sunday newspaper:—CGRAS 96.6

    “The saloon cannot come into our homes; the house of ill-fame cannot come into our parlors; but the Sunday paper is everywhere. It creeps into our homes on Sunday. It can so easily be put into the pocket and taken into the parlor and read.”CGRAS 96.7

    Then he named the matter with which he said the Sunday papers are filled,—“crime, scandal, gossip, news, and politics,”—and said:—CGRAS 96.8

    “What a melange! what a dish to set down before a man before breakfast and after breakfast, to prepare him for hearing the word of God! It makes it twice as hard to reach those who go to the sanctuary, and it keeps many away from the house of worship altogether. They read the paper; the time comes to go to church; but it is said, ‘Here is something interesting; I will read it, and not go to church to-day.’”CGRAS 97.1

    The Sunday railway train must also be stopped, and for the same reason. In the speech above referred to, Dr. Johnson, speaking of the Inter Ocean Sunday news-train, described how the people would flock to the station to see the train, and said:—CGRAS 97.2

    “In the Sabbath lull from politics, business, etc., the people would go to church were it not for the attraction of the Inter Ocean special train.”CGRAS 97.3

    In the Elgin convention, Dr. Everts said:—CGRAS 97.4

    “The Sunday train is another great evil. They cannot afford to run a train unless they get a great many passengers, and so break up a great many congregations. The Sunday railroad trains are hurrying their passengers fast on to perdition. What an outrage that the railroad, that great civilizer, should destroy the Christian Sabbath!”CGRAS 97.5

    And “Rev.” M. A. Gault, of the National Reform Association, in the Christian Statesman, Sept. 25, 1884, said:—CGRAS 97.6

    “This railroad [the Chicago and Rock Island] has been running excursion trains from Des Moines to Colfax Springs on the Sabbath for some time, and the ministers complain that their members go on these excursions.”CGRAS 97.7

    It is not necessary to add any more statements; they are all in the same line. They all plainly show that the secret and real object of the whole Sunday-law movement is to get the people to go to church. The Sunday train must be stopped, because church-members ride on it, and don’t go to church enough. The Sunday paper must be abolished, because the people read it instead of going to church, and because those who read it and go to church too, are not so well prepared to receive the preaching.CGRAS 97.8

    It was precisely the same way in the fourth century concerning the Sunday circus and theater. The people, even the church-members, would go to these instead of to church; and even if any went to both, it must be confessed that the Roman circus or theater was not a very excellent dish—“What a melange!”—to set down before a man to prepare him for hearing the word of God. The Sunday circus and theater could not afford to keep open unless they could get a great many spectators, and so break up a great many congregations. And as they hurried the spectators fast on to perdition, they had to be shut on Sunday, so as to keep “a great many congregations” out of perdition. It is exceedingly difficult to see how a Sunday circus in the fourth century could hurry to perdition any one who did not attend it; or how a Sunday train in the nineteenth century can hurry to perdition any one who does not ride on it. And if any are hurried to perdition by this means, who is to blame: the Sunday train, or the ones who ride on it? And Dr. Johnson’s complaint of the Sunday papers’ being worse than the saloon or the house of ill-fame, because these cannot get into the home, while the paper can be put into the pocket and taken into the home, is of the same flimsy piece. The saloon can be taken into the home, if a person will but put it into his pocket, and the house of ill-fame can be taken into the parlor, if a man will put it under his cloak; and if the Sunday paper gets there by being put into the pocket, where lies the blame: upon the paper, or upon the one who puts it into his pocket? Right here lies the secret of the whole evil now, as it did in the fourth century: they blame everybody and everything else, even to inanimate things, for the irreligion, the infidelity, and the sin that lie in their own hearts.CGRAS 98.1

    Nor are they going to be content with a little. Dr. Crafts, speaking before the United States Senate committee in April, 1888, in favor of the National Sunday law, said:—CGRAS 99.1

    “The law allows the local postmaster, if he chooses (and some of them do choose), to open the mails at the very hour of church, and so make the post-office the competitor of the churches.”CGRAS 99.2

    This same trouble was experienced in the fourth century also, between the circus or the theater, and the church. The church could not stand competition; she would be content with nothing less than a monopoly, and she got it, precisely as these church managers are trying to get it. More than this, they want now, as they did then, the government to secure them in the enjoyment of a perpetual monopoly. At another point in the same speech, Mr. Crafts referred to the proposed law as one for “protecting the church services from post-office competition.” And in explaining how this could be done, he said:—CGRAS 99.3

    “A law forbidding the opening between ten and twelve, would accomplish this, and would be better than nothing; but we want more.”CGRAS 99.4

    How much more? He continues:—CGRAS 99.5

    “A law forbidding any handling of Sunday mail at such hours as would interfere with church attendance on the part of the employees, would be better than nothing; but we want more than this.”CGRAS 99.6

    How much more? He continues:—CGRAS 99.7

    “Local option in deciding whether a local post-office shall be open at all on Sunday, we should welcome as better than nothing; ... but we desire more than this.”CGRAS 99.8

    How much more? Still he continues:—CGRAS 100.1

    “A law forbidding all carrier delivery of mail on Sunday would be better than nothing; but we want more than that.”CGRAS 100.2

    Then he says:—CGRAS 100.3

    “What we ask is a law instructing the postmaster-general to make no further contracts which shall include the carrying of mails on the Sabbath, and to provide that hereafter no mail matter shall be collected or distributed on that day.”CGRAS 100.4

    But when they shall have secured the help of the Government in carrying their monopolizing ambition thus far, will they be content?—Not at all. Nothing short of a complete and perpetual monopoly will satisfy them. This is proved by Dr. McAllister’s words at Lakeside, Ohio, July, 1887, as follows:—CGRAS 100.5

    “Let a man be what he may,—Jew, seventh-day observer of some other denomination, or those who do not believe in the Christian Sabbath,—let the law apply to every one, that there shall be no public desecration of the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath, the day of rest for the nation. They may hold any other day of the week as sacred, and observe it; but that day which is the one day in seven for the nation at large, let that note publicly desecrated by any one, by officer in the Government, or by private citizen, high or low, rich or poor.”CGRAS 100.6

    There is much being said of the grasping, grinding greed of monopolies of many kinds; but of all monopolies on earth, the most grinding, the most greedy, the most oppressive, the most conscienceless, is a religious monopoly.CGRAS 100.7

    When they shall have stopped all Sunday work, and all Sunday papers, and all Sunday trains, in order that the people may go to church and attend to things divine, suppose that then the people fail to go to church or attend to things divine: will the religio-political managers stop there? Having done all this that the people may be devoted, will they suffer their good intentions to be frustrated, or their good offices to be despised? Will not these now take the next logical step, the step that was taken in the fourth century, and compel men to attend to things divine? If not, why not? Having taken all the steps but this, will they not take this?—They will. Human nature is the same now as it was in the fourth century. Politics is the same now as it was then. And as for religious bigotry, it knows no centuries; it knows no such thing as progress or enlightenment; it is ever the same. And in its control of civil power, the cruel results are also ever the same.CGRAS 100.8

    This probability is made yet more certain by the fact that the theory which is the basis of all this legislation, is also identical with that of the religio-political element in the fourth century. A theocratical theory of government was the basis of the religious legislation in the fourth century; it is the same now. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is the most active and influential body in the Sunday-law movement now. The great majority of the petitions for the Blair Sunday law, except that of their seven-million-two-hundred-thousand-times-multiplied Cardinal, have been secured by the W. C. T. U.; and for convenience’ sake we shall here repeat some quotations already given, showing the theory and purpose which that organization has in view:—CGRAS 101.1

    “A true theocracy is yet to come, and the enthronement of Christ in law and law-makers; hence I pray devoutly as a Christian patriot, for the ballot in the hands of women, and rejoice that the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has so long championed this cause.”CGRAS 101.2

    “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, local, State, national, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world’s king;—yea, verily, THIS WORLD’S KING in its realm of cause and effect,—king of its courts, its camps, its commerce,—king of its colleges and cloisters,—king of its customs and its constitutions.... The kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gate-way of politics.... We pray Heaven to give them [the old parties] no rest ...until they shall ...swear an oath of allegiance to Christ in politics, and march in one great army up to the polls to worship God.”—President’s Annual Address in Convention, Nashville, 1887.CGRAS 101.3

    We have before shown that the W. C. T. U. is allied with the National Reform Association, and that their object is declared to be, upon a theocratical theory, to turn this republic into a kingdom of God. In the Cincinnati National Reform convention, 1872, Prof. J. R. W. Sloane, D. D., said:—CGRAS 102.1

    “Every government by equitable laws, is a government of God. A republic thus governed is of Him, through the people, and is as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel.”CGRAS 102.2

    By the expression “government by equitable laws,” Mr. Sloane and the National Reformers generally mean such a government as the National Reformers seek to have established. According to their theory, our Government as it is, is not a government by equitable laws, but is entirely founded upon infidel and atheistic ideas. Consequently they want the Constitution religiously amended, and framed upon their ideas; then it will be a government by equitable laws, and will be as truly and really a theocracy as was the commonwealth of Israel.CGRAS 102.3

    The Sunday-law Association also holds much the same theory. In the Elgin Sunday-law convention, Dr. Mandeville, of Chicago, said:—CGRAS 102.4

    “The merchants of Tyre insisted upon selling goods near the temple on the Sabbath, and Nehemiah compelled the officers of the law to do their duty, and stop it. So we can compel the officers of the law to do their duty.”CGRAS 102.5

    Now Nehemiah was ruling there in a true theocracy, a government of God; the law of God was the law of the land, and God’s will was made known by the written word, and by the prophets. Therefore if Dr. Mandeville’s argument is of any force at all, it is so only upon the claim of the establishment of a theocracy. With this idea the view of Dr. Crafts agrees precisely, and Dr. Crafts is general secretary for the National Sunday-law Union. He claims, as expressed in his own words, that—CGRAS 103.1

    “The preachers are the successors of the prophets.”—Christian Statesman, July 5, 1888.CGRAS 103.2

    Now put these things together. The government of Israel was a theocracy; the will of God was made known to the ruler by prophets; the ruler compelled the officers of the law to prevent the ungodly from selling goods on the Sabbath. This government is to be made a theocracy; the preachers are the successors of the prophets; and they are to compel the officers of the law to prevent all selling of goods and all manner of work on Sunday. This shows conclusively that these preachers intend to take the supremacy into their hands, officially declare the will of God, and compel all men to conform to it. And this deduction is made certain by the words of Prof. Blanchard, in the Elgin convention:—CGRAS 103.3

    “In this work we are undertaking for the Sabbath, we are the representatives of God.”CGRAS 103.4

    And the chief of these representatives of God, will be but a pope again; because when preachers control the civil power as the representatives of God, a pope is inevitable.CGRAS 103.5

    These quotations prove, to a demonstration, that the whole theory upon which this religio-political movement is based, is identical with that of the fourth century which established the papacy. They show also that the means employed—Sunday laws—by which to gain control of the civil power to make the wicked theory effective, are identical with the means which were employed in the fourth century for the same purpose. The next question is, Will they carry the theory into effect as they did in the fourth century and onward? In other words, when they get the power to oppress, will they use the power? A sufficient answer to this would seem to be the simple inquiry, If they do not intend to use the power, then why are they making such strenuous efforts to get it? But we are not left to this inquiry for an answer to the question; we have some of their own words. We may first refer the reader again to the quotations from the National Reformers on page 51-56. And these quotations apply with special force to the question of Sunday observance; for they declare that—CGRAS 103.6

    “The observance of the Sabbath [Sunday] is an acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of God over us.”CGRAS 104.1

    Then when they secure the law, it will be a national acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of God; and for any one to refuse to keep Sunday, will be treason, as declared by one of their own preachers (Rev. W. M. Grier, of Due West, South Carolina) in the Philadelphia convention, 1888:—CGRAS 104.2

    “Every sin, secret or public, against God, is a sin against our country, and is high treason against the State.”—Christian Statesman, August 9, 1888.CGRAS 104.3

    Every sin, whether “secret or public,” being “high treason” against the State, the State must punish it, even secret sin. But how shall the State discover secret sins, except by an Inquisition? This again confirms the logic of the theocratical theory of earthly government—that the Inquisition is the inevitable consequence.CGRAS 104.4

    Then so far as the National Reformers are concerned, it is certain that they are ready to use the power which they are doing their best to secure.CGRAS 105.1

    In the Elgin convention, Dr. Mandeville said further on the subject of Sunday laws:—CGRAS 105.2

    “When the church of God awakes and does its duty on one side, and the State on the other, we shall have no further trouble in this matter.”CGRAS 105.3

    Yes, we remember how it was before, when the church and the State were united. The gentle Albigenses in Southern France greatly disturbed the church. But the church was wide awake; for Innocent III. was pope. Philip Augustus was king of France; and the church awoke the State with the cry, “Up, most Christian king! up, and aid us in our work of vengeance!” And thus, with the energy of the pope on one side, and of Philip on the other, the soldiers of Philip marched down upon the Albigenses, and swept them from the earth. And as “the church did its duty on one side and the State on the other,” there was no further trouble in that matter.CGRAS 105.4

    In September, 1888, a minister in Selma, Cal., preaching on the subject of Sunday temperance and Sunday prohibition, said:—CGRAS 105.5

    “We have laws to punish the man who steals our property; but we have no law to prevent people from working on Sunday. It is right that the thief be punished; but I have more sympathy for that man than I have for him that works on that day.”CGRAS 105.6

    Let that man have control of the power to compel a man to keep Sunday, and he will punish the man who works on Sunday, just as he would a thief.CGRAS 105.7

    At a National Reform W. C. T. U. convention held at Lakeside, Ohio, in 1887, the following question was asked:—CGRAS 105.8

    “Will not the National Reform movement result in persecution against those who on some points believe differently from the majority, even as the recognition of the Christian religion by the Roman power resulted in grievous persecution against true Christians?”CGRAS 106.1

    Answer, by Dr. McAllister:—CGRAS 106.2

    “Now notice the fallacy here. The recognition of the Roman Catholic religion by the State, made that State a persecuting power. Why?—Because the Roman Catholic religion is a persecuting religion. If true Christianity is a persecuting religion, then the acknowledgment of our principles by the State will make the State a persecutor. But if the true Christian religion is a religion of liberty, a religion that regards the rights of all, then the acknowledgment of those principles by the State will make the State the guardian of all men, and the State will be no persecutor. True religion never persecutes.”CGRAS 106.3

    There is indeed a fallacy here; but it is not in the question; it is in the answer. That which made the Roman State a persecuting power, says the Doctor, was its recognition of the Catholic religion, “which is a persecuting religion.” But the Roman Catholic religion is not the only persecuting religion that has been in the world. Presbyterianism persecuted while John Calvin ruled in Geneva; it persecuted while the Covenanters ruled in Scotland; it persecuted while it held the power in England. Congregationalism persecuted while it had the power in New England. Episcopalianism persecuted in England and in Virginia. Every religion that has been allied with the civil power, or that has controlled the civil power, has been a persecuting religion; and such will always be the case. Mr. McAllister’s implied statement is true, that “true Christianity never persecutes;” but it is true only because true Christianity never will allow itself to be allied in any way with the civil power, or to receive any support from it. The National Reform Association does propose to “enforce upon all, the laws of Christian morality;” it proposes to have the Government adopt the National Reform religion, and then “lay its hand upon any religion that does not conform to it;” and it asserts that the civil power has the right “to command the consciences of men.” Now any such thing carried into effect as is here plainly proposed by that Association, can never be anything else than persecution. But Mr. Mc Allister affirms that the National Reform movement, if successful, would not lead to persecution, “because true religion never persecutes.” The Doctor’s argument amounts only to this: The National Reform religion is the true religion. True religion never persecutes. Therefore to compel men to conform to the true religion,—that is, the religion that controls the civil power,—is not persecution.CGRAS 106.4

    In A. D. 556, Pope Pelagius called upon Narses to compel certain parties to obey the pope’s command. Narses refused, on the ground that it would be persecution. The pope answered Narses’s objection with this argument:—CGRAS 107.1

    “Be not alarmed at the idle talk of some, crying out against persecution, and reproaching the church, as if she delighted in cruelty, when she punishes evil with wholesome severities, or procures the salvation of souls. He alone persecutes who forces to evil. But to restrain men from doing evil, or to punish those who have done it, is not persecution, or cruelty, but love of mankind.”—Bower’s History of the Popes, Pelagius, A. D. 556.CGRAS 107.2

    Compare this with Dr. Mc Allister’s answer, and find any difference, in principle, between them, who can. There is no difference. The argument is identical. It is the essential spirit of the papacy which is displayed in both, and in that of Pope Pelagius no more than in that of Dr. Mc Allister.CGRAS 107.3

    Another question, or rather statement, was this:—CGRAS 108.1

    “There is a law in the State of Arkansas enforcing Sunday observance upon the people, and the result has been that many good persons have not only been imprisoned, but have lost property, and even their lives.”CGRAS 108.2

    Answer, by Dr. McAllister:—CGRAS 108.3

    “It is better that a few should suffer, than that the whole nation should lose its Sabbath.”CGRAS 108.4

    This argument is identical with that by which the Pharisees in Christ’s day justified themselves in killing him. It was said:—CGRAS 108.5

    “It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50.CGRAS 108.6

    And then says the record:—CGRAS 108.7

    “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Verse 53.CGRAS 108.8

    The argument used in support of the claim of right to use this power, is identical with that used by the papacy in inaugurating her persecutions; the argument in justification of the use of the power, is identical with that by which the murderers of Jesus Christ justified themselves in accomplishing that wicked deed; and if anybody thinks that these men in our day, proceeding upon the identical theory, in the identical way, and justifying their proceedings by arguments identical with those of the papacy and the murderous Pharisees,—if anybody thinks that these men will stop short of persecution, he has vastly more confidence in apostate humanity than we have.CGRAS 108.9

    Nor are we left wholly to logical deduction in this. Dec. 14, 1887, Rev. W. T. McConnell, of Youngstown, Ohio, published in the Christian Nation an open letter to the editor of the American Sentinel, in which he said:—CGRAS 108.10

    “You look for trouble in this land in the future, if these principles are applied. I think it will come to you, if you maintain your present position. The fool-hardy fellow who persists in standing on a railroad track, may well anticipate trouble when he hears the rumble of the coming train. If he shall read the signs of the times in the screaming whistle and flaming head-light, he may change his position and avoid the danger; but if he won’t be influenced by these, his most gloomy forebodings of trouble will be realized when the express strikes him. So you, neighbor, if, through prejudice or the enmity of unregenerate hearts, you have determined to oppose the progress of this nation in fulfilling its vocation as an instrument in the divine work of regenerating human society, may rightly expect trouble. It will be sure to come to you.”CGRAS 109.1

    Certainly it will. That is the spirit of the wicked scheme from the first effort ever made to secure a Sunday law unto this last.CGRAS 109.2

    We need not multiply evidences further, to show that this whole religio-political Sunday-law movement of our day is of the same piece with that in the fourth century. The theory is the same; the means and the arguments are the same in both; and two things that are so precisely alike in the making, will be exactly alike when they are made. That in the fourth century made the papacy; and this in the nineteenth century will make a living likeness of the papacy.CGRAS 109.3

    How appropriate, therefore, it is that Cardinal Gibbons should indorse the national Sunday bill! How natural, indeed, that he should gladly add his name to the number of petitioners in support of the movement to secure legislation in the interests of the church! He knows just how his brethren in the fourth century worked the thing; he knows what the outcome of the movement was then; and he knows full well what the outcome of this movement will be now. He knows that the theory underlying this movement is identical with the theory which was the basis of that; he knows the methods of working are the same now as they were then; he knows that the means employed now, to secure control of the civil power, are identical with the means employed then; and he knows that the result must be the same. He knows that when religion shall have been established as an essential element in legislation in this government, the experience of fifteen hundred eventful years, and “the ingenuity and patient care” of fifty generations of statesmen, will not be lost in the effort to make the papal power supreme over all here and now, as was done there and then. And in carrying out the instructions of Pope Leo XIII., that “all Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States and legislation to be modeled upon the principles of the true church,” the Cardinal assuredly is glad to have the opportunity to add his name to the more than six millions of Protestants who are set for the accomplishment of the same task.CGRAS 109.4

    To those so-called Protestants who are so anxious to make religion a subject of legislation, it now appears very desirable; and it also appears a very pleasant thing to secure the alliance of the papacy. But when they shall have accomplished the feat, and find themselves in the midst of a continuous whirl of political strife and contention with the papacy, not alone for supremacy, but for existence,—then they will find it not nearly so desirable as it now appears to their vision, blinded by the lust for illegitimate power.CGRAS 110.1

    And when they find themselves compelled to pay more than they bargained to, they will have but themselves to blame; for when they make religion a subject of legislation, they therein confess that it is justly subject to the rule of majorities. And then, if the Romish Church secures the majority, and compels the Protestants to conform to Catholic forms and ordinances, the Protestants cannot justly complain.CGRAS 110.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font