- CHAPTER I. - CHRISTIANITY AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE
- CHAPTER II. - WHAT IS DUE TO GOD, AND WHAT TO CESAR?
- CHAPTER III. - THE POWERS THAT BE
- CHAPTER V. - RELIGIOUS LEGISLATION
- FIRST CASE Eld. J. W. Scoles.
- SECOND CASE Allen Meeks, Star of the West, Ark.
- THIRD CASE Joe McCoy, Magnet Cove, Ark.
- FOURTH CASE J. L. Shockey, Malvern, Ark.
- FIFTH CASE James M. Pool.
- SIXTH CASE James A. Armstrong, Springdale, Ark.
- SEVENTH CASE William L. Gentry.
- EIGHTH CASE Ples. A. Pannell, Star of the West, Ark.
- NINTH CASE J. L. James, Star of the West, Ark.
- TENTH CASE Mr. Allen Meeks, the second time.
- ELEVENTH CASE John A. Meeks, Star of the West, Ark.
- TWELFTH CASE John Neusck, Magnet Cove, Ark.
- THIRTEENTH CASE F. N. Elmore, Springdale, Ark.
- FOURTEENTH CASE William H. Fritz, Hindsville, Madison Co., Ark.
- FIFTEENTH CASE Z. Swearingen.
- SIXTEENTH CASE I. L. Benson.
- SEVENTEENTH CASE James A. Armstrong, the second time.
- EIGHTEENTH CASE J. L. Munson, Star of the West, Ark.
- NINETEENTH CASE James M. Pool, the second time.
- TWENTIETH CASE J. L. Shockey, the second time.
- TWENTY-FIRST CASE. Alexander Holt, Magnet Cove, Ark.
- CONGRESSIONAL REPORT—TRANSPORTATION OF THE MAIL ON THE SABBATH
- APPENDIX A
- Weighted Relevancy
- Content Sequence
- Earliest First
- Latest First
“SEC. 2. Each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools adequate for the education of all children living therein, between the ages of six and sixteen, inclusive, in the common branches of learning, in virtue and morality, and in knowledge of the fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity. But no money raised by taxation imposed by law, or any money or other property or credit belonging to any municipal organization, or to any State, or to the United States, shall ever be appropriated, applied, or given to the use or purpose of any school, institution, corporation, or person, whereby instruction or training shall be given in the doctrines, tenets, beliefs, ceremonials, or observances peculiar to any sect, denomination, organization, or society, being, or claiming to be, religious in its character, nor shall such peculiar doctrines, tenets, beliefs, ceremonials, or observances be taught or inculcated in the free public schools.CGRSL 44.2
“SEC. 3. To the end that each State, the United States, and all the people thereof, may have and preserve governments republican in form and substance, the United States shall guaranty to every State every State, and of the United States, the support and maintenance of such a system of free public schools as is herein provided.CGRSL 44.3
This is identical with the original resolution introduced by the same gentleman in 1888, with the exception of the clause relating to the Christian religion. The original resolution said that the children should be taught “in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and in the principles of the Christian religion.” Whereas, this one reads, “in the common branches of learning, in virtue and morality, and in knowledge of the fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity.” But nothing has been gained by this change. If it was intended to give the resolution less of a religious tone or character, by changing “the principles of the Christian religion” for “principles of Christianity,” the change is hardly worth the effort required to make it; because the principles of Christianity are certainly the principles of the Christian religion. Christianity is nothing else than simply the manifestation in life and character of the principles of the Christian religion. The insertion of the word “non-sectarian,” as describing the principles of Christianity which should be taught, simply makes tautology in the section, because the following part of the section is wholly taken up in the effort to say that no sectarian doctrines, beliefs, or ceremonials shall be taught or inculcated in the public schools.CGRSL 44.5
Which of the principles of Christianity are sectarian and which are non-sectarian? If Christianity, itself alone, is not sectarian, then none of the principles of Christianity can possibly be sectarian. If any of the principles of Christianity be sectarian, then all of them are. Because Christianity as it is, is a definite and positive thing. It is not a wishy-washy mixture of fast-and-loose principles. For this reason alone, to say nothing of any other, every man who has any respect for Christianity ought to oppose this amendment with all his might.CGRSL 45.1
Section 1 as it stands, if it stood alone, would be worthy of the hearty support of every person in the United States; because it declares just what ought to be an inhibition upon all the States. There is a question whether the States are not already forbidden to do this under the Fourteenth Amendment; but if it be not certainly decided there, such an amendment as the first section of this resolution should be adopted as a part of the Constitution of the United States. Then the States would stand upon the same level as the Government of the United States: If this were once done, and the legislation, both State and national, were kept in harmony with the Constitutional provisions, then religious liberty in this country would be perfect, as it ought to be. But unfortunately for that measure in this resolution, its whole value nullified by Sections 2 and 3 of the same resolution.CGRSL 45.2
Although Section 1 distinctly says that no State shall ever make or maintain any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof yet Section 2 just as distinctly says, that each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools, in which there shall be taught the knowledge of the principles of Christianity. Now, the only way in which any State can establish and maintain anything, is by law. Therefore, if the matter stopped with tie second section, each State in the would be required, by Section 2, to do what, by Section 1, it is distinctly forbidden to do. But to prevent this contradiction in the terms of the resolution, Section 3 comes in and declares that “the United States shall guaranty to every State, and to the people of every State, and of the United States, the support and maintenance of such a system of free public schools as is herein provided.” By this, it appears that although no State can select for itself any religion that might suit it best and make and maintain laws respecting the establishment of that religion, the United States will select the religion for all the States, and then require that each State shall establish and maintain that religion. None of the people of the States are supposed to be capable of deciding this question for themselves, but a majority of three fourths of the States are considered capable of deciding it for themselves and for all the others. Education would thus become a national matter, and would no more be subject to State control. This amendment, then, would nullify that part of Article VI. of the Constitution which declares that no religious test shall ever he required as a qualification to any office of public trust under this Government. Because, according to this amendment, a religious test would necessarily have to be required as a qualification to the office of public school teacher, everywhere in the United States.CGRSL 46.1
But the leading question of all to be decided if this resolution should be adopted, is, What are the non-sectarian principles of Christianity? Granting the assumption of the resolution that such a distinction exists, the question then is, How shall the United States Government discover just what they are? Christianity is represented in the United States by probably a hundred different denominations. Each one of these holds to something different from all the others, which makes it the particular denomination it is. No one of these, therefore, can be taken as representing the non-sectarian principles of Christianity. Therefore, the only course to be pursued by which the United States Government can find out what are the non-sectarian principles of Christianity, is, by a general consensus of the principles of Christianity as held by all of the denominations in which Christianity is represented in the United States. This could not be secured by an examination of the creeds of the different denominations, because the leading denominations themselves do not agree upon their own creeds. There would be no remedy, therefore, other than to call a general convention of all the denominations of the United States, to discover what principles of the Christian religion are held in common by all, and are therefore non-sectarian in this country. This is the idea of the author of the resolution, as stated in a letter to the secretary of the National Reform Association, December, 1888. He said:—CGRSL 47.1
“I believe that a text-book of instruction, in the principles of virtue, morality, and of the Christian religion, can be prepared for use in the public schools by the joint effort of those who represent every branch of the Christian Church, both Protestant and Catholic, and also those who are not actively associated with either.”CGRSL 47.2
Let such a general convention of the representatives of Christianity in the United States be called; let the principles of Christianity which they should agree are principles that would be a national non-sectarian, be formulated; that would be a national creed. Then let the United States Government adopt that creed, and enforce it as a part of the instruction in all the schools of the nation, and that would be nothing less than the establishment of a national religion. All the children of the country from sixteen years of age would then have to receive that as Christianity, and so would have to receive their religious from the State.CGRSL 48.1
Nor would it stop with the children, because the probabilities are that in that in a national creed there would be some things, if not many, that would not be Christian principles at all. The parents who are Christians and who desire that their children shall be Christians, would soon discover this; and when their children were taught in the schools those things which are not according to Christianity, the parent would at once tell the child that he had been falsely instructed, that such was not Christianity; and could read directly from the Bible to show that it was not Christianity. This at once would bring on a controversy between the United States Government and the parents of the children. The question then would be, whether the Government would allow its authority to be directly opposed, and its purpose to be frustrated in its task of inculcating the principles of Christianity on the minds of the youth in this country. If the Government should yield, and allow the parents out of school to undo what the Government has done in school, then the Government might as well stop before it begins; for if one parent can do this, they can all do it. On the other hand, if the Government insists upon teaching the child religiously what the parent does not want that child taught, then the parent will take his child out of school and keep him out of school. And if that shall be allowed the Government will be no better off in the work of securing general education than it is now.CGRSL 48.2
But as Section 3 pledges the power of the United States to the support and maintenance of such a system of public schools, and as Section 4 empowers Congress to enforce the provisions of the whole resolution by legislation when necessary, it is not to be supposed that in the controversy the Government will yield to the parent. If, therefore, the Government hold on its course, compulsory attendance at the public schools would have to be the next step; and the next step after that would be to prohibit the parents from teaching the children out of school that which is contradictory to what the Government has taught in school. Thus it is clearly seen that to say that under such an amendment as this, all the children of the country would have to receive their religion from the Government, does not fully state the case by any means. The truth is, that under it, all the people of the United States would have to receive their religion from the Government. There could be no appeal. The Government makes itself supreme in all things, steps in between the parent and child, and so lands itself at once into downright paganism under the garb of the Christian name.CGRSL 49.1
Does anybody who has any acquaintance with history need to be shown the perfect parallel between this and the formation of that union of church and state in the fourth century, which developed the papacy and all the religious despotism and intolerance that has been witnessed in Europe and America from that time to this? It was in this way precisely that the thing was worked in the fourth century. Constantine made Christianity the recognized religion of tile Roman Empire. Then it became at once necessary that there should be an imperial decision as to what form of Christianity should be the imperial religion. To effect this, an imperial council was necessary to formulate that phase of Christianity which was common to all. The Council of Nice was convened by imperial command, and an imperial creed was established, which was enforced by imperial power. That establishment of an imperial religion ended only in the imperious despotism of the papacy. And as surely complete establishment of the papacy followed, and grew out of, that imperial recognition of Christianity in the fourth century, just so surely will the complete establishment of a religious despotism after the living likeness of the papacy, follow, and grow out of, this national recognition of Christianity provided for in the Constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Blair, and which is now pending in Congress.CGRSL 49.2
In proof of this, we have not only the logical deduction and the historical example, but in addition to these we have living, present facts. We mentioned above, Senator Blair’s letter to the secretary of the National Reform Association. This letter was written in answer to an invitation to the senator to attend a meeting in Philadelphia in support of the proposed amendment. The initiative in bringing about this meeting was taken by the National Reform Association. This Association has been working for twenty-five years to secure an amendment to the national Constitution, making Christianity the established religion. Senator Blair’s proposed amendment furnishes them just what they have so long wanted, and ever since he offered it, they have been diligently working to make it popular.CGRSL 50.1
The Christian Statesman, published in Philadelphia, is the official organ of the Association, and in the issue of July 12, 1888, the editor says the amendment “should receive the strenuous support of all American Christians.” In the issue of July 19, he says:—CGRSL 50.2
“These have been our watch-words in the discussions of a quarter of a century. And now these ideas are actually pending before the Senate of the United States, in the form of a point resolution proposing their adoption as a part of the Constitution of the United States. Here is a great opportunity. Shall we boldly and wisely improve it?”CGRSL 51.3
“Your editorial of July 12, on a Christian Constitutional amendment pending in the Senate, is most gratifying news to every Christian patriot. It seems too good to be true. It is too good to prevail without a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together on the part of its friends; but it is so good that it surely will have many friends who will put forth the necessary effort. True, the pending amendment has its chief value in one phrase, “the Christian religion;” but if it shall pass into our fundamental law, that one phrase will have all the potency of Almighty God, of Christ the Lord, of the Holy Bible, and of the Christian world, with it. By letters to senators and representatives in Congress, by petitions numerously signed and forwarded to them, by local, State, and national conventions held, and public meetings in every school district, such an influence can quickly be brought to bear as will compel our legislators to adopt the measure, and enforce it by the needed legislation. The Christian pulpits, if they would, could secure its adoption before the dog-days end. The National Reform Association, the Christian Statesman, and the secretaries in the field are charged with this work, and will not be wanting as leaders in the cause.”CGRSL 51.5
“We would then have a vantage ground we have not now. The leading objection that has been urged against us will have lost its power. That objection, which has such a tender regard for the infidel conscience, will have spent its force against this amendment, and will be no more fit for use against us.”CGRSL 52.2
The charge of an intention to invade the rights of conscience has been the leading one against the National Reform Association. But says Mr. Wylie, If this amendment is carried, this charge will lie against the amendment, and will spend itself there, while the National Reformers will escape. This charge is justly made against the National Reformers, for they distinctly affirm that the civil power has the right to compel the Consciences of men. And the admission that if the amendment were adopted the charge would then lie against that, is a confession that the proposed amendment, if adopted, will invade the rights of conscience. And that is the truth. It will surely do so.CGRSL 52.3
John Alexander, the father of the movement, who gives five hundred dollars every year to help it forward, and in his will has provided that the same amount shall be paid every year from his estate until the movement shall have proved a success, and who gives a thousand dollars at times besides all this, in the Christian Statesman of Sept. 6, 1888, congratulated the Association on the introduction of the Blair amendment, and said, “the National Reform Association ought to spare no pains and omit no effort which may promise to secure its adoption;” and further says:—CGRSL 52.4
“Let us begin without delay the circulation of petitions (to be furnished in proper form by the Association), and let an opportunity be given to all parts of the country to make up a roll of petitions so great that it will require a procession of wheelbarrows to trundle the mighty mass into the presence of the representatives of the nation in the House of Congress.... Let a mass convention of the friends of the cause be held in Washington, when the Blair resolution shall be under discussion, to accompany with its influence the presentation of the petitions, and to take such other action as may be deemed best to arouse the nation to a genuine enthusiasm in behalf of our national Christianity.”CGRSL 53.1
“Give all men to understand that this is a Christian nation, and that, believing that without Christianity we perish, we must maintain by all means our Christian character. Inscribe this character on our Constitution. Enforce upon all who come among us the laws of Christian morality.”CGRSL 53.4
To enforce upon men the laws of Christian morality, is nothing else than an attempt to compel them to be Christians, and does in fact compel them to be hypocrites. It will be seen at once that this will be but to invade the rights of conscience, and this, one of the vice-presidents of the Association declares, civil power has the right to do. Rev. David Gregg, D. D., now pastor of Park Street Church, Boston, a vice-president of the National Reform Association, plainly declared in the Christian Statesman of June 5, 1884, that the civil power “has the right to command the consciences of men.”CGRSL 53.5
“Our remedy for all these malefic influences, is to have the Government simply set up the moral law and recognize God’s authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it.”CGRSL 54.2
“We might add in all justice, If the opponents of the Bible do not like our Government and its Christian features, let them go to some wild, desolate land, and in the name of the Devil, and for the sake of the Devil, subdue it, and set up a government of their own on infidel and atheistic ideas; and then if they can stand it, stay there till they die.”CGRSL 54.4
How much different is that from the Russian despotism? In the Century for April, 1888, Mr. Kennan gave a view of the statutes of Russia on the subject of crimes against the faith, quoting statute after statute providing that whoever shall censure the Christian faith or the orthodox church, or the Scriptures, or the holy sacraments, or the saints, or their images, or the Virgin Mary, or the angels, or Christ, or God, shall be deprived of all civil rights, and exiled for life to the most remote parts of Siberia. This is the system in Russia, and it is in the direct line of the wishes of the National Reform Association, with this difference, however, that Russia is content to send dissenters to Siberia, while the National Reformers want to send them to the Devil, straight.CGRSL 54.5
“We want State and religion, and we are going to have it. It shall be that so far as the affairs of State require religion, it shall be religion—the religion of Jesus Christ. The Christian oath and Christian morality shall have in this land ‘an undeniable legal basis.’ We use the word religion in its proper sense, as meaning a man’s personal relation of faith and obedience to God.”CGRSL 55.1
Then according to their own definition, the National Reform Association intends that the State shall obtrude itself into every mans personal relation of faith and obedience to God. Mr. Edwards proceeds:—CGRSL 55.2
“Now we are warned that to ingraft this doctrine upon the Constitution will be oppressive; that it will infringe the rights of conscience; and we are told that there are atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh-day Baptists who would be sufferers under it.”CGRSL 55.3
“These all are, for the occasion, and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the salve tactics against us. They must be counted together, which we very much regret, but which we cannot help. The first-named is the leader in the discontent and in the outcry—the atheist, to whom nothing is higher or more sacred than man, and nothing survives the tomb. It is his class. Its labors are almost wholly in his interest; its success would be almost wholly his triumph. The rest are adjuncts to him in this contest. They must be named from him; they must be treated as, for this question, one party.”CGRSL 55.5
“What are the rights of the atheist? I would tolerate him as I would tolerate a poor lunatic; for in my view his mind is scarcely sound. So long as he does not rave, so long as he is not dangerous, I would tolerate him. I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator. The atheist is a dangerous man.”CGRSL 55.7
Let us inquire for a moment what are the rights of the atheist. So far as earthly governments are concerned, has not any man just as much right to be an atheist as any other man has to be a Christian? If not, why not? We wish somebody would tell. Has not any man just as much right to be an atheist as Jonathan Edwards has to be a Doctor of Divinity? Can you compel him to be anything else? But how long does Mr. Edwards propose to tolerate him?—“So long as he does not rave.” A lunatic may be harmless, and be suffered to go about as he chooses; yet he is kept under constant surveillance, because there is no knowing at what moment the demon in him may carry him beyond himself, and he become dangerous. Thus the National Reformers propose to treat those who disagree with them. So long as dissenters allow themselves to be cowed down like a set of curs, and submit to be domineered over by these self-exalted despots, all may go well; but if a person has the principle of a man, and asserts his convictions as a man ought to, then he is “raving, then he becomes dangerous,” and must be treated as a raving, dangerous lunatic.CGRSL 56.1
Next, dissenters are to be tolerated as conspirators are. A political conspirator is one who seeks to destroy the Government itself; he virtually plots against the life of every one in the Government; and in that, he has forfeited all claims to the protection of the Government or the regard of the people. And this is the way dissenters are to be treated by the National Reformers, when they shall have secured the power they want. And these are the men to whom Senator Blair’s proposed Constitutional amendment is intensely satisfactory, as that which, if adopted, will assure them, in the end, that which they want.CGRSL 56.2
Yes, to this extent I will tolerate the atheist; but no more. Why should I? The atheist does not tolerate me. He does not smile either in pity or in scorn upon my faith. He hates my faith, and he hates me for my faith.”CGRSL 57.2
Remember that these men propose to make this a Christian nation. These are they who propose themselves as the supreme expositors of Christian doctrine in this nation. What beautiful harmony there is between these words of Mr. Edwards and those of the sermon on the mount! Did the Saviour say, Hate them that hate you; despise them that will not tolerate you; and persecute them that do not smile upon your faith? Is that the sermon on the mount?—It is not the sermon on the mount. Jesus said, “Love your enemies; bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” But this National Reform style of Christianity would have it: “Hate your enemies; oppress them that hate you; and persecute them who will not smile, either in pity or in scorn, upon your faith, that you may be the true children of the National Reform party;” and that is what you will be, if you do it.CGRSL 57.3
“I can tolerate difference and discussion; I can tolerate heresy and false religion; I can debate the use of the Bible in our common schools, the taxation of church property, the propriety of chaplaincies and the like, but there are some questions past debate. Tolerate atheism, sir? There is nothing out of hell that I would not tolerate as soon! The atheist may live, as I have said; but, God helping us, the taint of his destructive creed shall not defile any of the civil institutions of all this fair land! Let us repeat, atheism and Christianity are contradictory terms. They are incompatible systems. They cannot dwell together on the same continent!” 2Let not the reader think that because this was spoken fifteen years ago, it is now out of date; for that Association to-day advertises and sells this speech as representative National Reform literature, and the pamphlet in which it is contained can be had by sending twenty-five cents to the Christian Statesman, 1520 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, Pa.CGRSL 57.5
Worse than Russia again Russia will suffer dissenters to dwell on the same continent with her, though it be in the most remote part of Siberia. But these men to whom Senator Blair’s religious amendment is so satisfactory, propose to outdo even Russia, and not suffer dissenters to dwell on the same continent with them. In view of these statements of men now living, and actively working for this proposed amendment, is it necessary for us to say that Senator Blair’s religious amendment to the Constitution is directly in the line of a religious despotism more merciless than that of Russia, and paralleled only by that of the papacy in the supremacy of its power?CGRSL 58.1
But as though this were not enough, and as though their tolerant intentions were not sincere enough, they propose in addition to all this to join hands with the Catholic Church and enlist her efforts in their work. The Christian Statesman of Dec. 11, 1884, said:—CGRSL 58.2
The National Reformers are doing precisely what the pope has commanded all Catholics to do, and why shouldn’t they gIadly join hands with them? And we may rest assured that Rome will accept the National Reform proffer just as soon as the influence of that Association becomes of sufficient weight to be profitable to her. Senator Blair’s proposed Constitutional amendment is a direct play into the hands of the papacy.CGRSL 58.6
Thus it is clearly demonstrated that Senator Blair’s proposed Constitutional amendment, if adopted, will only open the way to the establishment of a religious despotism in this dear land, and that this is the very use those who are most in favor of it intend to make of it. And to favor that amendment is to favor a religious despotism.CGRSL 59.1
But the question may be asked, whether we mean soberly to say that an association that sets forth such abominable propositions can have any influence at all in this enlightened age, or can be counted worthy of recognition, or of the fellowship of respectable people? Well, let us see.CGRSL 59.2
Joseph Cook, the Boston Monday lecturer, is a vice-president of that Association. President Seelye, of Amherst College, is also one of the vice-presidents. Bishop Huntington, of New York, is another. The president of the W. C. T. U. is another; and so is Mrs. J. C. Bateham, of the National Union, and Mrs. Woodbridge, of the same organization. Miss Mary A. West, editor of the Union Signal; Mrs. Hoffman, president of the Missouri Union; Mrs. Lathrap, president of the Michigan union; Mrs. Sibley, of the Georgia Union; Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, of the Iowa Union,—all these are upon the printed list of vice-presidents of that Association for the present year, and all these are eminently respectable people. They are people of influence. In a letter dated Cliff Seat, Ticonderoga, N. Y., Aug. 6, 1887, Joseph Cook hopes to aid the movement “by voice and pen.”CGRSL 59.6
In the published reports of the National Reforem Association for the years 1886-87, appears the following suggestion, made in 1885, on the relationship between the National W. C. T. U. and the National Reform Association:—CGRSL 60.1
“Miss Francis E. Willard, president of the W. C. T. U., suggested the creation of a special department of its already manifold work, for the promotion of Sabbath observance, co-operating with the National Reform Association. The suggestion was adopted at the national convention in St. Louis, and the department was placed in the charge of Mrs. J. C. Bateham, of Ohio, as national superintendent. Mrs. Bateham has since, with her own cordial assent, been made one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association.”CGRSL 60.2
“It was your secretary’s privilege this year again to attend the national convention. A place was kindly given for an address in behalf of the National Reform Association, and thanks were returned by a vote of the convention. A resolution was adopted expressing gratitude to the National Association, for the advocacy of a suitable acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ in the fundamental law of this professedly Christian nation.”CGRSL 60.4
“In the series of monthly readings for the use of local unions as a responsive exercise, prepared or edited by Miss Willard, the reading for last July  was on ‘God in government;’ that for August was ‘Sabbath Observance’ (prepared by Mrs. Bateham), and that for September ‘Our National Sins.’ Touching the first and last named readings, your secretary had correspondence with their editor before they appeared. A letter has been prepared to W. C. T. U. workers and speakers, asking them in their public addresses to refer to and plead for the Christian principles of civil government. The president of the National Union allows us to say that this letter is sent with her sanction, and by her desire.”CGRSL 60.6
“The four weeks I spent recently in the eighth Wisconsin district, lecturing under the auspices of the W. C. T. U., were among the most pleasant weeks since I went into the lecture field. The weather was unusually fine, and there were but very few meetings in which everything was not in apple-pie order. Ladies wearing the significant white ribbon met me at the train, and took me often to the most elegant home in the town.... The W. C. T. U. affords the best facilities for openings for such workers, more than any other organization. It is in sympathy with the movement to enthrone Christ in our Government. The eighth district W. C. T. U., at Augusta, Wis., Oct. 2, 3, and 4, passed this resolution:—CGRSL 61.2
“It is significant of how the heart of this great organization is beating, when such a resolution was passed without a dissenting voice by a district convention representing fifteen counties.”CGRSL 61.6
What more is necessary to show that the National Reform Association has secured the closest possible alliance with the W. C. T U.? The national convention of the W. C. T. U. in 1888, by resolution indorsed the proposed Blair amendment as deserving their earnest and united support.”CGRSL 61.7
But more than this, the purpose of the two associations, as officially declared, is the same. The National Reform Association is set for the turning of this Government into a theocracy, and the W. C. T. U. monthly reading for September, 1886, said the same thing, thus:—CGRSL 62.1
“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.”CGRSL 62.2
“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;—year, 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 constitutions.... The kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gate-way of politics.”CGRSL 62.4
In conformity with this idea, the National Reformers have bestowed upon the Saviour the title of “The Divine Politician.” Christ himself said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” These two organizations declare that Christ shall be this world’s king. There is not the slightest danger of mistake, therefore, in saying that the whole National Reform scheme, including Senator Blair’s proposed amendment to the Constitution and the theocratical workings of the W. C. T. U., is anti-Christian.CGRSL 62.5
We believe that not one tenth of the body of the W. C. T. U. have any idea of what this alliance with the National Reform Association amounts to. There are none who have more respect or more good wishes for the W. C. T. U., in the line of its legitimate work, than have we. We are heartily in favor of union, of temperance union, of Christian temperance union, and of woman’s Christian temperance union; but we are not in favor of any kind of political Christian temperance union, nor of theocratical temperance union. Would that the W. C. T. U. would stick to their text, and work for Christian temperance by Christian means! The Iowa Union has done itself the credit to separate from the political workings of the National Union. It ought to go a step farther, and separate from the theocratical workings of the National Union, also; and all the rest of that body would do well to protest against both the political and the theocratical workings of its present leadership, and especially against the Union’s any longer being made a tool of the National Reform Association. By means of the W. C. T. U., that Association is having a thousand times as much influence as it could have if left to itself to make its own way.CGRSL 63.1
Well, let us try it. Suppose the gospel were adopted as the code of this Government. It is the duty of every court to act in accordance with its code. There is a statute in that code which says,—CGRSL 63.4
“If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him.”CGRSL 63.5
Remember, they have resolved that this shall be the code in our Government. Suppose, then, a man steals a horse. He is arrested, tried, and found guilty. He says, “I repent.” “Thou shalt forgive him,” says the code, and the Government must conform to the code. He is released, and repeats the act; is again arrested and found guilty. He says, “I repent.” “Thou shalt forgive him.” And if he repeats the offense seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns to the court, saying, “I repent,” the Government must forgive him, for so says that which the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has resolved should be the Governmental code.CGRSL 64.1
It will be seen in an instant that any such system would be destructive of civil government. This is not saying anything against the Bible, nor against its principles. It is only illustrating the absurd perversion of its principles by these people who want to establish a system of religious legislation here. God’s government is moral, and he has made provision for maintaining his government with the forgiveness of transgression. But he has made no such provision for civil government, and no such provision can be made. No such provision can be made, and civil government be maintained. The Bible reveals God’s method of saving those who sin against his moral government; civil government is man’s method of preserving order, and has nothing to do with sin, nor the salvation of sinners. Civil government arrests a man and finds him guilty. If before the penalty is executed, he repents, God forgives him; but the government executes the penalty, and it ought to.CGRSL 64.2
Nor is this the only ally of the National Reform Association. The Third-party Prohibition party is another confederate in this attack upon the Constitution. Geo. W. Baine is a vice-president of that Association. And opposition to church and State was hissed and yelled down in the State Prohibition convention held in San Francisco in 1888; and that same convention adopted a platform recognizing the Lord as supreme all human laws should conform.”CGRSL 64.3
Sam Small was secretary of the national Prohibition convention held at Indianapolis in 1888, and, as reported in a revival sermon preached in Kansas City, January, 1888, what he wants to see is this:—CGRSL 65.1
“I want to see the day come when the church shall be the arbiter of all legislation, State, national, and municipal; when the great churches of the country can come together harmoniously, and issue their edict, and the legislative powers will respect it, and enact it into laws.”CGRSL 65.2
Sam Jones is another ardent Third-party Prohibitionist, in the latter part of July, 1888, he preached in Windsor, Canada, to an audience composed mostly of Americans, who went over there to hear him. Here is one of his devout, elegantly refined, and intensely instructive passages:—CGRSL 65.4
“Now I tell you, I think we are running the last political combat on the lines we have been running them on. It is between the Republicans and the Democrats, this contest, and it is the last the Republicans will make in America. The Democrats are going in overwhelmingly. Four years from now the Prohibition element will break the solid South. The issue then will be, God or no God, drunkenness or sobriety, Sabbath or no Sabbath, heaven or hell. That will be the issue. Then we will wipe up the ground with the Democratic party, and let God rule America from that time on.”CGRSL 65.5
And this the Christian Statesman inserts under the heading, “The National Reform Movement.” It is very appropriately placed. It is a worthy addition to the literature of the National Reform movement.CGRSL 65.6
On the way home from the Indianapolis convention, a National Reformer, and a Third-party Prohibitionist, who is a prominent speaker, were riding together in the rail-way car. A personal acquaintance of the writer sat in the next seat to them. The National Reformer said that the Prohibition party did not make enough of National Reform principles; the Prohibitionist replied:—CGRSL 66.1
“We are just as much in favor of those principles as you are; but the time has not yet come to make them so prominent as you wish. But you help put us into power, and we will give you all you want.”CGRSL 66.2
When it is seen that this legislation is the first step toward the establishment of a religious despotism modeled upon the principles of the papacy, and when this legislation is supported by such men as Joseph Cook, President Seelye, Bishop Huntington, and the others named; by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Third-party Prohibition party,—is it not time that somebody should say something in behalf of our Constitution as it is, and of the rights of men under it?CGRSL 66.4
“Those who drew the plan of our national Government, built the system upon the principle that religion and civil government were to be kept entirely distinct; and, for the most part, all the State governments are constructed upon the same theory. The general character of both is that they neither affirm nor deny any doctrine in respect to God, and that they command no duty as a religious duty. They deal with the temporal rights and obligations of citizenship, without any reference to the question whether the citizen is a religionist or not. His religious faith is no part of his citizenship, and no criterion of his rights. It confers upon him no immunities, and imposes no disabilities. It is a matter between himself and his God, and with it the civil authority does not concern itself. He is not forbidden to be an atheist, and not commanded to be a Christian. He forfeits no rights by being the one, and gains none by being the other; and as between these two extremes of opinion, the State does not undertake to decide which is the true and which is the false opinion. Such is the great American principle in respect to the sphere of civil government. This principle, being the exact antipode of State theology, admits of no reconciliation with it.”CGRSL 66.6
No grander mark of political wisdom ever appeared upon this earth than was displayed when the fathers of this Republic declared that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any, office or public trust under this Government; and that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But the lessons which these mighty men learned are now well-nigh forgotten. Let these noble lessons be newly learned, and held forth before all the nations; so shall Liberty indeed enlighten the world.CGRSL 67.1