Rev. W. F. Crafts Against the Editors of the American Sentinel

Rev. W. F. Crafts Against the Editors of the American Sentinel


Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, of New York City, is field secretary of the American Sabbath Union, an organization formed for the purpose of promoting Sunday observance and influencing legislation in its behalf. Prof. A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner are editors of the American Sentinel, a journal opposed to all legislation on religious questions, or any legislation tending toward a union of religion with the State. As Mr. Crafts is engaged in advocating and pleading for legislation in behalf of the Sunday-Sabbath, a religious institution, the American Sentinel has thought it proper and wholly within its sphere to criticise the work and methods of Mr. Crafts and his associates, and to cease not to present before the public the objects and logical outcome of their work. RCAAS iii.1

Under date of March 3, 1889, Mr. Crafts challenged Prof. Jones to a public debate, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on the basis of the American Sabbath Union’s petition for a National Sunday-Rest law. The challenge was accepted, but it was afterward agreed by both parties to hold the debate in Chicago, June 12, 13, 14. Owing to Mr. Crafts’ failure to fulfill his engagement, the discussion did not come off, and it was so published in a second edition of the American Sentinel of June 19, 1889. Objection was taken by Mr. Crafts to the article in the American Sentinel which stated this fact, and to other articles in the same issue; and in the Colorado Springs Republic of June 28, 1889, there appeared an article over Mr. Crafts’ signature, sworn to before a Notary Public, which article contained charges against Prof. A. T. Jones and Dr. E. J. Waggoner, of “wholesale slanders and falsehoods” and “willful and malicious slanders.” RCAAS iii.2

The charges were addressed to the churches of which the editors of the Sentinel are members; and both of them being members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Oakland, Cal., that church was placed under obligation to investigate the matter. Accordingly a committee was appointed for that purpose, and arrangements were made with the complainant for a public hearing of the case. This public hearing took place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Oakland, Cal., August 13, 1889. In order to insure an impartial report of the meeting, a competent reporter, in no way connected with the Sentinel or its editors, was employed. Mr. Crafts was given all the time he asked, for the presentation and support of his charges. Professor Jones replied in person in his own behalf; and Dr. Waggoner, being in the East, and a copy of the complaint having been sent to him, forwarded his reply by mail. The following pages contain:— RCAAS iv.1

1. The original charges and specifications of Mr. Crafts. RCAAS iv.2

2. The replies of Prof. Jones and Dr. Waggoner. RCAAS iv.3

3. The findings and recommendations of the committee of investigation. RCAAS iv.4

To all of this matter a careful perusal is invited, in the interests of truth and justice. RCAAS iv.5