The American Sentinel 10

42/49

October 24, 1895

“Christ’s Kingdom Not of this World” American Sentinel 10, 42, pp. 329, 330.

ATJ

THIS is a truth plainly stated by Christ when he stood before Pontius Pilate to answer the accusations made by the Jews. John 18:36. Yet, strangely enough, we see to-day multitudes among the most prominent and influential of those who profess to be the servants of Christ, zealously engaging in movements which aim to make Christ the king of this world. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.1

The language of the Saviour on this occasion was not ambiguous. It leaves no chance to suppose, as some Christians of this day affirm, that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world merely in the sense that its elements are not worldly in their nature. “If my kingdom were of this world,” said the Saviour, “then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.” A kingdom of his world, or which ruled in earthly affairs, and yet would not fight or exercise force in any way to save its king from death, would be an anomaly indeed. Christ’s kingdom is clearly not of this kind. It is not “of this world” in any sense in which the expression is capable of application. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.2

Christ refused to be made a king by the people of Judea. We read, “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” John 6:15. This was just after he had miraculously fed the multitude with bread and fishes. Then, as now, people were entirely willing to live without working, and a king who could supply their wants without cost or trouble to themselves, was just such a one as they desire to have over them. But Christ refused to be placed in any seat of earthly power. They could have a part in his kingdom not by making him their king, but by making themselves subjects of his kingdom of grace, through acceptance of the gospel which he preached. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.3

Upon another, and still more memorable occasion, Christ was offered the kingdoms of this world, and refused the offer. And that offer was one of the three recorded temptations of the devil. We read, “The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:8-10. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.4

It may be said that such an offer was not one that could be considered, coming as it did from the devil, and involving the hideous act of worship paid to him. But the truth is, that had Christ accepted the offer upon any conditions, it would have been an acknowledgment of Satan’s supremacy. The acceptance of a gift is an acknowledgment of the authority of the giver to make the gift. And to accept the kingdoms of this world to-day,—all or any one of them,—would be to acknowledge the same thing; for they have not changed ownership since the day of Christ’s temptation. The devil told the truth when he said that the power and glory of the kingdoms of this earth were delivered unto him. Luke 4:6. By overcoming Adam in Eden, he brought Adam and all his race into subjection to himself, and gained possession of Adam’s domain,—the earth. Satan thus became “the prince of this world.” John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. He became such not by right, but by fraud and usurpation, permitted as the inevitable outcome of Adam’s sin. Like the existence of sin, Satan’s dominion is without right, but is nevertheless a fact. Every sinner is a servant of Satan; and wherever sin reigns, there Satan reigns. The two are inseparable; they must stand and fall together. And as sin has not yet reached its end, but still reigns everywhere, so Satan still continues to be “the prince of this world,” having the power and glory of earthly kingdoms in his hands. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.5

And therefore, any and every effort to make Christ the king of this world, whether by the sword or by the ballot, or by any means through which governmental power is obtained and exercised in human affairs, is in reality nothing else than an effort to have Christ take what the devil offered him in the mount of temptation, before his sufferings and death. In other words, it is but an effort to make a friendly compact between Christ and the devil, which can only be consummated by an acknowledgment of the latter’s superiority. Doubtless the devil is as willing now to hand over the kingdoms of this world to Christ upon such terms, as he was before Christ endured the agony and shame of the cross. But no more futile attempt could be imagined. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.6

In the kingdom of Christ, sin can have no place; and therefore the only possible kingdom of Christ upon this earth as it is to-day, is a kingdom of grace, entrance into which is secured alone by faith. Satan and sin can (and necessarily must) reign together; but never Christ and sin. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.7

Bt Christ will one day receive the kingdoms of this world and reign over the earth as its King. It was for this that he came to earth, walked and talked in Judea, suffered in Gethsemane, and bowed his head in death upon the cross. He will take them not by the will of Satan, but against his will; not as a gift from him, but as his conqueror. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. And we also read that he was made a partaker of flesh and blood, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death; that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14. God’s purpose is not to remodel that which is of this world, but to destroy it, even the very earth itself. Christ can make no compromise with sin; he cannot reign with sin, even to accomplish—as some might think—its destruction. He will destroy sin, and all that is tainted therewith, in strict accordance with the provisions of that plan which he manifested on earth by his ministry, his sufferings and death, and which is manifested as yet only in the work of the kingdom of grace. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.8

Through the work of grace, he will gather out of the kingdoms of the world, from every nation, and tongue, and people, those who will have him to reign over them. “This gospel of the kingdom,” said he, “shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 329.9

The transfer of the kingdoms of this world from their present ruler to the hands of Christ, is a momentous and solemn event, plainly foretold in Scripture. Thus we read in Revelation: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.1

But what will Christ do with the kingdoms of this world when they are thus delivered up to him? Read the answer in the second Psalm: “I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:7-9. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.2

The same thing is declared in the nineteenth chapter of Revelation. The attitude of Christ toward the kingdoms of this world, and their attitude toward him, at the time he takes possession of them, are there described in language which no one can mistake. We read: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.... And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Revelation 19:11-15. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.3

Again, in verse 19, we read: “And I saw the beast [the papacy] and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” No picture this of a coming temporal millennium. Not much else does current history record but the doings of the papacy, “and the kings of the earth, and their armies.” All the fashion, the wealth, the honor, and power of this world are to be found with them. And the prophetic eye saw them not converted to Christ, but gathered together to make war against him. The two closing verses of the chapter describe their utter destruction. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.4

Again, in the second chapter of Daniel’s prophecy, the same thing is set before us. The prophet, in the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, foretold the rise and fall of the great universal empires that should succeed the kingdom of Babylon, with the division of Rome, the last one, into smaller kingdoms, as represented by the iron and clay of the feet of the “great image,” and said: “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44. This kingdom was seen in the dream as “a stone cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces;” and they “became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Verses 34, 35. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.5

This is God’s plan for making Christ the King of this earth. It is the gospel plan. And any attempt to make Christ the King of this world, by any of those means through which earthly power is gained and exercised, is only the wildest folly. The motive may be worthy enough, but the effort is absolutely without knowledge. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.6

When Christ’s kingdom comes, then, as he has taught us, God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This means that the earth will then be perfect, without sin or sinner. And that will be the new earth; for the present one is “reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7. It is the preaching of the gospel, and that alone, which can hasten the kingdom of Christ. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.7

“Catholic Shrines and Miracles” American Sentinel 10, 42, pp. 330, 331.

ATJ

NO one who keeps track of current events, as recorded by the secular press, can have failed to note the frequent mention during recent years of wonderful cases of healing said to have taken place at Catholic shrines, and by the application of relics of Roman Catholic saints. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.1

The well-known Chauncey M. Depew had a wonderful story to relate upon his recent return from Europe, of a notable miracle which he had all but witnessed himself at Lourdes, France, a shrine to the Virgin Mary. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.2

More recently the papers have been full of remarkable stories of wonderful cases of healing in Denver, Col., through the instrumentality of a humble shoemaker, a member of the Roman Catholic Church in New Mexico; and more recently still, the secular press has published the details of a marvelous cure effected in this city through the virtue which is supposed to reside in a fragment of a bone, said to have belonged to St. Ann, mother of the Virgin Mary. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.3

The Roman Catholic Church has always claimed miraculous power for her saints and their relics; and Protestants have always denied the validity of these claims, asserting, for the most part, that the “day of miracles is past.” But in recent years there has been among Protestants a revival of faith in the miraculous; and this answer that “the day of miracles is past” is no longer regarded as satisfactory by many people; nor is this strange since there is really no authority for the declaration. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.4

The Scriptures do not teach that miraculous power was ever to cease out of the church; on the contrary, we learn from 1 Corinthians 1:7, that the Church, just before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will “come behind in no gift;” so that something more than a general denial of miraculous power is required to meet the claims of Rome in this matter. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.5

We do not admit all that is claimed by Rome in regard to miraculous power, but it is not necessary to deny the existence of such power. The fact that miraculous power is possessed by an individual or by a church, does not prove that that individual or that church derives such power from God, or that such an individual or church enjoys the favor of God. Miracles are indeed evidence of power but not of its source. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.6

When Moses presented himself before Pharaoh and delivered to him the divine message, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness,” 1 “Pharaoh called the wise men and the sorcerers;” and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments.” 2 “And Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them [Moses and Aaron]; as the Lord had said.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.7

Power was certainly manifested through the magicians, but it was not the power of God, for it was used in resisting the servants of God; and in his second letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 3 He then gives a catalogue of the sins which will be common in the last days among men “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” He then adds: “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.8

This is a plain prediction that just as miracles were used in resisting the work of Moses and Aaron, so miracles will be used in the last days in resisting the truth of God; hence we see clearly that through miracles are an evidence of the possession of power, they are not necessarily evidence of divine power. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.9

That miracles are to be used in the last days for the purpose of resisting divine truth and deceiving the people, is further shown by the description which is given by inspiration of a persecuting power which is to oppose the work of the people of God just before the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of this power it is written: “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.” 4 And again the prophet says: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” 5 AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.10

This text applies just before the end of the world; for immediately following it is the declaration: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.11

As we have seen, the days of miracles are not passed; but it will not do to blindly follow any church or any individual simply because miraculous power is manifested through that church or that individual. The Lord did not leave his people to be deceived either by “the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” 6 or by miracles wrought by devils to confuse and bewilder His people, and to give his enemies “occasion to blaspheme.” God has given all who will use it a means of proving those who profess to exercise divine power, so that none need be deceived. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.12

The divine touchstone to which all such manifestations are to be brought is the word of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” 7 AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.13

That word can never deceive those who put their trust in it, and it is the only safety for anybody in these last days. By it the Catholic saints, shrines, and miracles must be tried. If in anything they speak not according to that word it is because “there is no light in them.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.14

What then, is the purpose and what the effect of Roman Catholic miracles? Perhaps this question cannot be answered better than by quoting a paragraph from an article on “The Shrine of St. Ann,” in the Catholic World, for October, as follows:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.15

While we hear a great deal—and rightly so—of our American pilgrimage of Ste. Anne de Beaupré, comparatively few in this country know anything of the European ancestress, of the mother shrine in the Old World which the Breton sailors, mindful of home and its associations, had in view when, tossed by the storms of the Atlantic, they promised “la bonne Sainte Anne” that if she saved them from the seas they would erect in her honor, and on the very spot where they would land, a new shrine on this distant shore. Saint Ann heard the prayers of her children, we possess our beautiful sanctuary under her protection, which bids fair to become for Canada and the New World what Sainte Anne d’Auray is for Britanny and the Old—the nucleus of the devotion to the mother of the blessed Virgin. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 330.16

Of course the Roman Catholic reader will discern nothing amiss in this paragraph, but it will sound strange to Protestant ears; for here we discover that objectionable doctrine, the worship of saints, disguised, it is true, under the expression “devotion to;” but it is worship none the less truly. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.1

It will be observed that, according to the Catholic World, prayer was offered to St. Ann, and was heard by her upon the ocean, while at the same moment at Auray, in Brittany, pilgrims were offering up their supplications to her; so that we have in this paragraph, not only saint worship, but here is also omnipresence, or at least omniscience attributed to St. Ann. And to-day the new shrine at Beaupré, Canada, is frequented by tens of thousands annually, while other tens of thousands are praying to the same saint in distant Brittany, and St. Ann, two thousand years dead, is supposed to hear them all! AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.2

The Scriptures forbid intercourse with the dead. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that chirp and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living should they seek unto the dead?” 8 AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.3

The reason for this commandment is evident: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” 9 To seek unto the dead is to put them in the place of God. The Scriptures declare that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 10 but saint worship makes many mediators between God and man. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.4

Moreover, the Scriptures declare that the dead “know not anything;” that “his sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” 11 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” 12 And again: “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun.” 13 AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.5

Saint worship, or prayers to the saints, is therefore diametrically opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, and as Roman Catholic miracles foster superstition and idolatry and destroy faith in the Scriptures, they can be regarded only as part and parcel of the working of Satan by which he hopes to deceive the whole world to its destruction. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.6

“Public Sentiment and Persecution” American Sentinel 10, 42, p. 331.

ATJ

IT is a common idea, but altogether an erroneous one, that persecution cannot exist unless there is public sentiment to support it. The truth is that rarely, if ever, has public sentiment been on the side of persecution. All that is necessary to persecution is a law which, either designedly or accidentally, affords it legal sanction, and a few bigots to take advantage of the opportunity. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.1

Thomas Jefferson recognized this truth when he said, “A single zealot may commence persecution, and better man be his victims.” 1 AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.2

The fact that the “law of the land” sanctions what is done, entirely outweighs in its practical effect the public sentiment which does not sanction it, unless that sentiment be strong enough to defy the law and prevent its execution. But this is rarely the case, for public sentiment hesitates to rise up against “the law of the land,” and so long as their own personal interests are not touched, most people are comparatively indifferent to the wrongs they may see around them. “What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business;” and in this impotence of the opposing sentiment (which is often not even expressed) the bigot finds his opportunity. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.3

It matters not either that the law was not aimed, in the minds of its framers, at any person’s religious rights. Just as with a gun when it is discharged, the important question is not what is aimed at, but what is hit; and when somebody is hit who was not aimed at, he derives neither consolation nor relief from the fact that the bullet was intended for a different mark. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.4

It is a fact that when a religious dogma or institution is given legal support, however innocent the motive which prompts it, a blow is struck at the rights of all those whom the law affects; for no person can enjoy the liberty which God has given in respect to religious observances, and still be bound by a law which prescribes what his attitude shall be toward anything pertaining thereto. And when he yields in one point of such observances, he yields the principle upon which rests the whole structure of his rights and liberties. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.5

“Christianity and the Sword” American Sentinel 10, 42, p. 331.

ATJ

THE spirit that seeks in this country to force religious dogmas and institutions upon people by the power of the “law,” has its counterpart abroad in the spirit that calls for the sword of “the powers that be” to put down heathen opposition to Christian missions. An example of the latter is furnished by a letter from the Rev. Mr. Fulton, an American missionary in China, printed recently and approved in the Evangelist, New York. In it, speaking of the late massacre of missionaries by the Chinese, he says:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.1

There is but a single remedy, if this Munchau rule is to continue, and that is to demand that henceforth foreigners shall have unrestricted right of residence in every foot of Chinese territory, and that the local authorities and high officials shall be held personally responsible for the life of every foreigner residing within the bounds of their jurisdiction. Nothing short of this will meet the pressing needs of the case. The decapitation of a dozen or more of low criminals will be gladly granted by China, as a very cheap way of allaying the anger of England and America, but this will no more settle the matter than the amputation of an arm will cure leprosy. We must strike at the root, not at the branch. If this demand is not enforced, there is no assured hope for foreigners in China. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.2

Elsewhere in his letter, says the Nation, the missionary “reviles the Chinese government in unmeasured terms.” That journal comments upon the imprudence of this and similar letters written by the missionaries and published in England and America, and adds: “Imagine a handful of Buddhist missionaries in our own country reviling the government, calling for vengeance on their opponents, demanding foreign intervention on their behalf that they night ram their doctrines down our throats at the point of the bayonet, and some idea may be had of the way our performances must strike the Chinese.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.3

The truth which sadly needs to be emphasized, both in that country and this, is that the arm of the secular power cannot be properly invoked in the defense and furtherance of Christian work. Christianity can never make headway against its foes by the aid of carnal weapons. The one weapon upon which those under its banner must rely to cut their way through all opposition is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” And this is a far more powerful weapon than any that can be furnished from the arsenals of the world. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.4

The spectacle of Christian missionaries calling for a bloody punishment upon their persecutors and relying upon the bullets and bayonets of their own “Christian” nations to back them up in their work, is a sad indication of the modern degeneracy of Christian effort, under the influence of that spirit which is seeking, both at home and abroad, an alliance with the State. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.5

“The Spirit of Satan” American Sentinel 10, 42, pp. 331, 332.

ATJ

IT is a significant fact that in the closing decade of the nineteenth century—the boasted era of ciziliztion [sic.]—the world is witness a revival of superstition, intolerance and barbarism. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.1

There is a decided trend toward the theories and practices of the Dark Ages. We have in this country a practical illustration of this in the widespread crusade in behalf of more stringent Sunday legislation, and a stricter enforcement of Sunday “laws” already on the statute books. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.2

The same disposition is manifested in like manner in other countries; and in Austria the same trend is seen still more clearly in the attitude of the government toward the Jews. It is stated that one of the leaders of this movement in Vienna, one of the chief magistrates of the city, has secured a majority of two-thirds of the city council in favor of the anti-Semitic policy. “The program of the party,” remarks an exchange, “has a genuine medieval frankness and brutality. It proposes, according to report, not only to keep Jews out of municipal service, but to oust those who are already in that service; to prohibit them from making any contracts with the municipal government, and to abrogate all such contracts now in existence; and to exclude Jewish children from the public schools.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.3

But Austrian intolerance has not exhausted itself upon the Jews. It is proposed also to exclude Protestant teachers from the schools, and to entrust the work of education to the Roman Catholic clergy. It is believed that this policy is inspired directly from Rome. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.4

This same spirit that, as before intimated, imprisons men in this country for exercising their God-given right not to observe Sunday, is closely akin to the spirit which, breaking out in mob violence, inflicts torture that would shame savages. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.5

The daily papers have recently published stories of horrible cruelty scarcely surpassed even in the Dark Ages. Within a week, two men have suffered in this country at the hands of mobs, not simply death, but horrible torture and mutilation. One poor wretch was taken to a railroad track, where his fingers were laid upon the rails and one by one mashed into a shapeless mass by blows of a hammer, after which he was shot to death, or as the papers expressed it, “was filled full of lead.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.6

Another man, for a similar offense, was taken to the scene of his crime, and his ears were cut off, and then his fingers and thumbs, one at a time, after which he was hung. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.7

That the crimes for which these men suffered, excite the wrath of the people, is not strange; and were their executioners content with depriving them of life, it would perhaps not occasion surprise, though even that could by no means be justified; but the infliction of such torture is ominous. It indicates a mental and moral condition that is abnormal; as remarked before, it is only part and parcel of the spirit that manifests itself in bigotry and intolerance. In China it slaughters missionaries; in Armenia it murders Christians; in Austria it excludes Jewish children from the public schools; in the United States it persecutes Adventists and tortures criminals; and everywhere it betrays unmistakably the fact that “the devil has come down having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 331.8

“The Law of Justice” American Sentinel 10, 12, p. 332.

ATJ

JUSTICE is law; and by it all men, always and under all circumstances, are bound. It is law that is adhered to by God himself. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.1

Blackstone, the great commentator, speaks of justice under the term “law of nature,” and says:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.2

This law of nature being c?val with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.3

This is simply the statement of a truth which has, from time immemorial, obtained almost universal recognition in human transactions. It is the basis upon which such transactions, where one party has not had power to dictate to the other, have been conducted. It is the standard with which all human legislation, actually or ostensibly, seeks to conform. And when human legislation is changed, by the action of those bodies vested with legislative power, it is for the real or apparent purpose of a closer conformity with its dictates. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.4

A recognition of these simple facts, in any case where there is a question of the enforcement of human law, would save any person from the compulsion that such law must be allowed to prevail simply because it is “the law of the land.” The real law of the land is always justice, and nothing is law that is not justice. And human legislation, as Blackstone has said, derives all its force from the fact that it is, actually or supposedly, an expression of the law of justice as applied to the particular cases with which it deals. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.5

He who considers himself bound to enforce a “law” simply because it has obtained recognition as the law of the land, forgets that he is bound, for that very time and occasion, by this law of justice. He cannot absolve himself from obligation to this law by any plea of duty to a statute, and applying to the same thing—coincident, of course, with every good statute—is a law of justice; and by that law he is bound in the very case under his consideration. If the human statute is at variance with it, he is bound to disregard the former rather than the latter. He must disregard one or the other; and he cannot properly or consistently, under the plea of enforcing law, set aside the real law in the case,—the law of right—of which that he would enforce is but a counterfeit. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.6

The only question to be considered is, What is justice? This question once settled, the path of duty is plain. The citizen must conform his life to that law, and the official is bound by it in his enforcement of “law,” and not by any “law” at variance therewith. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 332.7

“Back Page” American Sentinel 10, 42, p. 336.

ATJ

THERE is something wrong with the perceptions of the person who refrains from Sunday work as a matter of conscience, and yet is not satisfied to make that sacrifice to his religion unless it is made by others likewise, and that without reference to their own conscience in the matter. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.1

THE Independent, of the 10th inst., has this:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.2

On the Jewish Day of Atonement, in this city, the cessation of business almost made a Sunday out of Saturday in some of the principal streets. It was proved possible for Jews to keep one Sabbath in the year; and if one, why not all? AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.3

Sure enough! Why not? And if Jews can keep the Sabbath, why must Christians have a law to enable them to keep Sunday? AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.4

POPE LEO XIII. has written to the Catholic hierarchy of America, condemning congresses of religion. It is said that the projectors of the World’s Fair Congress of Religions expected it would lead to further congresses merging all sects and creeds. It is not probable, however, that the pope fears this: but Roman Catholics cannot meet other creeds on terms of equality. Rome assumes to be the church. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.5

THE “Sunday Reform Leaflet,” issued at Columbus, O., says: “In the interest of American homes we need the weekly day of sweetness and love.” But Christianity makes every day a “day of sweetness and love,” and nothing less than this is needed “in the interest of American homes.” It is our opinion that without these graces during six days of the week, the “weekly day of sweetness and love” will be much more of a farce than a reality. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.6

ONE plea for the Sunday law says, “Close all on Sunday and no loss to any; there should be equal rights in trade.” But such a law does not give equal rights to those who feel conscientiously bound to close their business on the seventh day—the busiest day of the week. Nor can the law undertake to see that all men have equal advantages in trade. It is only for Sunday that a law is asked to enforce simultaneous closing of places of business. A man’s advantage in trade depends almost wholly upon his location, his resources, and his energy and ability in conducting his business. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.7

THERE are several cases still pending against Adventists at Graysville, Tenn., for Sunday work. They will be tried probably the first week in November. Among these cases is the indictment against E. R. Gillett, the old soldier, who, having aided in conquering the South in war, moved to Tennessee to assist in carrying forward that conquest by the arts of peace. He is loved and respected by all who know him, only excepting the misguided men who have invoked the “law” against him. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.8

Quartermaster Gillett, with his honorable record in the army and in the Iowa legislature, will doubtless bear himself equally well as a soldier of Jesus Christ in a Tennessee chain-gang. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.9

IT is a fact worthy of notice that leading Catholic prelates are becoming much more outspoken than formerly in the matter of Sunday observance. That the papacy should favor a general and marked deference on the part of the people to the Sunday-sabbath, is not at all strange, in view of the importance that institution has in the papal economy, being the uplifted sign of her authority in spiritual things, and also the badge of the homage paid the papacy by Sunday-keeping Protestants. With her characteristic prudence, Rome refrained from taking the lead in the Sunday crusade, lest it should be given a Romish stamp which would prejudice it in the public mind. But she sees that it is safe and expedient to follow closely the “Protestant” lead in the matter, giving her powerful support to what is done, until this Protestant indorsement of her claims and her methods shall in turn become a most powerful aid to her. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.10

WE noted in these columns last week, the imposition of a fine and costs upon a Seventh-day Adventist in Texas, because he refused to work on the roads upon the seventh day, “the Sabbath of the Lord.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.11

This man’s defense was that he could not conscientiously work upon that day, and that under the constitution of Texas he could not be legally required to work upon any day set apart by his religion as a day of rest and worship. Article 1, Section 6, of the State Constitution, is as follows:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.12

All men have a natural indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority ought in any case whatever to control or interfere in matters of religion; and it is the duty of the State to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of worship. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.13

This was read to the court by this Seventh-day Adventist, but he justice(?) held that it did not cover the case, and so imposed a fine and costs, amounting to $20.25. The defendant promptly appealed the case to the higher court where he hopes to get justice. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.14

By the way, what would the good Sunday-keepers of Texas think of a “law” under which they were liable to be required to work the roads on Sunday? Would they not regard it as an infringement of their rights of conscience? AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.15

REFERRING to the Sunday crusade in that city, the Boston Herald of the 6th inst., say:— AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.16

It will behoove the police commissioners to pause before they undertake to prohibit the Jews from transacting business on Sunday so long as they observe the Jewish Sabbath. It is an assault on religious liberty that has been one of the bulwarks of our commonwealth from its foundation. AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.17

The Providence Journal likewise ventures the opinion that “if the laws of Massachusetts sanction the arrest of all the Jews in Boston who are found keeping their shops open on Sunday, they need reforming as badly as did the ancient Puritanical proscriptions when emigrants from Massachusetts Bay found their way to Rhode Island and Providence plantations.” AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.18

This is all well enough so far as it goes; but why exempt only those who “observe the Jewish Sabbath”? If the prohibition of Sunday work rests upon “moral” grounds, as it has been held to do in most States, how can anybody be consistently exempted from the provisions of the “law”? And if it rests upon sanitary grounds why not exempt all who rest upon some other day? Why cannot people see the utter inconsistency and impropriety of all “laws” which forbid honest employment on any day? AMS October 24, 1895, p. 336.19