The American Sentinel 13
April 28, 1898
“Editorial” American Sentinel 13, 17, p. 257.
ONLY in the Christian warfare does victory always mark the side of right. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.1
CHRISTIANITY is science; but “Christian science” is the opposite of Christianity. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.2
DEPENDENCE on self alone is often mistaken for independence; but the two are vastly different. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.3
CONSIDERING that “war is hell,” it is strange that a Christian should ever feel bound to go to war. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.4
THE Christian maintains peace by fighting self; the non- Christian seeks to get it by fighting some one else. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.5
THE “deceitfulness of sin” often makes people believe they have defeated the devil, when the devil has in fact defeated them. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.6
THE fact that the world is growing worse, does not constitute any reason at all why you should not be growing better. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.7
THE marching order of the Commander of Christians are, “Go ye therefore into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.8
IT is religion alone that gives Sunday a different character from that of Monday or Tuesday; Sunday is different in character from those days only by being a religious day. And were it not for this fact, there would never have been a Sunday law enacted. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.9
INTERVENTION—that is what Jesus Christ undertook in the terrible difficulty that arose between God and man. And it was not “armed intervention,” but it was effectual. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.10
THE more of the war spirit there is in the world, the more necessity is there that Christians should maintain peace. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.11
THE question of whether the souls of men are to be saved or lost, is always the greatest question that can come up for settlement in this world; and when ministers of the gospel give precedence in their discourses to some other question, it only shows that they have themselves lost sight of the great truth which they are set to point out to others. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.12
“Does Christianity Justify It?” American Sentinel 13, 17, pp. 257, 258.
IT has been decided by the United States Government that present circumstances relating to the condition of Cuba justifies war with Spain; and in this decision it has the support of the professedly Christian churches. Does Christianity justify this conclusion to which the churches have come? AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.1
Turning to the Text-book of Christianity, we find that, from the Christian standpoint, war was not justifiable when its object was to save the life of Jesus Christ. Is it then justifiable from the Christian standpoint now? AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.2
Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane on that memorable night, was surrounded by a mob who were bent on taking his life. They were determined to crucify the Son of God. Peter, realizing their purpose, drew a sword to defend the Saviour, and “smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.” Immediately Jesus said to Peter, “Put up again thy sword into his sheath;” and touching the wound made by Peter’s sword, he healed it. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 257.3
The Author of Christianity therefore plainly declared that such circumstances as had come upon Him and his disciples did not justify a resort to the sword. But if those circumstances did not justify it, what circumstances do? AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.1
It may be said that it was necessary that Jesus Christ should die for the salvation of the world. This is true; but God did not ordain that he should be betrayed and crucified. This was the work of wicked men—men whom the Christian church regards as the most guilty of their race. But to prevent this terrible deed,—the crucifixion of One who not only was the most innocent of all persons on the earth, but was Son of the infinite God—a resort to arms was not justifiable. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.2
A few hours later, standing before Pilate, Jesus said to him: “If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” He did not say, If circumstances were different, then would my servants fight. If some greater crime than my death were perpetrated, then would my servants fight. He did not say this. The reason his servants would not fight was because his kingdom was not of this world. Because that was so, fighting by his servants was not justifiable; and until his kingdom is of this world, the same reason must hold good. But Christ’s kingdom is no more of this world to-day than it was then. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.3
Peter, drawing the sword as a servant of Jesus Christ, is a figure worthy of note. Peter was an ardent disciple of Christ, a prominent member of the littler band of Christians, but—he was not converted. Jesus told him, that same evening, that he was not converted: and the cock-crowing hour of the same night, brought ample confirmation of his words. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.4
After his conversion, Peter never resorted to the sword. But standing there, sword in hand, bent upon its forcible use in the interests of Christianity, he well prefigured that class who, while professedly ardent servants of the Son of God, are nevertheless not sufficiently converted to have comprehended the truth that his kingdom is not of this world. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.5
“‘Important—If True’” American Sentinel 13, 17, p. 258.
THE Rev. Dr. Charles Bridgman, of this city, has given us the assurance, that as regards the Cuban crisis, “It is God and not the devil who now calls the hosts to battle.” Just how he has learned this we are not informed; but, being the word of a clergyman, it is supposed to be accepted as a fact without any great amount of accompanying proof. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.1
Dr. Bridgman is chaplain of the eighth New York regiment, and his sermon last Sunday, the 17th, was preached to the regiment especially, that being the occasion of their annual church service. The opening hymn was— AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.2
“The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood-red banner streams afar;
Who follows in his train?” AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.3
And the discourse which followed was calculated to impress the soldiers with the idea that they were following “in his train” by going forth to engage in carnal warfare with the Spaniards. This mixing of the spiritual with the carnal, earthly, and sensual is the fatal defect in the conceptions of Christianity which prevail to-day. The Son of God never went forth to carnal warfare, and none who do so to-day can be following in his train. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.4
Notwithstanding the Rev. Mr. Bridgman’s assurance, we are not satisfied that the business of making war has in this instance passed out of the hands of the devil into those of the Lord. Christianity opposes evil with good—not with evil. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.5
“‘His Holiness’” American Sentinel 13, 17, pp. 258, 259.
IT seems that the title “His Holiness” is not exclusively the property of the pope, but is held by several leaders of religious sects in India, the title being recognized by their followers as that of the pope is by Roman Catholics. Of course, the title means just as much in their cases as in that of the pope. No person can become or remain holy by virtue of the position which he occupies. No person can be invested with holiness by vote. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 258.6
Why non-Catholics should recognize this title as one properly designating the pope, is a question that is not clear. It is an assumed title, a title which no person or persons on earth have authority to confer on anybody, and which no mortal can take to himself without being guilty of blasphemy. Surely the Protestant world at least ought to be cognizant of these facts. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.1
“Does Archbishop Ireland Rule the United States?” American Sentinel 13, 17, p. 259.
IN the United States Senate the other day Senator Turner of Washington, standing in his place, “charged that the delay [in sending the President’s Message] last week was not due to the request of General Lee; but to the fact that Archbishop Ireland had cabled to the Vatican in the hope that the holy father might be able to bring about a peaceful solution of the difficulty. The President was waiting upon the pope to secure that which American diplomacy had failed to obtain.” AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.1
That a United States senator, speaking upon a question so grave as to be known by all to involve war between nations, would say such a thing as this at random is not to be believed. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.2
The truth of the charge is favored by the fact that though the message was withheld professedly because the publication of it that day “would endanger the lives of American citizens in Cuba,” yet when it was made public, unaltered, a week later, there was not in it a single sentence that could by any conceivable construction stir up any spirit that would in any way endanger the life of any American citizen. The World has asked the President or anybody to point out in that message any single sentence that would have endangered the lives of Americans in Cuba had it been published the day it was promised, and Congress and the country sat in suspense waiting for it. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.3
Another pointer in favor of Senator Turner’s charge is the statement of the Washington correspondent of the Chicago Times-Herald, April 14, that “Archbishop Ireland was again active to-day in the cause of peace, rushing from one embassy to another and form legation to legation, spending much time at the French minister’s house, and an hour with the envoy of Austria-Hungary, in one last effort to preserve peace.” AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.4
It is will known that no effort has been made by either the pope or Archbishop Ireland to secure peace between Spain and the Cubans; and also that there would be no such effort now were it not for the strong prospect of Cuba being lost to Spain. Under Spanish rule the church of Rome has governmental support and a practical monopoly in Cuba. The moment Cuba is lost to Spain, and is free,—that moment Rome finds her governmental power there vanished. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.5
This is not peace for the sake of peace, but peace for the sake of power and revenue, that Archbishop Ireland and the pope are so busily working for just now as Cuba is about to be free. And that through the President, Archbishop Ireland and the pope should in such a cause, or any other, be able to play pitch and toss, and peek-a-boo with the Congress and people of the United States, is sufficiently suggestive to cause the American people seriously to think. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.6
It can be remembered also in this connection that Archbishop Ireland dictated to the St. Louis Convention. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 259.7
A. T. J.
“Back Page” American Sentinel 13, 17, p. 273.
THE only thing that Jesus Christ ever did in the way of using force among men was to take a “whip of small cords” and cleanse the temple of God. He used force—or its equivalent—to drive worldly men out of the temple of God; but to-day his professed representatives want to use force to drive worldly men into that temple. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 273.1
THE AMERICAN SENTINEL does not assume the position of an adviser of this or any other civil government. We say this in reply to the assertion some have made that the SENTINEL was trying to run the Government, while telling Christians that they could not properly take part in political affairs. If this were true, the SENTINEL’S position would of course be very inconsistent; but it is not true. The SENTINEL says that civil government should not do certain things which constitute an interference with natural rights. This is not saying how the government should be run, but only how, as regards these rights, it should not be run. And it says this from the standpoint of Christianity; not as taking part in civil government, but as stating to men the divine truth which was summed up by Jesus Christ in the words, “Render therefore unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” And it says these things to men in order that they may escape the condemnation and disaster which a different course from that set forth in these words of Christ must bring upon them. AMS April 28, 1898, p. 273.2