Views of National Reform, Series One



But is that what the National Reformers desire to accomplish? Is that what they are aiming at? No, indeed, not they! For the court is not to be left to itself and to the rules of civil law. Such a decision as that, the National Reformers never will allow. And right here is where their hierarchy comes in. Here is where they appear as the “in- terpreters of Scripture” on “all questions of morals.” Here is the point at which they step in with their “final decisions.” For as soon as such an interpretation as that is proposed, they will assert that that is not the correct interpretation. They will say that the rules of civil law do not apply in the interpretation of a religious statute; that this is a theological question and it must be decided by theological definitions. They will say that the unanimous verdict of the theological world on this question is that the expression “seventh day” in the fourth commandment does not mean the definite seventh day of the week, but “one day in seven,” “one day of rest alter six days of work;” that in the Jewish dispensation the day kept was Saturday, but in the Christian dispensation the first day of the week is the. Christian Sabbath, that it is in fact the distinctive badge of Christianity; that this has been by Constitutional Amendment declared to be a Christian nation, and as this commandment is a part of the Constitution, it must be interpreted by the rules of Christian theology. VNR 20.2

Can there be any doubt as to which way the question will be decided? Not the least. It will have to be decided in favor of the prevalent Christianity, and the “Christian Sabbath” will thus be declared to be the Sabbath in this Government. But by whom is the question decided? by whom is the final decision made? Not by the judges, but by the theologians. Not by the court, but by “the leaders and teachers in our churches.” And that is nothing else than the rule of a hierarchy. VNR 21.1

Here, and by this, we are brought face to face with another important consideration—in fact, the culmination of National Reform purposes and aims. It is this: As all these questions are to be decided not as questions of law, but of theology; and as “the leaders and teachers” in the churches are to be the interpreters on moral and theological points; it follows that the success of the National Reform movement will be the destruction of all distinction between law and theology, between civil and religious affairs. All the courts of the land will be—not courts of law but—courts of theology; and every question of government and of life will become a theological question, subject to the supervision and the “final decision” of these “leaders and teachers” in the churches. All of which will be but to turn this Government into a man-made theocracy, with the leaders of National Reform in the seat of God. In short, it will be but a new form of the Papacy under the title of National Reform. VNR 22.1

Even when this question of the Sabbath is decided, we do not believe that all the Seventh-day Baptists, and all the Seventh-day Adventists, and all the Jews in the country, are going to accept and conform to the decision, without coercion. But coercion will be persecution; while if there is no coercion the Reformed Constitution will be set at defiance, and all the work of the National Reformers will be in vain. But as we are not to suppose for a moment that they are working in vain, it follows that the success of National Reform will certainly bring persecution. But that is only to carry out the spirit of the Papacy. VNR 22.2

If these people who do not want to keep Sunday should all set themselves to work together to obtain an Amendment to the Constitution, by which they could and would, under pains and penalties, compel all persons in the United States to keep Saturday and submit to their “interpretation” and “final decision” upon all questions of Scripture and morals, the National Reformers would at once pronounce it an invasion of human right and religious liberty—in short they would pronounce it an infamous proceeding. And so should we. Therefore when the National Reformers deliberately propose to do this very thing, only putting Sunday instead of Saturday in the law, and bend every element to its accomplishment, then we do likewise pronounce that an infamous proceeding. And so should everyone who has any regard for human right and liberty of conscience. VNR 23.1

If there be any such thing as logical deductions from clear statements, we believe that we have fulfilled our promise to show that the success of the National Reform movement will be the establishment of an absolute hierarchy in this nation. A. T. JONES. VNR 23.2