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    August 17, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 32, p. 497.


    A SUNDAY law would have stopped creation itself on the very first day.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.1

    THE Christian faith needs no defense from the power of human law. The best possible way to defend the faith is to let the faith defend itself.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.2

    A LAMB and wolf—religious liberty and religious legislation—cannot be kept alive in the same enclosure.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.3

    THE public ... in a community can be ... disturbed by the enforcement of Sunday statutes in a single day, but it is by the quiet pursuit of business callings on Sunday in a whole generation.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.4

    IT is the wolf that accuses the lamb of soiling the stream at which they drink; it is the outlaw that most loudly cries, “stop, thief!” It is the unjust statute that poses most conspicuously as the bulwark of right and liberty.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.5

    THE State cannot safeguard religious freedom and uphold a religious dogma at the same time. For a religious dogma that desires the support of the State, is always the implacable enemy of any opposing religious doctrine, and will attack it under the State’s authority at every opportunity.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.6

    ANTIQUITY is not always a point in favor of the thing which it invests. A thing subject to decay, becomes altogether unfit for human use by the lapse of time. And as every human institution is subject to a more or less speedy dissolution, it must needs be a mistake to attempt to perpetuate such an institution because it has grown hoary with age. An old error has accumulated evil about itself until it has become must worse than when it was new.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.7

    “AMS the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So says the Lord in Isaiah 55:9. The law of the Lord reaches and covers the secret thoughts and motives of the heart; it is infinitely broader and higher than the law of man. It is plain, therefore, that a human law upholding the law of God represents an inverted pyramid, and therefore that the idea which it embodies is altogether wrong.AMS August 17, 1899, page 497.8

    “The Failure of Republics” American Sentinel 14, 32, pp. 498, 499.


    EUROPEAN writers are expressing and discussing “a decline of belief in the value of the republican form of government.” In this discussion, of course, the United States forms a prominent item. This is altogether a pertinent question.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.1

    A republican form of government being “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” is simply self-government. The people govern themselves by themselves for themselves. And as each individual, as far as he personally is concerned, is the people, a republican form of government—self-government—is that in which each individual governs himself by himself—by his own powers of self-restraint exercised upon himself—for himself, for his own best good in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.2

    And so long as that is done, a republic anywhere is a success. But, in a republic, just as soon as a single individual fails to govern himself by himself for himself, that republic has begun to fail; and so far as that individual is concerned, a republican form of government is a failure, is of no value.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.3

    Just as soon as two individuals fail to govern themselves, the republic is just so much more of a failure. Yet so long as the majority of the people composing a republic, do individually govern themselves, by themselves for themselves, the government will be a success; because they, being the majority, are able to protect themselves from the infringements of those who fail to govern themselves and have to be governed.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.4

    But just a moment the majority turns to the other side, the moment the number who fail to govern themselves crosses the line and becomes greater than the number of those who do govern themselves, that moment republican government has failed. And though the name may continue for a time, the thing is gone: the government is no longer a republic. At that point however the failure does not so palpably appear as when the majority—those who fail to govern themselves—has become larger yet larger. But when that majority that fails to govern itself, each by himself, becomes so great that its influence is felt upon all the procedure of the government—then republican government has failed utterly; it is no longer a republic in any true sense: it is a despotism. Not indeed a despotism of one, nor of a few, but of the many. And a despotism of the many, of the majority, is not at all the least of despotisms. Yet, then, it is only a question of time when the despotism of the many will merge in a few, then in a very few, and finally in a despotism of one,—and that is monarchy.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.5

    Wherever in a republic there is found a man who fails to govern himself by himself, in that man there is found an open bid for a monarchy. And when that man becomes the majority, a monarchy is certain. It may indeed be an elective monarchy, but it is none the less a monarchy.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.6

    Thus it is literally true that in government there are just two things, one or the other of which people must consider—republicanism and monarchy: self-government or government by another; liberty or despotism. What is the republic of France to-day, but the former monarchy under another name?AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.7

    Now any one who for any number of years has read and thought, knows full well that in the United States the number of those in all phases of society who fail to govern themselves is very great and is rapidly on the increase. Notice the startling increase of crime. Notice the strikes that so frequently occur, and at times almost cover the country, invariably accompanied by violence and often by rioting. Notice the electoral corruption—municipal, State, and national. Notice the procedure of State legislatures, especially in the electing of a United States Senator. See the large number of organizations and combinations in different fields, that are constantly being formed for protection and to beat back that which they know is certainly coming to grind them under. But all these combinations, organizations, and associations, are composed only of men who have failed to and do fail as individuals to govern themselves. And a combination of men who, individually, have failed to govern themselves, for the purpose of governing themselves and others, is just as much of a failure in self-government, is just as much of a failure as to a republic, as in the case of the individuals before forming the combination.AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.8

    Since it republican form of government is only self-government, and since all these things are universal testimony that the great mass of the people of the United States are failing to govern themselves, it is perfectly plain that this great example of republican government in the world is certainly failing. And when such is the truth that is forced upon the attention of the world, and which the outside world is seriously discussing, what is there left for the world to contemplate other than that which with foreboding is mentioned by the London Spectator:—AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.9

    “The peoples consider only monarchy and republicanism, and, for the reasons we have indicated, the favor of republicanism declines, with a grave result, we fear, in an increase of political hopelessness, and therefore a decrease of political energy.”AMS August 17, 1899, page 498.10

    And yet, that can only be that monarchies and even society itself, shall fail and perish in their own corruption. Thus has it ever been with the nations; thus only will it ever be. And the end hastens.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.1

    A. T. J.

    “Should Christians Run the Government?” American Sentinel 14, 32, p. 499.


    THERE are in this land a number of very large and growing religious organizations, of which the Christian Endeavor Society, the Christian Citizenship League, League for Social Services, etc., stand as examples. The watchword of these organizations is, Reform.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.1

    They see among other things that there is great need of reform in the civil government. They see that corruption is enthroned in politics; that bad men are running the affairs of State. And they come naturally to the conclusion that the remedy is to turn the bad men out of office and keep them out, and put good men in their places. They conclude that they ought to go in and take the political reins into their own hands, and run the government themselves. They are fully confident that if the politicians would only do as they say, this would be a truly Christian Government in a very short time.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.2

    The idea is a plausible one, certainly. It seems axiomatic that the good people ought to run the Government; and, of course, the best people are to be found in the church. Whatever dispute there might be on this point, not a doubt of it is entertained in these religious societies. Nor would we imply that the statement is at all doubtful. We believe the best people are in the church.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.3

    But of the “best people”—the good and zealous Christian people of the land, who compose the church congregations on Sundays—ought these people to run the government? We think not. But as our arguments on the subject might have but little weight, we will refer to the testimony of history; for history certainly gives an emphatic caution upon this point.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.4

    The colonial history of America had its beginning in the efforts of the church people in England to run the government of that country. They made the conditions there so uncongenial for the religious minority, that the latter decided to emigrate to the wilds of North America. The hardships of life in a strange and unsettled country, with separation from kindred and friends, were preferable to the conditions imposed upon them by the government under the control of the religious majority at home.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.5

    When Massachusetts had become a flourishing colony, there was one Roger Williams, who, for dissenting from the authority assumed by the civil magistrate, was driven out under a decree of perpetual banishment. The government was in the hands of the church people, and under their management of it Roger Williams founded the society of wild beasts and savage Indians more congenial than that he left behind him in Massachusetts.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.6

    Other Baptists, and the Quakers also, found that they would have been much better off under a government of the most irreligious men in the colony, than they were under one run by its “best people.”AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.7

    When the colonies won their independence, there was a reaction from the theory that government could be best administered under ecclesiastical direction, and statesmen came to the front with principles of government which completely separated religion from the affairs of state; and under those statesmen the government rose to the highest pinnacle of excellence.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.8

    Washington, the highest example of American statesmanship, was so little identified with the church that it is a disputed question whether he believed in the Christian religion not. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, is claimed by the Unitarians, but by the majority of people since his day he has been hardly distinguished from an atheist. Andrew Jackson, that conspicuous exponents of pure democratic government, is equally inconspicuous as regards religion; and the name of Abraham Lincoln is entirely unknown in the country’s religious annals. Yet all must submit that the Government was never run upon better principles than when under the guidance of these statesmen.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.9

    The very fact that a religious organization is ready to go into politics and seize the reins of civil power, is unquestionable proof that the organization is ready to join forces with religion, and that for the coercion of dissenters.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.10

    But for the idea that the “best people”—the orthodox church people—ought to run the government, that worst of all forms of government—a union of church and state—would never have been.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.11

    “What Good can It Do?” American Sentinel 14, 32, p. 499.


    WHAT good can a Sunday law really do? It can make a man act the hypocrite, by pretending to regard the day when he cares nothing for it. It can make loafers and idlers in the place of men doing honest work. It can put hardships upon good people who conscientiously observe a different day. It can unite church and state. It can do all this evil; but it cannot make a bad man good; or change any heart, to put into it more love for God or man. It cannot force anybody to rest, for mere idleness is not rest. Such laws do not originate in any thought of conferring physical benefits or preserving rights, but solely with the idea of protecting a religious institution from desecration. They never accomplished any good in the past, and they are potent only for harm to-day.AMS August 17, 1899, page 499.1

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 14, 32, p. 512.


    THE importance of the Sabbath institution to the moral and physical welfare of mankind, constitutes the strongest argument against its enforced observance. For force—the compulsion of the civil power—takes out of the Sabbath, when the two are joined, all the love and blessing the Creator put into it for mankind, and leaves in their place only the harsh hand of the law. It puts a dead fly in the ointment, which gives it a “stinking savor” in the place of the odor of Paradise.AMS August 17, 1899, page 512.1

    GEORGE WAMSHINGTON, in the treaty made with Tripoli, declared that “the Government of the United States is not founded, in any sense, upon the Christian religion.” Yet it is common at the present day to hear ministers and others assert that “the perpetuity of American institutions depends upon the maintenance of the American Sabbath.” If this be true, Washington’s fame as a statesman rests upon a delusion.AMS August 17, 1899, page 512.2

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