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    November 2, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 43, p. 673.


    IT doesn’t hurt anybody to be hit hard by the truth.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.1

    GOD has all might, but he never makes might the arbiter of right.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.2

    A Sunday law cannot be separated from the idea of a religious monopoly.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.3

    IN the light of the Golden Rule you will be able to see further and clearer than in any other.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.4

    IT is hard to arouse conscience in even the best of men by an appeal based on nothing better than tradition.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.5

    THE workingman ought to rest on the Sabbath; that is what God says. But God also says that he should rest from a religious motive, and that “whatsoever is not a faith is sin.”AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.6

    THE civil power can at most furnish the church with no better support than a crutch; and the church in calling for and using civil power only proclaims herself a cripple. The divine plan is that the church, through faith shall be strengthened within herself so that she will be as strong as God himself to resist and overcome spiritual foes.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.7

    AMS AN evil principle is the deadly enemy of the man who holds to it, to attack such a principle is no evidence of an unfriendly feeling toward the man, or of lack of charity, but quite the reverse.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.8

    IF force can properly take the place of individual preference in religion, it can properly do the same in all secular affairs; since temporal affairs are of far less moment in any case than are those of eternity and of the soul. But arbitrary force in secular affairs is everywhere recognized as despotic and opposed to the rights of the people. To compel the conscience in any matter, therefore—as in the matter of Sabbath rest—is an act of despotism, and he who upholds it should be ready to apologize for or to justify despotism and all its other forms.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.9

    “Moral Reform Not Political” American Sentinel 14, 43, pp. 673, 674.


    IT IS a fact made plain in many ways at the present time that the churches of the land are aiming to secure moral reforms through politics. They think by this means to advance the cause of the kingdom of Christ, and have visions of an approaching millennium of righteousness and peace which these moral reforms are to usher in. But it ought to be plain from a brief survey of the situation and of the principles involved, that no such reform, by such means, is possible.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.1

    The political field is occupied by two leading parties. These parties hold the political power of the nation, and they are in the nature of things permanent parties. There are and have been many smaller parties, but these have been short-lived and have accomplished nothing beyond an occasional turning of the tide of success from one of the two leading parties to the other. They have made no impression at all in the direction of transferring the political power of the country to a new party. It is a foregone conclusion to-day, and has been for generations back, that the President, the members of Congress and of the State legislatures, the governors, the supreme court justices and other judges, etc., will be Republicans or Democrats. The exceptions to this fixed order of things have been so few as only to make it more conspicuous by their contrast.AMS November 2, 1899, page 673.2

    The only channels, therefore, through which political reforms in the state and nation can come, are those which these parties present. But what hope is there that either of these is to so change its present character as to become the party of moral reforms? Who is to defy the Scripture query and bring a clean thing out of that which is unclean?AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.1

    The following statement by Mayor Jones, of Toledo, who has become a prominent figure in Ohio politics, is to the point in this connection:—AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.2

    “The great political parties in this country have been without a moral issue for the last quarter of a century.... They do not differ in their moral purposes. One is as bad as the other, and both are against the best interests of the greatest number. They are greedy for spoils and plunder. They do not care for social conditions. They do not seek to improve society. They foster nothing so much as place-getting. There is a constant evasion of real issues in the platforms and in the resolutions of public assemblages. No mention is made of the appalling condition of distress which exists among the masses in our cities. Not a word is said about the throngs of unemployed men and women, who are tramping the well-beaten road to beggary and crime. Everywhere in the public utterances of party leaders we hear a soothing and pleasant optimism that is wholly unsupported by the facts of our every-day life.”AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.3

    The two leading parties are friends of the liquor traffic. Over and over again has it been shown that no hope for temperance reform can rest with either of them. The prohibitionists and the W. C. T. U. have long since ceased looking to either for any help to the temperance cause. And what moral reform can be hoped for from a party which is so thoroughly immoral as to favor the traffic in strong drink?AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.4

    Is it not perfectly plain that the most that can be hoped for in politics, as regards moral issues, is a compromise? But a compromise of this class is itself a surrender of moral principle. A compromise between right and wrong is always a defeat for the side of right. Christians cannot compromise with wrong; that is forbidden by Christianity. The devil can be satisfied with a compromise, always; the Lord, never. The Christian church can compromise with the world only by stepping down from the plane of Christianity.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.5

    And just this must be the result to the church if she persists to the end in her purpose to utilize the nation’s political power for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. She herself will be dragged downward, the standard of moral truth and righteousness will be lowered, and the cause for which it stands, instead of being advanced, will suffer great defeat.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.6

    The power of God is the church’s strength and safety; worldly power has always been to her a delusion and a snare.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.7

    “Two Distinct Realms” American Sentinel 14, 43, pp. 674, 675.


    THE new journal, Church and State, claims that the church and state are “one in the moral principles insisted upon, as far as law can regulate conduct.”AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.1

    In this respect this newest advocate of the union of church and state occupies the same old mistaken and fallacious ground that has always characterized, and which must always characterize, all advocacy of the union of church and state. That mistaken and fallacious ground is that the church and the state occupy the same field, but they are essentially one in their purposes.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.2

    Of course, if that were true there would be some reason in their joining themselves together. But nothing can be further from the truth than is that conception of things. The church and state occupy realms as distinct as our day and night.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.3

    The church is spiritual. The principles, the truths, and the work of the church are altogether spiritual. She makes her appeal to men wholly upon spiritual considerations; and appeals all together to the spiritual part of man.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.4

    On the other hand the state is only natural. It occupies only the realm of the natural. The men with whom it deals are natural men. The considerations upon which it proceeds, the principles which are followed by it, and the part of the man with which it deals, are all only natural and of this world only.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.5

    And in crossing the line of separation which, in the nature of things, exists between the church and the state, and mingling the spiritual and the natural—this is where the church always has made her great mistake, and has pleased herself with a most mischievous fallacy. And this is always only the consequence of the church’s becoming herself more natural than spiritual.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.6

    Then having herself become more natural than spiritual, she seeks to influence men by natural considerations. This in itself is a fearful falling away. But the most mischievous part of the thing is that she seeks upon natural considerations and by natural would be means to influence men to spiritual things. This is utterly incongruous.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.7

    The church, claiming to be spiritual and being of right spiritual, has no right whatever to use any but spiritual means with which to influence men in spiritual things. And as the purposes and work of the church are of right only spiritual, it is certain that the church never can of right use any but spiritual means in accomplishing her purposes. To use temporal penalties to accomplish spiritual purposes, to use civil disabilities to secure recognition of moral obligation, is, so far as the church is concerned, simply beating the air; but so far as the people are concerned it is cruel oppression and also absolutely vain.AMS November 2, 1899, page 674.8

    The reason that ecclesiastical rulers in governments are always more oppressive and cruel than are merely civil rulers, is that the ecclesiastic, looking at all obligations of men in a moral and spiritual light, sees these things in a deeper and more intense sense than it is possible for one to see who views the obligations of men only in a natural and civil light. And the ecclesiastical rulers seeing things in a deeper and more intense sense, in enforcing upon natural men by natural means, these obligations as he sees them, he inevitably goes beyond all bounds of natural justice, outrages the sense of justice in men, and is a cruel oppressor who undermines public order.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.1

    For this reason no preacher has any right to sit in his study and exercise devotional functions, until he has attained a high plane of spiritual view, and discerns to an intense spiritual degree the viciousness of vice, and the enormity of sin, and then rush forth to brandish right and left the policeman’s club over mayor and police as well as over those who are sunken in vice and laden without breaking sins. The gross inconsistency of such procedure is so apparent that it offends and repels the very ones who most need help, and would gladly receive help, if help were really offered.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.2

    Every preacher has the right, the divine right, it is indeed by his very profession his bounden duty, by diligent study and the exercise of every devotional function, to attain the highest possible plane of spiritual view and to discern to the most intense degree the enormity of vice and the deadly nature of sin. And when he has done all this then let him, in the depth of intense pity and the greatness and tenderness of divine love, go to the sin-laden and the lost with these SPIRITUAL WEAPONS ONLY. The perfect consistency of this course commends itself to everybody. It wins the confidence, if not the whole hearts, of those who need help, for it is genuine help that is offered. It commands the respect, the confidence, it and even the co-operation of mayor and police in a much easier way and to a far greater extent than it is possible to have in any other way.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.3

    Also on the other hand, on the side of the natural, the civil, all is then consistent. For, men who are merely civil rulers and who have no connection with the ecclesiastical or spiritual things, viewing things in the light of natural justice and civil order, when they enforce obligation or laws as they see it, are always within the bounds of natural justice and equity: the sober sense of justice and equity in the people approves it, and public order is conserved.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.4

    Therefore it is to the vital interest of every member of the state, in the interests of healthy public order, to see to it that no person who is of the church shall ever have anything to do with the affairs of the state. And it behooves every soul who is of the church to see to it that he himself shall hold themselves strictly within the realm of the spiritual, where he professes to belong.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.5

    Only thus can there be the true separation of church and state, which is according to Christianity. Otherwise there is a union of church and state, that inevitably involves untold evils which appear more and more as time may go on.AMS November 2, 1899, page 675.6

    A. T. J.

    “A Dreadful Harvest” American Sentinel 14, 43, p. 679.


    [Extract from an article entitled “The Harvest of Imperialism and Expansion,” by Alonzo T. Jones, in the forthcoming “World’s Harvest” edition of the Signs of the Times, dated November 29.]AMS November 2, 1899, page 679.1


    WHO does not know of the powerful and universal efforts that for years have been made, and are constantly being made, in the United States, even by the professed Protestant denominations, to secure here a firm union of church and state, to have the church power dominate the civil, and use it for her own ends? Who does not know of the dangerous progress that has been already made in this direction? Who does not know that all the branches of the national government—the legislated, the judicial, and the executive—have been officially committed to the union of religion and state in this nation? At the great biennial assembly of the Epworth League, held at Indianapolis last July, representative and official speakers with evident satisfaction recognized that there is even now a union of church and state in this nation.AMS November 2, 1899, page 679.2

    Now, for professed Protestants anywhere to favor a union of church and state, or any recognition of religion by the state, is in itself a confession of apostasy. And for professed Protestants to do such a thing in the United States, where by every principle of its fundamental law the nation is pledged to the complete separation of religion, and particularly the Christian religion, and the state, is even double apostasy.AMS November 2, 1899, page 679.3

    And what of the Republic itself? Is there not apostasy there also? Can the principles and the plain statements of the Declaration of Independence be repudiated and declared to be “falsehood palmed off by the devil upon a credulous world,” as was publicly done in an imperialistic mass-meeting in Chicago, May 7, 1899,—can this be done without apostasy? Can the fundamental principles and precepts of a nation be disregarded and even repudiated by that nation, and those who steadfastly maintain those principles be denounced as traitors, without there being an apostasy of that nation? How could complete national apostasy be more plainly shown than in a nation’s holding as traitors those who steadfastly maintain the fundamental principles of the nation? Yea, how could national apostasy be more plainly shown than in a nation’s taking such a course that those who maintain the fundamental principles of the nation must, in so doing, “antagonize the Government” and incur the charge of treason?AMS November 2, 1899, page 679.4

    Here, then, there is in this nation, as there was in the Roman nation, an apostasy in religion and church, and an apostasy from republicanism to imperialism in the state. And there is being steadily formed and fixed a union of these two apostasies, precisely as there was in the Roman nation. That union in the Roman nation made the Papacy; and this union in this American nation will make the image of the Papacy. And so history does repeat itself after every feature of that ancient great republic, and will so repeat itself unto the end.AMS November 2, 1899, page 679.5

    “Thanksgiving and the Divine Guidance” American Sentinel 14, 43, p. 682.


    THE President has issued the customary annual Thanksgiving proclamation, setting apart November 30 as a day on which he advises that religious exercises “be conducted in the churches and meeting places of all denominations,” and that “prayers may be offered to the Most High for a continuance of the divine guidance.” He also recommends that “so far as may be found practicable, labor shall cease from its accustomed to oil, and charity abound for the sick, the needy, and the poor.”AMS November 2, 1899, page 682.1

    From this point of view, it is evident, all religions in the land that are represented by a congregation, no matter how they may conflict with one another, are considered equally good as a means of approaching the Most High. This impossible state of things must be assumed by the civil executive in order to avoid partiality and the arousing of religious controversy.AMS November 2, 1899, page 682.2

    As regards the divine guidance to be sought, there is no doubt it is greatly needed. But a point which should be kept in mind in connection with this exercise, is that God has already given all men and nations directions for their guidance in his holy Word. It is useless to pray for guidance and not search the Word wherein are laid down the rules of all right conduct. To have exhorted the people to a study of the Scriptures would have been fully consistent with the rest of the proclamation.AMS November 2, 1899, page 682.3

    The Word of God, however, would be searched in vain for any warrant for engaging in war; and if people are really anxious for divine guidance, they can find it abundantly on this point in the teachings of Christ and the apostles. But does the nation want to be guided that way?AMS November 2, 1899, page 682.4

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