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    November 16, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 45, p. 705.


    WHEN the voice of the church is heard in the halls of legislation, it is silent in the courts of heaven.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.1

    CHRISTIANITY makes good men; and good men are the greatest need in all countries, at all times.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.2

    A LAW enforcing a religious observance, though it be a “dead letter,” is a seed from which may grow the tall tree of church-and-state union.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.3

    A RULE of “Christian citizenship” is that a man ought to vote as he prays: but earthly politics affords no chance for a vote that is up to the level of Christian prayer.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.4

    THE church will seek in vain for power to reform the world, outside of that “upper room” where the disciples are fitted to receive “power from on high.” There is no such room in the halls of state.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.5

    A LEGISLATURE may pass laws to enforce a command of God, but only God can give an adequate reason for obedience, or provide the power necessary to keep his law. Without God’s reason in God’s power, there can be no true obedience to him; and with these there can be no need of any aid from human power or wisdom.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.6

    THE reason why the world speedily went to the bad after the fall, is clearly stated in the first chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, and no Christian can have any doubt that the causes there assigned are the true ones. But there is given no hint that legislation could have reformed society after its lapse from right doing, or could even have stayed the tide of moral degeneration.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.7

    GOD would rather an individual should do wrong, than be forced to do right. There can indeed be no such thing as forced righteousness, for all righteousness must be of faith. And therefore no human law can command righteousness, and obedience to any human command is not righteousness according to the divine standard. Force is proper only in securing respect for personal rights.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.8

    “Christians and Good Citizens” American Sentinel 14, 45, pp. 705, 706.


    IN Jersey City, on a recent Sunday, the pastor of the First Congregational Church preached on the subject “Why Some Christians Ignore Politics,” and arrive at some remarkable conclusions, according to the published report.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.1

    “Many Christians,” he said, “are poor citizens. They are forever talking about the kingdom of God, but they forget that it is to be on earth, and that good government in our cities tends mightily to promote it.”AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.2

    We greatly doubt this alleged forgetfulness on the part of “many Christians,” because we doubt whether they ever learned the doctrines in question. Certainly they never learned them from the authoritative source of Christian knowledge—the Word of God.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.3

    From that Word we learn that the kingdom of God is even now on the earth, but that it is a spiritual kingdom, one that “cometh not with observation,” as do the political kingdoms of earth. An attempt to set up the kingdom of God by earthly agencies, like “good government,” is an attempt to make the kingdom of God come with “observation,” or outward show, like an earthly kingdom, contrary to this declaration of the Scripture.AMS November 16, 1899, page 705.4

    “The kingdom of God is within you,” said Jesus to his disciples. Luke 17:20, 21. The body of the believer is the temple of God; his heart is the throne of God. In him and through him is done the will of God, and only where the will of God is done—only where God reigns—does the kingdom of God exist. The kingdom of God is not yet a visible kingdom on the earth because no where on the earth, save in the lives of the scattered believers, is the will of God done. The visible separation between the few who do his will and the many who resist his will, is not yet made, and must be made before the kingdom of God can be manifested as a visible kingdom of power and glory, as it is finally to be in the earth.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.1

    Now how can an individual “promote” the kingdom of God by being a “good citizen”? In other words—for this is what is meant by “good citizen”—how can he promote the kingdom of God by taking an active part in politics? Is the kingdom of God to be set up on the earth by a vote? No person who affirms this can have read Scripture to any purpose.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.2

    No theme is more prominent in the sacred Word than that of the coming of Jesus Christ, as a king, visibly, with power and “great glory,” attended by the angels of heaven, to the earth, in the sight of all the nations. This is to be the end of the world. And what have “good government” and the ballot to do with this?AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.3

    In one of his parables—that of the sower—the Saviour describes the process by which the kingdom of God is to be truly promoted in the earth. He declares that the preaching of the Word is the sowing of the seed mentioned in the parable, some of which falls upon poor ground and is lost, while other falls upon good ground, where it springs up and bears fruit, which is for the kingdom of God. What have voting in politics to do with this? In another parable Jesus said that with the good seed that is sown, the enemy of all goodness sows “tares,” which spring up and grow together with the wheat, until the harvest, of which he says, “The harvest is the end of the world.” He says that when the harvest is come, “the Son man shall send forth his angels,” and they “shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity,” to burn them up.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.4

    This is the way God is appointed to purify society and set up his kingdom visibly in the earth, and in it there is no suggestion of any political agency. The work is done now by the sowing of the seed—the preaching of the Word—which springs up and bears fruit in the heart that is sanctified by faith; and finally, when all is ripe for the harvest, God himself will separate the tares from the wheat—the wicked from the just—by the agencies of heaven; and that separation will last forever. The wicked will be no more, and the meek will inherit the earth; but the man who has been looking to politics and “good government” to see the kingdom of God come forth and be set up in the earth, will find that he has looked in altogether the wrong direction. The greatest event of earthly history will take him by surprise, and he will fall before it.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.5

    To the Christian, the voice of duty calls to activity in sowing the good seed of the divine Word, from which is to come the grain from the heavenly garner. This, to the Christian, is all-important, and without it he would not be doing the best that he knows. And if this is incompatible with good citizenship, he must be content to be called a poor citizen. But the greatest need of the world to-day, as always, is the need of good men; and if “good citizens” are a different class from good men, the country’s need of “good citizenship” has been vastly overstated. The Christian must first and before all things be a Christian; and if Christianity be true he is doing in this way the utmost that any man can do for the establishment of that good government for which the earth has groaned since time began.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.6

    “The Constitution, and Slavery in the Philippines” American Sentinel 14, 45, pp. 706-708.


    THE exposure of the provisions of the treaty made by the United States with the Sultan of the Sulus, by which polygamy and slavery both exist in places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, has called forth replies from responsible sources.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.1

    That there is considerable sensitiveness on the subject is evident from these replies. That the compromising situation into which the nation has been thrown by this arrangement, is plainly enough discerned is certain; and that it is felt to be indefensible is also plain from the limping and even self-contradictory defenses that are offered.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.2

    For a cabinet officers reported as having stated that—AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.3

    “It is absolutely false that this Government has recognized slavery or contemplates giving such recognition. Slavery is distinctly forbidden by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and cannot be permitted in any place under American jurisdiction. In the Southern Pine Islands and among the Sulus there is slavery; but as soon as peace is restored in Luzon, arrangements will be made for freeing the slaves and preventing such bondage in the future.”AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.4

    That is an interesting statement, under all the circumstances. First, it is declared to be “absolutely false” that the United States has recognized slavery in the Sulus. Yet, about the same time that this statement was made, President Schurman, of the Philippine Commission, not only admitted that slavery is recognized by the United States under the bargain with the Sultan of the Sulus, but proceeded to give explanations as to what must be so. President Schurman being one of the agents through whom the arrangement was made, his words are conclusive that it is not “absolutely false,” nor false at all.AMS November 16, 1899, page 706.5

    Next the Constitution is quoted as proof that there is no slavery in the Sulus. That is, because the Constitution says that slavery shall not exist in a place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the Sulus are subject to this jurisdiction, therefore there is no slavery in the Sulus! It is so merely because the Constitution says so.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.1

    Yet that it is not so is confessed in the very next sentence, saying, “In the Southern Pine Islands, and in the Sulus, there is slavery.” Whether it is recognized or not, it is confessedly there. Therefore, confessedly, slavery does exist in places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States: and this, confessedly, in spite of the Constitution which declares that it shall not so exist. And all this by a bargain made, and under the Administration, of men who take an oath to support the Constitution.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.2

    Another defense is that provision is made in the treaty by which the slaves can buy their freedom. But no one has offered any explanation of how a slave is to buy his freedom when he possesses nothing and never received anything of his own, when himself with all that he ever can have is absolutely his masters. If that is to be the surety against slavery under the jurisdiction of the United States, then it is quite certain that slavery will always exist there.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.3

    Another defense, this one put forth by the Chicago Times-Herald, proceeds upon President Schurman’s explanation and confesses not only that there is slavery there, but that it must continue unmolested except by “the leaven of civilization.” This may seem surprising, and it is; but that it is true, all may read for themselves. Here is the editorial from the Times-Herald, of November 2:—AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.4


    “The possible continuance of slavery and polygamy in the Sulu Islands under our arrangement with the Sultan has provoked a storm of hostile criticism. Moreover, ... a large part of it proceeds from non-political sources.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.5

    “It is undoubtedly abhorrent to the general sentiment of the country that either slavery or polygamy should be tolerated beneath the American flag. The great war which liberated the negro is held to have been a culminating sacrifice which should make human bondage inadmissible wherever our sovereignty is established, and the present vigorous campaign against the seating of Roberts, of Utah, in Congress, demonstrates the intense feeling against the custom of plural marriages, which is equally repugnant whether it is observed by Mohammedan or Mormon. No religious guise can change its essential immorality.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.6

    “The outcry over the Sulu agreement is, therefore, perfectly intelligible. But President Schurman, of the Philippines commission, meets it with a conclusive answer. First, he considers our actual legal rights, and says truly that we have none except such as were bequeathed to us by Spain. But Spain was bound by promises not to interfere with the religion or customs of the islands, and if we ignore those promises we shall have to acquire a new title by conquest. This, we may add, would be a ‘war of aggression’ with a vengeance. It would create an entirely new situation and class us unequivocally among land-grabbing nations.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.7

    “The dilemma forces us to review once more the proper scope of the colonial policy which can never be successful unless the most scrupulous regard is had for local beliefs, prejudices, traditions, and customs. If we are not disposed to acknowledge that such perplexities as they give rise to are inevitable and not to be overcome by an autocratic fiat, then we are not prepared for the mission that is plainly implied in the scheme of expansion. We might as well own to failure now.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.8

    “But are the circumstances of the case such as to drive us to this confession? Can we not adapt ourselves to new obligations as other countries have done? Surely that is impossible, if we have the practical genius and the common sense which we boast and with which we are generally credited.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.9

    “The error of the critics consists in their overlooking the responsibilities which are ours legitimately, and in their insisting upon a moral responsibility which does not of right belong to us. We have to accept the Sulu Islands as we find them. Their are bad customs are our inheritance, but not our fault. No other nation can charge us with them, and when we come to take up the problem of reform we should attempt its solution after the most promising methods. We must work slowly, and, as President Schurman says, through “the leaven of civilization.”AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.10

    “Gradually we may bring about the desired change, and the gain will be the island’s gain, our own, and the world’s. But arbitrary measures would lead to a long and fierce religious and race war, and the abandonment of the group would consign it to eternal anarchy and barbarism. Can there be any doubt as to which is the best of the three policies that are suggested?”AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.11

    From this it is manifest also that it is understood and intended that a colonial policy can be followed by the United States, only by following the example of other countries. But in a double sense this cannot be done without abandoning the Constitution.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.12

    First, because other colonizing countries have not written constitutions. Precedent, that which they have done, being the only obligation upon them, they can easily enough and consistently adapt themselves to “local believes, prejudices, traditions and customs” in their colonies. And to say that the United States should or can follow their example, is at once to argue that this nation must abandon its written Constitution and proceed only on precedent, and that the precedent of other countries!AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.13

    Secondly: It cannot be done without abandoning the Constitution; because a colonial policy after the example of other countries can be followed only by the recognition of local customs and institutions which the Constitution expressly prohibits. And since the Constitution prohibits such local customs and institutions as slavery, which the colonial policy must recognize or else plunge the nation into a religious and race war of conquest, it is certain that if the colonial policy is followed the Constitution must go. And since it is settled by those who are the responsible ones, that the colonial policy must be followed, it is by them just as certainly settled that in all the colonial region the Constitution does not apply.AMS November 16, 1899, page 707.14

    And all this is being steadily carried on before the eyes of all the people, and is really expected to be popular!AMS November 16, 1899, page 708.1

    It is no wonder that the most of the “hostile criticism” of this polygamy and slavery embroglio comes from “non-political sources.” Because these non-political sources of which the SENTINEL is one, not being cumbered with the demands of policy, treat the matter from the standpoint of principle only—the fundamental principle of free and enlightened government before the world.AMS November 16, 1899, page 708.2

    A. T. J.

    “The ‘Essence’ of Christian Citizenship” American Sentinel 14, 45, p. 709.


    THE editor of Church and State, are formerly the Christian Citizen, says that “to stand with the administration on this ground is, to our conception, the very essence of Christian Citizenship,” and then states the “ground” to which he has reference by quoting this from The Outlook:—AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.1

    “The responsibility for the protection of person and property in the Philippines having fallen in our hands, we could not rid ourselves of that responsibility by the resolve ‘to pull out some dark night in escape from the great problem of the Orient as suddenly and as dramatically as we got into it.’ It was not the duty of the Good Samaritan to leave his business and to devote his life to hunting for wounded travelers; but when the wounded traveler’s cry came to his ears, it brought a duty of humanity with it. The events of the war laid both Cuba and the Philippines and our pathway; to pass by on the other side and leave them to their fate because it is not for our interest to set them on their feet would be only one degree less criminal than to participate in the original robbery. We are to ask ourselves, not what is our interest, but what is our duty, and the answer to that question is plain now, as it was plain six months ago: it is to protect life and liberty, preserve order, suppress violence, establish justice founded upon law; in short, to secure ‘in both Cuba and the Philippines a substantial government.’”AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.2

    Is this the Christian citizenship conception of the Good Samaritan—a conception which would make him attack the victim of the robbers, and wound him still further, before doing anything for his relief? What value would there have been in that terrible if the Good Samaritan had been pictured in that light, or had been described as making a deal with the robbers for the possession of what the victim happened to have left?AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.3

    Christian Citizenship says, in this quotatation [sic.], that it is the duty of American Christians to “protect life and property in the Philippines—how?—By shooting people and burning up their towns! It is “to preserve order” and “suppress violence”—how?—By using violence upon the people, in the way best calculated to produce disorder! It is “to establish justice founded upon law”—how?—By denying justice, as defined in the Declaration of Independence and founded on the American Constitution! It is to secure there “substantial government” by erecting a military despotism!AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.4

    We have seen it stated that killing people in battle is compatible with Christianity, and people professing Christianity go to battle excusing their action on the ground that Christianity does not absolutely forbid it. But it has remained for “Christian Citizenship” to justify the slaughter of military combats as being not only a civic but a Christian duty. For—to repeat—it “is the very essence of Christian Citizenship” to “stand with the Administration on this ground.”AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.5

    Surely, it is an extraordinary kind of Christian duty to which the worst criminals take more readily than do any other class—this “Christian” duty of killing people! If this belongs to the essence of “Christian Citizenship,” then plainly “Christian Citizenship” is essentially anti-Christian.AMS November 16, 1899, page 709.6

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 14, 45, p. 720.


    THE idea that Christians should not engage in politics is to some good people quite horrifying. What! the best people in the land withdraw and let the country’s politics be run by the very worst! Dreadful! What would become of the government! etc. The thought brings up in their minds pictures of anarchy, barbarism, and governmental chaos.AMS November 16, 1899, page 720.1

    But, good friends, the truth is the government would not be affected at all by the withdrawal of Christians from politics; for the simple reason that real Christians in this country—or in any country—are too scarce to make any impression, politically, upon the government. Real Christian people have not been running the government at all; it is the bad people who have been running it all the time. Anybody who denies this must be prepared to prove that Christians in this country are in the majority, in defiance of all statistics and the commonest facts of observation.AMS November 16, 1899, page 720.2

    THE important question is not, Shall there be an extension of American territory? but shall there be an extension of American principles of government? An extension of the former by conquest means a fearful narrowing of the latter.AMS November 16, 1899, page 720.3

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