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    December 7, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 48, p. 753.


    THE Sabbath that depends upon human laws to insure it, will certainly be lost.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.1

    RELIGIOUS questions should be adjusted in the community by religious forces only.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.2

    “REGARDLESS of consequences” is a vastly better le of conduct than “regardless of conscience.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.3

    THE “Sunday-rest” associations appear to take less rest on Sunday than on any other day of the week.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.4

    IT is a far worse thing to violate justice in the name of law, than to violate laws in the name of justice.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.5

    NO PERSON ever became truly converted without having all desire to invoke the laws of man against any religion.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.6

    WHEN zealous church people take their religion into politics, the natural result is that politics get a religious coloring.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.7

    THE “Christian” sentiment of the community ought not to be distinguished from other sentiment by the civil law.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.8

    THE idea of many reforms that are being sought to-day is that of saving the individual from the sins of others. But God’s idea is to save an individual from his own sins. That is real salvation and real reform.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.9

    AMS THE domain of morality cannot be separate from that of religion, the civil law can as properly require obedience on religious grounds as on moral grounds. Civil government is not qualified to preserve morality, but only to preserve rights.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.10

    “The Principle in the ‘Robert’s Case’” American Sentinel 14, 48, pp. 753, 754.


    The Outlook, in discussing the “Robert’s case,” says with reference to Mr. Roberts’ lately-issued defense:—AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.1

    “He declares that ‘I do not go to Washington as a representative of polygamy.’ Probably not; but if he goes to Washington, he will be a representative of polygamy.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.2

    An important truth is here stated, which is often lost sight of. Whether Mr. Roberts was chosen to Congress in pursuance of a plan to further polygamy in the nation or not, we do not know; but in any case, as a Mormon and believer in polygamy, he will, as The Outlook says, “be a representative of polygamy.” He would favor polygamy in any manner in which as a Congressman he might have opportunity to act, because polygamy is a part of his religious belief. His religion, in short, cannot avoid being represented in his politics.AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.3

    Now let the application of this truth be extended to all classes of religious people. What do they represent, in politics? If Mr. Roberts, going to Congress not as a representative of polygamy, will still represent polygamy, what will Methodists, Catholics, and others, in the like position, represent as regards their respective religious views? If the Catholic, or the Presbyterian, can divest himself wholly of his religious identity, in politics, why should it not be admitted that Mr. Roberts can do the same?AMS December 7, 1899, page 753.4

    Ah, it is easier to recognize a truth when it applies only to other people, than when it is unpalatable to ourselves.AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.1

    There is a wide demand to-day that church people should more actively engage in politics; but this, we are told, would not give politics any religious coloring,—not at all. That would be very undesirable, all admit. People may, and should, it is said, “take their religion into their politics,” yet should not be in politics what they are in the church. But if Mr. Roberts cannot be in politics without representing polygamy, which is his religious belief and practice, how can other church people be in politics without also representing to the same extent their own religious belief and practice?AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.2

    Except in those cases where religion is held only formally, as a mere cloak of respectability, religious people cannot go into politics without giving politics a religious coloring, and making politics, wherever possible, a means to religious in ends. Because, the man in whom religion is a controlling force, the mainspring of his deepest emotions and most earnest endeavors, is a religionist before everything else, in every place. Such people do not go into politics to make politics first, but to make politics the servant of religion. This is true of the priests and prelates of Rome; it is equally true of every zealous religionists, Catholic or Protestant.AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.3

    The loud call that is heard for the church people to engage more earnestly in politics, is not put forth upon the basis of a need of increased vigilance to preserve the rights of the people—which is the only legitimate purpose of political effort. Little is heard in connection with this movement about the necessity of preserving unalienable rights. What it has in view is to guard the public morality—to suppress things that are considered immoral, prominent among which things is the desecration of Sunday. The domain of morality cannot be separated from that of religion; and when the church forces become active in politics for the purpose of improving the public morals, religious controversies will of necessity be fought over in the political arena, and there will be others beside that of which day of the week is the Sabbath. And thus will be fulfilled a prophecy uttered years ago, regarding the outcome of the increasing church activity in politics, that “old [religious] controversies will be revived and new ones will be added; new and old will commingle; and this will take place right early.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.4

    The proper place for the church forces, both for the interests of religion and of the state, is to be out of politics.AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.5

    THE base metal of human nature cannot be transmuted into the pure gold of the divine nature by any human wisdom.AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.6

    “‘Christian Sentiment’ and Civil Law” American Sentinel 14, 48, p. 754.


    A NEW ENGLAND journal states that the town of Sangus, Mass., “has become tired of Sunday golf, and the violators of law feel aggrieved.” The inference to be drawn is that the town has taken some action to suppress the gulf. “The question is,” it is stated further, “whether it is better to permit a few young men to break the laws of the State and outrage the Christian sentiment of the community, or to check lawlessness and protect the vital interests of good citizenship and Christian morality.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.1

    The first and most important question with respect to the law of the State, is whether the law is just. It is a worse thing to violate justice by law than for individuals to violate the law. Justice is a law; and an unjust measure on the statute books involves the whole State in the guilt of law breaking. Ought the State to take sides in a religious controversy by decreeing that Sunday shall be observed as the Christian Sabbath, or Lord’s day? Is the law a just one?AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.2

    And further, it is proper to ask why the “Christian sentiment” of the community is to be distinguished from the sentiment of non-Christians or of Christian dissenters from the prevailing religious sentiment, as something to be guarded by law. Non-Christians stand on an equality with Christians before the law, and the sentiments of the one class are to be respected by the law equally with those of the other class. Some “Christians” have their sentiments outraged by Sunday golf. Other people have their sentiments outraged by a law depriving them of this Sunday recreation, passed in the interests of a religious institution in which they do not believe. Which class is to be favored by the law? Evidently, the law, to be impartial must leave religious questions alone, and let the sentiment of the community be adjusted to religious questions by religious forces only—by conviction and not by compulsion.AMS December 7, 1899, page 754.3

    “Note” American Sentinel 14, 48, p. 755.


    “SUNDAY politics,” says The Defender, “will eventually hang itself if rope enough be given it.” We hope so. The Defender refers to political electioneering on Sunday; but we refer to the far more prominent form of “Sunday politics” which seeks so persistently to bring Sunday up for consideration in Congress and the State legislatures.AMS December 7, 1899, page 755.1

    “Apologists for Slavery and Polygamy” American Sentinel 14, 48, pp. 757, 758.


    THE apologies that are being put forth in this country in behalf of slavery and polygamy, now that these institutions are known to exist in lands subject to the jurisdiction of United States, would be amusing if they did not relate to a serious matter. Here, for example, are some statements from an article contributed to The Independent, on “Slavery and Polygamy in the Sulu Archipelago,” by E. M. Andre, Belgian consul at Manila:—AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.1

    “The slavery which exists on the islands is so different from that which Americans were accustomed to in the South before the war of the rebellion, that it deserves another term to define it. A Moro chief who owns slaves is more like a master who has hired a dozen or two mechanics or laborers by the year to work his place. He has no rights over them, except to see that they work for him, for which he in turn must give them proper food, clothing, shelter, and protection. He has no right to sell them as a man would his cattle, nor are there any slave markets such as were found in this country half a century ago.” (Italics hours.)AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.2

    It is confessed in this that the Sulu slave owner has a “right,” “to see that they [his slaves] work for him.” In other words, he has a “right” to force certain other people of the island to work for him. But the Constitution says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (Italics ours.)AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.3

    That it is a different slavery in some respects from that formerly practised in America, may be true enough; but that is not the point. The point is, that it is directly contrary to the Constitution; and that an institution which is in violation of this fundamental law, and of natural rights, and that has been made doubly odious by the most terrible of civil wars, is not tolerated by the Government, and apologized for in the public press, of this country.AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.4

    Mr. Andre goes on to show that it would be practically impossible to abolish this Sulu slavery; a law prohibiting it “would not change matters materially,” etc. But this if it is so, constitutes no reason for setting aside the Constitution of the United States.AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.5

    Of polygamy in this new American possession the writer speaks thus:—AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.6

    “Polygamy is not as active an institution as some are led to believe. Among the poor it is rarely practised, and the chief incentive among the chiefs is for perpetuating their rule and authority. If the children are born by the first wife, the chief takes another in order that the authority will stay in his family. He does not put away his first wife, but frequently recognizes her only as his lawful wife. Again, it is the one who bears him children which he practically acknowledges. There are no harems such as you find in Turkey and other Oriental countries. The wives of all the freedom to come and go, and are merely required to show due respect to their husband and his family.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 757.7

    Would not this be acceptable to the American people as a basis upon which to allow polygamy in Utah? If not, why say anything in its defense?AMS December 7, 1899, page 758.1

    The fact that it is of most significance in connection with all this, is that such efforts should be made to cast a favorable light upon institutions which in principle are altogether bad. When a thing is bad in principle, the safe and only wise course is to consider its possibilities for evil rather than to paint it in colors which will make it less repulsive.AMS December 7, 1899, page 758.2

    To this defense of the system of slavery and polygamy in Sulu, it is quite fitting that the writer should join the statement that “It would be the means of exciting the enmity of the priests, and in the end it would precipitate one of their bloody ‘holy wars.’ But great good can be accomplished by endeavoring to raise their morals.”AMS December 7, 1899, page 758.3

    From first to last in this movement to extend the national jurisdiction over an alien people wedded to un-American institutions, nothing has been said to encourage gospel missionary effort among that people, but much is being said to discourage it. If it is a movement which does not combine with true gospel work; and that is for the simple reason that it does not harmonize with gospel principles.AMS December 7, 1899, page 758.4

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 14, 48, p. 768.


    THE Filipino “Rebellion” appears to have been at last fully overcome by vigorous efforts that have of late been made by the American forces in Luzon, and this is pointed to by certain papers as a fact which throws ridicule upon the idea that the conquest of the island is not just and right. Such writers plainly show their interest to the principle that “might makes right;” and the establishment of this principle in a nation marks the beginning of that nation’s end.AMS December 7, 1899, page 768.1

    “WITHOUT a civil Sabbath, a religious Sabbath is impossible,” says the Ram’s Horn. Then the “civil Sabbath must have something to do with religion, and the object of preserving the one must be to save the other.AMS December 7, 1899, page 768.2

    But the Sabbath commandment says nothing about a “civil” Sabbath, and the Author of that commandment and of the Sabbath says that a religious Sabbath, for any person, depends only upon whether he will turn his own foot away from the Sabbath and will cease doing his own pleasure on “My holy day.” Isaiah 58:13, 14. And is not that the truth?AMS December 7, 1899, page 768.3

    PROTECTING a divine institution by means of a human law, is much like protecting a granite mountain by surrounding it with a wooden fence.AMS December 7, 1899, page 768.4

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