Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    December 21, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 50, p. 770.


    A “SECULAR” government is simply one that does not interfere with any man’s religion.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.1

    NO RELIGION ever becomes so bad by itself as any religion when it is forced upon people by law.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.2

    THE “divine will in civil affairs” is that we should not render to Cesar the things that belong to God.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.3

    NO MAN can save the Sabbath while he is lost himself; and no man while he is saved can lose the Sabbath.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.4

    THE rights of men are preserved by the laws of men; but a higher law is necessary to preserve the rights of God.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.5

    THE civil law is not designed to supplement the will-power of any person, or to supply a moral deficiency in the makeup of his character.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.6

    THE representatives of the people that are chosen in civil government, are not chosen to represent the people in religion.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.7

    GOD has promised to write his name upon men, and his law in their hearts; but he has never promised to write either of these in the Constitution or any other document of state. Men may write God’s name there; but it will be a forgery unless written by God himself.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.8

    THAT which is human can be upheld by that which is divine; but human things cannot serve as a foundation for things divine, nor do the latter need the support of the human arm.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.9

    IT is useless for the legislature to say, “Let there be goodness in the place of evil in this community,” by enacting “moral” laws. Fiat morality is a far worse humbug than fiat money. There is One who alone has power to say, “Let there be righteousness in the place of iniquity;” and that One is He who by His word created light in the place of darkness.AMS December 21, 1899, page 770.10

    “N. R. Convention Notes and Comment” American Sentinel 14, 50, pp. 785-787.


    IN our report of the National Reform convention given last week, some things were merely recorded which should not be passed over without comment. So we give this week the following additional notes, which will outline more fully the nature and scope of this “reform” movement, as revealed on this occasion:—AMS December 21, 1899, page 785.1

    “We must aim to make our new possessions Christian states. There has been in those places a union of church and state, and this has been most harmful to both the church and state.”—Rev. D. D. Willson [sic.].AMS December 21, 1899, page 785.2

    Yes; “our new possessions” have had in them a union of church and state, which has been “most harmful,” as such unions always are. And under this union they have been Catholic “Christian states.” Is this therefore a reason why “we” should make them some other kind of “Christian states?” Which religion would you rather the state would enforce? Is not one religion, when it is forced upon people by law, just as bad as another?AMS December 21, 1899, page 785.3

    “ALL the reforms we seek are in the political sphere, and require the action of the state.”—Rev. R. C. Wiley.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.1

    But religious reforms do not require the action of the state; and when the state does undertake a religious reform there is of necessity a union of church and state; which is what the National Reform movement will certainly bring.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.2

    ANOTHER strange thing the Rev. Mr. Wylie said was that a constitutional recognition of God and of Christianity “would guard against a union of church and state.” The National Reformers, he said, had been charged with seeking a union of church and state; but they had never wanted any such thing. So he proceeded to show how, as he had stated, the National Reform movement really sought to guard against the union of church and state, and provided the only effective way of preventing it. If the state remained secular, he said, as the church and religion grew more prominent, the time would come when a bargain would be made between the church and the secular state, and that would be a union of church and state, and very harmful. (They were all agreed that a union of church and state is a bad thing.) But if the state would acknowledge God and make his law the basis of civil legislation, and set a standard of morality and have national and state legislation, and court decisions, conform to it,—if in short the nation should enforce by its laws the moral standard which is maintained by the church and enforced by church discipline,—that would not be a union of church and state. Do you see the point? We don’t.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.3

    “IT is a scientific fact that the physical system requires one seventh of the time for rest.”—Rev. D. J. Burrell.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.4

    Advocates of Sunday laws are very fond of making this assertion, but they never spend any time in demonstrating that it is a scientific fact, or quote scientific authority in its support. If it is a scientific fact, it ought to be susceptible of conclusive proof.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.5

    But they claim still more than this; for not only does the physical system demand rest one day in seven, but that particular day must be Sunday! They have no use for this “scientific fact” only so far as it will support a Sunday law.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.6

    “The nation is a moral being, responsible to God for its character and conduct.”—Rev. J. M. Foster.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.7

    This idea is fundamental in the National Reform conception of government. And it is altogether false and misleading. “But,” some one may ask, “does not the Bible say, ‘The nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee [God] shall perish’? And how can the nation be responsible for serving the Lord, if it is not a moral being?”AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.8

    We answer, The nation is accountable to God, only in the sense of all the people composing the nation are individually, and each for himself, accountable to God. As a political personality, exercising authority over all individuals within it and having relations with other political powers, the nation is not a moral being, for the simple plain reason that, as such, it must act through representatives of the people, and one person cannot represent others in religion. Moral responsibility cannot be delegated. The official of the civil government, so far as accountability to God is concerned, represents only himself. To their representatives the people delegate their power to enforce respect for their rights. They cannot delegate their accountability to the moral law. In religion, we have one Representative; we can have only one and we need but one; and that one is the “one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.9

    “The first Colonial Charter, issued by James I., expressed the Christian character and purpose of the colony; it declared the relation of the civil government to God.”—Rev. R. C. Wiley.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.10

    And that is precisely the reason why Baptists were whipped and Quakers hung, under those Colonial Charters, by law. We want no charters or constitutions now under which it will be legal to follow the example set by the early Puritans.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.11

    “I WISH God’s name was in the Constitution. That is what we all wish. But the next best thing is to see that his name and his love and his law are in the hearts of the people.” (Italics ours).—Rev. D. J. Burrell.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.12

    This hardly needs any comment. The idea that to have God’s name in the Constitution would be better than to have his name, his law, and is love in the hearts of the people, is one that speaks volumes against the movement for which Mr. Burrell was speaking.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.13

    “IN one New England colony there was a law fining all people one shilling for absence from the services on Sunday, and if they were absent from both services on Sunday, they were fined one pound; and for being absent a whole month the fine was twenty pounds. If we had a similar law in force to-day we would soon have the coffers of the church is filled.”—Rev. J. M. Foster.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.14

    No doubt; but we say the churches must fill their coffers some other way.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.15

    “THE Sunday paper is strongly influential in decreasing attendance from Sunday worship.”—Rev. H. H. George.AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.16

    This may be true; but if so, is it the fault of the Sunday paper, or of the Sunday sermon—which is deliverered in the fashionable church of to-day? Is it not a fact that the “progressive” church of this day tries to compete with worldly institutions in providing attractions for world-loving people? And has such a church any right to complain if in the competition it is beaten by the Sunday paper, or by any other of its rivals? Has the church any right to demand Sunday laws to shut off competition?AMS December 21, 1899, page 786.17

    “THE divine will is supreme in civil affairs.”—Rev. R. C. Wiley.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.1

    Very well; the divine will, as expressed by Jesus Christ, is, “Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.2

    “WE must refuse to buy any paper during the week that publishes a Sunday edition, and we should refuse to trade with people who advertise in Sunday papers.”—Rev. H. H. George.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.3

    “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of is name.” Revelation 13:16, 17.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.4

    “THE written Constitution should be in harmony with the unwritten constitution, which holds to the kingship of Jesus Christ.”—Rev. R. C. Wiley.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.5

    There is no “unwritten constitution” in the American Government. Congress—the nation—can take no action not warranted by the written Constitution. This is a plain fact of American Constitutional law.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.6

    IF the national constitution contains a recognition of the kingship of Jesus Christ, said the Rev. Mr. Wiley, “it would furnish a basis for righteous decisions by the courts,” and would also “furnish a basis for excluding immoral men from Congress.”AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.7

    Undoubtedly it would furnish a basis for decisions of the courts, and we would have religious court decisions. And that would make this a religious instead of a civil government. And so to excluding immoral man from Congress, this proposed change in the Constitution would exclude all dissenters not only from Congress, but from any place in the Government. “We, the people of the United States,” would not include them at all.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.8

    “WE must hold up a moral standard and let everything be conformed to that standard.”—Rev. D. J. McAllister.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.9

    What moral standard must be held up,—man standard? or God’s standard? We say God’s moral standard is the only right moral standard, and that this standard is not to be interpreted by one man for another, or for the people by the legislatures or the courts; but for each individual, by the Word and Spirit of God.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.10

    “IF the Sunday newspaper were discontinued, 200,000 newsboys in the United States would be freed from Sunday toil.”—Rev. M. B. Kneeland.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.11

    The newsboys do not have to sell papers on Sunday unless they want to. If we are not much mistaken, the average newsboy is glad of the opportunity to earn something by selling papers on that day.AMS December 21, 1899, page 787.12

    “Salvation by Sunday Laws” American Sentinel 14, 50, p. 790.


    IN a sermon delivered by the pastor of a Portland, Me., church, recently, against some people of the city who observe the seventh day, the speaker said:—AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.1

    “We should co-operate with the Sabbath Protective League of Boston, which has done much. I am only waiting for them to get a hand into Maine for them to stop some things; for example, the electrics which run regularly, the drug stores in full blast, restaurants, etc. On the streets we see men at work on Sunday. We are drifting, drifting. The time is coming when no Sunday man will be sure of his rest.AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.2

    “If the Christian Sabbath goes down then the church goes; and when the church goes civilization goes. We better hold on to the Sabbath.”AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.3

    But how does this clergyman propose to stop all this? Oh, he will invoke the arm of the civil power; he will have the laws enforced; shutting up the drug stores and restaurants, stopping the electric cars, etc. This will save the Sabbath; and the Sabbath in turn will save the church, and the church will save civilization.AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.4

    All then that saves the church, or that saves civilization, according to this clergyman’s conception, is the law of the State for the observance of Sunday. Is not this the conclusion that must be drawn from his affirmations?AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.5

    But what Sabbath will be saved by the Sunday laws? and what church will be saved by the saving of the sabbath? What sabbath and what church will be saved by this man-made instrument of salvation? Will it not necessarily be a man-made sabbath and a man-made church? Certainly it cannot be the Sabbath of God’s eternal law; for if that Sabbath should be lost the fourth commandment would be lost, a great breach would be made in the Decalogue, and Christ would be a false witness for declaring that not a jot or a tittle of the law should ever fail. Nor can it be the Christian Church that would be lost; for that church is declared to be the “body of Christ;” and surely the body of Christ is not joined to the Head by the state laws.AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.6

    The true Sabbath and the Christian Church are essential to the highest civilization; but as the former are independent of Sunday laws, so likewise is the latter. Nowhere in history is this contradicted by the testimony of events.AMS December 21, 1899, page 790.7

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 14, 50, p. 800.


    THE state is not a personality bound by the moral law, and cannot be, for the reason that the state is bound to execute the law. We, as moral beings, are bound to keep the moral law, but to execute it—never! Yet the state, if it should attempt to keep that law would necessarily attempt to execute it; since to execute the law is the special purpose for which the state exists, and the only way in which the state can deal with law at all. Individual keeping of the moral law and state keeping of that law, are two vastly different things.AMS December 21, 1899, page 800.1

    “NOT by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” This is what the AMERICAN SENTINEL has been saying to the people who have been and are yet calling for legislation to reform society. In this week we print an article showing what we mean by quoting the Scripture texts, and that we are not talking impracticable theories. It is the SENTINEL’S design not only to talk this text, but to illustrate it; and the article in this issue is only the first of many which it hopes to publish to that end the coming year.AMS December 21, 1899, page 800.2

    THE command to observe the Sabbath was not spoken to government, but to individuals. National Sabbath-keeping depends wholly upon individual Sabbath-keeping.AMS December 21, 1899, page 800.3

    “HE that regardeth the day [the Sabbath], regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.” So wrote the Apostle Paul. In either case, the responsibility is to God and not to the man.AMS December 21, 1899, page 800.4

    Larger font
    Smaller font