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

    May 4, 1899

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 14, 18, p. 273.


    IN a really free government all things are subordinate to the individual.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.1

    THE church’s power for good is not the power of federation, but the power of godliness.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.2

    THE man who can’t keep Sunday without a Sunday law doesn’t want to keep it very much.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.3

    A CIVIL government may profess Christianity, but the only religion it can practice is a religion of force.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.4

    THE State can depend upon the individual conscience; but the individual cannot depend on the State conscience.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.5

    RELIGIOUS error never meets truth without getting very much “disturbed;” but truth is always calm and unprovoked.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.6

    A NATION’S prosperity is not measured by the might of its armies and navies, but by the number of blessings enjoyed by the people under its government.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.7

    ANY Christian who will spend the Sabbath in the company of the Lord will not be disturbed by all the secular business that can be going on in the world.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.8

    JESUS CHRIST has shed all the blood that needs to be shed to insure the full success of Christianity.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.9

    THE pretended “successors of Peter” have withdrawn the sword which Peter sheathed at the command of Christ in Gethsemane; but Christ’s command has never been withdrawn.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.10

    NEARLY all the States agree that the Sabbath must be “preserved,” but nearly all differ—as the statute books show—in their recipes for preserving it. Would it not be well to determine the correct recipe before carrying “Sabbath” legislation further?AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.11

    “Ancient History Repeated in Pennsylvania” American Sentinel 14, 18, pp. 273, 274.


    THE “federation of churches,” in alliance with the Amalgamated Association of Iron Workers, at Pittsburg, Pa., are pushing steadily forward in the joint enterprise of securing Sunday closing in mills and factories. The latest word on the subject comes in a press item from Pittsburg stating that “committees representing the mill men and the local clergy met yesterday afternoon in the office of the Amalgamated Association to devise plans for stopping Sunday work in the mills.”AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.1

    At the mass meetings held recently in Pittsburg to further this project, president Shaffer of the labor union, with other speakers, referred to certain mills in the State which are being operated on Sundays. Most prominent among these are the Carnegie mills and the Johnstown mills. These mills were referred to in terms of severe denunciation. They were to be made the special objects of attack by the church and labor combination.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.2

    It has been mentioned as a singular fact that a great labor organization, like this “Amalgamated Association” in Pennsylvania, should undertake to enforce the Sunday laws. It is the first time such a thing was ever known. A correspondent in that State, referring to the matter, says: “I was a member of different labor unions for twenty years, but I never before heard of one professing religion.” It is a strange thing, and as significant as it is strange.AMS May 4, 1899, page 273.3

    But there is a fact in connection with this that has not been mentioned, but which is vastly important; namely, the mills which are to be severely disciplined by the church and labor confederation are non-union mills. Is there any connection between the labor union’s alliance with the church force, and the union’s desire to discipline the non-union mills?AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.1

    There is a chapter of ancient history which can be very profitably read in connection with this account. And singularly enough, that, like this chapter of modern history, relates to the enforcement of Sunday laws. That chapter takes us back to the time of the Roman emperor Constantine.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.2

    In Constantine’s time the professors of Christianity had become a powerful party in the empire. Constantine, who was above all things else a diplomat, saw that this power was essential to his security upon the throne. He determined to profess Christianity. Upon this point Constantine said:—AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.3

    “My father revered the Christian God, and uniformly prospered; while the emperors who worshipped the heathen gods, died a miserable death; therefore, that I may enjoy a happy life and reign, I will imitate the example of my father, and join myself to the cause of the Christians, who are growing daily, while the heathen are diminishing.” 1Schaff, “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. III. 2, par. 15.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.4

    In 321 A.D., just before his profession of Christianity, Constantine enacted a Sunday law,—the first Sunday law ever framed, and the beginning of all the Sunday legislation that has been passed through the centuries from his time down to the present. That law commanded people in the cities and towns to rest on “the venerable day of the sun,” but left people in the country places free to do Sunday work as usual.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.5

    After his profession of Christianity, Constantine added to what he had done as a pagan emperor, in giving his sanction to Sunday observance; and, says the historian, “By a law of the year 386, these older changes effected by the emperor Constantine were more rigorously enforced; and, in general, civil transactions of every kind of Sunday were strictly forbidden.”—Neander.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.6

    The bishops of the church in Constantine’s day had become divided over points of doctrine, and there was a violent struggle between the opposing factions for the supremacy. By their disputes, says the historian, they made themselves dependent upon the emperor. Each faction sought alliance with the imperial power. They wanted the help of Constantine and the civil power; and Constantine, on the other hand, wanted the help of the church’s powerful influence in carrying out his plans as emperor. Each side say the opportunity for an alliance which would be to their mutual benefit; and accordingly the thing was done. Constantine, quite naturally, took sides with the most powerful faction.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.7

    This alliance continued after Constantine’s death, and grew stronger and stronger; and the legal channel through which the civil power came into the hands of the church was the Sunday laws. Neander, the church historian, after enumerating the Sunday laws and edicts from the first one by Constantine down to a century later, says of them, “In this way the church received help from the state for the furtherance of her ends.” 2See Neander’s “History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Vol. II., sec. 3, part 2, div. 3.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.8

    When the church is allied with the state, state and church have each a purpose of their own to serve by the alliance. That is the way it has always been, and will be until human nature changes.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.9

    The secular unions of the present day represent the civil power. They are beginning to ally themselves with the church unions. They will have a purpose of their own in this, and the church will have a purpose of her own. Each lends its aid to the other; and in this way the weapon of civil power will again be placed in the hands of the church.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.10

    That is what is coming; and that is the sinister meaning of what is seen to-day in the alliance of church and state forces.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.11

    “A Self-Erected Obstacle” American Sentinel 14, 18, pp. 274, 275.


    IN the Evangelist, Prof. Warren Clark writes upon “The Great Obstacle to the Progress of Christianity in Heathen Countries.” He declares this great obstacle to be “the inconsistency of Christians.” Yet, when we come to read his article, this “inconsistency of Christians” is not indeed the inconsistency of those who profess to be Christians; but that which is counted the inconsistency of the people who are not Christians at all, in their going from what are called Christian lands to what are called heathen countries, and acting there in a way unbecoming to Christians.AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.1

    He says that “to veterans long on the field [of missionary work in heathen lands] the ingenuity is taxed to know how to answer the questions of heathen converts, as to why these rich and wealthy people from Christian lands are indifferent to all religion.” He speaks of having taken from Japan “two of our most earnest Christian converts on a visit to the foreign resident quarter of Yokohama,” when “the first thing they saw in front of the English Episcopal Church, was a drunken British ‘tar,’ assaulting an equally intoxicated American sailor, and both of them were being arrested by a heathen Japanese policeman!” Further, he mentions a Japanese student whom he met in London, and with whom he went around to see “the sights of the metropolis,” and, “returning at night along the Strange, the evidences of drunkenness and licentiousness were so glaring, as to put to blush anything I had ever seen in any ‘heathen’ country, and my Japanese companion (whom I had been trying to convert to Christianity) was dumb with surprise and horror. ‘Is not this the capital of the greatest Christian empire in the world?’ he asked. ‘Did you ever see such wickedness in heathen Tokio?’ ‘No,’ was the only answer I could give. ‘Then why don’t your churches convert these degraded men and women here in London? You need not send missionaries ten thousand miles to find the heathen when they are at your very doors. Before I left Japan,’ he continued, ‘our consular agent advised me against the immoralities of London, and warned me against the temptations in this great Christian city!’”AMS May 4, 1899, page 274.2

    The great mistake of all this is in speaking of Britain, America, etc., as Christian lands, and of London, New York, and the like, as Christian cities. There is no such thing in the world as a Christian country, nor even a Christian city. Only those are Christians who individually and decidedly choose Christ as their life, their all in all. Whoever does not do this is as certainly a heathen as is any person in any heathen land or heathen city, who does not make such a choice of Christ. But to count these countries Christian countries when they are not such at all, and to give the people in heathen countries the idea that these are Christian countries indeed, according to the Christianity which is preached to them, and which alone they can look upon as Christianity, and then blame these people with inconsistency in not being Christians in those heathen lands when they never thought of being Christians in their own “Christian” land—this is the greatest inconsistency of all. It is an utter misleading of the people in those so-called heathen lands. And when the missionaries themselves so mislead the people in heathen lands, they themselves are the ones who are responsible for this “great obstacle to the progress of Christianity in heathen countries.” And they cannot in justice wonder that the people in heathen lands are caused to question the power and virtue of Christianity when the missionaries themselves give the people in heathen lands to understand that these others are “Christian countries,” and when they teach those people to expect Christianity in the people of these “Christian countries” and “Christian cities,” when in fact the vast majority of these people make no pretensions to Christianity and care nothing for it whatever.AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.1

    There is a way for the missionaries out of this difficulty; but it is not by complaining of the inconsistency of Christians, when the people of whom they complain any more heathenish than the heathen, and are in no way connected with Christianity. The true way out of the dilemma is to get down to the truth of Christianity upon its true foundation: that Christianity is an individual thing, and that the only Christians that there ever can be, whether in America, in England, in Japan or in China, are those people who, as individuals, have chosen, in the true Christian way, Christ as their portion forever; and along with this recognize also the truth that every person who does not do this, is a heathen, whether he be an American, a Japanese, a Britisher, or a Chinese.AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.2

    This conception of things would also amongst the missionaries and all Christians, break down at once all national lines and race distinctions. Then the people of no country would stand any higher in the estimation of no country would stand any higher in the estimation of the missionary than those of any other country; because, not having accepted Christ, all being heathen, and the missionaries having a message to all such,—the people being all alike, and the message being one to all people, the missionaries would necessarily look upon all alike.AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.3

    But the missionaries will all at once say, “It would never do to call the American people heathen.” Very well, then, why call the Japanese, or the Chinese, or any other people, heathen? And if other people must all be called heathen, and the people of America and other such “Christian lands” cannot be called heathen, when all know that, as a matter of fact, multitudes of these are more heathenish than are those who are called heathen—then it is a mere matter of favoritism on the part of those who do the calling. But why should there be such favoritism, especially toward those who are the worst in the comparison?AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.4

    We do not say that people in America and other such countries, who are not Christians, should be called “heathen.” No more do we say that the people in China, Japan, and other such countries, who are not Christians, should be called “heathen.” The people in America who are not Christians, are simply sinners and lost men; and the people in Japan and China who are not Christians are simply sinners and lost men: wherever they are, they are all alike; and there is no respect of persons with God nor with those who are of God.AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.5

    Let all the missionaries, ministers and Christians in the world recognize everywhere the Christian truth that only those are Christians who have chosen Christ as their Saviour and their portion forever, and that all who have not so done are all alike in all the world, wherever they be, and whatever they may be called. Then this “great obstacle to the progress of Christianity in heathen countries” that is here and so much elsewhere complained of, will no longer exist anywhere in the world.AMS May 4, 1899, page 275.6

    A. T. J.

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 14, 18, p. 286.


    ABRAHAM LINCOLN said that while you couldn’t “fool all the people all the time,” you could “fool a part of the people all the time,” and “all the people a part of the time.” And this is how it will be in the movement for Sunday enforcement. Public sentiment would not sustain such work all the time; but it can be so “educated” that it will sustain it for a while; and just this is being rapidly accomplished now. All the people—or a great majority—will be fooled a part of the time into thinking Sunday enforcement a necessity; and in this part of the time, when dissenters to the movement are being vigorously suppressed, the mischief will be done. There can be, and will be, in this way, a revival of religious persecution, and a conformity in government with the principles of the papacy, which will hurt the nation beyond remedy.AMS May 4, 1899, page 286.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font