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    July 1887

    “The Prospects of National Reform” The American Sentinel 2, 7, pp. 49-51.


    TO THE regular readers of the SENTINEL we need offer no argument here to prove that the success of National Reform will be the union of Church and State in this Government. This has been amply proved in preceding numbers of this paper; yet if there are any of our new readers who have not seen the proofs of it, we are prepared to furnish the evidence, upon demand, in any quantity, and at short notice. Knowing therefore that the success of the National Reform will be the union of Church and State, it becomes important to all people to know what are the prospects of its success. This is especially important in view of the fact that the movement is even now on the very eve of success. To set this fact forth as it is shall be the purpose of this article.AMS July 1887, page 49.1

    1. The movement is supported by “all evangelical denominations.” The Association has one hundred and twenty vice-presidents, eighty of whom, including Joseph Cook, are Revs. and Rev. D. Ds., and Rev. D. D., LL.Ds., and some are even Right Rev. D. D., LL.Ds. Of these eighty, eleven are bishops made up from the Episcopal, Evangelical, and United Brethren Churches. Besides these eighty divines, there are in the list ten college professors, one governor, three ex-governors, nine justices of Supreme Courts, two judges of Superior Courts, one judge of the United States District Court, one brevet brigadier-general, one colonel, and seven prominent officials of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.AMS July 1887, page 49.2

    2. The W. C. T. U. is counted, both by themselves and the National Reformers, as one with the National Reform Association. Miss Willard, Mrs. Woodbridge, Mrs. Bateham, Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, Mrs. Clara Hoffman, Mrs. Mary T. Lathrop, and Mrs. W. I. Sibley, of the Union, are all vice-presidents of the National Reform Association. In the Pittsburg National Reform Convention, May 11, 12, 1887, Rev. T. P. Stevenson, editor of the Christian Statesman and corresponding secretary of the National Reform Association, in his annual report made the following statement of the co-operation of the W. C. T. U. with National Reform:—AMS July 1887, page 49.3

    “Two years ago Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, suggested the creation of a special department of its already manifold work for the promotion of sabbath observance, “co-operating with the National Reform Association.” The suggestion was adopted at the National Convention in St. Louis, and the department was placed in charge of Mrs. Josephine C. Bateham, of Ohio, as national superintendent. Mrs. Bateham has since, with her own cordial assent, been made one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association....AMS July 1887, page 49.4

    “One year ago your secretary placed in the hands of President Willard a memorandum suggesting the creation of another department ‘for the retention of the Bible in the public schools,’ and assigning reasons for such action. This step was recommended by Miss Willard in her annual address before the late National Convention at Minneapolis, and was adopted in so far that a committee was appointed to make preliminary inquiries during the coming year, with Miss Willard herself at the head of the committee.AMS July 1887, page 49.5

    “It was your secretary’s privilege this year again to attend the National W. C. T. U. Convention, and it would be unjust and ungrateful not to acknowledge here the cordiality with which for the sake of the cause he was received. A place was kindly given for an address in behalf of the National Reform Association, and thanks were returned by vote of the convention. A resolution was adopted expressing gratitude to the National Reform Association ‘for its advocacy of a suitable acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ in the fundamental law of this professedly Christian nation.’ ...AMS July 1887, page 49.6

    “In the series of ‘Monthly Readings’ for the use of local Unions as a responsive exercise, prepared or edited by Miss Willard, the reading for last July was on ‘God in Government;’ that for August on ‘Sabbath Observance’ (prepared by Mrs. Bateham), and that for September on ‘Our National Sins.’ Touching the first and last-named readings your secretary had correspondence with Miss Willard before they appeared.AMS July 1887, page 49.7

    “A letter has been prepared to W. C. T. U. workers and speakers, asking them, in their public addresses, to refer to and plead for the Christian principles of civil government. The president of the National Union allows us to say that this letter is sent with her sanction and by her desire.AMS July 1887, page 49.8

    “The heartiness and intelligence, the faith and courage, with which these Christian women embrace and advocate the fundamental principles of Christian government are most gratifying. Mrs. Woodbridge chose for her theme at Ocean Grove and Chautauqua, ‘Shall the United States Acknowledge Christ as Sovereign?’ Miss Willard loses no opportunity of declaring that ‘the Government is on his shoulder.’ Similar expressions are constantly on the lips of their leading speakers and writers.... Mrs. Woodbridge, in her address to the Workingmen’s Assembly in Cleveland, appealed to them to join hands with the temperance forces in placing this ‘Government upon the shoulder of him who is Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and in men’s crowning Christ our Lord as the Ruler of Nations.’”AMS July 1887, page 49.9

    3. The workingmen. It will be seen by the above that the National Reform Association has not only gained the Union itself, but that through the Union it is making strong bids for the Knights of Labor and other workingmen’s associations. Indeed, it was stated in the late convention that “the Anarchists, the Socialists, and the Catholic Church are all trying to catch the workingmen, but National Reform must secure the workingmen.” And we are safe in saying that National Reform will secure them. Even though the Roman Church should secure the workingmen’s associations, bodily, that will be no hindrance to National Reform’s securing them, for of all the bids for support that the National Reform Association is making the strongest are made for the support ofAMS July 1887, page 49.10

    4. The Catholic Church. Thus says the Christian Statesman of December 11, 1884:—AMS July 1887, page 50.1

    “Whenever they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with thorn.”AMS July 1887, page 50.2

    And again:—AMS July 1887, page 50.3

    “We cordially, gladly recognize the fact that in South American republics, and in France, and other European countries, the Romeo Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism.... In a world’s conference for the promotion of national Christianity many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics.”—Editorial before quoted.AMS July 1887, page 50.4

    Now let us read a word from Rome. In his Encyclical published in 1885, Pope Leo XIII. says:—AMS July 1887, page 50.5

    “We exhort all Catholics who would devote careful attention to public matters, to take an active part in all municipal affairs and elections, and to further the principles of the church in all public services, meetings, and gatherings. All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate wherever possible in the administration of civil affairs; must constantly exert the utmost vigilance and energy to prevent the usage of liberty from going beyond the limits fixed by God’s law. All Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States and legislation to be modeled to the principles of the true church. All Catholic writers and journalists should never lose for an instant from view the above prescriptions. All Catholics should redouble their submission to authority, and unite their whole heart and soul and body and mind in defense of the church and Christian wisdom.”AMS July 1887, page 50.6

    From the above quotations from the Statesman it is seen that in European and South American countries the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of National Christianity. National Christianity is the object of the National Reform movement; our Constitution and legislation have to be remodeled before this national Christianity can be established; to remodel our Constitution and legislation is the aim of National Reform; but this is exactly what “all Catholics” are by the pope ex cathedra commanded to do, and not to lose sight of it for an instant. What the National Reformers propose to do with our Constitution and legislation is precisely what the Roman Catholics in this country are commanded by the Pope to do. Therefore the aim of National Reform and the aim of Rome are identical, and of course they will “gladly join hands.”AMS July 1887, page 50.7

    5. The Prohibition party as such. The national Reform report before mentioned says on this point:—AMS July 1887, page 50.8

    “The national platform of the Prohibition party adopted in Pittsburg in 1884, contained an explicit acknowledgment of Almighty God, and of the paramount authority of his law as the supreme standard of all human legislation. The Rev. Dr. A. A. Miner, D. D., of Boston, an eloquent and devoted friend and one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association, was a member of the committee which framed the declaration. After that presidential campaign was over, and before the State conventions of 1885, Professor Wallace, of Wooster University, wrote to your secretary, suggesting that all diligence be used to secure similar acknowledgments and kindred declarations on related points, in the Prohibition platforms of the several States. Under this most judicious and timely suggestion, a large correspondence has been held with the leaders of the party, and its chief workers in many States.”AMS July 1887, page 50.9

    And then of the State and county Prohibition Conventions that have “incorporated into their platforms” distinct acknowledgment of National Reform principles, there are named the States of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Texas, and Connecticut; and the counties of Washington, Lancaster, and Chester, Pa., and Belmont, Ohio.AMS July 1887, page 50.10


    Now take the voters of “all the evangelical denominations;” the voters of the Prohibition party; the voters of the workingmen’s associations; and the voters of the Catholic Church; and it is perfectly clear that they compose an overwhelming majority of all the voters in this nation; and much more would it be so if the W. C. T. U. should secure their demanded right of suffrage. And against this thing there will be no “solid South.” Take, then, all the voters that are here represented; take with them an issue upon which all will heartily unite; veil National Reform under that issue; then bring that issue to a vote at the polls, and it is absolutely certain that it will carry by a vast majority.AMS July 1887, page 50.11

    Is there then any such issue in view? There is such an issue, and that already clearly defined and well developed. That issue is THE UNIVERSAL DEMAND FOR SUNDAY LAWS, or, as otherwise expressed, laws enforcing the observance of the “Christian Sabbath.” Every one of these bodies that we have named will almost unanimously support whatever demand may be made for Sunday laws, even to the subversion of the national Constitution to secure them. The reader needs not to be told that all the churches are in favor of rigid Sunday laws. It is well known that one grand aim of the W. C. T. U. is to secure the enactment and enforcement of strict Sunday laws. The Baltimore Plenary Council, indorsed by the Pope, commands the observance of Sunday, and the Romish Church will heartily support any movement to enforce its observance by national laws. It is this very thing that makes the National Reform Association so anxious to secure the help of Rome. Both the Catholic and the National Reform papers urge upon the workingmen that as they have already struck for eight hours for a day’s work, now they must strike for six days for a week’s work, and Sunday secured by law.AMS July 1887, page 50.12

    In the late National Reform Convention, it was not only stated as we have quoted that “National Reform must secure the workingmen,” but it was also said that “they could best be secured through the agitation of the Sabbath.” And they are securing them by this very means. The Illinois Legislature, which we believe is yet in session, had before it for passage a Sunday law framed by the preachers of Chicago—it might well have been framed by the Inquisition itself—and a petition, said to represent 25,000 Knights of Labor, was sent up urging its passage. Nor does the movement stop with the Knight’s of Labor and other workingmen’s associations, but even the Socialists join themselves to the movement and are welcome, as the following from the Christian Union testifies:—AMS July 1887, page 50.13

    “It is very clear that if our Sabbath [Sunday, of course] is to be preserved at all—and we are sanguine of its preservation—the non-religious sentiment of the country must be brought in to re-enforce the religious demand for Sabbath [Sunday] rest, and it is increasingly evident that this is entirely practicable. And, curiously, what renders this practicable is that horrid ‘Socialism’ which keeps some good people lying awake o’nights in fear and trembling.”AMS July 1887, page 50.14

    Are not the Legislatures of all the States already being besieged at every session with demands for the enactment of rigors day laws with no respect whatever rights of conscience? Only the past winter such demands were made upon the Legislatures of California, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Illinois sweepingly and with cheers—we have not learned the result in the Senate. But State laws will amount to but little while national statutes wanting. And now Congress itself is to be besieged. Reformed Presbyterianism and National Reform are identical—each—each is t’other—and of the action of their Synod month, the dispatches tell us this:—AMS July 1887, page 50.15

    The Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of America, in session here, has adopted a resolution declaring that the violation of the Sabbath by the Post-office Department is one of the greatest sins of Government, as well as one of the greatest causes of the Sabbath desecration throughout the whole commonwealth, and calling upon the organization of all evangelical bodies in States to combine in order to secure abolition of whatever in the Post-office Department is a violation of the Sabbath law.”AMS July 1887, page 50.16

    And the National Reform Committee of the United Presbyterian General Assembly, also held in June, passed the following resolution:—AMS July 1887, page 50.17

    Resolved, That the moderator and clerks be directed to append their signatures in behalf of the Assembly to the [National Reform] petition requesting Congress to pass a law instructing the Postmaster-General to make no future contracts which shall include the carrying of the mails on the Lord’s day.”AMS July 1887, page 50.18

    Of course under the Constitution as it is, Congress can pass no such law, because the passing of all such laws, whether by Congress or by State Legislatures, is essentially religious legislation, and is prohibited by the Constitution. Therefore it is that the National Reform Association wants the Religious Amendment adopted, making the Constitution to recognize the Christian religion, and so give a basis for Sunday legislation.AMS July 1887, page 51.1

    Here then is the situation. The National Reform Association proposes a Religious Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Through such an Amendment there will be formed a union of Church and State. Under cover of the universal demand for Sunday laws, the question of the Constitutional Amendment can be made a question of national politics, and can be brought to a vote of the nation. When it is so brought to a vote, the National Reform Association can bring to the polls, in its support, the voters of “all evangelical churches,” the voters of the Prohibition party, the voters of the Catholic Church, the voters of the Knights of Labor, and the workingmen generally, and with these the Socialists and all the rest of the non-religious rabble, and the whole thing sanctified by the sweet influences of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and so can carry it as sweepingly as inquisitorial Sunday laws are now carried in some of the State Legislatures.AMS July 1887, page 51.2

    We pretend not at all to say how soon this may be the grand question in national politics. It can be done very soon, but whether soon or late, we know, and so everyone else who will look at this thing exactly as it is, may know, that whenever the day comes that it is brought to a vote it will as surely carry as that day comes. That that day will come is as sure as that these facts exist. And when it does come, then there comes with it a union of Church and State, with its whole train of attendant evils in this Government. And in that day, liberty—whether civil or religious—will forever take her departure from this dear land, her last and happiest home on earth. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” And now such vigilance is demanded as never before in the history of the nation. May God arouse the people to a sense of it.AMS July 1887, page 51.3

    A. T. J.

    “The State, the Church, and the School” The American Sentinel 2, 7, pp. 52, 53.


    WE have received from the author; C. H. L. Schuette, A. M., a book entitled, “The State, the Church, and the School.” It is quite a full and free discussion of each of these institutions in itself, and in its relation to the others. He first discusses “The State”—“Its Nature and Office,” “Its Chief Arms,” and “Its Sphere of Jurisdiction”—and he does it well. Next he treats of “The Church”—the rights of religion, the “Essence and Forms” of the Church, “Its Object and Its Methods,” “Limits and Powers of Action”—and he does that well. Next he shows their “divinely ordered relation,” and that too he does well. Next he discusses their “humanly ordered relation,” which of course is their vital union. This he does, if anything, better than all. First he refutes, and splendidly, too, the arguments for their union, whether under the form of a particular church organization, or under the form of Christianity as a whole. Then he presents a series of excellent arguments directly against any such union. Next we have not the least valuable chapter of the whole book,—giving copies of the sections of the National Constitution, and of all the State constitutions that relate to religion. Then, last of all, he discusses “The School”—“Parental Duties,” “What It Is and Should Be,” “Its Relation to State and Church,” and “The American School”—this likewise he does well.AMS July 1887, page 52.1

    At this our readers may wonder why we did not say at once that it is an excellent book, and so send forth our hearty commendation. Well, this we should have done had we found the book consistent with itself. To use a familiar and homely illustration: It is all very well when we see a cow give a large quantity of excellent milk, but it is not at all well to see her lift her foot and kick it all over. It is a pleasure to read a sound treatise on an interesting subject, but it is most painful, while reading such, to find your author suddenly turn a complete somersault and subvert every principle which he has established, and labored to illustrate. And this is precisely the predicament in which we found this author when we reached section 15 of this book, pages 281-296.AMS July 1887, page 52.2

    After critically discussing the sound principles of Government and Religion, and their relation to each other, or rather their proper separation from each other, and after showing this proper separation as illustrated in the theory of our own Government, he finds, as anyone may find, certain practices, especially in our State governments and legislation, that are inconsistent with the sound principles which he has established. But instead of allowing then to be exactly what they are, “inconsistencies,” and allowing them to stand condemned by his principles, as inconsistencies, he undertakes to justify them. And in his attempt to justify the inconsistencies he is compelled to use arguments that subvert every principle that would stand against a union of Church and State, and which subvert the very arguments which he himself uses against such union.AMS July 1887, page 53.1

    Of these “inconsistencies” he selects three, and names them thus:—AMS July 1887, page 53.2

    “The law of the observance of Sunday, the law punishing blasphemy, and the law creating chaplains to the Government—these are the specimen statutes now to be reviewed with a special reference to the question whether they are in full harmony with the principles of a perfect religious freedom and with a complete legal separation of State and Church.”AMS July 1887, page 53.3

    Then of the law of Sunday observance he very properly argues as follows:—AMS July 1887, page 53.4

    “Were we to inquire, for example, why we have a Sunday by the law of the land in which we live, we venture to say that nine answers out of ten would point us to the decalogue. In other words, we would be told that whereas God has instituted the Sabbath, our Government, as a matter of course, must command its observance. Yet no answer made could be more fallacious, and, in its logical workings, more disastrous to our theory of Government. And here we do not refer to the question whether or not the divine law of the Sabbath is of universal application—a matter on which Christians themselves are divided—but to the utterly false political principle on which the answer is based, to wit: that whatever God has forbidden or bidden must also for that very reason be forbidden or bidden by the law of the land. On such grounds every biblical injunction and precept would have to be embodied, as an integral part thereof, in our legal code; and whither such a procedure would lead us, it is not difficult to foresee. The distinction between politics and religion, the State and the Church, would thus be completely wiped out, and there would ensue a condition of affairs more woful than the world has ever known. In our day, and in our land especially, because Church and State are separate, no civil statute can be based directly upon purely religious grounds.”AMS July 1887, page 53.5

    Now Sunday is purely a religious thing, and laws for its observance must be based on purely religious grounds, for the thing itself exists upon no other grounds—it is wholly an affair of the church. In view of this quotation, therefore, the query very properly presents itself. How can our author justify civil laws for the observance of Sunday? He attempts it thus:—AMS July 1887, page 53.6

    “The true rationale, therefore, of laws such as have a religious significance, and as we have named above, must be sought elsewhere.”AMS July 1887, page 53.7

    That is to say that the rationale of laws having a religious significance must be sought elsewhere than on religious grounds. How could things having a religious significance be found anywhere but on religious grounds even if they were sought? How can things having a religious significance grow out of any but religious grounds?AMS July 1887, page 53.8

    But the grounds upon which he seems to seek this “true rationale” are that the majority of the people demand it, and that is enough, whether their demand be well founded or not. Thus he argues:—AMS July 1887, page 53.9

    “Whether the religious belief which leads the great majority of the people to demand the legal sanction of Sunday be well founded or not, or whether their motives be pure or not—these are points on which it is not the business of the law and the law-makers to decide. The mere fact that the general body of the people wants a day of worship is enough to give a solid foundation to the law which respects the will so expressed.”AMS July 1887, page 53.10

    How it would be possible to frame a proposition that would be more destructive of every principle of justice or of right we cannot imagine. Whether the demand be well founded or not, or whether the motives of those who make the demand be pure or not—these are points that cannot enter into the question at all! They are the majority, and the majority demand it, and even though it be an unjust demand, wickedly intended, “that is enough to give a solid foundation to the law”! According to this there never has been, and there never can be, in any place where the majority could or can make their demands to be heeded, any law that did not, or that would not, rest upon “a solid foundation.” According to this even the crucifixion of the Saviour rested upon a solid foundation. For was there not “a great multitude” with the chief priests and the scribes and the elders, who demanded his crucifixion? To Pilate was this not the majority? Whether the demand was well founded or not or whether their motives were pure or not—these were not points on which it was the business of Pilate to decide. The mere fact that the great multitude wanted it, was enough to give a solid foundation to the act of Pilate, which respected the will so expressed. We submit that this is a valid argument under the proposition laid down by this author in support of Sunday laws. It is an infamous proposition, that is all.AMS July 1887, page 53.11

    And further, immediately following the words above quoted, he says:—AMS July 1887, page 53.12

    “Especially must the popular will be heeded in this matter, because of its religious nature, on the ground that religion is the source and strength of all true morality.”AMS July 1887, page 53.13

    This, too, not five pages from where he wrote that “no civil statute can be based directly upon purely religious grounds.” That is to say: “No civil statute can be based directly upon purely religious grounds,” but civil statutes must be enacted in favor of Sunday, “especially,” “because of its religious nature”! If the inconsistency which he attempts to justify is any more glaring than that which appears in his justification, our Government must be in a pitiable condition.AMS July 1887, page 53.14

    We have not the space to notice his justification of laws against blasphemy. Suffice it to say that he disallows Blackstone’s definition of blasphemy, in civil jurisprudence, and proposes one of his own that does not relieve the matter a particle, and he sustains it by argument that would justify criminal statute against everybody who should openly choose to disagree with the religious belief of “the great mass of our people” (page 292). And as he himself condemns the appointnent of chaplains by the Government, it is not necessary that we should notice that.AMS July 1887, page 53.15

    The truth is that in his section on “Inconsistencies” the author of “The State, the Church, and the School,” has attempted to do what cannot be done. Webster defines “inconsistent,” as “irreconcilable in conception or in fact.” The things which our author mentions as inconsistencies, are inconsistencies. And his attempt to reconcile them is simply an effort to reconcile the irreconcilable.AMS July 1887, page 53.16

    Yet there is a way in which his credit for consistency as a writer may be regained and maintained, and by which the standing of his book may be assured. Let him blot out his attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable in these two places in section 15, let the “inconsistencies” stand as they are, and let them stand condemned as they are by the sound principles of the book throughout. With those parts blotted out, we verily believe that the book would stand as the best treatise in existence on the subject with which would it deals; it would well deserve a place on the table of every household in the land; and we would gladly do our best to see that it had that place. But as it is, the book only condemns itself, as it ought to be condemned by every person who loves human right and religious liberty.AMS July 1887, page 53.17

    The book is issued by the Lutheran Book Concern, Columbus, Ohio.AMS July 1887, page 53.18

    A. T. J.

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