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    July 19, 1894

    “Editorial” American Sentinel 9, 29, pp. 225, 226.


    SINCE Easter Sunday last, the attention of the people of the United States has been stirred, watching the armies of the “Industrials,” the strikers and their consequent violence, and the calling out of armed troops because of the troubles in a connected line of States reaching from the Pacific to the Atlantic,—California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Seeing these things carried on so continuously, every man is asking his neighbor, “What does this mean?” “What is to be the end of this matter?”AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.1

    THESE things are not meaningless; they are full of meaning in many more senses than one, but there is one meaning that they have above all others. And, seeing these things that everybody sees, let us inquire at the source of all truth, what they really do mean; for if the Word of God has spoken on these things and told us anything as to what they mean, then we may be certain of that meaning, whatever other meaning may be in it all. And the Scriptures have spoken in more than one place, describing the condition of things which is now before the eyes of all people, not only of the United States, but of all the world.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.2

    Turning first to James, fifth chapter, there is the description of a time, and a condition of affairs, in which the rich are afraid of what is coming, and hold together their treasure in heaps in which the gold and silver is cankered; while on the other hand, there is a cry of the laborers against the rich, and of real distress, indeed, because their wages are kept back; and while these are in distress and are crying out because of it, these same rich ones are nourishing their hearts and living in pleasure and wantonness.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.3

    NOW any one can see plainly enough that this exactly describes the situation as it is all over the United States to-day; and every one knows that this situation has been brought about by precisely the methods here described. There is certainly no room for any difference of opinion in this. The strife between the laborers and the rich, between “capital and labor,” has been brought on by the insatiable desire of those who are already rich, to gather together all that was possible. Men whose income has been a million a year when there was any sign that that income might be lessened a little, would cut down the wages of the laboring men a few cents more or less all around, while in most cases these wages were already so low that they would no more than supply the necessaries of life.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.4

    Now it is hardly too much to suppose that a man with an income of a million could subsist on a half or three quarters of a million a year, or such a part of a year as might tide over a period of business depression, thus allowing the balance of the million income to remain in payment of the wages of laborers. If all the wealthy men of the country had done this from the beginning, there would to-day be no more of a contest between capital and labor, no more of a cry of the laborers against the rich, than there would be a cry of the earth against the rain.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.5

    FOR more than a year there has been all over this land a continuous cry of “hard times,” caused by the scarcity of money, while, as a matter of fact, all this time there has been more money in this country than ever before. In the summer of 1893, when so many banks were closed, and when there was the greatest “scarcity of money,” there were hundreds of millions of dollars simply on deposit in the banks of New York City alone, to say nothing of the other great cities of the country. The trouble is not that money is scarce in itself, but what there is is hoarded, and it is this hoarding of the money that makes the scarcity.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.6

    And being so hoarded, the money is cankering. In the month of May, 1894, some workingmen in a money vault, employed in recounting the money there, were in danger of being drowned in a flood of silver of which the canker had eaten up the strong sacks in which it was stored. Money that can have a chance to circulate will never canker; but to-day, although there is so much money, it is hoarded and held so closely together it can only canker. And this Word says that the cankering of it will be a witness against those who have so hoarded it and held it back from circulation while the cries of distress are heard throughout the land.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.7

    AND those who have the money so hoarded, even as this Word also says, are living in pleasure and even wantonness. And when a woman will give a grand reception, costing hundreds of dollars, in honor of a dog, 1This was actually done in the winter of 1893-94, in this city. while almost within hearing from her doors are the cries of hungry people, certainly such a course is fitly described as “wanton.” This may be an extreme case; but admitting that it is, it is only an extreme case in a long series of like though perhaps not identical wantonness on the part of the over rich.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.8

    And yet it is said that “capital is shy” and will not venture forth when there is so much disturbance and such an unsettled state of affairs generally. But if this capital would only venture forth in legitimate investments, instead of venturing so much in selfish pleasure, and such wantonness as giving grand receptions in honor of dogs, there would be no such unsettled condition of affairs as would cause capital to be afraid to venture in legitimate and beneficial enterprises. This is not, however, in any way to sanction or excuse the violence that so largely attends the laborers’ side of the controversy, any more than it is to sanction or excuse the wantonness of the rich.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.9

    HOWEVER, we are not discussing the question of capital and labor, or their relations or antagonisms, we are simply inquiring of the Scriptures, What is the meaning of the present condition and course of things? And every one knows that the foregoing statements exactly describe the situation as it is. Well, then, this being the situation as described in this scripture, what does the scripture say as to the time when this shall be? This same scripture answers plainly that this was to be in the “last days.” And everybody sees now the very things that are set forth in this scripture. Then every person has before his eyes, and held irresistibly upon his attention, the positive proofs that we are in the last days.AMS July 19, 1894, page 225.10

    The Scriptures having spoken of the rich and of the poor; of the hoarding of wealth and the keeping back of the wages; of the fear of the rich and the cries of the laborers—having spoken of these two classes, it now speaks of a third, or rather, to a third, thus, “Be patient, therefore, brethren.” These are the Lord’s people who are now spoken to, for he said, “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50. So in the times described in the previous verses, in the last days, the Lord gives a word of counsel to his own people, and he gives this counsel because of the times that are here described; so he says, “Be patient, therefore, brethren.” And what further?—“Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.”AMS July 19, 1894, page 226.1

    Then the great meaning, above all other meanings, which all these things bear to the people of the world to-day is, that the Lord is coming. These are signs, evidences, clear and plain, of the coming of the Lord, that are being held before the eyes and upon the attention of all the people, so that it is impossible that they should not see them. Whether the people will believe that these are signs of his coming, or not, is for the people themselves to decide. The Lord has fixed upon these things in his Word, and says that that is what they are. And those who would be the brethren and the people of the Lord, must see in all these things that meaning which the Lord says is there; namely, that the Lord is coming.AMS July 19, 1894, page 226.2

    The scripture continues: “Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it until he receive the early and the latter rain.” As certainly as the sowing of the seed by the farmer means a certain result, and the farmer certainly expects that result, so certainly these things which are described in this chapter, and which all the people now see, mean a certain result, and mean that the people seeing these things can as certainly expect that result as the farmer may expect the result from his sowing. Then, just as the farmer, when he has planted his grain, waiteth patiently for the harvest, so the Lord would have his people wait patiently for that harvest, which is to be the end of this sowing, and “the harvest is the end of the world.” Matthew 13:39.AMS July 19, 1894, page 226.3

    Consequently the scripture continues to counsel of God, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the Judge standeth before the door.” Then the coming of the Lord is so near, and the Judge, standing before the door, is so nearly ready to open that door and call all men to account, that it is too late to indulge grievances, complaints, and grudges against others. Of course, there is never time for any such thing as that, but now, of all times that there have ever been in the world, there is the least time for such things and the greatest risk in indulging them. “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” “the Judge standeth before the door,” and as “every one of us” is to “give account of himself to God,” and as that account is about to be called for, the thing to do is for every one to have his account so squared up each day and each hour, that if the Judge should open the door and call for the account, it can be rendered with joy and not with grief.AMS July 19, 1894, page 226.4

    “Christianity Legally Defined in Rome” American Sentinel 9, 29, pp. 230, 231.


    IF the mutual flattery of Constantine and the bishops had concerned only themselves, it would have been a matter of very slight importance indeed; but this was not so. Each side represented an important interest. Constantine merely represented the State, and the bishops the church; and their mutual flattery was only the covering of a deep-laid and far-reaching scheme which each party was determined to work to the utmost, for its own interests. “It was the aim of Constantine to make theology a branch of politics; it was the hope of every bishop in the empire to make politics a branch of theology.” Consequently, in their mutual toadyism were involved the interests of both the church and the State, and the welfare of human society for ages to come.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.1

    Therefore, to the reign of Constantine the Great must be referred the commencement of those dark and dismal times which oppressed Europe for a thousand years.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.2

    When the alliance was formed between Constantine and what was represented to him as Christianity, it was with the idea on his part that this religion formed a united body throughout the empire. As has been shown, this was true in a certain sense; because the persecution as carried on by Galerius under the edicts of Diocletian was against Christianity as a profession, without any distinction whatever as to its phases, and this caused all the different sects to stand together as one in defense of the principles that were common to all. Therefore the essential unity of all the professions of Christianity, Constantine supposed to be a fact; and from all his actions and writings afterward it is certain that representations had been made to him by the bishops in a stronger measure than was true, and in an infinitely stronger measure than he found it in practice to be.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.3

    The alliance with Christianity on Constantine’s part was wholly political. It was merely a part of the political machinery by which he designed to bring together again the divided elements of the empire into one harmonious whole, as contemplated by Diocletian. It being represented to him by the bishops who met him in Gaul in A.D. 311, that Christianity was a united body which, if he would support it, would in turn be a powerful support to him, he accepted their representations as the truth, and formed the alliance solely as a part of his political designs, and to help him to forward his declared “mission to unite the world under one head.”AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.4

    But, although the alliance was formed with what was supposed to be Christianity as a whole, without any respect to internal divisions, it was very soon discovered that each particular faction of the Christian profession was ambitious to be recognized as the one in which, above all other, Christianity was most certainly represented. The bishops were ready and willing to represent to Constantine that Christianity was one. They did so represent it to him. And although he entered the alliance with that understanding, the alliance had no sooner been well formed than it devolved upon him to decide among the conflicting factions and divisions just where that one was to be found.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.5

    The Edict of Milan ordered that the church property which had been confiscated by the edicts of Diocletian, should be restored to “the whole body of Christians,” without any distinction as to particular sects or names. Thus runs that part of the edict:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.6

    And this we further decree with respect to the Christians, that the places in which they were formerly accustomed to assemble, concerning which also we formerly wrote to your fidelity, in a different form, that if any persons have purchased these, either from our treasury, or from any other one, these shall restore them to the Christians, without money and without demanding any price, without any superadded value or augmentation, without delay or hesitancy. And if any have happened to receive these places as presents, that they shall restore them as soon as possible to the Christians, so that if either those that purchased or those that received them as presents, have anything to request of our munificence, they may go to the provincial governor, as the judge, that provision may also be made for them by our clemency. All which it will be necessary to be delivered up to the body of Christians, by your care, without any delay.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.7

    And since the Christians themselves are known to have had not only those places where they were accustomed to meet, but other places also, belonging not to individuals among them, but to the right of the whole body of Christians, you will also command all these, by virtue of the law before mentioned, without any hesitancy, to be restored to these same Christians, that is, to their body, and to each conventicle respectively. The aforesaid consideration, to wit, being observed; namely, that they who as we have said restore them without valuation and price, may expect their indemnity from our munificence and liberality. In all which it will be incumbent on you to exhibit your exertions as much as possible to the aforesaid body of Christians, that our orders may be most speedily accomplished, that likewise in this provision may be made by our clemency for the preservation of the common and public tranquillity. For by these means, as before said, the divine favor with regard to us, which we have already experienced in many affairs, will continue firm and permanent at all times.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.8

    But that the purpose of this our ordinance and liberality may be extended to the knowledge of all, it is expected that these things written by us, should be proposed and published to the knowledge of all. That this act of our liberality and kindness may remain unknown to none. 1Eusebius’s “Ecclesiastical History,” book x, chap 5.AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.9

    This was proper in itself. But Constantine and the bishops had formed an alliance for political purposes. The bishops had lent to Constantine their support, the fruit of which he was enjoying, and now they demanded that the expected return should be rendered. Accordingly, the restoration of the property of the Christians under the Edict of Milan had no sooner begun, than the contentions which had been raised before the late persecution, between the church of Rome and the churches of Africa, were not only made to assume new and political significance, but were made an issue upon which to secure the imperial recognition and the legal establishment of the Catholic Church. As the rule had already been established that all who did not agree with the bishops of the Catholic Church were necessarily heretics and not Christians, it was now claimed by the Catholic Church that therefore none such could be partakers of the benefits of the edict restoring property to the Christians. The Catholic Church disputed the right of heretics to receive property or money under the Edict of Milan, by disputing their right to the title of Christians. This forced an imperial decision upon the question as to who were Christians. The dispute was raised in Africa. Anulinus was proconsul in that province. And to settle this question, Constantine wrote thus to him:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 230.10

    It is our will, that when thou shalt receive this epistle, if any of those things belonging to the Catholic Church of the Christians in the several cities or other places, are now possessed either by the decurions or any others, these thou shalt cause immediately to be restored to their churches. Since we have previously determined that whatsoever these same churches before possessed, shall be restored to their right. 2Id.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.1

    Thus it was made evident that the imperial favors were meant only for the Catholic Church. But it was not enough that Constantine should decide that all his favors were for the Catholic Church; he must next decide which was the Catholic Church. This he did in 313 in another letter to Anulinus, thus:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.2

    It is my will that these men within the province entrusted to thee in the Catholic Church over which Cecilianus presides, who give their services to this holy religion, and whom they commonly call clergy, shall be held totally free and exempt from all public offices, to the end that they may not, by any error or sacrilegious deviation, be drawn away from the service due to the Divinity, but rather may devote themselves to their proper law, without any molestation. So that, whilst they exhibit the greatest possible reverence to the Deity, it appears the greatest good will be conferred on the State. 3Id., chap 7.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.3

    Following this two councils were called by the emperor to settle disputes between those claiming to be the proper representatives of the Catholic Church—the first was held October 313, the second, in August of the following year. They both decided in favor of Cecilianus and the party presided over by him.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.4

    The question as to which was the Catholic Church having been decided, Constantine, in his next epistle, could add yet another distinguishing title. As we have seen, the Edict of Milan—March, A.D. 313—ordered that the churches should be restored to the Christians—“the whole body of Christians”—without distinction. When the Catholic Church asserted its sole right to the designation “Christian,” and backed its assertion with political reasons, which were then peculiarly cogent, the imperial epistle ran—March, A.D. 313—“to the Catholic Church of the Christians.” When the emperor wrote to Melchiades appointing the first council under the imperial authority, his epistle ran—autumn, A.D.—“the holy Catholic Church.” When he wrote to Chrestus—summer, A.D. 314—summoning him to the second council under imperial authority, he referred to the doctrine of the Catholic Church as embodying the “most holy religion.” When it had been decided which was “the most holy Catholic religion,” he addressed an epistle to Cecilianus—A.D. 316—announcing imperial favors to “the legitimate and most holy Catholic religion,” and empowered Cecilianus to assist the imperial officers in preventing any diversion from the most holy Catholic Church.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.5

    It was thus that that which on its face appeared only innocent and highly proper—indeed a necessary act of justice, restoring to its rightful owners property unjustly confiscated, resulted inside of three years in the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church as the religion of the empire.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.6

    “They Can Do Nothing Against the Truth” American Sentinel 9, 29, p. 231.


    SOME weeks ago Elders J. O. Johnston and E. W. Webster, two Seventh-day Adventist ministers, pitched a tent at Brushy Creek, N.C., and began a series of meetings. They had continued about four weeks when they were served with the following notice, which we give verbatim et literatim:AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.1

    June 16 94AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.2

    Rev. Johnson, C. We Will give you Wone week to get away if you don’t you halt to take what follows wee mean what wee sayAMS July 19, 1894, page 231.3

    Good BeyAMS July 19, 1894, page 231.4

    The man who left the notice disturbed the meeting by asking questions and making threats, but all went well for a week, and then came a mob to wreck the tent and to drive the Adventists away. But owing to the good offices of the man who owned the lot on which the tent was pitched, and several other of the best citizens, their rage was quieted and no harm was done. As usual in such cases the agitation only increases interest to hear what the Adventists have to say, and they are making friends right in the neighborhood where violence was threatened only a few days before.AMS July 19, 1894, page 231.5

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 9, 29, p. 232.


    JULY 9, Mr. Weadock (Dem., Mich.) introduced in the House a bill amending the statutes relative to second-class mail matter so as to read as follows:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.1

    Mailable matter of the second class shall embrace all matter exclusively in print and regularly issued at stated periods from a known office of publication without addition by writing, mark, or sign. Any newspaper of the second class which advises, abets, or suggests the commission of any offense against any law of the United States, or any State, or Territory, or any country with which the United States are at peace, shall be excluded from the mails.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.2

    This is a very far-reaching provision. There are times when disobedience to law becomes a sacred duty. Who now believes that the infamous Fugitive Slave Law ever ought to have been obeyed? Many people disobeyed it as a matter of conscience, and many papers counselled [sic.] disobedience. Similar cases may arise in the future.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.3

    Notwithstanding the ordinance of civil government, God is still the great moral Governor; to him every soul is responsible; to him every free moral agent must give account. There never can be any conflict between a legitimate exercise of civil authority and the claims of the divine law. And yet the fact remains that there have been many and serious conflicts. Civil governments have frequently required of their subjects that which the divine law forbids, and have forbidden that which the divine law requires. What then shall the Christian citizen do in case the civil law requires that which the law of God forbids? His invariable answer to all such demands must be, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.4

    Nor is this the expression of religious fanaticism. The principle thus stated is known and recognized by the best and most enlightened thinkers everywhere. In his work on moral philosophy, President Fairchild says:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.5

    It is too obvious to need discussion, that the law of God, the great principle of benevolence, is supreme, and that, “we ought to obey God rather than men,” in any case of conflict between human law and the divine. There are cases so clear that no one can question the duty to refuse obedience. In all times and in all lands such cases have arise. In a case of this kind, either of two courses is possible; to disobey the law, and resist the government in its attempt to execute it, or to disobey and quietly suffer the penalty. The first is revolutionary, and can be justified only when the case is flagrant and affects such numbers that a revolutionary movement will be sustained.... The second course will, in general, commend itself to considerate and conscientious men. It is a testimony against the law as unrighteous, and, at the same time, a recognition of government as a grave interest.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.6

    Apply this principle to the Sunday laws of several of the States. These laws require all to observe Sunday. With some to do this is as veritably to render an act of homage to a heathen deity as it would have been for the three Hebrew worthies to have fallen down before the great image set up in Babylon. To obey is to sacrifice conscience. Suppose that some paper in such a case published this extract from President Fairchild’s amendment to the postal laws such a paper could be excluded from the mails, and even the book itself could be regarded only as incendiary matter, dangerous to the welfare of the State. Is not the amendment too sweeping in its terms? The times are evil, but they demand no such drastic and dangerous measure.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.7

    THE Christian Advocate of this city says of the second coming of Christ:—AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.8

    There is not a vestige of evidence that goes to show that He will appear in a thousand years from now. Not even the angels in heaven know when He will come.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.9

    But these words are themselves an evidence that the event is near. Says the scripture: “There shall come in the last days scoffers, ... saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3, 4.AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.10

    The Advocate confesses total ignorance of the coming of that day, but the Word of God says that sudden destruction shall come upon those who say, “Peace and safety,” and adds, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 4. Those who know nothing about it will be destroyed because they don’t want to know and willfully turn away from the truth. The Lord says of the signs of the second coming of Christ: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:32-34. And yet the Advocate says it may be a thousand years distant, and that we can know nothing about it!AMS July 19, 1894, page 232.11

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