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    On the 29th day of February, this very year, 1892, this four-hundredth anniversary year; in spite of the Declaration of Independence, in spite of the supreme law as subscribed by George Washington, in spite of the plain declarations of the United States Constitution, and in defiance of the whole history of the making of that Constitution in this respect, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously declared, in an official decision, that “this is a religious people,” and that “this is a Christian nation,” and above all, that this is the meaning of the Constitution! Nor was this done inadvertently or in a mere passing remark. It was done in a plain proposition extensively considered and supported (?) in argument (?) by many “historical” proofs (?). 1See Decision and Review, in Religious Liberty Library; No. 8.CYMFC 14.3

    Then no sooner was this done than a religious combination, which had been working for twenty-nine years to secure this very thing for the very purpose for which they now used it, took that decision and went before Congress, and upon that authority demanded that Congress should officially decide, and by statute declare, that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, and require its recognition and observance as such, by the closing of the World’s Fair on Sunday. This plea, that religious combination backed up with the following threatening “petition:”—CYMFC 14.4

    Resolved, That we do hereby pledge ourselves and each other, that we will, from this time henceforth, refuse to vote for or support for any office or position of trust, any member of Congress, either senator or representative, who shall vote for any further aid of any kind for the World’s Fair except on conditions named in these resolutions.”CYMFC 15.1

    As this religious combination was composed of the National Reform Association, which includes “all the evangelical churches of the country;” the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, which includes at least the women of the same; the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, which includes also the young people of the same; and the American Sabbath Union, which includes not only the evangelical churches but also the Catholic Church; as all this represented a good many votes; as politicians dearly love votes; and as loss of these votes was threatened if congress did not do the bidding of this combination; Congress surrendered, decided, and acted, accordingly; the President duly signed the act of Congress; and thus in this four-hundredth anniversary year the government of the United States, in all its branches—legislative, judiciary, and executive—was turned away from the divine principle upon which it was founded; was committed to religious legislation for religion’s sake; the new order of things to which the government was forever pledged was completely reversed, and the old order of things was recognized and revived in this land.CYMFC 15.2

    That it may be seen how certainly this was done, let us look at the proceedings in Congress as they stand in the official Record, July 10 and 12, 1892:—CYMFC 15.3

    In the Congressional Record of July 10, 1892, page 6614, is the following:—CYMFC 15.4

    Mr. Quay.—On page 122, line 13, after the word “act,” I move to insert:—CYMFC 15.5

    “And that provision has been made by the proper authority for the closing of the Exposition on the Sabbath day.”CYMFC 15.6

    The reasons for the amendment I will send to the desk to be read. The Secretary will have the kindness to read from the Book of Law I send to the desk, the part enclosed in brackets.CYMFC 16.1

    The Vice-President.—The part indicated will be read.CYMFC 16.2

    The Secretary read as follows:—CYMFC 16.3

    “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy: six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”CYMFC 16.4

    The foregoing is all that was said or done in relation to the question that day. The next legislative day, however, the question was taken up and discussed. The debate was opened by Senator Manderson of Nebraska. And in the Record of July 12, pages 6694, 6695, 6701, we read as follows:—CYMFC 16.5

    The language of this amendment is that the Exposition shall be closed on the “Sabbath day.” I submit that if the senator from Pennsylvania desires that the Exposition shall be closed upon Sunday, this language will not necessarily meet that idea.CYMFC 16.6

    The words “Sabbath day,” simply mean that it is a rest day, and it may be Saturday or Sunday, and it would be subject to the discretion of those who will manage this Exposition, whether they should close the Exposition on the last day of the week, in conformity with that observance which is made by the Israelites and the Seventh-day Baptists, or should close it on the first day of the week, generally known as the Christian Sabbath. It certainly seems to me that this amendment should be adopted by the senator from Pennsylvania, and, if he proposes to close this Exposition, that it should be closed on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday....CYMFC 16.7

    Therefore I offer an amendment to the amendment, which I hope may be accepted by the senator from Pennsylvania, to strike out the words, “Exposition on the Sabbath day,” and insert “mechanical portion of the Exposition on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.”CYMFC 16.8

    Mr. Quay.—I will accept the modification so far as it changes the phraseology of the amendment proposed by me in regard to designating the day of the week on which the Exposition shall be closed.CYMFC 16.9

    The Vice-President.—The senator from Pennsylvania accepts the modification in part, but not in whole....CYMFC 17.1

    Mr. Harris.—Let the amendment of the senator from Pennsylvania, as modified, be reported.CYMFC 17.2

    The Vice-President.—It will be again reported.CYMFC 17.3

    The Chief Clerk.—On page 122, line 13, after the word “act” it is proposed to amend the amendment of the committee by inserting:—CYMFC 17.4

    “And that provision has been made by the proper authority for the closing of the Exposition on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.”CYMFC 17.5

    This amendment was afterward further amended by the insertion of the proviso that the managers of the Exposition should sign an agreement to close the Fair on Sunday before they could receive any of the appropriation; but this which is here given is the material point.CYMFC 17.6

    All of this the House confirmed in its vote accepting the Senate amendments. Besides this, the House had already, on its own part, by a vote of 131 to 36, decided that Sunday is the “Christian Sabbath;” and by a vote of 149 to 11 that the seventh day is not the Sabbath. And thus did the Congress of the United States, at the dictate of the churches, not only take sides in a religious controversy and discuss and decide a religious question, but put itself in the place and assume to itself the prerogative of authoritative interpreter of the divine law. For, from the official record of the proceedings there appear these plain facts:—CYMFC 17.7

    1. The divine law was officially and in its very words, adopted as containing the “reasons” and forming the basis of the legislation. In other words, the legislation proposed only to enforce the divine law as quoted from the Book. This would have been wholly wrong and presumptuous in itself, even though it had stopped with that.CYMFC 17.8

    2. Yet those to whom the legislation was directed and who were expected to execute its provisions, were not allowed to read and construe the divine law for themselves; and this for the very reason that there was a possibility that they might take the divine word as it reads and as it was actually quoted in the official proceedings, and shut the Exposition on the day plainly specified in the divine word, which was cited as the basis and authority for the action taken.CYMFC 17.9

    3. Therefore to preclude any such possibility, Congress assumed the prerogative of official and authoritative interpreter of divine law, and declared that “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment of the divine law—that “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” is the meaning of the word of the Lord which says: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”CYMFC 18.1

    This is what the Congress of the United States has done. And in the doing of it, it has violated every rule and every principle that governs in the interpretation of law. A leading rule for the interpretation of law is this:—CYMFC 18.2

    “In the case of all law, it is the intent of the lawgiver that is to be enforced.”CYMFC 18.3

    What then was the intent of the Lawgiver when the Sabbath commandment was given? Did the Lawgiver declare, or show in any way, his intention?—He did. He declared in plain words that the seventh day is the one intended to be observed. Nor did he leave them to decide for themselves which day they would have for the Sabbath. He did not leave it to the people to interpret his law for themselves, nor to interpret it at all. By three special acts every week, kept up continuously for forty years, the Lord showed his intent in the law. The people were fed on the manna in their forty years’ wanderings between Egypt and Canaan. But on the seventh day of the week no manna ever fell. On the sixth day of the week there was a double portion; and that which was gathered on the sixth day would keep over the seventh day, which it could not be made to do on any other day of the week. By this means the Lawgiver signified his intent upon the subject of the day mentioned in the law quoted by Congress. And by keeping it up so continuously and for so long a time he made it impossible for the people then to mistake his intent; and has left all future generations who have the record of it, without excuse in gathering anything else as his intent than that the seventh day is the Sabbath. Therefore when Congress decided that “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” is the meaning of the divine law which says “the seventh day is the Sabbath,” it plainly set itself in contradiction to the word and intent of the Most High.CYMFC 18.4

    Another established rule is this:—CYMFC 19.1

    “When words are plain in a written law, there is an end to all construction; they must be followed.” And, “Where the intent is plain, nothing is left to construction.”CYMFC 19.2

    Are the words of this commandment quoted by Congress, plain words?—They are nothing else. There is not an obscure nor an ambiguous word in the whole commandment. Then under the rule there is no room for any construction; much less is there room for any such construction as would make the expression “the seventh day” mean “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday.” Fitting to the point the New Testament has given us an interesting and important piece of narrative. In Mark 16:1, 2, are these words:—CYMFC 19.3

    “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.”CYMFC 19.4

    These people arose very early in the morning of the first day of the week; yet the Sabbath was past. Now Congress has legislated to secure respect for the Sabbath on the first day of the week.” Such a thing can never be done however, because Inspiration has declared that the Sabbath is past before the first day of the week comes. It matters not how early our illustrious and devout Congress and World’s Fair Commission, may get out and around on “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” they will be too late to find the Sabbath there, for the Lord says that then it is “past.”CYMFC 19.5

    And it is the Sabbath according to the commandment, too, that is past when the first day of the week comes—the Sabbath according to this very commandment which Congress has officially cited. Here is the record:—CYMFC 20.1

    “And they returned and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in and found not the body of Jesus.” Luke 23:56 and 24:1-3.CYMFC 20.2

    Here is the plain word of the Lord stating plainly and proving conclusively that “the Sabbath day” according to the very commandment which Congress has officially cited, is the day before “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” and that the Sabbath day, according to this commandment is past before “the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday,” comes at all, no matter how early they may get up the first day of the week. Now which is right, the word of Congress, or the word of God?CYMFC 20.3

    It is true that the churches are at the head of all this, and that Congress did it at the dictation and under the threats of the churches. It is true that the churches have put this interpretation upon the commandment, and then saddled it off thus upon Congress. This is all true; but that does not relieve Congress from one whit of the guilt of perverting the law of the Most High, of forcing into that law a meaning that was never intended to be there, and of putting itself in the place of God and assuming the office of interpreter of his laws. Congress had no business to allow itself to be forced into such a position. Judge Cooley—“Constitutional Limitations,” page 67—well says:—CYMFC 20.4

    “A court or legislature which should allow a change of public sentiment to influence it in giving to a written constitution a construction not warranted by the intention of its founders, would be justly chargeable with reckless disregard of official oath and public duty.”CYMFC 20.5

    The theologians gave to the Sabbath commandment a construction which was not in any sense warranted by the intention of the Author of the commandment. They then went to Congress and demanded with threats that it allow itself to be influenced, by these theological sentiments and political threats, to give to the written Constitution of the government of the living God a construction which is not in any sense warranted by the intention of the founder of that Constitution. And our national Legislature did allow this sentiment to influence it into doing that very thing. Such a thing done to a human Constitution, an earthly statute, being justly chargeable to reckless disregard of official oath and public duty, what must be chargeable against such an action with reference to the divine Constitution and the heavenly law? The national Legislature—the Congress of the United States—has allowed the churches to draw it into the commission of an act with reference to the Constitution and laws of the living God, which if done only with the laws of men would be reckless disregard of official oath and public duty. And both Congress and the churches are without excuse in the doing of it.CYMFC 21.1

    By this legislation, at the dictate of the churches, Congress has distinctly and definitely put itself and the government of the United States into the place where it has established, and proposes to enforce, the observance of an institution as sacred, and as due to the Lord, which not only the Lord has neither established nor required, but which is directly contrary to the plain word of the Lord upon the subject of this very institution and its observance as due to the Lord. And in the doing of this Congress has also been caused to assume to itself the prerogative of authoritative interpreter of Scripture for the people of the land and for all who come into the land; and puts itself in the place of God by authoritatively deciding that an observance established and required by the State, and which it calls the Lord’s, is the Lord’s indeed, although the Lord plainly declares the contrary.CYMFC 21.2

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