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

    “ARTICLE”

    “SECTION 1. No State shall ever make or maintain any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.NSLS27 97.2

    “SEC. 2. Each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools adequate for the education of all the children living therein, between the ages of six and sixteen years, inclusive, in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion. But no money raised by taxation imposed by law, or any money or other property or credit belonging to any municipal organization, or to any State, or to the United States, shall ever be appropriated, applied, or given to the use or purposes of any school, institution, corporation, or person, whereby instruction or training shall be given in the doctrines, tenets, belief, ceremonials, or observances peculiar to any sect, denomination, organization, or society, being, or claiming to be, religious in its character; nor shall such peculiar doctrines, tenets, belief, ceremonials, or observances be taught or inculcated in the free public schools.NSLS27 97.3

    “SEC. 3. To the end that each State, the United States, and all the people thereof, may have and preserve governments republican in form and in substance, the United States shall guaranty to every State, and to the People of every State and of the United States, the support and maintenance of such a system of free public schools as is herein provided.NSLS27 97.4

    “SEC. 4. That Congress shall enforce this article by legislation when necessary.”NSLS27 97.5

    What, then, do these men propose to do with the civil power when they can use it? The Christian Statesman is the organ of that Association, and in its issue of Oct. 2, 1884, said:—NSLS27 98.1

    “Give all men to understand that this is a Christian nation, and that, believing that without Christianity we perish, we must maintain by all means our Christian character. Inscribe this character on our Constitution. Enforce upon all who come among us the laws of Christian morality.”NSLS27 98.2

    To enforce upon men the laws of Christian morality, is nothing else than an attempt to compel them to be Christians, and does in fact compel them to be hypocrites. It will be seen at once that this will be but to invade the rights of conscience, and this, one of the vice-presidents of the Association declares, civil power has the right to do. Rev. David Gregg, D. D., now pastor of Park Street Church, Boston, a vice-president of the National Reform Association, plainly declared in the Christian Statesman of June 5, 1884, that the civil power “has the right to command the consciences of men.”NSLS27 98.3

    Rev. M. A. Gault, a district secretary and a leading worker of the Association, says:—NSLS27 98.4

    “Our remedy for all these malefic influences, is to have the Government simply set up the moral law and recognize God’s authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it.”NSLS27 98.5

    When they have the Government lay its hand on dissenters, what will they have it do? Rev. E. B. Graham, also a vice-president of the Association, in an address delivered at York, Neb., and reported in the Christian Statesman of May 21, 1885, said:—NSLS27 98.6

    “We might add in all justice, If the opponents of the Bible do not like our Government and its Christian features, let them go to some wild, desolate land, and in the name of the Devil, and for the sake of the Devil, subdue it, and set up a government of their own on infidel and atheistic ideas; and then if they can stand it, stay there till they die.”NSLS27 99.1

    That is what they propose to do. And that is worse than Russia. In the Century for April, 1888, Mr. Kennan gave a view of the statutes of Russia on the subject of crimes against the faith, quoting statute after statute providing that whoever shall censure the Christian faith or the orthodox church, or the Scriptures, or the holy sacraments, or the saints, or their images, or the Virgin Mary, or the angels, or Christ, or God, shall be deprived of all civil rights, and exiled for life to the most remote parts of Siberia. This is the system in Russia, and it is in the direct line of the wishes of the National Reform Association.NSLS27 99.2

    Nor is that all. Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D. D., another vice-president of that Association, makes all dissenters atheists. He names atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh-day Baptists, then classes them all together as atheists. I will read his own words:—NSLS27 99.3

    “These all are, for the occasion, and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the same tactics against us. They must be counted together, which we very much regret, but which we cannot help. The first-named is the leader in the discontent and in the outcry—the atheist, to whom nothing is higher or more sacred than man, and nothing survives the tomb. It is his class. Its labors are almost wholly in his interest; its success would be almost wholly his triumph. The rest are adjuncts to him in this contest. They must be named from him; they must be treated as, for this question, one party.”NSLS27 99.4

    They class us as atheists, and are going to condemn all alike; and you are asked to give them the power. Remember these are the views of the members of the National Reform Association, whose secretary stood at this table this morning in defense of this Sunday law. These extracts show what his ideas are, and how he would use them. Dr. Everts, of Chicago, who also was here, declared last month in Chicago, in my hearing, on the subject of this Sunday law, that “it is atheism or the Sabbath.”NSLS27 100.1

    Mr. Edwards continues:—NSLS27 100.2

    “What are the rights of the atheist? I would tolerate him as I would tolerate a poor lunatic; for in my view his mind is scarcely sound. So long as he does not rave, so long as he is not dangerous, I would tolerate him. I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator. The atheist is a dangerous man. Yes, to this extent I will tolerate the atheist; but no more. Why should I? The atheist does not tolerate me. He does not smile either in pity or in scorn upon my faith. He hates my faith, and he hates me for my faith.... I can tolerate difference and discussion; I can tolerate heresy and false religion; I can debate the use of the Bible in our common schools, the taxation of church property, the propriety of chaplaincies and the like, but there are some questions past debate. Tolerate atheism, sir? There is nothing out of hell that I would not tolerate as soon! The atheist may live, as I have said; but, God helping us, the taint of his destructive creed shall not defile any of the civil institutions of all this fair land! Let us repeat, atheism and Christianity are contradictory terms. They are incompatible systems. They cannot dwell together on the same continent!”NSLS27 100.3

    Senator Blair.—Many atheists are for Sunday laws.NSLS27 100.4

    Mr. Jones.—Let them be so if they choose; but what I am striking at, is that these men have no right to say that I am an atheist simply because I do not believe in keeping Sunday.NSLS27 100.5

    Senator Blair.—You come here and seriously argue against these people, because they and the atheists blackguard each other. What have we to do with that? They abuse each other. It is worse in the Christian than in the atheist, because the Christian has some rules to guide his conduct, which the atheist has not. Here seems to be some strong intemperate language which one human being makes use of towards another. An atheist or a Christian alike may find fault with that. I do not know any way that we can interfere with it; but if you claim to argue against this bill because these people abuse atheists, I reply to that by saying that many atheists are for this bill just as these people are. They unite in support of this bill, therefore mutual recriminations amount to nothing.NSLS27 101.1

    Mr. Jones.—But the mutual recrimination amounts to this, that although this is confined simply to words between them now,—NSLS27 101.2

    Senator Blair.—I do not think you ought to argue to us by taking this precious time of yours and ours to show that these people use intemperate language towards each other.NSLS27 101.3

    Mr. Jones.—But I am doing it to show that they use the intemperate language now, but if they get the law, they will use more than the language against them. These men only want to make the State a party to their religious disputes. They want to get the nation by law to commit itself to the defense of religious observances, so they can add its power to their side of the controversy, and send to “hell” or some other place where the Devil is, those who even accidentally disagree with them. But the State has no business to allow itself to be made a party to any religious controversy. That has been the bane of every nation except this, and God forbid that this one should be dragged from its high estate, and made the tool of the irregular passions of religious parties. The State will find its legitimate employment it seeing that these parties keep their hands off each other, and that the ebullitions of their religious zeal are kept within the bounds of civility. It is not safe to put civil power into the hands of such men as these. But that is just what this Sunday bill will do if it shall pass.NSLS27 101.4

    Senator Blair.—The atheist is for this proposed law. He is not intelligently going to support a law which enables these people to burn him at the stake.NSLS27 102.1

    Mr. Jones.—I know he is not intelligently going to do it.NSLS27 102.2

    Senator Blair.—He is liable to be as intelligent as they are. Mr. Hume was a very intelligent man; so was Voltaire; so was Franklin, if Franklin was an atheist; Franklin was a deist, at all events.NSLS27 102.3

    Mr. Jones.—It is safe to say that not one in ten of the people whose names are signed in behalf of this Sunday law now what is the intention of it, and what those will do with it when they get it.NSLS27 102.4

    Senator Blair.—Then it is a lack of intelligence on their part.NSLS27 102.5

    Mr. Jones.—I know people who signed that petition who would now be just as far from signing it as I would.NSLS27 102.6

    Senator Blair.—That is because you told them of those terrible consequences which they had not believed would follow. The masses of the people do not believe that the Christian people of this country have united in every State in this Union for such a purpose.NSLS27 102.7

    Mr. Jones.—Here is the principle: Here are six million Protestants and seven million two hundred thousand Catholics—NSLS27 102.8

    Senator Blair.—Cardinal Gibbons has written a letter which is in evidence. He is for it, and a great many Catholics are also for it; but it does not follow that those Catholics are for it simply because Cardinal Gibbons wrote that letter. They were for it before Cardinal Gibbons wrote the letter. You must remember that the Catholics in this country are intelligent, as well as we. Some of them are ignorant, some of us are ignorant.NSLS27 103.1

    Mr. Jones.—But here is the point. These people are complaining of the continental Sunday—NSLS27 103.2

    Senator Blair.—They do not complain of it because it is Catholic; they complain of it because it is not as good for the people as our form of Sunday—NSLS27 103.3

    Mr. Jones.—Certainly. And in this movement, the American Sunday, they say, comes from the Puritans, and these people know—NSLS27 103.4

    Senator Blair.—Do you argue against it because it comes from the Puritans, or because it comes from the Catholics? It comes from both, you say; we say it is for the good of society, and that God is for it, because it is for the good of man.NSLS27 103.5

    Mr. Jones.—But let me state the point that I am making: I think everybody knows that it is perfectly consistent with the Catholic keeping of Sunday for the Catholic to go the church in the morning and to the pleasure resort if he chooses in the afternoon. These men stand here in convention, and cry out against the continental Sunday and against its introduction here. Everybody knows that the continental Sunday is the Roman Catholic Sunday. Yet these men, while denouncing the continental Sunday, join hands with the Roman Catholics to secure this Sunday law. They have counted here six million Protestants and seven million two hundred thousand Catholics. Suppose this law were secured in answer to these petitions, would they then have a Puritan Sabbath, or a continental Sunday? In other words, would the six million Protestants compel the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics to keep Sunday in the Puritan, or even the Protestant way, or will the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics do as they please on Sunday, and let the six million Protestants whistle for “the breath of the Puritan” which Dr. Herrick Johnson invokes? More than this, if it should come to compulsion between these, would not the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics be able to make it unpleasant for the six million Protestants?NSLS27 103.6

    Senator Blair.—I have been all through this that the working people go through. I have been hungry when a boy. The first thing I can remember about is being hungry. I know how the working people feel. I have tugged along through the week, and been tired out Saturday night, and I have been where I would have been compelled to work to the next Monday morning if there had been no law against it. I would not have had any chance to get that twenty-four hours of rest if the Sunday law had not given it to me. It was a civil law under which I got it. The masses of the working people in this country would never get that twenty-four hours’ rest if there had not been a law of the land that gave it to us. There is that practical fact, and we are fighting with that state of things. The tired and hungry men, women, and children, all over this country, want a chance to lie down, and rest for twenty-four hours out of the whole seven days.NSLS27 104.1

    Mr. Jones.—So have I been through this that the working people go through. I have carried the hod by the day. I have swung the hammer and shoved the plane by the day. I am a working-man now just as much as I ever was, though not in precisely the same way; and I say to you that I never was robbed of that twenty-four hours’ rest. Nor are there so many compelled to lose it as these Sunday-law advocates try to make out. Dr. Crafts said last night over in that convention that he had had communication with people in every nation but two, and—NSLS27 104.2

    “In the world around he could not find a man who had financially lost by refusing to work on Sunday. But many have gained by the conscientious sacrifice.”NSLS27 105.1

    Much testimony was borne in the Chicago convention last month to the same effect in this country; and in the convention now in session in this city, the Hon. Mr. Dingley, member of Congress from Maine, said last night that the American workingmen are indifferent to the efforts which are put forth in this direction.NSLS27 105.2

    Senator Blair.—He is wrong about it. Mr. Dingley didn’t know what he was talking about when he said that.NSLS27 105.3

    Mr. Jones.—He said he had investigated the matter.NSLS27 105.4

    Senator Blair.—I have investigated it, and I say that Mr. Dingley was simply laboring under a misapprehension.NSLS27 105.5

    Mr. Jones.—Dr. Crafts said this morning that he talked two hours with a convention of laboring men at Indianapolis, answering their questions, until at the end of two hours they indorsed this movement. If they are crying for it, if they are fairly tearing their hair for it, how can it be possible that he had to talk two hours to persuade them that it was all right?NSLS27 105.6

    Senator Blair.—Take his statement in full, if you take it at all. He says they are crying for it.NSLS27 105.7

    Mr. Jones.—Then why was it necessary to talk to them for two hours?NSLS27 105.8

    Senator Blair.—Then you simply say he did not tell the truth? You discredit the witness?NSLS27 105.9

    Mr. Jones.—I do.NSLS27 105.10

    Senator Blair.—You say perhaps he did not tell the truth, that is all. I think he was right.NSLS27 106.1

    Mr. Jones.—But the two things do not hitch together properly. If they are calling for it so loudly, certainly it ought not to require two hours to convert them. The fact is that the laboring men are not calling for it. Great effort is being made to have it appear so. But the Knights of Labor never took any such step except at the solicitation of Dr. Crafts. This bill had scarcely been introduced last spring before Dr. Crafts made a trip to Chicago and other cities, soliciting the indorsement of the Knights of Labor. Instead of their petitioning for this Sunday law, they have first been petitioned to petition for it; the object of it had to be explained, and objections answered, before they could even be brought to support it. The object of the petition for this bill was explained by Dr. Crafts to the Central Labor Union of New York, and its indorsement secured the Central Labor Union embraces a number of labor organizations, and the Christian Union declares the Central Labor Union to be a “radically Socialistic” organization. This, in itself, would not be particularly significant were it not for the fact that the arguments which Dr. Crafts presents to these organizations to gain their support are entirely Socialistic. Nor are these confined to Dr. Crafts. Other leaders of the movement also advocate the same principles.NSLS27 106.2

    Dr. Crafts went to the General Assembly of the Knights of Labor at Indianapolis last month to get the delegates there to indorse the petition for the passage of this Sunday bill. He has referred to this in his speech here this forenoon, and has made a portion of his speech to them and to the Locomotive Engineers a part of his speech here. A report of his speech at Indianapolis was printed in the Journal of United Labor, the official journal of the Knights of Labor of America, Thursday, Nov. 29, 1888. He said to them there:—NSLS27 106.3

    “Having carefully read and re-read your ‘declaration of principles’ and your ‘constitution,’ and having watched with interest the brave yet conservative shots of your Powderly at intemperance and other great evils, I have found myself so closely in accord with you that I have almost decided to become a Knight of Labor myself. If I do not, it will be only because I believe I can advance your ‘principles’ better as an outside ally.”NSLS27 107.1

    The following question was asked by one of the Knights:—NSLS27 107.2

    “Would it not be the best way to stop Sunday trains to have the Government own and control the railroads altogether, as the Knights advocate?”NSLS27 107.3

    Dr. Crafts answered:—NSLS27 107.4

    “I believe in that. Perhaps the best way to begin the discussion of Government control for seven days per week is to discuss this bill for Government control on one day. If the railroads refuse the little we now ask, the people will be the more ready to take control altogether.”NSLS27 107.5

    The Knights of Labor advocate the doctrine that the Government shall take control of all the railroads in the country, and hire the idle men in the country at regular railroad wages, and run the roads, as it now runs the Post-office Department, without reference to the question whether anything is made or lost by the Government. This is what gave rise to the above question. Dr. Crafts proposes to play into their hands by making the bid for their support, that if they will help the Sunday-law workers get Government control of the railroads one day in the week, then the Sunday-law workers will help the Knights to get Government control every day in the week.NSLS27 107.6

    Another question that was discussed both there and at the convention of Locomotive Engineers at Richmond, Va., was the following:—NSLS27 107.7

    “Will not one day’s less work per week mean one-seventh less wages?”NSLS27 108.1

    The response to this was as follows:—NSLS27 108.2

    “As much railroad work as is done in seven days can be done in six days, and done better, because of the better condition of the men. And on this ground the engineers would be sustained in demanding, and, if necessary, compelling, the railroad company to so readjust the pay schedule that the men will be paid as much as at present.”NSLS27 108.3

    That is to say, Dr. Crafts and the Sunday-law workers propose to stand in with the laboring men to compel employers to pay seven days’ wages for six days’ work. This is made certain by the following petition to the State legislatures, which is being circulated everywhere with the petition for this bill. I got this at the Chicago convention. Dr. Crafts distributed the petitions by the quantity there, and he is doing the same at the convention now in this city:—NSLS27 108.4

    To the State Senate [or House]: The undersigned earnestly petition your honorable body to pass a bill forbidding any one to hire another, or to be hired for more than six days in any week, except in domestic service, and the care of the sick; in order that those whom law or custom permits to work on Sunday may be protected in their right to some other weekly rest-day, and in their right to a week’s wages for six days’ work.”NSLS27 108.5

    Now a week consists of seven days. A week’s wages for six days’ work is seven days’ wages for six days’ work. This petition asks the legislatures of all the States to pass a law protecting employees in their right to seven days’ wages for six days’ work. No man in this world has any right to seven days’ wages for six days’ work. If he has a right to seven days’ wages for six days’ work, then he has an equal right to six days’ wages for five days’ work; and to five days’ wages for four days’ work; and to four days’ wages for three days’ work; to three days’ wages for two days’ work; to two days’ wages for one day’s work; and to one day’s wages for no work at all. This is precisely what the proposition amounts to. For in proposing to pay seven days’ wages for six days’s work, it does propose to pay one day’s wages for no work. But if a man is entitled to one day’s wages for doing nothing, why stop with one day? Why not go on and pay him full wages every day for doing nothing? It may be thought that I misinterpret the meaning of the petition; that, as it asks that nobody be allowed to hire another for more than six days of any week, it may mean only that six days are to compose a week; and that it is a week’s wages of six days only that is to be paid for six days’ work. That is not the meaning of the petition. It is not the intention of those who are gaining the support of the Knights of Labor by inventing and circulating the petition.NSLS27 108.6

    Dr. George Elliott, pastor of the Foundry Methodist Church in this city,—the church in which this National Sunday Convention is being held,—the church that is now festooned with fourteen million petitions that they haven’t got,—festooned, at least partly, with one seven-million-two-hundred-thousand-times-multiplied Cardinal,—Dr. Elliott, while speaking in favor of this bill this forenoon, was asked by Senator Call these questions:—NSLS27 109.1

    “Do you propose that Congress shall make provision to pay the people in the employ of the Government who are exempted on Sunday, for Sunday work?”NSLS27 109.2

    Mr. Elliott.—I expect you to give them adequate compensation.NSLS27 109.3

    Senator Call.—Do you propose that the same amount shall be paid for six days’ work as for seven?NSLS27 109.4

    Mr. Elliott.—I do; for the reason that we believe these employees can do all the work that is to be done in six days. And if they do all the work, they ought to have all the pay.”NSLS27 110.1

    There it is in plain, unmistakable words, that they deliberately propose to have laws, State and national, Which shall compel employers to pay seven days’ wages for six days’ work. This is sheer Socialism; it is the very essence of Socialism. No wonder they gained the unanimous indorsement of the convention of the Knights of Labor, and of the Locomotive Engineers, and the Socialistic Labor Union of New York City, by proposing to pay them good wages for doing nothing. I confess that I, too, would support the bill upon such a proposition as that if I looked no further than the money that is in it.NSLS27 110.2

    But this is not all. The Knights of Labor not only accept the proposition, but they carry it farther, and logically, too. This principle has been advocated for some time be the Knights of Labor in demanding ten hours’ pay for eight hours’ work—virtually two hours’ pay for doing nothing. The Christian Union and the Catholic Review propose to help the working-men secure their demanded eight-hour law, and then have the working-men help to get the six-day law by forbidding all work on Sunday. Dr. Crafts and Dr. Elliott go a step farther, and propose to secure the support of the working-men by having laws enacted compelling employers to pay them full wages on Sunday for doing nothing. But the Knights of Labor do not propose to stop with this. The same copy of the Journal of United Labor which contained the speech of Dr. Crafts, contained the following in an editorial upon this point:—NSLS27 110.3

    “Why should not such a law be enacted? All the work now performed each week could easily be accomplished in five days of eight hours each if employment were given to the host of willing idle men who are now walking the streets. It is a crime to force one portion of a community to kill themselves by overwork, while another portion of the same people are suffering from privation and hunger, with no opportunity to labor. The speech of the Rev. Mr. Crafts, published elsewhere, furnishes an abundance of argument as to why such a law should be put in force.”NSLS27 110.4

    So when the Sunday-law advocates propose to pay a week’s wages for six days’ work of eight hours each, because all the work can be done in six days that is now done in seven, then the Knights of Labor propose to have a week’s wages for five days’ work, because, by employing all the idle men, all the work that is now done in seven days can be done in five. And as Dr. Elliott has said, “If they do all the work, they ought to have all the pay.” But if a week’s wages are to be paid for five days’ work of eight hours each, that is to say, if two days’ wages can rightly be paid for no work at all, why should the thing be stopped there? If the Government is to take control of the railroads all the time in order to pay two days’ wages for doing nothing, and if the States are to enact laws compelling employers to pay employees two days’ wages for doing nothing, then why shall not the Government, both State and national, take possession of everything, and pay the laboring men full wages all the time for doing nothing? For if men have the right to one day’s wages for no work, where is the limit to the exercise of that right? The fact of the matter is that there is no limit. If a man is entitled to wages for doing nothing part of the time, he is entitled to wages for doing nothing all the time. And the principle upon which Dr. Crafts and his other Sunday-law confreres gain the support of the working-men to this Sunday bill is nothing at all but the principle of down-right Socialism.NSLS27 111.1

    There is a point right here that is worthy of the serious consideration of the working-men. These Sunday-law workers profess great sympathy for the laboring men in their struggle with the grinding monopolies, and by Sunday laws they propose to deliver the workingmen from the power of these monopolies. But in the place of all these other monopolies, they propose to establish a monopoly of religion, and to have the Government secure them in the perpetual enjoyment of it. They may talk as much as they please about the grasping, grinding greed of the many kinds of monopolies, and there is truth in it; but of all monopolies, the most greedy, the most grinding, the most oppressive, the most conscienceless the world ever saw or ever can see, is a religious monopoly. When these managers of religious legislation have delivered the working-men from the other monopolies—granting that they can do it—then the important question is, Who will deliver the working-men from the religious monopoly?NSLS27 112.1

    Senator Blair.—Abolish the law of rest, take it away from the working people, and leave corporations and saloon keepers and everybody at perfect liberty to destroy that twenty-four hours of rest, and lawgivers and law-makers will find out whether or not the people want it, and whether they want those law-makers.NSLS27 112.2

    Mr. Jones.—There are plenty of ways to help the working-men without establishing a religious monopoly, and enforcing religious observance upon all. There is another point that comes in right here. Those who are asking for the law and those who work for it, are those who compel the people to work on Sunday. In the Illinois State Sunday convention in Chicago last month, it was stated in the first speech made in the convention, “We remember how that the working-men are compelled to desecrate the Sabbath by the great corporations.”NSLS27 112.3

    The very next sentence was, “We remember also that the stockholders, the owners of these railroads, are members of the churches, that they sit in the pews and bow their heads in the house of God on the Sabbath day.”NSLS27 113.1

    Senator Blair.—That is only saying that there are hypocrites in this world. What has that to do with this proposed law?NSLS27 113.2

    Mr. Jones.—I am coming to that. It has a good deal to do with it. The stockholders who own the railroads act in this way, those men said; and it was stated by a minister in that convention that a railroad president told him that there were more petitions for Sunday trains from preachers than from any other class.NSLS27 113.3

    Senator Blair.—There are a lot of hypocrites among the preachers, then.NSLS27 113.4

    Mr. Jones.—Precisely; although you yourself have said it. I confess I have not the heart to dispute it.NSLS27 113.5

    Senator Blair.—I do not find any fault with that statement. If it is true, it does not touch this question.NSLS27 113.6

    Mr. Jones.—If these preachers and church members will not keep the Sabbath in obedience to what they say is the commandment of God, will they keep it in obedience to the command of the State?NSLS27 113.7

    Senator Blair.—Certainly the hard working man needs rest; the preachers, church members, and millionaires may do as they please: the bill comes in here and says that the national government, taking part of the jurisdiction of the civil government of the United States by a concession made by the States, by virtue of its control of interstate commerce, and the post-office business, and the army and navy, will take advantage of what the States have given to the general Government in the way of jurisdiction, and will not introduce practices which destroy the Sabbath in the States. That is the object of this legislation. That is all that is undertaken here. It is simply an act proposing to make efficient the Sunday-rest laws of the State, and nothing else.NSLS27 113.8

    Mr. Jones.—But those laws are to be enforced, if at all, by those who are so strongly in favor of them.NSLS27 114.1

    Senator Blair.—No, by the State. If these people were in favor of them, or not in favor of them, or violated them, that is another thing. A man may be for a law which he violates. A great many of the strongest temperance people in the world use intoxicating liquors. They say that they realize the evil, and that they are in favor of the enactment of law which will extirpate those evils. The strongest advocates I have ever seen of temperance legislation are men who have come to realize that the grave is just ahead of them. They cannot get rid of the appetite, but they pray the government: for legislation that will save the boys.NSLS27 114.2

    Mr. Jones.—That is all right. I am in favor of prohibition straight; but not Sunday prohibition.NSLS27 114.3

    Senator Blair.—You cannot adduce a man’s practice as a reply to the argument on a question that touches the public good. It does not vitiate a man’s principle because he fails to live up to it himself.NSLS27 114.4

    Mr. Jones.—But the secret of the whole matter is this: As an argument for the Sunday law, these men assert that the great railroad corporations desecrate the Sabbath, and by persistently running Sunday trains, also compel the railroad men to work and to desecrate the day. They at the same time assert that the men who own the railroads belong to the churches. If, then, the railroads compel their men to desecrate the day, and the owners of the railroads are church members, then who is it but the church members that are compelling people to desecrate the day?NSLS27 114.5

    Further than this, they quoted at Chicago the statement of a railroad president, that the roads “get more requests for Sunday trains signed by preachers” than they do from other people. But as the church members own the railroads, and the preachers request them to run Sunday trains, then who is to blame for the “desecration” of the day but the preachers and their own church members? Can’t the preachers stop asking for Sunday trains without being compelled to do so by the civil law? In the Chicago convention last month—November 20, 21—Dr. Knowles, who is secretary of this National Sunday-law Union, said that by the influence of William E. Dodge, even after his death, the Delaware & Lackawanna Railroad Company had resisted the temptation to run trains on Sunday until the present year. But five hundred ministers met in conference in New York and used competing lines on Sunday, and by this the hands of the Sunday observance committee have been tied ever since. After that, when the Delaware & Lackawanna directors were asked not to run Sunday trains, they replied,—NSLS27 114.6

    “How can you come to us pleading for us to run no trains on Sunday, when your preachers by the hundreds on Sunday use our rival lines, which do run on Sunday. If your preachers ride on Sunday trains on other roads, we cannot see why they and other people cannot ride on our trains on Sunday. And if it is all right for these other roads to run trains on Sunday,—and certainly ministers of the gospel would not ride on them if it were wrong,—then we cannot see how it can be such a great wrong for us to run Sunday trains.”NSLS27 115.1

    That is a very proper answer. No wonder the Sunday committee’s hands are tied by it. And yet that very conference of five hundred preachers, assembled in New York last summer, took the first decided step toward the organization of the National Sunday Association, of which Dr. Knowles himself is secretary.NSLS27 115.2

    By these facts there is presented the following condition of things: (1.) Church members own the railroads; (2.) Preachers sign requests for Sunday trains; (3.) The church members grant the request of the preachers for Sunday trains, and the preachers ride on the Sunday trains, and other church members go on Sunday excursions; (4.) Then the whole company—preachers and church members—together petition Congress and the State legislatures to make a law stopping all Sunday trains! That is to say, they want the legislatures, State and national, to compel their own railroad-owning church members not to grant the request of the preachers for Sunday trains. In other words, they want the civil power to compel them all—preachers and church members—to act as they all say that Christians ought to act. And they insist upon quoting all the time the commandment of God, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” But if they will not obey the commandment of God, which they themselves acknowledge and quote, what assurance have we that they will obey the law of Congress or State legislature when they get it, especially as it will rest entirely with themselves to see that the law is enforced? Will they compel themselves by civil law to do what they themselves will not otherwise do? The sum of this whole matter is that they want the civil power to enforce church discipline; and that not only upon themselves, but upon everybody else. The whole system, and all the pretensions upon which this Sunday law is demanded, are crooked.NSLS27 115.3

    As to the enforcement of the law, it will fall to those who are working to get it; because certainly those who do not want it will not enforce it, and the officers of the law are not given to the enforcement of laws which are not supported by public opinion. This is proved by the fact that the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago now have Sunday laws that ought to satisfy any reasonable person, and yet not one of them is enforced. And the preachers of that city and State, instead of seeing that these are enforced, call convention after convention to work up more Sunday laws, both State and national.NSLS27 116.1

    What, then, is the next intention?—It is to make it a political question in both State and nation, and make the enactment and enforcement of Sunday laws the price of votes and political support. This is proved by the following resolutions adopted by the Elgin Sunday-law convention:—NSLS27 117.1

    Resolved, That we look with shame and sorrow on the non-observance of the Sabbath by many Christian people, in that the custom prevails with them of purchasing Sabbath newspapers, engaging in and patronizing Sabbath business and travel, and in many instances giving themselves to pleasure and self-indulgence, setting aside by neglect and indifference the great duties and privileges which God’s day brings them.NSLS27 117.2

    Resolved, That we give our votes and support to those candidates or political officers who will pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcing of statutes in favor of the civil Sabbath.”NSLS27 117.3

    Such a resolution as this last may work in Illinois, though it is doubtful, but with their own statement made in that convention, it is certain that this resolution can never work under the Constitution of the United States. They stated in the convention that the Sabbath is “the test of all religion.” To demand that candidates or political officers shall pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcement of statutes in favor of the Sabbath is, therefore, to require a religious test as a qualification for office. The national Constitution declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this Government;” consequently, no Sabbath or Sunday-law test can ever be applied to any candidate for any national office or public trust.NSLS27 117.4

    It is true they use the word civil in the resolution, but that corresponds with much of their other work. There is not, and there cannot be, any such thing as a civil Sabbath. The Sabbath is religious wholly, and they know it; and in all their discussion of this resolution and the subject generally in the convention, it was as a religious institution, and that only.NSLS27 118.1

    Senator Blair.—Is there any other point you would wish to present?NSLS27 118.2

    Mr. Jones.—There is another point, and that is, that we will be sufferers under such a law when it is passed. They propose to put in an exemption clause. Some of them favor an exemption clause, but it would not in the least degree check our opposition to the law if forty exemption clauses were put in, unless, indeed, they should insert a clause exempting everybody who does not want to keep it. In that case, we might not object so much.NSLS27 118.3

    Senator Blair.—You care not whether it is put in or not?NSLS27 118.4

    Mr. Jones.—There is no right whatever in the legislation; and we will never accept an exemption clause as an equivalent to our opposition to the law. It is not to obtain relief for ourselves that we oppose the law. It is the principle of the whole subject of the legislation to which we object; and an exemption clause would not modify our objection in the least.NSLS27 118.5

    Senator Blair.—You differ from Dr. Lewis?NSLS27 118.6

    Mr. Jones.—Yes, sir, we will never accept an exemption clause, as tending in the least to modify our opposition to the law. We as firmly and as fully deny the right of the State to legislate upon the subject with an exemption clause as without.NSLS27 118.7

    Senator Blair.—There are three times as many of you as of his denomination?NSLS27 118.8

    Mr. Jones.—Yes, sir; there are nearly thirty thousand of us, and we ask for no exemption clause. We stand wholly upon the principle of the question. There should be no exemption from a just law. If the law is right, it is wrong to exempt.NSLS27 119.1

    In 1887 Mrs. Bateham herself wrote and printed a “Letter to Seventh-day Believers,” proposing in substance that if we would help them to secure a Sunday law, they would exempt us from is penalties. We replied then as we reply now and always. We will not help you to put upon others what we would not have put upon ourselves.NSLS27 119.2

    Senator Blair.—You object to it?NSLS27 119.3

    Mr. Jones.—We object to the whole principle of the proposed legislation. We go to the root of the matter, and deny the right of Congress to enact it.NSLS27 119.4

    Senator Blair.—You say that the proposed exemption does not make it any better?NSLS27 119.5

    Mr. Jones.—Not a bit; because if the rightfulness of the legislation be admitted, then we admit that it is the right of a majority to say that such and such a day shall be the Sabbath or the Lord’s day, and that it shall be kept. The majorities change in civil government; the majority may change within a few years,—may change, in fact, at any election,—and then the people may say that the day which we believe should be kept must be observed, or they may say that this day shall not be kept. If we admit the propriety of the legislation, we must also admit the propriety of the legislation to the effect that a certain day shall not be kept, and it makes every man’s observance of Sunday, or otherwise, simply the football of majorities. That has been the course of religious legislation from the formation of the papacy onward, and that is the end of religious legislation of all kinds everywhere.NSLS27 119.6

    Senator Blair.—Do you not think there is a distinction between a majority in a monarchical government, and a majority in a republican government? In a monarchical government the majority is simply one man who has power.NSLS27 120.1

    Mr. Jones.—But in a republic when you throw this subject into civil affairs, it makes a great deal of difference. Why, sir, we would object to the passage of a law enforcing the observance of the day which we keep, and to accept an exemption clause would only be to contradict ourselves. Allow me to illustrate this: There was a time when we did not keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. While we did not keep it, we had the right not to keep it. We became convinced that we ought to keep it; and we are now doing so. We have the right to keep it. More than this, we have the right again not to keep it if we choose not to keep it. But if, while keeping it, we should consent to the State’s assumption of power to compel us to do that which we have the right to omit if we please, we would therein resign our freedom of religious faith and worship. If these people would only think on this question, they would see that they themselves cannot afford to consent to this legislation, much less demand it. No man can ever safely consent to legislation in favor of the form of faith or worship which he himself professes. In so doing he resigns his right to profess some other form of faith if he should become convinced that other form is nearer the truth than his own. He virtually resigns his right to think any further on the subject of religious observances, and must thenceforth accept them ready made from the legislative power; that is, as the majority may dictate. The Sunday observers may thus give away their religious liberty if they choose; but as for us, we do not propose to do it. We are going to assert and maintain our rights. And when these give theirs away, we are going to assert their right to re-assert their rights.NSLS27 120.2

    Another thing: An exemption clause is only a toleration clause in disguise. For us to accept it would be but to confess that all religious rights are summed up in the majority, and that we are willing to accept from them whatever religious liberty they think we ought to have. But no such confession, sir, will we ever make. To no such thing will we ever consent or submit. We are Americans, sir, and citizens of the United States, too, and we assert all the rights of American citizens. The vocabulary of American ideas knows no such word as “toleration.” It asserts rights. As was said by the Senate Committee on this very subject sixty years ago, so say we,—NSLS27 121.1

    What other nations call religious toleration, we call religious rights. They are not exercised by virtue of governmental indulgence, but as rights, of which government cannot deprive any portion of citizens, however small. Despotic power may invade those rights, but justice still confirms them.”NSLS27 121.2

    Nor is this all that there is to be said on this point. There is another principle involved. If we should accept the exemption clause, it would not help the thing. It would be exceedingly short. Suppose an exemption clause were given. There are people who would profess to be Seventh-day Adventists for the express purpose of getting a chance to open saloons or houses of business on Sunday. Therefore in outright self-defense, the majority would have to repeal the exemption clause.NSLS27 121.3

    Senator Blair.—Call Mrs. Bateham’s attention to that.NSLS27 121.4

    Mr. Jones.—Let me repeat it. If you give an exemption clause—it has been tried—there are reprehensible men, saloon keepers, who know they will get more traffic on Sunday than they can on Saturday, and they will profess to be Seventh-day Adventists, they will profess to be Sabbath keepers. You cannot “go behind the returns,” you cannot look into the heart, you cannot investigate the intention, to see whether they are genuine in their profession or not. They will profess to be Sabbath keepers, and then they will open their saloons on Sunday. Then in outright self-defense, to make you position effective, you will have to repeal that exemption clause. It will last but a little while.NSLS27 121.5

    Senator Blair.—I agree with you there.NSLS27 122.1

    Mr. Jones.—For that reason these people cannot afford to offer an exemption clause; and for the reason that it puts the majority in the power of our conscience, we deny the right to do anything of the kind. I ask the organizations represented here to think of this after this hearing is over. It will bear all the investigation they choose to give it.NSLS27 122.2

    Senator Blair.—I should like to call everybody’s attention to the point. If you need any legislation of this kind, you would better ask for legislation to carry out your purposes, and be careful that in the effort to get the assistance of the parties against you, you do not throw away the pith and substance of all for which you ask.NSLS27 122.3

    Mr. Jones.—Yes, sir, that is the point. To show the workings of this principle, I will state that Arkansas in 1885 had an exemption clause in its Sunday law. That exemption clause, it was claimed, was taken advantage of by saloon keepers to keep open on Sunday. A delegation went to the legislature of Arkansas, and asked them to repeal the exemption clause, so that they could shut the saloons on Sunday. The legislature did it. If they had shut the saloons on Sunday, that would have been all well enough. But they did not even try it. There was not a saloon keeper arrested under that repealed law; there were only two men not keeping the seventh day, who were arrested under it; there was not a man who did not keep the seventh day fined under it; but there were Seventh-day Baptists and some Seventh-day Adventists, poor almost as Job’s turkey, who were prosecuted and fined. One man had his only horse taken from him, and his cow, and at last his brethren contributed money to save him from jail. Such men were prosecuted time and again; and the lawyers of the State, under the leadership of Senator Crockett, succeeded in carrying through the legislature, against the persistent opposition of the church managers, a bill restoring the exemption clause, to save these poor, innocent people from the persecution that was being carried on. 1Yet in the very next legislature, that of 1889, the church managers tried their best again to repeal the exemption clause. It was then discovered that they had elected men to the legislature pledged to repeal the exemption clause. The bill passed the Senate, but was killed in the House. This proves my position, that there is no liberty in an exemption clause.NSLS27 122.4

    Senator Blair.—I am glad you put in that fact, because it is something that happened.NSLS27 123.1

    Mr. Jones.—I ask leave to read the statement made in the Arkansas Legislature by Senator Crockett, upon that very subject:—NSLS27 123.2

    “Let me, sir, illustrate the operation of the present law by one or two examples. A Mr. Swearingen came from a Northern State and settled on a farm in ---- County. His farm was four miles from town, and far away from any house of religious worship. He was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and, after having sacredly observed the Sabbath of his people (Saturday) by abstaining from all secular work, he and his son, a lad of seventeen, on the first day of the week went quietly about their usual avocations. They disturbed no one—interfered with the rights of no one. But they were observed, and reported to the Grand Jury, indicted, arrested, tried, convicted, fined, and having no money to pay the fine, these moral, Christian citizens of Arkansas were dragged to the county jail and imprisoned like felons for twenty-five days—and for what?—For daring, in this so-called land of liberty, in the year of our Lord 1887, to worship God.NSLS27 123.3

    “Was this the end of the story?—Alas, no, sir! They were turned out; and the old man’s only horse, his sole reliance to make bread for his children, was levied on to pay the fine and costs, amounting to thirty-eight dollars. The horse sold at auction for twenty-seven dollars. A few days afterward the sheriff came again, and demanded thirty-six dollars, eleven dollars balance due on fine and costs, and twenty-five dollars for board for himself and son while in jail. And when the poor old man—a Christian, mind you—told him with tears that he had no money, he promptly levied on his only cow, but was persuaded to accept bond, and the amount was paid by contributions from his friends of the same faith. Sir, my heart swells to bursting with indignation as I repeat to you the infamous story.NSLS27 124.1

    “Another, and I am done. Sir, I beg you and these senators to believe that these are neither fancy nor exaggerated sketches. Five years ago a young man, newly married, came to----County from Ohio. He and his wife were Seventh-day Baptists. The young girl had left father and mother, brothers and sisters, and all the dear friends of her childhood, to follow her young husband to Arkansas—to them the land of promise. The light of love sparkled in her bright young eyes. The roses of health were upon her cheeks, and her silvery laugh was sweet music, of which her young husband never wearied. They purchased a little farm, and soon by tireless industry and frugal thrift, their home blossomed like a rose in the wilderness. After awhile a fair young babe came to them to brighten the sunshine, and sweeten the bird songs. They were happy in each other’s affection and their love for the little one. For them ‘all things worked together for good;’ for in their humble, trusting way, they worshiped God and loved their fellow-men.NSLS27 124.2

    “Two years ago the law under which their prosperity and happiness had had its growth was repealed! Accursed be the day which brought such a foul blot upon our State’s fair fame! A change, sudden, cold, and blasting as an Arctic storm, came over their lives, and pitilessly withered all their bright flowers of hope. Under this repeal, persecution lifted its ugly, venomous head. The hero of my sad story was observed by an envious, jealous neighbor, quietly working, as he believed God had commanded him, on Sunday. He was reported to that Inquisitorial relic of barbarism, the Grand Jury, indicted, tried, convicted, and thrown into jail because his conscience would not let him pay the fine.NSLS27 124.3

    “Week after week dragged its slow length along. Day after day the young wife, with baby in her arms, watched at the gate for his coming, and, like Tennyson’s Marianna—NSLS27 125.1

    “‘She only said: “My life is dreary—He cometh not,” she said. She said: “I am aweary—aweary—I would that I were dead.’”NSLS27 125.2

    “Then baby sickened and died; the light in the young wife’s eyes faded out in tears; her silvery laugh changed to low, wailing sobs. Pale-faced Misery snatched the roses from her cheeks, and planted in their stead her own pallid hue. Sir, how can I go on? At length the cruel law was appeased, and this inoffensive citizen (except that he had loved God and sought to obey him) was released from prison, and dragged his weary feet to the happy home he had left a few short weeks before. He met his neighbors at the gate bearing a coffin. He asked no questions, his heart told him all. No, not all! He knew not—he could never know—of her lonely hours, of her bitter tears, of the weary watching and waiting, of the appeals to God,—that God for whom she had suffered so much,—for help in the hour of her extremity, of baby’s sickness and death. He could not know of these. But he went with them to the quiet country burial-place, and saw beside the open grave a little mound with dirt freshly heaped upon it, and then he knew that God had taken both his heart’s idols, and he was left alone. His grief was too deep for tears. With staring eyes, he saw them lower the body of his young wife into the grave. He heard the clods rattle upon the coffin, and it seemed as if they were falling upon his heart. The work was done, and they left him with his dead; and then he threw himself down between the graves, with an arm across each little mound, and the tears came in torrents, and kept his heart from breaking. And then he sobbed his broken farewell to his darlings, and left Arkansas forever,—left it, sir, as hundreds of others are preparing to leave, if this General Assembly fails to restore to them the protection of their rights under the Constitution, national and State.NSLS27 125.3

    “On next Monday, at Malvern, six as honest, good, and virtuous citizens as live in Arkansas, are to be tried as criminals for daring to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their own consciences; for exercising a right which this Government, under the Constitution, has no power to abridge. Sir, I plead, in the name of justice, in the name of our republican institutions, in the name of these inoffensive, God-fearing, God-serving people, our fellow-citizens, and last, sir, in the name of Arkansas, I plead that this bill may pass, and this one foul blot be wiped from the escutcheon of our glorious commonwealth.”NSLS27 126.1

    Arkansas was not alone in this, however, though it was worse there than anywhere else. I myself, with other brethren in California, had to send hundreds of dollars into Tennessee, to support the families of the brethren of our own faith there, while the husbands and fathers who made the money for their support were in jail because they chose to work for their families on Sunday, and make bread for them after having kept the Sabbath according to their conscience. That has been done, Mr. Chairman, in these United States. That is the care these people have for the laboring man.NSLS27 126.2

    Senator Blair.—You reason from that that there should be no Sunday law whatever?NSLS27 126.3

    Mr. Jones.—If you allow a Sunday law, you must allow it to any extent. It must be enforced. All they did in Arkansas was to enforce the law, simply as in the Roman empire they enforced the law, and put Christians to death. They simply enforced the law, but the law was wrong. Any condition of the law that will allow such things as that is a wrong condition of the law.NSLS27 126.4

    Senator Blair.—This bill proposes that work must not be done to the disturbance of others. This work was done to the disturbance of others.NSLS27 127.1

    Mr. Jones.—I know that this bill for a national Sunday law proposes that work must not be done “to the disturbance of others,” and in that very phrase lies one of its worst features. The bill declares that no person shall do any work, or “engage in any play, game, or amusement, or recreation, to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord’s day, or during any part thereof.” This leaves it entirely with the other man to say whether that which I do disturbs him; and that is only to make every man’s action on Sunday subject to the whim or caprice of his neighbor. And everybody knows that it requires a very slight thing to disturb one who has a spite or prejudice against you. At the Illinois State Sunday-law convention last month (Nov. 20, 21), Dr. R. O. Post, of Springfield, made a speech on the subject of “Sunday Recreation,” in which he declared as the sum of his whole speech that,—NSLS27 127.2

    “There is no kind of recreation that is proper or profitable on Sunday, outside of the home or the sanctuary.”NSLS27 127.3

    Only let such a law as is embodied in this bill become of force where R. O. Post, D. D., is, and any kind of recreation outside of the home or the sanctuary would be sure to disturb him, and the one engaged in the recreation could be arrested and prosecuted. But it may be argued that no judge or jury would uphold any such prosecution. That is not at all certain, as we shall yet see; but whether or not it is so, it is certain that if your neighbor should say that what you did disturbed him, under such a law as that he could have you arrested, and put to the inconvenience and expense of defending yourself before the court. In 1887, the city of San Francisco, Cal., had an ordinance on another subject that embodied the very principle of this clause of this Sunday bill. It reads thus:—NSLS27 127.4

    “No person shall in any place indulge in conduct having a tendency to annoy persons passing or being upon the public highway, or upon adjacent premises.”NSLS27 128.1

    It is easy to see that the principle of this ordinance is identical with that of the clause in the first section of this bill, which forbids anything “to the disturbance of others.”NSLS27 128.2

    While that San Francisco ordinance was in force, a man by the name of Ferdinand Pape was distributing some circulars on the street, which not only had a tendency to annoy, but actually “annoyed” a business man across the street. Pape was arrested. He applied to the Superior Court for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that the offense charged against him did not constitute a crime, and that the ordinance making such action an offense was invalid and void, because it was unreasonable and uncertain. The report of the case says:—NSLS27 128.3

    “The writ was made returnable before Judge Sullivan, and argued by Henry Hutton in behalf of the imprisoned offender. Disposing of the question, the Judge gave quite a lengthy written opinion, in which he passed a somewhat severe criticism upon the absurdity of the contested ordinance, and discharged Pape from custody. Said the Judge:—NSLS27 128.4

    “‘If the order be law, enforceable by fine and imprisonment, it is a crime to indulge in any conduct, however innocent and harmless in itself, and however unconsciously done, which has a tendency to annoy other persons.... Instances might be multiplied indefinitely in which the most harmless and inoffensive conduct has a tendency to annoy others. If the language of the ordinance defines a criminal offense, it sets a very severe penalty of liberty and property upon conduct lacking in the essential element of criminality.NSLS27 128.5

    “‘But it may be said that courts and juries will not use the instrumentality of this language to set the seal of condemnation on unoffending citizens, and to unjustly deprive them of their liberty and brand them as criminals. The law countenances no such dangerous doctrine, countenances no principle so subversive of liberty, as that the life or liberty of a subject should be made to depend upon the whim or caprice of judge or jury, by exercising a discretion in determining that certain conduct does or does not come within the inhibition of a criminal action. The law should be engraved so plainly and distinctly on the legislative tables that it can be discerned alike by all subjects of the commonwealth, whether judge upon the bench, juror in the box, or prisoner at the bar. Any condition of the law which allows the test of criminality to depend on the whim or caprice of judge or juror, savors of tyranny. The language employed is broad enough to cover conduct which is clearly within the Constitutional rights of the citizen. It designates no border-line which divides the criminal from the non-criminal conduct. Its terms are too vague and uncertain to lay down a rule of conduct. In my judgment, the portion of the ordinance here involved is uncertain and unreasonable.’”NSLS27 129.1

    This decision applies with full force to this proposed national Sunday law. Under this law, all that would be necessary to subject any person to a criminal prosecution, would be for him to engage in any sort of play, game, amusement, or recreation on Sunday; because the National Reformers are as much in favor of this Sunday law as is anybody else, and there are many of those rigid National Reformers who would be very much “disturbed” by any amusement or recreation indulged in on Sunday, however innocent it might be in itself. And it is left entirely to the whim or caprice of the “disturbed” one, or of the judge or jury, to say whether the action really has or has not disturbed him.NSLS27 129.2

    The California decision is, that such a statute “sets a very severe penalty of liberty and property upon conduct lacking in the essential element of criminality.” California courts “countenance no such dangerous doctrine, countenance no principle so subversive of liberty,” or which so “savors of tyranny,” as that which is embodied in these words of this Sunday bill.NSLS27 130.1

    Nor is this confined to this particular section; the same principle is found in Section 5. This section provides that if any person works for any other person on Sunday, and receives payment for it at any time, then any person in the wide world, except the parties concerned, can enter suit, and recover the money so paid. If you work for me on Sunday, and I pay you for it, then the first man that finds it out can sue you and get the money. That is what the bill says. When wages are paid for Sunday work, “whether in advance or otherwise, the same may be recovered back by whoever shall first sue for the same.” Whoever is a universal term. Therefore, this bill deliberately proposes that when any man who is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, receives payment for work done on Sunday, except for work of necessity or mercy, he may be sued for that money by whoever first learns that he has received it, and that person shall get the money.NSLS27 130.2

    So much for this bill as it reads. Now, as to the work for which the Seventh-day observers of Arkansas were prosecuted. It was not to the disturbance of others. Let me state some of the facts, the authentic record of which I have, but it is too voluminous to present in detail.NSLS27 130.3

    With two exceptions, all the arrests and prosecutions were of people who observed the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. And in these two exceptions, those who were held for trial were held without bail,—simply on their own recognizance,—and although the testimony was direct and positive, the jury “agreed to disagree,” and the cases were both dismissed; while in every case of a Seventh-day Adventist, the least bail that was accepted was $110; the most of them were held under bonds for $250, and some for as high as $500. There was not a single case dismissed, and in all the cases the complaint was never made that what was done had disturbed the worship or the rest of any one. But the indictments were all for the crime of “Sabbath-breaking” by the performance of labor on Sunday.NSLS27 131.1

    The statute of Arkansas at that time ran thus:—NSLS27 131.2

    “SECTION 1883. Every person who shall on the Sabbath, or Sunday, be found laboring, or shall compel his apprentice or servant to labor or perform service other than customary household duties of daily necessity, comfort, or charity, on conviction thereof shall be fined one dollar for each separate offense.NSLS27 131.3

    “SEC. 1884. Every apprentice or servant compelled to labor on Sunday shall be deemed a separate offense of the master.NSLS27 131.4

    “SEC. 1885. The provision of this act shall not apply to steamboats and other vessels navigating the waters of the State, nor such manufacturing establishments as require to be kept in continual operation.”NSLS27 131.5

    In the case of Mr. Swearingen, mentioned by Senator Crockett, the conviction was upon the testimony of a witness who swore that the work for which he was convicted was done on a day which proved to be seventeen days before the law was enacted, thus by its enforcement making the law ex post facto. The Constitution of the United States forbids the making of ex post facto laws. But when a law not being ex post facto in itself, made so by its enforcement, it is time that something was being done to enlighten courts and juries upon that subject, even though it should be by an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, providing that no law not being ex post facto in itself shall be made so by its enforcement. Then, no the other hand, several cases were tried, and the men convicted and fined after the law was repealed, though for work done before.NSLS27 131.6

    In almost every case the informer, the prosecuting witness, or perhaps both, were men who were doing work or business on the same day, and sometimes with the very persons accused; yet the man who kept the seventh day was convicted in every instance, while the man who did not keep the seventh day, but did work or business with the man who did, was left entirely unmolested, and his evidence was accepted in Court to convict the other man. I give some instances:—NSLS27 132.1

    First, a man by the name of Millard Courtney, who was the prosecuting witness against two men, Armstrong and Elmore, had taken a man with him to where these men were working, and there they made a contract for roofing a school-house; and yet Courtney’s evidence convicted these two men of Sabbath-breaking at the very time he was doing business with them.NSLS27 132.2

    Second, J. L. Shockey was convicted upon the testimony of a man by the name of Hammond, who went to him on Sunday where he was at work, and bargained with him for a Plymouth Rock rooster.NSLS27 132.3

    Third, J. L. James, who worked in the rain for nothing on Sunday that a poor widow, a member of another church, might be sheltered, was convicted of Sabbath breaking upon the evidence of a man who carried wood and chopped it up that same day within seven rods of the man who was convicted by his testimony.NSLS27 132.4

    Fourth, one La Fever and his wife went to Allen Meeks’s house on Sunday to visit. They found Meeks planting potatoes. Meeks stopped planting potatoes, and spent the rest of the day visiting with them; and yet Meeks was convicted of Sabbath-breaking and fined upon the evidence of La Fever.NSLS27 132.5

    Fifth, the second case of Mr. Meeks. Riley Warren went to his house on Sunday, to see him about hiring a teacher for the public school. In the social, neighborly conversation that passed between them, Meeks incidentally mentioned that he had mended his wagon-brake that morning; and yet he was convicted of Sabbath-breaking upon the evidence of that same Riley Warren. Meeks was thus virtually compelled to be a witness against himself,—clearly another violation of both the State and United States Constitution.NSLS27 133.1

    Sixth, Mr. Reeves’s boys were hauling wood on Sunday. In the timber where they got the wood, they met another boy, a Seventh-day Adventist, John A. Meeks, hunting squirrels. They joined him in the hunt, scaring the squirrels around the trees so he could shoot them. Then the squirrels were divided between the Meeks boy and the Reeves boys. Then the Meeks boy was indicted, prosecuted, and convicted of Sabbath-breaking upon the evidence of the father of those boys who were hauling wood, and who helped to kill the squirrels.NSLS27 133.2

    Seventh, James M. Pool, for hoeing in his garden on Sunday, was convicted of Sabbath-breaking, on the evidence of a “sanctified” church member who had gone to Pool’s house on Sunday to buy tobacco.NSLS27 133.3

    Allow me to mention the methods of prosecution. In the case of Scoles, J. A. Armstrong was called before the Grand Jury. After repeated answers to questions in regard to work done on Sunday by different parties in several different lines of business and traffic, he was asked the direct question whether he knew of any Seventh-day Adventists who worked on Sunday, and when in the nature of the case he answered in the affirmative, every one of the Seventh-day Adventists whom he named was indicted, and not one of any other class or trade.NSLS27 133.4

    In the second case of James A. Armstrong; he was arrested at the instance of the mayor. When asked for the affidavit upon which Armstrong was arrested, the mayor said that A. J. Vaughn had called his attention to Armstrong’s working, and had said, “Now see that you do your duty,” yet Vaughn testified under oath that he did not see Armstrong at all on the day referred to. Armstrong was not only arrested at the instance of the mayor, but he was also tried before the mayor, who acted as Justice of the Peace. And when Vaughn testified that he had not seen Armstrong at all on the day referred to, this made the mayor, virtually, both prosecuting witness and judge; and the questions which he asked show that that was precisely his position, and his own view of the case. The question which he asked to each of the first two witnesses was, “What do you know about Mr. Armstrong’s working on Sunday, June 27?” This question assumes all that was expected to be proved on the trial.NSLS27 134.1

    This is enough to show the workings of such a Sunday law as is embodied in this Senate bill. There were many other cases, every one in the same line. But throughout the whole list of cases, it is only the record of how people who were performing honest labor on their own premises in a way in which it was impossible to do harm to any soul on earth, were indicted, prosecuted, and convicted upon the evidence of men who, if there were any wrong involved in the case at all, were more guilty than they. If religious persecution could possibly be more clearly demonstrated than it is in this thing, we hope never to see an illustration of it.NSLS27 134.2

    It may be asked, Why was not an appeal taken? An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the State, in the first case that was tried. The judgment of the lower Court was confirmed in an opinion closing with these words:—NSLS27 134.3

    “The appellant’s argument, then, is reduced to this: That because he conscientiously believes he is permitted by the law of God to labor on Sunday, he may violate with impunity the statute declaring it illegal to do so; but a man’s religious belief cannot be accepted as a justification for his committing an overt act made criminal by the law of the land. If the law operates harshly, as laws sometimes do, the remedy is in the hands of the legislature. It is not the province of the judiciary to pass upon the wisdom or policy of legislation. That is for the members of the legislative department; and the only appeal from their determination is to the constituency.”NSLS27 135.1

    This decision of the Supreme Court is of the same piece with the prosecutions and judicial processes throughout. It gives to the legislature all the omnipotence of the British Parliament, and in that does away with all necessity for a Constitution. The decision on this principle alone, is un-American. No legislative body in this country is framed upon the model of the British Parliament in respect to power. In this country, the powers of every legislature are defined and limited by Constitutions. It is the prerogative of Supreme Courts to define the meaning of the Constitution, and to decide whether an act of the legislature is Constitutional or not. If the act is Constitutional, then it must stand, whatever the results may be. And the Supreme Court is the body by which the Constitutionality or the unconstitutionality of any statute is to be discovered. But if, as this decision declares, the legislature is omnipotent, and that which it does must stand as law, then there is no use for a Constitution. “One of the objects for which the judiciary department is established, is the protection of the Constitutional rights of the citizens.”NSLS27 135.2

    So long as there is a Constitution above the legislature, which defines and limits its powers, and protects and guards the rights of the citizens, so long it is the province of the Supreme Court to pronounce upon the acts of the legislature. The Supreme Court of Arkansas, therefore, in this case, clearly abdicated one of the very functions for which it was created, or else subverted the Constitution of Arkansas; and in either case, bestowed upon the legislature the omnipotence of the British Parliament, which is contrary to every principle of American institutions. Nor is the State of Arkansas an exception in this case; for this is the usual procedure of Supreme Courts in sustaining Sunday laws. They cannot be sustained upon any American principle; resort has to be made in every instance, and has been with scarcely an exception, either to the church-and-state principles of the British Government, or to the British principle of the omnipotence of the legislative power. But American principles are far above and far in advance of the principles of the British Government, in that they recognize Constitutional limitations upon the legislative power, and countenance no union of church and state; consequently Sunday laws never have been, and never can be, sustained upon American principles.NSLS27 136.1

    That this stricture upon Supreme Court of Arkansas is not unjust, we have the clearest proof. The three judges who then composed the Supreme Court, were all members of the Bar Association of the State of Arkansas. In less than three months after this decision was rendered, the Bar Association unanimously made a report to the State on “law and law reform,” an official copy of which I have in my possession. In that report, under the heading “Sunday Laws,” is the following:—NSLS27 136.2

    “Our statute as it stands in Mansfield’s Digest, provides that ‘persons who are members of any religious society who observe as Sabbath any other day of the week than the Christian Sabbath, or Sunday, shall not be subject to the penalties of this act [the Sunday law], so that they observe one day in seven, agreeably to the faith and practice of their church or society.’—Mans. Dig., sec. 1886.NSLS27 136.3

    “This statute had been in force from the time of the organization of the State government; but it was unfortunately repealed by act of March 3, 1885.—Acts 1885, 37.NSLS27 137.1

    “While the Jews adhere, of course, to the letter of the original command to remember the seventh day of the week, there is also in the State a small but respectable body of Christians who consistently believe that the seventh day is the proper day to be kept sacred; and in the case of Scoles vs. State, our Supreme Court was compelled to affirm a judgment against a member of one of these churches, for worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience, supported, as he supposed, by good theological arguments. It is very evident that the system now in force, savoring, as it does, very much of religious persecution, is a relic of the Middle Ages, when it was thought that men could be made orthodox by an act of parliament. Even in Massachusetts, where Sabbatarian laws have always been enforced with unusual vigor, exceptions are made in favor of persons who religiously observe any other day in the place of Sunday. We think that the law as it stood in Mansfield’s Digest, should be restored, with such an amendment as would prevent the sale of spirits on Sunday, as that was probably the object of repealing the above section.”NSLS27 137.2

    Now the Arkansas Constitution says:—NSLS27 137.3

    “All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent. No human authority can, in any case or manner whatsoever, control or interfere with the right of conscience; and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment, denomination, or mode of worship, above any other.”NSLS27 137.4

    This report of the Bar Association says, “In the case of Scoles vs. State, our Supreme Court was compelled to affirm a judgment against a member of one of these churches, for worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience.”NSLS27 138.1

    The members of the Supreme Court being members of the Bar Association, in that report it is confessed that they confirmed a judgment against a man for doing that which the Constitution explicitly declares all men have a natural and indefeasible right to do.NSLS27 138.2

    Senator Blair.—Then if they had a law like this, they were wrongly convicted under the law, just as innocent men are sometimes hung; but you cannot reason that there should be no law against murder because innocent men are sometimes executed. It is fault in the administration of the law. You cannot reason from that that there should be no law.NSLS27 138.3

    Mr. Jones.—If there had been arrests of other people for working on Sunday, in anything like the numbers that there were of seventh-day observers, and the law had been enforced upon all alike, then the iniquity would not have been so apparent; or if those who were not seventh-day observers, and who were arrested, had been convicted, even then the case would not have been so clearly one of persecution. But when in all the record of the whole two years’ existence of the law in this form, there was not a solitary saloon keeper arrested, there was not a person who did not observe the seventh day arrested, with the two exceptions named, then there could be no clearer demonstration that the law was used only as a means to vent religious spite against a class of citizens guiltless of any crime, but only of professing a religion different from that of the majority.NSLS27 138.4

    The fact of the matter is,—and the whole history of these proceedings proves it,—that from beginning to end these prosecutions were only the manifestation of that persecuting, intolerant spirit that will always make itself felt when any class of religionists can control the civil power. The information upon which the indictments were found, was treacherously given, and in the very spirit of the Inquisition. The indictment itself is a travesty of legal form, and a libel upon justice. The principle was more worthy of the Dark Ages than of any civilized nation or modern time; and the Supreme Court decision that confirmed the convictions, is one which is contrary to the first principles of Constitutional law or Constitutional compacts.NSLS27 139.1

    And if Congress should lend its sanction to religious legislation to the extent of passing this national Sunday bill, now under consideration, and its principles should be made of force in all the States, the history of Arkansas from 1885-86 would be repeated through the whole extent of the nation. This I can prove, at least so far as the intention goes of those who are actively in favor of it. Rev. D. Mc Allister is one of the principal men of the National Reform Association. That Association and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union held a joint convention at Lakeside, Ohio, in July, 1887; and speaking on the subject of a national Sunday law, Dr. Mc Allister said:—NSLS27 139.2

    “Let a man be what he may,—Jew, seventh-day observer of some other denomination, or those who do not believe in the Christian Sabbath,—let the law apply to every one, that there shall be no public desecration of the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath, the day of rest for the nation. They may hold any other day of rest of the week as sacred, and observe it; but that day which is the one day in seven for the nation at large, let that not be publicly desecrated by any one, by officer in the Government, or by private citizen, high or low, rich or poor.”NSLS27 139.3

    Then some one stated from the audience that—NSLS27 140.1

    “There is a law in the State of Arkansas enforcing Sunday observance upon the people, and the result has been that many good persons have not only been imprisoned, but have lost their property, and even their lives.”NSLS27 140.2

    To which Mr. Mc Allister coolly replied:—NSLS27 140.3

    “It is better that a few should suffer, than that the whole nation should lose its Sabbath.”NSLS27 140.4

    This argument is identical with that by which the Pharisees in Christ’s day justified themselves in killing him. It was said:—NSLS27 140.5

    “It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50.NSLS27 140.6

    And then says the record:—NSLS27 140.7

    “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Verse 53.NSLS27 140.8

    It is because of these principles, unblushingly avowed by the very men who stand in the lead in the effort to secure the enactment of this national Sunday law; and because of the practical effect of such a law in Arkansas and Tennessee, and to some extent in Pennsylvania,—it is because of these things that we say to you, gentlemen of the United States Senate, you cannot afford to give to these men the power which they seek in the enactment of this proposed Sunday law. The speech of Senator Crockett’s, which I have read, was made in the legislature of Arkansas, when he was pleading for the restoration of that exemption clause,—when he was pleading for toleration, in fact.NSLS27 140.9

    Senator Blair.—Do you know whether this young man had money or friends?NSLS27 141.1

    Mr. Jones.—Dr. Lewis, can you certify whether he had money?NSLS27 141.2

    Dr. Lewis.—The case was never reported to other churches for relief. I do not know as to his personal estate.NSLS27 141.3

    Senator Blair.—Do you not think it was a peculiar man who would allow his child to be killed and his wife to starve?NSLS27 141.4

    Dr. Lewis.—The case was not reported to our churches in the North.NSLS27 141.5

    Mr. Jones.—About that peculiarity I will say that John Bunyan stayed twelve years in Bedford jail when he could have got out by simply saying the word “yes,” and agreeing that he would not preach.NSLS27 141.6

    Senator Blair.—It was a very different thing to be called on to say that he would abstain from the performance of a great duty in his church. He preached the gospel, and he would not agree not to preach the gospel. But here is a man who lets his wife and child die rather than pay twenty-five or fifty dollars and get out, and have an opportunity to go to work for them.NSLS27 141.7

    Mr. Jones.—What kind of law is that which puts a man upon his conscience to choose between his wife and child and paying a fine of twenty-five or fifty dollars? But suppose he had paid the fine, and got out and gone to work again, how long could he have worked? When the next Sunday came round, it was his duty to his wife and child to work for their support. Is he to go to work on Sunday, and go through the course of prosecution again, and again pay a fine of twenty-five or fifty dollars? How long could this be kept up? There are not many poor farmers who can clear from twenty-five to fifty dollars every week above all expenses, to be devoted to paying regular fines for the privilege of following their honest occupation on their own premises. But it will be said, “Let him not work on Sunday, then he would not have to pay a fine.” Well, if he consents to do no work on Sunday, he consents to be robbed of one-sixth of his time, which he honestly owes to the support of his wife and child. For to rob him of one-sixth of his time is precisely what the State does in such a case; and it is either confiscation outright, or confiscation under the guise of a fine imposed as punishment for his refusing to allow himself to be robbed of one-sixth of his time. Either this, or else he must give up his right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and the word of God, and so surrender his rights of conscience altogether. It comes to this, therefore, that Sunday laws are a direct invasion of the rights of conscience.NSLS27 141.8

    More than this, Sunday laws are a direct invasion not only of the Constitutional right, but the inalienable right, of acquiring possessing, and protecting property. I here adopt the language of the Supreme Court of California,—language which can never be successfully controverted:—NSLS27 142.1

    “The right to protect and possess property is not more clearly protected by the Constitution than the right to acquire. The right to acquire must include the right to use the proper means to attain the end. The right itself would be impotent without the power to use the necessary incidents. If the legislature have the authority to appoint a time of compulsory rest, ... it is without limit, and may extend to the prohibition of all occupations at all times... For the Constitution to declare a right inalienable and at the same time leave the legislature unlimited power over it, would be a contradiction in terms, an idle provision, proving that a Constitution was a mere parchment barrier, insufficient to protect the citizen, delusive and visionary, and the practical result of which would be to destroy, not conserve, the rights which they may assume to protect. The legislature, therefore, cannot prohibit the proper use of the means of acquiring property, except the peace and safety of the State require it.”—Ex parte Newman, 9 Cal., pp. 517, 510.NSLS27 142.2

    But does the peace and safety of the State require it in any such case as is here involved? Can it ever be against the peace and safety of the State for any man to follow his honest, legitimate, and even laudable occupations? It is against the peace and safety of the State to prohibit it. For, as I have before conclusively proved, for the State to do so is for it to put honest occupations in the catalogue of crimes; to put peaceable and industrious citizens upon a level with criminals; and to put a premium upon idleness and recklessness. It is certainly against the peace and safety of any State to do any such thing. Therefore it is demonstrated that Sunday laws are an invasion of the inalienable right of acquiring and possessing property, and for that man in Arkansas to have obeyed that law, would have been to surrender his inalienable right.NSLS27 143.1

    Once more: As the right to acquire property includes the right to use the proper means to attain that end, and as such a law deprives a man of the use of such means during one-sixth of his time, it follows that it is a violation of that provision of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which declares that “no State shall deprive any citizen of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”NSLS27 143.2

    All this, sir, is involved in the question as to whether that man shall recognize the law to such an extent as even to pay the fine. If he does, then it follows inevitably that all his property shall go to pay fines, or else he must choose between yielding his rights of conscience, and allowing one-sixth of his time to be confiscated, and in that a certain proportion of property; because to the industrious citizen, time is property. But if the State by a Sunday law or by any other means, may confiscate a part, it may confiscate all. Where, then, shall resistance to oppression begin?—I say, At the very first appearance of it. Under cover of the word “loan” Charles I. undertook to confiscate a small sum of money from each of the property owners of England. John Hampden’s share was about seven dollars and seventy-five cents. He was a rich man, but he refused to pay it; and his refusal to pay that paltry sum led to all England’s being plunged into confusion and civil war: the king lost his head, Hampden himself lost his life, and all this rather than to pay the insignificant sum of seven dollars and seventy-five cents!—less than one-third of the fine imposed upon this man for refusing to assent to the confiscation of one-sixth of his property. But John Hampden’s refusal to pay that money established the Constitutional principle that every man has the inalienable right to acquire, possess, and protect property—a right which was invaded in this case. Upon this principle alone that man was entirely justified in refusing to pay the fine imposed by that Sunday law. But as there was also involved the inalienable right of conscience, he was doubly justified in refusing to obey the law or to recognize the principle.NSLS27 143.3

    Senator Blair.—Suppose he was a guilty man. Suppose he did not believe it was an offense to steal, and that he conscientiously thought that he could take goods from another in a certain way. He had been convicted under the law, and was under the penalty of paying twenty-five dollars’ fine. Is he to put his right of conscience against the demands of wife and child, and against the judgment of the community, and the State in which he lives, and to which he owes all the rights to the enjoyment of property, and everything else he has? In this case a man saw all this evil done rather than pay twenty-five or fifty dollars, and he says he did that by reason of his conscience.NSLS27 144.1

    Mr. Jones.—The cases are not parallel at all, unless indeed you count it as much of a crime for a man to follow his honest occupation as it is for him to steal. This, however, we have demonstrated is the very thing that Sunday laws do. But we forever protest against honesty industry’s being put upon a level with thieving.NSLS27 145.1

    The man who steals takes the property of others without compensation and without regard to the question of right. If, then, the State takes from him property or time without compensation, he cannot complain of injustice. But in the case of the man who works on Sunday, he invades no man’s right in any degree; he takes no man’s property or his time in any way, much less does he take it without compensation. For the State to punish the thief, is just. For the State to punish the industrious citizen, is pre-eminently unjust.NSLS27 145.2

    But aside from all this, did you ever hear of a man whose conscience taught him that it was right to steal, that it was a conscientious conviction to steal?NSLS27 145.3

    Senator Blair.—I have heard of great many instances where an individual confessed that he had conscientiously violated the law, yet he was punished.NSLS27 145.4

    Mr. Jones.—Precisely; and the Christians were put to death under the Roman empire for violating the law.NSLS27 145.5

    Senator Blair.—But that does not answer my question, and it is not necessary that it should be answered.NSLS27 145.6

    Mr. Jones.—It is right for any man to violate any law that invades his Constitutional rights; and it is his right conscientiously to violate any law that invades the rights of conscience. God declares the man innocent who violates the law that interferes with man’s relationship to God—the law that invades the rights of conscience. See cases “The King vs. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego;” and “The State vs. Daniel,” reported in Daniel, chapters 3 and 6.NSLS27 145.7

    The end of the Arkansas case, as reported by Senator Crockett, was that the poor man lost both his wife and his child.NSLS27 146.1

    Senator Blair.—What became of him?NSLS27 146.2

    Mr. Jones.—He left the State.NSLS27 146.3

    Senator Blair.—I should think he ought to leave it.NSLS27 146.4

    Mr. Jones.—So do I, sir. But what can be said of freedom any more in this country, when such things can be? That is also true of six other men who followed the dictates of their own consciences,—as good, honest, virtuous citizens, as lived in Arkansas.NSLS27 146.5

    Senator Blair.—There is a good deal of humbug about the dictates of one’s own conscience. If a man is to set up his conscience against the obligations to do what is right and to perform his duty toward society, an unintelligent and uninformed conscience of that kind might be allowed to destroy all society. It is not conscience always.NSLS27 146.6

    Mr. Jones.—I beg your pardon, sir. The rights of conscience are eternally sacred. There is no conscience in regard to the State, however; conscience has to do with God, and with what he has commanded; and a man reads in the Bible what God commands. I here adopt the words of the present Associate-justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Hon. Stanley Matthews, in his speech in the case of the Cincinnati School Board vs. Minor et al. He says:—NSLS27 146.7

    “We may call the eccentricities of conscience, vagaries, if we please; but in matters of religious concern we have no right to disregard or despise them, no matter how trivial and absurd we may conceive them to be. In the days of the early Christian martyrs, the Roman lictors and soldiers despised and ridiculed the fanaticism that refused the trifling conformity of a pinch of incense upon the altar, erected to the Cesar that arrogated to himself the title and honor of ‘divine,’ or a heathen statue. History is filled with the record of bloody sacrifices which holy men who feared God rather than men, have not withheld, on account of what seemed to cruel persecutors but trifling observances and concessions.... Conscience, if your honors please, is a tender thing, and tenderly to be regarded; and in the same proportion in which a man treasures his own moral integrity,—sets up the light of conscience within him as the glory of God shining in him to discover to him the truth,—so ought he to regard the conscience of every other man, and apply the cardinal maxim of Christian life and practice, ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them.’”NSLS27 146.8

    Senator Blair.—Should those who conscientiously believe in free love be allowed to indulge in it?NSLS27 147.1

    Mr. Jones.—There is no point in that. Where is there any conscientious conviction in free love? I cannot discover it. There is no room for any.NSLS27 147.2

    Senator Blair.—But there must be laws which prohibit immorality?NSLS27 147.3

    Mr. Jones.—I ask you to define what immorality is, and then I will answer your question.NSLS27 147.4

    Senator Blair.—If you do not know what the expression means, I shall not undertake to enlighten you.NSLS27 147.5

    Mr. Jones.—I know what it means.NSLS27 147.6

    Senator Blair.—Then why do you ask me to define it? Why do you not answer the question?NSLS27 147.7

    Mr. Jones.—Because there are modified meanings of the word which make it refer to crime. Immorality is itself a violation of the law of God, and civil government has no right to punish any man for a violation of the law of God as such. I do say, therefore, that that which, properly speaking, is immorality, the civil law cannot prohibit, and that it has no right to attempt it. Morality is defined as follows:—NSLS27 147.8

    Morality: The relation of conformity or non-conformity to the true moral standard or rule.... The conformity of an act to the divine law.”NSLS27 148.1

    As morality is the conformity of an act to the divine law, it is plain that morality pertains solely to God, and with that, civil government can have nothing to do.NSLS27 148.2

    Again: Moral law is defined as—NSLS27 148.3

    “The will of God, as the supreme moral ruler, concerning the character and conduct of all responsible beings; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature.” “The moral law is summarily contained in the decalogue, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai.”NSLS27 148.4

    These definitions are evidently according to Scripture. The Scriptures show that the ten commandments are the law of God; that they express the will of God; that they pertain to the conscience, and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart; and that obedience to these commandments is the duty that man owes to God. Says the Scripture,—NSLS27 148.5

    “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13.NSLS27 148.6

    And the Saviour says,—NSLS27 148.7

    “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment; but I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [vain fellow, margin], shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21, 22.NSLS27 148.8

    The apostle John, referring to the same thing, says,—NSLS27 148.9

    “Whosoever hateth his brother is murderer.” 1 John 3:15.NSLS27 148.10

    Again, the Saviour says,—NSLS27 149.1

    “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:27, 28.NSLS27 149.2

    Other illustrations might be given, but these are sufficient to show that obedience to the moral law is morality; that it pertains to the thoughts and intents of the heart, and therefore, in the very nature of the case, lies beyond the reach or control of the civil power. To hate is murder; to covet is idolatry; to think impurely of a woman is adultery;—these are all equally immoral, and violations of the moral law, but no civil government seeks to punish for them. A man may hate his neighbor all his life; he may covet everything on earth; he may think impurely of every woman that he sees,—he may keep it up all his days; but so long as these things are confined to his thought, the civil power cannot touch him. It would be difficult to conceive of a more immoral person than such a man would be; yet the State cannot punish him. It does not attempt to punish him. This demonstrates again that with morality or immorality the State can have nothing to do.NSLS27 149.3

    But let us carry this further. Only let that man’s hatred lead him, either by word or sign, to attempt an injury to his neighbor, and the State will punish him; only let his covetousness lead him to lay hands on what is not his own, in an attempt to steal, and the State will punish him; only let his impure thought lead him to attempt violence to any woman, and the State will punish him. Yet bear in mind that even then the States does not punish him for his immorality, but for his incivility. The immorality lies in the heart, and can be measured by God only. The State punishes no man because he is immoral. If it did, it would have to punish as a murderer the man who hates another, and to punish as an idolater the man who covets, and to punish as an adulterer the one who thinks impurely; because according to the true standard of morality, hatred is murder, covetousness is idolatry, and impurity of thought is adultery. Therefore is clear that in fact the State punishes no man because he is immoral, but because he is uncivil. It cannot punish immorality; it must punish incivility.NSLS27 149.4

    This distinction is shown in the very term by which is designated State or national government; it is called civil government. No person but a theocrat ever thinks of calling it moral government. The government of God is the only moral government. God is the only moral governor. The law of God is the only moral law. To God alone pertains the punishment of immorality, which is the transgression of the moral law. Governments of men are civil governments, not moral. The laws of States and nations are civil laws, not moral. To the authorities of civil government pertains the punishment of incivility, that is, the transgression of civil law. It is not theirs to punish immorality. That pertains solely to the Author of the moral law and of the moral sense, who is the sole judge of man’s moral relation. All this must be manifest to every one who will think fairly upon the subject, and it is confirmed by the definition of the word civil, which is this:—NSLS27 150.1

    Civil: Pertaining to a city or State, or to a citizen in his relations to his fellow-citizens, or to the State.”NSLS27 150.2

    Thus it is made clear that we owe to Cesar (civil government) only that which is civil, and that we owe to God that which is moral or religious, and that to no man, to no assembly or organization of men, does there belong any right whatever to punish immorality. Whoever attempts, it, usurps the prerogative of God. The Inquisition is the inevitable logic of any claim of any assembly of men to punish immorality; because to punish immorality, it is necessary in some way to get at the thoughts and intents of the heart. The papacy, asserting the right to compel men to be moral, and to punish them for immorality, had the cruel courage to carry the evil principle to its logical consequence. In carrying out the principle, it was found to be essential to get at the secrets of men’s hearts; and it was found that the diligent application of torture would wring from men, in many cases, a full confession of the most secret counsels of their hearts. Hence the Inquisition was established as the means best adapted to secure the desired end. So long as men grant the proposition that it is within the province of civil government to enforce morality, it is to very little purpose that they condemn the Inquisition; for that tribunal is only the logical result of the proposition.NSLS27 150.3

    Thus much on the subject of morality and the State in the true and genuine sense of the word morality. But as I said at the beginning, there is an accommodated sense in which the word morality is used, in which it is made to refer only to men’s relations to their fellow-men; and with reference to this view of morality, it is sometimes said that the civil power is to enforce morality upon a civil basis. But morality on a civil basis is only civility, and the enforcement of morality upon a civil basis is the enforcement of civility, and nothing else. Without the Inquisition, it is impossible for civil government ever to carry its jurisdiction beyond civil things, or to enforce anything but civility.NSLS27 151.1

    But it may be asked, Does not the civil power enforce the observance of the commandments of God, which say, “Thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness”? Does not the civil power punish the violation of these commandments of God? I answer: The civil power does not enforce these, nor does it punish the violation of them, as commandments of God. The State does forbid murder and theft and perjury, and some States forbid adultery, but not as commandments of God. From time immemorial, governments that knew nothing about God, have forbidden these things. If the State is to enforce these things as the commandments of God, it will have to take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart; but this is not within the province of any earthly power.NSLS27 151.2

    By all these evidences is established the plain, common-sense principle that to civil government pertains only that which the term itself implies,—that which is civil. The purpose of civil government is civil, and not moral. Its function is to preserve order in society, and to cause all its subjects to rest in assured safety, by guarding them against all incivility. Morality belongs to God; civility, to the State. Morality must be rendered to God; civility, to the State. Immorality must be punished—can be punished—only by the Lord. Incivility must be punished—and no more than that can possibly be punished—by the State.NSLS27 152.1

    Here, then at the close of my remarks, we are brought to the enunciation of the eternal principle with which I began, upon which we now stand, and upon which we forever expect to stand,—the principle embodied in the United States Constitution forbidding religious tests, and forbidding Congress to make any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,—the principle established by Jesus Christ: Render therefore UNTO CESAR the things which are CESAR’S; and UNTO GOD THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD’S.NSLS27 152.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents