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The Rights of the People

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    A theocratical theory of government was the basis of the religious legislation in the fourth century; it is the same now.ROP 228.3

    The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was, and is, one of the most active and influential bodies in the Sunday-law movement. The great majority of the “petitions” to Congress, except that of their seven-million-two-hundred-thousand-times-multiplied cardinal, were secured by the W. C. T. U. Official documents of that organization declare that— “A true theocracy is yet to come, and the enthronement of Christ in law and lawmakers; hence I pray devoutly as a Christian patriot, for the ballot in the hands of women, and rejoice that the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has so long championed this cause.”-Monthly Reading for September, 1886.ROP 228.4

    And that-ROP 229.1

    “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, local, State, national, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world’s king-yea, verily, this world’s king in its realm of cause and effect,-king of its courts, its camps, its commerce,-king of its colleges and cloisters,-king of its customs and its constitutions.... The kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics.... We pray heaven to give them [the old parties] no rest ... until they shall ... swear an oath of allegiance to Christ in polities, and march in one great army up to the polls to worship God.”-President s Annual Address in Convention, Nashville, 1887.ROP 229.2

    Not only this, but the W. C. T. U. is allied with the National Reform Association, whose declared object has ever been to turn this republic into a “kingdom of God.” In the Cincinnati National Reform Convention, 1872, Prof. J. R. W. Sloane, D.D., said:-ROP 229.3

    “Every government by equitable laws is a government of God. A republic thus governed is of him, through the people, and is as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel.”ROP 229.4

    By the expression “government by equitable laws” Mr. Sloane and the National Reformers generally, mean such a government as the National Reformers seek to have established. According to their theory, our government as the fathers made it is not a government by equitable laws, but is entirely founded upon infidel and atheistic ideas. Consequently they wanted the Constitution religiously amended, and framed upon their ideas, so that it should be a government by equitable laws, and as truly and really a theocracy as was the commonwealth of Israel.ROP 229.5

    The Sunday-law Association also holds much the same theory. In the Elgin Sunday-law convention, Dr. Mandeville, of Chicago, said:-ROP 230.1

    “The merchants of Tyre insisted upon selling goods near the temple on the Sabbath, and Nehemiah compelled the officers of the law to do their duty, and stop it. So we can compel the officers of the law to do their duty.”ROP 230.2

    Now Nehemiah was ruling there in a true theocracy, a government of God; the law of God was the law of the land, and God’s will was made known by the written word and by the prophets. Therefore if Dr. Mandeville’s argument is of any force at all, it is so only upon the claim of the establishment of a theocracy. With this idea the view of Mr. Crafts agrees precisely, and Mr. Crafts was general secretary for the National Sunday-law Union, in their national campaign for national recognition of the Sunday. He claims, as expressed in his own words, that-ROP 230.3

    “The preachers are the successors of the prophets.”-Christian Statesman, July 5, 1888.ROP 230.4

    Now put these things together. The government of Israel was a theocracy; the will of God was made known to the ruler by prophets; the ruler compelled the officers of the law to prevent the ungodly from selling goods on the Sabbath. This government is to be made a theocracy; the preachers are the successors of the prophets; and they are to compel the officers of the law to prevent all selling of goods and all manner of work on Sunday. This shows conclusively that these preachers intend to take the supremacy into their hands, officially declare the will of God, and compel all men to conform to it. This is why they must needs attack the Declaration of Independence, and declare that “governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This deduction is made a certainty by the words of Professor Blanchard in the Elgin convention:-ROP 230.5

    “In this work we are undertaking for the Sabbath, we are the representatives of God.”ROP 231.1

    And the chief of these representatives of God will be but a pope again; because when preachers control the civil power as the representatives of God, a pope is a certainty.ROP 231.2

    These quotations prove, to a demonstration, that the whole theory upon which this religio-political movement is based, is identical with that of the fourth century, which established the Papacy. They show also that the means employed-Sunday laws-by which to gain control of the civil power to make the wicked theory effective, are identical with the means which were employed in the fourth century for the same purpose.ROP 231.3

    The next question is, Will they carry the theory into effect as they did in the fourth century and onward?ROP 231.4

    When they shall have stopped all Sunday work, and all Sunday papers, and all Sunday trains, in order that the people may go to church and attend to things divine, suppose that then the people fail to go to church or attend to things divine, will the religio-political managers stop there? Having done all this that the people may be devoted, will they suffer their good intentions to be frustrated, or their good offices to be despised? Will not these now take the next logical step, the step that was taken in the fourth century, and compel men to attend to things divine? If not, why not? Having taken all the steps but this, will they not take this?-Of course they will. Human nature is the same now as it was in the fourth century. Politics is the same now as it was then. And as for religious bigotry, it knows no centuries; it knows no such thing as progress or enlightenment; it is ever the same. And in its control of civil power, the cruel results are also ever the same.ROP 231.5

    In other words, when they get the power to express, will they use the power? A sufficient answer to this would, seem to be the simple inquiry, If they do not intend to use the power, then why are they making such strenuous efforts to get it? But we are not left merely to this inquiry, nor yet to the argument, for an answer to the question; we have their own words. At a National Reform W. C. T. U. convention held at Lakeside, Ohio, in 1887, the following question was asked:ROP 231.6

    “Will not the National Reform movement result in persecution against those who on some points believe differently from the majority, even as the recognition of the Christian religion by the Roman power resulted in grievous persecution against true Christians?”ROP 232.1

    Answer, by Dr. McAllister:-ROP 232.2

    “Now notice the fallacy here. The recognition of the Roman Catholic religion by the State, made that State a persecuting power. Why?-Because the Roman Catholic religion is a persecuting religion. If true Christianity is a persecuting religion, then the acknowledgment of our principles by the State will make the State a persecutor. But if the true Christian religion is a religion of liberty, a religion that regards the rights of all, then the acknowledgment of those principles by the State will make the State the guardian of all men, and the State will be no persecutor. True religion never persecutes.”ROP 232.3

    There is indeed a fallacy here; but it is not in the question; it is in the answer. That which made the Roman State a persecuting power, says the doctor, was its recognition of the Catholic religion, “which is a persecuting religion.” But the Roman Catholic religion is not the only persecuting religion that has been in the world. Presbyterianism persecuted while John Calvin ruled in Geneva; it persecuted while the Covenanters ruled in Scotland; it persecuted while it held the power in England. Congregationalism persecuted while it had the power in New England. Episcopalianism persecuted in England and in Virginia. Every religion that has been allied with the civil power, or that has controlled the civil power, has been a persecuting religion; and such will always be the case.ROP 232.4

    Mr. McAllister’s implied statement is true, that “true Christianity never persecutes;” but it is true only because true Christianity never will allow itself to be allied in any way with the civil power, or to receive any support from it. It is true because true Christianity will never allow itself the possession of any power by which anybody could be persecuted. The National Reform Association does propose to “enforce upon all, the laws of Christian morality;” it proposes to have the government adopt the National Reform religion, and then “lay its hand upon any religion that does not conform to it;” and it asserts that the civil power has the right “to command the consciences of men.” Now any such thing carried into effect as is here plainly proposed by that association, can never be anything else than persecution.ROP 232.5

    But Mr. McAllister affirms that the National Reform movement, if successful, would not lead to persecution, “because true religion never persecutes.” The doctor’s argument amounts only to this: The National Reform religion is the true religion. True religion never persecutes. Therefore, to compel men to conform to the true religion,-that is, the religion that controls the civil power,-is not persecution!ROP 233.1

    In a. d. 556 Pope Pelagius called upon Narses to compel certain parties to obey the pope’s command. Narses refused, on the ground that it would be persecution. The pope answered Narses’ objection with this argument:-ROP 233.2

    “Be not alarmed at the idle talk of some, crying out against persecution, and reproaching the church, as if she delighted in cruelty, when she punishes evil with wholesome severities, or procures the salvation of souls. He alone persecutes who forces to evil. But to restrain men from doing evil, or to punish those who have done it, is not persecution, or cruelty, but love of mankind.”-Bower’s History of the Popes, Pelagius, A. D. 556.ROP 233.3

    Compare this with Dr. McAllister’s answer, and find any difference in principle between them who can. There is no difference. The arguments are identical. It is the essential spirit of the Papacy which is displayed in both, and in that of Pope Pelagius no more than in that of Dr. McAllister.ROP 233.4

    Another question, or rather statement, was this:-ROP 234.1

    “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.” 47This same thing has gone on ever since-in Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland, and Massachusetts-and still continues. In the year 1894 more days were spent in jail by Sabbath-keeping Christians than there were days in the year. And at the time of writing this note, in 1895, eight men are in jail, and over thirty more under indictment. And all for “sabbath breaking.” Later: These eight men were all pardoned at once by Governor Turney. But the prosecutions are still going on.ROP 234.2

    Answer, by Dr. McAllister:-ROP 234.3

    “It is better that a few should suffer than that the whole nation should lose its sabbath.”ROP 234.4

    This argument is identical with that by which the Pharisees in Christ’s day justified themselves in killing him. It was said:-ROP 234.5

    “It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50.ROP 234.6

    And then says the record:-ROP 234.7

    “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Verse 53.ROP 234.8

    The argument used in support of the claim of right to use this power, is identical with that used by the Papacy in inaugurating her persecutions; the argument in justification of the use of the power is identical with that by which the murderers of Jesus Christ justified themselves in accomplishing that wicked deed; and if anybody thinks that these men in our day, proceeding upon the identical theory, in the identical way, and justifying their proceedings by arguments identical with those of the Papacy and the murderous Pharisees,-if anybody thinks that these men will stop short of persecution, he has vastly more confidence in apostate humanity than we have.ROP 234.9

    We need not multiply evidences further to show that this whole religio-political Sunday-law movement of our day is of the same piece with that in the fourth century. The theory is the same; the means and the arguments are the same in both; and two things that are so precisely alike in the making, will be exactly alike when they are made. That in the fourth century made the Papacy; and this in the nineteenth century makes a living likeness of the Papacy.ROP 234.10

    Sunday has no basis whatever as a civil institution; it never had any. And the only basis it has, or ever had, as a religious institution, is the authority of the Papacy. This is both the law and the literal truth in the case.ROP 235.1

    It was perfectly in order, therefore, for. Cardinal Gibbons to indorse a movement to give to Sunday the legal sanction and support of the United States Government, and thus secure the governmental recognition of the authority of the Papacy. The cardinal’s indorsement has been heralded by the Sunday-law workers throughout the length and breadth of the land, as a mighty accession to the Sunday-law movement. And, as a matter of fact, it is a mighty accession; but to what purpose? The following letter from the cardinal to Mr. E. E. Franke, of Jersey City, N. J., will show:-ROP 235.2

    “Cardinal’s Residence,
    408 North Charles St., Baltimore. Md.,
    October 3, 1889.
    “Dear Mr. Franke: At the request of his eminence, the cardinal, I write to assure you that you are correct in your assertion that Protestants in observing the Sunday are following, not the Bible, which they take as their only rule of action, but the tradition of the church. I defy them to point out to me the word ‘Sunday’ in the Bible; if it is not to be found there, and it cannot be, then it is not the Bible which they follow in this particular instance, but tradition, and in this they flatly contradict themselves.
    ROP 235.3

    “The Catholic Church changed the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, because the most memorable of Christ’s works was accomplished on Sunday. It is needless for me to enter into any elaborate proof of the matter. They cannot prove their point from Scripture; therefore, if sincere, they must acknowledge that they draw their observance of the Sunday from tradition, and are therefore weekly contradicting themselves.ROP 235.4

    “Yours very sincerely, M. A. Reardon.”

    This shows that it is as a Roman Catholic, securing honor to an institution of the Papacy, and thus to the Papacy itself that Cardinal Gibbons has indorsed the national Sunday-law movement. The cardinal understands what he is doing a great deal better than Mr. Crafts, Mrs. Bateham, et al., understand what they were dong. And, further, the cardinal understands what they are doing a great deal better than they themselves do. This also shows that those who signed the petition for a Sunday law, as the cardinal did, were honoring the Papacy, as the cardinal was.ROP 236.1

    How appropriate, therefore, it is that Cardinal Gibbons should indorse the national Sunday bill! How natural, indeed, that he should gladly add his name to the number of petitioners in support of the movement to secure legislation in the interests of the church! He knows just how his brethren in the fourth century worked the thing. He knows what the outcome of the movement was then, and he knows full well what the outcome of this movement will be now. He knows that the theory underlying this movement is identical with the theory which was the basis of that. He knows the methods of working are the same now as they were then. He knows that the means employed now to secure control of the civil power are identical with the means employed then, and he knows that the result must be the same. He knows that when religion shall have been established as an essential element in legislation in this government, the experience of fifteen hundred eventful years, and “the ingenuity and patient care” of fifty generations of statesmen, will not be lost in the effort to make the papal power supreme over all here and now, as was done there and then.ROP 236.2

    And this thing-this Catholic Sunday, this “miner and sapper” of a religious despotism, this “coach” of the Inquisition-this thing it is that the Congress of the United States has taken up from the combined “Protestantism” of the United States and interpreted into the commandment of God and fixed in the legislation of the nation as “the Christian sabbath”! In view of all these things, why should not Rome triumph?ROP 236.3

    And now the Catholic Church itself is taking the lead in enforcing respect for the Sunday by law. The Northwestern Chronicle, Archbishop Ireland’s organ, April 5, 1895, announced the organization of a “Sunday-law Observance League,” and prints an address to the W. C. T. U. and all friends of the American Sabbath, concluding with the following appeal:-ROP 237.1

    “All W. C. T. U.’s and Y.’s, churches, pastors, young people’s societies, temperance organizations, Law and Order Leagues, and individuals, are called upon to help maintain our sabbath as a day of the Lord for the people, without regard to race, sex, or condition, for a day of rest and worship. To this end let us make sabbath observance week in Minnesota marked by sermons, public meetings, Sunday school exercises, distribution of literature, and prayer for the better enforcement of law against all infringement of the right of sabbath observance, and particularly against that arch-enemy of God and man, the saloon.”ROP 237.2

    From the origin and history of Sunday laws, this was, of course, to be expected sooner or later. And now that this, as well as all the rest of the machinery of a religious despotism, has been made ready to her hand, it is not surprising that she assumes the leadership and sounds the bugle for the general advance.ROP 237.3

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