Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

The Rights of the People

 - 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

    STAND WITH ANYBODY THAT STANDS RIGHT

    There is another “argument” used by the movers for this religious despotism, to combat which requires no assurance of any particular right,’ but which does require more courage than a great many people are willing to show. That is the “argument” of sneers and jeers and denunciation-the ready application of the epithets “infidel,” “atheist,” “enemy of Christianity,” “enemy of the government,” “despiser of the flag,” “traitor,” “anarchist,” and, above all, and to the mind of those who use it worst of all, “Seventh-day Adventist.” 55An illustration, which is only a sample of this, appeared in the Christian Statesman, the organ of the “Protestant” combination in this work, of January 19, 1895. In the “Question Box” there appeared a question from some person in Minnesota, asking whether Protestant denominations, in their efforts to secure enforcement of religious observances by law, were not making a “concession to the Papacy, an acknowledgment of the principles of Romanism,” and referring to Christ’s words, “My kingdom is not of this world,” etc. The first word in answer to this, by the editor, is this: “We suspect that our correspondent is a Seventh-day Adventist. At all events, he is a sympathizer with the views of that body on civil government.” Every person who would oppose the encroachments of this religious despotism, on the only ground upon which it can be successfully opposed, may expect to have these epithets hurled at him and rained upon him. True and righteous though this opposition be by every possible count, yet this is what those certainly meet from the church-combination, who do make this opposition. If anyone doubts this, only let him sincerely engage in it for a little while.ROP 261.4

    Yet all that is required to meet and defeat all this “argument” is only the courage of conviction, the courage of principle. Jefferson, Madison, and those with them who in that day engaged in this same cause, had to meet it. When the “Act Establishing Religious Freedom” was published in Italian and French, and was distributed through Europe, as related on page 104, Jefferson wrote home to Madison that it had thus “been the best evidence of the falsehood of those reports which stated us to be in anarchy.”-Works, Vol. II, pp. 55, 56. And the stigma that is sought still to be put upon Jefferson’s memory as “an enemy of Christianity,” is, more than anything else, because of his opposition to that religious despotism in that day.ROP 262.1

    Abraham Lincoln, in his opposition to a national despotism sustained by a Supreme Court decision, was also, as we have seen (p. 162), charged with being among “the enemies of the Constitution,” “the enemies of the supremacy of the laws,” with aiming “a deadly blow at our whole republican form of government,” “which, if successful, would place all our rights and liberties at the mercy of passion, anarchy, and violence.” Of him it was said, “There is no objection to him, except the monstrous revolutionary doctrines with which ho is identified.” 56Senator Douglas’s speech at Springfield, Ill., July 17, 1858, “Political Speeches and Debates,” p. 142. But, above all, he was charged with being an “Abolitionist.” This word in that day, by those who so used it, was expressive of the lowest point in the scale which it was possible to reach. It was very difficult, indeed almost impossible, for such persons to obtain a hearing on any public platform. Senator Douglas once referred to them in a way that shows the popular estimate of them, by speaking of Lincoln’s “following the example and lead of all the little Abolition orators who go around and lecture in the basements of schools and churches.”-First, Speech in Ottawa Debate, Id., p. 173.ROP 262.2

    And these ready charges, especially the reproach of “Abolitionist,” did in many cases accomplish the purpose for which they were used in that day-they did smother the opposition of men who in their consciences knew that that despotism ought to be opposed, precisely as the like epithets-and especially that of “Seventh-day Adventist”-smother the opposition of many people who to-day in their consciences know that this despotism should be openly opposed. Abraham Lincoln’s advice to all such persons in that day is equally applicable to-day and for all time. Here it is:-ROP 263.1

    “Some men, mostly Whigs, who condemn the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, nevertheless hesitate to go for its restoration lest they be thrown in company with the Abolitionist. Will they allow me, as an old Whig, to tell them, good-humoredly, that I think this is very silly? stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.... To desert such ground because of any company is to be less than a Whig, less than a man, less than an American.”-Peoria Speech, October 16, 1854, Id., pp. 28, 29.ROP 263.2

    So it may be fittingly said to-day, and on this mighty question.ROP 264.1

    There is no doubt that the Seventh-day Adventists do stand in uncompromising opposition to this approaching religious despotism, in every phase of it. They oppose it upon the principles set down in this book-upon the Jeffersonian, Madisonian, Washingtonian, and Lincolnian principles; upon genuine American, Protestant, and Christian principles. And in so doing they are absolutely in the right. And if it be true, as no doubt it is, that they have upon these principles made their opposition so effective as to deserve to be singled out by the miners and sappers and buglers of this religious despotism as the chiefest of all their opponents, then the more honor to them for it-they are absolutely in the right. And it is true here too, that many men who condemn this encroachment of the religious power upon the civil, nevertheless hesitate openly to oppose it lest they be thrown in company with the Seventh-day Adventists. But let it be now also said to all: “Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”ROP 264.2

    So to stand to-day upon this great issue is to defend the natural rights of mankind. It is to conserve the constitutional rights of the American people. It is to maintain pure Protestantism. It is to manifest true Christianity in the world. To desert such ground because of any company is to desert the company and abandon the principles of Lincoln, Washingtonian, Madison, Jefferson, Martin Luther, and the Lord Jesus Christ. To desert such ground because of any company is to be less than a man, less than an American, less than a Protestant, less than a Christian.ROP 264.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents