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    February 19, 1885

    “Protestants or Not? No. 3” The Signs of the Times 11, 6, pp. 121, 122.

    WE have found that those who maintain the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and those who maintain that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Sabbath, are not Protestants. There are other doctrines held by certain professedly Protestant denominations, such as sprinkling for baptism, and infant baptism, which can no more be held in consonance with Protestant principles than can these, but such are found only in some of the different denominations; while the two which we have noticed, taken together, touch every Protestant denomination in the world (with one exception), and show them to be not in principle Protestants.SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.1

    We do not state this as a matter for exultation, nor to make capital of it, but simply as a solid fact deduced from sound principles. Nor will it do for any one to allow his prepossessions to hide his eyes from these things. They are facts, and it is high time to look them fairly in the face, and to plant ourselves firmly upon pure Protestant principles; for the time is coming, and coming soon, when genuine Protestantism will be a protest, not only against the papal church as such, but against papal principles under the garb of Protestantism. Because in the effort to sustain the Sunday institution, professed Protestants are willing to follow papal principles even to the full length of using to the utmost the arm of the civil power, to compel the observance of rites which are wholly religious. When, by the amendment to the United States Constitution, there shall be in this country a union of church and State, and when by this the united Protestant churches shall have gained the supremacy in the affairs of this nation, and all this for the express purpose of enforcing by penal statute the observance of the Sunday institution, which is wholly Catholic, what will that be but the triumph of Catholic principles? and this too through those who should be Protestants. And to accomplish this they are not only willing, but glad, and even anxious, to join hands with the Romish Church. As early as 1876 the Christian Statesman printed the following from a speech by Rev. W. W. Atterbury, Secretary of the New York Sabbath (Sunday) Committee:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.2

    “One or two principles should always be observed in these efforts. First, avoid all entangling alliances with temperance, Bible, and common school laws, and concentrate the friends of the Sabbath [Sunday]. In New York, by this plan, the co-operation of the Roman Catholics had been secured.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.3

    Again says Mr. Atterbury:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.4

    “The Protestant and the Roman Catholic.... have alike an interest in maintaining our Sunday law.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.5

    The very latest Sunday law book, less than two months from the press, presents as one of the main “elements of hope” for the success of the Sunday law movement in the nation, the fact that the Catholic Church is sharing in it. This too in the face of the following, from a letter written to the author of the book, by “Father Sylvester Malone, one of the most influential priests of Brooklyn“:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.6

    “I am just in receipt of your letter, in which you put to me several questions in reference to the teachings of the Catholic Church on what all Christians owe as their duty to the command of God. ‘Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.’ In the first place, I have to remark that the Sabbath of the Jews was celebrated on the last day of the week, and not on the first, which we Catholics call the Lord’s day. For this change we have only the authority of the Catholic Church.”—The Sabbath for Man, by Rev. W. F. Crafts, page 65.SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.7

    Thus professed Protestants join heart and hand with Catholics in compelling all people to observe an institution which has “only the authority of the Catholic Church.” True, they deny this, but they cannot disprove it. Every attempt at disproof only strengthens the proof; every effort they make to get out of the Catholic bog only sinks them deeper into it. The only defense of Sunday that can be made is by Catholic argument. And to try, by Catholic argument, to defend from a Catholic position only the more entangles them in the maze of this mistress of witchcrafts, and mother of abominations.SITI February 19, 1885, page 121.8

    It is well known that the late Catholic Council at Baltimore, in its pastoral letter, took strong ground in favor of a “strictly religious Sunday.” This, together with the fact that the same council observed Thanksgiving in accordance with the President’s proclamation, is matter of great gratulation on the part of so-called Protestant papers, all over the country. It is looked upon as an indication of the final accommodation of the differences that now separate between Protestants and Catholics.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.1

    The New York Independent says:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.2

    “The New York Sabbath Committee could hardly do a better thing than to reprint for general circulation that eloquent and able section of the pastoral which treats of Sunday observance.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.3

    We should not be at all surprised to see this suggestion carried out. And what an edifying thing it will be, to be sure, to see Protestants circulating Catholic tracts, directing Protestants how to keep Sunday!SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.4

    Again says the Independent:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.5

    “For our part, we rejoice to know that there is a ‘Puritan’ element in the Roman Catholic Church of the United States.... To the New Orleans writer, and the ‘Christian Indies,’ and the fathers of the pastoral, we extend our Christian salutations; and, pending the settlement of the questions which have separated Protestants and Catholics for centuries, let us stand together in condemnation of Sunday dissipation and other such evils, whether those who practice them disgrace the Catholic or the Protestant name.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.6

    But the Independent is not alone; here comes the Christian Union and says:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.7

    “For the well being of this country it is not important, perhaps not even desirable, that all Roman Catholics should become Protestants; but it is of prime importance that they should understand one another.... So important do we regard a good understanding between these two classes of Christian voters that we should be glad to see a system of pulpit exchanges brought about; we should like to see Dr. Hall telling the worshipers at St. Ann’s some Sunday morning what Protestantism really is, and Father Preston in Dr. Hall’s pulpit telling the Presbyterian congregation what Roman Catholicism is. Why not? Since these two congregations are to live side by side, why should they not know at first hand what each other’s opinions are? We are, for this reason, very glad that Monsignor Capel has come to this country and has spoken on Roman Catholic themes to Protestant auditors. We have asked him to tell our readers in our own columns what the Inquisition is. He has accepted, and we hope that he will make the best showing he can of that historical institution of Romanism.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.8

    So there is to be a settlement of the questions that have separated Protestants and Catholics, and this is to be by mutual apologies. The Catholics are to apologize for the Inquisition, and the Protestants are to apologize for being called Protestants, we suppose. We can conceive of nothing else for which they could make apology to the papal church. But in view of existing circumstances we rather think that that is the proper thing to do, for it certainly is a misnomer for them to call themselves Protestants while the only doctrine that they maintain with any degree of activity is wholly Catholic, and while they are on the very eve of enforcing this doctrine by Catholic methods.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.9

    By all this we plainly see the forces shaping themselves for the exact fulfillment of Daniel 7:21, 22: “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” By every specification of the Scriptures, this “horn” is proved to represent the papal church. It did make war against the saints for the time and times and the dividing of time—the 1260 years—up to A.D. 1798; then its power was broken (Revelation 13;3), but it appears that it was only for a season, for the text shows that it afterward renews the war, and continues it till the saints possess the kingdom. Then the question arises: How can it be possible for the papal church to regain the power to persecute the people of God in the United States, when the Catholics are in the minority, and the Constitution forbids the enactment of any “law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”? And the answer comes swiftly and explicitly: By the Protestants securing an amendment to the Constitution, declaring this to be a “Christian nation,” and placing “all Christian laws, institutions, and usages” on an undeniably legal basis in the very charter of this Government, and by this securing laws for the strict enforcement of Sunday observance, which rests for its authority upon the Catholic Church alone, this great nation is to be turned into a sect and delivered bodily into the cruel power of Rome, and compelled to do fealty to her,—compelled “to worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed.” Revelation 13:8, 11-17.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.10

    This is exactly what the papacy wants; this is what she longs for; but she knows that she dare not attempt it in her own name. She sees also that there is no need of attempting it in her own name. She sees the Protestant churches holding her own doctrines; she sees them sustaining these doctrines by her own methods; with joy she sees them exalting her pet institution, the Sunday, to the highest place in the nation; with exultation she sees them putting forth their strenuous efforts to accomplish the Constitutional amendment and the union of church and State. Thus exultant sits the “well-favored harlot,” smiling benignly upon her dutiful daughters, pampering their pride and flattering their vanity by pretended concessions in public celebrations of Thanksgiving and official deliverances on the sacredness of Sunday. And they, in their excessive verdancy, receive her hypocritical smiles and treacherous concessions as veritable evidences of divine favor, and, in return, they the more diligently pander to her ruinous power and her blasphemous ambition.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.11

    Dr. Van Dyke, one of the foremost men of the Presbyterian Church in America, said in the Presbyterian Review for January, 1885:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.12

    “The mission of Protestantism, as such, is ended.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.13

    Within his meaning, and in view of the evidence which we have here adduced, who can dispute the Doctor’s proposition? When Protestantism deliberately proposes the settlement of the questions which have for centuries separated it from Catholicism; when it states in sober earnest that “it is not even desirable that all Roman Catholics should become Protestants;” when it proposes to “stand together” with Catholics in support of an institution that is wholly Catholic, and “in condemnation” of all who choose to disregard such institution; when it proposes to form the adulterous connection of church and State to trust in man and to make flesh its arm; then who shall say that its mission is not ended? Aye, its mission is certainly ended, and that most shamefully.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.14

    And after this shameful display of herself, who shall say that Babylon is not fallen? And why should not the Lord in mercy send a voice from Heaven crying to the honest souls that are in her, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”? Revelation 18:2-4. And when, by cruel oppression, her sins shall have “reached unto Heaven,” why should not God remember “her iniquities,” and “in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double”?SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.15

    As such,” Protestantism is indeed ended. But as represented in faithful allegiance to the word of God in opposition to all earthly powers, it is not ended. For at the very time when this union of Church and State, and of Protestantism and Romanism, is being effected, to compel people to worship the papal church, there is a “little flock,” a despised company, who publish to all the world the word of God, saying: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.... Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:9-12.SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.16

    And although “war” is made against them by the beast and his image, by both Catholics and professed Protestants, yet they get “the victory over the beast and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, and stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sin the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:2, 3. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, embrace the word of God, the whole word of God, and nothing but the word of God; the are the truth; to keep them truly, is to be a true witness for God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and is a protest against even “Protestantism as such,” as well as against Catholicism. And now, in taking leave of this subject, we subjoin two sentences from the famous Protest at Spires, which are as fully applicable at this time as when first delivered:—SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.17

    “This Word is the only truth; it is the sure rule of all doctrine, and of all life, and can never fail or deceive us. He who builds on this foundation shall stand against all the powers of hell, whilst all human vanities that are set up against it shall fall before the face of God.”SITI February 19, 1885, page 122.18


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