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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    November 24, 1887

    “The Image to the Beast” The Signs of the Times 13, 45, pp. 713, 714.

    LAST week we found that the United States is the power through which is to be developed the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders; we found that the agency—Spiritualism—has already arisen, by which Satan is to manifest his great power and his strong delusion; and we also mentioned the fact that through the loud and persistent demand for the establishment of a national religion, the power—the image of the Papacy—is about to be formed by which the working of Satan is to be made effective. Our readers are acquainted with the manifestations of Spiritualism; but with the work of the National Reform Association which is to culminate in the living image of the Papacy, we fear they are not nearly as well acquainted as they ought to be. Although we have written about it a good deal in the SIGNS, we have never yet given our readers a summary view of this movement as it now stands. In this article we propose to give a statement of the prospect of the success of the National Reform movement as it actually stands at present.SITI November 24, 1887, page 713.1

    1. The movement is supported by “all evangelical denominations.” The Association has one hundred and twenty vice-presidents, eighty of whom, including Joseph Cook, are Revs. And Rev. D.Ds., and Rev. D.D., LL.Ds., and some are even Right Rev. D.D., LL.Ds. Of these eighty, eleven are bishops made up from the Episcopal, Evangelical, and United Brethren Churches. Besides these eighty divines, there are in the list ten college professors, one governor, three ex-governors, nine justices of Supreme Courts, two judges of Superior Courts, one judge of the United States District Court, one brevet brigadier-general, one colonel, and seven prominent officials of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. It is true that not all of these eminent personages are really in favor of the movement, but the National Reform managers use their names and full titles for all they are worth, and thus make their influence tell for as much as though they everyone favored it.SITI November 24, 1887, page 713.2

    2. The W.C.T.U. is counted, both by themselves and the National Reformers, as one with the National Reform Association. Miss Willard, Mrs. Woodbridge, Mrs. Bateham, Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, Mrs. Clara Hoffman, Mrs. Mary T. Lathrop, and Mrs. W. I. Sibley, of the Union, are all vice-presidents of the National Reform Association. In the Pittsburg National Reform Convention, May 11, 12, 1887, Rev. T. P. Stevenson, editor of the Christian Statesman and corresponding secretary of the Nation Reform Association, in his annual report made the following statement of the co-operation of the W.C.T.U. with National Reform:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 713.3

    “Two years ago Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, suggested the creation of a special department of its already manifold work for the promotion of Sabbath observance, ‘co-operating with the National Reform Association.’ The suggestion was adopted at the National Convention in St. Louis, and the department was placed in charge of Mrs. Josephine C. Bateham, of Ohio, as national superintendent. Mrs. Bateham has since, with her own cordial assent, been made one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association....SITI November 24, 1887, page 713.4

    “On year ago your secretary placed in the hands of President Willard a memorandum suggesting the creation of another department ‘for the retention of the Bible in the public schools,’ and assigning reasons for such action. This step was recommended by Miss Willard in her annual address before the late National Convention at Minneapolis, and was adopted in so far that a committee was appointed to make preliminary inquiries during the coming year, with Miss Willard herself at the head of the committee.SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.1

    “In the series of ‘Monthly Readings’ for the use of local Unions as a responsive exercise, prepared or edited by Miss Willard, the reading for last July was on ‘God in Government;’ that for August on ‘Sabbath Observance’ (prepared by Mrs. Bateham), and that for September on ‘Our National Sins.’ Touching the first and last-named readings your secretary had correspondence with Miss Willard before they appeared.SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.2

    “A letter has been prepared to W.C.T.U. workers and speakers, asking them, in their public addresses, to refer to and plead for the Christian principles of civil government. The president of the National Union allows us to say that this letter is sent with her sanction and by her desire.SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.3

    “The heartiness and intelligence, the faith and courage, with which these Christian women embrace and advocate the fundamental principles of Christian government are most gratifying. Mrs. Woodbridge chose for her theme at Ocean Grove and Chautauqua, ‘Shall the United States Acknowledge Christ as Sovereign?’ Miss Willard loses no opportunity of declaring that ‘the Government is on his shoulder.’ Similar expressions are constantly on the lips of their leading speakers and writers.... Mrs. Woodbridge, in her address to the Workingmen’s Assembly in Cleveland, appealed to them to join hands with the temperance forces in placing this ‘Government upon the shoulder of him who is Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and in crowning Christ our Lord as the Ruler of Nations.’”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.4

    3. The workingmen. It will be seen by the above that the National Reform Association has not only gained the Union itself, but that through the Union it is making strong bids for the Knights of Labor and other workingmen’s associations. Indeed, it was stated in the late convention that “the Anarchists, the Socialists, and the Catholic Church are all trying to catch the workingmen, but National Reform must secure the workingmen.” And we are safe in saying that National Reform will secure them. Even though the Roman Church should secure the workingmen’s associations, bodily, that will be no hindrance to National Reform’s securing them, for of all the bids for support that the National Reform Association is making the strongest are made for the support ofSITI November 24, 1887, page 714.5

    4. The Catholic Church. Thus says the Christian Statesman of December 11, 1884:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.6

    “Whenever they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them.”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.7

    And again:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.8

    “We cordially, gladly recognize the fact that in South American republics, and in France, and other European countries, the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism.... In a world’s conference for the promotion of national Christianity many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics.—Editorial before quoted.SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.9

    Now let us read a word from Rome. In his Encyclical published in 1885, Pope Leo XIII. says:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.10

    “We exhort all Catholics who would devote careful attention to public matters, to take an active part in all municipal affairs and elections, and to further the principles of the church in all public services, meetings, and gatherings. All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate wherever possible in the administration of devil affairs; must constantly exert the utmost vigilance and energy to prevent the usage of liberty from going beyond the limits fixed by God’s law. All Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States and legislation to be modeled to the principles of the true church. All Catholic writers and journalists should never lose for an instant from view the above prescriptions. All Catholics should redouble their submission to authority, and unite their whole heart and soul and body and mind in defense of the church and Christian wisdom.”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.11

    From the above quotations form [sic.] the Statesman it is seen that in European and South American countries the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity. National Christianity is the object of the National Reform movement; our Constitution and legislation have to be remodeled before this national Christianity can be established; to remodel our Constitution and legislation is the aim of National Reform; but this is exactly what “all Catholics” are by the Pope ex cathedra commanded to do, and not to lose sight of it for an instant. What the National Reformers propose to do with our Constitution and legislation is precisely what the Roman Catholics in this country are commanded by the Pope to do. Therefore the aim of National Reform and the aim of Rome are identical and of course they will “gladly join hands.”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.12

    But to show how very eager the National Reformers are to join hands with Rome, we present another item. Last August the corresponding secretary of the National Reform Association went to Saratoga and held a National Reform meeting of the watering-place preachers assembled there. The principal point of discussion was religion in the public schools. Mr. Stevenson opened the discussion and argued against the present school system, and the official report says:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.13

    “The speaker argued against the secular programme: 1. That is does not satisfy the Roman Catholics or conciliate them to our school system. Their special outcry is against the atheistic tendencies of public education, and the exclusion of religious worship and instruction from the schools only gives color to the charge.”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.14

    Then in the discussion that followed Mr. Stevenson was asked this question:—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.15

    “If we put the Protestant Bible in the schools where Protestants are in the majority, how could we object to the Douay version [the Catholic Bible] in schools where Roman Catholics are in the majority?SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.16

    “The corresponding secretary” answered,—SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.17

    “WE WOULDN’T OBJECT.”SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.18

    They “wouldn’t object!!” They “wouldn’t object” to a majority of Roman Catholics forcing the Catholic Bible into the hands of the children of Protestants and other non-Catholics, in the public schools! They “wouldn’t object” to twenty Catholics forcing the Catholic Bible into the hands, and the Catholic worship upon the minds, of the children of nineteen non-Catholics in any public-school district! J.SITI November 24, 1887, page 714.19

    (Concluded next week.)

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