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    July 4, 1899

    “Departure from the Basic Principles of the Government in Its Attitude toward Religion” The Signs of the Times 25, 27, pp. 3, 4.

    (By Alonzo T. Jones, Author of “The Rights of the People,” “Two Republics,” etc.

    ON the reverse side of the great seal of the United States are two inscriptions in Latin: on saying, in English, “A New Order of Things;” the other, “God Has Favored the Undertaking.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.1

    At the time when this great seal was made, the first of these two inscriptions expressed the exact truth as to what this nation was, and what those who made the nation hoped it would forever remain. And this new order of things being in exact accordance with the order of the Lord, because it was the order of the Lord, the second of the inscriptions also expressed the exact truth.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.2

    A new order of things was surely needed. For ages an apostate church in union with the State, had held cruel sway over all the States and nations of Christendom; the civil power being only the means by which the ecclesiastical made its despotic sway more fatal. From this system Protestantism had cut loose, promising better things; but here likewise was apostasy from original principles and sincere Christianity, and in every place, except the little spot of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, the evils and the despotism of the old order of things were perpetuated.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.3

    At last there came this new nation, pledged in its organic law, to the perfect civil and religious freedom of all people, and the complete separation of religion and the State, in the express statements of its supreme law, that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States;” that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and that “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.4

    “Vindicating the right of individuality in religion, and in religion above all, the new nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relations to God the principle first divinely ordained of God in Judea. It left the management of temporal things to the temporal power; but the American Constitution, in harmony with the people of the several States, withheld from the federal government the power to invade the home of reason, the citadel of conscience, the sanctuary of the soul; and not from indifference, but that the infinite Spirit of eternal truth might move in its freedom and purity and power.”—Bancroft.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.5

    That a nation was established expressly upon such principles, was a distinct triumph of Christianity, in spite of fourteen hundred years of persistent apostasy. It was likewise a distinct triumph of true Protestantism against false Protestantism, because it was but “the logical consequence of either of the two great distinguishing principles of the Reformation—as well as of justification by faith alone, as of the equality of all believers.”—Id.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.6

    Yet, for all this, this triumph of Christian and Protestant principles was not won without a prolonged contest with those professing to be both Christians and Protestants. And even after the triumph was actually won, and the new nation stood out clear and distinct as a light of the world in its own bright “new order of things,” reproaches and protests were made by people professing to be leading Christians and Protestants.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.7

    Yet even this was not the worst; there was positive deviation from the principle on the part of the government itself in the employment of chaplains in the army and navy, and in Congress. Madison expressed his disapproval of this, in a letter to Edward Livingstone, July 10, 1822, as follows:SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.8

    “I observe with particular pleasure the view you have taken of the immunity of religion from civil jurisdiction, in every case where it does not trespass on private rights or the public purse. This has always been a favorite principle with me; and it was not with my approbation that the deviation from it took place in Congress when they appointed chaplains, to be paid from the public treasury.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.9

    Another departure from fundamental principle in the practice of the government, is in religious proclamations, such as Thanksgiving, and the like. On this also Madison said;—SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.10

    “There has been another deviation from the strict principle (‘of the immunity of religion from civil jurisdiction’) in the executive proclamations of fasts and festivals.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.11

    And Jefferson wrote of it thus:—SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.12

    “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that, also, which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. It must, then, rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe, a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises, which the Constitution has directly precluded them from.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.13

    Another of these departures, begun in 1886, is the direct support of the churches by money from the national treasury. This has been carried on over since, and is so even today, though, having begun with the payment of public money to fourteen different churches, both Catholic and Protestant, the Catholic Church is the only one which now receives national support. President Harrison’s administration attempted to stop all such appropriations, but was obliged to confess openly in the United States Senate that it “found it impossible to do that.” Effort has been continued ever since; but still it is found impossible to do it. And the impossibility centers solely in the Catholic Church, because all Protestant denominations have withdrawn from the scheme; and the government has been working for years to stop it, but still it goes on in favor of the Catholic Church only. All of which demonstrates that the Catholic Church is, and for years has been, stronger than any administration of the government of the United States, and stronger even than the government itself altogether.SITI July 4, 1899, page 3.14

    In 1892 a definite plan was adopted by Congress, by which church appropriations should be reduced twenty per cent. each year, until they should vanish; and, according to the sums at that time appropriated, this annual reduction of twenty per cent. was expected to clear the government in five years, which would be in 1898. Accordingly, in 1898, the Appropriation Bill, which must always originate in the House, was framed and put through the House without any appropriation for the Catholic Church; but, when the Appropriation Bill reached the Senate, an amendment was put to it, making this church appropriation as formerly, except in the proviso that the amount appropriated “for the next year should not exceed fifteen per cent. of the amount that was used in 1895.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.1

    It was declared by the men who made this nation that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.” Yet, this sinful and tyrannical thing is steadily carried on year after year by the government of the United States, at the command of the Catholic Church. Of course, such a thing is only to be expected from that sinful and tyrannical church, wherever she can have her way; but, that she should have such power in the United States as to compel the government of the United States, through administration after administration that is opposed to it, to follow this sinful and tyrannical course, bears indisputable testimony that the government of the United States, against its fundamental principles, is held to one of the most vicious practises [sic.] of the union of Church and State.SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.2

    Yet, worse than all this, in 1892 the Supreme Court of the United States, so far as its influence could go, definitely committed the nation to the union of religion and the State, to the establishment of “general Christianity” as the national religion, because “this is a Christian nation.” This being the case and the Catholic Church being the only phase of “general Christianity” that is directly supported by appropriations of money from the national treasury, the Catholic Church may, with very great reason claim that her Christianity is the Christianity that is established here, and that hers is peculiarly the Christianity of this “Christian nation.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.3

    In 1893 the Congress of the United States, the whole, both House and the Senate, decided that Sunday is the Christian sabbath according to the fourth commandment, and prohibited the opening of the gates of the World’s Fair on Sunday, because of its being the Christian sabbath. And the President of the United States at that time approved the act, and his successor declared, against all disputers, that “this is a Christian nation, and they might as well face the music.”SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.4

    Thus, not only is the government of the United States, in the way of custom and precedent, committed to the union of religion and State, but by definite and positive acts on the part of the three distinct branches of which the whole government is composed, it has been positively committed to the union of religion and the State and all that it involves, even to the fullest measure. Every principle of the “New Order of Things” has been abandoned by this nation; and every principle of the old order of things has been restored in the nation.SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.5

    This is apostasy complete, and the way is fully open for the complete fulfilment of prophecy concerning this nation. In the Scriptures it is written of this nation:—SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.6

    “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and it spake as a dragon.” Revelation 13:11.SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.7

    The two horns mentioned in this symbol represent the two great characteristic features of the nation; Protestantism, and Republicanism, fitly described it “like a lamb.” Yet, tho this is so, the words are immediately added that “he spake as a dragon.” This shows a complete change in character,—an entire apostasy from right principle.SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.8

    Now, let any one candidly consider the fundamental principle of the total separation of religion and the State in this nation as developed in the running of the nation, as fixed in its fundamental and supreme law of the nation, and as signified in the thought expressed in the Great Seal of the nation, then let him consider the attitude and the character of the nation as manifested in the invariable practise of the nation in the present day; and must it not be confessed by every one who will do so, that there has been by this nation a distinct departure from the principles of true Americanism, a complete change of character, and an entire apostasy from right principle?SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.9

    It is not in any sense a New Order of Things. This is exemplified in the course of the United States to-day. And as no nation can be false to its ideals and long survive, so this national apostasy can not possibly end in any thing else than national ruin. A. T. JONES.SITI July 4, 1899, page 436.10

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