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The Two Republics, or Rome and the United States of America

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    “SECTION 1. No State shall ever make or maintain any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.TTR 820.4

    “SECTION 2. Each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools adequate for the education of all children living therein, between the ages of six and sixteen years, inclusive, in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion. But no money raised by taxation imposed by law, or any money or other property or credit belonging to any municipal organization, or to any State, or to the United States, shall ever be appropriated, applied, or given to the use or purposes of any school institution corporation, or person, whereby instruction or training shall be given in the doctrines, tenets, belief, ceremonies, or observances peculiar to any sect, denomination organization, or society, being, or claiming to be religious in its character; nor shall such peculiar doctrines tenets, belief ceremonials, or observances be taught or inculcated in the free public schools.TTR 820.5

    “SECTION 3. To the end that each State the United States, and all the people thereof, may have and preserve governments republican in from and in substance, the United States shall guarantee to every State, and to the people of every State and of the United States, the support and maintenance of such a system of free public schools as is herein provided.TTR 821.1

    “SECTION 4. That Congress shall enforce this article by legislation when necessary.”TTR 821.2

    With this the National Reformers were delighted, and at once were all astir. The Christian Statesman of July 12, 1888, said that the proposed amendment “should receive the strenuous support of all American Christians.” In the issue of July 19, it further said:—TTR 821.3

    “Senator Blair’s proposed constitutional amendment furnishes an admirable opportunity for making the ideas of the National Reform Association familiar to the minds of the people.”TTR 821.4

    Then after mentioning “Christianity, the religion of the nation,” and “the Bible, the text-book of our common Christianity in all the schools,” it continues:—TTR 821.5

    “These have been our watch-words in the discussions of a quarter of a century. And now these ideas are actually pending before the Senate of the United States, in the form of a joint resolution proposing their adoption as a part of the Constitution of the United States. Here is a great opportunity. Shall we boldly and wisely improve if?”TTR 821.6

    In the next issue of the Statesman July 26 “Rev.” J. C. K. Milligan (the same one who speaks on page 708 of this book) said to the editor:—TTR 821.7

    “Your editorial of July 12, on a Christian constitutional amendment pending in the Senate, is most gratifying news to every Christian patriot. It seems too good to be true. It is too good to prevail without a long pull, as strong pull, and a pull all together on the part of its friends; but it is so good that it surely will have many friends who will put forth the necessary effort. True the pending amendment has its chief value in one phrase, ‘the Christian religion’ but if it shall pass into our fundamental law, that one phrase will have all the potency of Almighty God, of Christ the Lord of the Holy Bible, and of the Christian world, with it. By letters to senators and representatives in Congress; by petitions numerously signed and forwarded to them; by local, State, and national conventions held, and public meetings in every school district; such an influence can quickly be brought to hear as will compel our legislators to adopt the measure, and enforce it by the needed legislation. The Christian pulpits, if they would, could secure its adoption before the dog-days end. The National Reform Association, the Christian Statesman, and the secretaries in the field, are charged with this work, and will not be wanting as leaders in the cause.”TTR 821.8

    And in the same paper, September 6, Mr. John Alexander, the originator of the National Reform Association, published his congratulations to the Association on the introduction of the Blair “Joint Resolution,” saying that “the National Reform Association ought to spare no pains and omit no effort which may promise to secure its adoption;” and continued as follows:—TTR 822.1

    “Let us begin without delay the circulation of petitions (to be furnished in proper form by the Association), and let an opportunity be given to all parts of the country to make up a roll of petitions so great that it will require a procession of wheelbarrows to trundle the mighty mass into the presence of the representatives of the nation in the House of Congress .... Let a mass convention of the friends of the cause be held in Washington, when the Blair resolution shall be under discussion, to accompany with its influence the presentation of the petitions, and to take such other action as may be deemed best to arouse the nation to a genuine enthusiasm in behalf of our national Christianity.”TTR 822.2

    The National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, in its annual convention, held in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, October 19-23, 1888 passed a resolution “that the Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by Senator Henry W. Blair, ... deserves our earnest and united support.”TTR 822.3

    A public meeting in support of the resolution was called and held by the National Reform Association in Philadelphia, December 11, 1888. Senator Blair was invited to attend. He could not go in person, but sent a letter strongly approving the work of the Association, among other things saying:—TTR 822.4

    “I earnestly trust that your movement may become strong, general in fact, all-pervading; for the time has fully come when action is imperative and further delay is most dangerous.”TTR 823.1

    Just how the longest imaginable delay could possibly be as dangerous as would be the success of the movement, neither Mr. Blair nor anybody else has ever attempted to explain.TTR 823.2

    The meeting adopted a memorial to Congress, pleading for the speedy adoption of the resolution. This memorial was presented by the corresponding secretary of the Association, at a hearing before the Senate Committee, February 15, 1889. At this hearing the National Reform Association was accompanied and supported by “Rev.” James M. King, of New York City, as the representative of the American branch of the Evangelical Alliance. One week from that date—February 22—another hearing was held, at which a delegation from the “Committee of One Hundred” of Boston led by the eminent Baptist minister, Philip S. Moxom, of that city, urged the adoption of the proposed amendment. 11[Page 829] It is true that both Senator Blair and Senator Edmunds are now out of senatorial office; but their influence in behalf of such legislation as this is not much lessened by that, except in the power to vote for it.TTR 823.3

    The Fiftieth Congress expired without any further definite action in behalf of the resolution. The Fifty-first Congress was no sooner convened for business than the resolution was re-introduced by Senator Blair with no change whatever, except that the phrase, “The principles of the Christian religion,” was made to read, “The fundamental and nonsectarian principles of Christianity.”TTR 823.4

    That the National Reformers made no mistake in supposing that in its intent this resolution proposed exactly what they have been and are working for, is made plain by the following extract from a letter written by Senator Blair to the New York Mail and Express in the winter of 1889-90:—TTR 823.5

    “I yet believe that instead of selecting a final toleration of so-called religions, the American people will by constant and irresistible pressure, gradually expel from our geographical boundaries every religion except the Christian in its varied forms. I do not expect to see the pagan and other forms existing side by side with the former, both peaceably acquiesced in, for any length of time. I do not think that experience will satisfy the American people that the inculcation of any positive religious belief hostile to the Christian faith, or the practice of the forms of any other worship, is conducive to the good order of society and the general welfare. There may not be any exhibition of bigotry in this. I believe that religious toleration will yet come to be considered to be an intelligent discrimination between the true and the false, and the selection of the former by such universal consent as shall exclude by general reprobation the recognition and practice of the latter.... The people are considering these subjects anew. The are questioning whether there be not some mistake in theories of religious liberty, which permit the inculcation of the most destructive errors in the name of toleration, and the spread of pestilences under the name of liberty which despises the quarantine.”TTR 823.6

    And that they made no mistake in the view that practically it means all that they intend, is clear from the briefest examination of its provisions. If this resolution were adopted and the proposed amendment were made a part of the Constitution, then the first of all questions to be decided would be, What are the fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity?TTR 824.1

    If Christianity, itself alone, is not sectarian, then none of the principles of Christianity can possibly be sectarian. If any of the principles of Christianity be sectarian, then all of them are. Because Christianity as it is, is a definite and positive thing. It is not a namby-pamby mixture of fast and loose principles. But granting the assumption of the resolution that such a distinction exists, the question then is, How shall the United States government discover just what they are? Christianity is represented in the United States by probably a hundred different denominations. Each one of these holds to something different from all the others, which makes it the particular denomination it is. No one of these, therefore, can be taken as representing the non-sectarian principles of Christianity. Consequently, the only course to be pursued by which the United States government could find out what are the non-sectarian principles of Christianity, is by a general consensus of the principles of Christianity as held by all of the denominations in which Christianity is represented in the United States. This could not be secured by an examination of the creeds of the different denominations, because the leading denominations themselves do not agree upon their own creeds. There would be no remedy, therefore, other than to call a general convention of all the denominations of the United States, to discover what principles of the Christian religion are held in common by all, and are therefore non-sectarian in this country. This is the idea of the author of the resolution, as stated in a letter to the secretary of the National Reform Association, and which was read at the Philadelphia meeting mentioned above, December 11, 1888. He said:—TTR 824.2

    “I believe that a text-book of instruction in the principles of virtue, morality, and of the Christian religion, can be prepared for use in the public schools by the joint effort of those who represent every branch of the Christian church, both Protestant and Catholic, and also those who are not actively associated with either.”TTR 825.1

    Does anybody who has any acquaintance with history need to be shown the perfect parallel between this and the formation of that union of Church and State in the fourth century, which developed the papacy and all the religious despotism and intolerance that has been witnessed in Europe and America from that time to this? It was in this way precisely that the thing was worked in the fourth century. Let the reader turn back and review chapters XII and XIV of this book, and glance again at the succeeding chapters, and bear in mind that the great changes, tests, and contests that there occurred only at the deaths of the successive emperors, would all occur here at each successive congressional election and at each change of administration—that is to say, every two years. And as surely as the complete establishment of the papacy followed, and grew out of, that imperial recognition of Christianity in the fourth century, just so surely, and much more speedily, would the complete establishment of a religious despotism after the living likeness of the papacy, follow, and grow out of, such a national recognition of Christianity as is proved for the constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Blair, and aimed at and longed for by the National Reform religious combination.TTR 825.2

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