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    March 27, 1890

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    It is not the Roman Catholics alone who are complaining of the religious history that is taught in the public schools. The Presbyterians in Tennessee are at it too. They have petitioned the Legislature protesting against the introduction into the schools of the State, of a State history written by the Hon. James Phelan. They assert that in his chapter on “Churches” he has sadly “misrepresented the Presbyterian Church, and the reasons for the origin of the Cumberland Presbyterians,” and that moreover, he shows too strong Methodist proclivities. We hope so.AMS March 27, 1890, page 97.1

    Upon the subject of progress in the Washington Legislature, the Spokane Falls Review of February 20, 1890, says:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 97.2

    “One would quite naturally imagine, judging from the stew that some people have worked themselves into, over the matter of prayers in the Legislature, that one element within that august body would consider life a burden, a dreary desert unrelieved by a single oasis, unless for a few moments of each legislative day they were insured the pleasing privilege of sitting within the sound of the soothing voice of a ‘court chaplain.’AMS March 27, 1890, page 97.3

    “The fact that a man is oppose prayers in the Legislature does not signify that he is a foe to Christianity. It seems to the Review that he might be a prominent member of a church and still consistently object to religious services being blended with law-making, precisely as he might frown upon any attempt to notify a preacher to appear with his Bible and prayer-book on the occasion of a gathering of citizens for the purpose of working a county road!AMS March 27, 1890, page 97.4

    “If Christianity cannot stand without a State prop it is not the religion we take it to be. As a matter of fact, every effort to give it State support has had a reactionary effect that wrought more injury than benefit.”AMS March 27, 1890, page 97.5

    “A Movement to Unite Church and State” American Sentinel 5, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the SENTINEL of January 16, there appeared the text of the joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, “respecting establishments of religion and free public schools.”AMS March 27, 1890, page 99.1

    The resolution calls for the instruction of children in the “fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity.” Now what are the fundamental principles of Christianity? It is self-evident that Christianity pertains to Christ, and that nothing can be taught in regard to Christianity without teaching about Christ. Where do we learn about Christ? and what shall we teach about him?-We learn of Christ in the Bible, and nowhere else. All we know of Christ is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and therefore that which is taught of Christ, in teaching the fundamental principles of Christianity, must be what the Bible reveals concerning him. So the very first thing in teaching Christianity is the consideration of who Christ is. And what about him? What does he do for us? What is the nature of his work? The simple answer to these points, according to the Bible, would be that Christ is the Son of God; the divine word who was in the beginning with God, by whom all things were created; who was made flesh and dwelt among men; who died and rose again to redeem men and to save them from sin. And this brings up the fact that men have sinned against God; they have broken his law. And so, to teach the fundamental principles of Christianity is to teach the law of God, which points out sin, and to teach Christ as the Saviour from sin; to teach his power and majesty as the one who is able to save from sin; in short, the fundamental principles of Christianity is all there is of it. You cannot teach anything about Christianity without teaching these very things. For Christianity may be summed up in a word as the way of salvation from sin, through Christ.AMS March 27, 1890, page 99.2

    Suppose now the State enters upon the work of giving this instruction to all children within its borders. What is it doing?-It is doing the very work for which the Church of Christ exists. Christ instituted a church here upon earth that it might be the light of the world, that it might spread abroad in the earth a knowledge of him and of his truth. This is all the church is for. Now when we have the entire Government doing this work in every school district, we have simply the State organizing itself into a universal church. That would be a State Church, a union of Church and State. Nothing less than this can be made of it.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.1

    Again, the bill says “the fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity.” By that is meant those principles which are not peculiar to any sect, but which all denominations can unite upon. Please consider the fundamental principles of Christianity, as we have referred to them, and see upon which one all denominations are agreed. Christianity means the doctrine of Christ. Who is Christ? Some say he is the divine Son of God, and others deny this. Some say that his work was vicarious, others that he simply lived and died as an example. There has been disagreement upon the very first principles of Christianity ever since the Church existed. So that if the public schools are to teach the principles of Christianity, they must teach principles that are held by some denominations and disbelieved by others.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.2

    In his book, “Romanism versus the Public-School System,” page 170, Dr. Daniel Dorchester says:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.3

    It is plain that is all classes are to use the public school, there must be no specific religious instruction. It cannot be imparted consistently with the American system of government; if religious instruction is given, it will be almost certain to savor of some particular sect.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.4

    The same thing is put more forcibly by the Honorable Stanley Matthews, in a speech in reference to the Bible in the schools of Cincinnati. Said he:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.5

    The gentlemen on the other side say they limit the religious instruction demanded to what they call a “broad Christianity.” I have already once or twice adverted to the term. I do not know that I understand it. If I do, it is a “broad” humbug. The Christian religion is not a vain and unmeaning generality. It is a definite and positive thing. It means something, or it means nothing. In my view it is a supernatural scheme of redemption-a revelation from God of his gracious purpose and plan of salvation to a race “dead in trespasses and sins,” through the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ, who, being God from eternity, became incarnate, and by his death upon the cross became a sacrifice for sin, made expiation for it, and, having risen from the grave, ascended into heaven, and there sitteth on the right hand of the Father to make intercession for his people. The whole character and value of such a religion consists altogether in being, as it claims to be, a supernatural plan of salvation from sin. Otherwise it is irremedial. Strike out from the Bible the parts which disclose, reveal, and teach that scheme, and the rest is insignificant. And any instruction or education in religion which does not teach the facts which constitute that scheme, and which cannot be stated even, except as conveying dogma, is no instruction in the Christian religion whatever.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.6

    This is the truth clearly and forcibly stated. If the principles of Christianity are to be taught at all, the whole must be taught. Christianity is a unit, and the whole of it is contained in the fundamental principles. If the State is going into the business of teaching this, then we ask, How will the work of the school-teacher differ from that of the Sunday-school teacher and the minister of the gospel? And the only answer is that their work will be a little more comprehensive. They will be doing the work of the minister and the Sunday-school teacher, and, together with that, will be giving instruction in the sciences. So that, as we said before, for the public schools of the United States to teach the fundamental principles of Christianity would be to establish a State Church, to effect a union of Church and State in the most complete manner possible.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.7

    We have already shown that non-sectarian instruction in religion cannot be given. Such instruction will necessarily savor of some particular sect, as Dr. Dorchester says. And this, it is admitted, would be to effect a union of Church and State. Thus, in the book before referred to, on page 65, Dr. Dorchester, in referring to an appropriation by the State of New York to certain Catholic schools, says:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.8

    The people thus found themselves taxed for the support of sectarian education, the Roman Catholic faith being taught in the schools thus supported. The State and the Church were then virtually united.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.9

    It is plainly evident that whatever way we consider this proposed amendment, it is really an amendment to effect a union of Church and State. We have not in this article touched upon some of the pernicious results that would necessarily grow out of the adoption of the amendment, except as the readers may infer for themselves some of the evils that would result from a Church and State union. In another article we shall show some of the wickedness that would follow its adoption.AMS March 27, 1890, page 100.10

    E. J. W.

    “Notes” American Sentinel 5, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, March 15, the Rev. P. H. Whisner asked for the appointment of a committee of five on Sabbath observance, saying that “there is a great struggle going on between those who wish to see the Christian Sabbath kept sacred and those who wish to do as they please on that day.” Well, if a man is not a Christian, has he not the right to do as he pleases on the Christian Sabbath? Why is it that those who profess to be Christians, persist in the effort to compel those who are not Christians to act as though they were? Such a proceeding is a reproach and only causes reproach to Christianity.AMS March 27, 1890, page 102.1

    “Lathrop Riots” American Sentinel 5, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The act of those riotous women at Lathrop, Missouri, the Union Signal approves as “a temperance crusade with practical features and speedy results.” We do not believe in intemperance nor in rioting. Riotous “temperance” is intemperance none the less dangerous than saloon intemperance. These women ought to have been more both womanly and more temperate. They should not have allowed their zeal to get the better of their judgment.AMS March 27, 1890, page 103.1

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 13.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has decided that the reading of the Bible in the public schools is sectarian teaching, and therefore unconstitutional. Judge Bennett’s “representative” decision is therefore reversed.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.1

    The Blair Educational bill was defeated in the Senate March 20, by a vote of thirty-one to thirty-seven. Senator Blair changed his affirmative vote to no and gave notice of a motion to reconsider.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.2

    The article in this paper on the bill was in type and “made up” before the bill was defeated; and it will help more to show how richly the bill deserved the everlasting death which we hope has been dealt to it by this vote.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.3

    Our readers will remember that two weeks ago we published a letter from our California correspondent criticising a sermon on Sunday work in one of the California prisons. Referring to this same sermon the San Francisco Alta says:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.4

    A good many interior journals are commenting admiringly on the energetic and righteous indignation with which Rev. Dr. F. A. Horton, of Oakland, recently denounced the practice of working the San Quentin convicts on Sunday. Only one fault can be found with Dr. Horton’s denunciation. The convicts in San Quentin are not worked on Sunday.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.5

    This is indeed a serious fault, but we think that our correspondent showed very plainly that it was not the only fault in that sermon.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.6

    We learn from the Territory Enterprise that a large and enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Virginia City, Nevada, was held in the Opera House at that place on the 10th inst., to protest against the pas-sage of the Blair Sunday-rest bill, the Breckinridge Sunday bill, and the proposed Educational amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A part of the resolutions were as follows:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.7

    Resolved, That ... it is not and never should be within the province of the national Congress, or the Legislature of any State in the Union to prescribe for the free public schools what are and what are not the “fundamental and non-sectarian principles of Christianity.”AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.8

    Resolved, That religion is beyond the purview of human government, and from it is essentially distinct and exempt from its cognizance. That any connection between them is not only injurious to both, but is destructive of personal liberty, freedom of conscience, and the public welfare; and with the patriot soldier, Grant, we affirm that all religious should for all time, be left to the family altar, the church, the private school, supported entirely by private contribution, and that the State and the Church should remain forever separate.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.9

    The senators and representatives from that State were requested to oppose the adoption of the Blair and Breckinridge measures. The work of the National Religious Liberty Association was heartily approved.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.10

    Dr. Gossler, Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs and Public Instruction of the German Empire, has, it is said, expressed his approval of the views of Dr. Windhorst, the Catholic leader, that the Church, school, and State ought to work together. Radical changes, he declares, are impending in the field of education. In view of the fact that the late elections in Germany have given the Papists a strong hold upon the Government, enabling them to dictate their own terms to the emperor, the world need be surprised at nothing which may happen in Germany in the way of a return to the methods of the middle ages.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.11

    Rev. Joseph Cook is quoted by the Christian Statesman of Feb. 27, as criticising Edward Bellamy’s Nationalism, in his first Boston lecture for 1890, and saying: “It has elements in it that are very Christian; but the Christianity is in the voluntary co-operation, and not in the compulsory Nationalism.” Very true Mr. Cook! The principle of voluntary co-operation, and not of national compulsion, is at the root of all Christianity. In that expression, you have stated a truth of universal application, and one which bears just as hard upon the methods and purposes of the National Reform Association, and Sabbath Union, as upon the doctrines of Mr. Bellamy. Why, then, do you affiliate with these advocates of nationalism in religion?AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.12

    The Christian Statesman, of March 6, contains the following: “We regret to note that Sabbath, the 23rd inst., was openly devoted to lobbying among the members of Congress in favor of the rival cities. The amended Fair bill, imperilled by a shameful struggle for political advantage, passed the New York Legislature on Wednesday, the 19th. Until this was done, New York’s representatives at Washington could do nothing. The Sabbath was one of the four days left before the vote was to be taken. Chauncy M. Depew, Ex-Senator Warner Miller, Elliott F. Shepard and others, hastened to Washington. We cannot say to what extent the Christian men in this delegation were responsible for the fact, or were implicated in it, but the newspapers of Monday bore evidence that no other day of the four was more diligently employed in pushing the claims of New York, than was the Sabbath. On the evening of that day, a dinner was given by Representative Flower, where the plans for the week were carefully looked over again, and close calculations made, as to the result of the vote.”AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.13

    Already it seems the religious press has begun its censorship, and among those who fall under its displeasure, is the unfortunate president of the Sabbath Union itself. Elliott F. Shepard has been in bad company, and the Christian Statement throws the first stone. He has soiled the immaculate dignity of his office by coming to Washington on the same train with Chauncy Depew and others, who, according to the newspapers, must have talked about the World’s Fair on Sunday. A New York Representative gave a dinner too, and these bad men all ate together on Sunday, and planned how to get the World’s Fair. If only the Breckinridge Sunday bill had been a law, the Statesman might have had legal redress for the “disturbance” of its Sunday rest in Philadelphia, by these New York Sunday breakers in Washington.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.14

    A gentleman in Florence, Ontario, sends us a postal card, from which we make the following extract:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.15

    You seem to think that God requires some help from some of his creatures to maintain his kingdom upon earth. I pray that the United States may be so fortunate as to get a civil statute to protect the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.16

    We cannot see why the gentleman should imagine that we think that God needs some help “to maintain his kingdom upon earth.” That is the position occupied by those who are endeavoring to give him the help of the civil law. The Sabbath is a divine institution, and it belongs to God. If Sunday is the Sabbath, it certainly needs no other law than the law of God to maintain it. God needs no aid from the civil power to maintain the dignity of his government. But the National Reformers are insisting that he does, and that this Government shall give it to him.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.17

    The member of Congress who presented the local Sunday bill for the District of Columbia, in the House of Representatives, said, in an address quoted in New York, as quoted in “Sabbath Reform Document” of January 9:-AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.18

    The State owes it to itself and to its present citizens, and to the generations that are yet to come, to protect this day, on grounds that they protect the grounds that they protect the martial relation.AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.19

    This member proposes to protect the day, by a law “to prevent persons from being forced to labor on the Sunday.” At the next session of Congress, then, we may expect him to introduce a bill “to prevent persons from being forced to violate the marital relation.”AMS March 27, 1890, page 104.20

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