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    May 8, 1890

    “Front Page” American Sentinel 5, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.1

    The public school fund is drawn from the whole people, without discrimination or preference, and with no reference whatever to any question as to either religion or the Bible. Therefore the same fund should be used and applied for the benefit of the whole people as it is raised, without discrimination or preference. As the money is raised without reference to those who believe in the Bible or religious instruction, so it should be expended and used. If the money when raised is to be applied according to the dictation and the religious wishes of those who believe in the Bible and religious instruction, then justice demands that it shall be raised by taxation only upon those persons. Justice will never allow religious exercises or religious instruction in the public schools.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.2

    All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.3

    One of the greatest sophistries with which those please themselves who are in favor of religion in the schools is that in which they speak of the reading of the Bible “without note or comment.” The truth is that the Bible, precisely is, without a single note or a word of oral comment, may be read in such a way that the mere reading of it will be the strongest comment that could possibly be made.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.4

    The public reader of Dickens reads that author without note or comment, but the impression made upon those who hear is deeper than all the commentators in Christendom could make upon those same persons. Edwin Booth reads Shakespeare without the slightest note or comment, and yet it would be impossible for any commentator to convey the depths of meaning, or to make the strong impressions that are made by his mere reading of the plain words of the author.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.5

    It is so with the Bible. The one who reads the Bible to the pupils in the public schools may do so “without note or comment,” and yet he may so read what he reads as to make a stronger impression than could be made by any comment that he himself might make. It is hard to believe that those who make such a plea as this in the defense of the reading of the Bible in the public schools, can be sincere. It is equally difficult to understand how those who make this plea can deceive themselves with such sophistry, even though they may hope to deceive others.AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.6

    It is not Christianity to teach the children “Be virtuous and you shall be happy.” It is Christianity only to teach them “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”AMS May 8, 1890, page 145.7

    “The Baptists of Canada on Religion and the State” American Sentinel 5, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    There is just now in Canada, considerable agitation of the same questions that are fast becoming so prominent in the United States, namely, the union of Church and State, Sunday laws, and religion in the public schools. On the question of religion and the public schools, as well as on that of the total separation between Church and State in everything, the following petition of the Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, is of interest. We wish the Baptists of the United States were as outspoken on these questions as are those of Canada. We know that in this country there are individual Baptists who have as clearly defined views on these questions, and as much readiness to express them, as the Baptist of Ontario and Quebec have shown themselves to have; but we have not yet heard of a single Baptist Association in the United States, which as a body has taken such a position. We should be glad to learn of scores of them. This report is taken from the Canadian Baptist:-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.1

    To the Honorable the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.2

    The petition of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec humbly showeth:-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.3

    1. That the denomination of Christians called Baptists stands historically identified with, and has always been foremost in, maintaining certain principles touching civil and religious rights, which may be summarized as follows:-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.4

    That the State is a political corporation simply; that freedom of religious opinion and worshipped is inherently a vested right of the individual conscience, and not a grant from the State; that parliament may not prescribe any form of religious belief for worship, nor may it tax in any form any citizens for the support or teaching of religion.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.5

    2. That in harmony with these principles the following resolution was passed at the annual meeting of your petitioners, held in the city of Ottawa, in the month of October last: Moved by Rev. R. G. Boville, M. A., seconded by Rev. J. Dempsey, that,-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.6

    Whereas, The historic believe the Baptist Church has always been that Church and State should be separate, and that all citizens and denominations should be equal in every way before the law and,-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.7

    Whereas, Said principle is being violated in all key ecclesiastical exemptions, whereby in favor of Baptists or of other denominations: in the continuance of the mediæval tithing system of the Roman Catholic denomination in Quebec; in the existence of separate schools supported out of public rates; in State provision for religious instruction and public schools; and in public grants for denominational purposes, as well as in other respects; therefore,-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.8

    Resolved, That we hereby declare our conviction that the only permanent and sufficient remedy for these evils that are subversive of the principles of Religious Liberty and equality, and therefore a hindrance in the development of our national life, is the absolute and final separation of church and state, and the revision of our constitution in harmony with the same.-Carried.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.9

    3. Believing that in all regards in which the State violates the principles above the summarized, it transcends its rightful power and unjustly infringes on individual rights; and believing further, that nothing short of the thorough and consistent application of these principles throughout the whole Dominion will produce harmony and secure the welfare of the people of Canada, your petitioners pray-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.10

    That your Honorable Body may be pleased to speedily adopt measures,-AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.11

    1. To absolutely abolish all exemption of ecclesiastical property and persons from their do share of municipal taxes and burdens.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.12

    2. To effectually prevent the making of gifts or grants from the public funds to denominational institutions purposes, whether charitable, educational, or otherwise.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.13

    3. To abolish all laws providing for the importing of religious instruction if in the public schools.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.14

    4. To bring about entire abolition of separate denominational schools supported by rates levied by the process of law.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.15

    And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.16

    Witness hands of the President and Secretary of your petitioners, subscribed at Toronto this 17th day of March, A.D., 1890.AMS May 8, 1890, page 151.17

    (Signed) D. E. THOMSON, President.
    (Signed) JAMES GRANT, Secretary.

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 5, 19.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Wisconsin decision has awakened such widespread discussion of the subject of Religion and Public Education, that we have made this number of the SENTINEL somewhat of a special upon that subject. We give to our readers some of the most valuable matter to be found upon this subject. The argument of Mr. Wigman, in the Wisconsin case, is a powerful and noble vindication of the right of the parent to instruct his own child. Judge Orton’s opinion in the same case is an excellent statement of the case of the common school. The article by Rev. Owen James is a masterly statement of the impossibility of the States ever having anything to do in any way, with religious instruction. And it is difficult to see how the Presbyterian Church can favor the teaching of religion in the public schools in the face of its own Confession of Faith, as so eloquently expounded by Stanley Matthews.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.1

    All these articles are most worthy of acceptance for all that they say, and for all that they mean, and in view of the condition of things in this Nation to-day, and in view of the powerful influences that are at work to secure action by the State which shall commit it to the cognizance of religious things, it is important that the principles so well set forth in the articles which we have the pleasure of presenting to our readers in this number of the SENTINEL, should be made known everywhere.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.2

    We hope all to whom this paper comes will give it the widest possible circulation.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.3

    The Presbyterians throughout the whole United States are now discussing the question of the revision of their Confession of Faith. A great majority of those Presbyteries which have already expressed themselves, are in favor of revision. But there is one point in the Confession which we have not yet seen mentioned by any one of the Presbyteries, which will need to be revised if the position of the Presbyterian synod of New York is orthodox. That is, the article which declares that “civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the word, or in the least interfere in the matters of faith.” If the State is to teach religion as this Synod demands that it shall, then that part of the creed needs to be so revised as to declare it to be the duty of the civil magistrate to administer the word and regulate matters of faith.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.4

    Resolutions are being adopted by ecclesiastical bodies, and many petitions are being sent to the United States Senate, urging the passage of the Blair Educational bill.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.5

    The teaching of religion belongs to the Church, and to the Church only. God has committed to the Church this work, and endowed her with the power to do it effectively. The State has no authority to do it, nor has it the power by which, alone, the attempt to do it can be effective. This work then, having been committed to the Church, when the Church passes it over to the State and the State assumes the task, what then is the Church to do? What is there left for her to do, and what further use is there for her in the world? More than this, the Church will not stop at that. When once the State has assumed the task of carrying on and supporting the work of the Church, the next thing it will have to do will be to support the Church itself, and that in idleness, as every State has ever had to do, and will ever have to do, which takes upon itself the task of teaching religion. Therefore if the Government of the United States, or of any State, wants to keep forever clear of the galling burden of a lazy, good-for-nothing Church, let it keep forever clear of any attempt to teach religion.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.6

    Apparently with some surprise the question is asked, Would you object to the use of the Bible in the public schools merely as a reading book? We answer decidedly, Yes. We object to the Bible’s being made less than it is, or to any impression being conveyed that it is less than that which it is. The Bible is the word of God and that is all that it is. In it is the revelation of the eternal purpose of God which he purposed in Christ Jesus for the redemption of the race of man lost and ruined by sin. It is that and that only, and to make it less than that is to make it worse than nothing. And to use it in the public schools, or anywhere else, merely as a reading book, is to put it upon a level with all other mere reading books, and is to make it less than that which it is. Such procedure conveys the impression to the minds of the children in school that the Bible is no more, and of no more worth or authority, than any other reading book; and to do that is to destroy in their minds the true idea of what the Bible is, and of what its worth and authority is. Therefore everybody who has any regard for the Bible for what it is, ought to object to its being put to any use that will convey to anybody any idea that it is less than that which it is-the word of God.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.7

    The Presbyterians and the Methodists of New York,-the Calvinists and the Arminians-have heartily joined together in denouncing the Wisconsin decision and demanding religious instruction in the public schools. Yet if the State should decide to establish religious instruction in the public schools and should leave it to these two denominations to decide just what form of religion should be taught there, and to what degree, it would be difficult to find any two denominations in all the land between which there would be a wider divergence of view, or a more bitter contention.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.8

    The New York Herald, not long since secured an interview with the Pope, in which that dignitary expressed great hope for America and the Americans. He expressed great anxiety over the “discontent, disorder, hatred, and profound unhappiness” that is seen in the present condition of society; and says he has studied how to bring about a chance, and that, while he lives, he will labor to relieve the world of this terrible confusion. These good professions of the Pope had the effect of greatly pleasing the Christian Union, and it gives vent to its delight in these words:-AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.9

    We cordially greet the Pope as an honored leader of a great international community in the work of industrial and social reform, no less than as a witness of the first importance to the fact that such a reform is the imperative need of our time.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.10

    Yes, we are perfectly satisfied that in the settling of this social confusion, the Pope will have much to do, and with the result that when it is settled, it will be to the advantage of the Papacy, and with the Pope as the head over all and supreme arbiter for the world.AMS May 8, 1890, page 152.11

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