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    March 1888

    “‘Another Sign of the Times’” American Sentinel 3, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Under this heading, the Christian Union of January 26 has an article about the Pope’s jubilee, from which we make the following extracts:-AMS March 1888, page 21.1

    “Nothing shows more clearly the decay of old religious animosities than the fact that so little has been heard of late of the old anti-Popery cry... The old and somewhat panicky feeling which Protestants used to entertain toward the Pope and the church has evidently passed away. If evidence of this were needed, it would be found in the fact that the President’s gift of a copy of the Constitution of the United States to the Pope has for the most part passed unchallenged-has, indeed, been commended as an act of courtesy, and as a sensible way of discharging what was, under the circumstances, a matter of national obligation; for as the author of ‘Religio Medici’ long ago suggested, the Pope is a temporal prince, and the amenities which are paid to princes are due to him. ..In England, where the anti-Popery feeling has been even more rabid than in this country, an English nobleman of the highest rank has recently conveyed to the Pope the personal sympathy and good-will of the Queen, and was instructed ‘to give expression to her feeling of deep respect for the elevated character and Christian wisdom’ which the Supreme Pontiff has displayed in his high position. ‘The temperate sagacity,’ said the envoy, ‘with which your Holiness has corrected errors and differences, from which much evil might otherwise have arisen, inspires her Majesty with the earnest hope that life and health may long be granted to you, and that your beneficent actions may long be continued.”AMS March 1888, page 21.2

    After mentioning the events connected with the Pope’s jubilee, and the brilliancy of the pontifical mass in St. Peter’s, the editorial continues:-AMS March 1888, page 21.3

    “Among the almost countless congratulations that were received from all parts of the world, Protestant good wishes and congratulations mingled with those from Catholic sources. This is as it should be, and marks the coming of the better age in which the bitter and unchristian animosities of the past are disappearing as the shadows at the dawn.AMS March 1888, page 21.4

    “One may hold Protestant convictions as resolutely as his fathers held them, and may op-pose the Catholic propaganda in Church and State with the greatest zeal and earnestness, and still preserve toward this church that attitude of Christian courtesy which ought to be, although it never yet has been, the characteristic of Christian peoples. It is not impossible that the time may come when the old antagonism of the Catholic and the Protestant may appear insignificant in view of the deeper antagonisms which shall make them essentially one. Thomas Carlyle declared that the real struggle in every age is between the believer and the unbeliever, and it has seemed at times of late as if this phrase might soon describe the practical issue of certain tendencies in modern society. For anarchism and social disorder of the radical kind have their roots in atheism, and it is quite possible that the time may come when the real issue will be between the theist and the atheist; the man who believes in God, and order, and freedom, and rights of per-son, and property on the one side, and the man who disbelieves in all these on the other side. Whenever that time comes, the Protestant and the Catholic will stand side by side in a common defense of those common beliefs which have been their mutual possessions these many centuries. Stranger things have happened in history than such a change of attitude as would be involved in the fellowship of the Roman Catholic and the Protestant; and it is well to remember in any event that the only Christian way to hold one’s convictions is to hold them with charity and courtesy.”AMS March 1888, page 21.5

    Can anybody give a reason for this change in the feeling of Protestants toward Catholicism? Was it all just a senseless “panicky feeling,” when the Waldenses and Albigenses used to tremble at the approach of the minions of the Pope? Was Luther’s feeling toward the Pope nothing but jealousy? Did Huss and Herome, and tens of thousands of others whom we call martyrs,-did they commit suicide? Was it foolish superstition on the part of the Lollards, when they used every means in their power to conceal their Bibles, so that the agents of the Pope might not burn them? In short, must we say that the Reformation was a mistake, and that the men who stood so firmly for principle were nothing but cranks? If not, why should there be any change in feeling towards Rome? She has not changed at all. Leo XIII. believes every dogma that the church has ever put forth, and he believes that every one of his predecessors in the Papal chair was infallible, and could not do wrong. What is it, then, but that he would do the same things if circumstances seemed to make it necessary, and he had the power?AMS March 1888, page 21.6

    When we remember the record which Rome has made, it is startling to read in an influential Protestant journal that “the Pope is a temporal prince, and the amenities which are paid to princes are due to him.” And it is still more startling to learn that almost every Nation is giving practical evidence of its belief in this statement. Someone may say, “Oh, it is not because they favor Catholicism; they do it simply from political motives.” Of course; nations and their rulers never take any steps except from political motives; and the Roman Catholic Church is simply a vast political machine, and therein lies the danger from it. We have no fears that Protestant America will ever turn Catholic in name; but when Protestants cease to protest, they might as well be Catholics. We hold that Protestantism to-day ought to stand in the same relation to Catholicism that it did in the days of the Reformation. That does not mean that we should hate Catholics, or that we should have any feelings towards them other than those of Christian charity and courtesy; but it does mean that we should protest against the principles and practices of the Church of Rome, and not be dazzled by its display of wealth and power.AMS March 1888, page 22.1

    We said above that ‘it is startling to read in an influential Protestant journal that the Pope is a temporal prince, and the amenities which are paid to princes are due to him.’ “But we don’t read such language in a Protestant journal. Protestant journals do not contemplate a union of Protestantism and Catholicism. The Christian Union is not a Protestant journal; and the fact that it is an influential journal, and that other professedly Protestant journals, as the New York Independent, and Christian at Work, stand in the same position, is evidence to us that there is very little Protestantism nowadays.AMS March 1888, page 22.2

    Let the reader read carefully the last paragraph of the Christian Union’s article. Note the following sentences: “It is not impossible that the time may come when the old antagonism of the Catholic and the Protestant may appear in-significant in view of the deeper antagonism which shall make them essentially one.” “Stranger things have happened in history than such a change in attitude as would be involved in the fellowship of the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.” Stranger things have happened, and no doubt this will happen; but the man who can calmly contemplate such an event, has not read the history of the middle ages, or has read it to little purpose. But what can be said of the one who can deliberately bid for such a union with Roman Catholicism?AMS March 1888, page 22.3

    The nations of the Old World are nearly all now virtually at the feet of the Pope. They have been brought there through policy. Germany repealed the May Laws, and made friends with the Pope, in order to secure his help in the struggle with the socialists. Russia wants his help to settle her internal dissensions; and England must have him as mediator in the trouble with Ireland. We have not the slightest doubt but that in a few years Protestantism and Catholicism will be virtually one in crushing out “atheism.” And who will be classed among the atheists? The Christian Statesman has already told us,-every man who opposes the National Reform attempt to enforce the observance of Sunday. He may believe in God, in Jesus Christ, and the gospel, and in the Bible, but if he keeps the fourth commandment just as it reads, instead of keeping it as interpreted by the church, he will be counted an atheist. In short, every man who insists upon the right of private judgment in matters of religion, will be classed among the atheists.AMS March 1888, page 22.4

    And this is what is actually coming to pass in this country. The spirit of it is everywhere. We wish to again emphasize the fact that the Sentinel is uncompromisingly opposed to everything like a union of Church and State; whether in name or in fact. We do not stand opposed simply to the so-called National Reform movement. Those who are looking at that alone, will be terribly surprised some day. We warn the people of America that degenerate Protestantism, which comprises nearly all the Protestantism that now exists, is about to sell their liberty to the Church of Rome. Let every true man keep his eyes open to discern the signs of the times.AMS March 1888, page 22.5

    E.J.W.

    “Back Page” American Sentinel 3, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The American Sentinel is, as everybody can see, only an eight-page paper, and is issued only once a month. It is evident, therefore, that we cannot publish everything, nor can we print in one number everything that comes within our province. When people send us communications, or extracts from papers, they must have patience if they do not appear at once. “All things come ‘round to him who will but wait.”AMS March 1888, page 24.1

    “Friend, please stop the American Sentinel,” was the word that came post haste from Kansas a few days ago. We have not the slightest doubt but that there are many who would like to have us stop the Sentinel, but we cannot gratify them, because there are so very many who write of the Sentinel in a strain similar to the following from a prominent judge in a Southern State: “I read each number that comes, and I think with increasing interest.” The Sentinel will not stop.AMS March 1888, page 24.2

    The Sentinel has not space to waste in personalities. It is opposed not to National Reformers, but to national Reform. Our friend N.R. Johnston enters a grievous complaint against us in the last number of the Statesman, because a certain article of his was not published in the Sentinel. As he says, we have published one or two articles from him. We went so far as to agree to publish them, before we saw them, because we felt sure that he would confine himself to the main points. So when he again asked for space, we again assented; but when we found that the most of one of the articles needed no reply, and was not really upon National Reform, we informed him that we had not space for it. We would have published one; but as he insisted that it must be both or none, we returned both. At the same time we informed him that whenever he would furnish us with straight National Reform matter, we would publish it. This he does not tell the readers of the Statesman.AMS March 1888, page 24.3

    We make this note of explanation simply that all may know that the Sentinel does not intend to shut out free and fair discussion of National Reform principles from its columns. Nothing would please us better than to receive for every number, from any representative National Reformer, short, pithy articles on National Reform, telling our readers just what National Reform is, and what it wants. This doesn’t mean, though, that we propose to resign the editorial management of the Sentinel into the hands of the National Reformers.AMS March 1888, page 24.4

    The November (1887) number of the Sentinel contained some of the questions and answers given at the Lakeside National Reform Convention. Among them was one by Dr. McAllister, in which he was reported as saying, in answer to the question if the success of National Reform would not result in persecution: “False religion will be persecuted, and the State will be the persecutor.” Mr. McAllister says that what he did say was that “a false religion will persecute.” We very gladly make the correction, for we have no design to misrepresent anybody. The truth about the National Reform Association is more damaging to it than any erroneous statement could be. When we have more space than we have in this number, we shall notice Mr. McAllister’s statement more at length.AMS March 1888, page 24.5

    “District” Secretary, Rev. M.A. Gault, in a report in the Christian Statesman of August 11, tells of his attendance at a Prohibition convention at Lake Side Rink, Racine, Wis., at which he “had the privilege of presenting the cause of God in Government here on the same platform with Colonel Bain, and Governor St. John.” Speaking further of Colonel Bain he says:-AMS March 1888, page 24.6

    “He shook my hand warmly as I left the plat-form, saying how much he sympathized with the National Reform movement. He said he had received a letter some time ago from the editor of the American Sentinel in California, telling him how much mischief there was in our movement, and asking him to write some articles for the Sentinel.”AMS March 1888, page 24.7

    We are most happy to inform Mr. Bain that he is most prodigiously mistaken. We know that Mr. Bain never received a letter from the editor of the American Sentinel, because we happen to know that the editor of the Sentinel never sent him a letter. Nor did the editor of the American Sentinel, nor any person authorized by the editor of the Sentinel, ever ask Colonel Bain to write a single article, much less “some articles for the Sentinel.” We would suggest that the excellent Colonel read his letters a little more carefully.AMS March 1888, page 24.8

    Further Mr. Gault says of him:-AMS March 1888, page 24.9

    “He wrote in reply [to the letter that he didn’t get from the editor of the Sentinel] that our country had been drifting devilward long enough, and he was disposed to sympathize with any movement to help it. Godward.”AMS March 1888, page 24.10

    Mr. Bain may have written such a letter to somebody; he may have written it to the editor of the Sentinel; but that no such letter was ever received by us is certain. If we had received it we might have said to him that it is true enough that our country has been, and is, “drifting devilward,” but whereas now it is only “drifting,” the effect of National Reform will be but to set it full-sail in that direction.AMS March 1888, page 24.11

    Hitherto the Sentinel has used the phrase “union of Church and State’ in calling attention to the rapid encroachments of the ecclesiastical upon the civil power in this country and in making known our opposition to it. But those who are zealously working for the union of Church and State here, constantly seek to dodge, and to deaden as far as possible, the force of the Sentinel’s arguments, by the sophistical plea that they are “all thoroughly opposed to any union of Church and State,” while at the same time they are all just as thoroughly in favor of a union of Religion and the State. “Church and State,” say they, “is always an unmixed evil. But Religion and State is another thing. That is a good thing,-and that is what we aim to make a feature of our institutions, and we are going to have it.”AMS March 1888, page 24.12

    Now the Sentinel does not propose to work at cross purposes, neither does it intend to spend any time in drawing hair-splitting distinctions between terms, therefore let it be forever understood that the American Sentinel is uncompromisingly opposed to any union of Religion and the State. For such a union can end only in the worst of all tyrannies-the tyranny of a religious despotism. In reality there is no difference, of course, between a union of Church and State and a union of Religion and the State, but as those who favor the wicked thing, endeavor to disguise it under the apparently mellow term “Religion and State,” we, likewise, in exposing it, shall hereafter use that term rather than the phrase “Church and State.” This, not because we admit for a moment that there is any difference at all, but solely to prevent them from dodging our arguments. But let it be understood that our opposition to so-called Religion and the State, is due solely to our love for true religion and the individual.AMS March 1888, page 24.13

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