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    July 31, 1889

    “To Crush The Liquor Traffic?” American Sentinel 4, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    On Sunday evening, June 30, the Pennsylvania Sabbath Association held a meeting in the Salem M. E. Church; Philadelphia, at which several active workers for a Sunday law were present. One of the principal speakers was Lewis D. Vail, the attorney for the Law and Order Society. After speaking of the continental Sunday, and arguing that the working men would be great sufferers by its introduction into this country, Mr. Vail spent the greater portion of his time talking about saloons and licenses. Speaking of a recent Supreme Court decision, he said:—AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.1

    “The Supreme Court says that their location is not a matter of public convenience, and they can all be located in a solid block, if they so elect. These so-called wholesalers can sell at any time on a week day, and eventually they will sell on Sunday. They will send their own men to the Legislature, and will work to control every branch of the Government. What you and I have to do is to fight for this control of the Government, and vote only for men who are pledged to work for good laws and for a better observance of the Sabbath. You may rest assured that God will look out for his Sunday, but we must do our work. God will grind this glorious country into powder if we disobey his laws. If a so-called Christian man votes for a man opposed to God’s law, even if he belongs to a dozen churches, the devil will get him at last.”AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.2

    One need not take long to determine from the above what the Law and Order Society regards as the greater evil, the liquor traffic or Sunday work. Mr. Vail seems to feel very bad to think that the liquor-sellers are in danger of controlling every branch of the Government, and that they will locate their saloons anywhere they please. But the only remedy he and his Law and Order Society have in mind is, to fight for the control of the Government, and when they get this control to-do what? To crush out the liquor traffic? Oh no; to stop the sale of liquor on Sunday. The Law and Order Society has not yet got educated to the idea that selling liquor on any other day of the week than Sunday is disorderly.AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.3

    If Mr. Vail really thinks that Sunday belongs to the Lord, he would do well to leave it with him and trust him to take care of it; but we cannot avoid the suspicion that the reason why he and the other leaders in the Sunday-law move are working so zealously for Sunday laws is, that they do not believe that God has any regard for Sunday any more than for any other day; and they are afraid that if they leave it with him the law will not be enforced, and they are determined to make people keep Sunday whether or no.AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.4

    Rev. Mr. Redner, speaking of the prevailing disregard for Sunday, said the trouble was not so much with the chief justice and the other justices as with Christians, and professed Christians. That is exactly the point. Sunday is a church day; it is one of the days which “the church,” according to the catechism, commands to be kept holy along with Christmas, New Years, Easter, St. Patrick’s day, etc. But a large majority of professed Christians do not carry out the commands of the church. They disregard the obligations which they took upon themselves when they joined the church; and because of this disregard of church law, by those who belong to the church, the Sunday is not kept as a holy day. And now certain leaders in the church are knocking at the door of Congress with all their might to induce that body to pass a law to enforce the observance of Sunday.AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.5

    In other words, they are asking Congress to come to the help of the churches, and compel church members to obey its laws. This is the sole object of Sunday legislation, and stamps the movement for Sunday laws to be purely a step toward the securing of Church and State.AMS July 31, 1889, page 209.6

    E. J. W.

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