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    February 24, 1890

    “A Movement to Unite Church and State” The Signs of the Times, 16, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the SIGNS OF THE TIMES of January 6, there appeared the text of the joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, “respecting establishments of religion in free public schools.” This, as was then stated, is but the repetition, in slightly modified form, of the resolution proposed by Senator Blair at the last Congress. The resolution is contradictory, in that, while it says that no “State shall ever make or maintain any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” it provides that “each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools adequate for the instruction of all the children living therein, between the ages of six to sixteen years inclusive, in the common branches of learning, in virtue and morality, and in the knowledge of the fundamental and nonsectarian principles of Christianity.” That is, while it professes to be constitutional, and to be opposed to any State establishment of religion, its whole intent is to provide for that very thing. For we shall show that for the States to establish schools for the purpose of teaching the principles of Christianity, would be to unite Church and State.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.49

    The resolution calls for the instruction of children in the “fundamental and nonsectarian 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 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 the 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 are 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.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.50

    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. That 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.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.51

    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 of them 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.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.52

    In his book, “Romanism versus the Public-School System,” page 170, Dr. Daniel Dorchester says:-SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.53

    “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.”SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.54

    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:-SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.55

    “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 averted to the term. I do not know that I understand it. If I do, it is 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 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.”SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.56

    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.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.57

    We have already shown that nonsectarian 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:-SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.58

    “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.”SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.59

    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. E. J. W.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.60

    “Letter to the Hebrews. Chapter 9:24-28” The Signs of the Times, 16, 8.

    E. J. Waggoner

    (Lesson 23, March 8, 1890.)

    1. With what were the earthly holies purified?SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.61

    2. Whose office was it to cleanse the sanctuary?SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.62

    3. Do the heavenly things need cleansing?SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.63

    4. Where has our High Priest entered? Hebrews 9:24.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.64

    5. Why could not Christ act as priest in the earthly sanctuary? Chap. 8:4.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.65

    6. If the earthly was the pattern of the heavenly, must there not be two holy places in the heavenly? Hebrews 9:23, 24.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.66

    7. What does the word “true” mean in verse 24? Ans.-The true holy places-holy places understood.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.67

    8. Where are the true holy places? Verse 24.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.68

    9. How often did the high priest enter the most holy on earth? Verse 25.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.69

    10. How often does Christ enter the heavenly sanctuary for us?-Ib. See Verse 12.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.70

    11. What is meant by the end of the world, verse 26? Ans.-The last dispensation.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.71

    12. For what hath Christ appeared?-Ib.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.72

    13. Whose sins did he come to put away? Compare chap. 7:25.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.73

    14. Whose sins does he put away? Ans.-Only those who cease to sin. They who continue to transgress the law of God never have their sins put away; they retain them. Matthew 7:21.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.74

    15. How did he accomplish this work? Hebrews 9:26.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.75

    16. What is appointed to all men? Verse 27.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.76

    17. What comes after death?-Ib.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.77

    18. What is implied by introducing the judgment as following death? Ans.-That the judgment is consequent upon this life, and for one probation only.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.78

    19. What analogy is shown between our probation and the death of Christ? Ans.-As we die one, living but one life, having but one probation, so Christ once died to bear sins.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.79

    20. For how many did he die?-Ib. Compare chap. 2:9.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.80

    21. What is meant by the words, “He hath once appeared,” Hebrews 9:26? Ans.-He has made one advent to this world.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.81

    22. Will he appear again? Verse 28.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.82

    23. How will he appear?-Ib. See note.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.83

    24. For what purpose will he appear?-Ib.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.84

    25. To whom will he appear unto salvation?-Ib. See 2 Timothy 4:1, 8.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.85

    26. How will he appear to those who do not look for him, nor love his appearing? 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8; Revelation 6:15-17.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.86


    It is to be regretted that commentators have so generally overlooked the true intent of Hebrews 9:28, and construed it to mean “without a sin-offering.” The original word occurs seventy-three times in the New Testament, and is rendered “sinful,” once; “offense,” once; “sin,” seventy-one times. It is never claimed that it can bear the sense of sin-offering in the New Testament, except in 2 Corinthians 5:21, and Hebrews 9:28. And we are very confident that it does not in either of these texts. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the contrast and the force are measurably lost by so rendering it. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who himself knew no sin.” Our iniquity was laid upon him; he was bruised for our sakes-in our stead. He bore our sin, and suffered as if he had actually been the sinner. The Scripture doctrine of substitution is entirely too strong and clear to admit of this text being changed into sin-offering. In Hebrews 9 there is presented a series of events, mostly in contrast with the things of the earthly service, each of which occurs without being repeated. He offered one sacrifice; he offered it but once; he entered once into the heavenly sanctuary. Man dies once (therefore there is but one probationary life); and after this one death, the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear sin; and he will once more (a second time) come, without sin. He was once offered to bear sin; he bore it on the cross; he bears our judgment-the iniquity of his priesthood-before the throne. As a priest he has continually taken sins, except from those who choose to retain them. But when he comes again, he will be separated from sin; he will bear sin no more. As it reads, it signifies that at his second coming his priesthood, his act of sin-bearing, is forever ended.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.87

    The difference is evident and material. He might come without a sin-offering, he might not renew his sacrifice, and yet not make an end of his priestly service. He has made but one offering in more than 1,850 years, and his priesthood has continued all these centuries by virtue of that one offering. And it mighty continue indefinitely, in the same manner, by that one and the same offering. All these centuries he has been receiving the sins of penitents. But he comes without sin, separate or apart from sin, as it really means. This indicates that he will bear sin no more; that he has put it from him. Then he that is unjust must so remain. Revelation 22:10-12.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.88

    The following remarks from Dr. Barnes on this text, concerning the coming again of our blessed Saviour, are interesting:-SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.89

    “There is a propriety that he should thus return. He came once to be humbled, despised, and put to death; and there is a fitness that he should come to be honored in his own world.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.90

    “Every person on earth is interested in the fact that he will return, for ‘every eye shall see him.’ Revelation 1:7. All who are now in their graves, all who now live, and all who will hereafter live, will behold the Redeemer in his glory.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.91

    “It will not be merely to gaze upon him, and to admire his magnificence, that they will see him. It will be for greater and more momentous purposes-with reference to an eternal doom.SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.92

    “The great mass of men are not prepared to meet him. They do not believe that he will return; they do not desire that he should appear; they are not ready for the solemn interview which they will have with him. His appearing now would overwhelm them with surprise and horror. There is nothing in the future which they less expect and desire than the second coming of the Son of God, and in the present state of the world his appearance would produce almost universal consternation and despair. It would be like the coming of the flood of waters on the old world; like the sheets of flame on Sodom and Gomorrah.”SITI February 24, 1890, page 91.93

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