Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    WE have now found what, according to the prophecy, will constitute the image which the two-horned beast is to cause to be made, and the mark which it will attempt to enforce. The movement which is to fulfill this portion of the prophecy is to be looked for among those classes which constitute the professedly religious portion of the people. First, some degree of union must be effected between the various Protestant churches, with some degree of coalition, also between these bodies and the beast power, or Roman Catholicism; and secondly, steps must be taken to bring the law of the land to the support of the Sunday Sabbath. These movements the prophecy calls for; and the line of argument leading to these conclusions is so direct and well-defined that there is no avoiding them. They are a clear and logical sequence from the premises given us.MANA 187.1

    When the application of Revelation 13:11-17 to the United States was first made, over thirty-five years ago these positions respecting a union of the churches and a grand Sunday movement were taken. But at the time no sign appeared above or beneath, at home or abroad, — no token was seen, no indication existed, that such an issue would ever be made. But there was the prophecy, and that must stand. The United States government had given abundant evidence, by its location, the time of its rise, the manner of its rise, and its apparent character, that it was the power symbolized by the two-horned beast. There could be no mistake in the conclusion that it was the very nation intended by that symbol. This being so, it must take the course, and perform the acts foretold. But here were predictions which could be fulfilled by nothing less than the above-named religious movements, resulting in a virtual union of Church and State, and the enforcement of the papal Sabbath as a mark of the beast.MANA 187.2

    To take the position at that time that this government was to pursue such a policy and engage in such a work, without any apparent probability in its favor, was no small act of faith. On the other hand, to deny or ignore it, while admitting the application of the symbol to this government, would be in accordance with neither Scripture nor logic. The only course for the humble, confiding student of prophecy to pursue in such cases, is to take the light as it is given, and believe the prophecy in all its parts. So the stand was boldly taken; and open proclamation has been made from that day to this, that such a work would be seen in the United States. With every review of the argument, new features of strength have been discovered in the application; and amid a storm of scornful incredulity, we have watched the progress of events, and awaited hour of fulfillment.MANA 188.1

    Meanwhile, Spiritualism has astonished the world with its terrible progress, and shown itself to be the wonder-working element which was to exist in connection with this power. This has mightily strengthened the evidence if the application. And now, within a few years past, what have we further seen? — No less than the commencement of that very movement respecting the formation of the image and the enactment of Sunday laws, which we have so long expected, and which is to complete the prophecy, and close the scene.MANA 188.2

    Reference was made in Chapter 11. to the movement now on foot for a grand union of all the Churches; not a union which rises from the putting away of error and uniting upon the harmonious principles of truth, but simply a combination of sects, each retaining its own particular creed, but confederated for the purpose of carrying out more extensively the common points of their faith. This movement finds a strong undercurrent of favor in all the Churches; and men are engaged to carry it through who are not easily turned from their purpose.MANA 189.1

    And there has suddenly arisen a class of men whose souls are absorbed with the cognate idea of Sunday reform, and who have dedicated every energy of their being to the carrying forward of this kindred movement. The New York Sabbath Committee have labored zealously, by means of books, tracts, speeches, and sermons, to create a strong public sentiment in behalf of Sunday. Making slow progress through moral suasion, they seek a shorter path to the accomplishment of their purposes through political power. And why not? Christianity has become popular, and her professed adherents are numerous. Why not avail themselves of the power of the ballot to secure their ends? Rev. J.S. Smart (Methodist), in a published sermon on the “Political Duties of Christian Men and Ministers,” expresses a largely prevailing sentiment on this question, when he says:—MANA 189.2

    “I claim that we have, and ought to have, just as much concern in the government of this country as any other men.... We are the mass of the people. Virtue in this country is not weak; her ranks are strong in numbers, and invincible from the righteousness of her cause — invincible if united. Let not her ranks be broken by party names.”MANA 189.3

    A National Association has been in existence for a number of years, which has for its objects the securing of such amendments to the national Constitution as shall express the religious views of the majority of the people, and make it an instrument under which the keeping of Sunday can be enforced as the Christian Sabbath. This Association already embraces within its organization a long array of eminent and honorable names, — Governors of States, Presidents of colleges, Bishops, Doctors of Divinity, Doctors of Law, and men who occupy high positions in all the walks of life.MANA 190.1

    In the Address issued by the officers of the Association, they say:—MANA 190.2

    “Men of high standing, in every walk of life; of every section of the country, and of every shade of political sentiment and religious belief, have concurred in the measure.”MANA 190.3

    In their appeal, they most earnestly request every lover of his country to join in forming auxiliary associations, to circulate documents, attend conventions, sign the memorial to Congress, etc., etc.MANA 190.4

    In their plea for an amended Constitution, they ask the people to—MANA 190.5

    “Consider that God is not once named in our national Constitution. There is nothing in it which requires an ‘oath of God,’ as the Bible styles it (which, after all, is the great bond both of loyalty in the citizen and of fidelity in the magistrate), — nothing which requires the observance of the day of rest and worship, or which respects its sanctity. If we do not have the mails carried and the post-offices open on Sunday, it is because we have a Post-master-General who respects the day. If our Supreme Courts, are not held, and if Congress does not sit on that day, it is custom and not law, that makes it so. Nothing in the Constitution gives Sunday quiet to the custom-house, the navy-yard, the barracks, or any of the departments of government.MANA 190.6

    “Consider that they fairly express the mind of the great body of the American people. This is a Christian people. These amendments agree with the faith, the feelings, and the forms of every Christian church or sect. The Catholic and the Protestant, the Unitarian and the Trinitarian, profess and approve all that is here proposed. Why should their wishes not become law? Why should not the Constitution be made to suit and to represent a constituency so overwhelmingly in the majority? ...MANA 191.1

    “This great majority are becoming daily more conscious not only of their rights, but of their power. Their number grows, and their column becomes more solid. They have quietly, steadily, opposed infidelity, until it has at least become politically unpopular. They have asserted the rights of man and the rights of the government, until the nation’s faith has become measurably fixed and declared on these points. And now that the close of the war gives us occasion to amend our Constitution, that it may clearly and fully represent the mind of the people on these points, they feel that it should also be so amended as to recognize the rights of God in man and in government. Is it anything but due to their long patience that they be at length allowed to speak out the great facts and principles which give to all government its dignity, stability, and beneficence?”MANA 191.2

    Thus for several years a movement has been on foot, daily growing in extent, importance, and power, to fulfill that portion of the prophecy of Revelation 13:11-17 which first calls forth the dissent of the objector, and which appears from every point of view the most improbable of all the specifications; namely, the making of an image to the beast and the enforcing of the mark. Beyond this, nothing remains but the sharp conflict of the people of God with this earthly power, and the eternal triumph of the overcomer.MANA 191.3

    An association, even now national in its character, as already noticed, and endeavoring, as is appropriate for those who have such objects in view, to secure their purposes under the sanction of the highest authority of the land, the national Constitution, already has this matter in hand. In the interest of this Association there is published, in Philadelphia, a weekly paper called the Christian Statesman, in advocacy of this movement. Every issue of that paper goes forth filled with arguments and appeals from some of the ablest pens in our land, in favor of the desired Constitutional Amendment. These are the very methods by which, in a country like ours, great revolutions are accomplished; and no movement has ever arisen in so short a space of time as this to so high a position in public esteem with certain classes, and taken so strong a hold upon their hearts.MANA 191.4

    Says Mr. G.A. Townsend (New World and Old, p. 212):—MANA 192.1

    “Church and States has several times crept into American politics, as in the contentions over the Bible in the public schools, the anti-Catholic party of 1854, etc. Our people have been wise enough heretofore to respect the clergy in all religious questions and to entertain a wholesome jealousy of them in politics. The latest politico-theological movement [italics ours] is to insert the name of the Deity in the Constitution.”MANA 192.2

    The present movements of the National Reform Association, and the progress it has made, may be gathered somewhat from the following sketch of its history, and the reports of the proceedings of some of the conventions which have thus far been held.MANA 192.3

    From the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Commercial of Feb. 6, 1874, we take the following:—MANA 192.4

    “The present movement to secure the religious amendment of the Constitution originated at Xenia, Ohio, in February, 1863, in a convention composed of eleven different religious denominations, who assembled for prayer and conference, not in regard to the amendment of the Constitution, but the state of religion. Meeting (small in numbers) were held shortly after in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. At first the Association was called a ‘Religious Council;’ now it is known as the ‘National Association to Secure the Religious Amendment of the Constitution of the United States,’ and is becoming more popular, and increasing largely in numbers.MANA 192.5

    “The first National Convention of the Association was held in the First United Presbyterian Church, Allegheny, Pa., Jan. 27, 1864, at which a large delegation was appointed to present the matter to the consideration of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. An adjourned meeting was held in the Eighth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, on the 7th and 8th of July of the same year; and another in the same city, in the West Arch Street Presbyterian Church, Nov. 29, 1864.MANA 193.1

    “Conventions were held in New York in 1868; in Columbus Ohio, February, 1869; and in Monmouth, Ill., April, 1871.MANA 193.2

    “National Conventions were held in Pittsburgh, 1870; Philadelphia, 1871, Cincinnati, 1872; and New York, 1873. The National Convention which meets this afternoon [Feb. 4, 1874] in the Library Hall [in Pittsburgh, Pa.], is, we believe, the fifth in order.”MANA 193.3

    From the report of the executive committee at the Cincinnati Convention, Jan. 31, 1872, it appeared the ten thousand copies of the proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention had been gratuitously distributed, and a general secretary had been appointed. Nearly $1,800 was raised at the Convention.MANA 193.4

    The business committee recommended that the delegates to this Convention hold meetings in their respective localities to ratify the resolutions adopted at Cincinnati; that twenty thousand copies of the proceedings of this Convention be published in tract form; and that the friends of the Association be urged to form auxiliary associations. All these recommendations were adopted.MANA 193.5

    Among the resolutions passed were the following:—MANA 193.6

    Resolved, That it is the right and duty of the United States, as a nation settled by Christians, — a nation with Christian laws and usages, and with Christianity as its greatest social force, — to acknowledge itself in its written Constitution to be a Christian nation.MANA 193.7

    Resolved, That the proposed religious amendment, so far from tending to a union of Church and State, is directly opposed to such union, inasmuch as it recognizes the nation’s own relations to God, and insists that the nation should acknowledge these relations for itself, and not through the medium of any church establishment.”MANA 194.1

    Of the fifth annual Convention at Pittsburgh, Feb. 4, 1874, Eld. J. H. Waggoner, who went as a correspondent from the S.D. Adventists, says, in the Advent Review of Feb. 17,1874:—MANA 194.2

    “This was a meeting of delegates, but was largely attended. The number of delegates holding certificates was 641; non-certified, 432; total, 1,073, representing 18 States. Petitions to Congress, partially returned, as I understood, footed up over 54,000 names.MANA 194.3

    “It has been strongly impressed upon my mind that we have underestimated, rather than overestimated, the rapid growth and power of this movement. Those who think we have been deluded in confidently looking for a great change in the nature and policy of our government, could but be convinced that we are right in this if they would attend such a meeting as this, or by other means become acquainted with what is actually taking place in this respect. The reason assigned for calling a delegated convention is that no place could be found large enough to accommodate a mass-meetings of the friends of the cause. But it is proposed to hold mass-meetings in the several States, and have a general grand rally in 1876, the centennial anniversary of our independence.MANA 194.4

    “The animus of this meeting cannot be understood nor appreciated by any one who did not attend it. It was a large gathering of delegates and others, and for enthusiasm and unanimity, is rarely equaled. This feature can be but feebly described in any published report; and I notice that some of the most significant and stirring expressions are left out of the most complete reports of the speeches yet given.MANA 194.5

    “The officers of the Association for the coming year are, President, Hon. Felix R. Brunot, Pittsburgh, with 99 vice-Presidents, among whom are 4 governors, 5 State superintendents of public instruction, 9 bishops, 15 judges of higher courts, and 41 college presidents and professors, and the others are all eminent men; General Secretary, Rev. D. McAllister, N.Y.; Corresponding Secretary, Rev. T.P. Stevenson, Philadelphia.”MANA 194.6

    In his opening address, the President of the National Association, and chairman of this fifth Convention, Hon. Felix R. Brunot, said that their “cause had made the progress of twenty years in five;” and the general Secretary, D. McAllister, said of the past year that it had “numbered a larger array of accessions to our ranks than any two, or three, or perhaps five, preceding years.”MANA 195.1

    Instead of a large national convention in 1875, four conventions, more local in their nature, were held in different parts of the country, as follows:—MANA 195.2

    One in Tremont Temple, Boston, Mass., Dec. 16, 1874; one in St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 27 and 28, 1875; one for Kansas and adjacent States, Feb. 10 and 11; and one for Ohio and adjoining States, early in March.MANA 195.3

    Of the meeting in St. Louis, the Christian Statesman of February, 1875, said:—MANA 195.4

    “The Convention of citizens of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and neighboring States, in the city of St. Louis, on the 27th and 28th of last month, was a triumphant success. In a city where there was but a small constituency committed in advance to the support of the proposed amendment, public attention has been earnestly drawn to the movement; a large audience was called out at all the sessions of the Convention, and full reports of the able addresses delivered have been published in the city papers. By special arrangement, the St. Louis Globe gave a full report, like that of the Pittsburgh Commercial or the Globe of Boston, but the other papers also contained full and respectful accounts of the proceedings. Fully one thousand people were present at the opening session, and at least three hundred at the day sessions on Thursday. Three hundred and ninety-four names were enrolled as members of the Convention. The address of J.C. Wells, Esq., a lawyer from Chillicothe, Illinois, was marked by the same fervor of argument and fervent Christian spirit which lend so much power and attractiveness to his able little book entitled ‘Our National Obligation.’ Mr. Wells was also chosen President of the Convention. The friends in St. Louis and vicinity are to be congratulated on this result.”MANA 195.5

    “The closing resolution adopted at the Convention reads:—MANA 196.1

    ” ‘Resolved, That, recognizing the importance of this subject, we pledge ourselves to present and advocate it until the nation shall declare its Christian character, as it has, with one consent, already asserted its freedom in the charter of our rights and liberties.’ “MANA 196.2

    Nov. 9, 1875, a special meeting of the National Association was held in Philadelphia, Pa., at which meeting the Association took steps which have since been carried out, to become incorporated in law, under the name of the “National Reform Association.” The Christian Statesman of Nov. 20, 1875, contained the following notice of this meeting:—MANA 196.3

    “The evening session was well attended, and was altogether the most encouraging meeting in behalf of the cause held in this city for many years.”MANA 196.4

    The subsequent action of the executive committee is reported as follows:—MANA 196.5

    “The executive committee has since taken steps to obtain a charter of incorporation for the Society, and to secure an office which shall be a recognized head-quarters for its operations and depository of its publications, especially during the centennial year.”MANA 196.6

    An important meeting was held in Philadelphia at the time of the Centennial Exposition, and meetings have been held each year since, in all parts of the country.MANA 196.7

    The Association has at the present time the following board of officers: A president, corresponding secretary, financial secretary, recording secretary, treasurer, four district secretaries, and fifty-three vice-presidents. Among these, besides the President, Hon. Felix R. Brunot, Pittsburgh, Pa., are seven Reverends, twenty-eight D.D. ’s (sixteen of these are presidents of, or professors in, colleges and other institutions of learning, and most of the others are bishops and presiding elders), nine L.L. D. ’s, four justices of supreme courts, two editors, two generals etc.MANA 196.8

    Whatever influence great names can impart to any cause is certainly secured in favor of this. Mr. F.E. Abbott, then editor of the Index, published in Boston, Mass., who was present at the Cincinnati Convention, and presented a protest against its aims and efforts, thus speaks of those who stand at the head of this movement:—MANA 197.1

    “We found them to be so thoroughly sincere and earnest in their purpose, that they did not fear the effect of a decided but temperate protest. This fact speaks volumes in their praise as men of character and convictions. We saw no indications of the artful management which characterizes most conventions. The leading men, Rev. D. McAllister, Rev. A.M. Milligan, Prof. Sloane, Prof. Stoddard, Prof. Wright, Rev. T.P. Stevenson, impressed us as able, clear-headed, and thoroughly honest men; and we could not but conceive a great respect for their motives and their intentions. It is such qualities as these in the leaders of the movement that gives it its most formidable character. They have definite and consistent ideas; they perceive the logical connection of these ideas, and advocate them in a very cogent and powerful manner; and they propose to push them with determination and zeal. Concede their premises, and it is impossible to deny their conclusions, and since these premises are axiomatic truths with the great majority of Protestant Christians, the effect of the vigorous campaign on which they are entering cannot be small or despicable. The very respect with which we were compelled to regard them only increases our sense of the evils which lie germinant in their doctrines; and we came home with the conviction that religious liberty in America must do battle for its very existence hereafter. The movement in which these men are engaged has too many elements of strength to be contemned by any far-seeing liberal. Blindness or sluggishness to-day means slavery to-morrow. Radicalism must pass now from thought to action, or it will deserve the oppression that lies in wait to overwhelm it.”MANA 197.2

    To show the strong convictions of many minds that the conflict here indicated is inevitable, we present some further extracts from the Index. In its issue of Feb. 12, 1874, it says:—MANA 198.1

    “Yet in this one point the Christianizers show an unerring instinct. The great battle between the ideas of the State and the ideas of the Church will indeed be fought out in the organic law of the nation. The long and bitter conflict of chattel-slavery with free industry began in the world of ideas, passed to the arena of politics, burst into the hell of war, and expired in the peaceful suffrages by which Freedom was enthroned in the Constitution. The old story will be repeated; for it is the same old conflict in a new guise, though we hope, and would fain believe, that the dreaded possibility of another civil war is in fact an impossibility. But that the agitation now begun can find no end until either Christianity or Freedom shall have molded the Constitution wholly into its own likeness, is one of the fatalities to be read in the very nature of the conflicting principles. The battle of the amendment is at hand. A thousand minor issues hide it from sight; but none the less it approaches year by year, month by month, day by day. Cowardice to the rear! Courage to the front!”MANA 198.2

    The sentiment here expressed, that “the agitation now begun can find no end until either Christianity or Freedom [by which the Index means infidelity] shall have molded the Constitution wholly into its own likeness,” is becoming the settled conviction of many minds. It is not difficult to foresee the result. Infidel, the Constitution can never become; hence it will become wholly the instrument of the type of Christianity which the Amendmentists are now seeking.MANA 198.3

    Again the Index says:—MANA 198.4

    “The central ideas of the Church and of the Republic are locked in deadly combat — none the less so, because the battle-ground of to-day is the invisible field of thought. To-morrow the struggle will be in the arena of politics, and then no eye will be so blind as not to see it.”MANA 198.5

    At the Pittsburgh Convention in 1874,—MANA 199.1

    “Dr. Kieffer said that this movement was more political than ecclesiastical, appealing to the patriotism of all classes alike, and should accepted by all. Dr. Hodge said it was in no sense sectarian, and the ends it sought could be accepted by one denomination as well as by another, — by the Catholic as well as by the Protestant. He said it was destined to unite all classes. And their work was all in this direction.”MANA 199.2

    The following, also from the Index, we copy from the Christian Statesman of Jan. 2, 1875. We do not indorse its statements as applied to real Christianity, but it probably expresses the view which will be taken of this matter by the churches generally, and so may be regarded as an indication of the course that will be pursued by them. While the political religionist can see in present movements the prelude of a mighty revolution, we believe it to be the same that students of prophecy have for years been led by the word of God to expect. The Index says:—MANA 199.3

    “Nothing could be more apparent to one who intelligently followed the argument from its own premises, than that this movement expresses at once the moral and the political necessities of Christianity in this country. It is not a question of words, but rather a question of the vital interests of great institutions. Christianity must either relinquish it present hold on the government, — its Sunday laws, its blasphemy laws, its thanksgivings and fasts, its chaplaincies, its Bible in schools etc., — or else it must secure the necessary condition of retaining all these things by inserting some guarantee of their perpetuity in the national Constitution. Looking simply at the small present dimensions if the movement, — at the fewness of its devoted workers, the paucity of attendants at the late Convention, and the indifference of the public at large, — one is justified in dismissing it from consideration as of no immediate importance. But whoever is qualified to detect great movements in their germs, and to perceive that instituted Christianity is in vast peril from the constant inroads of rapidly spreading disbelief of dogmatic Christianity, — whoever is able to discern the certainty that the the claims of Christianity to mold political action in its own interest must sooner or later be submitted for adjudication to the supreme law of the land, by which they are not even verbally recognized, — will not fall into the superficiality of inferring the future fortunes of this movement, either from the medieval character of its pretensions or the present insignificance of its success. It may possibly be that the Christian churches do not really care for their own existence, and are prepared to surrender it without a struggle, but we do not so read history. So soon as they come to comprehend fully the fact that their legal ‘Sabbath,’ their Bible in schools, and all their present legal privileges, must one by one slip away inevitably from their grasp, unless they defend them in the only possible way, by grounding them on Constitutional guarantees, it seems to us an irresistible conclusion from history and experience that they will arouse themselves to protect these possessions as infinitely important. If they do not, they have achieved a degree of moral rottenness, cowardice, and hypocrisy which we are very slow to attribute to them. These champions of a Christianized Constitution are to-day the POLITICAL BRAIN of the Christian Church. Conceding their premises, which are simply those of the universal Evangelical communion, it is impossible to deny their conclusions. It is these premises that we dispute, not logicalness of the conclusion themselves; and although we hold that the same premises, if further carried out, must lead to the Roman Catholic position expressed by the Vatican decrees, we none the less admit the necessity of traveling that road from the starting-point, if it is once fairly entered upon. Hence we are as strongly convinced as ever that the Christian-Amendment movement contains the germ of a demand that must sooner or later be heard asserted with perilous emphasis, by the body of orthodox Christian Churches.”MANA 199.4

    The character of this movement is thus described by one who was an eye-witness at the Pittsburgh Convention:—MANA 200.1

    “They show determination to make the movement popular, and to reach the feelings of the people by every means. In their speeches, they alternate with the most impassioned earnestness and gravest argument the sharpest wit, and even laughable puns and incidents, Staid ‘Reverends’ clap their hands in applause as heartily as I ever saw done in any kind of gathering, and Old School Presbyterian Doctors of Divinity, who have generally been noted for clerical dignity, take the greatest delight in raising the cheers of the crowds by their keen thrusts and witticisms. The Commercial was publicly recommended as giving the official report, and of the speech of the President of Washington and Jefferson College it said, ‘Dr. Hay’s address was received with frequent marks of approbation, and his witty points drew forth shouts of laughter.’ Judging from what I have seen, the standard of piety is not to be elevated by this work.” — J.H.W., in Review of Feb. 17, 1874.MANA 200.2

    Between the professions of this Association, and the objects which they are openly laboring to obtain, there is an utter inconsistency, as the following considerations will show. In the Review of March 24, 1874, the writer last quoted says:—MANA 201.1

    “We are sometimes perplexed to account for the singular operations of the human mind. When we see men of good natural ability and of superior privileges of mental and moral culture, persistently clinging to the weaker side in argument, and seeming able to discover light only on the darkest side of a proposition, or endeavoring to sustain themselves by taking contradictory positions, our charity is taxed to the utmost to give them credit for the ability they seem to possess and for the integrity of purpose they claim. Seldom have our reflections been more forcibly turned in this direction than in viewing the course pursued by the advocates of the Religious Amendment. A late number of the Christian Statesman, speaking of the Seventh-day Adventists, says:—MANA 201.2

    “From the beginning of the National Reform Movement, they have regarded it as the first step toward the persecution which they, as keepers of the seventh day will endure when our Sabbath laws are revived and enforced. One can but smile at their apprehensions of the success of a movement which would not harm a hair of their heads; but their fears are sincere enough, for all that.” Pursuing the line of argument into a consideration of the question whether there is anything in the professions of the Amendment party calculated to change our opinion in this respect, he continues:—MANA 201.3

    “If a profession of good motives and of a desire to steer clear of a union of Church and State on the part of the Amendment party could give us assurance on this point, then might we cease to notice this subject. On this point they are very explicit. A few quotations will suffice to present their claims. Said Hon. Mr. Patterson, in the Pittsburgh Convention:—MANA 202.1

    ” ‘Be not misled by the assertion that the movement agitated by this Convention tends to religious intolerance, to wedding Church and State. No such tendency exists. On the contrary, this movement claims nothing but to secure in the preamble of our national Constitution as acknowledgment of the supremacy of God and the Christian character of our nation, such as is now generally and authoritatively conceded to be the law of our land. ’MANA 202.2

    “This, surely, is lamb-like enough to throw us all off our guard. The following remarks by President Brunot (pronounced Bruno) on taking the chair, are equally innocent to view:—MANA 202.3

    “The fourth article of the Constitution declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” and the first amendment in the Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” We have not proposed to change these. We deem them essential, in connection with the amendment we ask, to the preservation of religious liberty, and with its, an effective guard against a union of Church and State.”MANA 202.4

    “And again: ‘The attempt to destroy the inalienable right of freedom of conscience in religion in this, our favored land, would meet with its very first organized resistance from this Association. ’MANA 202.5

    “And Dr. Kerr. said:—MANA 202.6

    ” ‘We want no union of Church and State. Let that question be raised in this country, and there is no element of the opposition that would rise against it that would be more decided and determined than that represented in the Convention. We wish no restraint of the rightful liberties of any man. ’MANA 202.7

    “Those utterances are pleasant to read, and doubtless they, and others like them, have had much to do in enlisting so strong an interest in favor of the amendment. And were these sayings, or those of like nature, all that they had put forth, we should feel constrained to regard the men and their work in a light somewhat different from that in which we now view them.MANA 203.1

    “We come now to examine another class of expressions, of a positive nature. What we have quoted is negative, — a disclaimer, a relation of what they do not wish to do. Very explicitly have they stated their desires and intentions. True, we cannot reconcile what they have said under these two heads, and it is this which so perplexes us in regard to their professions. It is to be hoped that they will sometime attempt to show that their statements may be harmonized, or else confine their avowals to one side of the question, that all may understand, without study or doubt just the position they occupy.MANA 203.2

    “Dr. Stevenson, Corresponding Secretary of the National Association, and editor of the Statesman, in the opening address at the Convention, said:—MANA 203.3

    “Through the immense largesses it receives from corrupt politicians, the Roman Catholic Church is, practically, the established church of the city of New York. These favors are granted under the guise of a seeming friendliness to religion. We propose to put the substance for the shadow, — to drive out the counterfeit by the completer substitution of the true. ’MANA 203.4

    “These words are somewhat ambiguous, but none the less important, on this subject; for, taken in any possible way, they are full of meaning. It may be a question whether this ‘seeming friendliness to religion’ is the shadow, and real friendliness to religion in politics is the substance, or whether the Catholic Church is the counterfeit and Protestantism the true; but in either case the establishment of the Church, or a Church, or Churches, more completely than at present established, though they are practically existing now, is the object aimed at in this paragraph. The latter form, the establishment of the Churches, appears to be the object; for in the next sentence he says:—MANA 203.5

    ” ‘What we propose is nothing of a sectarian character. It will give no branch of American Christians any advantage over any other. ’MANA 203.6

    “A remark made by Prof. Blanchard is a complement to the above. He has given us a definition of ‘union of Church and State’ as opposed by them. Thus he said:—MANA 203.7

    ” ‘But union of Church and State is the selection by the nation of one Church, the endowment of such a Church, the appointment of its officers, and the oversight of its doctrines. For such a union none of us plead. To such a union we are all of us opposed. ’MANA 204.1

    “In reading this, we are reminded of the turn taken by the Spiritualists, when they deny that they are opposed to marriage; they explain by defining marriage to be a union of two persons not to be regulated nor guarded by civil law, which exists only as long as the parties are agreed thereto, requiring no law to effect a divorce! To such marriage the most lawless libertine would not object. We are sorry that the respectable advocates of the amendment take a position so nearly parallel to the above-cited position of Spiritualists. They give a definition of union of Church and State such as no one expects nor fears, — such, in fact, as is not possible in the existing state of the Churches, — and then loudly proclaim that they are opposed to union of Church and State! But to a union of Church and State in the popular sense of the phrase; a union, not of one Church, but of all the Churches recognized as orthodox, or evangelical; a union not giving the State power to elect Church officers, nor to take the oversight of Church doctrines, but giving the Church the privilege of enforcing by civil law the laws, institutions, and usages of religion according to the faith of the Churches, or to the construction put upon those institutions and usages by the churches, — to such a union, we say,they are not opposed. They are essentially and practically, despite their professions, open advocates of union of Church and State.MANA 204.2

    “President Brunot and others have referred to the first amendment to the Constitution as a safeguard against establishing a national religion. Yet in the face of this reference he says:—MANA 204.3

    ” ‘We propose “such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States (or its preamble) as will suitably acknowledge Almighty God as the author of the nation’s existence and the ultimate source of its authority, Jesus Christ as its ruler, and the Bible as the supreme rule of its conduct,” and thus indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land. ’MANA 204.4

    “Now the question arises, If all this were accomplished, would the Christian religion be established in and by this government? If it be answered that it would not, then another question, Would individuals be at liberty under the law of the land to disregard those Christian institutions and usages? If not, if both of these questions be answered in the negative, then what would be the existing state of things? Could it be defined?MANA 204.5

    “This will never do; such talk is idle. To place Christian usages on a legal basis is to enforce them by law, and to enforce them is to ‘establish’ them. When they are placed on an ‘undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land,’ they are fully established, and to deny this is only to trifle with language. But again, you cannot distinguish between ‘all Christian laws, institutions, and usages,’ and the Christian religion. By establishing them, you establish it, of necessity. To deny this is to manifest a lack of discrimination or of candor. We speak with due respect, but we have to deal with facts of the greatest magnitude and importance, and which affect us in those things which we hold most sacred and dear. The advocates of this movement are able men. We hope they will not ignore these points, but so explain them as to reconcile themselves, if it can be done.”MANA 205.1

    The New York Independent, in January, 1875, showed up the inconsistency of this movement in a few paragraphs so pointed and pungent that we quote them entire, as follows:—MANA 205.2

    “This being a Christian nation, we have a right to acknowledge God in the Constitution; because, as things are now, this is not a Christian nation, and needs such recognition to make it one.MANA 205.3

    “This having always been a Christian nation, we have a right to keep it such; and therefore we need this amendment, since hitherto, without it, we have only been a heathen nation.MANA 205.4

    “In other words, we need to make this a Christian nation, because we are already such, on the ground that if we do not make it such, we are not a Christian nation.MANA 205.5

    “Because the people are substantially all Christians, we have a right, and have need, to make the Constitution Christian, to check our powerful element of unbelievers.MANA 205.6

    “We mean to interfere with no man’s rights, but only to get certain rights, now belonging to all, restricted to Christian.MANA 205.7

    “This religious amendment is to have no practical effect, its object being to check infidelity.MANA 206.1

    “It is to interfere with no man’s rights, but only to make the unbeliever concede to Christians the right to rule in their interest, and to give up claims for himself.MANA 206.2

    “It is meant to have no practical effect, and therefore will be of great use to us.MANA 206.3

    “We want to recognize God, and Christianity as our national duty to Deity, but intend to give no effect to such recognition, pleasing God by judicially voting ourselves pious, and doing nothing more.MANA 206.4

    “We shall leave all religions in equality before the law, and make Christianity the adopted religion of the nation.MANA 206.5

    “Christianity, being justice, requires us to put down infidelity by taking advantage of our numbers to secure rights which we do not allow to others.MANA 206.6

    “Justice to Christians is one thing, and to infidels another.MANA 206.7

    “We being a Christian people, the Jewish and unbelieving portion of our people are not, of right, part of the people.MANA 206.8

    “And so, having no rights which we, as Christians, are bound to respect, we must adopt this amendment in our interest.MANA 206.9

    “Passing this act will not make any to be Christians who are not Christians; but it is needed to make this a more Christian nation.MANA 206.10

    “The people are not to be made more Christian by it; but, since the nation cannot be Christian unless the people are, it is meant to make the nation Christian without affecting the people.MANA 206.11

    “That is, the object of this amendment is to make the nation Christian without making the people Christians.MANA 206.12

    “By putting God in the Constitution he will be recognized by nobody else than those who already recognize him; and therefore we need this amendment for a fuller recognition of himMANA 206.13

    “If we say we believe in God and Christ in the Constitution, it is true of those believing in him and a lie as to the rest; and as the first class already recognize him, we want this amendment as a recognition by the latter class, so that our whole people shall recognize him.MANA 206.14

    “Whether we have an acknowledgment of God in the Constitution or not, we are a Christian nation; and, therefore, it is this recognition of God that is to make us a Christian nation.”MANA 206.15

    As to the probability of the success of this movement, there is at present some difference of opinion. While a very few pass it by with a slur as a mere temporary sensation of little or no consequence, it is generally regarded, both by its advocates and its opposers, as a work of growing strength and importance. Petitions and remonstrances are both being circulated with activity; and shrewd observers, who have watched the movement with a jealous eye, and therefore hoped it would amount to nothing, now confess that it “means business.” No movement of equal magnitude of purpose has ever sprung up and become strong, and secured favor so rapidly as this. Indeed, none of equal magnitude has ever been sprung upon the American mind, as this aims to remodel the whole frame-work of our government, and give to it a strong religious caste, — a thing which the framers of our Constitution were careful to exclude from it. They not only ask that the Bible, and God, and Christ shall be recognized in the Constitution, but that it shall indicate this as “a Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages in our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the nation.”MANA 207.1

    Of course, appropriate legislation will be required to carry such amendments into effect, and somebody will have to decide what are “Christian laws and institutions.” And when this question is raised, who will be appealed to as qualified to determine the matter in question? — The doctors of religion, of course. Then what shall we have? — The Church sitting in judgment on men’s religious opinions, the Church defining heresy, and the State waiting at its beck to carry out whatever sentence shall be affixed to a deviation from what the Church shall declare to be “Christian laws and institutions.” But was not this exactly the situation in the darkest reign of Roman Catholicism? And would not its production here be a very “image to the beast”? — Yea, verily. But this is the inevitable sequence of the success of this effort to secure a religious amendment of the Constitution. From what we learn of such movements in the past in other countries, and of the temper of the churches of this country, and of human nature when it has power suddenly conferred upon it, we look for no good from this movement. From a lengthy article in the Lansing (Michigan) State Republican in reference to the Cincinnati Convention, we take the following extract:—MANA 207.2

    “Now there are hundreds and thousands of moral and professedly Christian people in this nation to-day who do not recognize the doctrine of the Trinity, — do not recognize Jesus Christ the same as God. And there are hundreds and thousands of men and women who do not recognize the Bible as the revelation of God. The attempt to make any such amendment to the Constitution would be regarded by a large minority, perhaps a majority, of our nation as a palpable violation of liberty of conscience. Thousands of men, if called upon to vote for such an amendment, would hesitate to vote against God, although they might not believe that the amendment is necessary or that it is right; and such men would either vote affirmatively or not at all. In every case, such an amendment would be likely to receive an affirmative vote which would by no means indicate the true sentiment of the people. And the same rule would hold good in relation to the adoption of such an amendment by Congress or by the Legislatures of three-quarters of the States. Men who make politics a trade would hesitate to record their names against the proposed Constitutional Amendment, advocated by the leaders of the great religious denominations of the land, and indorsed by such men as Bishop Simpson, Bishop McIlvaine, Bishop Eastburn, President Finney, Prof. Lewis, Prof. Seelye, Bishop Huntington, Bishop Kerfoot, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Cuyler, and many other divines who are the representative men of their respective denominations.”MANA 208.1

    Not only the representative men of the churches are pledged to this movement, but governors, judges, and many who are among the most eminent men of the land in other directions, are working for it. Who doubts the power of the “representative men of the denominations” to rally the strength of their denominations to sustain this work at their call? We utter no prophecy of the future; it is not needed. Events transpire in these days faster than our minds are prepared to grasp them. Let us heed the admonition to “watch!” and with reliance upon God, prepare for “those things which are coming on the earth.”MANA 209.1

    But it may be asked how the Sunday question is to be affected by the proposed Constitutional Amendment. Answer: The object, or to say the least, one object, of this amendment, is to put the Sunday institution on a legal basis, and compel its observance by the arm of the law. At the National Convention held in Philadelphia, Jan. 18 and 19, 1871, the following resolution was among the first offered by the Business Committee:—MANA 209.2

    Resolved, That, in view of the controlling power of the Constitution in shaping State as well as national policy, it is of immediate importance to public morals and to social order, to secure such an amendment as will indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages in our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the nation, specially those which secure a proper oath, and which protect society against blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, and polygamy.”MANA 209.3

    By Sabbath-breaking is meant nothing else but Sunday-breaking. In a convention of the friends of Sunday, assembled Nov. 29, 1870, in New Concord, Ohio, the Rev. James White is reported to have said:—MANA 209.4

    “The question [of Sunday observance] is closely connected with the National Reform Movement; for until the government comes to know God and honor his law, we need not expect to restrain Sabbath-breaking corporations.”MANA 210.1

    Here again the idea of the legal enforcement of Sunday observance stands uppermost.MANA 210.2

    Once more: The Philadelphia Press, of Dec. 5, 1870, stated that some Congressmen, including Vice-President Colfax, arrived in Washington by Sunday trains, Dec. 4, on which the Christian Statesman commented as follows (we give italics as we find them):—MANA 210.3

    “1. Not one of those men who thus violated the Sabbath is fit to hold any official position in a Christian Nation.MANA 210.4

    “He who violates the Sabbath may not steal, because the judgment of society so strongly condemns theft, or because he believes that honesty is the best policy; but tempt him with the prospect of concealment or the prospect of advantage, and there can be no reason why he who robs God will not rob his neighbor also. For this reason, the Sabbath law lies at the foundation of morality. Its observance is an acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of God over us.MANA 210.5

    “2. The sin of these Congressmen is a national sin, because the nation hath not said to them in the Constitution, the supreme rule for our public servants, ‘We charge you to serve us in accordance with the higher law of God.’ These Sabbath-breaking railroads, moreover, are corporations created by the State, and amenable to it. The State is responsible to God for the conduct of these creatures which it calls into being. It is bound, therefore, to restrain them from this as from other crimes, and any violation of the Sabbath by any corporation, should work immediate forfeiture of its charter. And the Constitution of the United States, with which all State legislation is required to be in harmony, should be of such a character as to prevent any State from tolerating such infractions of fundamental moral law.MANA 210.6

    “3. Give us in the national Constitution the simple acknowledgment of the law of God as the supreme law of the nations, and all the results indicated in this note will ultimately be secured. Let no one say that the movement does not contemplate sufficiently practical ends.”MANA 210.7

    Let the full import of these words be carefully considered. The writer was by some unaccountable impulse betrayed into a revelation of the real policy and aim of this movement. He holds up to the public view those Congressmen who traveled on Sunday, as men who would rob and steal if they saw an opportunity to do so without danger of detection! Not one of them, he says, is fit to hold any office in the government. He would make this religious test a qualification for office, contrary to the Constitution. Every corporation that infringes upon Sunday should be immediately destroyed by a forfeiture of its charter. And what then of the individual, in this respect, who does not observe the Sunday? Of course he could fare no better than the corporations, — he must be at once suspended from business. What does the prophecy say the enactment will be? — “That no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark, or the name, of the beast, or the number of his name.” Could there be a more direct fulfillment than this would be if once carried out, as the religious amendmentists are trying to do?MANA 211.1

    From all this we see the important place the Sabbath question is to hold in this movement, — the important place it even now holds in the minds of those who are urging it forward. Let the amendment called for be granted, “and all the results indicated in this note,” says the writer, “will ultimately be secured;” that is, individuals and corporations will be restrained from violating the Sunday observance. The acknowledgment of God in the Constitution may do very well as a banner under which to sail; but the practical bearing of the movement relates to the compulsory observance of the first day of the week.MANA 211.2

    An article in the Christian at Work of April 20, 1882, spoke of a proposed plan to induce railroad corporations and the leading industries of the country to suspend business on Sunday. The writer thought the plan would fail, because it did not have “the force of a penalty,” and said:—MANA 212.1

    “There is need of the power of government behind the plan, — the strength of the national government in support of the rule; for the great business corporations of the country have risen above, and reach beyond, the authority of a Commonwealth. An d not till the people have made the Federal Government the escutcheon of the Sabbath [Sunday]. may we expect the rival industries to honor that sacred day.”MANA 212.2

    And while this writer thus steadily called for law, he believed that if the Church “insisted on her rights” as loudly as the “infidel resisted them,” they could be easily secured.MANA 212.3

    Even now the question is agitated why the Jew should be allowed to follow his business on the first day, after having observed the seventh. The same question is equally pertinent to all seventh-day keepers. A writer signing himself “American,” in the Boston Herald of Dec. 14, 1871, said:—MANA 212.4

    “The President in his late message, in speaking of the Mormon question, says, ‘They shall not be permitted to break the law under the cloak of religion.’ This undoubtedly meets the approval of every American citizen, and I wish to cite a parallel case, and ask, Why should the Jews of this country be allowed to keep open their stores on the Sabbath, under the cloak of their religion, while I, or any other true American, will be arrested and suffer punishment for doing the same thing? If there is a provision made allowing a few to conduct business on the Sabbath, what justice and equality can there be in any such provision, and why should it not be stopped at once?”MANA 212.5

    And this question, we apprehend, will be very summarily decided, adversely to the Jew and every other seventh-day observer, when once the Constitutional Amendment has been secured.MANA 213.1

    At a Ministerial Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held in Healdsburg, Cal., April 26-28, 1870, Rev. Mr. Trefren, of Napa, speaking of S.D.A. ministers, said, “I predict for them a short race. What we want is law in the matter.” Then, referring to the present movement to secure such a law, he added: “And we will have it, too; and when we get the power into our hands, we will show these men what their end will be.”MANA 213.2

    In 1876 the question was raised in Keokuk, Iowa, “whether a Seventh-day Adventist could be compelled to attend court as a witness on Saturday;” and Judge Blanchard decided that he could be, and that “a refusal would be contempt of court.”MANA 213.3

    The Signs of the Times, of Oakland, Cal., in its issue of Dec. 22, 1881, said:—MANA 213.4

    “After a sermon recently preached by an Oakland D.D., in favor of enforcing the Sunday law, some of the members of the congregation were heard giving utterance to strong commendations of the sermon and of the law. Said one, ‘I am glad the Seventh-day Adventist will have to come to time.’ “MANA 213.5

    This feeling is not confined to the Pacific States. A correspondent of the Review and Herald, Battle Creek, Mich., writing from Illinois in 1883, said:—MANA 213.6

    “A short time ago, at the dedication of a certain church, I heard a minister — who is also president of one of the leading colleges in our State, and of enough importance to have D.D. to his name — say that he was glad that the sectarian walls are being thrown down, and that people are becoming more liberal. ‘Yes,’ says he, ‘I thank God for a Roman Catholic Church; for there is no religious body that is any more zealous in trying to establish a law for the protection of the Sabbath [Sunday].’ Another minister, where I was holding meetings a few weeks since, in a sermon against us, said: ‘You Americans all have great respect for Noah Webster; there is not one of you but what considers him absolutely infallible; and if you will look in his dictionary at the word Sunday, you will find that he says that it is the Christian Sabbath. It is true that before Christ, the Jewish people kept the seventh day; but since Christ the lines of longitude and latitude have been such that it is impossible to keep it. And furthermore, the custom of our country makes it obligatory upon us to observe Sunday sacredly. But these miserable Adventists come around in the face of all this, and tell us that we must keep the old Jewish Sabbath. They are a set of ABOMINABLE TRAITORS, who are trying to produce dissension in our land, and OPPOSE the laws of the country; the place for EVERY ONE of them is in our State prisons, and what we want is a LAW that will put them there; and, thank God, the time is not far distant when we will have it.’ “MANA 213.7

    There are abundant indications that this pious feeling largely prevails in many sections of our country.MANA 214.1

    From a work recently issued by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, entitled “Then Sabbath,” by Chas. Elliot, Professor of Biblical Literature and Exegesis in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the Northwest, Chicago, Ill., we take the following paragraph:—MANA 214.2

    “But it may be asked, Would not the Jew be denied equality of rights by legislation protecting the Christian Sabbath and ignoring the Jewish? The answer is, We are not a Jewish, but a Christian nation; therefore our legislation must be conformed to the institutions and spirit of Christianity. This is absolutely necessary from the nature of the case.”MANA 214.3

    There is no mistaking the import of this language. No matter if the Jew does not secure equal rights with others. We are not a Jewish nation, but a Christian; and all must be made to conform to what the majority decide to be Christian institutions. This affects all who observe the seventh day as much as it does the Jews; and we apprehend it will not be a difficult matter to lead the masses, whose prejudices incline them in this direction, to believe that it is “absolutely necessary” that all legislation must take such a form, and cause them to act accordingly.MANA 214.4

    Several years since, Dr. Durbin, of the Christian Advocate and Journal, gave his views on this subject as follows:—MANA 215.1

    “I infer, therefore, that the civil magistrate may not be called upon to enforce the observance of the Sabbath [Sunday] as required in the spiritual kingdom of Christ; but when Christianity becomes the moral and spiritual life of the State, the State is bound, through her magistrates, to prevent the open violation of the holy Sabbath, as a measure of self-preservation. She cannot, without injuring her own vitality and incurring the Divine displeasure, be recreant to her duty in this matter.”MANA 215.2

    At a meeting held at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Aug. 12, 1860, ex-President Fillmore said that “while he deemed it needful to legislate cautiously in all matters connected with public morals, and to avoid coercive measures affecting religion, the right of every citizen to a day of rest and worship could not be questioned, and laws securing that right should be enforced.”MANA 215.3

    And the Christian Statesman of Dec. 15, 1871, in speaking of the general disregard of the Sabbath [Sunday] in the arrangements for welcoming the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, said:—MANA 215.4

    “How long will it be before the Christian masses of this country can be aroused to enact a law compelling their public servants to respect the Sabbath?”MANA 215.5

    That the Sunday question has entered into the arena of politics to stay till some decision is reached in regard to it, is now too apparent to be questioned; and this is an immense stride in the direction of that fulfillment of the prophecies referring to this subject, as herein set forth.MANA 215.6

    In August, 1882, a copy of a paper published in Chicago, and called the Illinois American, was placed in our hands. It purported to be the organ of the American party, and it was announced that the party intended to establish similar papers in all the leading States of the Union. That party claims to embody in its platform “all the great reforms of the day.” One reform which it considers essential is the enforcement of Sunday as the Sabbath, after the manner of the National Reform Association. In proof of this, we have but to quote the first two planks in its platform:_MANA 216.1

    “We hold, 1. That ours is a Christian and not a heathen nation, and that the God of the Christian Scriptures is the author of civil government; 2. That God requires and man needs a Sabbath.”MANA 216.2

    This Sabbath is, of course, the first day of the week; and whatever papers this party shall establish, will be the political organs of the Religious Amendment Movement, as the Christian Statesman is the religious organ. They enter the field as a national party, and nominated candidates for the presidential election of 1884, as follows: For President of the United States, Jonathan Blanchard, D.D., President of Wheaton College, Illinois; for Vice-President, John A. Conant, of Connecticut.MANA 216.3

    The fanatical temper of the leading candidate, on the Sunday question, is plainly read in a few facts: 1. He is one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association, and a prominent worker in that movement; 2. In October, 1881, a circular was sent out from Wheaton College chapel, of which he was quite evidently the inspiring spirit, addressed to the “Churches of Christ throughout the United States,” setting forth that our great national calamity, the assassination of President Garfield, was a judgment of God upon the nation for its sins, chief among which is Sabbath (Sunday) breaking; and beseeching “that the churches of Christ, individually or collectively, unite in requesting Congress to forbid, by proper enactment, the transaction of public business upon the Sabbath-day by any department of government, and that petitions to this effect be prepared or obtained from the Sabbath Association of Philadelphia, to be presented by that society at the opening of Congress on December next.”MANA 216.4

    We know many will be inclined to look upon the formation of this new American party as an idle move, and upon its efforts and object as vain and impossible. But the significant fact still remains that somebody has thought enough of these things to inaugurate this movement, and everything must have a beginning. Moreover, we all know that sometimes the beginnings of great revolutions are exceedingly small. The acorn which the little child so easily holds in its hand, comes at length to be the sturdy oak, which the mightiest tempest cannot uproot.MANA 217.1

    In one State already, the Sunday question has been made the main issue, in a State election, between the two great parties, Democratic and Republican. In the fall election of 1882, California made this issue, and gave to our country the first spectacle of a strictly religious question in the arena of politics. In this struggle Sunday was led to the front under the mantle of a “police regulation,” a merely “civil institution.” The working-man, said th Sunday advocate, must be secured in his right to a day of rest. This claim was too transparent to conceal from view the real object; for the law which it was sought to enforce was not the law of the civil code, which makes Sunday a legal holiday and gives every one the privilege of resting on it who chooses to do so, but the Sunday law of the penal code, which was enacted for the purpose of making all desecration of the day an offense against religion, and punishing it as such. Now if the design was simply to secure rest to the people on that day, the civil code already provided for that, and no one proposed to interfere with the action of that law; but if it was to enforce Sunday as a religious institution, on religious grounds alone, the law of the penal code was the one to enforce; and in that direction the effort was made. The object was therefore sufficiently apparent.MANA 217.2

    The Democrats having inserted in their platform a plank calling for the repeal of the Sunday law, the Republicans, in their State Convention, which convened in Sacramento, Cal., Sept. 30, 1882, introduced into their platform a plank calling for the maintenance of the law. Thus the issue was fairly joined. The scene in the Sacramento Convention when the Sunday plank was read, baffles description. The four hundred and fifty delegates broke into a vociferous shout; they clapped their hands, stamped with their feet, threw up their hats, and hugged each other in a delirium of joy. It was a wild, insane spirit, on which neither argument nor the testimony of Scripture would make any impression. We imagine it is just such a blind, impetuous spirit which is essential to the success of the Sunday movement.MANA 218.1

    The Democrats carried the election, and the Sunday law was in due time repealed. And now the friends of the institution turn more vigorously than ever toward the national movement which is working for the religious amendment.MANA 218.2

    In New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the agitation of the Sunday question has been remarkable. In February, 1883, a correspondent wrote from Indiana: “Almost every paper in the State is crying out for Sunday law and Sunday reform.”MANA 219.1

    No less significant is the fact that the Sunday agitation is appearing in foreign countries simultaneously with the Sunday movement in this country. The N.Y. Independent of Oct. 1, 1885, published the following significant article touching the question of Sunday-keeping in Europe:—MANA 219.2

    “No desideratum of the social and religious world is now being more actively agitated in Central Europe than the project of a better observance of the Lord’s day. It seems that the so-called ‘Continental Sunday’ is doomed ‘to go; and no friend of public and private morals will do otherwise than rejoice that its day of doom appears to have come. For years an international association, organized for the purpose of educating public sentiment on this point, has been busily at work, with head-quarters at Geneva, and by means of branch associations, publications, annual delegate meetings, petitions, and the like, has managed to keep the subject constantly before the public. The movement is just now assuming a new character, and is entering upon a new stage that promises some healthy results. The political authorities are beginning to recognize the agitation, and are taking active steps in the right direction. In various cantons of Switzerland — such as St. Gall, Berne, Aargau, and others — more stringent laws have been enacted. In Austria such laws went into force a few months ago, and already good results are reported. Now the German governments have taken hold of the matter, and are trying to find out what to do in the premises. Prussia is leading in the movement. The Minister of Cultus has issued a circular letter to the presidents of the various provinces, directing a stricter obedience to the Sunday laws already in existence; namely, that, during the principal services Sunday morning and afternoon, and also on the great Church festivals, all work that can interrupt the devotions must cease, and promising that, in the near future, further laws will be passed by the government. The Imperial government is taking similar steps for the whole German empire. During the past winter lively debates were held on the subject in the Reichstag, or Imperial Parliament, which gave occasion to many classes of the people to express their sentiments on this burning question. These facts have influenced the government to issue a circular letter to representative manufacturers and other ‘work-givers,’ and also to workmen, asking answers to the following question: 1. Is Sunday work common in all branches of industry? 2. Is Sunday work the rule or the exception? 3. Is this work done (a) in the whole business, (b) for all the workmen, (c) for the whole Sunday or for a part? 4. What causes this work, (a) technical reasons or (b) economic reasons? 5. What results would the forbidding of such work have (a) for the capitalist, (b) for the workingman, in regard to his income? Would this loss find a compensation in any gain? 6. Is it possible to carry laws forbidding work on Sunday, (a) without any exceptions, (b) with what exceptions, and for what reasons? The answers received to these questions by the government officials will have a great deal to do in shaping the proposed legal measures in regard to Sunday observance to be introduced into the next German parliament.”MANA 219.3

    Who can explain the fact that Sunday seems everywhere coming to the front, except on the ground that we have reached the time pointed out in prophecy when such a movement should be seen? The Chester (Eng.) Chronicle of July 9, 1881, reported a meeting of 3,000 persons in Liverpool in favor of closing all public houses on Sunday. The Christian Statesman of July 22, 1880, gave information from England to the effect that a “Working-man’s Lord’s Day Rest Association” had been formed there, and that two of England’s prime ministers, Beaconsfield and Gladstone, had given their voice against the opening of museums, etc., on Sunday. The same policy is enforced by some, at least, of the English in their dependencies. One of the first acts of the Marquis of Ripon, who was made Viceroy of India in 1880, was, according to the Christian Weekly, to issue an order forbidding official work of any kind on Sunday.MANA 220.1

    In France the question is also agitated. The Senate having occasion to consider some proposed changes in the Sunday laws, an eminent senator, M. Barthelemy Saint Hilaire, according to the French journal, Le Christianism au 19e Siecle, of June 11, 1880, opened the eyes of his hearers by a clear argument showing that the seventh day, and not the first day, is the Sabbath of the Bible.MANA 221.1

    In Switzerland and Germany, also, this question is before the people. In the latter country, according to the New York Independent, a meeting was held a few years ago, numbering some 5,000 persons, to encourage a more strict observance of Sunday. Many of these were socialists.MANA 221.2

    Austria also shares in the general movement. A New York paper in January, 1883, published the following item:—MANA 221.3

    “A telegram from Vienna, Austria, says: ‘A meeting of 3,000 workmen was held to-day, at which a resolution was passed in favor of legal prohibition of newspaper and other work on that day.’ “MANA 221.4

    To come back again to our own country, we have the following singular circumstance to record: The Illustrated Christian Weekly of March 3, 1883, spoke of the novel spectacle of a strike for religious purposes, as follows:—MANA 221.5

    “A hundred men employed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway have struck, not for higher wages, but for their Sunday.”MANA 221.6

    There is a local Sabbath (Sunday) Committee in many of the great cities, and an International Sabbath Association to secure the co-operation of other nations. This Association has its offices in Philadelphia, Pa.MANA 222.1

    The Churches can carry their point whenever they can become sufficiently aroused to take general and concerted action in the matter. David Swing, at a ministers’ meeting in Chicago in 1879, held for the purpose of deliberating in regard to a better observance of Sunday, according to a report in the Inter Ocean, said:—MANA 222.2

    Thus Protestants propose to act in concert with Catholics in this matter, and profess no lack of assurance in regard to accomplishing what they undertake. And so impatient are some to reach the desired result, that they are even considering whether they cannot regard the Constitution already Christian, and proceed to act accordingly, without waiting for the religious amendment. Thus, Bishop A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D., writing on “National Christianity,” in the N.Y. Independent of July 8,1880, expresses respect for the “integrity, piety, efforts, and objects of the National Reform Association,” but thinks it would be conceding too much to the infidel element to acknowledge that the Constitution is not Christian as it now stands. He thinks the better way would be to consider that it is already Christian, and then unitedly move against all opposing influences. And he suggests that by the time the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution shall be reached, Sept. 17, 1887, a league shall have been formed, embracing all Christians in an organization which politicians shall respect and evil-doers fear, and then such a celebration of the adoption of “Our Christian Constitution” shall be held as will cause the material splendor of 1876 to pale before its moral grandeur, and make “AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY as evident to the world as our other characteristics are already.”MANA 222.3

    Something important may grow out of this suggestion. It will at any rate be safe to say that we shall see what we shall see.MANA 223.1

    This notice of current movements would hardly be complete without a glance at the seductive apparent change of issue which is now coming to be quite prominently brought to the front; and that is, that the Sunday is not to be enforced as a religious institution, but only as a civil institution; that to enforce the keeping of the day as an act of religion, would be to violate the spirit of the Constitution and strike a blow at religious liberty, but the State has a right to enforce it as a “sanitary measure,” a “police regulation,” a merely “civil enactment.” and with this seventh-day keepers must comply, or move elsewhere.MANA 223.2

    The International Sabbath Association Recorder, published at 19 So. Twelfth St., Philadelphia, Pa., has for one of its mottoes these words of Adam Smith:—MANA 223.3

    “The Sabbath as a political institution is of inestimable value, independently of its claim to divine authority.”MANA 223.4

    Richard W. Thompson, when Secretary of the Navy, in 1880, at a meeting of the New York Sabbath Committee, as reported in the N.Y. Herald of March 8, 1880, said:—MANA 223.5

    “I take it there is no principle better fixed in the American mind than the determination to insist upon the conformity by foreigners to our Sunday legislation. We are a Sabbath-keeping people. [Applause.] Men say that we have no power to interfere with the natural right of individuals; that a man may spend Sunday as he pleases. But society has a right to make laws for its own protection. They are not religious laws. The men engaged in this grand work of securing the enforcement of the Sabbath laws, do not want to force you into church; for these gentlemen represent all denominations. They want to make you observe the Sabbath-day as a day of rest merely, — peaceably if they can, forcibly if the must, — only so far as it is necessary to protect society. Destroy the Sabbath, and you go out of light into darkness. A government without the Sabbath as a civil institution, could not stand long enough to fall. [Applause.]”MANA 224.1

    And yet with all these professions they find it impossible to conceal the fact that it is, after all, a religious observance which they wish to secure. Thus Mr. Thompson continues:—MANA 224.2

    Why are we so specially interested in Sabbath laws? — Because there is no other government that depends so much on the morality of its citizens as ours. Here, where we have a republic with its existence depending on the mass of the people, it is necessary to have a general observance of the Sabbath.”MANA 224.3

    The italics in the foregoing quotation are ours; and we thus emphasize these words because we must insist that the devoting of a day to cessation from labor in obedience to a law of the State is in no sense the “observance of the Sabbath,” even though the right day were selected for that purpose. For the very idea of the Sabbath is a religious idea. It is derived from the word of God. There is no Sabbath in any Scriptural sense, except the day that God made such by resting upon it. And when the day is observed as a religious act, on the authority of God’s word and as his word directs, the Sabbath is observed, but not otherwise. Neither is compliance with a State law to stop work on a certain day, in any just sense the practice of “morality,” unless the State is the source of that grace, and civil laws are moral laws. Yet Mr. T. ’s language betrays the fact that it is the “morality,” and the “observance of the Sabbath,” that it is intended to enforce.MANA 224.4

    The people of Louisville, Ky., in the call for a mass-meeting, Feb. 10, 1879, “for the purpose of securing a better observance of our weekly rest-day,” endeavored to draw this distinction sharp, as follows:—MANA 225.1

    “With regard to the Sabbath as a religious institution, we propose to do nothing whatever in this meeting. We withdraw from the discussion every religious question. Your attention will be called exclusively to the Sabbath as a civil institution, a day of rest from labor and public amusements, set apart for that purpose by the immemorial usage of the American people and the laws of the land.”MANA 225.2

    Mr. Joseph Cook, in a Boston lecture in May, 1879, claimed the same distinction. He said:—MANA 225.3

    “Sabbath laws are justified in a republic by the right of self-preservation.... An important distinction exists between Sunday observance as a religious ordinance and as a civil institution. American courts, while enforcing the Sunday laws, disclaim interference with religion,” etc.MANA 225.4

    Such a presentation of the subject will captivate many minds, and lead thousands to act from a standpoint of secular policy as they would not dare to act from that of religious toleration.MANA 225.5

    Even the N.Y. Independent, after its scathing exposure of the inconsistency of the Religious Amendment Movement, as given on p. 205, is, in its issue of Jan. 4, 1883, carried away with this kind of logic. The case calling out its remarks was this: Certain Jews in New York City made application for an injunction restraining the police from arresting them for pursuing their ordinary business on the first day of the week, on the ground that they were observers of the seventh day. The injunction was temporarily granted by Judge Arnoux, but was soon after dissolved, on the plea that the business of the applicants would not come under the head of “works of mercy or necessity.” The New York penal code makes only this provision for observers of the seventh day:—MANA 225.6

    “It is a sufficient defense to a prosecution for servile labor on the first day of the week, that the defendant uniformly keeps another day of the week as holy time, and does not labor on that day; and that the labor complained of was done in such a manner as not to interrupt or disturb other persons in observing the first day of the week as holy time.”MANA 226.1

    It is now argued that this is no ground for exemption from arrest for Sunday labor; for such labor is a violation of the letter of the law, and the law does not presume that a man has a defense till he makes one. Therefore, although a man is well known to be a conscientious observer of the seventh day, he may be arrested whenever found working on the first day, and put to all the annoyance and trouble of making a defense. And such a course of action is defended as right.MANA 226.2

    To the question, Would not this be a hardship to the Jews and Seventh-day Baptists? the Independent makes answer that this is incidental to their living in a community which makes Sunday the day of rest, and cannot be avoided without destroying the day of rest altogether.MANA 226.3

    Again it says that if the Sunday law —MANA 226.4

    “Is not equally well fitted to the Jews, as it is not, who form but a mere fragment of the people, this is an inconvenience to them which they must bear, and which the law cannot remove without imposing a much greater inconvenience upon a far larger number of persons.”MANA 227.1

    Now comes the distinction on the strength of which these sentiments are uttered. Again we quote:—MANA 227.2

    “If it [Sunday law] enforced any kind of religious observance upon them, this would be unjust; but there is no injustice in requiring them to observe Sunday as a day of rest in a community in which, for good and sufficient general reasons, the day is so observed. If they do not like it, we see no remedy for them except in a withdrawal from such a community.”MANA 227.3

    Notwithstanding such declarations, the general reader will, we think, be able to look beneath this woolly exterior, and discern the true nature of the Sunday-law movement, and why it has seen fit to array itself in sheep’s clothing. It will, without doubt, be conceded by all that the present clamor for Sunday legislation is owing entirely to the fact that the great majority of religionists regard the day as a divine institution, and its observance as a religious duty. But some do not so regard it, because they understand that God has set apart another day for the Sabbath, and does not require the observance of this one; and when such are compelled to observe the first day, in what position are they at once placed? — They are made to keep the day because others regard it as a divine institution, while they do not so regard it, and to pay homage to a religious custom which they know to be false. They are deprived of one-sixth of the time which God has given for labor, and are thus robbed on one-sixth of their means of support, if they live by the labor of their hands, as most of them do, because a stronger religion demands it, and the State confirms that demand. Is there not here religious discrimination? Are not the consciences of one class oppressed in the interest of another class? Is not this an interference on the part of the State with the spiritual freedom of its subjects? Is not this religious intolerance and persecution for conscience’ sake? Such, in reality, it is, however much people may try to disguise it by other names.MANA 227.4

    In a later issue, dated March 1, 1883, in reply to the question from a correspondent, “Will you please tell me how this has nothing to do with religion?” the Independent says:—MANA 228.1

    “We can only repeat that it is a great disadvantage to be in the minority. People there may be right; but they must suffer and submit.”MANA 228.2

    Every one, from the days of the apostles down, who has suffered from religious oppression, could testify in regard to the disadvantage of being in the minority. But is this government, which professes to guarantee to the weakest and humblest citizen his just rights, now to take the position that such rights cannot be secured unless he is with the majority?MANA 228.3

    Again the Independent says:—MANA 228.4

    “All the State wants is that the citizen shall have one day in seven for rest, not for religion.”MANA 228.5

    But can any one tell why the large majority cannot “rest” just as well on the first day, even if the small minority who keep the seventh day go about their legitimate and honorable occupation? If it is “rest” merely that is wanted, does my work hinder my neighbor from resting? But no! if you are seen at work, you shall be arrested. Therefore, it is not simply the privilege of rest for those who desire it, but a compulsory rest, whether you wish it or not, because others desire that you shall rest as well as themselves. Again we quote:—MANA 228.6

    “If they insist on so working as to interfere with the rest-day of the majority, they must either move, or be moved away. We are sorry, but there is no help for it.”MANA 229.1

    We know of no observers of the seventh day who have the least intention of interfering, or desire to interfere, with others in their observance of the first day. They ask for no right to do anything of this kind. They would religiously refrain from disturbing either the private rest or the public devotion of any on that day. But we apprehend that the very fact that they do not keep the day, nor acknowledge its claims, will be construed to amount to a sufficient “interference” and “disturbance” to call for repressive measures. Let them “move or be moved.”MANA 229.2

    The opposition to the religious amendment manifested in many parts of the country, especially by the liberal or infidel element, is thought by many to be an insuperable barrier in the way of is success. But if we mistake not, this is the very stimulus which will excite its friends to such exertions that it will ultimately be secured; for the opposition assumes such an aggressive attitude that no neutral ground is left; an irrepressible conflict is precipitated; it must be victory or defeat of the most decisive kind with either party; the government must become nominally wholly Christian or in reality wholly secular.MANA 229.3

    Thus the National Reform Association set forth the object they have in view by the second article of their Constitution, which reads as follows:—MANA 229.4

    “The object of this Society shall be to maintain existing Christian features in the American government, and to secure such an amendment to the constitution of the United States as will indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.”MANA 229.5

    On the other hand, in opposition to this National Reform Movement, Liberalism sets forth its sweeping antagonistic demands in the following platform:—MANA 230.1

    “1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.MANA 230.2

    “2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress in State Legislature, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.MANA 230.3

    “3. We demand that all public appropriations for educational and charitable institutions of a sectarian character shall cease.MANA 230.4

    “4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.MANA 230.5

    “5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts, shall wholly cease.MANA 230.6

    “6. We demand that the judicial oath, in the courts and in all other departments of the government, shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.MANA 230.7

    “7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.MANA 230.8

    “8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of ‘Christian’ morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.MANA 230.9

    “9. We demand that not only in the Constitutions of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical Administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end, shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.”MANA 230.10

    The Inter Ocean of Nov. 16, 1880, reported the proceedings of a convention held in Chicago the day previous, for the promotion of the “secularization” of the State. “By that,” said the report, “they signify the exclusion of the Bible and all religious training from the public schools, and the taxation of church property. A permanent organization was effected.”MANA 231.1

    Thus while frequent conventions are held by the National Reform party, counter conventions are held by the Liberalists; and the forces are marshaling on either side.MANA 231.2

    The Tulare (Cal.) Times of Oct.20, 1882, said:—MANA 231.3

    “The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Covenanter organ proclaims ‘an irrepressible conflict between the religious and secular theories of government.’ The sectarian press reiterates the sentiment, and such politicians as John Sherman, Governor Foster, Jeremiah Black, Judge Sawyer, Senator Harvey, Judge Brooks of North Carolina, Judge Saffold of Alabama, Judge Phelps of Connecticut, Judge Cole of Iowa, Governor Turnes of Nebraska, Judge Rockwell of Massachusetts, and Judge Morrison of California echo the demand for a religious amendment to the Constitution of the United States. General Grant warned the country years ago, that there was impending such a struggle between the ‘God in the Constitution party’ on the one side, and the friends of the present guarantees for religious freedom on the other side, as would shake the very foundations of our government. And yet such men as ex-Governor Woods have the effrontery to deny that there is any danger of religious contest. These fomenters of religious tyranny are endeavoring to lull the people and put them to sleep, that their designs may be the more easily accomplished.”MANA 231.4

    The Chicago Express of Feb. 16, 1884, contains an article written by Bishop Foster, of the Methodist Church. While traveling in Europe, he takes occasion to speak of those forms of worship there which are supported by law, and the acts that led to such a state of things. He says:—MANA 231.5

    “That there is but little real, vital, personal, religion in these lands, is among the most patent facts.... I know of nothing more sad than the religious condition of Europe, and the saddest part of it is that it is chargeable to the Church itself, and therefore the more hopeless. If something is not speedily done, the so-called Christian Church will drive Christianity from these ancient lands, if not from the whole world.”MANA 232.1

    In speaking of the primary causes which led to this spiritual condition, he says:—MANA 232.2

    “Did Constantine make the Roman mind Christian by abolishing paganism, and proclaiming the religion of the cross in its stead, and, creating the constituted Roman nation into a Church, make the nation a Christian Church? or did he not rather paganize Christianity?”MANA 232.3

    Speaking still further of the present state of things, he says:—MANA 232.4

    “By a false theory, the Church has been taken from the people, and converted into a priestly and political machine, and has ceased to be a Church of Christ, as much as the papal machine at Rome.... This condition of things is the sad inheritance of the union of Church and State.”MANA 232.5

    The editor of the Express, in calling attention to these statements of the Bishop, says:—MANA 232.6

    “The Church in America has also very largely become a political machine, and has been used as a means of raising a campaign fund to retain and maintain the party in power, and return men to office who have betrayed the people, and sold them to the giant corporations of the land.... How long, we would ask of Bishop Foster, does he imagine it will be before the Church in America, like the Church in Europe, will be forced to seek an alliance with the State in order to sustain itself, because of the indifference of the people, who perceive its, iniquitous practices, and scoff at its pretended Christianity? Already a union of the two is a thing openly spoken of as desirable.MANA 232.7

    “We have before us at this moment a religious journal, the Sabbath Sentinel, which in its leading editorial warns the Church against the tendency. The rich men within the Church, who have taken shelter there against public condemnation of their crimes of extortion, are ready at any time for the union — more than ready. They would do with their taxes to the Church as they have done with their taxes to the State, — frame the laws in such a way that the poor shall be forced to pay for them. Every one of the causes which produced the union of Church and State in Europe, exists either in full bloom or in embryo in this country; and here as there, ‘if something is not speedily done, the so-called Christian Church will drive Christianity from the land. ’MANA 232.8

    “Again we say, with the Bishop, ‘Let the Church of God come out from the world; let it be made of followers and disciples of Christ; let it represent righteousness and truth; let it cut loose from false and entangling alliances; let its priests be clothed with salvation, and its citizens be a holy communion; let it demonstrate its divine lineage, — let this be the watch-cry of Zion, and then it will be a power in the earth, and will silence the taunt of its enemies.’ “MANA 233.1

    In the Richland Star of Dec. 4, 1879, published in Bellville, Ohio, an infidel wrote against the National Reform party, which had then recently held a convention in Mansfield, Ohio, concluding his remarks as follows:—MANA 233.2

    “The lash and the sword have always proved poor ambassadors of Christ. If we live up to our Constitution as it now is, we shall be good citizens, and have all the room we care to occupy as Christians.”MANA 233.3

    To this writer a Mr. W.W. Anderson, replied in the next issue of the same paper, in defense of the Association, giving expression, in his remarks, to this sentiment:—MANA 233.4

    “Either we are a Christian nation, or we are not. Either our Sabbath laws, so essential to good order and the welfare of all classes, are to be maintained, or they are to be abrogated. In the latter case, we shall wade through blood, as Paris did when under infidel rule.”MANA 233.5

    These passages show that the contestants are fully aware of the nature and magnitude of the struggle upon which the Christian world is now entering.MANA 233.6

    A minister in Kansas, an agent of the National Reform Association, uses the term, “A Second Irrepressible Conflict,” to describe the antagonism now arising between theology and secularism, as embodied in the present movement for a religious amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The opposition to this he likens to the great Rebellion, and asks if we are to have another such rebellion. A few words from his pen will set forth his views in this respect, and indicate the length to which he would be willing to go in its suppression. He says:—MANA 234.1

    “The great Rebellion, which was put down at such frightful cost, was a rebellion which aimed to strike down liberty from its place in the American government. The rising rebellion we have yet to deal with, aims to strike down Christianity from the place it has held in our government from its origin to the present hour.”MANA 234.2

    This, he thinks, can be met only by the amendment movement of the National Reform party. And he leaves it to be inferred, as did also the speakers at the National Reform Convention in Cleveland, in December, 1883, that if the success of this movement cost even as great a sacrifice as the suppression of our late political Rebellion cost, the sacrifice should be made rather than that the religious amendment movement should fail. For he says:—MANA 234.3

    “The success of the present endeavor to conform our government in every respect to its acknowledged secular Constitution, would be followed by consequences more revolutionary and more frightful [italics his] than would have followed the success of the endeavor of the pro-slavery party of the North and of the South, to conform our government in every respect to our then pro-slavery Constitution.”MANA 234.4

    If this is so, the rising rebellion, before which he stands appalled, should be put down even at a greater sacrifice than the former.MANA 234.5

    But it might be well to inquire what has given Liberalism its recent impulse toward the secularization of the State. Is it not the National Reform movement itself? We heard nothing about the “demands” of Liberalism, nor their specially aggressive work, till the amendmentists began to seek the aid of the civil power in behalf of religious customs and dogmas. This naturally threw the Liberalists into an active defensive movement under the menace of the loss of their civil rights. Thus the amendmentists find that they have conjured up a demon which they would now fain exorcise. Neither party can recede from the positions it has taken. The crisis must now come; and the amendmentists see no way to meet it on their part, but to carry through to the desperate end, the movement by which it has been precipitated.MANA 235.1

    A very marked and rapid change is taking place in public opinion relative to the proposed religious amendment of the Constitution. Some who were at first openly hostile to the movement, we learn are now giving their influence for its advancement, and clamoring loudly for a Sunday law. And some who at first regarded it with indifference, are now becoming its warm partisans. As a sample of this change of feeling, the following paragraph from the Christian Press of January, 1872, may be presented. The Christian Press is the organ of the Western Book and Tract Society, Cincinnati, Ohio, and its editor, speaking of the National Association above referred to, says:—MANA 235.2

    “When this Association was formed, while we were prepared to bid it God speed, we did not then feel that there was any pressing need for the object sought; and as our mission was specially directed to the Christianizing, enlightening, and elevating of the masses of the people, we have said little in our columns on the subject, being assured that if the people are right, it is easy to set the government right. The late combined efforts, however, of various classes of our citizens to exclude the Bible from our schools, repeal our Sabbath Laws, and divorce our government entirely from religion, and thus make it an atheistic government, — for every government must be for God or against him, and must be administered in the interests of religion and good morals, or in the interests of irreligion and immorality, — have changed our mind, and we are now prepared to urge the necessity for an explicit acknowledgment in the national Constitution of the authority of God, and the supremacy of his law as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.”MANA 235.3

    The course of the Examiner and Chronicle, the leading Baptist journal of our country, is another case in point. When the movement for the religious amendment of the Constitution was inaugurated, this paper alluding thereto, said:—MANA 236.1

    “We have wondered at the magical effects ascribed to the sacraments according to high-church theology. But turning a nation of atheists to Christians by a few strokes of the pen, by a vote in Congress, and ratifying votes in three-fourths of the State Legislatures, is equally miraculous and incomprehensible. This agitation for a national religion, officially professed, has for its logical outcome, persecution — that, and nothing more or less. It is a movement backward to the era of Constantine; as far below the spirituality of the New Testament as it is below the freedom of republican America.”MANA 236.2

    But in 1879 the same paper, in an article on “The Day of Rest,” changed its tone in reference to national action on this question, as follows:—MANA 236.3

    “By these and other considerations, therefore, we are justified in holding that the spirit of the fourth commandment, with all its divine sanctions and sacred privileges, applies in full force to the Christian day of rest. To preserve it from profanation, to maintain its inestimable privileges, to secure to all the sanitary, moral, family, and civic benefits of which M. Proudhon wrote, as well as the undisturbed enjoyment of religious service on that day, is a duty which Christians owe at once to their country and their God. And in this work governments should aid, within their sphere, in the interest of public morals, and the general well-being of society.”MANA 236.4

    Again, the Universalist of Oct. 6, 1877, published in Boston, Mass., contained a report of the Massachusetts Convention of Universalists, held in Worcester, Mass., Sept. 25, 1877. In that Convention a resolution “heartily sympathizing with the aims of the National Reform Association in seeking a legal recognition of God and his government,” was introduced. The committee to whom it was referred recommended its adoption. In the discussion which followed, Mr. H. Kimball said, “We may initiate a religious war, of all wars the most bitter.” Dr. Flanders said, “There is danger in the resolution.” Rev. Mr. Chambre’ said, “It is a reactionary movement, hostile to the religious liberty whereof Universalists have been the special champions.” Rev. G.W. Haskell said that “the Association which seeks the change in the Constitution only keeps its Calvinism in abeyance. That will come in due time if it gets encouragement.”MANA 237.1

    After all these plain utterances, a motion for indefinite postponement was lost. A motion to strike it out was lost. The motion to adopt was then carried by a vote of 61 to 47.MANA 237.2

    This strange action on the part of the Universalists may be attributed largely to the course of the Liberal League in calling for the abolition of all recognition of God and religion in State instruments and operations, and making the government wholly secular; for this is arousing the fears of all classes of professed Christians, and inciting them to repel what they consider the danger. Nothing can tend more strongly to precipitate the conflict on the Amendment question.MANA 237.3

    The tendency of religious opinion is still further shown in the position taken by the Christian Instructor in the year 1884. Judge Black of Pennsylvania, having argued before the House Judiciary Committee at Washington, Jan. 30, 1883, against the bill “To Suppress Polygamy” in the Territories, the Instructor said:—MANA 238.1

    “When distinguished jurists are taking such positions relating to questions of Christian morals, is it not time, is it not imperative, that the Christian people of this nation should demand the religious amendment of the Constitution? Many say, as they have been saying, ‘It is best to let well enough alone.’ It is becoming manifest, however, that well enough cannot be left alone. The silence of the Constitution is being interpreted and used against the Christian institutions of the nation. The Constitution must cease to be silent, and, by the amendment, must unmistakably declare that this is a Christian nation, and that its morality is the morality of the revealed will of God. Only thus is it possible to have our Christian institutions and usages permanently preserved.”MANA 238.2

    The following resolutions may also be taken as sample expressions of the sentiment that prevails to a large extent among church members of different denominations, in reference to the proposed religious amendment of the Constitution of the United States.MANA 238.3

    The St. Joseph District Conference of the M.E. Church, Maryville, Mo.. passed a resolution Oct. 4, 1882, of which the following is the substance:—MANA 238.4

    Resolved, That we do most heartily commend and indorse the object of the National Reform Association, and we pledge to them our prayers for success in securing their commendable and much needed amendment to our National Constitution.”MANA 238.5

    The General Conference of the M.E. Church, at Philadelphia, May 27, 1884, unanimously passed the following:—MANA 238.6

    Resolved, That we will use our efforts to secure such a change in the Constitution of our country as shall recognize the being of God, our dependence upon him for prosperity, and also his word as the foundation of civil law.”MANA 239.1

    The Iowa State Western Baptist Association, at Shenandoah, Oct. 5, 1882, unanimously embodied the same sentiment in the following resolution:—MANA 239.2

    Resolved, That we earnestly approve of that part of the plan adopted by the National Association which aims at the enactment of such laws as will lead to the better observance of the Sabbath, and use of the Bible in our schools.”MANA 239.3

    The Kansas Annual Conference of the Protestant Methodist Church, at Whitewater Center, Sept. 16, 1882, also unanimously passed the following:—MANA 239.4

    Resolved, That, as a Christian nation, it is the sense of this Conference that we should demand ingrafted in the United States Constitution an amendment acknowledging our faith in, and dependence upon, Almighty God.”MANA 239.5

    Almost as fast as the matter is brought to the attention of the Churches and Conferences, similar sentiments are called out. The danger is that many will be drawn into the movement without perceiving its true import, and the evils to which it will lead; that they will favor an amendment of the Constitution, thinking it will be made better, not understanding that the final result will be to transform it from the grand aegis of our liberties into an instrument of unrighteousness and oppression.MANA 239.6

    Yet notwithstanding all these indications of the sentiment fast growing up in the religious circles of this country to establish religion by law, some are still skeptical in regard to the possibility of any such revolution; and when we express the opinion that the majority of the professors of religion, and others, are to combine so far as to enact a general law for the observance of the so-called “Christian” or “American” Sabbath, we are met with expressions of the utmost incredulity in regard to such a movement. A law of that kind, they say can never be carried, as it would interfere with too many kinds of business, and there are too many liberals and irreligious persons to oppose it. And yet when pressed right down to an expression of their own views in the matter, these very persons will take the position that there ought to be such a law. Now do they not see that all that is necessary is to have such persons take their position and act, and the requisite majority is secured; for they but represent a feeling that generally prevails.MANA 239.7

    An illustration in point comes from a correspondent, who writes:—MANA 240.1

    “In conversation with a number of person a few days ago, I stated our views in regard to the Sunday movement, whereupon all ridiculed the idea of such a thing in a country of liberty, making mention of railroads, amusements, etc. But scarcely five minutes had elapsed when all said that they thought such a law ought to be passed, and signified their willingness to vote for it!”MANA 240.2

    Many have been waiting with no little interest to hear Catholics speak on this question, querying what position they would assume. An incident which occurred in the summer of 1880, plainly foreshadowed their policy in this matter. At the time referred to, S.V. Ryan, the Catholic Bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., issued a circular denouncing the profanation of the first day of the week, and declaring that none would be recognized as Catholics who would not strictly observe the Lord’s day. He urged his plea solely on the authority of the Church, claiming, truly, that the day was wholly an institution of the Church. Notwithstanding this, the Christian World hastened to welcome this new ally is the Sunday cause. Publishing the remarkable document, which appeals to the “Blessed Mother” as witness to its truth, the World urges the consideration and preservation of the circular, and says:—MANA 240.3

    “It would certainly furnish great ground of gratitude to every truly pious heart, if we might count upon the Roman Catholic ministers of religion as faithful allies in the struggle.”MANA 241.1

    In reference to the Catholic claim that the Sunday institution rests wholly upon the authority of the Church, the World says:—MANA 241.2

    “The historical statement with regard to the position of the Roman Catholic Church on the question of the Lord’s day is, unfortunately, far from correct.... And yet we prefer to waive an inquiry into the truth or falsity of Bishop Ryan’s claims, and to congratulate our Roman Catholic citizens and ourselves on the position which some, at least, of the prelates of this Church in this country are disposed to assume.”MANA 241.3

    Is it not marvelous that a religious journal, professing to be a defender of the truth, should take such a position as this? Here is an assertion put forth by the great Roman Catholic hierarchy that Sunday is an institution of their Church, — and Protestants are challenged to meet it, — an assertion which, if true, nullifies every claim of the first-day Sabbath to divine support, takes out from under it every prop which a true Protestant would depend upon to sustain it, and makes it simply a human institution, not binding in any degree upon the consciences of men. In the face of such an assertion the first question to be settled is, whether this claim is true or not. But this Protestant writer proposes to waive all inquiry into the matter, virtually saying, We care not whether the claim is true or false, nor what the origin of the institution is, nor upon what authority it rests, if only we can have your assistance in trying to carry our point, and enforce it upon the people. Can any one suppose that the fear of God and the love of the truth for the truth’s sake, constitute the motive for such a course of action?MANA 241.4

    In this connection a reference to the change of attitude on the part of Protestantism toward Catholicism, will not be considered wholly a digression from the main argument; for this movement has a significant bearing on the question before us. The “image,” as elsewhere emphasized in this work, is to be made to the beast, Romanism. This would indicate cordial friendliness toward, and a certain degree of deference to, Catholicism, on the part of the image-making power, which we have shown to be Protestantism. And this friendliness of feeling on the part of Protestants, is even now prominently manifested in some quarters. The time was, and has been all along until within a few years, when Protestants were Protestants indeed, protesting against the errors and abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. But there seems to be now a widespread inclination to stretch their hands across the chasm which has divided them and welcome the Catholic Church to union and fellowship, not because the Catholics have reformed in any of the objectionable features of their system, but because Protestants are seemingly becoming very indifferent to them. How else can we account for a remarkable scene which took place in Westminster Abbey, Oct. 19, 1884, when in that professedly Protestant sanctuary, a procession of five hundred Catholics were admitted to kneel at the shrine of Edward the Confessor, and pray — for what? For the success and good of Protestantism? — No; but for the conversion of England to the Roman Catholic faith! This is not mere toleration; it is surrender.MANA 242.1

    Certain Protestants in this country seem inclined to include all in one Church, calling themselves “the Protestant branch of the great Catholic Church.” But do Catholics propose to make any concessions, and meet Protestants half way in these fraternal gestures? — Not at all. Protestants may go the whole way in the disgraceful surrender of principles which have cost the struggles of three hundred years; and then perhaps the Catholic Church will receive them back into her bosom as erring, repentant children. But the Catholic Church is the same to-day in its intolerant and blood-thirsty instincts that it always has been. It makes its boast that it never changes. Once let it gain supreme control in this country, and how soon would every Protestant place of worship in the land be sealed up as silent as the tomb, and every Bible be banished, not from the school alone, but from the homes and hands of the people, and rigid conformity to the Catholic ritual alone be enforced by flood and flame dagger and dungeon. To flatter ourselves that the bloody scenes of the Dark Ages were owing to the spirit of the age, and not the spirit of the Church, and could not now be repeated under Romish rule, is to be not only willfully but criminally blind. And to see Protestants shutting their eyes to these facts, and virtually accepting the preposterous pretensions of Catholicism, is astonishing indeed.MANA 243.1

    These movements on the part of Protestants toward fraternity with Catholics, become very significant in view of the agitation of the Sunday question, which is becoming so prominent in the land. The Sunday rest-day, being a Papal institution, will naturally claim the support of the Catholics. And in this thing, Protestants who are seeking a Sunday law will gladly welcome them as allies; and who then can for a moment doubt the ability of these two Churches, the Protestant and Catholics, to carry any measures upon which they might unite?MANA 243.2

    According to the Dakota State Record, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Ohio speaks of “the Protestant portion of the Catholic Church of Rome.” He proposes a union between all Protestant sects and the Romish Church on marriage and divorce and the Sabbath (Sunday). He calls these (Protestant sects and the Romish Church) “every portion of the Christian Church,” and thinks that “it is within reasonable expectation” that this “Christian Church throughout the world will speak the same language on all these moral issues,” and that “legislation will not fail to follow the lead of such a public opinion.”MANA 244.1

    Yes, if Protestantism is only a “portion of the Catholic Church of Rome,” why should it maintain the position of a schismatic, and keep up the division? Why not go back at once to the mother Church? But if that Catholic Church which is represented in the Scriptures as a harlot woman, drunken with the blood of the saints, — a Church which has harried a hundred millions of innocent victims to their graves, which has invented and inflicted upon the humble followers of Christ horrible barbarities, more in number and more fiendish in character than those of all heathendom combined, from the earliest ages, — if such a Church is Christian, God pity Christianity! but rather God pity the man whose sensibilities have become so benumbed and paralyzed that he can assume such an attitude toward this tragical burlesque of Christianity!MANA 244.2

    That such words can be spoken by Protestants, and such propositions be urged by them, is one of the most alarming indications of the tendency of the times.MANA 245.1

    With the anti-Sunday movements of the present day, considering their associations, and the manner and object in and for which they are carried forward, we have no sympathy. They aim at utter no-Sabbathism, freedom from all moral restraint, and all the evils of unbridled intemperance, — ends which we abhor with all the strength of a moral nature quickened by the most intense religious convictions. And while the indignation of the better portion of the community will be aroused at the want of religious principle and the immorality attending the popular anti-Sunday movements, a little lack of discrimination, by no means uncommon, will, on account of our opposition to the Sunday institution, though we oppose it on entirely different ground, easily associate us with the classes above mentioned, and subject us to the same odium.MANA 245.2

    We therefore here take occasion to put on record a few words defining more fully our position. We wish it to be understood that we are in the most complete accord and the fullest sympathy with all reforms which tend to restrain immorality and conduce to the well-being of society. We bid all temperance reformers Godspeed in their noble efforts. We wish all success to the great work of rescuing men from the evils of intemperance. We wish all crippling, blighting, and paralyzing influences to fall upon the vile traffic in intoxicating liquors, above and below, east, west, north, and south, always and everywhere. We would restrain it, not only on Sunday, but on every day of the week.MANA 245.3

    So, too, we are in favor of a divorce reform, prison reforms, all sanitary reforms, labor reform as against the encroachment of monopolies, reforms to restrain cruelty to children and to animals, and to prevent the circulation of vile, blasphemous, or obscene matter through the mails. We wish the latter reform might be extended also to the publication and circulation, in any manner, of the dime novel curse and abomination. Let the law which is designed to be a safeguard to society, take hold of all these things, we care not how rigidly.MANA 246.1

    But with these things, our friends are unfortunately connecting another enterprise as a reform, which lacks the true basis of all reforms; namely, the divine sanction. They labor to secure the enforcement by law of a day as the Sabbath which the Scriptures nowhere declare to be the Sabbath, in opposition to the day which they do explicitly declare to be the Sabbath. Now we believe in Sabbath reform; but we say, Let us take the day which the Scriptures everywhere set forth as the divinely-appointed day of rest, and secure its observance by moral suasion under the sanctions of the divine law.MANA 246.2

    Let it be understood further that we take no exception to laws in behalf of those who conscientiously deem it their duty to observe any day as a day of rest, so far as to secure them from any real disturbance on such days.MANA 246.3

    If people wish to observe Sunday, let them then be protected from anything which would really interfere with such observance. But we say that those who have conscientiously observed another day as the Sabbath, should not be compelled to keep Sunday also (all disturbance of course excepted), because some one else thinks that day is the Sabbath, any more than the Sunday-keeper should be compelled to keep the seventh day, because we believe that day is the Sabbath. An exemption should be made to cover such cases. To refuse this is to strike a blow at religious liberty in this country. Here is the danger; and this is the ground of our protest.MANA 247.1

    Meanwhile, some see the evils involved in this movement, and raise the note of alarm. The Christian Union, January, 1871, said:—MANA 247.2

    “If the proposed amendment is anything more than a bit of sentimental cant, it is to have a legal effect. It is to alter the status of the non-Christian citizen before the law. It is to affect the legal oaths and instruments, the matrimonial contracts, the sumptuary laws, etc., etc., of the country. This would be an outrage on natural right.”MANA 247.3

    The Janesville (Wis.) Gazette, at the close of an article on the proposed amendment, speaks thus of the effect of the movement, should it succeed:—MANA 247.4

    “But, independent of the question as to what extent we are a Christian nation, it may well be doubted whether, if the gentlemen who are agitating this question should succeed, they would not do society a very great injury. Such measures are but the initiatory steps which ultimately lead to restrictions of religious freedom, and to commit the government to measures which are as foreign to its powers and purposes as would be its action if it should undertake to determine a disputed question of theology.”MANA 247.5

    The Weekly Alta Californian of San Francisco, March 12, 1870, said:—MANA 247.6

    “The parties who have been recently holding a Convention for the somewhat novel purpose of procuring an amendment to the Constitution of the United States recognizing the Deity, do not fairly state the case when they assert that it is the right of a Christian people to govern themselves in a Christian manner, If we are not governing ourselves in a Christian manner, how shall the doings of our government be designated? The fact is, that the movement is one to bring about in this country that union of Church and State which all other nations are trying to dissolve.”MANA 248.1

    The New York Independent, February, 1870, spoke of the movement as having the same chance of success that a union of Church and State would have. The Champlain Journal, speaking of incorporating the religious principle into the Constitution, and is effect upon the Jews, said:—MANA 248.2

    “However slight, it is the entering wedge of Church and State. If we may cut off ever so few persons from the right of citizenship on account of difference of religious belief, then with equal justice and propriety may a majority at any time dictate the adoption of still further articles of belief, until our Constitution is but the text-book of a sect beneath whose tyrannical sway all liberty of religious opinion will be crushed.”MANA 248.3

    Meanwhile the movement assumes a very harmless and innocent mien. What hurt can it do, it is asked, just to recognize God in the Constitution? Who could object just to the mention of the Supreme Being and of Christ in our great national charter? We have such recognition now, they plead, in most of our State Constitutions, and it does not seem to work any mischief; why not then put it into the national Constitution?MANA 248.4

    Thus the advocates of the religious amendment are wont to reason, or at least thus they seem pleased to have other people reason, with the hope, very apparently, that they will act from that standpoint, and thus the more readily give support to their movement. This feature comes out very distinctly in the report of one of the secretaries of the National Reform Association, who has lately [1884] been laboring in Lincoln, Nebraska.MANA 248.5

    The object sought is thus put in a light which seems, at first view, very innocent and unobjectionable, But let us look at it a little more closely, and see if the most virulent kind of sophistry is not involved therein. If the simple insertion of the names of God and Christ somewhere in the Constitution is all that is designed, we inquire how that can be a matter of such importance as to warrant such a movement as is now on foot in its behalf — the organization of an association, the issuing of books and tracts, the publication of a weekly paper, the calling of conventions, the employing of men to devote the whole or a part of their time to its promulgation, and the pouring out of liberal contributions of money in its support. All this shows upon the very face of it that there is something more in view than the mere mention of God in the Constitution.MANA 249.1

    But further, if God is already recognized in most of the State constitutions, as they acknowledge is the case, why is not that sufficient? Is he not acknowledged by all States, and thus, so far as constitutional action can go, by all the people of those States? What is to be gained, then, by putting his name into the Constitution of the nation?MANA 249.2

    This brings us to the real issue. They desire not simply the name of God in the Constitution, but “such an amendment as shall place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of the government, on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” They want this because, as the case now stands, if attempt is made through any State laws to enforce religious enactments, appeal can be taken to the higher court, and such efforts can be shown to be unconstitutional. It is just because the recognition of God in the State constitutions is thus liable to be rendered inoperative, because religious enactments under State laws are virtually null and void, that they want to get a sure foot-hold in the national Constitution, the highest source of authority in the land. And then our whole relation to religious matters would very speedily assume a different complexion; for they desire such an arrangement that men can be coerced into compliance with what the majority shall decide to be religious customs. For instance, they declare — and for this we have their own explicit language — that, this amendment once secured, no one who does not strictly observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath, shall hold any public office under this government; and that any corporation which will not thus regard it, shall immediately forfeit its charter!MANA 249.3

    Now look at the method of reasoning they condescend to adopt in this matter: God is recognized in State constitutions, and no mischief comes of it; therefore no man should be afraid to have him recognized in the national Constitution. But why does no mischief come of his recognition by State constitutions? — Because such recognition not existing in the national Constitution, the recognition by the State cannot be used to enforce religious tests in national affairs. And what do they intend to gain by such a recognition in the national Constitution? Answer: To put matters in such a shape that religious tests can be enforced. But this would at once reverse the situation, and transform all their reasoning into a falsehood and a snare. If such enforcement as they are laboring for could now be had by the recognition of religious customs by the State constitutions, no one could say that no mischief came of it; and if these men could do under State constitutions what they desire to do they would seek for no amendment of the general Constitution. But now they appeal to the harmless nature of State constitutions on points where they are inoperative, to quiet men’s fears and lead them to amend the national Constitution in such a manner as will make these State enactments operative, where they are not now, and thus change the whole complexion of their action. In other words, their reasoning is virtually this: Because a tiger caged can do no harm, therefore we need not fear to take such action as will uncage him, and let him loose upon the community, and it is our duty so to do.MANA 250.1

    Is such reasoning fair and honest? Is it not rather the wickedest kind of sophistry? Their only chance of success in such reasoning is that people preoccupied with other things will not stop to consider the movement sufficiently to see its true intent, as was doubtless the case with some prominent citizens of Lincoln, whom the secretary reported himself as interviewing, and who he claimed gave the movement their sanction. Well did the editor of the Nebraska State Journal think there was recognition enough in the Constitution already, and Rev. Gregory question the propriety of advancing moral reforms by legal enactments, and Rev. Ingram express alarm lest the movement meant a union of Church and State.MANA 251.1

    Another argument used by the advocates of the amendment against our government as now constituted, must be abhorrent to every unvitiated American patriot. It is that the doctrine that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, is a false principle. At the Cleveland (O.) Convention of the National Reform Association, held in December, 1883, one of the speakers attacked the statement as found in our Declaration of Independence, and which lies at the very foundation of our national polity, that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and with a bitterness which was truly surprising, denounced it as “the old Philadelphia lie.” In defense of his position, he rung the changes on such questions as these: How could a past generation “consent” for the present? And how many of those now living under this government have actually “consented” to it? How do minors “consent” to it? And what criminal would “consent” to the government?MANA 251.2

    Such sophistry is well answered by Jos. P. Thompson, D.D., LL.D., in the “Doctrine of Declaration of Independence,” in which he says:—MANA 252.1

    ” ‘Where,’ asks Mr. Jefferson, ‘shall we find the origin of just powers, if not in the majority of society? Will it be in the minority? or in an individual of the minority?’ This is the key to the statement of the Declaration, that governments ‘derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ He was not thinking of a poll of equal rights, that each individual as an ‘inalienable’ voter might ‘consent’ to be governed thus or so, but of the community, the political society, in some method of its own, framing, commissioning, or consenting to, the government under which it should live; and in this view of its meaning, this statement of the Declaration, like those that precede it, is also true, and of deep and far-reaching significance for governments and for mankind.”MANA 252.2

    He then draws from the history of both England and France, facts in confirmation of this view, and adds:—MANA 252.3


    “The attachment of a people to their government may be variable; their sentiment toward officers and policy may change with men and measures; their loyalty may be that of enthusiastic devotion, of calm acquiescence, or of patient endurance; but there inheres in every body politic a latent right of revolution; and, so long as the people do not revive this right, the government de facto is presumed to hold its powers with ‘the consent of the governed.’ ” — The United States as a Nation, pp. 82-84.MANA 254.1

    The idea expressed by the Cleveland speaker was that all government being derived from God, its requirements were to be made known by properly constituted agents, and all that the governed had to do was to quietly submit; their “consent” was not to be taken into the account at all. Had this man been arguing, under some benighted tyranny, for the “divine right of kings,” instead of standing amid the manifold blessings and privileges secured by this Republic, and denouncing the principles of its constitution, after more than one hundred years of such uniform and unbounded prosperity, as no other nation of the earth had ever enjoyed, his statements would not have seemed quite so astounding.MANA 254.2

    It may still be asked, Has not the State the right to make a law that one day in the week shall be kept as a day of rest? and would it not be the duty of all citizens to obey such a law, when made? Answer: The State has a right to legislate in reference to all the relations that exist between man and man, to protect and secure the just rights of each. It has a right, therefore, to legislate in regard to such crimes against society as Mormon polygamy, though practiced under the name of religion, against intemperance, and against some forms of worship which pagans under the sanction of their religion, might introduce upon our shores. But in matters purely religious, matters of conscience between man and his Maker, which no wise encroach upon the rights of others, the State has no right to interfere. It is going beyond its legitimate province when it does so. The Constitution of the United States recognizes this truth, when, in the first amendment, it provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”MANA 254.3

    But in the matter of the Sabbath, God himself has already promulgated a law; and certainly the State has no right to interfere with that. It is replied that the State does not propose to interfere with that, but only to establish a day of rest as a “civil institution” for the good of society. This will do as a film behind which to try to hide; but it is not sufficient to conceal the true motive. Speakers and writers alike cry out for a better observance of the Sabbath as they call the first day of the week. But resting upon any day merely as a requirement of the State, as a “sanitary measure,” a “police regulation,” is in no sense the keeping of a Sabbath as an act of worship offered to Heaven. Again, they urge it as a measure to secure a better state of morality. Here again the religious idea, which is the underlying principle in this movement, crops out.MANA 255.1

    There is one remarkable fact to be noticed in all this agitation; namely, however much a day of rest may be urged as a “civil institution,” a “police regulation,” etc., as if it was not a religious matter, the day selected for the rest-day is always Sunday. Why is this? Will any one be willing to confess himself so obtuse as not to know that it is because the majority regard Sunday, in a religious sense, as the Sabbath? And this at once discriminates against those who observe the seventh day, inasmuch as, being obligated to keep another day also, they are deprived of one-sixth of their time, and, if laboring men, of one-sixth of their means of support, on account solely of the religious prejudices of other people. This strikes at the very root of religious liberty.MANA 255.2

    If any deny this, and insist that the object is to be absolutely impartial and fair, the matter can be tested by the following proposition: Let some day be selected as the State rest-day, which neither party regards as the Sabbath by divine appointment. Take for instance Tuesday. Now we, having kept the seventh day, could keep Tuesday on the same ground that the Sunday-keeper, having observed the first day, could keep Tuesday also. Here would be equality, one class not being discriminated against more than another. But how many Sunday-keepers would agree to this? No; they would say, having kept Sunday, what is the use of our keeping Tuesday? Exactly. And so we say, After having kept the seventh day, what is the use of our keeping the first day?MANA 255.3

    If any are still disposed to query why we should object to a general Sunday law, we reply further that the matter of Sabbath-keeping is a matter between the individual conscience and God alone. It is a religious service, and with is as such the State has nothing to do. It matters not whether the Sabbath in question is the true Sabbath or a false one. Civil law should not meddle with either. We would oppose human legislation for the one as soon as for the other.MANA 256.1

    But, it may be asked, is it not right to enact laws for the good of society, and would it not be for the good of society to have all observe a Sabbath? This looks very specious at first sight; but an important distinction should be kept in mind: God has some ordinances for the good of society, the control of which he reserves to himself, and which so long as they are left in that control, and legitimately used, are for the good of society, but which, if man, with his lack of spiritual discernment, and his bondage to prejudice and passion, attempts to intermeddle with, tend to the injury and not the good of society. For instance: God commands all men to repent, believe, and be baptized; in other words, to become earnest and sincere Christians, unite with the church, and practice all its ordinances; and it would be for the good of society of all under the operation of the Spirit of God would do this. But let men undertake to enforce this by law, and what would be the result? — The church turned into a whited sepulchre, and another religious tyranny to curse the world. So if all men would obey God in the matter of Sabbath-keeping from a conscientious conviction of duty, it would be for the good of society; but men cannot enforce such service by law for the good of society.MANA 256.2

    But it may be asked, Would you object to the law, if an exemption was made in your behalf? — If an exemption should be made, we would of course avail ourselves of its benefit; but that would not change the nature of the law which is wrong in principle, nor secure our support of it; for we ought to have regard to others’ rights as well as our own; and no man should be compelled to keep Sunday or any other day, if he does not wish to, whether he has kept the seventh day or not.MANA 257.1

    Most of the States have exemption clauses in their Sunday laws in favor of observers of the seventh day. Pennsylvania has no such exemption; but she has an old, unrepealed Sunday law of 1794 upon her statue books. Taking advantage of this state of things, some evil disposed persons have caused the repeated oppression, by fine and imprisonment, of a certain Seventh-day Baptist 1The person referred to is D.C. Waldo, Pa. Being a member of the Seventh-day Baptist Church, he conscientiously and religiously observes the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. Having done this, he deems it his duty to go quietly about his legitimate business upon the first day, in obedience to the same high law which says, “Six days shalt thou labor.” He owns a planing-mill in an isolated country position, more than two miles from any first-day meeting-house. Yet under the old 1794 law of Pennsylvania he has been twice prosecuted for thus laboring on Sunday. The last time he appealed to the higher court, at a cost to himself in money, besides his time and trouble, of one hundred and fifty dollars. But the decision of the lower court was sustained. And thus this man suffers for his religious opinions, under a government which guarantees to every man the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. One other person besides Mr. Waldo has also been prosecuted in that place. in that State, for quietly working upon the first day of the week after having conscientiously and scripturally observed the seventh day.MANA 257.2

    Seeing the injustice of such proceedings, a few noble souls have labored to secure an act, not repealing the law, but simply exempting observers of the seventh day from its operation. In 1881-82 this lacked only one vote of becoming a law. But in 1882-83 the same bill was defeated by the surprising majority of 130 against 37. Thus Pennsylvania hugs her disgrace. But what had wrought this change between the winter of 1881-82 and that of 1882-83? One important influence at least, we think, may be seen in the following fact:—MANA 258.1

    While the bill (No. 122) was pending at the last-named session of the Legislature, some zealous Sunday man placed a copy of it in the hands of Hon. Felix R. Brunot, President of the National Reform Association, and Elliot E. Swift, of Pittsburgh, Pa. They immediately sent a copy of the bill to the Commercial Gazette of that city, with the accompanying note:—MANA 258.2

    “The following bill, No. 122, has just been handed us with the statement that it has already passed the second reading in the Legislature of Pennsylvania. Its enactment will lead toward the destruction of the Christian Sabbath in this Commonwealth. It is very desirable that the bill should be understood by our people, and that numerous and emphatic protests be adopted and forwarded immediately. We therefore request you to publish it.”MANA 258.3

    The animus of this note is not to be mistaken. No effort is made to repeal the Sunday law, but simply (mark it!) to provided exemption for those who conscientiously keep the seventh day; and this man, who stands at the head of the National Reform Association, utters a vigorous and emphatic protest — the exemption must not be granted! and he calls upon “our [his] people,” to protest likewise, Ring it out through all the land, that a conscientious Christian man in the State of Pennsylvania, who believes that the seventh day is the Sabbath, as the Bible declares, and keeps it as such, wishes the privilege of quietly following his labor on the first day of the week unmolested by the law which those who believe in keeping Sunday, which he does not believe in, have made for themselves; and the man who stands as the representative of that Association which is calling for a national Sunday law, thunders out, to the extent of his ability, a relentless No! the privilege must not be granted; it will work “the destruction of the Christian Sabbath.”MANA 258.4

    Does the thoughtful reader suppose that when such men gain the power, seventh-day keepers anywhere will be exempted? — Not at all.MANA 259.1

    In reference to the probable future of the religious amendment movement, Eld. W.H. Littlejohn, in the Sabbath Sentinel of May, 1884, spoke as follows:—MANA 259.2

    “The National Reform party is confident of ultimate success. The men who are behind it are not enthusiasts to that extent that they anticipate an easy victory, or one which is to be realized immediately. Composed as the leaders are of men of learning and experience, their practiced eyes, while seeing with distinctness the goal of their ambition, are able to measure the distance between it and themselves with tolerable accuracy. Surveying the field of contest with a coolness and penetration characteristic of experienced politicians, they have cautiously estimated the strength of the positions of their enemies and the measure of their own resources. Having been active participants in what is termed the great moral contest of the recent past, they have studied the elements which rendered them successful; and they feel assured that the struggle in which they are engaged is equally moral in its character, and therefore certain to triumph sooner or later. Perceiving that the success of the great anti-slavery contest was assured the moment it secured for itself the support, generally speaking, of the pulpits of the land, they very naturally infer that, whenever they shall be able to enlist the same pulpits in the interests of a movement which to their minds is as certainly favored of Heaven as was the one in question, the realization of their expectation not be far removed.MANA 259.3

    “With them, therefore, the whole matters turns upon the capture of the ministry of the nation. To that end all their efforts are directed at the present time. If they succeed, there is no power that can stand before them. It must be admitted also that the probability that they will ultimately secure the active support and co-operation of the clergy and the Churches, judging from present appearances, is very strong. They are active and untiring in their efforts, while those in the Churches and outside of the Churches who ought to be alive to the dangers of the situation have but little or nothing to say in the direction of sounding the alarm. One by one the representative bodies of the different denominations are roped into the National Reform movement, and induced by resolutions or otherwise to commit themselves and those for whom they speak to an indorsement of it. In a single year ten Methodist Conferences were induced to give hearty approval to the movement, and five thousand copies of the Christian Statesman — the organ of the party — were sent to as many clergymen. Besides the paper spoken of and a flood of other publications, with which the country is being inundated, and all bearing upon the same general subject, ministers and lecturers have been traversing the continent from Maine to California, speaking in the interest of the so-called Reform.MANA 260.1

    “When it is remembered that there is to the average Christian mind a wonderful fascination in the thought of becoming a champion in the conflict for the recognition of the names of God and Christ in the Constitution of the nation; and when it is borne in mind that it is a comparatively easy task for a polished orator to make his uninformed hearers believe that God will hold them responsible for the desecration of a day that from childhood they have been taught to believe was holy time, — it will be perceived that if not opposed with vigor in this work, it will be comparatively easy for a few energetic and determined spirits to arouse in favor of their enterprise an enthusiasm which will sweep everything before it.MANA 260.2

    “Never did a party have a more thrilling war-cry than in the words, “The names of God and Christ in the Constitution, the reading of the Bible in the common schools, and the enforcement of the Sunday laws.” All three of these projects are of such a nature as to commend themselves to Christians generally, unless they can be shown that these same projects cannot be realized without imperiling the government and doing great injustice to certain classes of our citizens.MANA 260.3

    “Nor are professed Christians alone in this. Outside the pale of the Churches are multitudes of men and women who, though not professedly Christians, are nevertheless very friendly to what they believe to be Christian institutions, and who are ready at all times to support them by voice and vote, whenever they can do so without making a public profession of religion. These persons, unless thoroughly aroused to the tendency of the proposed legislation are certain to enlist under the banners of the new party.MANA 261.1

    “There is also another feature of this subject that is worthy of attention. Aside from Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists, the apathy of those Christians even who are at heart opposed to the purposes of the National Reform party, is so complete that the public are not apprised of their real feelings. On the other hand, infidels and atheists are so out-spoken in their hostility to that party that the casual observer, unaware of the efforts of the two denominations spoken of above, naturally concludes that the contest is wholly between believers and unbelievers. This fact acts very much to the prejudice of those who are standing manfully for the right. Indeed, this is so true that it will be apparent to any intelligent observer that the supporters of the amendment movement are already gaining no inconsiderable advantage by trying to make it appear that the opponents of their work are found almost wholly among the enemies of God. In a short time they will add to the benefits of a fascinating war-cry the advantage that is derived from hopelessly fastening upon an antagonist an opprobrious epithet. While as a matter of fact Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists are what they are because of their strict adherence to the word of God, and while they are noted for their devotion to the cause of temperance, they will nevertheless be classed with the frequenters of beer gardens, and with such men as Abbott and Ingersoll, whose principles they detest.MANA 261.2

    “Unless men of every denomination shall speedily cross over the line of indifference, and unite in an effort to enlighten the public mind in reference to the true nature of the proposed legislation by the general government in matters of religion, it will be forever too late. The drift is altogether in the wrong direction. The Churches once practically captured, the end will not be far off. Sabbatarians, though right in regard to the true Sabbath, and deeply in earnest in their endeavors to stem the tide which is sweeping in the direction of uniting Church and State, are too few in numbers to avert the calamity. In the tempest of passion which is soon to be raised over this subject, their voices will be lost unless they receive immediate help from their fellow-Christians, and the battle for religious liberty will be lost. So far as atheists and infidels are concerned, they are incapable of holding the field against the systematic attacks of the thoroughly drilled and perfectly organized armies of the orthodox Churches. The decision of the question will be simply one of time. The hosts of the Reform party will enter the halls of the capitol, and take into their hands the reins of government. History will repeat itself. Intoxicated with success, and ambitious for the complete realization of their long cherished plan of placing all Christian laws and usages of the government upon an “undeniable legal basis,” they will commence to enact laws to secure that end. When this is done, resistance to their plans will no longer be tolerated. Interpreting their success as a token of Divine favor, they will never pause in their career until they have added another to the long list of governments in which religious liberty has been sacrificed on the alter of blind fanaticism.MANA 261.3

    “Reader, would you avert such a misfortune as long as possible? Then strike hands with those who are struggling hard for the same purpose. Have you looked with innocent pride at the grand old ship of State which for a hundred years has been the object of universal admiration, and the hope of the regions where religious intolerance and political oppression have acted like a blight and a mildew on the national life? Then remember that the hands which have held the helm of that noble craft thus far have all been lifted to Heaven in attestation of a solemn vow to preserve and carry out a Constitution which provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Do you think it would be unsafe to allow the majestic old ship to pass under the control of those who would turn her prow away from the course she has hitherto pursued, directing her into unexplored seas, filled with dangerous rocks and tossed by fierce tempests? If so, throw your personal influence against a political organization that seeks to do the very thing which you so much dread.”MANA 262.1

    For a union of Church and State, in the strict mediaeval form and sense, we do not look. In place of this, we apprehend that what is called “the image,” a creation as strange as it is unique, comes in, not as a State Church, supported by the government, and the Church in turn controlling the State, but as an ecclesiastical establishment empowered by the State, to enforce its own decrees by civil penalties; which, in all its practical bearings, will amount to exactly the same thing.MANA 263.1

    Some one may now say, As you expect this movement to carry, you must look for a period of religious persecution in this country; nay, more, you must take the position that all the saints of God are to be put to death; for the image is to cause that all who will not worship it shall be killed.MANA 263.2

    There would, perhaps, be some ground for such a conclusion, were we not elsewhere informed that in the dire conflict God does not abandon his people to defeat, but grants them a complete victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name. Revelation 15:2. We further read respecting this earthly power, that he causeth all to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads; yet chapter 20:4 speaks of the people of God as those who do not receive the mark, nor worship the image. If, then, he could “cause” all to receive the mark, and yet all not actually receive it, in like manner his causing all to be put to death who will not worship the image does not necessarily signify that their lives are actually to be taken.MANA 263.3

    But how can this be? Answer: It evidently comes under that rule of interpretation in accordance with which verbs of action sometimes signify merely the will and endeavor to do the action in question, and not the actual performance of the thing specified. The late George Bush, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in New York City University, makes this matter plain. In his notes on Exodus 7:11 he says:—MANA 264.1

    “It is a canon of interpretation of frequent use in the exposition of the sacred writings that verbs of action sometimes signify merely the will and endeavor to do the action in question. Thus in Ezekiel 24:13: ‘I have purified thee, and thou wast not purged;’ i.e., I have endeavored, used means, been at pains, to purify thee. John 5:44: ‘How can ye believe which receive honor one of another;’ i.e., endeavor to receive. Romans 2:4: ‘The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance,’ i.e. endeavors, or tends, to lead thee. Amos 9:3: ‘Though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea;’ i.e., though they aim to be hid. 1 Corinthians 10:33: ‘I please all men;’ i.e., endeavor to please. Galatians 5:4: ‘Whosoever of you are justified by the law;’ i.e., seek and endeavor to be justified. Psalm 69:4: ‘They that destroy me are mighty;’ i.e., that endeavor to destroy me. Eng., ‘That would destroy me.’ Acts 7:26: ‘And set them at one again;’ i.e., wished and endeavored. Eng., ‘ Would have set them. ’”MANA 264.2

    So in the passage before us. He causes all to receive a mark, and all who will not worship the image to be killed; that is, he wills, purposes, endeavors to do this. He makes such an enactment, passes such a law, but is not able to execute it; for God interposes in behalf of his people; and then those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience are kept from falling in this hour of temptation, according to Revelation 3:10; then those who have made God their refuge are kept from all evil, and no plague comes nigh their dwelling, according to Psalm 91:9, 10; then all who are found written in the book are delivered, according to Daniel 12:1; and, being victors over the beast and his image, they are redeemed from among men, and raise a song of triumph before the throne of God, according to Revelation 14:4; 15:2.MANA 264.3

    The objector may further say, You are altogether too credulous in supposing that all the skeptics of our land, the Spiritualist, the German infidels, and the irreligious masses generally, can be so far brought to favor the religious observance of Sunday that a general law can be promulgated in its behalf.MANA 265.1

    The answer is, The prophecy must be fulfilled, and if the prophecy requires such a revolution, it will be accomplished. But we do not know that it is necessary. Permit the suggestion of an idea which, though it is only conjecture, may show how enough can be accomplished to fulfill the prophecy without involving the classes mentioned. This movement, as has been shown, must originate with the Churches of our land, and be carried forward by them. They wish to enforce certain practices upon all the people; and it would be very natural that in reference to those points respecting which they wish to influence the outside masses, they should see the necessity of first having absolute conformity among all the evangelical denominations. They could not expect to influence non-religionists to any great degree on questions respecting which they were divided among themselves. So, then, let union be had on those views and practices which the great majority already entertain. To this end, coercion may first be attempted. But here are a few who cannot possibly attach to the observance of the first day, which the majority wish to secure, any religious obligation; and would it be anything strange for the sentence to be given. Let these few factionists be made to conform, by persuasion if possible, by force if necessary? Thus the blow may fall on conscientious commandment-keepers before the outside masses are involved in the issue at all. And should events take this not improbable turn, it would be sufficient to meet the prophecy, and leave no ground for the objection proposed.MANA 265.2

    To receive the mark of the beast in the forehead is we understand, to give the assent of the mind and judgement to his authority in the adoption of that institution which constitutes the mark. By parity of reasoning, to receive it in the hand would be to signify allegiance by some outward act, perhaps by signifying a willingness to abstain from labor — the work of their hands — on that day, though not indorsing its religious character.MANA 266.1

    The number, over which the saints are also to get the victory, is the number of the papal beast, called also the number of his name, and the number of a man, and said to be six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:18. Where is that number to be found? The pope wears upon his pontifical crown in jeweled letters, this title: “Vicarius Filii Dei,” “Vicegerent of the Son of God,” the numerical value of which title is just six hundred and sixty-six. Thus V stands for 5; 1:1; C, 100; a and r, not used as numerals; 1:1; U, anciently written as V and standing for 5; s and f, not used used as numerals; 1:1; 50:50; 1:1; I, 1; 500:500; e, not used as numeral; 1:1. Tabulating this, we have the following:—MANA 266.2

    V = 5
    I = 1
    C = 100
    I = 1
    U(V) = 5
    I = 1
    L = 50
    I = 1
    I = 1
    D = 500
    I = 1
    MANA 267.1

    The most plausible supposition we have seen on this question is that in this name we find the number sought for. It is the number of the beast, the papacy; it is the number of his name, for he adopts it as his distinctive title; it is the number of a man, for he who bears it is the “man of sin.” We get the victory over it by refusing those institutions and practices which he sets forth as evidence of his power to sit supreme in the temple of God, and by adopting which we should acknowledge the validity of his title, by conceding his right to act for the Church in behalf of the Son of God.MANA 267.2

    And now, reader, we leave this subject with you. We confidently submit the argument as one which is invulnerable in all its points. We ask you to review it carefully. Take in, if thought can comprehend it the wonderful phenomenon of our own nation. Consider its location, the time of its rise, the manner of its rise, its character, Satan’s masterpiece of lying wonders which he has here sprung upon the world, and the elements which are everywhere working to fulfill in just as accurate a manner all the remainder of the prophecy in regard to the dragon voice, the erection of the image, and the enforcing of the mark. Can you doubt the application? We know not how. Then the last agents to appear in this world’s history are on the stage of action, the close of this dispensation is at hand, and the Lord cometh speedily to judge the world. But between us and that day stands an issue of appalling magnitude. It is no less than this: To yield, on the one hand, to unrighteous human enactments, soon to be made, and thus expose ourselves to the unmingled wrath of an insulted Creator; or, on the other, to remain loyal to God, and brave the utmost wrath of the dragon and his infuriated hosts. In reference to this issue, the third message of Revelation 14:9-12 is now going forth as a solemn and vehement warning. If you have read the foregoing pages, this warning has come to you. In tender solicitude we ask you what you intend to do with it. To aid in sounding over the land this timely note of alarm, to impress upon hearts the importance of a right position in the coming issue, and the necessity of pursuing such a course as will secure the favor of God in the season of earth’s direst extremity, and a share at last in his glorious salvation, is the object of this effort. And if with any it have this effect, the prayer of the writer will not be utterly unanswered, nor his labor be wholly lost.MANA 267.3







    Larger font
    Smaller font