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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    A. T. JONES

    (Sabbath, March 2, 1895, 5 p.m.)

    THERE is one very important line of study that we have not had a chance to take up in the regular course of study in the Institute. I did hope to reach it, but the important lines of study that have been before us have left no room for any kind of full study of it. However, this can follow the studies that we have had, better than they could follow this. The studies which we have had, if received for the real value that is in them, are the best preparation for the best study of this subject.GCB April 1895, page 502.6

    I did not want the delegates to separate without their attention being called to this, and without the importance of it being presented as far as is possible in a short lesson, to enlist your minds in it for study after the Conference is past. It will have to be understood as certainly as we preach the message. It will take more work, harder study, and closer application than has yet been given by the most of our ministers to any line that has come before us. If we shall all stand where God, by these truths which he has opened to us in this Conference, has lifted us, we shall be prepared for this study.GCB April 1895, page 502.7

    This subject is: The application of the principle of religious liberty, in the place to which we are now shortly to be brought. It is the application of this principle in a way and a place where we have never been called upon to make it. There is a sense in which it is true that this subject is more important than any other issue to which we have been brought; yet this is not to say that it is independent of all other principles. All are essential, and have their place. But the times to which we are shortly coming, — nay, the time to which we are now come, — there will be tests put upon us that we have not yet met. In the past the issue has not been forced upon us that will be from this time forward.GCB April 1895, page 503.1

    Now I know what I am talking about when I say that. The theory of separation of Church and State, the theory of true religious liberty is almost wholly accepted among Seventh-day Adventists, but the principle is very little held. There is a vast difference between the theory and the principle. And until we get the principle in its purity, we shall not be prepared for the place and the issue into which we are now shortly to be forced. The public mind is waiting and ready for the application of this principle with such power as we have never yet found in the work of preaching the Third Angel’s Message. I say that now the public mind is all ready for this; the matter is in their hands and before their minds; and what we need is to get hold of that matter, and make it our own, — the principle of it, I mean, — in such a way that the public mind can see the principle and in that see the truth and the righteousness of the Third Angel’s Message.GCB April 1895, page 503.2

    Now to illustrate what I mean by the statement that the principle of the separation of Church and State is not largely accepted and held by Seventh-day Adventists, while the theory of it is as a matter of fact wholly accepted: We all say that we do not believe in the union of Church and State, while over and over positions are taken and things are done which are as directly a union of Church and State as anything any of the National Reformers have ever done.GCB April 1895, page 503.3

    Why, brethren, do you not know that it is the literal truth that you cannot find a National Reformer anywhere, and scarcely a Catholic even, who will not tell you that he does not believe in “a union of Church and State”? Even the pope does not believe (?) in the union of Church and State. He has told you so in his encyclical. Yet National Reformers and Catholics, up to the pope, in every position that they take and in everything they do, directly involve and carry into effect the union of Church and State. These all have a theory of separation of Church and State; but not one of them has any idea of the principle. And in saying they “do not believe in union of Church and State,” they do not know what they are talking about. And it is a universal truth that every man who has only the theory of a thing - whether it be this or any other - will constantly violate the principle, however loudly he may profess and proclaim the theory. Nothing but the essential principles of things will ever hold a man straight, and these will do it. And now when, as never before, all manner of deceptions are to be employed against us, it is essential that we shall have such a hold upon the absolute principles of things that we shall be safely held through all. And in Jesus Christ is every divine principle. In him we find it. Our lesson is still, “In Him.”GCB April 1895, page 503.4

    Now the particular point that I want to call your attention to this afternoon turns upon the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States rendered in 1892, on the 29th day of February. The National Reformers, the Municipal Leagues, Parkhurstism, — all make this decision the basis of their actions. Catholicism, too, is fast lifting herself to the front upon all these issues that appear. Last Sunday down at Columbus, Bishop Watterson was invited by the secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association to lecture in the Association Hall Sunday afternoon on “Christian Citizenship.” The hall was crowded, and hundreds were turned away. February 22 Archbishop Ireland spoke in the Auditorium, Chicago, which was crowded, on “Christian Citizenship.” This is now the great cry of National Reformers, Catholics, Christian Endeaverors, etc. It is high time that we should find out what Christian citizenship really is, and that it is in the heavenly essence in Jesus Christ. The basis upon which all these are working “for municipal reform,” etc., and upon which they engage in political concerns as churches and church organizations, is the Supreme Court decision that “this is a Christian nation.”GCB April 1895, page 503.5

    Here is the word of the preacher-leader of that movement in Chicago:—GCB April 1895, page 504.1

    The church that has no politics in its pulpits, is in almost as sad a condition as the state that has no pulpits in its politics. Let the church exercise its holy and helpful influence in civic and municipal affairs for the glory of God and the good of humanity...GCB April 1895, page 504.2

    The duty of the church is to support all righteous reforms, and failure to do so is treason.... Christian sentiment pervades the common law of the land. The use of the Bible for legal oath, the employment of chaplains in the houses of legislature and the regiments of the army, the appointment of days of thanksgiving, the reverence for Sunday as a day of rest, are rather complimentary to the prevailing religion, than coercive upon the citizens, and have justified the finding of the Supreme Court that “The United States is a Christian nation.”GCB April 1895, page 504.3

    I know that it has been held by some, even Seventh-day Adventists, that that “Christian nation” decision is of no force at all. Well, I am not going to argue this afternoon whether it is or not. What I want you all to see is, that those people, Catholics, Protestants, and all this whole combination of Church and State, are making it of much force to themselves; and that shortly they will make it mean something to us, and will make it of force to us. Whether we believe it means anything or not makes no difference; they are making it mean much, and we shall have to meet the issue from their side of it. When they are making so much of it; when they are making it mean everything, and building all their work upon it; and when by this use of it they get the laws and the power into their hands; then they will force it upon us, and require us to obey it. Then, too, if not before, we shall learn that Supreme Court decision has some force in it. Then, too, they will have matters fixed in such a way that they will make it appear that we are the despisers of government, despisers of the supreme law, and only properly to be associated with anarchists.GCB April 1895, page 504.4

    The testimony was given long ago that we would be denounced as anarchists, and we are coming right into the time now in which that will be done, and will be done with such a show of propriety that the great masses of the people will believe it. If we do not understand our principle well enough to make the distinction so clear before all, that the Spirit of God can say to them, “That is so,” then we are not where the Lord wants us to be, nor where our calling demands that we shall be. We are to take up these principles, and hold them so firmly and so clearly, that when they are presented before courts or legislatures, wherever it may be, the Spirit of God can say to the assembled masses, “That is the truth.” Whether they yield to it or not, that is for them to say; but God does intend that we should have those principles so clearly defined that when opportunity is offered, he can by us present the truth in such a way that the Spirit of God can say to the whole mass of the people assembled, “That is the truth.”GCB April 1895, page 504.5

    Thus those people are using that decision at every possible opportunity to bring their power to bear upon the government, and they will continue to use it for all that they can make it to be worth. Therefore, I say again, even though we, every one, should hold that the Supreme Court decision was nothing of itself, and has no force at all in itself, that would not excuse us from the most diligent study of it and all the principles involved in it; because they are giving it force; they are making use of it in such a way that it will mean everything to us. Therefore, it is essential to every public worker especially that he study that decision, and the principles involved in it, and know what position we have the right to take when we shall be forced into the issue. We must know where to stand, and then stand there in spite of all that shall be done.GCB April 1895, page 504.6

    We shall be persecuted for violation of the State Sunday laws; we shall not only refuse to obey the Sunday laws, but we shall claim the right to refuse. We shall claim not simply the Christian right, but the constitutional right, to do it. But they will cite State Supreme Court decisions in support of it, that common Christianity is common law. We deny that also. Then they will cite the example of the nation in saying that Sunday is the Sabbath, in the legislative Congress. We shall deny that that is correct, and refuse to recognize it; and declare that though the nation has done it, it is unconstitutional. They will then cite the decision of “the highest judicial tribunal in the nation and in the world” — this “Christian Nation” decision - to show that it is constitutional; and then it will be our right, and it will be our duty, to deny the constitutionality of the decision. It will be our part to demonstrate that the Supreme Court decision itself is unconstitutional.GCB April 1895, page 504.7

    The doctrine is taught in the public schools throughout the land that whatever the law says, that we must do, because it is the law. It was the very doctrine of pagan Rome against Christianity, that what the law said, that was to be done because it was the law. Now unless we can present more than the mere statement, something more than the mere claim that we are Christians, and disobey the law and have the right to disobey it, — unless we can present something else than that, the authorities, both Church and State, will not only all say that we are anarchists, but will demonstrate by all that they know and all that the people know that we are anarchists, — that is, despisers of the government, simply because we choose to disregard it and the supreme law, and that we are merely setting up our rebellious will against all authority. None of this argument will be true; but to all they will make it appear true, at our expense, unless we shall show the principles.GCB April 1895, page 505.1

    And as certainly as we do get hold of the principle of it, and hold firmly to that, we can make it plain that they who are at the bottom of this thing are the despisers of government; that these are they who disregard the supreme law; that these are properly the anarchists. This is what the Lord wants us to do, not only when we are brought into court, but before that, and to all the people everywhere in preaching the Third Angel’s Message.GCB April 1895, page 505.2

    Now there is in the United States matter ready to our hand, a world of good material, upon this point which the nation cannot disregard, and the right of which they cannot deny, without repudiating the vital history of the nation itself. This principle is the right of appeal from any action of the government of the United States, or any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, upon any constitutional question. I say it again: The principle is the right of the people of the United States to appeal from any action of the government of the United States, and any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, upon any constitutional question. It is the right of the people to exercise right of appeal. It is the constitutional right of appeal. [Voice from the congregation: “Appeal to what?”] APPEAL! We need not care “to what” just now. It is the right of appeal. To what we are to appeal is not the question just now; that will follow after.GCB April 1895, page 505.3

    What we are to study now, and what every one needs to know, is the constitutional right of appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States touching any constitutional question: the right of appeal from any action of the government of the United States. That principle has been generally forgotten in the United States. This blind, treacherous teaching in the public schools has gradually forced it out. It was forgotten once by the country. A question arose and was forced upon the nation, in which that principle was laid down and demonstrated, and fixed so indelibly upon the minds of the nation that they never should have forgotten it. The time into which we are now come, and the issue in which we are involved, will make it so again that those principles will not be forgotten. It is indeed forgotten by the vast majority of people; but we should take hold of that principle, and see that the people are instructed upon it.GCB April 1895, page 505.4

    Now the experience through which the country passed, and which forced upon the country the settlement of this principle in the president of the nation, and fixed it indelibly upon the minds of the people so that the nation itself could not deny it, was the war of 1861-65. The principle involved in the war of the Rebellion was just this principle, as to whether it is the right of the people to appeal from a Supreme Court decision, or whether it must be accepted merely because it is a decision. That is the principle. And the Dred Scott decision was the one. Stephen A. Douglas was the chief among those who maintained the principle that what the court had decided, settled the question, and nobody had any right to ask any further questions upon the subject; that that was the end of it, because it was decided. Abraham Lincoln was the one who woke up the people upon the principle, and maintained the principle, of the right of the people to appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon any constitutional question. But it is forgotten again through this insidious teaching, diligently supported by the indorsement of the National Reformers and the Catholics. And it will ever be their chief work to see to it that the people shall be kept blind to this right, and that the principle shall forever be forgotten.GCB April 1895, page 506.1

    But the place to which we are brought drives us directly upon that ground. Now the question is: Shall we take this material that is at hand, and become so familiar with it that when we are brought into this place, we can stand there and demonstrate to all the world that we are not anarchists, and that they are the ones that are disregarding the law, while we can boldly stand before the universe as the ones who are right?GCB April 1895, page 506.2

    Abraham Lincoln was called an anarchist for holding that principle before, and so shall we be for holding to it now. He was denounced as an enemy of the country, a subverter of the laws of the government, in maintaining this principle then; and we shall be denounced as the same in maintaining it now. I will read a passage in which this was said. Stephen A. Douglas said this about him, and all those who were with him. I read from this little book which I have, “Lincoln’s Speeches,” page 146, — and, by the way, I propose that the International Religious Liberty Association shall put this material, the vital part of it, into book form, so that all of us can have it.GCB April 1895, page 506.3

    The courts are the tribunal prescribed by the Constitution, and created by the authority of the people to determine, expound, and enforce the law. Hence, whoever resists the final decision of the highest judicial tribunal [That is what we shall be accused of in a little while. Those same arguments will be presented about ourselves.] aims a deadly blow at our whole republican system of government - a blow, which, if successful, would place all our rights and liberties at the mercy of passion, anarchy, and violence. I repeat, therefore, that if resistance to the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in a matter like the points decided in the Dred Scott case, clearly within their jurisdiction as defined by the Constitution, shall be forced upon the country as a political issue, it will become a distinct and naked issue between the friends and the enemies of the Constitution - the friends and the enemies of the supremacy of the laws.GCB April 1895, page 506.4

    Abraham Lincoln, of course, had to defend himself against the charge of “anarchy” and being “the enemy of the government,” the “enemy of the Constitution,” and of the “supremacy of the laws;” and he did it. He did it in words and arguments in which the nation itself sustained him. And the nation endorsed his position, which was: The right of the people to appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, on all constitutional questions.GCB April 1895, page 506.5

    Now the Dred Scott decision and the “Christian nation decision” are as like as two peas. Any one can take the two decisions, and read portions from both, and make the parallel; sometimes the wording between the two decisions is exactly the same. The principle of the Dred Scott decision was logically to establish a civil despotism over the whole land; the only use that has ever been made of the “Christian nation” decision on the side of those who favor it is to establish a religious despotism over this whole nation, and through this, over the whole of the earth. Lincoln laid down this definition:—GCB April 1895, page 506.6

    When the white man governs himself, that is self-government. But when he governs himself, and also another man, that is more than self-government; that is despotism.GCB April 1895, page 506.7

    Our position is exactly parallel. We say forever: If a man chooses to be religious for himself, that is religious freedom. But when he chooses to be religious for himself and another man too, that is less than religious freedom; that is religious despotism. Also among other things which Lincoln said to them back there, was that they had to fight that battle upon principle, and upon principle alone; and that is also our position exactly. I read, pages 196 and 197:—GCB April 1895, page 506.8

    We have to fight this battle upon principle, and upon principle alone. So I hope those with whom I am surrounded have principle enough to nerve themselves for the task, and leave nothing undone that can fairly be done to bring about the right results.GCB April 1895, page 506.9

    That is present truth to-day. We can say that of our position. We have to fight this contest of ours upon principle, and upon principle alone; and I hope that those with whom I am surrounded have principle enough to nerve themselves for the task, and leave nothing undone which can be fairly done to bring about the right result. And unless we do have the principle clearly defined, we will do things that cannot be fairly done to bring about the right results, or else not do things that ought fairly to be done to bring it about.GCB April 1895, page 506.10

    The fact is, brethren, we are coming now into a closer place than we have ever been yet, and it is not long until we shall be indeed in it; and these things need to be known by every one of us. This principal of the right of appeal; these things that the country did, and which the country sustained; these things by which the nation established a precedent; - these things form an argument that the country itself cannot go back on, — an argument which no judge in any United States court could go back on, which no officer of the United States could go back on, without repudiating the very thing that once was demonstrated to be the life of the nation.GCB April 1895, page 506.11

    I repeat, though, that this has been forgotten, and those who desire to press their religion upon others desire that it should be forgotten; and they will do all they possibly can to keep it secret, to keep the people blinded to it, that it shall remain forgotten. But those who love freedom instead of power are to lift up the principle once more, and are to wake up the people upon the principle.GCB April 1895, page 507.1

    Now I am not saying in this that we are called upon to enter upon a political campaign, or have anything to do with politics in any sense of the word. I mean simply that we shall preach the straightforward Third Angel’s Message, and you will find when you do get into that field and the time comes when we should apply this principle, if we have the principle abiding in the heart and in the life, you will see the Third Angel’s Message more clearly, and in a broader and more splendid light, than you have ever yet seen it in your life. I would like Brother Holser to tell us a little experience on that.GCB April 1895, page 507.2

    [Elder Holser speaks: I am glad to speak of our experience, because it did us good, and I believe it will do others good, and doubtless some can profit by our experience. Before this we thought we believed the message, but when the test came upon us, we found that we did not understand the message as well as we thought we did. The large majority were ready to compromise our position. I speak of this more freely now because a change has taken place, so it will not appear to be reproaching any of my brethren there. But when the test really came, the large majority were on the wrong side of the question, and they thought all the time they were on the right side. We first made a decision on the question, and as I understand the matter, it was right; but on going on in this way, difficulties came upon us from the authorities, and we were threatened with the law. Hereupon a meeting was called, and they prayed over the matter, and in praying some of the brethren said light came in, and it was, in a word, “Cease work on Sunday.” And they were anxious for me to return, that they might tell me about the light, thinking I would see it in the same way. It is a fact that when we are willing to compromise, we can always find a way. All did not reach this conclusion, but many did, and their principle reason for it was this: “This is a factory law, made in the interests of the laboring classes, and not in the interests of religion; so we will stop our work in the factory on Sunday, and labor at home or elsewhere.” Another reason was, “This is a factory law, and made for the good of humanity. If we take our stand against it, it will place us in a bad light; it will be against our work instead of for its best interests.” Further they said: “The fines will only continue and grow heavier, the property will be taken, and the hands will be thrown out of employment, etc., etc.” But the chief reason was that “we could work anyway, the law not prohibiting our work except in the factory.”GCB April 1895, page 507.3

    I was in Turkey at this time, and on my return, the first question was, “Will you pay the fine? and what shall we do for the future?” That opened the whole question anew, and it was discussed quite fully. Of course, we said we could not pay the fine, for that would be consenting to the justice of it. But some said, “You can pay it without consenting to it; you are condemned to pay it; if you do not pay it, it will be taken by force, and there will be additional expense. The best way is to get out of it as cheaply as you can.” But we did not see that it could be worked in that way. We argued that if we should pay it, by that act we should consent to it. We could not even pay it unwillingly. It would be acting very much on the same principle as some who are convinced that they should keep the Sabbath, but do not; they say that all day their hearts are not in their work, but on the Sabbath. They would like to keep it, etc. Can any one keep the Sabbath in this way? — Certainly not. Is it not the same if we should pay the fine, protesting against it at the same time? — No, we cannot yield even that much in the matter. We must know what our ground is, what our rights and duties are before God, and not yield a hair’s breadth in the matter. (Many voices: “Amen.”) That being the case, we could not pay a single cent of the fine, though it might cost us more; that is none of our business.GCB April 1895, page 507.4

    Although it was not the intention directly of those who made the factory law to exalt Sunday, there was a master mind behind it all, and that was to prepare something that would deceive the people, and especially us.GCB April 1895, page 508.1

    And also I would say that when we really did study into this subject, as we were thus obliged to, the subject as it is in the Bible stood out in a much broader and clearer light, also other subjects; and, in short, the whole Third Angel’s Message became much more to us than it had ever been before.]GCB April 1895, page 508.2

    The point that I desire especially to call your attention to is, that although the brethren had thought they understood the message, and had preached it, when the real test came, they found that they did not understand the message as well as they thought they did. And then when they did really search into it till they found it, it made the message more to them than they had ever supposed it to be. This will show something of the necessity of our studying these things more carefully, in order to be able to stand when the test comes to us.GCB April 1895, page 508.3

    Now I have a little more to say on that line, as this is a subject on which I have said comparatively nothing. Dred Scott had sued for his liberty in the United States Court, and the court decided against him, and thus announced a principle. I will read you what Lincoln said as to what it did. Page 285, “Lincoln and Douglas Debates“:—GCB April 1895, page 508.4

    That decision lays down principles which, if pushed to their logical conclusion - I say pushed to their logical conclusion - would decide that the constitutions of free States, forbidding slavery, are themselves unconstitutional.GCB April 1895, page 508.5

    And mark me, because this is just as true of the “Christian nation” decision as it is of that one; and what he says here of the Dred Scott decision, is all that I ever said, and is precisely what I said, of the “Christian nation” decision, long before I ever saw this. I read on:—GCB April 1895, page 508.6

    Mark me, I do not say that the judges said this, and let no man say [that] I affirm the judges used these words; but I only say, It is my opinion that what they did say, if pressed to its logical conclusion, will inevitably result thus.GCB April 1895, page 508.7

    And he points out that there were many in the land who were ready to push it, too, to its logical conclusion. So I will read a word from that further, that you may see that he saw what the outcome would be, and how he understood it. Pages 297,298:—GCB April 1895, page 508.8

    Take it just as it stands, and apply it as a principle. Extend and apply that principle elsewhere, and see where it will lead you.GCB April 1895, page 508.9

    Then he says:—GCB April 1895, page 508.10

    “If this principle is established, when this is done, where this doctrine prevails, the miners and sappers will have formed public opinion for the slave trade. They will be ready for Jeff. Davis and Stephens, and other leaders of that company, to sound the bugle for the revival of the slave trade, for the second Dred Scott decision, for the flood of slavery to be poured over the free States, while we shall be here tied down and helpless, and run over like sheep.GCB April 1895, page 508.11

    Now I can read that with the “Christian nation” decision in the place of the Dred Scott decision. Listen: Those principles, if pushed to their logical conclusion, — I say pushed to their logical conclusion, — would decide that constitutions of other States forbidding the establishment of religion are themselves unconstitutional. Mark me, I do not say the judges said this, and let no man say that I affirm that the judge used these words. I only say that it is my opinion that what they did say in the Christian nation decision, if pressed to its logical conclusion, — and the National Reformers and Catholics are determined to push that to its logical conclusion, — would inevitably result in a religious despotism spread over all these States. Take it just as it stands, and apply it as a principle. Extend and apply that principle elsewhere, and see where it will lead you. I say if this principle is established, when this is done, where this doctrine prevails the miners and sappers will have formed public opinion for a religious despotism; and they will be ready for Crafts, and Cook, and Gibbons, and Ireland, and George, and other leaders of that Company, to sound the bugle for the revival of the laws enforcing religious dogmas, for the second Christian nation decision, for that religious despotism to be brought over these free States, while we, — we Seventh-day Adventists, — shall be here tied down and helpless, and run over like sheep.GCB April 1895, page 508.12

    Now God has put this material into our hands, and he will put the spirit into our hearts if we will let him, by which we shall not be tied down, by which we shall not allow ourselves to be made helpless, and by which we will not be run over like sheep. See what he says a little further:—GCB April 1895, page 509.1

    Now if you are opposed to slavery, honestly, as much as anybody, I ask you to note that fact, and the lack of which is to follow, to be plastered on, layer after layer, until very soon prepared to deal with the negro everywhere as with the brutes. If public sentiment has not been debouched already to this point, a new turn of the screw in that direction is all that is wanting; and this is constantly being done by this popular sovereignty. You need but one or two turns further, until your minds, now ripening under these teachings, will be ready for all these things, and you will receive and support, or submit to, the slave trade revived with all its horrors, the slave code enforced in our territories, and a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery up into the very heart of the free North.GCB April 1895, page 509.2

    Now let me read it with the Christian nation decision: Now if you are opposed to a religious despotism honestly, as much as anybody, then I ask you to notice what is being plastered on, layer after layer, until very soon you are prepared to deal with religion and the rights of conscience as with brutes. If public sentiment has not been debouched already to that point, a new turn of the screw in that direction is all that is wanting; and that is constantly being done by this insidious “Christian citizenship” doctrine. [Is not that before our eyes constantly being done by the teaching of this insidious Christian citizenship stuff?] You need but one or two turns further until your minds, now ripening under these teachings, will be ready for all these things, and you will receive and support, or submit to, a religious despotism revived with all its horrors, and enforced in our territory, and a new “Christian nation” decision to bring it into the very hearts of all the States everywhere.GCB April 1895, page 509.3

    That is where we are.GCB April 1895, page 509.4

    Let me call your attention to another thing. There has been a revival in the last year as never before, of literature - history, biography, etc. — relating to the two men, Napoleon and Lincoln. For more than a year these two men have been kept before the public mind of the whole world. The past year or more the newspapers even, as well as the magazines and books, have been glorifying Napoleon, and keeping him constantly before the people. And this is that spirit of militarism that has spread everywhere, and is even forcing itself into the public schools, Sunday-schools, and churches.GCB April 1895, page 509.5

    On the other hand, there has been as never before, parallel with this Napoleonism, a revival of Lincoln and his times, Lincoln speeches, lives of Lincoln, etc., scattered all over the land. And this is the counteracting spirit of liberty and the rights of the people.GCB April 1895, page 509.6

    And thus God has prepared the public mind for these very things which, in the Third Message, he has given to us for the world. O, if we had only taken that Supreme Court decision when it came forth to us! The whole nation was prepared right upon that one issue for the Third Angel’s Message, and God had opened and prepared the minds of the public so that through that issue we could have reached men, as nothing else would have enabled us to reach them, with the Third Angel’s Message. That is the very thing that their minds had been turned to all this time. And yet, all this very time, these two years or more we have let slip, and it is a dead loss; and even now instead of being ready, we have got to begin the study of it. Why should those things have been neglected? Why should we pass all this time by, when the Lord had so fully prepared it? Haven’t we lost time? Shall we lose any more time? — That is the question.GCB April 1895, page 509.7

    Let me read you what he says about who to appeal to. That is the question, — appeal to what? Page 101, Lincoln and Douglas. Lincoln appealed to the people, and so can we - not to courts or governments, but appeal to the people. And we are the people. But here is the principle he proposed. He did not expect that thing to be reversed as it was by the war; he did not expect it to come in his day at all. He intended right principle to grow, until every court in the land would be ashamed to support the Dred Scott decision as a political or judicial ruling, and he stated it this way:—GCB April 1895, page 509.8

    With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who molds public sentiment -GCB April 1895, page 509.9

    What is Christianity in the world for? — To create right opinion; to implant right principles, and spread them abroad in the hearts of men; and then let the public sentiment shape itself as it may.GCB April 1895, page 509.10

    Christianity has nothing to do with shaping it. It is to create it.GCB April 1895, page 510.1

    He who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.GCB April 1895, page 510.2

    Then who occupies the highest position? We, the people, the free man, — the free Christian man, occupies a higher position than the chief justice of the United States, or the president of the United States. Then think of asking a Christian to come down from that high office where God has put him, and run for the office of justice of the peace or congressman! What kind of idea can one have of a Christian’s position, to think he would stoop to such a thing as to accept a political office.GCB April 1895, page 510.3

    And I am just as well satisfied as I am that to-morrow is coming, that if every Seventh-day Adventist preacher had taken up the “Christian nation” decision, and treated it upon these principles, we could have created such a public opinion that the National Reformers would have been forced again to work for a constitutional amendment. They would have been ashamed to plead that this is a Christian nation, because public opinion could have been so broadened and awakened as to have seen the iniquity of the thing. Yes, sir; we could have done it; God would have given the power to do it, and it is our fault that we have lost the time, and frittered away the glorious opportunity he gave us to do it.GCB April 1895, page 510.4

    I do not say that it is too late yet. I really believe that if every Seventh-day Adventist preacher would rise up with these principles in his heart and in his life, I am not sure that the National Reformers would not even yet have to call for a constitutional amendment. But with the public mind already molded in their favor, and nobody calling the attention of anybody to this, they do not need a constitutional amendment. They can go along little by little, layer after layer, as they intended to back there, and then when they have all they want, we and all the people will be helpless, and tied down, and at the last, run over like sheep. May the Lord wake us up, and save us from it.GCB April 1895, page 510.5

    We have lost a good deal of time, that is true; but I do not say it is too late. There will be times, it is true, when they will not listen to it; there were times when they would not listen to Abraham Lincoln. There was a time when they would not listen to him in his own home town. Once an announcement was made that he was going to make a speech on this subject. His law partner hired a band to play in the streets, great posters announced the meeting, the bells were rung; but when they had come to the meeting, not a soul came. His law partner was there, and the janitor had to be there. Yet Lincoln made a speech. And the reason that he made a speech was because he knew the principle which he was preaching was divine, and was certain to win, whether the people would hear or forbear. And when nobody would come at all, he would make a speech any way.GCB April 1895, page 510.6

    We are to find our principle, and be wedded to it just like that. A personal friend, a preacher, once asked Lincoln how he could stand it to be of such good cheer and go on as he did, when everybody was against him, and nobody seemed to care what he was doing. His answer was: “If there is one thing more than another that convinces me that the human is allied to the divine, it is the power to stand for a principle when the whole world forsakes me.” That is just where we are to stand, every one for himself; we should be so wedded to principle, have it so clearly in the mind, let it have such a hold upon the heart, that we shall stand for that principle, though the whole world may be against us. Now that speech:—GCB April 1895, page 510.7

    GENTLEMEN: This meeting is larger than I knew it would be, as I knew Herndon and myself would come; but I did not know that any one else would be here: and yet another has come - you. John Payne, the janitor.GCB April 1895, page 510.8

    Now we are not sure that John Payne really went to the meeting. Being the janitor, he had to be there, of course; but, brethren, there is a man’s name immortalized by the mere fact of his being there. People may refuse to hear us, but the day is coming when they would be glad to hear us, if we shall find our bearings as he found his, and know the principle as he knew his. Now the speech itself: that was only the introduction:—GCB April 1895, page 510.9

    These are bad times, and seem out of joint.GCB April 1895, page 510.10

    That is present truth. This is my speech this afternoon, brethren. It is the close of my speech.GCB April 1895, page 510.11

    These are bad times, and seem out of joint. All seems dead, dead, dead; but the age is not yet dead: it liveth, as sure as our Maker liveth. Under all this seeming want of life and motion, the world does move nevertheless. Be hopeful. And now let us adjourn and appeal to the people.GCB April 1895, page 510.12

    Yes, sir; there was a man that knew where he stood, and knew why he stood there. He would appeal to the people, if there were no people in the universe that would listen to his appeal. That is the message; these are the things that God has put into our hands; shall we take them and send them? It will require study, that is so; but what are we here for but for that? It will require hard work, but it is worth it all. The mere value that we will get out of this for ourselves, will be worth all that it will require to get it. Those words with the power of God accompanying them will be overwhelming worth all that it will cost. So “now let us adjourn, and appeal to the people.”GCB April 1895, page 511.1

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