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    Mr. Corliss—Mr. Jones has been called here by myself as pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church here in Washington. I have called that church together, and, by a rising vote, they have requested Mr. Jones to appear here on their behalf. Mr. A. T. Jones, of New York City, editor of the American Sentinel.ABSB 25.8

    Mr. Jones—MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: I shall devote most of my remarks to the subject which was made so much of by the gentleman who spoke last on the other side (Mr. Crafts), namely, the Seventh-day Adventists, and their opposition to this legislation. But first I will notice the point made in regard to “men being forced to labor on Sunday.”ABSB 25.9

    He asked Mr. Corliss to read more, and as I have here a much larger book than that from which Mr. Corliss read, I can read more than he could have done, and I am happy to comply with the gentleman’s request for more of his own evidence on this point.ABSB 26.1

    The Chairman—What is the title of the book?ABSB 26.2

    Mr. Jones—The book is entitled, “The Sabbath for Man,” and is written by Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts. In the place where I now read, the author is giving proofs in illustration of the fact that no man ever loses anything by refusing to work on Sunday. Here Mr. Crafts says:—ABSB 26.3

    “I will add another, as told by the Hon. Wm. E. Dodge in an address on the sabbath: I had, as a teacher in my Sunday-school, a man who for many years ran the morning express on the New York and New Haven road. One winter morning, as he came into Sunday-school, he said to me, “Mr. Dodge, I suppose I have lost my position on the road.” I said, “What has happened?” for I knew he was in all respects a first-class man, receiving the very highest wages, and had never met with any serious accident. Said he: “The superintendent sent for me early this morning to get out my engine to open the road, as there had fallen a deep snow during the night. I sent word that on any other day I was ready to do any extra work, but I could not come on the sabbath. Before I had finished my breakfast, peremptory orders came for me to come at once and get out my engine. I replied that I was going to my Sabbath-school, and could not come; and I presume I shall get my discharge to-morrow.” I said: “Go early in the morning to the superintendent, and say that although you are only engaged to run the express train, yet at any time, day or night, if anything special should happen, you would be ready to do what you could for the company, but cannot work on Sunday. And if you are dismissed, I will secure you a first-rate position on a road in which l am interested, that never runs on Sunday.” The next Sabbath he told me that he began to speak to the superintendent, but he stopped him, and said “I respect your position, and you shall never be called on for Sunday work again.” ” ’ABSB 26.4

    Now what is necessary in cases of this kind? All that is requisite to their success is enough love for the right to lead them to refuse to do that which they believe to be wrong. Now there is enough virtue in Jesus Christ, and enough power in that virtue, to enable a man to do right in the face of all the opportunities and all the temptations to do wrong that there are in this world. That virtue and that power are freely given to every man who has faith in Him who brought it to the world. Why, then, do not these men, these professed ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ,—why do they not endeavor to cultivate in men that faith in Christ which will empower them to do right from the love of it, instead of coming up here to this capitol, and asking you gentlemen of the National Legislature to help men to do what they think right by taking away the opportunity to do what they think to be wrong. Virtue can’t be legislated into men.ABSB 27.1

    But there is yet more of this. I read now from the same book, page 428—ABSB 27.2

    “Among other printed questions to which I have collected numerous answers, was this one: ‘Do you know of any instance where a Christian’s refusing to do Sunday work, or Sunday trading, has resulted in his financial ruin?’ Of the two hundred answers from persons representing all trades and professions, not one is affirmative.”ABSB 27.3

    Then what help do the people need? And especially what help do they need that Congress can afford? Wherein is anybody being “forced to labor on Sunday”? Where is there any danger of anybody’s being forced to labor on Sunday? Ah, gentlemen, this effort is not in behalf of the laboring men. They do not need it. By Mr. Crafts’ own published documents it is demonstrated that they do not need any such help as is proposed in this bill. That claim is only a pretense under which those who are working for the bill would hide their real purpose. And just here I would answer a question that has been asked, in which there is conveyed a charge that we have no sympathy with the workingmen. It has been asked, “Why is it that you—the American Sentinel—have no words to say in favor of the law to assure the workingman his Sunday rest, but instead oppose those who are in favor of it?” I answer, It is because we have more respect for the workingmen of this country than to think of them that they are so lacking in manliness, and have so little courage and ability to take care of themselves, that it is necessary for the government to take charge of them, and nurse and coddle them like a set of grown-up babies. And therefore it is in the interest of manliness and courageous self-dependence that we object to the church managers coming to the National Legislature to secure a law under such a plea as this, whose only effect would be to make grown-up babies of what should be manly men. We have respect for the laboring men in this matter, and we want them all to have the respect of their employers. Therefore, we would ever encourage and help them to stand so courageously by their convictions of right and duty, as that to each one his employer may be led to say, as did this railroad superintendent to that engineer. “I respect your position, and you shall never be called on for Sunday work again.”ABSB 28.1

    But there is more of this wanted, and I read on from the same page:—ABSB 29.1

    “A Western editor thinks that a Christian whose refusal to do Sunday work had resulted in his financial ruin, would be as great a curiosity as ‘the missing link.’ There are instances in which men have lost places by refusing to do Sunday work, but they have usually found other places as good or better. With some there has been temporary self-sacrifice, but ultimate betterment. David said that he had never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. I have, but I never knew a case, nor can I find one in any quarter of the globe, where even beggary, much less starvation, has resulted from courageous and conscientious fidelity to the Sabbath.”ABSB 29.2

    Then why does he not go to cultivating that kind of courageous conscientiousness, instead of asking Congress to take away from men all opportunity to exercise either courage or conscience? But I read more:—ABSB 29.3

    “Even in India, where most of the business community is heathen, missionaries testify that loyalty to the sabbath in the end brings no worldly loss. On the other hand, incidents have come to me by the score of those who have gained, even in their worldly prosperity, by daring to do right in the matter of Sunday work.”ABSB 29.4

    [Turning to Mr. Crafts] Have I read enough?ABSB 30.1

    Gentlemen of the committee, if evidence can prove anything, then the evidence which I have here read not from an opponent, but from the chiefest factor in the movement in favor of this bill—proves to a demonstration that the object of this bill, as defined in the title, and as pleaded here to-day, is absolutely unnecessary and vain. This evidence proves to a demonstration that nobody in this District, nor in the United States, nor in the world around, is being forced to labor on Sunday. Not only this, but it demonstrates that there is not the slightest danger of anybody in this nation ever being forced to labor on Sunday; because actual “gain” and “worldly prosperity” lie in the refusal to work on Sunday, and it is certain that in this land everybody is free to refuse. This evidence also, coming from the source whence it does come, demonstrates that the title of the bill does not define its real object, but is only a pretense to cover that which is the real purpose—to secure and enforce by law the religious observance of the day.ABSB 30.2

    Now, as to Sunday in, the Constitution, will the gentleman who has just spoken on the opposite side, or will any of these gentlemen, insist that the phrase “Sundays excepted” in the Constitution bears the same relation to the President as they by this bill would make the Sunday bear to the people of the District of Columbia? Is there any inhibition in it? Is the President forbidden by it to perform any secular labor or business on that day? Cannot the President go a-fishing, or do anything on that day, and that, too, without any inhibition whatever by the Constitution? Does that phrase in the Constitution mean anything else than simply the recognition of the legal dies non? That is just what it is, and that is all that it is. And against this we have not a word to say in itself; but when it is proposed to take this mere legal no-day and stretch it into the creation of a precedent that will sanction an act of Congress prohibiting everybody from doing any manner of work, labor, or business pertaining to this world, on Sunday—then we most decidedly protest. If these men are ready to go so far as that in the construction and use of a mere non-committal phrase, what would they not do under the authority of the specific words of a sweeping statute?ABSB 30.3

    But Mr. Elliot—Rev. J. H.—says Sunday laws have been sustained as constitutional by the Supreme Courts of the States. True enough. But what does that amount to in a question as to the laws of Congress? I would like by some means, if possible, to get into the minds of these men who are supporting Sunday laws, the fact that the decisions of the Supreme Courts of the States has no bearing upon a national question. Let them bring a decision of a national case. There is no such case, and no such decision, for the simple reason that no such statute has ever been enacted by Congress, because it is forbidden by the Constitution. Therefore such a question has never come within the province of the United States Supreme Court. And every one of the decisions of the States, in reference to this question, have been rendered upon the basis of religion. Mr. Elliott—Rev. George—cited here to-day the decisions of the Supreme Courts of New York and Pennsylvania. I am glad he did, because both these decisions sustain the constitutionality of the Sunday laws upon the basis of Christianity as the common law, which clearly shows that religion is the basis upon which rest Sunday laws and the decisions which sustain them. All the original thirteen States were formerly the thirteen Colonies, and every one of these Colonies had an established religion, and therefore Sunday laws, as is proved by the old Maryland statute of 1723, cited here to-day, which is now the Sunday law of the District of Columbia. Thus the original thirteen States had Sunday laws, and this is how they got them. The younger States have followed these in Sunday legislation; and as the Supreme Courts of the original thirteen States have held such laws to be constitutional, the Supreme Courts of the younger States, from these, have held so also.ABSB 31.1

    But the United States Government has no religion and never had any. It is forbidden in the Constitution. Therefore I say, We should like, if it were possible to get these men to understand that though the Supreme Courts of the States have declared Sunday laws to be valid under the constitutions of those States, such decisions can have no bearing whatever upon Sunday laws under the Constitution of the United States.ABSB 32.1

    Mr. Grout—Will you quote that part of the Constitution to which you refer?ABSB 32.2

    Mr. Jones—“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”ABSB 32.3

    Congress can make no law upon the subject of religion without interfering with the free exercise thereof. Therefore the Seventh-day Adventists, while observing Saturday, would most strenuously oppose any legislation proposing to enforce the observance of that day. That would be an interference with the free exercise of our right to keep that day as the Sabbath. For we already have that right—ABSB 33.1

    The Chairman—Would this law take away your right to observe the Sabbath?ABSB 33.2

    Mr. Jones—Yes, sir. I was about to prove that it does interfere with the free exercise of our right to observe it; and having done that, I will prove that this bill does distinctly contemplate the taking away of the right to observe it.ABSB 33.3

    First, as to its interference with the free exercise of our right to observe the Sabbath. I take it that no one here will deny that now, at least, we, as citizens of the United States, have the constitutional right to observe Saturday as the Sabbath, or not to observe it, as we please. This right we already have as citizens of the United States. As we already have it by the Constitution, their proposal to give it to us is only a concealed attempt to deprive us of it altogether. For if we consent to their right of their power to grant it, the power to grant carries with it the power to withhold. In consenting to the one we consent to the other. And as the granting of it is, as I shall prove, for a purpose, and for a price, the withdrawing of it will surely follow just as soon as the purpose of it is accomplished, and especially if the price of it is not fully and promptly paid.ABSB 33.4

    Now this bill positively requires that whosoever does not observe Sunday shall “conscientiously believe in and observe” another day of the week. We do not keep Sunday. The bill does, therefore, distinctly require that we shall conscientiously believe in and observe another day. We maintain that we have the constitutional right to rest on Saturday or any other day, whether we do it conscientiously or not, or whether we conscientiously believe in it or not. Haven’t we? Congress has no constitutional power or right to require anybody to “conscientiously believe in” anything, or to “conscientiously observe” anything.ABSB 34.1

    But when it is required, as is proposed in this bill, who is to decide whether we conscientiously believe in it or not? Who is to decide whether the observance is conscientious or not? That has already been declared in those State Sunday laws and decisions which have been referred to here to-day as examples for you to follow. It is that the burden of proof rests upon him who makes the claim of conscience, and the proof must be such as will satisfy the court. Thus this bill does propose to subject to the control of courts and juries our conscientious convictions, our conscientious beliefs, and our conscientious observances. Under this law, therefore, we would no longer be free to keep the Sabbath according to the dictates of our own consciences, but could keep it only according to the dictates of the courts. Gentlemen, it is not enough to say that that would be an interference with the free exercise of our right to keep the Sabbath; it would be an absolute subversion of our right so to do.ABSB 34.2

    Nor is it for ourselves only that we plead. We are not the only ones who will be affected by this law. It is not our rights of conscience only that will be subverted, but the rights of conscience of everybody—of those who keep Sunday as well as those who keep Saturday—of those who are in favor of the law as well as those of us who oppose the law. When the law requires that those who do not observe Sunday shall conscientiously believe in and observe another day, by that it is conclusively shown that it is the conscientious belief in, and observance of, Sunday itself that is required and enforced by this law. That is, the law requires that everybody shall conscientiously believe in and observe some day. But every man has the constitutional right to conscientiously believe in and observe a day or not as he pleases. He has just as much right not to do it as he has to do it. And the Legislature invades the freedom of religious worship when it assumes the power to compel a man conscientiously or religiously to do that which he has the right to omit if he pleases. The principle is the same whether the act compels us to do that which we wish to do, or whether it compels us to do that which we do not wish to do. The compulsory power does not exist in either case. In either case the State assumes control of the rights of conscience; and the freedom of every man to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience is gone, and thenceforth all are required to worship according to the dictates of the State.ABSB 35.1

    Therefore in opposing this bill, and all similar measures, we are advocating the rights of conscience of all the people. We are not only pleading for our own right to keep the Sabbath according to the dictates of our own consciences, but we are also pleading for their right to keep Sunday according to the dictates of their own consciences. We are not only pleading that we, but that they also, in conscientious beliefs and observances, may be free from the interference and dictation of the State. And in so pleading we are only asserting the doctrine of the National Constitution. In the history of the formation of the Constitution, Mr. Bancroft says that the American Constitution “withheld from the Federal government the power to invade the home of reason, the citadel of conscience, the sanctuary of the soul.” Let the American Constitution be respected.ABSB 35.2

    Now to the point that this bill, through its promoters, does distinctly contemplate the taking away of the right to observe the Sabbath. I read from the bill the exemption that is proposed:—ABSB 36.1

    “This act shall not be construed to apply to any person or persons who conscientiously believe in and observe any other day of the week than Sunday, as a day of rest.”ABSB 36.2

    Now why is that clause put in the bill? The intention of the law-maker is the law. If, therefore, we can find out why this was inserted, we can know what the object of it is. During the past year Mr. Crafts has advertised all over this country from Boston to San Francisco, and back again, and has repeated it to this committee this morning, that the Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Baptists are the strongest opponents of Sunday laws that there are in this country, and that they are doing more than all others combined to destroy respect for Sunday observance. All this, and yet these are the very persons whom he proposes to exempt from the provisions of the law, which is expressly to secure the observance of Sunday!ABSB 36.3

    Why, then, does he propose to exempt these? Is it out of respect for them, or a desire to help them in their good work?—Not much. It is hoped by this to check their opposition until Congress is committed to the legislation.ABSB 37.1

    How do we know this?—We know it by their own words. The lady who spoke here this morning as the representative of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union—Mrs. Catlin—said in this city, “We have given them an exemption clause, and that, we think, will take the wind out of their sails.” Well, if our sails were dependent upon legislative enactments, and must needs be trimmed to political breezes, such a squall as this might take the wind out of them. But so long as they are dependent alone upon the power of God, wafted by the gentle influences of the grace of Jesus Christ, such squalls become only prospering gales to speed us on our way.ABSB 37.2

    By this, gentlemen, you see just what is the object of that proposed exemption—that it is only to check our opposition, until they secure the enactment of the law, and that they may do this the easier. Then when Congress shall have been committed to the legislation, it can repeal the exemption upon demand, and then the advocates of the Sunday law will have exactly what they want. I am not talking at random here. I have the proofs of what I am saying. They expect a return for this exemption. It is not extended as a guaranteed right, but as a favor that we can have if we will only pay them their own stated price for it. As a proof of this I read again from Mr. Crafts’ book, page 262:—ABSB 37.3

    “The tendency of legislatures and executive officers toward those who claim to keep a Saturday-Sabbath is to over-leniency rather than to over-strictness.”ABSB 38.1

    And in the convention held in this city only about three weeks ago—January 30, 31—Mr. Crafts said that this exemption is “generous to a fault,” and that “if there is any fault in the bill it is its being too generous” to the Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Baptists. But I read on:—ABSB 38.2

    “For instance, the laws of Rhode Island allow the Seventh-day Baptists, by special exception, to carry on public industries on the first day of the week in Hopkinton and Westerly, in each of which places they form about one-fourth of the population. This local-option method of sabbath legislation after the fashion of Rhode Island or Louisiana, if generally adopted, would make not only each State, but the nation also, a town heap, some places having two half sabbaths, as at Westerly, some having no sabbath at all, as at New Orleans, to the great confusion and injury of interstate commerce and even of local industry. Infinitely less harm is done by the usual policy, the only constitutional or sensible one, to let the insignificantly small minority of less than one in a hundred, whose religious convictions require them to rest on Saturday (unless their work is of a private character such as the law allows them to do on Sunday), suffer the loss of one day’s wages rather than have the other ninety-nine suffer by the wrecking of their sabbath by the public business.”ABSB 38.3

    Why then do they offer this “special exception”? Why do they voluntarily do that which they themselves pronounce neither constitutional nor sensible?—It is for a purpose.ABSB 39.1

    Again I read, and here is the point to which I wish especially to call the attention of the committee. It shows that they intend we shall pay for the exemption which they so over-generously offer.ABSB 39.2

    “Instead of reciprocating the generosity shown toward them by the makers of Sabbath laws, these seventh-day Christians expend a very large part of their energy in antagonizing such laws, seeking, by the free distribution of tracts and papers, to secure their repeal or neglect.”ABSB 39.3

    Exactly! That is the price which we are expected to pay for this generous exemption. We are to stop the distribution of tracts and papers which antagonize Sunday laws. We are to stop spending our energy in opposition to their efforts to promote Sunday observance. We are to stop telling the people that the Bible says “the seventh day is the Sabbath,” and that Sunday is not the Sabbath.ABSB 39.4

    But have we not the right to teach the people that “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,” even as the Bible says, and that only the keeping of that day is the keeping of the Sabbath according to the commandment? Have we not the right to do this? Have we not the right to tell the people that there is no scriptural authority for keeping Sunday, the first day of the week? Why, some of these gentlemen themselves say that. Mr. Elliott here—Rev. George—confesses “the complete silence of the New Testament, so far as any explicit command for the Sabbath, or definite rules for its observance, are concerned.” Many others speak to the same effect. Have we not as much right to tell this to the people as they have? They do not agree among themselves upon the obligations of Sabbath-keeping, nor upon the basis of Sunday laws. In every one of their conventions one speaks one way and another in another and contradictory way. Have we not as much right to disagree with them as they have to disagree with one another? Why is it then that they want to stop our speaking these things, unless it is that we tell the truth?ABSB 39.5

    More than this, have we not the constitutional right freely to speak all this, and also freely to distribute tracts and papers in opposition to Sunday laws and Sunday sacredness? Does not the Constitution declare that “the freedom of speech, or of the press,” shall not be abridged? Then when these men pro-pose that we shall render such a return for that exemption, they do propose an invasion of the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of speech and of the press. Why, gentlemen, this question of Sunday laws is a good deal larger question than half the people ever dreamed of.ABSB 40.1

    Now to show you that I am not drawing this point too fine, I wish to read another extract from a doctor of divinity in California. With reference to this specific question, he said:—ABSB 40.2

    “Most of the States make provision for the exercise of the peculiar tenets of belief which are entertained by the Adventists. They can worship on Saturday and call it the Sabbath if they choose, but there let their privileges end.”ABSB 40.3

    They do, indeed, seem by this to be generous enough to allow those of us who are already keeping the Sabbath to continue to do so while we live, but there our privileges are to end. We are not to be allowed to speak or distribute papers or tracts to teach anybody else to keep it. Why, gentlemen of the committee, do you not see that they propose by this law to deprive us of all our rights both of conscience and of the Constitution? Therefore we come to you to plead for protection. We do not ask you to protect us by legislation. We do not ask you to legislate in favor of Saturday—not even to the extent of an exemption clause. We ask you to protect us by refusing to give to these men their coveted power to invade our rights. We appeal to you for protection in our constitutional rights as well as our rights of conscience.ABSB 41.1

    “There let their privileges end.” If. Even this allowance is only conditional. And the condition is the same precisely as that laid down by Mr. Crafts, namely, that we shall stop every phase of opposition to Sunday observance. Here it is in his own words, not spoken in the heat and hurry of debate, but deliberately written and printed in an editorial, Western Christian Union, March 22, 1889:—ABSB 41.2

    “Instead of thankfully making use of concessions granted them, and then going off quietly and attending to their own business, as they ought, they stare out making unholy alliances that they may defeat the purposes of their benefactors. None of these bills are aimed at them, but if they fail to appreciate the fact, they may call down upon themselves such a measure of public disfavor as that legislation embarrassing to them may result.”ABSB 41.3

    There, gentlemen, you have the story of that proposed exemption. I. It is inserted to take the wind out of our sails and stop our opposition to their efforts and to Sunday observance in general. 2. If we do not “appreciate” the benefaction, and “reciprocate the generosity” by stopping all opposition to their work and to Sunday observance, then legislation “embarrassing” to us may be expected to result.ABSB 42.1

    Gentlemen, do you wonder that we do not appreciate such benevolence, or reciprocate such generosity? Can you blame American citizens for saying in reply to all that, that however “embarrassing” the result may be, we do not appreciate such benevolence, nor do we intend to reciprocate such generosity as that, in any such way as is there proposed?ABSB 42.2

    There is one more word on this point that I desire to read. It sums up the whole matter in such a way as to be a fitting climax to this division of my remarks. This is from Rev. M. A. Gault, a district secretary of the American Sabbath Union. Mr. Crafts, who is the American Sabbath Union, personally appointed him secretary of Omaha district. Mr. Gault wrote this to Elder J. S. Washburn, of Hawleyville, Iowa, and Mr. Washburn sent it to me. I read:—ABSB 42.3

    “I see most of your literature in my travels [that is, the literature that Mr. Crafts says we do not stop distributing, and which we are not going to stop distributing], and I am convinced that your folks will die hard. But we are helping Brother Crafts all the time to set stakes and get the ropes ready to scoop you all in. You will kick hard, of course, but we will make sure work.”ABSB 42.4

    Yes, this bill is one of the “stakes,” and the exemption clause is one of the “ropes” by means of which they propose to rope us in. And Mr. Gault is one of the clerical gentlemen who demand that the government shall “set up the moral law and recognize God’s authority behind it, and then lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it.”ABSB 42.5

    This is the intent of those who are working for this bill. You heard Mr. Crafts say a few minutes ago that the Senate Sunday bill introduced by Senator Blair “includes this;” and the Senate bill includes everybody within the jurisdiction of Congress. 1See Appendix B. They trump up this District bill with the hope of getting Congress committed to the legislation with less difficulty than by the National bill, because the attention of the people is not so much turned to it. Then having by the District bill got Congress committed to such legislation, they intend to rally every influence to secure the passage of the National bill; and then they propose to go on in their “roping in” career until they have turned this nation into a government of God, with themselves as the repositories of his will.ABSB 43.1

    Mr. Heard—Is there any reference to that letter in that book from which you have been reading?ABSB 43.2

    Mr. Jones—No, sir. I pasted it on the margin of this book, merely for convenience of reference along with the “generous” proposition of his “Brother Crafts.”ABSB 43.3

    All this shows that the intent of the makers and promoters of this bill is to subvert the constitutional rights of the people. The intent of the law-maker is the law. As, therefore, by their own words, the intent of this exemption clause is to stop all effort to teach or to persuade people to keep the Sabbath instead of Sunday; as the intent of the body of the bill is to compel all to keep Sunday who do not keep the Sabbath; and as the intent of both together is to “scoop all in” and “make sure work,” it follows inevitably, and my proposition is demonstrated, that the promoters of this legislation do distinctly contemplate the taking away of the right to observe the Sabbath in this nation, and to allow the keeping of Sunday only.ABSB 43.4

    There is another consideration in this which shows that the State will be compelled to take official and judicial cognizance of the conscientious beliefs and observances of the people. It is this: When a law is enacted compelling everybody to refrain from all labor or business on Sunday, excepting those who conscientiously believe in and observe another day, then there will be scores of men who know that in their business—saloons, for instance—they can make more money by keeping their places of business open on Sunday than on another day, because more men are idle that day. They will therefore profess to observe another day and run their business on Sunday. This is not simply a theory, it is a fact proved by actual examples. One of the very latest I will mention. I have here a clipping from the Southern Sentinel, of Dallas, Texas, February 4, 1890, which I read:—ABSB 44.1

    “Right here in Dallas we have an example of how the law can be evaded. Parties have leased the billiard hall of the new McLeod Hotel, and have stipulated in their lease that they are conscientious observers of the seventh day [though to the best of the common knowledge and belief they are not]; that, in consequence, their business house will be closed on Saturday, and will be open on Sunday.”ABSB 44.2

    Mr. Grout—If they are known not to be conscientious worshipers, and keepers of the seventh-day Sabbath, what defense would they have?ABSB 45.1

    Mr. Jones—The defense would still be a claim of “conscientious belief in, and observance of, another day.” The claim indeed might not be sincere. And if there were any question of it in the community, it would certainly be disputed, and the court would be called upon to decide. Thus you see that by this bill the United States courts will be driven to the contemplation of conscientious convictions and compelled to decide upon the sincerity of conscientious beliefs and observances. And thereby it is proved that the introduction and advocacy of this bill is an endeavor to commit Congress and the government of the United States to the supervision of the conscientious convictions of the people.ABSB 45.2

    Now, gentlemen, to prevent this was the very purpose of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is well known, as I have stated, that the Colonies which formed the original thirteen States had each one an established religion. When it was proposed to organize a Federal government, the strongest influence that had to be met and overcome was jealousy of a national power—a fear that a national power would over-ride the powers and interfere with the domestic affairs of the States. It was this that caused the adoption of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Their affairs of religion and the exercise thereof being the dearest of all, are first assured protection. Fearing that the national government might enact laws which would restrict or prohibit the free exercise of the religion of any of the people of any of the States; or that it might adopt or indorse some one of the religious establishments of the States, and thus form an alliance which might annihilate both political and religious individuality; that the political individuality of the States and the religious individuality of the people might be free; for themselves and their posterity the people declared that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”ABSB 45.3

    It is not to be inquired whether there was any danger of that which they feared, they feared it and that is enough. And because they feared it, because they were so jealous—rightly jealous too—of their religious rights and conscientious convictions, they guarded these, as they intended and supposed, forever, from any supervision or cognizance whatever on the part of the national government. And upon this I quote now more fully the words of Bancroft, to which I merely referred a little while ago:—ABSB 46.1

    “Vindicating the right of individuality even in religion, and in religion above all, the new nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relations to God the principle first divinely ordained in Judea. It left the management of temporal things to the temporal power; but the American Constitution, in harmony with the people of the several States, withheld from the Federal government the power to invade the home of reason, the citadel of conscience, the sanctuary of the soul; and, not from indifference, but that the infinite spirit of eternal truth might move in its freedom and purity and power.”—History of the Formation of the Constitution, Book V chapter I.ABSB 46.2

    Thus says the historian, there is by the Constitution “perfect individuality extended to conscience.” This individuality, these rights, are as dear to us and as sacred as they were to the fathers of our nation, yet no more so to us than to other people. Therefore, gentlemen of the committee and the representatives of the people, by your respect for the Constitution and your oath to support it, and in behalf of the sacred rights of all the people, we implore you to give no heed to any demand for legislation, which in any way, to the least degree, proposes to touch the conscientious beliefs or observances of a solitary individual in all the land; give no heed to this bill, which, in its very terms, proposes to commit Congress to the supervision of conscientious beliefs, and proposes to drive the national power into a field where the makers of the national power forbade it to go, and to compel it to assume jurisdiction of questions which they have forbidden it even to consider.ABSB 47.1

    Now, as to the petitions—their petitions I mean (our petition is all right, that needs no defense), the petition which the other side is circulating—that petition shows what this bill means. Both this bill and the Senate “which includes this,” were framed and introduced upon this petition. If we know what the petition asks for, we shall know also what the bills are intended to give. Here is the petition—I read the one for the national law, “which includes this.”ABSB 47.2

    To the House of Representatives of the United StatesABSB 47.3

    “The undersigned organizations and adult residents (21 years of age or more) of the United States hereby earnestly petition your honorable body to pass a bill forbidding in the United States mail and military service, and in interstate commerce, and in the District of Columbia and the Territories, all Sunday traffic and work, except works of religion.”ABSB 47.4

    Mr. Crafts—Read on.ABSB 48.1

    Mr. Jones—I read as much as I want to use just now. That is the petition which they are circulating. That is the petition which they present to you. That is the petition upon which these bills were framed. They ask you to stop everything on Sunday—“all Sunday traffic and work,” all “work, labor, or business,” “except works of religion.” And yet they have the face to plead before the public, and in the presence of this committee, that this question “has nothing to do with religion.” Nothing to do with religion when it prohibits everything “except works of religion”? If this is not a religious petition, why do they “except” only “works of religion”? But he asked me to read on:—ABSB 48.2

    “Except works of religion, and works of real necessity and mercy, and such private work by those who religiously and regularly observe another day of the week by abstaining from labor and business, as will neither interfere with the general rest nor with public worship.”ABSB 48.3

    Of traffic, work, labor, or business, the exception is works of religion; of the people, the exception is only of those who religiously and regularly observe another day. Those who are to observe the day named must be religious that day; those who do not observe the day named must be religious, and regularly so, some other day of the week. Now, gentlemen, these bills were framed upon this petition. The intention of the petition is the intention of the bills. Therefore it is as plain as the day, that the object of both this bill and the Senate bill is the enforced conscientious belief in, and religious observance of, a rest-day.ABSB 48.4

    The question then which would inevitably arise upon this is, What religion is it whose works of religion only shall be excepted? That question would have to be answered. It would have to be answered by the United States courts or by Congress. But whenever, or by whichever, it shall be answered, when it is answered, that moment you have an established religiona union of Church and State. You cannot go back if you take the first step. The last step is in the first one, and we beg of you, gentlemen of the committee, and of these men themselves, for their own sakes as well as ours, do not take the first step.ABSB 49.1

    We all know that the most wickedly cruel and most mercilessly inconsiderate of all governments is that in which the ecclesiastics control the civil power. And how are you going to escape it under such laws as here proposed? Who is to enforce these Sunday laws? Who, indeed, but those who are working for them? Certainly those who are opposed to them; or indifferent about them, will not enforce them. Who then are they who are working for the enactment of these laws? Who organize the conventions and count out the opposite votes? Who appeared here before your committee to argue in favor of it? Who, indeed, but the church managers? for you saw how summarily the Knights of Labor part of the delegation was squelched.ABSB 49.2

    Well, then, if it is the church which secures the enactment of the law, it will be the church that will have to see to the enforcement of the law. In order to do this she will have to have police and courts which will do her bidding. This is her great difficulty now. There is now no lack of Sunday laws, either in the States or the Territories, but the laws are not enforced. In order to get executives and police and courts who will enforce the law to her satisfaction, the church will have to elect them. Then, as said Mr. Crafts in this city the other day, they will form “law and order leagues to enforce” the Sunday laws. Here then is the system: The church combines to get the law enacted; the church secures the election of officers who will do her bidding; the church forms “law and order leagues” to make sure that the officers do her bidding and enforce the law. Where, then, will the State appear, but in the subordinate position to formulate and execute the will of the church? Then you have the church above the State, the ecclesiastical superior to the civil power. This is just what is in this national Sunday-law movement; and this is what will certainly come out of it. It is inherent there.ABSB 50.1

    But when George III. undertook to make the military superior to the civil power, our liberty-loving fathers declared it tyranny and avowed such things should not be in this land. And now when a movement reaches the National Capitol which bears in itself an attempt to make the ecclesiastical superior to the civil power, it is time for the American people to declare that this is tyranny also, and resolve that no such thing shall be in this land. That attempt one hundred and fourteen years ago grew out of the “divine right of kings” to govern, and the doctrine that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. This attempt now grows out of the divine right of the ecclesiastics to govern, and likewise that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The president of the American Sabbath Union, which is the originator of this national Sunday-law scheme, has definitely declared in so many words that “governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed;” and one of the secretaries of an auxiliary union has as definitely stated that “this movement is an effort to change that feature of our fundamental law.”ABSB 50.2

    Gentlemen, when such doctrines as these are openly avowed, and when such an attempt as this is made by those who avow them, to embody them in national law, it is time for all the people to declare, as the Seventh-day Adventists decidedly do, that this nation is, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT OF ALL ECCLESIASTICAL OR RELIGIOUS CONNECTION, INTERFERENCE, OR CONTROL.ABSB 51.1

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