The Great Conspiracy
It would seem that all people in the United States
would be glad of the opportunity to rejoice evermore that
by its supreme law this nation is pledged to religious freedom.
It would seem that everybody ought to be glad of the opportunity
to herald to all the world the fame of a nation under whose
protection all people might dwell wholly unmolested in the
full enjoyment of religious rights and the liberty to worship
or not to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences.
Such, however, is not the case. As religious bigotry knows no such thing as enlightenment or progress; as ecclesiastical ambition never can be content without the power to persecute; so from the beginning, complaint has been made against the character of the United States Constitution as it respects religion, and constant effort has been made to weaken its influence, undermine its authority, and subvert its precepts.
From the very beginning, this feature of the Constitution has been denounced as foolish, atheistical, the strictly national sin, and the cause of epidemics, etc., particularly by ministers of such religion as had not sufficient power of truth to support itself, and doctors of a divinity so weak and sickly that it could not protect itself, much less protect and bless its worshipers or anybody else.
October 27, 1789, "The First Presbytery Eastward in Massachusetts and New Hampshire," sent to President Washington an address in which they complained because there was no "explicit acknowledgment of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, inserted somewhere in the Magna Charta of our country." September 20, 1793, in a sermon preached in New York City on a fast day on account of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, and entitled "Divine Judgments," Dr. John M. Mason magnified the "irreligious" feature of the Constitution as one of the chief causes of the calamities of which he was speaking. He solemnly observed that had "such momentous business" as forming a Constitution, been transacted by Mohammedans, or even the savages, they would have done it "in the name of God" or "paid some homage to the Great Spirit." Yes, that is all true enough; and their god would have been as cruel and savage as the Mohammedan and other national gods have always been. But happily for us and all the rest of the world, the noble men who framed the Constitution were neither Mohammedans nor savages. They were men enlightened by the principles and precepts of Christianity, and by a knowledge of history; and were endowed with respect for the rights of men.
In 1803 Samuel B. Wylie, D. D., of the University of Pennsylvania, preached a sermon in which he inquired: "Did not the framers of this instrument . . . in this resemble the fool mentioned in Ps. xiv, 1, 3, who said in his heart, 'There is no God'?" In 1811 Samuel Austin, D. D., a New England Congregationalist, afterward president of the University of Vermont, preached a sermon in Worcester, Mass., in which he declared that this "capital defect" in the national Constitution "will issue inevitably in the destruction" of the nation.
In 1812 President Dwight of Yale College preached a sermon in the college chapel, in which he lamented the failure of the Constitution to recognize a God, declaring that "we commenced our national existence, under the present system, without God." The next year he recurred to the same thing, saying that "the grossest nations and individuals, in their public acts and in their declarations, manifestoes, proclamations, etc., always recognize the superintendency of a Supreme Being. Even Napoleon did it." Of course Napoleon did it. It is such characters as he that are most likely to do it; and then, having covered himself with the hypocritical panoply, to ruin kingdoms, desolate nations, and violate every precept of morality and every principle of humanity. Yes, Napoleon did it; and so did Charlemagne before him, and Clovis, and Justinian, and Theodosius, and Constantine, to say nothing of hundreds of the popes. But the fathers of this republic were not such as any of these, the noblest pledge of which is the character of the Constitution as it respects religion, for all of which every Christian can most reverently thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1819, on a thanksgiving day appointed by the governor of Pennsylvania, Dr. Duffield preached a sermon at Carlisle, in which he declared the Constitution "entirely atheistical." Other such testimonies as the foregoing might be given to a wearisome extent, but with one more these must suffice.1 In 1859 Prof. J. H. McIlvaine, D. D., of the College of New Jersey, afterward of Princeton College, published an article in the Princeton Review for October, in which he really lamented that "the practical effect" of the Constitution as it is, with respect to religion, "is the neutrality of the government with respect to all religion; " and seemed much to be grieved "that no possible governmental influence can be constitutionally exerted for or against any form of religious belief." If only our fathers in forming the national government and making the Constitution, had created a national god and established its worship under penalties of fine, imprisonment, whipping, branding, banishment, or death, and had drawn up a national creed so that the question of orthodoxy, with all its riotous and bloody accompaniments, could have been the grand issue in every congressional or presidential election, no doubt all these distressed doctors of divinity would have been delighted. Fortunately for the country and for the human race, the noble men who established this government had in view the protection and preservation of the inalienable rights of all the people, rather than the clothing of religious bigots with governmental power to force upon others their false religious views.
So far, however, all these criticisms and denunciations had been merely individual. Though they were strongly seconded by the legislative, judicial, and executive authorities in almost all the States, there was as yet no organized attack upon the Constitution, or regular war upon its principles. But in 1863 such an organization was effected and such a war was begun. In February of that year, " A convention for prayer and Christian conference" was held in Xenia, Ohio, to consider in particular the state of the country. It was composed of representatives of eleven different religious denominations from seven States. The convention met February 3, and on the fourth, Mr. John Alexander, a United Presbyterian and covenanter, then of Xenia, later and now (1891) of Philadelphia, presented for the consideration of the Convention, a paper in which he bewailed the "human frailty and ingratitude" of the makers of the Constitution, and deplored the national sin of which they and all their posterity were guilty, because they had "well-nigh legislated God out of the government;" and closed with the following words: --
"We regard the Emancipation Proclamation of the President and his recommendation to purge the Constitution of slavery, as among the most hopeful signs of the times.
"We regard the neglect of God and his law, by omitting all acknowledgment of them in our Constitution, as the crowning, original sin of the nation, and slavery as one of its natural outgrowths. Therefore the most important step remains yet to be taken, -- to amend the Constitution so as to acknowledge God and the authority of his law; and the object of this paper is to suggest to this convention the propriety of considering this subject, and of preparing such an amendment to the Constitution as they may think proper to propose in accordance with its provisions.
"In order to bring the subject more definitely before the convention, we suggest the following as an outline of what seems to us to be needed in the preamble of that instrument, making it read as follows (proposed amendment in brackets): --
"WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, [recognizing the being and attributes of Almighty God, the Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, the law of God as the paramount rule, and Jesus, the Messiah, the Saviour and Lord of all,] in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The convention approved the spirit and design of the paper, and ordered its publication. The following July 4, "a few delegates" met in Pittsburg, issued an address to the country, and formed a plan for the calling of a National Convention, which met in Allegheny, January 27, 1864. It is reported as "an earnest, prayerful, and most encouraging meeting." It adopted a series of resolutions and a memorial to Congress, which latter is worth quoting, as showing the rapid growth of their designs upon the national Constitution. It runs as follows: --
"To the Honorable, the Senate and House of Representatives, in Congress assembled: --
"We, citizens of the United States, respectfully ask your Honorable bodies to adopt measures for amending the Constitution of the United States, so as to read in substance as follows: --
"`We, the people of the United States, [humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, and his revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government], and in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, [and secure the inalienable rights and the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to ourselves, our posterity, and all the people,] do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
"'And further: that such changes with respect to the oath of office, slavery, and all other matters, should be introduced into the body of the constitution, as may be necessary to give effect to these amendments in the preamble. And we, your humble petitioners, will ever pray,'" etc.
"Resolved, That a special committee be appointed to carry the Memorial to Washington, lay it before the President, and endeavor to get a special message to Congress on the subject, and to lay said Memorial before Congress."
The Prof. J. H. Mc Ilvaine, D. D., LL. D., before referred to, was made chairman of this special committee; and, as may well be supposed, was a diligent agent in this particular office, as well as an earnest worker for the bad cause, till the day of his death.
At this Allegheny meeting a permanent organization was effected, called "The National Association to Secure the Religious Amendment of the Constitution of the United states," with Mr. John Alexander as the first president, and Zadok Street, a Quaker, as vice-president. 2
It is not necessary to trace the particulars of the thing any further; suffice it to say that a national convention has been held each year since in the principal eastern cities -- Pittsburg, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and as far west as Cincinnati. The official organ of the Association is the Christian Statesman, established in 1867, and published in Philadelphia. In the latest official manual of the association -- 1890 -- we find that the president is Hon. Felix R. Brunot, of Pittsburg, who has held the office since 1869; that there are one hundred and twenty-five vice-presidents, from thirty States, the District of Columbia, and Utah, among whom are eleven bishops, twelve college presidents and three ex-college presidents, eleven college professors, four ex-governors, three editors, -- Drinkhouse of the Methodist-Protestant, Baltimore; Fitzgerald of the Christian Advocate, Nashville;3 and Howard of the Cumberland Presbyterian, Nashville, -- and such a store of Reverends, D. D.'s, LL. D.'s and Rev. D. D.'s and Rev. D. D. LL. D.'s, that we cannot take the time or space to designate them; though it may not be amiss to mention such well-known names as Joseph Cook of Boston; President Seelye of Amherst, Dr. T. L. Cuyler of Brooklyn, and Herrick Johnson of Chicago. Besides all these, there is an executive committee of eighteen, and seven district secretaries. Article II of the constitution of the association reads as follows: --
"The object of this society shall be to maintain existing Christian features in the American government; to promote needed reforms in the action of the government touching the Sabbath, the institution of the family, the religious element in education, the oath, and public morality as affected by the liquor traffic and other kindred evils; and to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will declare the nation's allegiance to Jesus Christ, and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so 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."
Now it is evident that were these principles adopted as the legal basis of the government, none but professed Christians could hold any office or place of trust under the government. And it is just as certainly evident that the consequence would be that every political hack, every demagogue, every unprincipled politician, in the United States would become a professed Christian; and every popular religious body would be joined by a horde of hypocrites. But instead of trembling at such a prospect, the National Reformers actually rejoice at it. In the National Reform Convention held at Cincinnati, January 31 to February 1, 1872, "Rev."
T. P. Stevenson, corresponding secretary of the Association and editor of the Christian Statesman, delivered an address in which he said: --
"The acknowledgment, in the terms of the proposed Amendment or any similar terms, of the revealed will of God as of supreme authority, would make the law I have quoted from the Bible [Ex. xviii, 21], supreme law in this land, and candidates and constituencies would govern themselves accordingly. If it be objected that men would become hypocrites to obtain office, we can only say that the hypocrisy which abstains from blasphemy and licentiousness, and conforms the outward life to the morality of the Christian religion, is a species of hypocrisy which we are exceedingly anxious to cultivate, and which all our laws restraining immorality are adapted and intended to produce."
And in the Christian Statesman, of November 1, 1883, "Rev." W. J. Coleman, one of the principal exponents of the National Reform religion, replied to some questions that had been put by a correspondent who signed himself "Truth Seeker." We copy the following: --
"What effect would the adoption of the Christian Amendment, together with the proposed changes in the Constitution, have upon those who deny that God is the Sovereign, Christ the Ruler, and the Bible the law? This brings up the conscience question at once. . . . The classes who would object are as 'Truth Seeker' has said, Jews, infidels, atheists, and others. These classes are perfectly satisfied with the Constitution as it is. How would they stand toward it f recognized the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ? To be perfectly plain, I believe that the existence of a Christian Constitution would disfranchise every logically consistent infidel."
Notice, it is only the logically consistent dissenter that would be disfranchised. By the same token, then, the logically inconsistent could all be citizens. That is, the man of honest intention, of firm conviction, and of real principle, who valued his principles more than he did political preference, would be disfranchised; while the time-servers, the men of no convictions and of no principle, could all be acceptable citizens. In other words, the honest man, if he be a dissenter, could not be a citizen; but every hypocrite could be a citizen. Therefore the inevitable result of the National Reform theory and purpose is to put a premium upon hypocrisy. 4 And through it the professed Christian churches of the country would become, in fact, that which the Revelation has shown in prophecy, " a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Rev. xviii, 2.
The word of God says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Rom. xiv, 23. Even the voluntary doing of any duty toward God, without faith, is sin; and to compel men to do it is nothing else than to compel them to commit sin. More than this, to proffer obedience to God, from interested motives, is sin and hypocrisy. Now the National Reform scheme proposes to offer political inducements to men to proffer obedience to God. The National Reform scheme does propose to have every member of the State proffer service to God, and conform to religious observances, from none other than interested motives. For men to tender obedience or homage to God, while they have no love for him in their hearts, is both to dishonor him and to do violence to their own nature. And to bribe or compel men to do this very thing, is the direct aim of the National Reform Association. Its success therefore would so increase hypocrisy and multiply sin, under the cloak of godliness, that national ruin would as certainly follow as it did the same system practiced upon the Roman empire.
From the proposition made in the memorial to Congress -- to change the body of the Constitution so as to fit their proposed preamble -- it will be seen that if their purpose could be made effective, there would not be left enough of the Constitution as it now is to be of any use to anybody. According to their purpose, the Bible, as the revealed will of Christ who is to be made the Ruler, is to be the supreme law. That in effect, then would become the Constitution. Then this supreme law would necessarily need to be authoritatively interpreted. They are all ready for this, however.
They have the whole scheme completed. They know that the changes which they propose, mean much: but above all things else that they intend that these changes shall bring about, is the putting of the clergy in the place of the supreme interpreter of the new supreme law of the land. In the Christian Statesman of February 21, 1884, one of their leaders, the Rev. J. C. K. Milligan, announced the following program: --
"The changes will come gradually, and probably only after the whole frame-work of bible legislation has been thoroughly canvassed by Congress and State legislatures, by the Supreme Courts of the United States and of the several States, and by lawyers and citizens generally; an outpouring of the Spirit might soon secure it. The churches and the pulpits have much to do with shaping and forming opinions on all moral questions, and with interpretations of Scripture on moral and civil, as well as on theological and ecclesiastical points; and it is probable that in the almost universal gathering of our citizens about these, the chief discussions and the final decision of most points will be developed there. 'Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion.' There certainly is no class of citizens more intelligent, patriotic, and trustworthy than the leaders and teachers in our churches."
This passage, the expressions of which might easily be paralleled to any extent from the columns of the Christian Statesman, simply puts in condensed form the plans and ultimate aims of the National Reform Association. And by it, it is seen at once that it is a revival of the original scheme of John Calvin, and is the very image of the papal scheme of the fourth century.
Compare with this, pages 488-490 of this book. According to this National Reform scheme, it is intended once more to destroy all distinction between moral and civil affairs. Once more all things pertaining to the government are to be made moral, with the clergy in the place of interpreters on all points. In the same article from which the above quotation is taken, there was also written the following concerning their proposed amendment: --
"In brief, its adoption will at once make the morality of the ten commandments to be the supreme law of the land, and anything in the State Constitutions and laws that is contrary to them will become unconstitutional."
Now the ten commandments are for the universe, the supreme standard of morals. They are the law of God, the supreme moral Governor. Every duty enjoined in the Bible -- that is to say, every duty of man -- finds its spring in some one of the ten commandments. This law takes cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart. To violate that law, even in thought, is sin. For said Christ: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." And again: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment; but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matt. v, 27, 28, 21, 22. And "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." 1 John iii, 15.
This is sufficient to show that the ten commandments deal with the thoughts, with the heart, with the conscience. By this law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. iii, 20); in fact, the inspired definition of sin is, "Sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John iii, 4. And as already shown, the law may be transgressed by thinking harshly or impurely of another; it is immoral to do so.
But it is the government of God alone which has to do with the thoughts and intents of the hearts, and with the eternal interests of men. Governments of men have to do only with the outward acts and the temporal affairs of men, and this without reference to any question of God or religion. The law of the government of God is moral: the laws of the governments of men are only civil.
The will of God, as the supreme moral ruler, concerning the character and conduct of all responsible beings; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature." "The moral law is summarily contained in the decalogue, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai."
This definition is evidently according to Scripture. The Scriptures show that the ten commandments are the law of God; that they express the will of God; that they pertain to the conscience, and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart; and that obedience to these commandments is the duty that man owes to God.
Says the scripture, "Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eccl xii, 13, 14.
This quotation with the ones above given from the sermon on the Mount, are sufficient to show that obedience to the moral law, from the heart and in the very thought, -- that this only is morality; which is therefore correctly defined as, "The relation of conformity or non-conformity to the true moral standard or rule. . . . The conformity of an act to the divine law." The moral law being the law of God, morality being conformity to that law, and that law pertaining to the thoughts and intents of the heart, it follows that in the very nature of the case, the enforcement of that law, or the requirement of conformity thereto, lies beyond the jurisdiction, and even the reach of, any human government.
Under the law of God, to hate is murder; to covet is idolatry; to think impurely of a woman, is adultery. These things are all equally immoral, equally violations of the moral law; but no civil government seeks to punish on account of them. A man may hate his neighbor all his life; he may covet everything on earth; he may think impurely of every woman that he sees, -- he may keep this up all his days: but so long as these things are confined to his thought, the civil power cannot touch him. It would be difficult to conceive of a more immoral person than such a man would be; yet the State cannot punish him. It does not attempt to punish him. This is simply because that with such things -- with morality or immorality -- the State can have nothing to do.
But let us carry this further. Only let a man's hatred lead him even by a sign, to attempt an injury to his neighbor, and the State will punish him; only let his covetousness lead him to lay hands on what is not his own, in an attempt to steal, and the State will punish him; only let his impure thought lead him to attempt violence to any woman, and the State will punish him. Yet let it be borne in mind that even then the State does not punish him for his immorality, but for his incivility. The immorality lies in the heart, and can be measured by God only. The incivility is in the outward action, and may be measured by men. It is not with questions of moral right or wrong, but with civil rights and wrongs that the State has to do.
The correctness of this distinction is further shown in the term by which government by men -- State or national government -- is designated. It is called civil government, and the term "civil" is thus defined: "Pertaining to a city or State, or to a citizen in his relations to his fellow-citizens, or to the State." Thus it is plain that governments of men have to do only with men's relations to their fellow-citizens, and not at all with their relations to God, which is again but to affirm that governments of men never can of right have anything to do with religion.
There is another distinction worthy of notice, which shows the same thing, that is the distinction between sin and crime. Sin is defined by Webster as, "Any violation of God's will;" and by the Scriptures, "Sin is the transgression of the law." That the law here referred to is the moral law -- the ten commandments -- is shown by Rom. vii, 7. "I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Thus sin is a transgression of the law which says, "Thou shalt not covet," and that is the moral law.
But crime is an offense against the laws of the State. It is thus defined: "Crime is strictly a violation of law, either human or divine; but in present usage, the term is commonly applied to actions contrary to the laws of the State." Thus civil statutes define crime, and deal with crime, but not with sin; while the divine statutes define sin, and deal with sin, but not with crime. "A crime, or breach of justice, is a deed of the individual, which the State, by its judicial acts, returns on the individual. The State furnishes a measure for crime, and punishes criminals according to their deserts. The judicial mind is a measuring mind, a retributive mind, because trained in the forms of justice, which sees to it that every man's deeds shall be returned to him, to bless him or to curse him with pain. Now, a sin is a breach of the law of holiness, a lapse out of the likeness to the divine form, and as such it utterly refuses to be measured. It is infinite death to lapse out of the form of the divine. A sin cannot be atoned for by any finite punishment, but only (as revelation teaches) by a divine act of sacrifice. . . .
"It would destroy the State to attempt to treat crimes as sins, and to forgive them in case of repentance. It would impose on the judiciary the business of going behind the overt act to the disposition or frame of mind within the depth of personality. But so long as the deed is not uttered in the act, it does not belong to society, but only to the individual and to God. No human institution can go behind the overt act, and attempt to deal absolutely with the substance of man's spiritual freedom. . . . Sin and crime must not be confounded, nor must the same deed be counted as crime and sin by the same authority. Look at it as crime, and it is capable of measured retribution. The law does not pursue the murderer beyond the gallows. He has expiated his crime with his life. But the slightest sin, even if it is no crime at all, as for example the anger of a man against his brother, an anger which does not utter itself in the form of violent deeds, but is pent up in the heart, -- such noncriminal sin will banish the soul forever from heaven, unless it is made naught by sincere repentance."5
This position is yet further strengthened by the fact that morality and religion are inseparable. Indeed, this is seen by a mere glance at the definitions already given. The moral law is defined to be, "The will of God, as supreme moral ruler, concerning the character and conduct of all responsible beings; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience, or moral nature." This is, in very substance, identical with the definitions of religion as being man's personal relation of faith and obedience to God, and the recognition of him as an object of worship, love, and obedience. Again; the moral law is correctly stated to be summarily contained in the decalogue: and the scripture declares that of fear God and keep these commandments is the whole duty of man, which shows that this embraces all of man's relationship to God.
The statement of these principles without any further argument, is sufficient to demonstrate that governments of men are civil governments, not moral. Governors of men are civil governors, not moral. The laws of States and nations are civil laws, not moral. To the authorities of civil government, pertains the punishment of incivility, that is, the violation of civil rights, or civil law. It is not theirs to punish immorality. That pertains solely to the Author of the moral law and of the moral sense, who is the sole judge of man's moral relations. All this must be manifest to every one who will think candidly upon the subject.6
As God is the only moral governor, as his law is the only moral law, and as it pertains to him alone to punish immorality, so likewise the promotion of morality pertains to him alone. Morality is conformity to the law of God; it is obedience to God. But obedience to God must spring from the heart in sincerity and truth. This it must do, or it is not obedience; because the law of God takes cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart. But "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." By transgression, all men have made themselves immoral, and by the moral law are found "guilty before God." "Therefore by the deeds of the law [by obedience] there shall no flesh be justified [accounted righteous, or made moral] in his sight." Rom. iii, 20. None can ever become moral by the law, because it is that very law that declares all men immoral.
The demands of the moral law must be satisfied before any man can ever be accepted as moral by either the law or its author. But these demands never can be satisfied by man himself, because by his transgressions he has made himself immoral.
It is certain, therefore, that if ever men become moral, it must be by some other means than even the moral law, and much less could this result ever be brought about by civil law or any other human process. Yet such means has been supplied, not by man, but by the Author and Source of morality. For, "Now the righteousness [the morality] of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness [the morality] of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned [made themselves immoral], and come short of the glory of God." Rom. iii, 21-23. It is by the morality of Christ alone that men can be made moral. And this morality of Christ is the morality of God, which is imputed to us for Christ's sake; and we receive it by faith in him who is both the author and finisher of faith. Then by the Spirit of God the moral law is written anew in the heart and in the mind, sanctifying the soul unto obedience -- unto morality. Thus, and thus alone, can men ever attain to morality; and that morality is morality of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ; and there is no other in this world. Therefore, as morality springs from God, and is planted in the heart by the Spirit of God, through faith in the Son of God, it is demonstrated by proofs of Holy Writ itself, that to God alone pertains the promotion of morality.
It is by the gospel and not by the law that men are made moral, and that morality is promoted in the world. And this work is committed by Jesus Christ, not to the State, nor to the Church by means of the State, but to the Church alone by the power of God. To the Church, and not to the State, he said, "Go and teach all nations whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you." Upon the Church, not upon the State, he poured the Spirit of God, by which is manifested the power of God that enables men to act in conformity with the divine will. By his Spirit it is that God worketh in men, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. It is by the church, through the preaching of Jesus Christ, that the gospel is "made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." There is no obedience but the obedience of faith; there is no morality but the morality of faith. Therefore it is proved that to the Church, and not to the State, is committed the conservation of morality in the world. This at once settles the question as to whether the State shall teach morality or religion. The State cannot teach morality or religion. It has not the credentials for it. The Spirit of God and the gospel of Christ are both essential to the teaching of morality and neither of these is committed to the State, but both to the Church. The State cannot do this work at all; and if the Church cannot do it without the help of the State, much less can she do it with the help of the State; consequently the work of the Church and that of the State lie in different fields, and must always be separate.
Now as there is absolutely nothing that a man can do, or say, or think, that does not involve a moral question; and as the National Reformers propose to bring about in this government a condition of things by which the "leaders and teachers in there churches" shall have "much to do" with "all moral question," and "with interpretations of Scripture on moral points," it plainly follows that they propose to have "much to do" with what every person does, and says, and thinks: and let it be borne in mind that their decision, it is plainly declared, will be "final." There can be no appeal; for there is none higher than they. There can be no appeal to God; for is not the Lord King in Zion? and don't they represent Zion? and isn't the law to go forth of Zion? Thus they would make themselves the vicegerents of the Lord, and the fountain of all law.
Yet, like those who made the papacy in the first place, they theorize learnedly about the two distinct "spheres" of the State and the Church.7 According to the theory, the State is in itself a moral person distinct from the people, having an individuality and a responsibility to God, of its own. And in its sphere it must be religious and serve God, and cause all the people to do likewise in its own way, and apply the moral law to itself and everybody else. On the other hand, the Church in her sphere must be religious and serve God, and cause all the people to do likewise in her own way, and interpret the Scripture for herself and the State, and everybody else. "The evangelist is a minister of God to preach, and the magistrate is a minister of God to rule;" yet both are ministers in the same field -- the field of morals -- with this important difference, however, the State is to "apply" the standard of morals -- the Scriptures -- as interpreted by the Church. As defined by themselves, it is expressed in the following passage from a speech by D. McAllisterm D. D., in the Washington, D. C., National Reform convention, April 1-3, 1890. He said: --
"Now what does the National Reform Association say? It says, 'Let the church do its duty in her own line. Let the line of demarcation be drawn here; let the functions of the State go with the State -- with civil government, God's own ordinance. Let the church hold the moral principles of God's Law, -- the law of Jesus Christ, the only perfect law, -- and let the State apply those moral principles that pertain to its own sphere of justice and right, in her schools and everywhere else, and do her own work as she shall answer to God himself, as she is the creature of his ordaining.'" [Applause.]
It is yet more fully expressed in a speech by "Rev." T. H. Tatlow in a convention at Sedalia, Mo., May 23, 24, 1889, as follows: --
"To these crafty and carnal assumptions, the spiritual man, firm in Christian principle and the integrity of his convictions, replies: God's jurisdiction over man is before and above all others: and is wisely adapted to man's entire existence in all its diversified relationships, both as spiritual and secular. That this jurisdiction is not only universal but also special, including all the agencies as parts of the greater; just as all its parts are included in the whole. That God has given to man in the present world, a two-fold life, one part spiritual, and the other part secular; and has so blended them together that the secular life, embracing man's civil, social, and earthly good, is subordinate to his spiritual life and spiritual good. Therefore, since God's law, and his administration of it, apply to man's spiritual life, it must also necessarily apply to man's civil, social, and business life, as subordinate parts of his higher spiritual life. This spiritual life, therefore, is the fundamental, or constitutional, life of man; and God's law, as expressive of his will regarding this dual life of man, and as found in the ten commandments, is the constitutional law of God's jurisdiction over man, and is therefore irreparable.
"In administering this one constitutional law to the good of this two-fold life of man, God has ordained two administrative agencies, one of them the Church, as the spiritual agency in the realm of man's spiritual life, and the other the State as his Secular agency in the realm of man's secular life. And although these agents are two and not one, and are diverse in their nature, and occupy separate and diverse realms of authority, yet they are both of them subject to the same law, and are ordained for the purpose of ministering to man's good through this one and same law. And therefore it is, that civil government, of wherever abstract form it be, as "an ordinance of God." and the civil ruler as "a minister of God," are both alike subject to the ten commandments. And not only are they subject, but are ministers of God to man for good. They are also his agents for applying these commandments to man's good within the realm of man's secular life, as far as the commandments have secular application. This is admitted to be so as far as these commandments apply to murder, adultery, theft, and slander; and they also in like manner apply to the worship of God, and the worship of the Sabbath as far as these come within the province of the civil power. These things being so, neither the civil power "as God's ordinance," nor the civil ruler, "as God's minister," within their special province, have any authority as such to make void any of the ten commandments, whether by neglect in enforcing them, or by indifference to their authority and claims.
"At this point, the party of civil policy protests and cries out that this is uniting Church and State. The Christian replies: It is indeed a union, but only so far as two separate jurisdictions, the one spiritual and primary, and the other secular and secondary, exercise each one its own appropriate authority within its own individual province, to secure a two-fold good to the two-fold life of man. This union, therefore, is like the union of the spiritual in man, acting conjointly with the body in man; the body being brought under and kept in subjection to the spiritual. It is like the union of the spiritual life in man acting conjointly with man's domestic life; all the members of the family being loved less than Christ; and all made subject to his claims."
Let us analyze this: (a) Man is composed of two parts, spiritual and secular; (b) The ten commandments, as expressive of the whole duty of man to God, are likewise composed of two parts -- the spiritual and the secular; (c) There are two agencies employed for applying the two-fold nature of this law to the two-fold nature of man; these two agencies are the Church and the State; (d) Throughout, the secular is subordinate, and must be held in subjection to the spiritual; (e) Therefore, The State as the secular and subordinate agency must be "brought under," held "in subjection" to, the Church, just as the body, the secular part of man, must be brought under and kept in subjection to the mind, the spiritual part of man.
In perfect accord, therefore, with this logical deduction from the two preceding extracts, one of the oldest district secretaries of the National Reform Association, "Rev." J. M. Foster, in the Christian Cynosure, of October 17, 1889, said: --
"According to Scriptures, the State and its sphere exist for the sake of, and to serve the interests of, the Church." "The true State will have a wise reference to the Church's interests in all its legislative, executive, and judicial proceedings. . . . The expenses of the church, in carrying on her public, aggressive work, it meets in whole or in part out of the public treasury. Thus the Church is protected and exalted by the State.
From these declarations it is clear that the National Reform view of the relationship between the Church and the State, is identical with the old Cartwright an Calvinistic one -- the original papal view -- that the State exists only as subordinate to the church, to serve the interests of the church, and, if need be, to lick the dust off the feet of the church.
Again: after the manner of the clergy of the fourth century, the purpose in this is to turn the government of the United States into a kingdom of God. This is evident from their proposed preamble to the Constitution, and the other quotations given, but they say it so plainly in words that the statements are worth quoting. Like the original scheme, this also proceeds upon the theory of a theocracy. In the Cincinnati National Reform Convention, January 31 to February 1, 1872, "Rev." Prof. J. R. W. Sloane, D. D. said: --
"Every government, by equitable laws, is a government of God; a republic thus governed is of him, through the people, and is as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel. The refusal to acknowledge this fact is as much a piece of foolish impiety as that of the man who persists in refusing to acknowledge that God is the author of his existence."
The qualifying phrase, "by equitable laws," confines this statement to National Reform governments, because all others, as the United States for instance, are not governments by equitable laws, but are "atheistic" governments. The argument, therefore, is flatly that the National Reform idea of earthly government is as truly and really falsely theocratically as it that of the papacy itself.9
In the National Reform convention of 1873, held in New York City, February 26, 27, one of the speakers, "Rev." J. Hogg, said: --
"The nation that takes hold upon God and the Lord Jesus Christ, shall never die. . . . Let us acknowledge God as our Father and sovereign, and source of all good, and his blessing will be upon us. Crime and corruption will come to an end, and the benign reign of Jesus, our rightful Lord, will be established." [Applause.]
In the same convention, another speaker, "Rev." J. P. Lytle, likening the National Reform movement to a train of cars going up a steep grade, said: --
"When we reach the summit, . . . the train will move out into the mild yet glorious light of millennial days, and the cry will be raised, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of out Lord, and of his Christ.'" [Applause.]
In the same convention, another, "Rev." A. M. Milligan, D. D., said: --
"Like Pontius Pilate, we have a person on our hands, and like him we may ask, 'What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' We must either crucify or crown him; and like the Jewish nation, our decision will seal our future destiny. Either like them we will reject him and perish, or, becoming a kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, we shall fill the earth, and endure forever."
In the annual convention of the Association for 1887, "Rev." W. T. McConnel, of Youngstown, Ohio, proposed the formation of --
"A praying league, to be composed of all who are interested in this movement, to covenant together to offer a prayer at the noon hour, wherever they may be, every day till our prayer is answered in the abolition of the liquor traffic, and till this nation is made God's kingdom."
The proposition was heartily and unanimously indorsed by the convention, and Mr. Mc Connel was given charge of the concern.
And that no element might be lacking to the perfect likeness of the original papal theory, the Christian Nation, which is second only to the Christian Statesman in National Reform propensities, in an editorial, June 15, 1887, put the finishing touch to the picture, in the following words: --
"When the State becomes positively Christian in Constitution, and Christian men are elected to make law, something like this will be done: A street-car company's charter will be granted, conditioned upon the running of cars free on Sabbath for the accommodation of Christian people on errands of worship, of necessity, and of mercy, even as bridge toll is at present remitted on the Sabbath in some places. To this it will be objected that others than Christians will ride for other than Christian purposes, which is very true; but the sin will be upon their own souls. The company will suffer no hardships, the men employed will be God's messengers for good, and 'in that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord,'"10
The likeness being so close in theory, between this and the papacy, it were only to be expected that the likeness would be just as close in practice if the National Reformers should only secure the power to put the theory into practice. This also is abundantly shown in the published words and speeches of the chiefest representatives of the Association. The National Reform Sunday-school lessons for 1884, published in the Christian Statesman, were written by David Gregg, D. D., then of New York City, later pastor of Park Street Church, Boston, and now (1891), successor to Dr. T. L. Cuyler in his pastorate in Brooklyn. In the lesson printed in the Statesman of June 5, Dr. Gregg positively declared and supported the declaration by argument, that the civil power "has the right to command the consciences of men." And in full accord with this strictly papal principle, the Christian Statesman itself, October 2, 1884, says: --
"Give all men to understand that this is a Christian nation, and that, believing that without Christianity we perish, we must maintain by all means our Christian character. Inscribe this character on our Constitution. . . . Enforce upon all who come among us the laws of Christian morality."
To enforce upon men the laws of Christian morality is to compel men who are not Christians to act as though they were. It is nothing else than an attempt to compel them to be Christians, and does in fact compel them to be hypocrites. Yet when it is said that this is to invade the rights of conscience, the National Reformers, in the words of "Rev." W. J. Coleman, in the Christian Statesman of November 1, 1883, coolly reply: --
"If there by any Christian who objects to the proposed amendment on the ground that it might touch the conscience of the infidel, it seems to me it would be in order to inquire whether he himself should not have some conscience in this matter."
And thus according to the National Reform type of "Christianity," it is the perfection of conscientiousness to outrage the consciences of others; and the reverse of the Golden Rule -- all things whatsoever ye would not that men should do to you, this do ye even unto them -- is made by them and to them the law and the prophets.
Accordingly, in strict adherence to these bad principles, the testimony proceeds. In the Christian Statesman of January 13, 1887, "Rev." M. A. Gault, a District Secretary and a leading worker of the Association, declared: --
"Our remedy for all these malefic influences, is to have the government simply set up the moral law and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it."
And "Rev." E. B. Graham, a vice-president of the Association, in an address delivered at York, Neb., and reported in the Christian Statesman of May 21, 1885, said: --
"We might add in all justice, If the opponents of the Bible do not like our government and its Christian features, let them go to some wild, desolate land, and in the name of the devil, and for the sake of the devil, subdue it, and set up a government of their own on infidel and atheistic ideas; and then if they can stand it, stay there till they die."
Yet more than this: In the National Reform convention for 1873, held in New York City, Jonathan Edwards, D. D., a vice-president and a leading spirit of the Association, made a speech in which he said: --
"We want State and religion, and we are going to have it. It shall be that so far as the affairs of State require religion, it shall be revealed religion -- the religion of Jesus Christ. The Christian oath and Christian morality shall have in this land 'an undeniable legal basis.' We use the word 'religion' in its proper sense, as meaning a man's personal relation of faith and obedience to God."
Then according to their own definition, the National Reform Association intends that the State shall obtrude itself into every man's personal relation of faith and obedience to God. Mr. Edwards proceeds: --
"Now, we are warned that to engraft this doctrine upon the Constitution will be oppressive; that it will infringe the rights of conscience; and we are told that there are atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh-day Baptists who would be sufferers under it."
He then defines the terms "atheist," "deist," "Jew," and "Seventh-day Baptist," and counts them all atheists as follows: --
"The atheist is a man who denies the being of God and a future life. To him, mind and matter are the same, and time is the be-all and end-all of consciousness and of character.
"The deist admits God, but denies that he has any such control over human affairs as we call providence, or that he ever manifests himself and his will in a revelation.
"The Jew admits God, providence, and revelation, but rejects the entire scheme of gospel redemption by Jesus Christ as sheer imagination, or, worse, sheer imposture.
"The Seventh-day Baptists believe in God and Christianity, and are conjoined with the other members of this class by the accident of differing with the mass of Christians upon the question of what precise day of the week shall be observed as holy.
"These all are, for the occasion, and as far as our Amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the same tactics against us. They must be counted together, which we very much regret, but which we cannot help. The first-named is the leader in the discontent and the outery -- the atheist, to whom nothing is higher or more sacred than man, and nothing survives the tomb. It is his class. Its labors are almost wholly in his interest; its success would be almost wholly his triumph. The rest are adjuncts to him in this contest. They must be named from him: they must be treated as, for this question, one party."
What, then, are the rights of these "atheists" according to the National Reform view? Mr. Edwards asks the question, and answers it thus: --
"What are the rights of the atheist? I would tolerate him as I would tolerate a poor lunatic; for in my view his mind is scarcely sound. So long as he does not rave, so long as he is not dangerous, I would tolerate him. I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator. The atheist is a dangerous man."
Now a lunatic may be harmless, and be suffered to go about as he chooses; yet he is kept under constant surveillance, because there is no knowing at what moment the demon in him may carry him beyond himself, and he become dangerous. Thus the National Reformers propose to treat those who disagree with them. So long as dissenters allow themselves to be cowed down like a set of curs, and submit to be domineered over by those self-exalted despots, all may go well; but if a person has the principle of a man, and asserts his convictions as a man ought to, then he is "raving," then he becomes "dangerous," and must be treated as a raving, dangerous lunatic.
Next, dissenters are to be tolerated as conspirators are. A political conspirator is one who seeks to destroy the government itself; he virtually plots against the life of every one in the government; and in that, he has forfeited all claims to the protection of the government or the regard of the people. And this is the way in which these would-be guardians of the Lord propose to treat dissenters, should they possess the power, even though the dissent might be caused merely by "the accident of differing from the mass of Christians upon the question of what precise day of the week" should be observed as holy.
Mr. Edwards proceeds: --
"Yes, to this extent I will tolerate the atheist; but no more. Why should I? The atheist does not tolerate me. He does not smile either in pity or in scorn upon my faith. He hates my faith, and he hates me for my faith."
Let it be borne in mind that these are the men who propose to make this a Christian nation. These are the ones who propose to put themselves in the place of supreme interpreters of the Scriptures, and supreme expositors of the moral law, for the nation. But where is the harmony between this and the sermon on the mount? Did the Saviour say, Hate them that hate you; despise them that will not tolerate you; and persecute them that do not smile upon your faith? Is that the doctrine of Christ? Nay, nay, everybody knows it is the opposite. Jesus said, "Love your enemies bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven;" while the National Reform style of religion would have it: "Hate your enemies; oppress them that hate you; and persecute them who will not smile, either in pity or in scorn, upon your faith," And this is the way in which they propose to convert men to the Christian religion. This is the way in which they propose to exemplify the sublime Christian principle of brotherly love and the means which they will employ that brotherly love may continue! This is the way in which they are going to bring about the reign of universal peace, even, as they say, the millennium itself. By a like scheme of the Christian endeavor of the "Society of Jesus," there was peace once in the fair Waldensian Valleys. By like exertions, Innocent III succeeded in creating peace amidst "the graceful scenery, the rich fields, and the splendid cities of Languedoc and Provence."
As the delicious prospect enlarges upon his vision, the zealous Doctor warms to his work, and worthily rises to the hight of his subject as follows: --
"I can tolerate difference and discussion; I can tolerate heresy and false religion; I can debate the use of the Bible in our common schools, the taxation of church property, the propriety of chaplaincies and the like, but there are some questions past debate. Tolerate atheism, sir? There is nothing out of hell that I would not tolerate as soon! The atheist may live, as I have said; but, God helping us, the taint of his destructive creed shall not defile any of the evil institutions of all this fairland! Let us repeat: atheism and Christianity are contradictory terms. They are incompatible systems. They cannot dwell together on the same continent!"
In order perfectly to complete the very image of the papacy in its fullness, there remains to be taken the step whereby they would place themselves above God, and propose to re-enact his laws. This is a further step to be taken, and it is taken. It is done in this same speech, as follows: --
"Now if there be anything in the laws of Moses which the coming of Christ and the subsequent overthrow of Judaism did not abrogate, let them be pointed out, -- there cannot be many of them, -- and we are prepared to accept them AND HAVE THEM RE-ENACTED."
To any one who has any respect for God or his word, it would seem that anything which God had once ordained and had not abrogated, would be of sufficient authority as it stands. But to the proposed National Reform hierarchy, such statutes are counted of no force until it shall have set to them its seal of orthodoxy by having them re-enacted. So that the Lord himself must needs take a secondary place in the presence of the arrogance of these would-be legislators.11
There is but one more step that could possibly be taken to complete the infamy of the thing, and that would be to form an alliance with the papacy itself. And even this step has been taken so far as it can be taken without the consent of the papacy; that is, as far as the National Reformers alone can go. The Christian Statesmen of December 11, 1884, said: --
"Whenever they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them."
Further: at a National Reform conference -- not convention -- of ministers of a number of different denominations, held at Saratoga, New York, August 15-17, 1887,
"Rev." T. P. Stevenson, editor of the Christian Statesman, and corresponding secretary of the National Reform Association, opened the discussion of the subject of religion in the public schools, under the title of "secularism in Education." The Christian Statesman of September 1, in reporting the proceedings, says: --
"The speaker argued against the secular program: 1. That it does not satisfy the Roman Catholics or conciliate them to our school system. The special outcry is against the atheistic tendencies of public education, and the exclusion of religious worship and instruction from the schools only gives color to the charge."
In the course of the discussion, "Rev." S. V. Leech, D. D., of Saratoga, who had been for seven years chaplain of the New York Senate, asked the corresponding secretary to state how National Reformers would answer this argument: --
"If we put the Protestant Bible in the schools where Protestants are in the majority, how could we object to the Douay Version [the Catholic Bible] in schools where Roman Catholics are in the majority?"
The corresponding secretary answered : --
"WE WOULD N'T OBJECT. . . . This is not a question of versions, but of the right of the word of God to a place at all in the public schools. Prof. Tayler Lewis once wrote two valuable articles on the theme, 'The One Bible,' in which he maintained that no body of Catholic scholars, in the face of the scholarly world, would deny that King James' Version is a real version of the Holy Scriptures, while Protestant scholarship cheerfully admits the same of the Douay Bible. There are not a half a dozen passages in it which even seem to inculcate any distinctively Roman doctrine. It is a Latinized version rather than Anglo-Saxon, far less plain than ours, but it is a version."
Exactly what Mr. Stevenson means by the phrase "distinctively Roman doctrine." we cannot say, because the popular Protestantism of the day is making so many compromises with Romanism that it is difficult to tell just what is distinctively Roman doctrine. But we here quote one verse from the Douay Version, and ask the non-Catholic people of this country whether this is not enough distinctively Roman in doctrine to distinctively condemn the National Reformers in their proposal to give the Catholics power to teach such stuff in the public schools of this nation. We quote Hebrews xi, 21, which in the Douay Version reads thus: "By faith Jacob dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and adored the top of his rod."
To adore, is "to worship with profound reverence; to pay divine honors to; to honor as a god." -- Webster. Therefore the Douay Version distinctly inculcates the doctrine that Jacob worshiped with profound reverence the top of his rod; that he paid divine honors to, that he honored as a god, the top of his rod. And this is the version of the Bible which the National Reformers "wouldn't object" to having a majority of Catholics by law put into the hands of the children of a minority of non-Catholics. This is the doctrine which the National Reformers propose, by constitutional amendment, to empower a majority of Roman Catholics in any school district of the United States, to teach to the children of non-Catholics. Therefore, if National Reform succeeds, what is to hinder the Roman Catholic majority from teaching your children and mine to adore the top of the priest's rod, in the public schools? For what is the Bible to be taught for in the public schools if it is not to be obeyed in the public schools? And if the Catholic Bible is to be taught in the public schools where the Catholics are a majority, then is not the Catholic Bible to be obeyed in such schools? As the National Reformers propose to have "religious worship" as well as religious instruction in the public school; as they propose to have Catholic worship and instruction in the Catholic Bible in the schools where Catholics are in the majority; and as the Catholic Bible says that Jacob "adored the top of his rod," "as a figure of Christ's scepter and kingdom, as an instance and argument of his faith," then why should not the children in those schools adore the top of the priest's rod, "as a figure of Christ's scepter and kingdom," whose vicegerent on earthen the pope is, and also "as an instance and argument of their faith"?
Whether, according to Mr. Stevenson's idea, this passage is one of the less than half a dozen passages which inculcate any distinctively Roman doctrine, we know not, but we do know that it inculcates distinctively idolatrous doctrine. But even then that is not the primary question involved here. Whether there be in the Douay Version a half dozen such passages, or one such passage, or none at all, the principle is the same. And it is the principle upon which we stand. That principle is that the Catholic majority has just as much right to force the Catholic Bible, and the Catholic instruction, and the Catholic worship, upon the non-Catholic minority in the public schools, as the Protestant majority has to force the Protestant Bible, and the Protestant instruction, and the Protestant worship, upon the non-Protestant minority in the public schools. And that is but to say that there is no right at all on either side of the question, nor in the question anywhere. And this only illustrates the principle that neither the Bible, nor religious instruction, nor religious worship, can of right have any place in the public schools of the United States government, or of any other civil government on earth. We have cited the above passage from the Douay Version, and made the argument upon it, only to make more clearly apparent the justice of the principle, and not because we think that the Catholics have any less right in the matter than Protestants have.
The official report of the proceedings of the Saratoga conference further records the following: --
Rev. Dr. Price of Tennessee. -- "I wish to ask the secretary, has any attempt ever been made by the National Reform Association to ascertain whether a consensus, or agreement, could be reached with our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens, whereby we may unite in support of the schools, as they do in Massachusetts?"
The secretary. -- "I regret to say there has not. . . . But I recognize it as a wise and dutiful course on the part of all who are engaged in or who discuss the work of education, to make the effort to secure such an agreement."
Dr. Price. -- "I wish to move that the National Reform Association be requested by this Conference to bring this matter to the attention of American educators and of Roman Catholic authorities, with a view tot securing such a basis of agreement, if possible"12
The motion was seconded and adopted.
Thus the National Reform Association, which exists for the sole purpose of turning this government into a "kingdom of God," for the purpose of making the ecclesiastical independent of and superior to the civil power in this government, for the purpose of establishing a new theocracy here, not only officially declares itself ready gladly to join hands with the papacy to accomplish that bad purpose, but officially bears a commission to secure a basis of agreement with the papacy "if possible," by which the Association may have the co-operation of the papacy in effecting its declared purpose to subvert the Constitution of the United States as it respects religion and religious legislation.
Nor is it at all unlikely that this aim may prove successful; for in his Encyclical of 1885, Pope Leo XIII addressed to Catholics everywhere the following words: --
"We exhort all Catholics who would devote careful attention to public matters, to take an active part in all municipal affairs and elections, and to further the principles of the church in all public services, meetings, and gatherings. All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate wherever possible in the administration of civil affairs; must constantly exert their utmost vigilance and energy to prevent the usages of liberty from going beyond the limits fixed by God's law. All Catholics should do all in their power to cause the Constitutions of States, and legislation, to be modeled in the principles of the true church. All Catholic writers and journalists should never lose for an instant from view, the above prescriptions. All Catholics should redouble their submission to authority, and unite their whole heart, soul, and body, and mind, in the defense of the church."
And very opportunely with the Saratoga National Reform Conference, there was held at Baltimore a conference of Catholic prelates to discuss the plans of the new Catholic University at Washington, D. C., to whom the pope addressed a letter, in which he said: --
"The unlimited license of thought and writing, to which erroneous notions concerning both divine and human things have given rise, not only in Europe but also in your country, has been the root and source of unbridled opinions, while, on the other hand, with religion banished to a great extent from the schools, wicked men strive by craft and fallacious wisdom to extinguish the light of faith in the minds of the young, and to enkindle there the flames of irreligion. Wherefore it is necessary that youth be nourished more carefully with sound doctrine, and that these young men especially, who are being educated for the church, should be fully armed to fit them for the task of defending the Catholic truth. We therefore most gladly welcome and heartily approve your project for the erection of a university, moved as you are by a desire to promote the welfare of all, and the interests of your illustrious republic."
The theories and the aims of the papacy and of the National Reform Association, are identical. The National Reform Association is doing precisely what the pope has commanded all Catholics to do. And why should they not join hands?
The National Reform Association is strong not only in the influence which in itself it possess, and in the fair prospect of its longed-for alliance with papacy; but it is still stronger in the alliances which it has already been enabled to effect. The first of these was formed with --
THE WOMAN'S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION
In the published reports of the National Reform Association
for the years 1886-87, appears the following suggestion, made in
1885, on the relationship between the National Woman's Christian
Temperance Union and the National Reform Association: --
"Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, suggested the creation of a special department of its already manifold work, for the promotion of Sabbath observance, co-operating with the National Reform Association. The suggestion was adopted at the national convention in St. Louis, and the department was placed in the charge of Mrs. J. C. Bateham, of Ohio, as national superintendent. Mrs. Bateham has since, with her own cordial assent, been made one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association."
Again; of the year 1886, the same report says: --
"It was your secretary's privilege this year again to attend the national convention. A place was kindly given for an address in behalf of the National Reform Association, and thanks were returned by a vote of the convention. A resolution was adopted expressing gratitude to the National Reform Association, 'for its advocacy of a suitable acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ in the fundamental law of this professedly Christian nation.'"
And again: --
"In the series of monthly readings for the use of local unions as a responsive exercise, prepared or edited by Miss Willard, the reading for last July  was on 'God in Government;' that for August was 'Sabbath Observance' (prepared by Mrs. Bateham), and that for September, 'Our National Sins.' Touching the first and last named readings, your secretary had correspondence with their editor before they appeared. A letter has been prepared to Woman's Christian Temperance Union workers and speakers, asking them in their public addresses to refer to and plead for the Christian principles of civil government. The president of the National Union allows us to say that this letter is sent with her sanction, and by her desire."
In that same National Reform Convention, which was held in Pittsburg. Pa., May 11, 12, 1887, in the discussion of a resolution complimentary to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, one speaker declared: --
"This movement is bound to succeed through the influence of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union."
Another expressed the National Reform hopes thus: --
"When we get woman and Christ in politics, -- and they will both go in together, -- we shall have every reform, and Christ will be proclaimed King of kings and Lord of lords."
And the chairman closed the debate on this resolution by saying: --
"When woman undertakes anything good, she will do it. And if she attempts anything bad, she will accomplish that. What Ahab would not do. Jezebel did. And what Herod would not do to John the Baptist otherwise, his wife caused him to do."
No one attempted to explain just exactly where, in this observation, there lay the compliment to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. It seemed to the author of this book who was present, that the compliment was rather back-handed. And yet he could not help wondering whether in the end the observation might not prove true and the examples appropriate, even though the statement be not preeminently complimentary as it stands.
Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the National Union; Mrs. J. C. Bateham and Mrs. Woodbridge, of the National Union; Miss Mary A. West, editor of the Union Signal; Mrs. Hoffman, president of the Missouri State Union; Mrs. Sibley, president of the Georgia Union; Mrs. Lathrap, president of the Michigan Union; Mrs. Burt, president of the New York Union; Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, president of the Iowa Union; all these are vice-presidents of the National Reform Association, according to the latest printed list (that of 1890-91), and have been such for the last three or four years. And District Secretary M. A. Gault, reporting his work in the Christian Statesman of November 15, 1888, said: --
"The four weeks I spent recently in the eight Wisconsin district,, lecturing under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, were among the most pleasant weeks since I went into the lecture field. The weather was unusually fine, and there were but very few meetings in which everything was not in apple-pie order. Ladied wearing the significant white ribbon met me at the train, and took me often to the most elegant home in the town . . . The Woman's Christian Temperance Union affords the best facilities for openings for such workers more than any other organization. It is in sympathy with the movement to enthrone Christ in our government."
In the monthly reading for September 1886, before referred to, regarding which the secretary of the National Reform Association had correspondence with Miss Willard before it appeared, one of the responses is as follows: --
"A true theocracy is yet to come, . . . and humanity's weal depends upon the enthronement of Christ in law and law makers: hence I pray devoutly, as a Christian patriot, for the ballot in the hands of women and rejoice that the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union has so long championed this cause."
Nor is it simply as an ally as such, of the National Reform Association, that the Union works for these bad principles. In its own separate and organized capacity, the Union advocates the whole National Reform scheme, At the annual convention of the National Union for 1887, held in Nashville, the president, Miss Frances E. Willard, in her annual address, officially reported in the Union Signal of December 1, declared the purpose of the Union, as follows: --
"The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, local, State national, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world'8 king of its courts, its camps, its commerce, -- king of its colleges and cloisters, -- king of its customs and its Constitutions . . . The kingdom of Christ must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics.
. . . We pray Heaven to give them [the old parties] no rest . . . until they shall . . . swear an oath of allegiance to Christ in politics, and march in one great army up to the polls to worship God.
"I firmly believe that the patient, steadfast work of Christian women will so react upon politics within the next generation, that the party of God will be at the fore; ministers will preach for it from their pulpits, and Christian men will be as much ashamed to say that they never go to the caucus as they would be now to use profane language or defame character; for there is just one question that every Christian ought to ask: `What is the relation of this party, this platform, this candidate. to the setting up of Christ's kingdom on the earth? How does my vote relate to the Lord's Prayer?'
"The answer to this question is sacred, not secular, worthy to be given from the pulpit on the Sabbath day. In the Revolutionary War the question at issue being religious liberty, our forefathers felt that they could preach and pray about it on the Sabbath. In the Civil War, both sides believing their cause to be holy, could do the same; and now, when it is a question of preserving the Sabbath itself and guarding the homes which are the sanctuaries of Christ's gospel, we women believe that no day is too good, no place too consecrated, for the declaration of principles and the determining of notes. The ascetic in the olden time shut himself away from the world and counted everything secular except specific acts of devotion. The Christian soldier of to-day reverses this process, and makes everything he does a devotional act, an expression of his loyalty to Christ -- so finding his balance in God, that no sin can overcome, and no sorrow surprise him. Prayer is the pulse of his life; there is no secular, no sacred; all is in God; and as the followers of Bruce inclosed that hero's heart in a silver shrine and flung it into the ranks of the enemy that they might fly to win it back, shouting. 'Heart of Bruce. I follow thee,' so Christian men to-day take their ideal of Christ in government, hurl it into the ranks of his foes, and hasten on to regain it, by rallying for the overthrow of saloon politics and the triumphs of the Christian at the polls.
"Our prayers are prophets, and predict this day of glad deliverance as being at the door. The man who, in presence of such possibilities, says, `I don't want throw away my vote.' is quite likely to throw away something even more valuable -- and that is the voter himself. For, as Miss West has said, 'To-day Christ sits over against the ballot-box, as of old he sat over against the treasury, and judges men by what they cast therein.'"
The official report cordially announces that by an "almost unanimous vote" of the whole delegation assembled, this address "was accepted as expressing the principles of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union," and "the audience manifested its appreciation of this grand address by universal hand-clapping and waving of handkerchiefs."
Although Christ himself has plainly declared that his kingdom is not of this world, these "devout and honorable women" (Acts xiii, 50), like those people of old, seem determined to take him by force and make him king. No one should be surprised, therefore, that he should do now as he did then -- he "departed" from them. It is well to remember also that although "the ascetic in the olden time shut himself away from the world," he was always ready, upon any question of orthodoxy, to return to the world, and pour out upon it all the pent-up passions of years. Many a time did these also march in great armies up to the polls, not to worship God, but to "blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle and them which dwell in heaven," and to outrage every principle not only of Christianity, but of humanity.13
In a convention of the eighth district of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Wisconsin, held at Augusta, October 2-4, 1888, and representing fifteen counties, there was passed "without a dissenting voice" the following preamble and resolution: --
"Whereas, God would have all men honor the Son, even as they honor the Father ; and, --
"Whereas, The civil law which Christ gave from Sinai as the only perfect law, and the only law that will secure the rights of all classes; therefore, --
"Resolved, That civil government should recognize Christ as the moral Governor, and his law as the standard of legislation."
And the national convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union for the same year, held in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, the nineteenth to the twenty-third of the same month, confirmed this action and the principle of it, by passing the following resolution, the first in the series of resolutions there adopted, as officially reported in the Union Signal of November 8 : --
"Resolved, That and his gospel, as universal king and code, should be sovereign in our government and political affairs."14
At the Chautauqua (N. Y.) Assembly of 1886, Mrs. Woodbridge of the Union made a speech (July 23), in which she said: --
"An amendment to the national constitution requires the indorsement of two thirds of the States to become law. Although the action must be taken by State legislative bodies, let such an amendment be submitted, and it would become the paramount issue at the election of legislators, and thus God would be in the thought, and his name upon the lip, of every man. May not this be the way opened to us? How to bring the gospel of Christ to the masses has been, and is, the vexing problem of the church. Would not the problem be solved? Yea, Christ would then be lifted up, even as the serpent in the wilderness, and would we not have right to claim the fulfillment of the promise, that `He will draw all men unto himself'? . . .
"In considering the submission of such an amendment, we may use the very argument used by Moses, in his song containing these words of Jehovah, 'For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land.' How prayerfulness would be stimulated! Conscience would press the words, `If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him!' Then would there be searchings of heart, as David's, of which we learn in the fifty-first Psalm. Prayer would bring faith and the power of the Spirit; and when such power shall rest upon the children of God, there will be added to the church daily such as shall be saved.,
"The National Reform Association makes this plea in the name of the Lord and his suffering ones. It asks the prayerful consideration of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, by which, if adopted, we, the people, will crown Christ the Lord, as our rightful Sovereign.
"The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, pursuing its work `For God, and home, and native land,' in thirty-nine departments of reform, can but see that were a nation to be thus aroused, were it to make such an acknowledgment at the ballot-box, the laws of our land would ere long be truly `founded on the old Mosaic ritual.' Then we could [Italics hers] have no other God. Unto the Lord Jehovah would we bow. Should we take his name in vain, or fail to keep the Sabbath holy, we would be criminals."
Is there any one so dull as to be unable to see that in this scheme there lies the whole theory and practice of the papacy?
In this way precisely the "gospel" "was brought to the masses" in the fourth century.15 In this way precisely, then, God and his name were put into the thought and upon the lip, clubs and stones into the hands, and murder in the heart, of every man; and so there was, then, added to the church daily such as should be ______. And, by the way, the women were among the leaders and were the main help in bringing about that grand triumph of the "gospel" among the masses. And "history repeats itself," even to the part the women would play in the political project of bringing "the gospel to the masses."16
To propose a political campaign managed by ambitious clerics, political hypocrisies, ward politicians, and city bosses, and call that the bringing of the gospel of Christ to the masses, and the means of adding to the church daily such as shall be saved, is certainly a conception of the gospel that is degraded enough in all conscience. But when, to cap such conception, it is avowed that such would be the lifting up of Christ even as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, and the fulfillment of the promise that he will draw all men unto him, the whole idea becomes one that is vastly nearer to open blasphemy than it is to any proper conception of what the gospel of Christ is. Yet such, and of such, is the gospel of the National Reform Woman's Christian Temperance Union combination. Instead of lifting up Christ, it tramples him under foot. Instead of treasuring the gospel as the pearl of great price, it casts it to swine to be trampled under their feet. Instead of honoring Christ, it puts him to an open shame. Instead of the gospel being held forth as the mystery of godliness, it is supplanted by the mystery of iniquity. For the testimony of history is unanimous in confirmation of the truth that "men will fight to the death, and persecute without pity, for a creed whose doctrines they do not understand and whose precepts they habitually disobey."
Before leaving this division of the subject, it is but justice to all concerned to say that there are none who have more respect or more good wishes for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in the line of its legitimate work, than have the author of this book and the Christian people with whom he has the honor to be connected. We thoroughly believe in Christian temperance. Not only do we believe in it, but we practice it. We practice Christian temperance more strictly than the Woman's Christian Temperance Union even preaches it. But believing in it as thoroughly as we do, and endeavoring to practice it as strictly as we believe in it, we would never lift a hand nor open our lips in any effort compel men to practice the Christian temperance in which we believe and which we practice. Christianity persuades men, instead of trying to compel them. By the purity and love of Christ, Christianity draws men instead of trying to drive them. It is not by the power of civil government, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, that Christianity secures the obedience of men and the practice of Christian temperance, as well as every other Christian virtue.
We sincerely wish that the Woman's Christian Temperance Union would stick to its text, and work for Christian temperance by Christian means; and not for Christian temperance by political means, nor for political temperance by theoretical means. We know there are Christian women in the organization, who look at this precisely as we do. We know many such who have left the organization solely upon account of the political and theocratically course of its leadership. And every other woman would do well to leave it, unless its leadership and the course to which that leadership has already committed, it can be changed. The leadership of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union has led it in wicked ways, has established it upon evil principles, and has committed it to the very worst alliance that could possibly be made; and those who disapprove of all this cannot remain much longer in it without becoming a part of it.
The next ally that the National Reform Association was enabled to gain was and is --
In the Pittsburg National
Reform convention of 1887, the corresponding secretary in his annual
report, upon this point said: -- "The national platform of
the Prohibition party, adopted in Pittsburg, in 1884, contained
an explicit acknowledgment of Almighty God, and of the paramount
authority of his law as the supreme standard of all human legislation,
The `Rev.' Dr. A. A. Miner, D. D., of Boston, an eloquent and devoted
fine and done of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association,
was a member of the committee which framed the declaration.
"After that presidential campaign was over, and before the State conventions of 1885, Prof. Wallace. of Wooster University, wrote to your secretary, suggesting that all diligence be used to secure similar acknowledgments and kindred declarations on related points, in the Prohibition platforms of the several States. Under this most judicious and timely suggestion, a large correspondence has been held with the leaders of the party, and its chief workers in many States. Efficient service has been rendered by Secretary Weir, in parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The friends of the cause have everywhere remarked with gratitude that the county conventions for Washington, Lancaster, and Chester counties, Pa., and Belmont county, Ohio, incorporated in their platforms distinct acknowledgments of the Lordship of Jesus Christ; the States of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, and Texas, made devout acknowledgment of God; the States of Connecticut Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and others, declared in favor of the maintenance of our Sabbath laws, while the States of Ohio and Connecticut declared for the reformation of our marriage and divorce laws in accordance with the law of God. Other similar declarations in other States may have escaped notice."
The California State Prohibition convention held in April, 1888, proposed as the preamble of its platform, these words: --
"The prohibition party of the State of California, in convention assembled, reverently recognize Almighty God as the Supreme Ruler, to whose laws all human should conform."
And when objection was made by one of the delegates that this was entering upon dangerous ground, and tended to a union of Church and State, he was met with such a storm of "yells and hisses" that he could proceed no further, and the preamble was adopted with but two or three dissenting votes.
The National Prohibition convention, held the same year at Indianapolis, likewise said: --
"The Prohibition party in national convention assembled, acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all power in government, do hereby declare,:" etc.
"Sam" Small was secretary of this convention, and his views in this connection were declared in a "revival sermon" delivered in Kansas City, in the January preceding, and repeated by him in a letter to the Voice of August 8, 1889, as follows: --
"I want to see the day come in the history of our country when the voice of the church of Christ will be heard and respected upon all vital moral issues. I shall ever hope for and patiently expect the day when legislation, State, national, and municipal, will be projected in harmony with the eternal principle of justice and righteousness, revealed by Christ and proclaimed by his church. Happy will be the day . . . when the harmonious judgment of the people of God in America upon the issues of temperance, purity, and uprightness, shall be received with respect and enacted into laws."
What more was the papacy ever than this? What more did it ever claim to be? All that the papacy ever wanted was that legislation, State, national, and municipal, should be projected in harmony with the principles of justice and righteousness as proclaimed by the church; and that "the harmonious judgment of the people of God" (and to find out what this "harmonious judgment" was, is what all the councils were for), should be respected "and enacted into laws." That is all she ever wanted, and that is all she wants now, as is seen by the words of Pope Leo XIII, on page 732 of this book. And as though to make perfectly clear the attitude of the National Prohibition party, Mr. Small in the same letter continues as follows: --
"I hold that the above expressions are in perfect harmony with the principles of the National Prohibition party, as expressed in its preamble and platform."
Mr. Geo. W. Bain, the prominent Prohibition party workers, is a vice-president of the National Reform Association. The Christian Statesman, in August, 1888, under the heading, "The National Reform Movement," printed an extract from a sermon by "Sam" Jones, preached in Windsor, Canada, to an audience composed mostly of Americans who had gone over the line to hear him, and in the extract were the following words: --
"Four years from now the Prohibition element will break the solid South. The issue then will be, God or no God, drunkenness or sobriety, Sabbath or no Sabbath, heaven or hell. That will be the issue. Then we will wipe up the ground with the Democratic party, and let God rule America from that time on."
This is reproduced here not for any value that it has as a prophecy, but as showing, with the other extracts even, the views, held by the leading and most influential Third-party Prohibitionists.
The "Rev." John A. Brooks, of Kansas City, was the candidate for Vice-President on the Prohibition ticket of 1888, and in a joint Convention of the National Reform Association, the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the American Sabbath Union, held at Sedalia, Mo., May 23, 24, 1889, he made a speech, in which he said: --
"If you will give me a united church that will recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is king, and he only is king; and that will think and talk and preach and pray and vote in his name; then victory shall come, and the Kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of God and his Christ. And then when this is done, the millennium will come.
These evidence are sufficient to show that with the leadership of the Third-party Prohibition party, the principle of prohibition is entirely subordinate to the scheme for securing religious legislation, and to the setting up of the ecclesiastical power above the civil; and that the alliance with the National Reform Association is not an accident. There is a civil basis for prohibition, and upon that basis we favor it; but prohibition on the religious basis, as advocated by the Thirdparty Prohibition party, if successful, would be far worse than ever was or ever could be the evil against which they profess to be working. The world has been without prohibition for more than forty-three hundred years, but in no instance has this lack ever wrought anything like so much evil as did the religious despotism of the fourth century and onwards, of which this movement is so exact an image.
A third ally of the National Reform Association is --
THE AMERICAN SABBATH UNION
which was organized in Bew York City, November 13,
1888. They way in which it was brought about is this: The year 1888
was the time for the regular meeting of the General Conference of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Early in the year, before the conference
met, "Rev." W. F. Crafts circulated amoung the officers
of Sunday-law associations in all parts of the country, the following
"To the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"DEAR FATHERS AND BRETHEREN: The undersigned earnestly petition you as representatives of the largest denomination of American Christians, to take the initiative in forming a National Sabbath Committee, by appointing several persons to serve in your behalf on such a committee, with instructions to ask other religious bodies, in your name, to appoint representatives to serve on the same committee, in order that the invasion of our day of rest and worship by the united forces of the liquor traffic and its allies, may be successfully resisted by the united forces of American Christianity, in the interests alike of the church and of the nation, of morality and of liberty."
When the said General Conference met, the petition was presented by "Rev." J. H. Knowles, editor of the Pearl of Days. The petition was referred to the "Committee on the State of the Church." May 15 this committee made the your committee recommend the following for adoption by the General Conference: --
"Resolved, 1. That the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in response to a petition signed by the officers of Sabbath association of this country, and by more than six hundred other petitioners of different evangelical denominations, take the initiative in forming a National Sabbath Committee.
"2. That this General Conference invite all other evangelical denominations to appoint representatives to serve on this Committee.
"3. That the basis of representation on the Committee for each denomination be one representative for each one hundred thousand or major fraction thereof.
"4. That the following persons be designated to serve on this Committee during the coming quaderennium, with power to complete the full quota for the Methodist Episcopal Church, and to fill vacancies -- the first-named to communicate the action of this body to the official representatives of other denominations, and to be the convener of the Committee for its first meeting."
This prompt and hearty action of the Methodist Episcopal General Conference, was made the basis of a plea for similar action on the part of other church organizations which met the same year. Upon the strength of this action, the originator of the petition visited, and secured the indorsement of, the Presbyterian General Assemblies both North and South; the Baptist Home Missionary convention; the Synod of Reformed Church; and the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church. Then, November 13, there was held in the parlors of Col. Elliott F. Shepard, New York City, a meeting of eight preachers, one Ph.D., and Mr. Shepard, and the organization was effected, with a Constitution as to name, basis, and object as follows: --
"I. -- NAME.
"The American Sabbath Union.
"II. -- BASIS.
"The basis of the Union is the divine authority and universal and perpetual obligation of the Sabbath, as manifested in the order and constitution of nature, declared in the revealed will of God, formulated in the fourth commandment of the moral law, interpreted and applied by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. transferred to the Christian Sabbath, or Lord's day, by Christ and his apostles, and approved by its beneficial influence upon national life.
"III. -- OBJECT.
"The object of this Union is to preserve the Christian Sabbath as a day of rest and worship.
Col. Shepard was made president; "Rev." J. H. Knowles was made general secretary and editor of Publications, and of the Pearl of Days which was made the official organ of the Association; the whole United States was divided into ten "Districts," and "Rev." W. F. Crafts was made Field Secretary, for organizing the work in the said districts, and for carrying on the work at large. When this organization was just one month old, there was held at Washington, D. C., a convention composed of themselves, National Reformers, and Woman's Christian Temperance Union managers, for the purpose of urging upon Congress, by every means they could employ, religious legislation, which if secured, would commit the nation to the whole National Reforms scheme.
In April, 1889, the Field Secretary of the Sabbath Union was an important part of the annual National Reform Convention; shortly afterward one of the district secretaries of the National Reform Association, "Rev." James P. Mills, was made secretary of the Ohio branch of American Sabbath Union, and another, "Rev." M. A. Gault, was made district secretary of the Sabbath Union for the Omaha District; and in the West, especially in the Omaha District, the conventions of the Sabbath Union were simply joint conventions of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and National Reform workers, directed by the Secretary. The convention at Sedalia, Mo., for instance, was a convention of all the allies of the National Reform Association.
We have seen that the first definite step toward the organization of the American Sabbath Union, was in presenting to the Methodist Episcopal General Conference a numerously signed petition from Sunday-law associations already existing. The chief of these was the Illinois Association, which dates its active existence as an organization from a convention held in the city of Elgin, November 8, 1887.17 Statements and arguments made by representative men in this convention, therefore, will justly show the intent of the Union, which not only in a great measure grew out of it, but of which it afterward became an important part. "Rev." C. E. Mandeville, D. D., of Chicago, made one of the main speeches of the convention. He afterward became president of the State Association, and vice-president of the American Sabbath Union, the latter of which he is still. In his Elgin speech, Dr. Mandeville spoke on the subject of "Some Dangers Respecting Sabbath Observance," in the course of which he said: --
"The subject has two sides. We must not look alone at the religious side. The interests of the Church and State are united." They must stand or fall together.
And yet they all make a great show of injured innocence when any person opposes the movement on the ground that it would create a union of Church and State. In the same speech, Dr. Mandaville further said: --
"The merchants of Tyre insisted upon selling goods near the temple on the Sabbath, and Nehemiah compelled the officers of the law to do their duty, and stop it. So we can compel the officers of the law to do their duty. . . . When the church of God awakes and does its duty on one side, and the State on the other, we shall have no further trouble in this matter."
Yes; we all know how it was before. The gentle Albigenses in the South of France greatly disturbed the church -- they refused to obey her commands. But the church was wide awake, for Innocent II was pope; and with the command, "Up! most Christian king; up! and aid us in our work of vengeance," he saw to it that the State was awake on the other side. Then with the Church awake to its "duty" on one side, and the State on the other, the Albigenses were blotted from the earth, and there was no further trouble in that matter.
It is worth while further to notice this statement upon the merit of its argument, because it was not only used there by Dr. Mandeville, but it is used everywhere by the whole National Reform alliance. It is their stock argument and example.
Nehemiah was ruling there in a true theocracy, a government of God; the law of God was the law of the land, and God's will was made known by the written world, and by prophets. Therefore if Dr. Mandeville's argument is of any force at all, it is so only upon the claim that the government here should be a theocracy. With this idea the view of Mr. Crafts agrees precisely, and he is not only field secretary, but the originator of the National Sunday-law Union. He claims, as expressed in his own words, in the Christian Statesman of July 5, 1888, that "the preachers are the successors of the prophets."
Now put these things together. The government of Israel was a theocracy; the will of God was made known to the ruler by prophets; the ruler compelled the officers of the law to prevent the ungodly from selling goods on the Sabbath. By this religious combination, the government of the United States is to be made a theocracy; the preachers are the successors of the prophets; and they are to compel the officers of the law to prevent all selling of goods and all manner of work on Sunday. This shows conclusively that these preachers intend to take the supremacy into their hands, officially declare the will of God, and compel all men to conform to it. And this deduction is made certain by the words of Prof. Blanchard, in the Elgin convention: --
"In this work we are undertaking for the Sabbath, we are the representatives of God."
The example of Nehemiah never can be cited as a precedent on any subject under any form of government but a theocracy, and when it is cited as an example in any instance in the United States, it can be so only upon the theory that the government of the cities or States of the Union and the Union itself, should be a theocracy. A theocracy is essentially a religious government. Sabbath laws belong only with a theocracy. Sunday laws being advocated upon the theory that Sunday is substituted for the Sabbath, likewise are inseparable from a theocratical theory of government. In such a theory Sunday laws originated,18 with such a theory they belong, and every argument in behalf of Sunday laws is, in the nature of the case, compelled to presuppose a theocratical form of government.
Nor is it alone among the National Reform organs and allies as such, that these evil principles are found. They are found advocated by leading religious papers of the country. The Christian Union, for instance, which opposed the movement at first, now advocates it as strongly as formerly it opposed it. In its issue of September 8, 1887 this paper said: --
"The political aim of Christianity is to bring forth a time in which Christianity shall control the caucus, religion shall control politics, the politicians shall be saints, and the polls shall be holy ground.
Such is the situation to-day with regard to the National Reform Association, as it stands before the country with its several active and more or less powerful allies, making itself still more active and more powerful. And from all this it is evident that the whole scheme and organization is it stands to-day, forms only a colossal religious combination to effect political purposes, the chief purpose being to change the form of the United States government, to turn it into a new "kingdom of God," a new theocracy, in which the civil power shall be but the tool of the religious, in which the government shall no longer derive just powers from the consent of the governed, but shall be absorbed in the unjust and oppressive power of a despotic hierarchy, acting as "the representative of God," asserting and executing its arbitrary and irresponsible will as the expression of the law and will of God.
Nor do they shrink from distinctly asserting even this. In the Sedalia joint convention before mentioned the "Rev." W. D. Gray, who was secretary of the convention and was elected corresponding secretary of the American Sabbath Union for the Omaha District, made a speech as follows: --
"I, for one, have made this question very much a of a study, especially this topic of it. To appeal to divine authority in our legislation would be to fundamentally change the law of our land, or the principle adopted by our fathers when they said that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. I for one do not believe that, as a political maxim. I do not believe that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. And I believe as Brother Gault on this, I think. And so the object of this movement is an effort to change that feature in our fundamental law. Jefferson was under the influence of French ideas when the Constitution was framed, and that had something to do with leaving God out of the Constitution.19 And I think that the provincial history of this country will compel us to come back to that, and recognize God in our constitution. And I see in this reform a Providence teaching us the necessity of recognizing something else besides the will of the people as the basis of government."
And at the Chautauqua (N. Y.) Assembly in August following, Col. Elliot F. Shepard, speaking as president of the American Sabbath Union, said: --
"Governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. God is the only law-giver. His laws are made clear and plain in his word, so that all nations may know what are the laws which God ordained to be kept."
Nothing more need be said to demonstrate that the religio-political movement represented in the National Reform Association, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Third-party Prohibition Party, and the American Sabbath Union, is a gigantic conspiracy to turn the United States government into a new theocracy in the living image of that of the papacy.
In 1829-30 the United States Senate was called upon to consider a certain phase of this question, and in the report that was made, the Senate truthfully and warningly observed that --
"The Jewish government was a theocracy, which enforced religious observances; and though the committee would hope that no portion of the citizens of our country would willingly introduce a system of religious coercion in our civil institutions, the example of other nations should admonish us to watch carefully against its earliest indication, . . . Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for the violation of what government denominated the law of God. To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our government the power of defining the divine law. It is a right reserved to each citizen; and while he respects the rights of others, he cannot be held amenable to any human tribunal for his conclusions.
"Extensive religious combinations to effect a political object, are, in the opinion of the committee, always dangerous. This first effort of the kind calls for the establishment of a principle, which, in the opinion of the committee, would lay the foundation for dangerous innovations upon the spirit of the Constitution, and upon the religious rights of the citizens. If admitted, it may be justly apprehended that the future measures of the government will be strongly marked, if not eventually controlled, by the same influence. All religious despotism commences by combination and influence, and when that influence begins to operate upon the political institutions of a country, the civil power soon bends under it; and the catastrophe of other nations furnishes an awful warning of the consequence."
Extensive religious combinations for political purposes are indeed always dangerous. The movement under consideration in this chapter is not only an extensive religious combination to effect a political object, but with only a single element lacking -- the active co-operation of the Catholic Church -- it is the most extensive religious combination that could be formed in the country, and even that element is fast falling into line. Therefore, as it is an undeniable truth that extensive religious combinations to effect a political object are always dangerous, and as there stands before the government of the United States to-day, the most extensive religious combination that was ever formed to effect a political object, the proposition stands demonstrated that the situation to-day, in the presence of this great conspiracy, IS MOST DANGEROUS.
1 [Page 701] The reader will find these and many others like them in the "Proceedings of the faith National Reform Convection, "held in Pittsburg, February 4, 5, 1874, issued by the National Reform Association, and sold by the Christian Statesman Publishing Company, Philadelphia, pa.
2 [Page 704] In lending his name and influence to this Association, Mr. Street seems to have forgotten the experiences of his denominational ancestors in New England under a government with which that which is now proposed by this Association is identical.
3 [Page 705] Dr. Fitzgerald has since been made a bishop a bishop of the methodist Episcopal Church South This makes the number of bishop vice presidents twelve.
4 [Page 707] See Pages 297, 298 of this book.
5 [Page 713] Hon W.T. Harris United States commissioner of Education President Harrison's Administration.
6 [Page 714] There is an accommodated sense in which the word "morality " is used with reference only to men's relations to their fellow-men ; and with reference to this view of morality, it is sometimes said that the civil power is to enforce morality upon a civil basis. But morality on a civil basis is only civility , and the enforcement of morality upon a civil basis is the enforcement of civility, and nothing else. When such is the meaning, in the use of the term "morality," we may agree with all that is said of it, but never can consent to call it morality "Morality" is infinitely a deeper and a broader term than is the term "civility." The field of morality is much wider than that of civility, and in fact is essentially distinct from it; and this clear distinction should always be recognized and maintained. Again; the term "morality" has become, to a considerable exility, but a sort of sentimental, theoretical something that each theorist may have framed for himself, meaning much more than civility and infinitely less than morality But such usage is wrong. it comes down to our time from the time when the papacy was supreme, and when accordingly there was utter confusion of all things pertaining to the Church and to the State, of the civil and the religious; when, in short, everything was held to be moral, according to the papal idea of morality. And everybody who has looked into the history of those times, knows full well that under the papal dominion and in the papal system, there never was any such thing as either morality or civility.
7 [Page 717] page 496, this book.
8 [Page 719] See Symmachus, pages 539-540, this book; and Pope Gelasius I,A.D, 492 496, expressed it to the emperor Anastasius thus: "There are two powers who rule the world, the imperial and the pontifical. You are sovereign of the human race, but you bow your neck to those who preside over things divine. The priesthood is the greater of the two powers; it has to render an account in the last day for the acts of kings." -- milman's History of latin Christianity," book III chap i par 30.
9 [Page 720] pages 265, 307-309, this book.
10 [Page 722] page 274, this book.
11 [Page 727] Let not the reader think that because this was spoken so long ago, it is now out of date; for that Association has ever since been advertising and selling this speech as representative National Reform Literature, and unless the edition is exhausted , the pamphlet in which it is contained can be had by sending twenty five cents to the Christian statesman, 1520 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, pa.
12 [Page 731] While this chapter is being made up into pages, there comes the Christian statesman it May 28, 1891, giving an account of how "the Protestants and Roman Catholics united" at a recent election of the School Board of New Haven Conn., and secured the election of men who favored the restoration of religious exercises in the public schools of that city; and how that a committee of five, "consisting of three Protestants -- Ex-President Woolsey of Yale, the Rev. Dr. Harwood, and Rev. John E. Todd -- and two Roman Catholics -- Fathers Fitzpatrick and Murphy -- were appointed to arrange a form of worship" for the schools. The result was that a responsive exercise for teachers and pupils was framed, in which the following passage was to be recited between the Lord's prayer and the "Apostles'" Creed: --
"Teacher -- Hall, Marry, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
"Children Respond. -- Holy Mary, mother of Go, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
13 [Page 737] Pages 412, 415, 424, 425, 429, 432, 444, 490, 510, 545-547, this book.
14 [Page 738] Page 489, this book.
15 [Page 739] Pages 298, 299, this book.
16 [Page 739] Pages 374, 375, 419, 423, 501, 503, of this book.
17 [Page 747] Christian Cynosure, November 17, 24, 1887.
18 [Page 749] See pages 265-267, 274, 309, 314-315.
19 [Page 750] The gentleman cannot have made this so very much of a study after all, or he would have known that Jefferson was not in this country at that time, and had nothing to do with the framing of the Constitution. Yet even though he had, it would only have been to his everlasting honor, and would have been no reflection on that document.