THE following from the works of John Adams (second President of the United States), is quoted by the Christian Statesman, organ of the National Reform Association:—
“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for the only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged, in conscience, to temperance and frugality and industry; to justice and charity toward his fellow-men, and to piety, love, and reverence for the Almighty. In this commonwealth no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness, or lust; no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards or to any other trifling and mean amusement; no man would steal or lie, or in any way defraud his neighbor, but would live in peace and good will with all men; no man would blaspheme his Maker or profane his worship; but a rational, a manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion would reign in all hearts. What a Utopia, what a Paradise with this region be!”—(Works of John Adams, Vol. II., pp. 6 and 7.)
“What is here pictured forth,” adds a Statesman, “is what the National Reform movement seeks to make a reality in our nation.”
Is that so? Let us see.
“Every member,” says Adams, under the condition named, “would be obliged, in conscience, to temperance and frugality and industry; to justice and charity,” etc. “Obliged in conscience,” says Adams; “Obliged by law!” says the National Reform party. Only this difference; but it is a difference as wide as the world.
The AMERICAN SENTINEL, which has opposed the National Reform movement from the first, makes no objection at all to moral reforms which are to be enforced only by conscience.