THE following article from the Sun of this city, January 18, 1895, is self-explanatory as to the movement and the purpose thereof which it outlines:—
ARMS FOR SCHOOL-BOYS
Forty-seven Governors Agree with Layfayette Post.
Military Drill in Schools and Colleges to be Recommended in Messages to Legislatures—A Big Conference Coming.
Having got the American flag raised over nearly every public school-house in the country, Lafayette Post, G. A. R., of this city is at work with enthusiasm and determination to build up beneath those flags something which shall sustain them in all stress under all circumstances, and against all opposition. They promise to create this sustaining force through military instruction in the schools.
The widespreading increase of this movement started by Lafayette Post, has been little less than amazing. It would be wholly so if the sentiment invoked were anything else than patriotism.
At a lunch given at the Lawyer’s Club yesterday for the discussion of certain features of the movement, Post Commander Henry H. Adams displayed letters from the Governors of forty-seven States and Territories expressing not only sympathy with the objects of the movement, but urgently requesting more particulars concerning the means whereby it is proposed to secure military instruction in schools and colleges. In at least half the letters the governors writing had asked for immediate additional data for the purpose of submitting them to the legislative bodies of the various States now in session.
The movement is to have a national boom on the 25th of this month, when three important events relating to it will take place in this city. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon of that day, the governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and probably Massachusetts; six ex-governors, Gen. Miles, and probably ex-President Harrison, will meet in conference in the Hotel New Netherland to consult with a committee of Lafayette Post on the subject. The conference will have the legal advice of Joseph H. Choate and Chauncey M. Depew as to what legislation, national, State and municipal, should be advised to bring about the general instruction it is aimed to secure in public schools, State colleges, and universities under State and Federal supervision.
At half-past four o’clock the conferences will adjourn, and its members will be driven in carriages to the Seventh Regiment Armory, where several battalions of school children, who are receiving military instruction in our public schools, will be drilled for the purpose of giving to the visitors from other States a demonstration of the degree of excellence in drills public school-children are capable of acquiring. The kind of marching the visitors will see was thus commented on by ex-President Harrison:—
“In the Centennial parades in New York, in April,  1889, the best marching I saw was that of some of your school-children. The alignment of the company front was better than that of the regulars or of the Seventh Regiment.”
After the drill the visitors, being fortified by dinner, will attend the principal event of the day. This will occur in the evening in Carnegie Hall, where Mr. Choate will talk on “What is a Vote?” and show that a vote in the hands of a man who has been taught to love his country, to recognize the value of obedience to law, and to toe out and hold his chin up, by military instruction, is a safe vote for the country. Chauncey M. Depew will talk on “Citizenship and Patriotism,” as they are affected by school military instruction; Gen. Benjamin, if it is possible for him to be present, will talk directly to the main question, “Military Instruction in Schools and Colleges;” the Hon. John S. Wise will speak on “A United Country;” Gen. Miles will ask and answer “What Does the Flag Signify?” and the Hon. Seth Low will calm the minds of doubtful parents by proving that the best-drilled boys are the best book students in his address, “Influence of Military Instruction on the Student.”
The Lafayette Post committeemen who are so enthusiastically at work on this matter, invited a number of newspaper men and others to meet them at lunch in the Lawyers’ Club yesterday to discuss the present aspect of the movement.
Post Commander Adams said that although when the movement was first started the country at large was ignorant of the practical object in view, and New York City was indifferent; now the country was awake to the importance of the movement, and New York was zealously alive in promoting it. He had been assured that on next Decoration Day there will be a parade here of 10,000 perfectly drilled public-school children. Only six weeks ago Lafayette Post began the attempt to bring about a concert of action between all the States, and the manner in which the attempt has been received was shown by the forty-seven letters from as many governors referred to above. At the Carnegie Hall meeting three governors at least will attend with their military staffs in full uniform….
Commander Adams read from some collated date the committee has gathered which show that there are in the schools of the United States 1,800,000 boys between the years of 12 and 18 who are able to handle a cadet rifle. He read from the report of a principal of a school in which military instruction had been given for several years. The report stated that the general deportment of the scholars and their physical condition had greatly improved since the introduction of military instruction. The military companies are recruited only from scholars in good standing, and so the buttons become a badge of excellence.
This grand “boom” announced for the 25th came off according to program. In the proceedings of that day there was nothing in addition to what is announced above, except that there was a company of school-girls who went through the soldierly drill in the armory, after the boys had exhibited their efficiency in it. And this shows that the movement is not to be confined to the boys in the schools of the country. Indorsements were received from all the governors in the country.
There is one result that must inevitably follow the carrying out of this movement that is thus begun. That inevitable result will be the separation of every genuine Christian from any allegiance to the Government. If the thing shall be made in any way compulsory, it will force upon every Christian the direct issue of allegiance to Jesus Christ or to the Government of the United States. For all know that the principle of Jesus Christ is peace, meekness and humility; while the principle of this thing is war, pride and ambition.
The song of the angels that ushered Christ the Saviour into the world, a little child, is “Peace on earth, good will to men”—not war and warlike emulation. His word is, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” But this thing says, even to the children, “Take the arms and accouterments of war upon you and learn the ‘art’ of strife, and contention, and of killing men.” Christ humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, and therefore it is written, “Be ye clothed with humility;” while this proposed movement says, “Exalt yourselves; be clothed with pride and arrogance.”
And therefore we say that if this thing is made in any way compulsory in the schools, it will force upon all the Christian parents of the country for immediate decision, the straight issue as to whether they will hold themselves and their children in allegiance to Christ and his principles at the risk of being counted unpatriotic, and even disloyal, toward the Government of the United States (for it is proposed to do all this in the interests of “patriotism”), or whether they will yield to this demand of the spirit of war and worldly ambition, with the certainty of severing allegiance to Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.
If this beginning is carried into practice according to the proposition, the line will thereby be clearly drawn upon this issue and every Christian will be forced to decide. Of course the genuine Christian will have no difficulty in deciding the question: his allegiance is everlastingly settled uncompromisingly upon Jesus Christ. And this allegiance holds at the expense of every earthly consideration, even life itself. Therefore we say, and say truly, that as certainly as this thing is carried out, the inevitable result will be to separate every genuine Christian from allegiance to the Government. In view of the situation, it is time for those who profess to be Christians in the country to ask themselves: “Am I indeed a Christian? Will I hold fast my integrity to the principles of Christ and my allegiance to him? or will I compromise and surrender my children to the rule of the spirit of war?”
We have used the expression, “If this shall be made in any sense compulsory in the schools.” But without its being made compulsory by law, it will yet be in a certain sense compulsory if it shall be generally introduced into the schools; for then every boy physically and otherwise qualified for it, who shall refuse it, will instantly be ostracised. There will be enough compulsion about it to make a clear test of the Christian principle of both parents and children.
It is no answer to this to say that ministers and prominent church-members indorse it; or that the churches have really taken the lead in the movement, in their organizing of the “Boys’ Brigade;” for instead of this being any valid argument or evidence in its favor, it is in fact only a positive evidence of the apostasy and anti-christian spirit that is pervading the professed Protestant churches of the land.
Christ is peace. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of peace. The kingdom of Christ is the kingdom of peace. Christ himself is the King of peace. The war-spirit in those who profess to be Christ’s, is antichrist. To bring to the support of the movement the like action and example of the churches, is the greatest condemnation that could be given it. For “this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:15-18.
Shall the spirit of Christ, or the spirit of war prevail in the Christian families of the land? This is the question which, by this “amazing” movement, is forced upon all the Christians in the land.
Another sure result will be that this thing will be greedily adopted by the papacy in the United States as the means of crowding herself forward to the highest place as the grand exemplar and chief conservator of “patriotism,” and of “love” for the flag. The Catholic Church has had her Cadets, and Hibernian Rifles, and such like, for some time. All this militia-ism is directly in her line of things. For the last two or three years the papacy in this country has been making great boasts of her ability and efficiency as the “inculcator of patriotism;” and now that this movement for military training of the school-children is professedly grounded on “patriotism,” and is to be the great means of cultivating “patriotism,” it will be taken by the papacy as a perfect godsend, and will be grasped and used accordingly for the purpose of lifting herself to the chief place before the country as a respecter of the flag and the guardian of the nation.
Indeed we are not sure that any one would be far wrong in suspecting that the papacy is at the bottom of the scheme itself. We do not certainly know that this is the case; but we know that there is ground for a good strong suspicion of it. And that ground is this: We have in our possession a series of resolutions adopted by the Catholic Club of Newark, N.J., on the night of September 26, 1894, and reported in the Catholic Mirror of October 6, 1894, report and all reading as follows:—
The Catholic Club of Newark, at its meeting last Wednesday night, adopted a set of resolutions asking the Legislature to make provision for the introduction of military drill in the public, parochial and other schools within the State, in which boys are taught. The resolutions are as follows:—
“Resolved, That in the judgment of the Catholic Club of Newark, N.J., the military resources of our country should not now be neglected, but should be developed as fully as a reasonable economy will allow; and be it
“Resolved, That we therefore suggest respectfully to the Legislature of our State that military instruction for the boys in our public schools ought to be provided for, and may without a doubt be secured very cheaply through the agency of members of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the National Guard of the State; and be it
“Resolved, That we also suggest to the Legislature the propriety of providing for similar instruction in all the other schools in this State in which boys are taught; and be it
“Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the clerk of the Senate and another to the clerk of the House of Assembly.”
It is to be hoped that such a law will come in vogue, as it will be of great benefit to the boys in many ways.
That we consider sufficient ground for the suspicion that the Roman Catholic Church is at the bottom of this movement now definitely set on foot throughout the nation by Lafayette Post, G. A. R., of this city.
But whether this suspicion is correct of not, these resolutions are positive proof that she will enter heart and soul into the movement; that she will use it for all that it can be made to be worth in her own interests; and that she will use it in one way at least for the purposes which we have here pointed out.
So certainly will this be found to be true, that as certainly as the movement shall be carried out, it will be a test upon all the people as to whether or not they will play into the hands of the papacy. To support it will be to support the papacy, and to help forward her designs to control the nation. It will be to help toward the consummation to which “all the  remarkable energies of Leo XIII. are bent,” namely: “the union of the Church with the power of America.”
And thus again the inevitable result of the movement, if carried out, will be to force upon all the people the straight decision as between Christ and antichrist.