IT will be remembered that in the February SENTINEL we replied to an “open letter” to us from Rev. W. T. McConnell, of Youngstown, Ohio. In the Christian Nation, of February 29, Mr. McConnell wrote to us another open letter, which we have not till now had the opportunity to notice. As in his first “open letter” he started out with the stock argument of the National Reformers—that of classing with infidels, atheists, liquor leagues, liberal leagues, etc., etc., every opponent, whoever he may be or whatever may be the grounds of his opposition—so in this “open letter” the first thing he does is to enter upon a long defense of it. But he need not have done that at all; we did not mention it with the object of having it enter as an element into the controversy between us and the National Reformers. As Mr. McConnell was a new champion in the lists, we simply called his attention to this point to see whether we might not be able to get from him some sort of an argument upon the merits of the controversy between us. But our effort was in vain. Mr. McConnell proves to be as destitute of argument on the merits of the controversy as are all the rest of the National Reformers.
From the beginning we have invited the National Reformers, both as individuals and by their organs, to show wherein our opposition to the National Reform movement is not based upon sound principles. We have asked them repeatedly to show wherein our arguments against it are faulty, or wherein our conclusions are illogical. We have offered them our own columns in which to show this. But with a single exception—Rev. Robert White, of Steubenville—the principal, the first, the leading reply, has always been to call us names and to class us with all the elements of wickedness that they can think of. But we do not care for that. We know that “it is only in the absence of argument that recourse is had to ridicule; and that the chair of the scoffer is never filled until that of the logician is vacated.” Therefore, as the National Reformers are destitute of arguments against us, we couldn’t have the heart to deprive them of their only recourse—that of calling us names. We are not what they call us; and we know that their calling us bad names does not make us what they call us.
In his first “open letter” it will be remembered that Mr. McConnell likened the National Reform movement to an express train which is fairly to knock into finders everybody who does not get off the track. In reply we freely confessed that “the National Reform movement is nothing but a Satanic car of Juggernaut that proposes relentlessly to crush every person who chooses to think for himself.” This sets Mr. McConnell’s imagination all aglow, and he says:—
“Now, neighbor, let us step one side and take a look at this ‘Satanic car.’ …There is the venerable Mr. Brunot holding the lines [yes, he is], while Doctors Stevenson, Barr, and McAllister urge on the high-spirited district secretaries, who are straining every nerve to increase its speed [yes, they are]. Then notice  the it material of which the ‘car’ is composed. Its wheels and axle, its panels and arches, its furniture and adornments, are the names of men.”
The “names of men!” Yes, that is true, and a goodly number of those names are the names of dead men; others are the names of men who are decidedly opposed to the whole National Reform movement; others are the names of men who are not in the United States at all, and do not belong to the United States; others are names of men as living in certain places, while those men are not only not in those places but are not known there at all. Yes, sir, Mr. McConnell, that is a happy hit that you make, in saying that these were the names of men. We personally know that what we have here said is true. We know that the National Reform Association’s Executive Committee in its very latest published list of vice-presidents has printed the names of men who have been dead for years.
Then Mr. McConnell makes great ado, because we confessed his destructive express to be a Satanic car.
To this we have just a word to say. Doctor Philip Schaff says:—
“Secular power has proved a Satanic gift to the church.”—Church and State in the United States, page 11.
Now secular power is precisely what the National Reform Association proposes to give to the church; therefore the National Reform Association proposes to make a Satanic gift to the church. And as Mr. McConnell proposes that this Satanic gift shall be in the form of an express car upon which the church shall ride in her course of tyranny and destruction, then it is demonstrated by Doctor Schaff’s sound principle, and by Mr. McConnell’s sounding proposition, that that car is a Satanic car.
A. T. J.