“Answer to a Correspondent” American Sentinel 10, 17, pp. 131, 132.

THE following letter represents the views of the average Sunday-law advocate, stated with an unusual frankness and apparent sincerity. The author deserves a candid Christian answer, which we will endeavor to give here for the benefit of others who may be likeminded. To save space in replying we have numbered the principal points and will notice them under corresponding figures. We must of necessity be brief, and ask therefore that our brevity be not taken for harshness, for we entertain the kindest regard for our correspondent:—

EDITOR OF THE AMERICAN SENTINEL.—Dear Sir: Some one has been so kind as to send to my address two or three copies of the SENTINEL. I have read them with care, and I like the stand the SENTINEL takes against the encroachment of the Church on this American continent. And I believe it is high time for the American nation to take cognizance of the facts there stated; and I feel sorry to hear of my fellow Christians being in jail. But I am led to inquire, Who is to blame for the incarceration? is it not the law-breakers! (1) I would ask the SENTINEL what opinion Rome must form (2) to see a paper so thoroughly American in its name and sentiment, encouraging violation of its own laws in reference to the holy Sabbath of America (3)—the observance of which has been the safeguard of our nation, the hope of our future. (4)

A good deal of Scripture has been quoted to show that the persecuted (Sabbatarian) brethren are right and the American nation wrong. Then if they are right, why do they complain! (5) Read Matthew 5:10, 11. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” But is this falsely! (6) Our American Sabbath is the law of our nation, and should be respected by every citizen. Our American laws do not say to the Seventh-day Baptist, You shall not keep your day of rest, not at all; so your religious liberty is not interfered with whatever. (7) But then the nation has made a law that the Sabbath day (the day you call the first day; (8) shall be the day of rest of Sabbath in America; and these incarcerated ones have risen up in rebellion against the law (9) even when the nation has not tried to interfere with their way of thinking. (10)

Perhaps this may be the cause of the complaint, instead of rejoicing, simply because it is not “falsely” for their sake.

But are there not other words and examples of one Lord Jesus, that it would be well for the seventh-day brethren to observe? First, the meek example of Jesus, Matthew 27:52: “And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.” (11) Or would it not be better to do as he commanded his disciples to do, Matthew 23:2: “All therefore whatsoever they bade you observe, that observe and do.” (12) Or would it not be wise for them, when a righteous nation has adopted a law, to observe, (13) and they imagine (14) they should observe another day, and the nation says; “Well, my friends, you may keep your day, we don’t object, but you must keep ours.” (15) I say, would it not be wisdom to flee into another country if one can be found where the day they think right may be the national law? (16) But I am in favor of keeping the law in regard to the Sabbath. I see no conflict between the law and the Bible. I am also in favor of compelling all on this continent to conform to our national laws, Jew and Gentile, bond and free. Let us keep our Sabbath day holy and the laws of our land sacred, and not violate our righteous laws and get the penalty and then complain of persecution. The officers are justified in doing their duty. Let us as a nation arise and let the world know that we are in favor of our holy Sabbath day and the law of our land.

I remain yours in favor of the American Sabbath,


Bar 89, Plains P. O., Pa.

1. The “law-breakers” are no more to blame for this incarceration than were the three Hebrews who were cast into the fiery furnace. Both violated laws which conflicted with their duty to God. The Hebrews violated a law which sought to compel them to outwardly worship a golden image. The Tennessee Seventh-day Adventists violated a law which sought to compel them to outwardly worship (Obedience is the highest form of worship, 1 Samuel 15:22) the government which demanded obedience to its Sunday-Sabbath and in addition, to worship the papacy which originated the Sunday-Sabbath in opposition to the “Sabbath of the Lord.” God blessed the Hebrews in their violation of the law of Nebuchadnezzar, and he is blessing the persecuted seventh-day observers of Tennessee. The Lord delivered the Hebrews from the fiery furnace, and through the instrumentality of Judge J. G. Parks and Governor Turney. He has delivered the Adventists from the Dayton jail.

2. We care not what opinion “Rome” or any other organization or individual may form regarding our attitude to the government, so long as we are faithful to God and just to our fellow-men. However, Rome would despise us if we submitted our consciences to the keeping of the civil power.

3. The SENTINEL begs to be relieved of all responsibility for “our laws in reference to the Holy Sabbath of America.” These laws are not our laws. We acknowledge allegiance to but one Sabbath law and that law commands the observance of the holy “Sabbath of the Lord,” a day which precedes the “holy Sabbath of America.”

4. God pity our nation if its hope for the future depends on the observance of an institution of the Roman Catholic Church. [132]

5. They do not complain. On the contrary, the walls of their prisons who with prayer to God for their persecutors. The SENTINEL has repeatedly said that the publication of these persecutions was not to create sympathy for the persecuted, but to save the people from ignorantly fighting against God. Our position is summed up in these words of the “Lord of the Sabbath“: “Offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they.”

6. Is it falsely? We are prosecuted for violating the Sabbath by laboring on the first day of the week. Are we guilty? Is the first day of the week the Sabbath? Let the Lord answer: “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:9, 10. “When the Sabbath was past…. very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” Mark 14:1, 2. And now, is the Sabbath the first day of the week, or the day before the first day of the week? The seventh-day observers in Tennessee believe the Bible and keep the Sabbath, the seventh day, and labor on the “six working days” (Ezekiel 46:1), because of which they are accused of breaking the Lord’s Sabbath. Come now. Brother Harvey, wish the Bible open before you, we ask in all candor, are they accused truthfully or falsely?

7. The law requiring the three Hebrews to worship the golden image did not forbid them to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: but only that they worship the image also. It is true that the Sunday law does not forbid seventh-day keepers to worship the Lord of the Sabbath by worshiping him on the seventh day, but only asks that all men worship the government also by obeying the law enforcing the observance of the “holy Sabbath of America.” “Ye cannot serve to masters,” says the Lord, and so the Seventh-day Adventist cannot worship God and a government in conflict with God.

8. We call it the first day because God calls it the first day. Matthew 28:1; Mark 14:1; Luke 23:56 and 24:1.

9. Their “rebellion” is of the same character as that of Daniel, the three Hebrews, Peter and John, Paul and Silas, and the Christian martyrs of succeeding centuries.

10. The government has interfered with their way of thinking. Their way of thinking is that they ought not to treat one of God’s “six working days” as they treat his holy rest day, but the law says they must treat the “holy Sabbath of America” with the same outward reverence with which they treat the “holy” “Sabbath of the Lord.”

11. It is true that Jesus at his trial remained silent amid the false accusations of his enemies, but it is also true that he told his followers, “When they bring you into the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” Luke 12:11, 12. The persecuted Seventh-day Adventists follow this instruction, and in fulfillment of his promise the Lord is giving them on such occasions “a mouth and wisdom!” which all their adversaries are not able “to gainsay nor resist.” Luke 21:15.

12. This was said of “the Scribes and Pharisees who sit in Moses’ seat.” But neither Moses Harvey nor yet “this American nation” can prove what they are entitled to sit in Moses’ seat. God has brought to an end the theocracy of Israel, and all attempts to revive it “until he come, whose right it is,” is a usurpation of the prerogative of God and is anti-Christian.

13. A righteous nation will not enact a law which attempts to compel men to violate God’s standard of righteousness. Psalm 119:172.

14. They do not “imagine” that they should observe another day; they know that they ought, for the Lord plainly commands them to observe another day.

15. The law of King Nebuchadnezzar did not say we must not worship your God, but only said your must worship ours. If our correspondent is correct, the Baptists, should they get the power in some States, would have the right to immerse all the people who had not been immersed, and when Methodists and others objected they could quietly reply: “We don’t object to your being sprinkled, but you must be immersed also, for that is our baptism.”

.16. Our correspondent suggests that Seventh-day Adventists flee to some country where they would not be persecuted. But to what country can they flee? Brother Harvey is in favor of driving us out of the “land of the free” because we will not submit the keeping of our consciences to him and other likeminded men; but he knows there is no other earthly country to which we can flee. The oppressed of all other countries have in the past been flowing to this; therefore an order to leave this country is simply a command to “get off the earth.”

But now that Brother Harvey advises us to move to another country, we will inform him that we are preparing to go. We have known for a long time that the spirit of persecution would become so bitter in this country that those who refused to “worship the beast (the papacy) and his image (the “land of the free” transformed by a union of Church and State into a persecuting power like the papacy) and receive his mark” (the Sunday-Sabbath) by obeying the Sunday laws—would have to move to “a better country that is, an heavenly.” Hebrews 11:9-16. These persecutions indicate that that time is not far distant, and we are getting ready to go and trying to get Brother Harvey and as many others as we can to get ready too. Those who are ready to meet the Lord when he comes for us as he has promised (John 14:3) are described as “they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. [136]

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