THE Hartville (Mo.) Press, of April 25, contained this heartless editorial reference to the recent imprisonment of Seventh-day Adventists at Dayton, Tenn:—
Eight Seventh-day Adventists are imprisoned at Dayton, Tenn., for laboring on Sunday. This is right. When people become so they won’t be governed by the laws of their State they ought to migrate or at least be punished for their arrant contrariness.
Fidelity to principles has always been regarded by the persecutor as “arrant contrariness.” Especially was this true of the early persecution of the Christians by the pagans. Pliny, the pagan governor of the Province of Bithynia, writes thus to the Emperor Trajan regarding the former’s attitude toward the Christians:—
I have taken this course about those who have been brought before me as Christians. I asked them whether they were Christians or not. If they confessed that they were Christians, I asked them again, and a third time, intermixing threathenings with the questions. If they persevered in their confessions, I ordered them to be executed; for I did not doubt but, let their confessions be of any sort whatever, this positiveness and inflexible obstinacy deserted to be punished.
If the editor of the Hartville Press were called upon to obey a law in conflict with his conscience, we have that respect for him to believe that he would refuse to violate his conscience even in the face of the charge of “arrant contrariness.”