A CORRESPONDENT asks the following questions:—
“What effect will the success of the National Reform have on the unbelievers at large? We heard one say that they would raise a little army and fight, before they would submit to the authority of a church. Another said he would get out his old shot-gun and ‘shoot down a few of them.’ Will there be enough of that spirit to bring on a religious war? A. R. S.”
As to the first question we can say that according to the words of the National Reformers themselves, the success of National Reform will “disfranchise every logically consistent infidel.” Notice particularly that it is only the “logically consistent” unbeliever who will be disfranchised. That is to say that though he be an infidel, if only he will silently submit to the dominance of National Reform ideas, or every openly, though hypocritically, favor the National Reform scheme, he will not be disfranchised. But if he shall be at all “logically consistent” and oppose the work or the rule of National Reform, or shall express his dislike of the National Reform government and its so-called “Christian features,” then, according to the words of the National Reformers, all such unbelievers must “go to some wild, desolate land, and stay there till they die.”
But if they refuse either to play the hypocrite, or “to go to some wild, desolate land,” and propose to resist, as these mentioned by our correspondent, then that brings up the alternative of the second question, upon which we can only say that we have no idea how much of this spirit of violent opposition there will be against National Reform. We know, however, that the question of a religious war all depends upon the opposition—the National Reformers are ready for it, and are coolly calculating the bloody chances. On this very subject the “Rev.”—mark it—the Rev. M. A. Gault, one of the most representative of National Reformers, says:—
“Whether the Constitution will be set right on the question of the moral supremacy of God’s law in Government without a bloody revolution, will depend entirely upon the strength and resistance of the forces of anti-Christ.”
Therefore, as the question of a religious war depends “entirely” upon the forces of resistance to National Reform, and as we have no idea how much forcible resistance there will be, we cannot form any estimate of the probabilities of the coming of a religious war. It may be that through the immense premium that National Reform will put upon hypocrisy, the forces of resistance will be, if not entirely vanquished, so far overcome as to avert a religious war. For be it distinctly understood that the AMERICAN SENTINEL proposes no violent nor forcible resistance to National Reform. Our opposition is, and ever will be, conducted strictly and entirely upon Christian principles. We unsparingly point out the evil of it, and warn our fellowmen against it; knowing the terrible nature of it, we persuade men to avoid it, and whether they will hear or whether they will forbear remains entirely with them. Should National Reform succeed in its designs, and establish its shameful rule, we shall offer no violent resistance. In things pertaining to God, however, we shall forever disobey it, and shall forever persuade others to disobey it. But it will always be a disobedience that consists in obedience to the commandments of God and the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be disobedience without resistance. If others choose to resist it by force of arms, we are not responsible for that, and shall take no part in it nor encourage it. Our work now is to expose the essential iniquity of the thing, that it may not be slipped upon the nation unawares. And if, after all, it shall succeed, then our work shall still be to expose the iniquity of it, and to set the example of open, but non-resisting, disobedience to its Papal-political precepts.
A. T. J.