THREE of the Seventh-day Adventists imprisoned at Dayton, Tenn., on the 8th of March, have served their term of imprisonment and are now at liberty. Three more will be released on the 15th inst., while the other two, including Elder Colcord, will not be released until May.
ON another page we print a petition which is being circulated at Dayton, Tenn., by well-disposed persons of the city, for the release of the imprisoned Adventists. It is addressed to the County Court of Rhea County, a body composed of the justices of the peace of the county. Some of these are known to be in favor of releasing the prisoners, but it is reported that fifteen are in favor of working them in the chain-gang as was done with the Adventists of Henry County a few years ago.
THE Western Watchman (Roman Catholic), of March 7, speaks thus of Father Chiniquy:—
Chiniquy, the octogenarian reprobate of Canada, has written a letter to Archbishop Fabre, of Montreal, requesting him to let him alone and to order his priests to let him alone. We doubt if any priest has troubled himself about the surly old sinner; but if any have, we think his request very reasonable. Why can’t these officious priests let these old braggart infidels alone? They bring the sacraments into contempt refusing them often to those who want them: and forcing them on those who won’t have them. This mad running after impenitent cut-throats and blasphemers is very un…
There is enough savagery in this editorial to burn a hundred heretics. And yet they tell us the Roman Catholic Church has experienced a change of heart since her palmy days of the Dark Ages.
THE following extract from the opinion of Judge Parks, rendered at the trial of the Seventh-day Adventists who are now in jail at Dayton, Tenn., for doing common labor on Sunday, presents the injustice of compulsory Sunday observance so forcibly that we wish to keep it prominently before the public:—
“But here we have a very respectable element of Christian believers who are honest, inoffensive, law-abiding people in all matters not conflicting with their sense of duty, who believe they are under divine command to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath. As a matter of abstract, individual right can they be required to observe another day also? Their position is not that of a person who claims that as a matter of personal liberty he has the right, if he chooses, to run an open saloon on Sunday, or to do any like act. That is not a matter of conscience—this is. They claim that it is not only their right, but their duty under divine command to observe the seventh day. Calling them “cranks” is no argument and has nothing to do with the question. If there were only one of them he would be entitled not only to his honest belief, but to the exercise of that belief, so long as in so doing he did not interfere with some natural right of his neighbors. A man cannot kill another and excuse himself on the ground that he believed he was carrying out God’s will in so doing, because this would deprive his victim of a natural right, viz.; the enjoyment of life.
“Do the defendants in keeping the seventh day and working on the first, thereby interfere with any natural right of their neighbors? Or is it an artificial right created by human law? Has any power but the divine will the right to establish any one day as the Sabbath? If the day has been appointed by divine edict, but two or more persons honestly and conscientiously differ as to what day was appointed, can the dispute be settled by legislative enactment? And shall one be given rights which are denied the other? Does might make right, and have the majority the right to dictate in matters purely of conscience?“
We are aware that the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that “this is a Christian nation” and cited Sunday laws as one of its sustaining proofs, but we appeal from the Supreme Court of the United States to the people of the United States, as did Abraham Lincoln when the Federal Court had decided that the negro “had no rights which the white man is bound to respect.” Let the American people seriously ponder the vital questions raised by Judge Parks, and remember that upon their answer hangs the destiny of American liberty, and through the influence of America, the liberties of the world.