LET it not be forgotten that while Seventh-day Adventists are being prosecuted in Tennessee for Sunday work, iron furnaces, coke ovens, railroad trains and newspaper offices run as usual and are not interfered with. In Dayton, where eight Seventh-day Adventists were recently imprisoned, a large iron furnace is operated every Sunday, a Sunday paper is published, livery stables do business, trains are run, and nobody is disturbed, nobody is indicted; but an Adventist, three miles away in the hills, pulls fodder, and he is arrested and imprisoned for committing a nuisance!
IN our issue of March 14, we had occasion to denounce the persecution of Robert G. Ingersoll by certain clergymen of Hoboken, N. Y., who revived an old statute against blasphemy, and attempted thereby to prevent Mr. Ingersoll from delivering his lecture against the Bible. In this article we carelessly attributed a mercenary motive to Mr. Ingersoll. This was unjust, both to Mr. Ingersoll and the SENTINEL. The SENTINEL has no power, no occasion and no right to sit in judgment on the motives of any man. The SENTINEL is Christian, and Christ said: “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
MORE than forty years ago the people who publish the AMERICAN SENTINEL published to the world a prediction based on Scripture, that the time would comes in the not distant future when the Sabbath question would be prominently before the country,—that it would be discussed in pulpit and press, and in legislative halls, and that the fruits of all this would be the enactment and enforcement of seventh-day observers. Much of this is now being fulfilled and more soon will be. Die Rundschau, a Lutheran paper, of wide circulation and influence, published in Chicago, introduces an editorial criticising the Sunday-law movement, with the following true statement of the present universal agitation of the question:—
In most States of the Union the Sunday question is once more a burning one. Not only the subject of discussion in the pulpit, in religious conventions, in the religious periodicals of the sects, in tracts and pamphlets, but also on the floors and in the committee chambers of legislatures. Almost everywhere there is a powerful movement afoot to effect the establishment or recognition of rigid Sunday laws. Thus there are, for example, before the New York Legislature alone, no less then six bills giving attention to this matter. General recognition of Sunday as a day of rest is sought, and the State is to effect the same by means of legislation and by forcing all to obey such legislation.
Such facts are indeed significant.
REV. DR. SNYDER, of St. Louis, has this to say in the Globe-Democrat, of the seventh part of time theory which attempts to clothe the first day of the week with the authority of the fourth commandment:—
Rev. Mr. Kirtley preached recently on the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and said: “The Sabbath institution that we have is the same institution given in Eden commanded through Moses, approved by Christ and observed by Christians.” It is a perpetual wonder to me that intelligent and well-informed people, like Mr. Kirtley, will continue to repeat that statement, year after year, and generation after generation. It is strikingly and singularly inaccurate. The Sabbath day of the old biblical dispensation is the seventh day of the week. Any Israelite would have been amazed to hear the suggestion that any man could observe the Sabbath on any other day. There is not a word or a hint in the Bible that observance of the Sabbath meant the observance of one seventh of the time! It is stated in the Bible that the miracle of the falling manna testified to the sacredness of the specific twenty-four hours between sunset on Friday till sunset on Saturday. To attempt to transfer all the sanctions of the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first day is a monstrous perversion of the Scripture.
There is not an advocate of the one day in seven theory but would ridicule such jugglery if he were the seventh son in his father’s family to whom for good reasons had been willed a larger portion of the father’s estate, and it was attempted to deprive him of the property on the ground that one son of the seven was all the will called for, and that it made no difference with which son the counting commenced.
A TENNESSEE paper, in the defense of the prosecution of the Adventists under the Sunday law of that State, says: “We had just as well uphold the Mormons in their polygamous belief, as to sanction and support these Adventists in their belief relative to the proper day to keep holy.”
This is a confusion that the trouble is with the belief of the Adventists in relation to the day to be kept holy, and not with their practice of working on Sunday. It explains likewise why it is that others who work on Sunday are not prosecuted: it is because Sunday work by those who do not observe another day is not a protest against the substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath; while working on Sunday after having rested upon the seventh day is an emphatic protest against Sunday sacredness. It is the Sabbath rest coupled with the Sunday work that offends, and not the Sunday work itself.
The reference in the quotation to Mormonism and Mormon polygamy is only for the purpose of exciting prejudice. Those who are troubled upon this question ought to send three cents to this office for “Religious Liberty and the Mormon Question,” a twenty-page tract, showing the difference between Sunday laws and laws prohibiting polygamy.
PREIST ELLIOTT, of the “Paulist Fathers,” who has been lecturing to non-Catholics in Michigan and Ohio, closes a summing up of the results of his efforts with the following in the Catholic World for April:—
In the many non-Catholics missions which we have given, nearly all of them in public halls, we have learned many strange things, but the strangest of all is the ripeness of the harvest. The fruit is so ripe that it is falling from the trees and is being carried away by every passer by. Even the religious perplexities among our countrymen, their very divisions and sub-divisions spring from their eagerness for the truth. They want to be holy with the holiness of Christ, and that makes them enter and then makes them leave one and now another denomination. They are a religious people who are accessible to Catholic argument—would that all bishops, all provincials of communities, all priests and nuns, would write this fact on their hearts! Let it be posted up at every recruiting station of our Lord’s peaceful army that the American people can be drawn to listen to this church. Let is be announced in the seminaries, let it be placarded in the novitiates and colleges and scholasticates the world over: Behold, THE GREAT REPUBLIC: IT IS A WHITE FOR THE HARVEST.
Priest Elliott manifests a commendable zeal, which, if exercised on the side of truth, would be a power for good. It is becoming more and more apparent that the American Republic is looked upon by the pope and the papacy as the ripest and most important harvest field of the world. And the great scheme of the papacy is to capture the bell sheep of liberty’s flock and thus make easy the scheme to corral all within the fold of the Vatican. It is a stupendous scheme and is succeeding.