THE confiscation bill has been defeated in the Tennessee Legislature. Had this bill passed it would have enabled the enemies of Seventh-day Adventists to have absolutely stripped them of their property. Its defeat shows that the law-makers of that State are not without some humane impulses.
THE World, of the 30th ult., had this item of news:—
PARK RIDGE, N.J., April 20.—Henry Lauschall and his fifteen-year-old son Paul, who live at the Hotel Lavelle, No. 104 Wooster Street, New York, were arrested at Woodcliff yesterday morning by Constable S. J. Van Wagonen, on the charge of fishing on Sunday in the Pacekack Brook. The constable ordered them to stop fishing under threat of arrest. They gave no attention to the order, and were taken before Justice W. B. Smith, of Park Ridge. They pleaded guilty to the charge, and were fine $20 each. Landlord Louis Layette of New York, paid the fines, and says that he will carry the case to the higher courts.
This is simply another illustration of the tyranny of Sunday laws. What possible reason could there be for forbidding fishing on Sunday more than on other days except the supposed sacred character of the day? and what business has the State to meddle with any such question?
A CATHOLIC paper has this significant item relative to “Father” Elliott’s propaganda for the “conversion” of Protestants:—
The missions to non-Catholic Americans that Father Elliott has been preaching in Michigan and Ohio, are making an impression not only on the audiences he seeks, but also on those of the faith. The young men readers of the Catholic Columbian having been asked in what way could $50,000 be best expended for the public good, one of them answers: “I would give the $50,000 to the Paulist Fathers for the extension of their missions to non-Catholics.” A happy choice, truly, for that sum could not be spent on a better cause!
It is certain that the Catholics of this country are manifesting a wonderful activity in the work of proselyting from the ranks of other churches. They discern the drift in their direction and are simply out with their grab-hooks to secure that which is floating their way.
THE fact that every year adds immensely to the volume of civil and criminal law thought to be necessary to regulate the conduct of the people, should admonish us that we live in an age when self-government is rapidly becoming a lost art.
True freedom consists not in liberty to follow one’s own inclinations in all things, but in a practical recognition by both government and people of the principles of eternal justice. Freedom does not mean license, for that only is liberty which recognizes and respects the rights of others equally with our own.
There is a sound basis for the words of Cowper:—
He is a freeman, whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. There’s not a chain,
That hellish foes, confederate for his harm,
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
This is not saying that men may not deny to their fellows the free exercise of their God-given rights,—the history of the world too clearly proves that,—but it is saying that while despotic power may invade human rights, “Justice still confirms them.” In the words of Elder Colcord before a Tennessee court: “There is a time coming when there will be a change, and God and not man will be the Judge—and in that court questions will be decided not by the statute books of Tennessee, but by the law of God.”
Rights may be trampled upon now, but there is a time coming when wrongs shall be righted and the truth vindicated, when “the prisoner and serf shall go free,” when “truth crushed to earth shall rise again.” It is better in the long run to be right than to be popular.
AN Old Testament exemplification of Christ’s words, “Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” is found in the record of the experience of the three Hebrew worthies who were cast into the “fiery furnace.” They disobeyed the king’s command to “fall down and worship the golden image” because it required them to render to Nebuchadnezzar and his golden image that which was due alone to God; but they obeyed the king’s command to “come forth, and come hither,” because it was their duty to render obedience to the king in matters not conflicting with their duty to God; and the Lord, who approved their disobedience by miraculously preserving them alive, brought the miracle to a close at the command of the king, that the faithful men might obey the consistent command.