“Back Page” American Sentinel 10, 20, p. 160.

THE Republican, of Dayton, Tenn., says that a bill was introduced into the legislature of that State on the 27th ult., “to amend section 2289 of the Code so as to provide that persons observing Saturday as the Sabbath shall not be liable to penalty for working on Sunday.” Such a bill would of course relieve the persecuted Adventists for the time being, were it to become a law; but it would not settle the principle at stake. Section 2289 of the Code of Tennessee ought to be repealed, as should every similar law in every State in the Union and of every country in the world. The whole principle of Sunday legislation is wrong.

THAT we are living in an age of moral degeneracy was strikingly illustrated recently in the city of Brooklyn.

The bookkeeper of a wealthy club was found to be a defaulter to a large amount, and was criminally prosecuted.

A petition, signed by a large number of respectable persons, was presented to the trial-judge, praying for leniency for the embezzler. Among the reasons urged for clemency was this:—

He was surrounded by many temptations; he was actuated by a desire, so common in our modern life, to live on a scale equal to that of the gentlemen with whom he associated daily, and to raise and educate his children as did his neighbors.

The Christian Advocate, of this city, refers to the facts stated as “an illustration of the widespread decline of principle,” and says: “More sympathy is now shown for thieves and defaulters than admiration for simple, old-fashioned honesty.”

The Advocates remarks is quite true, but is not that paper partly responsible for the moral degeneracy which substitutes custom for the moral law and places a higher value upon the applause of men than the favor of God? For instance, in the matter of Sunday-keeping, very many religious papers and ministers of the gospel acknowledge that they have no better authority for the observance of the first day of the week than custom. They would keep the day commanded by God, but by so doing they would lose caste and influence. Are not the cases, if not parallel, at least akin? The defaulter breaks the eighth commandment that he may appear well, while the others break the fourth commandment that they may stand well, be popular and avoid the self-denial incident to being out of joint with the practices of society at large. Is not the principle the same? [160]

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