WE are devoting much of our space these days to the cause of the persecuted Adventists, but we have no apology to offer. The principles at stake in these persecutions involve the cherished rights of every man, Protestant and Catholic, believer and unbeliever. If the Adventists can be imprisoned for a failure to obey one dogma of the ruling creed, then may the Methodist or the Catholic or the unbeliever be compelled to obey some other dogma when the ever-changing majority happens to be against him and is faith. The wise and courageous will understand this and act accordingly, but the thoughtless or time-serving will see nothing but a few “foolish Adventists” and remain silent, or with “thumbs turned down” demand that the fatal blow be struck the defenseless minority.
No one can read Judge Parks’ decision in this issue without being impressed with his unconstitutional, tyrannical, judicial legislation that he thinks it his duty to enforce.
ONE of the gratifying features of the Tennessee persecutions is that the entire local press of Dayton, the scene of the trials and imprisonment of the Adventists, is outspoken in their defense. Read the scathing words of the Dayton Leader on page 220.
EIGHT honest citizens of Tennessee spent their Fourth of July in Rhea County Jail for failing to remain idle on Sunday while the people of the established religion worshiped. And yet while these men were suffering for violating a dogma of the State established creed, the Fourth of July orator of Tennessee delivered himself of flowery periods in praise of “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
O “MAJESTY of the law,” how many wrongs have been committed in thy name!
THINK of it! One of those convicted Tennessee Adventists is still at large!! How did the criminal break jail, did you ask? He didn’t break jail. The kind-hearted judge told him to go home and cut his oats and then return to jail! Although this condemned man is at large there is not a Sunday-keeper in Rhea County that would lock his granary or his money-drawer against him.
THE two witnesses against J. Q. Allison, the Georgia Seventh-day Adventist, who was sentenced in default of the payment of costs to twelve months in the chain-gang for plowing in his field, desire that the readers of the SENTINEL and the general public shall know that they were unwilling witnesses against Mr. Allison. Good! We are glad that they were unwilling witnesses, and glad that they want the public to know it; and consequently, we are glad to make it known. And our columns are open to a confession from the man who inaugurated the persecution, but who is ashamed to allow his name to be known.
“FATHER” ENRIGHT, a Roman Catholic priest, delivered an address recently, before a large audience in Kansas City. The Kansas City World, of June 24, reports the priest as saying:—
What right have those who are not Catholics, who merely believe in the Bible, to keep Sunday holy? The Bible says that the seventh day shall be a day of rest, and Sunday is not the seventh day, but the first. Sunday is the holy day of the Catholic Church, and every time it recurs, the entire civilized world renounces the teaching of the Bible and obeys the mandates of the Catholic Church alone.
The priest is mistaken on one point. The whole civilized world does not obey the mandates of his church. There are a few who refuse to worship the beast or receive his mark (Revelation 14:9), and eight of them are now in prison at Dayton, Tenn., for their refusal.
THE Lester (Iowa) Record, in its issue of June 14, published an account of the imprisonment at Centerville, Md., of Robert R. Whaley, the Seventh-day Adventist, who set out plants in his garden on Sunday. The Record follows the story of the imprisonment with a request that funds for the care of Mr. Whaley’s family be sent to A. O. Tait, Battle Creek, Mich., who is secretary of the International Religious Liberty Association, the organization which has undertaken to provide for the families of those who are thus unjustly imprisoned. The Record will have the thanks of these persecuted people as well as all lovers of justice and right.
ONE of the prisoners now in jail at Dayton, Tenn., said in his defense:—
“We find that Jesus Christ was a carpenter working six days in the week; therefore, Jesus did many hard days’ work on the first day of the week, and he is our pattern.”
Another said to judge and jury that they were not trying the defendant merely, but the defendant’s Lord who had commanded him to do that for which he was on trial.
Another in closing his address to the jury said: “I would rather have the frown of the whole world and face prison bars or chain-gangs, or whatever may be before me, than have the frown of God. I will say further, that I believe in my heart that if it is the wish of my God for me to meet these things, all the good men in Rhea County cannot keep me out of them, and if not, all the bad men in the county cannot put me there. I leave myself in your hands and before God as you expect to meet me in the Judgment, I trust you will decide these things.”