FURTHER particulars concerning the prosecutions in London, Eng., for Sunday labor, inform us that the Adventist publishing house on Holloway Road has been fined about $100 (including costs) for successive violations of the Sunday (factory) law, and the defendants were informed that in case the fines are not satisfied there will be an imprisonment of fourteen days for each offense.
The ostensible aim of this factory law is to protect woman and minors from being overworked; but in this prosecution there is no charge of overwork or of hardship to the employés, all of whom rest on the seventh day of the week. The prosecution rests solely on the fact that work was done on the first day of the week. Instead of being a protection to these employés, the law, as it is applied, actually works hardship to them, since it would deprive them of one-sixth of their wages. The manager of the office is prosecuted under a law designed to protect employés, because the law is not allowed to work exactly contrary to its purpose! Was ever a law made to exhibit such absurdity of injustice?
The trouble is, it is a Sunday law. Doubtless its originators thought it a very benign and useful piece of legislation, as indeed it seems upon its face. But there was a dead fly in the ointment, and now it comes to light. And that is true of every legal measure which has within it the Sunday institution. Sunday laws will never operate as they are intended; for they are contrary to the eternal law of right.
THE Christian Statesman complains that the nation has never witnessed such a carnival of Sunday “desecration” as “we are having this present summer.” A large share of the blame the Statesman lays at the door of camp-meeting managers, and says:—
Church members do not feel their responsibility for the preservation of the sabbath as they should. Consistent loyalty to the Lord of the Sabbath requires separation from their sin. But it is clear that nothing short of statute law, properly enforced, will meet the necessities of the case as set forth above.
What a confession! Church members must be compelled by statute to manifest a “loyalty” for the Lord of the Sabbath which they do not feel! But is it any wonder, since the leaders of religious thought defiantly trample upon the real Sabbath, the Lord’s day of the Scriptures, heap contempt upon it, and attempt to compel the observance of a counterfeit without divine warrant? Is it any wonder, we say, that even members of Sunday-keeping churches do not respect the day?
APROPOS of the note from J. W. Scoles, relative to the conviction of five Adventists in Illinois, is the suggestion that it seems to make a deal of difference whose ox is gored. In those States where the statutes make no exception in favor of observers of another day, the courts seem to act their part very reluctantly, and only because it is their “duty” under the “law.” But in States having such exceptions the courts seem determined to find some way of evading the plain provisions of the statute so that the hated Adventists may be convicted right or wrong. It is simply the beginning of the end.