THERE is something wrong with the perceptions of the person who refrains from Sunday work as a matter of conscience, and yet is not satisfied to make that sacrifice to his religion unless it is made by others likewise, and that without reference to their own conscience in the matter.
THE Independent, of the 10th inst., has this:—
On the Jewish Day of Atonement, in this city, the cessation of business almost made a Sunday out of Saturday in some of the principal streets. It was proved possible for Jews to keep one Sabbath in the year; and if one, why not all?
Sure enough! Why not? And if Jews can keep the Sabbath, why must Christians have a law to enable them to keep Sunday?
POPE LEO XIII. has written to the Catholic hierarchy of America, condemning congresses of religion. It is said that the projectors of the World’s Fair Congress of Religions expected it would lead to further congresses merging all sects and creeds. It is not probable, however, that the pope fears this: but Roman Catholics cannot meet other creeds on terms of equality. Rome assumes to be the church.
THE “Sunday Reform Leaflet,” issued at Columbus, O., says: “In the interest of American homes we need the weekly day of sweetness and love.” But Christianity makes every day a “day of sweetness and love,” and nothing less than this is needed “in the interest of American homes.” It is our opinion that without these graces during six days of the week, the “weekly day of sweetness and love” will be much more of a farce than a reality.
ONE plea for the Sunday law says, “Close all on Sunday and no loss to any; there should be equal rights in trade.” But such a law does not give equal rights to those who feel conscientiously bound to close their business on the seventh day—the busiest day of the week. Nor can the law undertake to see that all men have equal advantages in trade. It is only for Sunday that a law is asked to enforce simultaneous closing of places of business. A man’s advantage in trade depends almost wholly upon his location, his resources, and his energy and ability in conducting his business.
THERE are several cases still pending against Adventists at Graysville, Tenn., for Sunday work. They will be tried probably the first week in November. Among these cases is the indictment against E. R. Gillett, the old soldier, who, having aided in conquering the South in war, moved to Tennessee to assist in carrying forward that conquest by the arts of peace. He is loved and respected by all who know him, only excepting the misguided men who have invoked the “law” against him.
Quartermaster Gillett, with his honorable record in the army and in the Iowa legislature, will doubtless bear himself equally well as a soldier of Jesus Christ in a Tennessee chain-gang.
IT is a fact worthy of notice that leading Catholic prelates are becoming much more outspoken than formerly in the matter of Sunday observance. That the papacy should favor a general and marked deference on the part of the people to the Sunday-sabbath, is not at all strange, in view of the importance that institution has in the papal economy, being the uplifted sign of her authority in spiritual things, and also the badge of the homage paid the papacy by Sunday-keeping Protestants. With her characteristic prudence, Rome refrained from taking the lead in the Sunday crusade, lest it should be given a Romish stamp which would prejudice it in the public mind. But she sees that it is safe and expedient to follow closely the “Protestant” lead in the matter, giving her powerful support to what is done, until this Protestant indorsement of her claims and her methods shall in turn become a most powerful aid to her.
WE noted in these columns last week, the imposition of a fine and costs upon a Seventh-day Adventist in Texas, because he refused to work on the roads upon the seventh day, “the Sabbath of the Lord.”
This man’s defense was that he could not conscientiously work upon that day, and that under the constitution of Texas he could not be legally required to work upon any day set apart by his religion as a day of rest and worship. Article 1, Section 6, of the State Constitution, is as follows:—
All men have a natural indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority ought in any case whatever to control or interfere in matters of religion; and it is the duty of the State to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of worship.
This was read to the court by this Seventh-day Adventist, but he justice(?) held that it did not cover the case, and so imposed a fine and costs, amounting to $20.25. The defendant promptly appealed the case to the higher court where he hopes to get justice.
By the way, what would the good Sunday-keepers of Texas think of a “law” under which they were liable to be required to work the roads on Sunday? Would they not regard it as an infringement of their rights of conscience?
REFERRING to the Sunday crusade in that city, the Boston Herald of the 6th inst., say:—
It will behoove the police commissioners to pause before they undertake to prohibit the Jews from transacting business on Sunday so long as they observe the Jewish Sabbath. It is an assault on religious liberty that has been one of the bulwarks of our commonwealth from its foundation.
The Providence Journal likewise ventures the opinion that “if the laws of Massachusetts sanction the arrest of all the Jews in Boston who are found keeping their shops open on Sunday, they need reforming as badly as did the ancient Puritanical proscriptions when emigrants from Massachusetts Bay found their way to Rhode Island and Providence plantations.”
This is all well enough so far as it goes; but why exempt only those who “observe the Jewish Sabbath”? If the prohibition of Sunday work rests upon “moral” grounds, as it has been held to do in most States, how can anybody be consistently exempted from the provisions of the “law”? And if it rests upon sanitary grounds why not exempt all who rest upon some other day? Why cannot people see the utter inconsistency and impropriety of all “laws” which forbid honest employment on any day?