H. P. HOLSER, a Seventh-day Adventist minister and manager of the denominational publishing house at Basel, Switzerland, who was recently imprisoned for permitting work to be done in the publishing house on Sunday, called at our office last week on his way to attend the international conference of the denomination at Battle Creek, Mich. He informs us that similar prosecution shave been begun against the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Christiana, Norway; and that their London house is also threatened. We have expected that these persecutions would become world-wide, and are not surprised; but we are deeply impressed with their bearing on the fulfillment of the “sure word of prophecy.”
THE Catholic Review of January 19 publishes a call for the organization of an association in the United States whose object shall be to create sentiment for the restoration of the pope to temporal power. Similar associations are organizing in the leading countries of the world, and the organization in the United States is a part of an international movement.
How this association is to work in America for the restoration of Rome and the papal states to the control of the pope, is explained in a work first published in England but afterward published by Catholic houses in New York, Boston and Montreal. In explaining why citizens of a foreign country should work to make the pope the civil governor of Rome, the author says:—
Suppose it be said, “I acknowledge the spiritual authority of the Holy Father; but why am I, an Englishmnan [or American, we may add], to come forward in a political way, to use all my exertions to protect the temporal rights of a foreign prince?” My answer at once is plain. The pope is not a foreign prince to any Christian, to any human being.
And now let Americans understand that this new organization proposes “in a political way” to use all its exertions to make Pope Leo XIII. political ruler of Rome, the United States and the world.
THE following significant paragraph appeared in the Catholic Reivew of Jan. 26:—
Six more bishops in Italy have been granted the royal exequatur that entitles them to receive their official income—the bishops of Carpi, Possuoli, Penafro, Luvera, Anglona, and Nuseo. The government does not fear religion now; it seeks the strength of the church against revolution. It cannot conquer the turbulence it bred.
This means that the government of Italy has given these bishops the right to tax the people in their districts for the support of the Catholic Church. And the last two sentences explain how the church won the victory, and it is the great international scheme of the papacy to secure universal dominion. First, teach her people that the government that refuses to acknowledge the pope is unstable and must sooner or later end in “turbulence” and “revolution;” and when this teaching bears fruit, then she offers to conquer the turbulence in exchange for political support.
IT is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that priests are not properly subject to the civil authorities like other men, but that no matter what crime a priest may commit he is amenable only to “the church,” unless “the church” sees fit to degrade him, strip him of his vestments, recall his ordination so that he is no longer a priest, and then turn him over to civil power for condign punishment. “Father” Phelan, editor of the Western Watchman, had the temerity to challenge this dogma some months ago, and to maintain that a priest was properly subject to civil law just as other men. The bishop of his diocese demanded that he retract the offensive statement upon pain of having his paper place under the ban of “the church.” The doughty priest at first refused obedience, but finally yielded and made a meek submission to the bishop. From a Roman Catholic standpoint,—the end justifies the means,—this was not strange; but how “Father” Phelan can maintain his self-respect and say what he does in the Western Watchman of Dec. 27, 1894, is more than we can imagine. He says:—
We have been in the business of editing an publishing a newspaper for thirty years. We have built up a large newspaper properly. During those thirty years we never heard it stated, nor was it ever intimated to us by any ecclesiastical authority, that we could not give free expression to our opinions, provided the language was respectful and the convictions honest.
It is thus cheerfully that the minions of Rome write themselves down knaves at the behest of “the church.” And this is what Rome would do for the press of the entire country.
A GREAT many people seem to really believe that Sunday laws have a substantial basis; that they are not enacted as religious measures, but for good and sufficient civil reasons. Instead, in some instances, courts of justice have given color to this view of Sunday statutes, though they have signally failed to define the so-called civil basis of such legislation.
But the question is being simplified very much by the attitude of those who are foremost in demanding the enactment and enforcement of Sunday laws. The basis of the American Sabbath Union is the fourth commandment of the Decalogue, and that organization is clamoring more and more for Sunday laws, upon religious grounds. Reduced to its lowest terms, their demand is for the legal recognition and enforcement of Sunday as the Sabbath of the Lord, upon the basis of the fourth commandment. Their published utterances show that this is so.
This thought was made very prominent in the late National Reform Convention at New Castle, P. In a speech in the convention referred to, Rev. R. C. Wylie, for years a leader in National Reform thought and work, said: “Formerly, the demand for Sabbath laws was based largely on humanitarian grounds. It was said that we should have such laws because men needed to rest one day in seven. But some of us said that will never do; that is not the correct basis for such legislation. And now Christian people have come to the conclusion that we must have a Sabbath law because God has one.”
Such expressions as this do much to open the eyes of the people to the true nature of Sunday legislation.