THE manager of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in London, John R. Gibson, has been summoned to appear before the authorities to answer the charge of violating the factory law forbidding labor on Sunday. The employés in the publishing institution are Seventh-day Adventists, and rest on the Sabbath (Saturday). The prosecution of Mr. Gibson is nothing short of persecution.
THE Catholic World of July 18, 1870, in an article entitled, “The Catholics of the Nineteenth Century,” published this:—
The supremacy asserted for the church in matters of education implies the additional and cognate function of the censorship of ideas and the right to examine and approve or disapprove all books, publications, writings and utterances intended for public instruction, enlightenment or entertainment, and the supervision of places of amusement. This is the principle upon which the church has acted in handing over to the civil authorities for punishment criminals in the world of ideas.
Yes, this is the principle upon which the church has acted and acts to-day where she has the power. And we know of several “criminals in the world of ideas” that the church in the United States would be glad to hand over to the civil authorities for punishment.
THE Detroit Evening News argues thus regarding the question of taxation of church property which has been agitating the Michigan legislature:—
If the pecuniary burdens of the churches are increased by formal taxation, the community at large will have to foot the bill by sustaining double the number of strawberry festivals and oyster suppers it does now; and if this should fail, the voting ladies would have to take the lone oyster out of the soup to cut down expenses.
The News is right in concluding that church taxation would increase the number of shameful methods employed by the churches to support themselves in some other way than by self-denial, but every one would be left free to participate in these church-dishonoring methods or not, as he chose; but as the matter now stands all are indirectly compelled to support such churches, whether willingly or unwillingly.
THE Pennsylvania Sabbath Association’s call for the convention of this antichristian and un-American society held in Altoona Feb. 14, 15, was signed by sixteen pastors, five of whom are Lutheran ministers of that city. The following is a part of the call:—
The conflict between the foes and friends of the Sabbath is fairly on and will admit of no compromise. The enemy is neither dead nor sleeping, and it is wisdom in the Christian people of the State to be on the alert and ready to guard against the loss of the legal protection of the Sabbath.
It would seem that the Lutheran Church is drifting with the rest back to papal methods,—back to the use of civil power to force obedience to the dogmas of the church.
JUST before going to press we received a letter from W. H. McKee, formerly associate editor of the SENTINEL, but now in Basel, Switzerland, informing us of the arrest of Mr. Henri Revilly, the book-keeper of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in that city, whom the authorities hold responsible for the Sunday work done by that institution in the absence of the manager, H. P. Holser, who, as the representative of the denomination’s interests in Central Europe, is attending their international conference now in session at Battle Creek, Mich.
Although Mr. Revilly is in no sense the manager of the institution he is so held and threatened with three months’ imprisonment. His trial was to occur February 16, and we await the result with interest. If he is imprisoned the work of the office will continue until all are arrested since each employé of the institution is his own boss: the manager, Mr. Holser, having said to them on leaving for America, “The house is open to you every Sunday. You can come to work or you can rest.”
The law under which the arrests were made is a factory law ostensibly in the interests of laboring people. But as the authorities know that each employé rests on the seventh day and thereby meets the avowed intent of the law, the prosecution is simply persecution. For years the authorities have understood the facts in the case and have not interfered. The reason they now interfere can be learned by reading Mr. McKee’s article on page 69 of this issue.
Our readers will remember that Mr. Holser was imprisoned for a term of twenty-one days in a Basel prison for permitting work to be done on Sunday in the publishing house. A sentence of forty days awaits him on his return. All this is occurring in the country of William Tell and the Reformation. This fact was brought to the attention of the people of Lucerne by a Seventh-day Adventist who was arrested for laboring on Sunday, in a pamphlet addressed to the citizens of his canton in which he said: “Fellow-citizens, you are at the present time raising a fund to erect a monument to William Tell. But while you are working to erect a stone monument to Tell, you have erected a living monument to Gesler.”
POPE LEO XIII., in an encyclical letter dated Nov. 1, 1885, exhorted Catholics “to take an active part in all municipal affairs and elections, and to favor the principles of the church in all public services, meetings, and gatherings. All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate whenever possible in the administration of civil affairs,” etc.
The Roman Catholics of New York City made haste to obey this command of the pope, and the city has been completely controlled by Roman Catholic politicians for the last ten years. In consequence there has developed a condition of unspeakable rottenness. Against this rottenness, which a priest of this city publicly declares was known to the church authorities, no voice was raised in protest. Now that it has been exposed and cannot be denied or evaded, the Catholic Review of this city, in its issue of Feb. 17, has this to say of the results of the last ten years of Roman Catholic activity in the “municipal affairs and elections” of New York City:—
Has its [New York’s] history in regard to the Catholics who have been appointed or elected to office been such as would be satisfactory to a requirement, that Catholics, as Catholics, should be fitly represented? Of course, there have been many brilliant exceptions, but, as a rule, have the Catholics of New York City reason to be proud of the career in public life of the men professedly Catholics who have, for instance, been elected for these many years past to represent the city in the State Assembly? Go over the list of them—a long list—during the last ten years. Look at the representation in Congress during the last twenty years, including an ex-prize fighter. Is it necessary, ten years after the decree of the Baltimore Council, that saloon-keepers shall dominate the “Catholic vote”? But they do it practically, and the man that denies this is either dishonest or ignorant. The saloon-keepers are a potency in the political organizations as the have been made up so far, and the mass of the “Catholic vote” has so far been following the dictates of one or the other political organization. Behind the saloon-keepers are the brewers, who hold chattel-mortgages from the saloon-keepers, and most of the brewers are now working together under some form of a “trust.”
The above is the fruit of the pope’s exhortation to Catholics to “make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life.” It is the “more abundant fruit” which has resulted from the Roman Catholic Church enjoying “in addition to liberty” the “favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority.” And yet the church proclaims herself the author, promoter, and preserver of civilization!