IN his efforts in behalf of temperance and also prohibition nobody can bid John G. Wooley more hearty God-speed than we do. But to his effort and hope to have the Church dominate and “run” the Government, nobody can be more opposed than are we. These views of religion are as political as those of the veriest National Reformer that has yet appeared. In Our Day, for November, 1896, he declares that—
This country will never be saved but by the enthronement of Jesus in the politics of the republic, and his coronation by the Christian voters as the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” and Platform of platforms.
Whether the country is ever saved or not, this thing will never be. There will never be any enthronement of Jesus in the politics of the republic; nor will he ever be crowned by the Christian voters as King of kings, nor as anything else. There were some folks once before who proposed “the enthronement of Jesus in the politics of the country,” but he departed from them. In that day he said, “I receive not honor form men.” And he says it yet.
THE apologists of the New England Puritans think they have a mighty weapon in defense of their heroes when they have demonstrated that there was no specific statute prohibiting kissing on Sunday. Upon this they declare that Sam. Peter’s account of the Blue Laws is all a made-up story, out of enmity to the innocent Puritans. The truth of the matter is that the Bible was the code, and the Bible forbids “finding thine own pleasure” on the Sabbath day. And though this applies to the seventh day and not to Sunday at all, the Puritans decided that Sunday is the Sabbath, and then made this Scripture apply to Sunday observance. Then, by this piece of hocus pocus, Sunday being the Sabbath, and the Bible being the code, as the code forbade people finding their own pleasure on the Sabbath, and as assuredly it is a pleasure for a man to kiss his wife, it followed plainly enough that it was unlawful for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday. And now the vast National Reform Christian Endeavor combination are determined to have the Bible the code of the whole nation with themselves as final interpreters, as in that other Blue Law system.
ON Thanksgiving day last month, at Lincoln, Neb., Presiding Elder D. W. C. Huntingdon preached a sermon which was hardly anything else than a long, blind, unreasoning defense of the Puritans and all their enormities. This, however, is neither new or unusual. It is probable that the same thing was done at other places in the United States the same day. We notice it here only to call attention to it as one of the things, among many others of to-day, that needs to be watched and thought about. For, as has been well remarked, “if we are to be profited by the past, it is essential that we should study our history honestly and impartially. We cannot be true to ourselves if we begin by being false to our predecessors. If we credit them with motives they did not feel and could not have understood; if we claim for them things which they never accomplished; if we defend their indefensible acts; if we seek to prove them in the right when they were in the wrong, in their behavior toward others—it will follow that we will deal likewise in our own case, and prove dishonest and tricky as a nation and in our personal transactions.” Any one who will defend or excuse to-day the barbarisms and enormities of the Puritans, will just as readily defend or excuse the like things if they should be committed under like circumstances to-day.