THE papacy stands for a union of church and state. Its adherents claim to be good citizens of the state, and are such, no doubt, in many cases. But they can be good citizens and at the same time good Catholics, only in a state which is united with the Catholic Church. Roman Catholics can be good citizens of the United States only to the extent that they repudiate the principle of church and state union.
THE Christian Statesman, organ of the “National Reform” movements, says that “The most enthusiastic admirer of the United States will not claim that, in the deepest sense of the words, we are a nation in true allegiance to God and Jesus Christ.” This is what the AMERICAN SENTINEL has always said; and it follows that since the nation if not Christian in the deepest sense, it is not really Christian at all; for in our relation to God, nothing but truth in the “deepest sense” is acceptable. His actions have all the “deepest sense” of their meaning for us, and we likewise must manifest the deepest sincerity towards him.
The National Reform Association hopes however to make this “a truly Christian nation.” That is its avowed object. But to secure this the association is not working to convert individuals to the Lord, but to secure “a wide range of reforms” by legislation. It looks to the national and state legislatures, and to other political bodies, to secure what it wants to make the nation “truly Christian.” Possibly it will succeed in getting all the legislation it desires; but even should this be so, its task will remain unaccomplished; for reform legislation is one thing, and the reform itself is quite another thing. The latter by no means necessarily follows as a result of the former.
Faith is the one sure means of genuine reform. It is the one sure means of moral purification. This is God’s means of reforming all that can be reformed in the world. If legislation could bring the needed reform, God could legislate and enforce it too, far beyond any thing that man is able to do. But he works by faith in the individual heart. Whatever is capable of exercising faith in Christ, can be reformed according to God’s idea of reform, and nothing else can be. As for the world and all that is of the world, the only thing that awaits them is the coming day that shall “burn as an oven” (Malachi)—that day of fiery destruction foretold by Peter, when the very elements shall “melt with fervent heat.” That is the only kind of reform that awaits this world.
IT was better in the Creator’s view than sin and death should enter an mar the universe, than that His creatures should be deprived of the liberty to do either right or wrong. What higher testimony could be given to the value of absolute religious liberty?
PEOPLE who enact a Sunday law bind themselves with the chain they forge for others.
RELIGION mixed with politics makes a mixture good only for political purposes.