A CARDINAL principle of the movement to unite church and state in this nation, is that the Government does not derive its just powers from the consent of the governed. Notice the flat-footed statement of this principle made by a leading representative of this movement at a National Reform convention recently held in Boston. See p. 47.
That speaker spoke for the church. But the same time the state in this country is saying the same thing, by the act of extending its authority over foreign people against their will, and by the arguments put forth to justify the act. The church and the state are coming into harmony upon this point.
But in repudiating the doctrine of government by consent of the governed, in religion, what does the church repudiate? In religion, the doctrine of government by consent of the governed stands for the right of each individual to think and act for himself, independently of the authority of a pope. And this is what was affirmed in the “Protest of the Princes” at Spires. So that in repudiating this doctrine, the church repudiates the “Protest” of the Protestant princes, from which is derived the term “Protestantism.”
What this great protest was, and is, in the religious world, the Declaration of Independence is in the political world. The church has repudiated the one, and the state is repudiating the other. And in this both are ready to join hands.
But Protestantism, in the church and in the state, still stands for the principle of government by consent of the governed.
WHEN the Government undertakes to execute the will of God, there must be some authority to say what the will of God is. And that authority must be human; for while the Bible states what is the will of God, the people are not in agreement concerning the meaning of Scripture statements, so that while the Bible, itself, is authority, there must be another authority to settle the question of what the Bible authority commands. And this new authority must be some man, or set of men. But just this authority is what is claimed by the pope of Rome. What then could the National Reform scheme result in but the establishment of another papacy? And the world does not need another papacy; it could very well dispense with the one it already has.
WE have already heard from the Secretary of the “All American Order,” a religio-political organization of Brooklyn, who tells us: “No doubt you are aware that Rome is the cause of our churches being demoralized through the evils that exist in this city… I will say a few words, if you will advocate pure politics, church people attend primaries, but good men up for office and have only two parties, we can clean Rome of existence in one election.”
Our friend is mistaken. We are not aware that “Rome is the cause of our churches being demoralized.” If the churches are demoralized, the trouble is internal, not external. All Rome outside of a church will not demoralize that church so long as the principles of Rome are not allowed inside the church. But when the principles of Rome get into the church, there is demoralization speedily. The principles Rome are summed up in the combination of religion with politics.
And now we are asked advocate a union of the church with politics, or in other words, that “church people attend the primaries,” etc., in order that Rome may be overthrown. Why, good friends, that is the very thing by which Rome was built up in the first place. If the Christian Church had kept out of politics, no papacy would ever have been. And while the church remains in politics, the essence of the papacy must ever be.
We are as anxious as anybody that Rome shall go out of existence; but we have no desire to work against any man, whether in politics or not. Our method of fighting Rome is to fight Rome’s principles; and we are never more opposed to those principles than when they appear in measures proposed by professedly Protestant people.
CIVIL law is not ordained to enforce rights, but to preserve them. If a right could be enforced, it would cease to be a right.
THE idea that sovereignty over a people can be bought and sold is the essence of tyranny.