IF the minority of people who observe the seventh day do not need to be protected in their Sabbath observance, why is it necessary to protect the majority who observe the first day?
THE Sabbath is declared in Scripture to be a “sign” between God and his chosen people, given that they may know that it is the Lord God who sanctifies them. Ezekiel 20:12, 20. This being so, what business has a State legislature, or other body of men, to attempt to place this sign upon unsanctified people, by enacting and enforcing Sabbath laws?
THE law of Christ cannot be applied to civil governments, because the law of Christ is not force; that is, it is not and cannot be turned into, civil force. The law of Christ is the law of love; and a civil government knows nothing about love. Civil government stands for justice, and justice neither loves nor hates. The law of Christ was made—so far as this world is concerned—for human beings only.
WHAT can be more natural than for a “Christian nation” to believe itself commissioned by the Author of Christianity to do missionary work? since all Christians are naturally missionaries. And as a nation must make its authority respected wherever it goes, and to do this must employ an army and navy, it follows very naturally that the army and navy come into use as missionary agencies, and bullets and shells are deemed essential in fulfilling a commission from the Lord. The “Christian nation” idea is the starting point, and the slaughter of human beings created in the image of God, is the termination. And it is all logical enough, if that idea is correct. But is it correct?
IN Washington’s and Jefferson’s day, it was asserted that “all men are created equal,” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” and these statements were put forth as self-evident truths. But now such journals as the North American Review come forward and declare that these same statements are among the “most obvious fallacies.” How times have changed!
LET men behave themselves as individuals, and the government will behave itself, without any attempt to make it conform to a moral law. But let men misbehave as individuals, and the government which they administer will misbehave itself, in spite of any and all moral laws to which it may profess to conform. The righteousness of a nation is not a governmental, but an individual, matter.
IT is a curious idea which some people have, who want to see society reformed by law, that a law of the State, or of the United States, can make unchristian people “respect Christians and the day set apart for their observance.” As anybody must know, people who are not Christians do not see any use in Christian doctrines and institutions; and many of this class are outspoken opposers of Christianity, believing its doctrines and practises to be founded upon error and productive of harm to mankind. They have no respect for them whatever. And yet the professors of Christianity propose to compel these people by law to observe a (professedly) Christian institution—Sunday—in order to secure their respect for it and for Christian people! What can the result be but to intensify their disrespect and dislike, and to strengthen the barrier between them and Christianity? People can come to God only by being drawn, but laws do not draw people; they confine them. The Lord draws people to himself by “cords of love;” but some modern reformers intend to drive people to him by the lash of legal force and penalties. The more they drive the people, the further will both they and the people get from the Lord.
NOTICE how, as brought out in the article “Those Consecrated Fallacies,” on another page, the idea that men have come upon the earth by evolution goes hand in hand with the idea that men were never endowed with any rights, and therefore that it is nonsense to say that the purpose of civil governments among men is to preserve their “unalienable rights.” The doctrine of the Declaration of Independence was enunciated from the standpoint of Christianity, and from that standpoint it still holds good. The doctrines of atheism well serve the purposes of despotism.
“DO WE need more holidays?” inquires a writer in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, in view of the fact that a bill is before Congress for making two new holidays, one in February and one in April. Then he proceeds to note that there are already twenty-nine holidays in the year, besides fifty-two Sundays and the Saturday half-holidays; and his conclusion is that while he would like to “crowd the calendar with them,” it would “be well not to rush toward the conditions that exist in Russia and some other countries, where there are so many holidays that people who want to work have scarcely time or opportunity to get up in the world.”
We should say so! Let a country crowd its calendar full of holidays, and it will speedily approximate to the condition of lands that have long been dominated by the papacy. People in this age of the world need plenty of time to work, both to enable them to prosper in business and to keep them out of mischief. The country has too many holidays already.