THE News, of Paris, Tenn., objects to our criticism of the courts of that State for lending themselves to the persecution of Seventh-day Adventists. The News remarks:—
We do not believe the courts have convicted in this case upon the grounds of “religious persecution,” but as justice blindfolded and knowing no man, religion or creed.
It makes not a bit of difference what the News believes; its unbelief cannot change the facts. In deciding one of these Sunday cases in Tennessee, Judge Hammond said:—
Sectarian freedom of religious belief is guaranteed by the constitution [of Tennessee]; not in the sense argued here, that King, as a Seventh-day Adventist, or some other as a Jew, or yet another as a Seventh-day Baptist, might set at defiance the prejudices, if you please, of other sects having control of legislation in the matter of Sunday observances, but only in the sense that he should not himself be disturbed by the practices of his creed.
The courts cannot change that which has been done, however done, by the devil law in favor of the Sunday observers. The religion of Jesus Christ is so interwoven with the texture of our civilization and every one of its institutions, that it is impossible for any man or set of men to live among us and find exemption from its influences and restraints. Sunday observance is so essentially a part of that religion that it is impossible to rid our laws of it.
This grants the very thing that the News denies, namely, that Sunday laws are religious, and that they rest upon the religious prejudices of those having control of legislation. The News should remember that it is better to be right than to be popular; better to stand for principle than for dollars and cents.
Another point(?) made by the News is this:—
We are a firm believer in religious freedom and the rights of every man being untrammeled when it comes to divine worship, provided he does not practice and preach a religion that is detrimental to the public welfare. In this case we have no fight to make on the religious principles held by the believers of the Adventist Church, but as Sunday is regarded as the day of rest by all the States of the Union, and by the majority of the people, we do object to the practice of some in publicly going about their work on the day that is recognized and most generally held as being the Sabbath, or day of rest.
There are tens of thousands of just such firm believers in religious freedom. But of what value is it to any man to have the right to believe what he pleases if he is denied the right to practice as he believes? The Adventists believe that they ought not only to rest on the Sabbath day, but to habitually devote Sunday to secular pursuits. Of what avail is it for them to do the one if they neglect the other? Some people have a religion so flexible that it can be readily adapted to their convenient; but not so the Adventists; with them the observance of the Sabbath and the secularization of Sunday is a sacred duty. They regard the Sabbath as the memorial of God’s creative power, and as the pledge of his power to recreate, to make new, and to sanctify. On the other hand they regard the Sunday as a false Sabbath, a counterfeit of God’s holy day, the mark of badge of the “mystery of iniquity,” the “man of sin,” “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, showing himself that he is God.” But those who have little or no conscience themselves, but have been accustomed to follow the multitude, settle themselves down in a sort of satisfied self-righteousness and cannot understand why others should dare to displease the multitude—as though the multitude were God. Such forget, if they ever knew, that the Christian rule is: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
THIS note from the Christian Cynosure on the International Sunday-school Lesson for June 3, is a fair sample of the nonsense by which Sunday sacredness is sustained:
.1. The Passover instituted.—Exodus 12:4. “This shall be to you the beginning of months.” Their year had hitherto begun on the seventh of September. This change to the middle of March was to typify their new national life. The winter of their bondage was over; it was therefore fitting that they should date time from a fresh starting point. So the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day of the week, and all Christendom reckons time from what is called “the Christian era.” “They shall take to them every man a lamb.” This was an entirely new ordinance.
Does the writer of this note mean to imply that the Sabbath was changed at the exodus? or does he mean simply that the change of the Sabbath are parallel? If the latter, the folly of the proposition is but little less plainly marked than it would be in the former. A very essential element is lacking to make the cases at all parallel. In the case of the change of the beginning of the year the fact is plainly stated in the inspired record; while in the pretended change of the Sabbath the Scriptures are as silent as the grave, and do not so much as hint at any change by divine authority.