READ on pages 354 and 356 how Adventists are imprisoned in Switzerland, and in America for refusal to keep the papal Sabbath, the “wild solar holiday of all pagan times.” Persecution of Sabbath-keepers is fast becoming world-wide. But it is only that which prophecy foretells, and Adventists have long expected; it is one of the “these things” to which our Lord referred when he said: “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Let the persecuted Adventists pray and sing praises in their prisons, even as Paul and Silas did in the Philippians jail, for though unseen by mortal eyes, He for whom they suffer, suffers with them and sustains them by his grace. It is a time to be “strong and very courageous.”
THE New York Sun thinks that if the Seventh-day Adventist farmer “of Tennessee who was arrested and imprisoned for plowing his land on a Sunday, had been able to carry his case up to the highest court, he might have gained it, on the ground that his conviction was in violation of the constitutional provision of religious freedom.” The Sun ought to know that the Supreme Court of the United States has, in effect, decided over and over again that the so-called constitutional guarantee of religious liberty in the Constitution of the United States is no guarantee at all, for it only inhibits Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The constitutional guarantee that “no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury,” has been repeatedly held to apply only to cases arising under the laws of the United States. The principle is the same. The moral is that the Constitution of the United States contains much less ample provisions of liberty, both civil and religious, than many have supposed.
ANOTHER provision of the Constitution of the United States is that “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” But the Alien Contract Labor law and the Chinese Exclusion act both suspend the writ so far as it relates to those affected by the laws referred to. Persons accused of being contract laborers or of being in the country in violation of the exclusion act, have no recourse to the courts. The decision of the Treasury Department in such cases is final. This fact illustrates the truth that no constitutional guarantee is of any value except it is sustained by public sentiment. This country is now ruled less by constitutional law than by public clamor.
AMONG our significant paragraphs is one entitled, “Cardinal Gibbons on the Basis of Unity,” which is worthy of note, not only because of the statements he makes regarding the desire among “Protestant” ministers for union, but because of his incidental admission that “the church” was corrupt in Luther’s day. The point which he endeavors to make against Luther and Calvin is easily answered. The cardinal admits that abuses and iniquity in “the church.” It is then enough to reply to his censure of the Reformers that the abuses and the iniquity were a necessary result of the system. Tetzel peddled indulgences in Germany under the authority of Leo X.