AN article by the Rev. Lyndon S. Crawford, on “Sunday Labor Under Government Authority,” in The Independent, concludes with a statement:—
“We feel that, with no injustice to the immigrant, we can appeal to the Christian conscience of the American people to see that the faithful employees of the United States Government should no longer be denied that which is the right of every American citizen, and the divine right of every one of God’s children—viz.: rest on God’s day rest day.”
Here as an appeal to the “Christian conscience of the American people,” in behalf of a certain class of the American people, to secure for the latter “rest on God’s rest day.” What ought the American people to do in the matter?
Rest on God’s rest day is a command of God, and every command of God is binding upon the conscience. The employes in question are therefore, in conscience bound to heed the command of God and take “rest on God’s rest day,” without regard to consequences. Should the appeal to conscience in this matter, therefore, not be made to them, rather than to “the American people” to be conscience for them? Can any good—can anything but harm—come from the attempt of one set of people to be conscience for another?
We do not want people to be forced to work when they need rest, or when they are in duty bound to rest (though it is to be noted there is no divine command for Sunday rest); but we would not have them think they are gaining what they need, by allowing other people to be conscience for them. No moral question can ever be settled in such a way; and the recipients of such fancied moral aid will only be left worse off, morally, than they were before.