August 19, 1897
IT is never the legitimate business of the State to use its power in an attempt to settle a religious controversy.
ALL religious legislation is an effort to compel the carnal mind to act like the spiritual mind; in other words, to do an impossibility.
RIGHTS are independent of citizenship. The foreigner who becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States, neither loses nor gains any natural rights by the process.
THE power of the State, exercised through the policeman’s club, may soften the head, but it never softens the heart. The gospel, on the other hand, works by softening the heart.
THERE is much more honor given to the Deity in writing his name with a capital initial, than in trying to compel people to act in conformity with the religious ideas of some person or sect.
A “GOVERNMENT of the people, by the people,” whether by the majority or a small part of the people, cannot be a government of God. Any attempt to make it such can be nothing else than an effort to exalt man into the place of God. God governs by spiritual agencies alone. His rule in the kingdoms of men is only that of “an overruling providence.”
“YOU are a good man; but we have a law, and the law must be obeyed.” If this is a valid ground now for sending an individual to jail for working on Sunday, why was it not a valid ground for putting to death Him who taught a religion contrary to the law of the Roman State in the days of Pontius Pilate?
ONE very important question now before the American people, whether they are aware of it or not, is that of whether there shall be set up in this Government a State or national “conscience.” Such a thing, of course, could not exist in peace with the individual conscience, and the latter would be forced to surrender or involve its possessor in persecution. Every Sunday law sets up a State conscience in the matter of the observance of the Sabbath.