August 31, 1893
BY the plain considerations of scripture we have found, and all may find, that the Sabbath question, which has been the leading question of the country all summer, instead of one day or another, of the seventh day or the first, of Saturday or Sunday—as such, is a question of rival institutions representing rival powers.
THE seventh day which God made the Sabbath, by resting upon it, by blessing it, by making it holy, and by sanctifying it, which he declared from Sinai is the Sabbath, and of which in Judea he declared himself to be the Lord; this—the Sabbath of the Lord—God has set to be the sign by which men may know him the only true God and Saviour. It is the sign which God has set, by which men may know what Jesus Christ is to men. It is the sign of the power of God in Jesus Christ to create men new creatures, to give them rest from all their toil, to make them better, to bless them, to make them holy, to sanctify, to save them.
THE Sunday, which the Catholic Church, “by her own infallible authority,” “has substituted” for the Sabbath of the Lord, which she has declared to be “holy,” and which she “sanctifies”—this is the sign of the “salvation” provided by the Papacy; “the man of sin,” which has opposed and exalted itself above God, in the place of God, showing itself that it is God. This is the sign that the Catholic Church has set, to show what that church is to men. It is the sign of her power to bless, to make holy, to sanctify, and to save.
AND all this is what the Sabbath question means. The question as to whether men shall observe the Sabbath of the Lord, or whether they shall observe Sunday, is the question as to whether men shall honor God, or honor the Papacy above God. It is a question as to whether men shall depend upon Jesus Christ himself, alone, for salvation, or whether they shall depend upon the Catholic Church for salvation. It is a question as to whether men shall bear the signet of the Creator of the heavens and the earth, or that of the Papacy; whether they shall receive the sign of the living God or the sign of the Catholic Church—“the seal of the living God” or “the mark of the beast;” whether we shall serve Christ or antichrist.
THERE is a difference between God and the Papacy; a difference between Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. The one is “the Sun of righteousness,” the other is the “man of sin;” the one is the revelation of “the mystery of godliness,” the other the revelation of “the mystery of iniquity;” the one is “the Prince of life,” the other is “the son of perdition.” Now, just as there is a difference between God and the Papacy, between Christ and the Catholic Church, so there is a difference between the way of salvation provided by Jesus Christ and the way of salvation provided by the Catholic Church. And the difference between the way of salvation provided by the Lord and that provided by the Catholic Church, is just as great as is the difference between God and the Papacy or between Jesus Christ and any pope that ever lived.
THERE are a number of points upon which this difference might be demonstrated; but for the present occasion we shall dwell on only one, and that is, that whereas the salvation provided by Jesus Christ is of GRACE ONLY, manifested through FAITH ONLY, and that the gift of God; the salvation provided by the Catholic Church is of force only, manifested through penance and “the law and State authority.”
NOW to the evidence: “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9. “To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth [maketh righteous] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4, 5. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…. even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [made righteous] by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:20-28. And “if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17. “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22. “Hear and your soul shall live.” Isaiah 55:3. “Speak ye unto the rock, and it shall give forth his water.” Numbers 20:8. “And that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4. “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16, 17. “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47. This is the way of salvation provided by Jesus Christ.
NOW for the other. Everybody knows that penance is the very keystone of the Catholic structure of doctrine as to the  way of salvation—that without penance the system is even, in the church’s own estimation, an empty shell. So closely connected, indeed, in penance with justification, yea, so essential is penance to justification, that Cardinal Gibbons, in his book, “The Faith of Our Fathers,” in discussing “The Sacrament of Penance,” uses all along “penance” as synonymous with “forgiveness of sins” and “justification.”—See pp. 391-394, 414, 415. And, in fact, the Catholic version of the Scriptures raeds, “Do penance,” where the Protestant version reads, “Repent.” It is therefore in order in this place to inquire, What is this doctrine, this “sacrament” of penance? In answer, we quote from a book entitled, “Catholic Belief; or A Short and Simple Exposition of Catholic Doctrine;” by the Very Rev. Joseph Fah Byron, D.D., Author’s American Edition, edited by Rev. Louis A. Lambert, author of “‘Notes on Ingersoll,’ Imprimatur, John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York; Imprimatur, Hencions Edwardus, Card. Archbisp. Westmongst; Bensiger Brothers, printers to the Holy Apostolic See.” It is stated thus:—
Penance by which the sins that we commit after Baptism, are forgiven
Now, as “baptism” is to be administered to the infant “at the earliest possible moment” (“Faith of Our Fathers,” p. 313; it is evident that all the sins that a Catholic can possibly commit are “after baptism.” And from this is certainly follows that as “penance” is that “by which the sins that we commit after baptism are forgiven;” and as without forgiveness of sins no person can be justified or saved; then penance is the very nucleus of the way of salvation provided by the Catholic Church. To a person who has grown up without “baptism” he can only obtain “the grace of justification,” forgiveness, by, among a number of other things, “a resolution to approach the Sacrament of Penance.”—Catholic Belief, p. 75.
THAT is what penance is in definition, now what is it in practice? What are works of penance and what are they really for? Here is the statement, under the heading, “Works of Penance:“—
In the case of those who have fallen into mortal sin after baptism, when the guilt of such sin and the everlasting punishment due to it are forgiven, there still very often remains a debt of temporal punishment, to be paid by the sinner. This debt remains, not from any imperfection in the power of absolution in the Sacrament of Penance, nor from any want of efficacy in the atonement of Jesus Christ, but because by God’s will, chastisement for past sins helps us to compensate for the imperfection in our repentance and serves as a correction. The fear of temporal punishment often helps to strengthen the resolution of amendment; it sets as a check to prevent us from again falling into sin, and excites us to make reparation for the scandal given.
From this we see, whilst the God man, Jesus Christ has by atoning for our sins, done what we could not possibly do for ourselves. He has not dispensed us from doing, with the help of his grace, what we can, to punish ourselves for the offenses and outrages we have offered to God. Good sense tells us that this is but right and just.—Catholic Belief, pp. 163, 164.
So essential, so indispensable indeed, is penance to salvation in the Catholic system, that even the dying thief, whom the Lord Jesus himself pardoned on the cross—even he is taken up by the Catholic Church and made to do penance, when he, “in the spirit of penance, suffered the torment of his crucifixion, and the cruel breaking of his limbs, as penalties justly due to his sins; and it may be that it was the first time that he repented and received pardon of his sin.”—Id., p. 195.
WELL, then, when the guilt of sin, and the everlasting punishment due to it, are both forgiven, if there still remains a debt to be paid by the sinner, then is not the sinner’s justification, his salvation, in the last resort, accomplished by himself? And as this debt is to be paid in punishment, and that punishment inflicted by the sinner himself upon himself, then is it not evident that the justification, the salvation, of the sinner, in the last analysis, is accomplished not only by himself, but by punishing himself, and therefore by force—force exerted upon himself by himself to save himself. This is not the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. The salvation provided in Jesus Christ is wholly of the Lord, not of self. The mind that was in Jesus Christ empties self wholly that God may appear wholly.
BUT not only is this elf inflicted punishment to pay up for the sins already committed, it is to “act as a check to prevent us from again falling into sin.” And as I am to punish myself, to keep myself from sinning again, it is again myself saving myself from myself; again it is salvation accomplished not only by the sinner himself, but by punishing himself, and therefore by force—force exerted upon himself by himself to save himself from himself. Thus completely is it demonstrated that the salvation provided by the Catholic Church is “salvation” not of the Lord but of self; not by grace but by force; not through faith but through penance.
So far however the application of this way of salvation is only to the cases of those who are here and who can be led to apply this self-inflicted punishment. How about those who are not here, and who cannot be led to adopt this way? Oh, she is perfectly logical, and as “the fear of temporal punishment often helps to strengthen the resolution of amendment,” she has recourse to the temporal power, “to the help of the law and State authority,” so that she herself may succeed in inflicting the due amount of punishment—of penance—to “act as a check to prevent men from again falling into sin.” This is not only the logic of the case but it is the doctrine of “the church.” Pope Leo XIII. only a little more than one year ago, definitely published to all the world for the world’s instruction, that—
The church uses His efforts not only to enlighten His mind, but to direct by His precepts the life and conduct of men…. and acts on the decided view that for these purposes recourse should be hurt, in due measure and degree, to the help of the law and State authority.—Encyclical of May 15, 1803.
So “the church” sets forth her “precepts” to direct “the life and conduct of men.” But as there are many men who will not voluntarily conform to these precepts, she requires the State to make her precepts a part of the “civil” law with the due penalty attached, so that “the fear of temporal punishment” may duly “act as a check to prevent the people from falling into sin.” And so she has “recourse to the help of the law and State authority,” in directing by her precepts the life and conduct of men into the way of salvation which she has provided. And still it is all of force only, and but the logic of her own essential doctrine of penance which is in itself only force.
AND such has been her course from the first day that she ever succeeded in gaining the help of the law and State authority. This was when she and Constantine entered into alliance to bring men by force to the Saviour, and so to render them fit subjects of the kingdom of God, by bringing them to the Catholic Church. A passage or two from the history of that time, and that procedure, will be proper to cite here. Eusebius, the favorite bishop of Constantine, and who took a leading part in all that scheme of securing to the church the help of the law and State authority, has told us not only what the object of it was but how the object was accomplished. In speaking of Constantine and his great goodness and his likeness to the SAViour, he says:—
That preserver of the universe [Christ] orders these heavens and earth, and the celestial kingdom, consistently with his Father’s will. Even so our emperor whom he [Christ] … by bringing those whom he rules on earth to the only begotten Word and Saviour, renders them fit subjects of his kingdom.”
Such was the object. Now as to how it was accomplished: This the same bishop relates by preserving to us the very edict of Constantine himself, A.D. 323, as follows:—
Victor Constantinus Maximus Augustus to the heretics: Understand now, by this present statute, ye Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulians, ye who are called Cataphrygians, and all ye who devise and support heresies by means of your private assemblies, with what a tissue of falsehood and vanity, with what destructive and venomous errors, your doctrines are inseparably interwoven; so that through you the healthy soul is stricken with disease, and the living becomes the prey of everlasting death.
Forasmuch, then, as it is no longer possible to bear with your pernicious errors, we give warning by this present statute that none of you henceforth presume to assemble yourselves together. We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all the houses in which you are accustomed to hold your assemblies; and our care in this respect extends so far as to forbid the holding of your superstitious and senseless meetings, not in public merely, but in any private house or place whatsoever. Let those of you, therefore, who are desirous of embracing the true and pure religion, take the far better course of entering the Catholic Church, and uniting with it in holy fellowship, whereby you will be enabled to arrive at the knowledge of the truth. In any case, the delusions of your perverted understandings must entirely cease to mingle with and mar the felicity of our present times; I mean the impious and wretched double-mindedness of heretics and schismatics. For it is an object worthy of that prosperity which we enjoy through the favor of God, to endeavor to bring back those who in time past were living in the hope of future blessing, from all irregularity and error to the right path, from darkness to light, from vanity to truth, from death to SALVATION. And in order that this remedy may be applied with effectual power, we have commanded (as before said) that you be positively deprived of every gathering point for your superstitious meetings; I mean all the houses of prayer (if such be worthy of the name) which belong to heretics, and that these be made over without delay to the Catholic Church; that any other places be confiscated to the public service, and no facility whatever be left for any future gathering, in order that from this day forward none of your unlawful assemblies may presume to appear in any public or private place. Let this edict be made public.
THUS the very first fruit of her original recourse to the help of the law and State authority only the further, and the more emphatically if need be, illustrates that the way of salvation provided by her, is of force only.
AND right there too, was set up her sign of her power and authority “to command men under sin.” Right there was set up her own sign of the way of salvation provided by her. Right there she by “the help of the law and State authority” substituted her own Sunday for the  Sabbath of the Lord, set up this sign of her power unto salvation instead of the Sabbath of the Lord which he had set as the sign by which men may know his power to create and to save. Thus says Eusebius again:—
All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day.
And again, referring to what “Christ” had accomplished in Constantine’s Sunday law; which was enacted to please “the church,” the same bishop says:—
Who else has commanded the nations inhabiting the continents and islands of this mighty globe to assemble weekly on the Lord’s day, and to observe it as a festival, not indeed for the pampering of the body, but for the comfort and invigoration of the soul by instruction in divine truth.
Thus plainly is it apparent how and why and when, the Sunday of the Catholic Church was substituted for the Sabbath of the Lord; and how this sign of the power of the Catholic Church to save, was set in the place of the sign by which men may know the power of Jesus Christ to create and to save. And thus plainly does it appear upon every count that the Sunday institution is the sign of salvation by force only, while the Sabbath of the Lord is the sign of salvation by the grace and gentleness of Jesus Christ only through the benign operations of his Spirit.
NOW, which of these two ways did the churches and Congress of the United States take? Did they leave every man free, as Jesus Christ does, to choose for himself the way of salvation, and the sign of it? Or did they, by “the help of the law and State authority,” go into the way of salvation by force, and set up the Sunday institution, the sign of salvation by force, in the place of the Sabbath of the Lord, the sign of salvation by the love and grace of Jesus Christ? Which did they do? Everybody knows which they did. They set up as the sign of salvation to this Nation, the sign of the salvation provided by the Catholic Church; the sign of salvation by force. And then, as though they would proclaim to all the world, and demonstrate before all people, how certainly this is so, the same church leaders who, by the force of threats, had required Congress to set up the sign of salvation by force, followed it up swiftly by loud calls, even by telegram, to the head of the Government of the United States, to furnish armed troops with which to enforce, at the point of the bayonet, the proper observance of, and respect for, the sign of the salvation provided by the Catholic Church—the sign of salvation by force. Right worthily indeed have they vindicated their right to wear the badge of papal salvation, the sign of salvation by force.
LET them wear it as they have chosen it. It becomes them. It belongs to them. But, oh! will the people of the United States wear it, upon whom these men have presumed to force it? Will the people of the United States tamely submit to the wearing of the badge of papal authority and of papal salvation, which, by apostate Protestantism, has been forced upon them? Choose ye this day whom you will serve. Will you honor God, or honor the Papacy in the place of God? Will you receive and wear the signet of the Creator of heaven and earth and the Saviour of men? or will you wear the sign of the man of sin—the mystery of iniquity—the Papacy? Will you keep the Sabbath of the Lord, or the Sunday of the Catholic Church?
A. T. J.