“Editorial” American Sentinel 9, 3, pp. 17-19.

January 18, 1894

THE Christian Statesman is the only official organ that the National Reform combination has ever had.

IN the paper, August 31, 1881, it was announced, in behalf of the National Reform movement, that they would “gladly accept” the coöperation of Roman Catholics “in any form in which they may be willing to exhibit it.”

LATER, December 11, 1884, the Christian Statesman, editorially announced that—

whenever they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to coöperate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them.

NOT long afterward LEO XIII. issued an encyclical, in which he commanded that—

all Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States, and legislation, to be modeled on the principles of the true church.

THE National Reform Association was organized for no other purpose than to have the Constitution and legislation of the United States Government modeled on such principles as would place “all Christian laws, institutions and usages upon an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” It is thus clearly seen that the aims of the National Reform Association, and the aims of the papacy, upon the Constitution and legislation of the United States Government, were identical.

IN December, 1888, the National Reform combination secured the aid and alliance of the American Sabbath Union. At that time “Rev.” Wilbur F. Crafts was practically the American Sabbath Union, and the American Sabbath Union was he; and thus it continued for more than a year. But during that year, by the diligent agency of Mr. Crafts, the long desired coöperation of the Roman Catholics with the National Reform combination, was secured.

On the first day of December, 1888, Mr. Crafts wrote a personal letter to Cardinal Gibbons, asking his support to the demand which was then being made upon Congress for a national Sunday law. December 4, the cardinal replied, announcing himself as “most happy” to add his name to those of others who were “laudably contending against the violation of the Christian Sabbath,” etc. And December 13, 1888, on this letter Mr. Crafts presented before a United States Senate committee “Roman Catholics represented by letter of Cardinal Gibbons appended, 7,200,000.”—Senate, Mis. Doc. No. 43, Fiftieth Congress, 2nd Session, p. 18.

DURING the autumn of 1888, Mr. Crafts had been especially active in getting the Knights of Labor, under the leadership of Mr. Powderly, to indorse the demand for a national Sunday law. He became so enthusiastic in this matter that at the general assembly of the Knights of Labor, at Indianapolis, in November, 1888, he let himself out in this fashion:—

Having carefully read and re-read your “declaration of principles” and your “constitution,” and having watched with interest the brave yet conservative shots of your Powderly at intemperance and other great evils, I have found myself so closely in accord with you that I have almost decided to become a Knight of Labor myself. If I do not, it will be only because I believe I can advance your principles better as an outside ally.—Journal of United Labor, Nov. 29, 1888.

This effort was continued through 1889, and later.

IN November, 1889, the first “Congress of Catholic Laymen of the United States” was held in Baltimore, “to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the American hierarchy.” Either during this congress or only shortly before, Mr. Crafts held a “correspondence and conference” with the managers of the congress to secure the coöperation of Catholics with “Protestants” for Sunday observance by law. Accordingly, a paper was read in the congress by the editor of the Catholic Universe, of Cleveland, Ohio, in which it was said:—

What we should seek is an en cupport with the Protestant Christians who desire to keep Sunday holy…. We can bring the Protestant masses over to the reverent moderation of the Catholic Sunday.

And when the platform was announced and enthusiastically adopted, which expressed the results of the congress, one of the “planks” that was “received with the greatest demonstrations” of approval, and which, with the rest, was adopted “without discussion” and “without a dissenting voice,” was the following, which we give in full:—

There are many Christian … to which Catholics could come together with non-Catholics, and shape civil legislation for the public weal. In spite of rebuff and injustice and overlooking zealotry, we should seek alliance with non-Catholics for proper Sunday observance. Without going over to the Judaic Sabbath, we can bring the masses over to the moderation of the Christian Sunday.

Immediately following this Mr. Crafts announced in a public and printed address, with satisfaction, that—

the National Lay Congress of Roman Catholics, after correspondence and conference with the American Sabbath Union, passed its famous … in favor of coöperation with Protestants in Sabbath reform…. This does not mean that the millennium is to be … in a day. This is only a proposal of courtship, and the parties therefore have approached each other shyly.

And when it is borne in mind that at that time Mr. Crafts himself was for all practical purposes, the American Sabbath Union, its meaning becomes more pointed for our present purpose, which will be seen presently.

THE National Reform American Sabbath Union Roman Catholic combination succeeded in 1892 in drawing the National Government into the governmental establishment of the Catholic Sunday, “the Christian Sabbath,” out of respect for the “Christian religion” and for “the salvation of this nation.” The aim of Leo XIII. to have “the constitutions of States and legislation modeled on the principles of the true church,” having thus been accomplished, Satolli was immediately sent over and permanently established here as the pope’s personal representative, to personally superintend the further progress of the Government is the way of “the principles of the true church.” And now, seeing and knowing the meaning of Satolli’s permanent official and officious presence here, Mr. Crafts, who, as editor of the Christian Statesman, now represents the whole National Reform combination on its “Protestant” side, having done all this and still going on doing all he can in the same line—he now curiously and [18] innocently, though most pertinently inquires editorially, with direct reference to Satolli and the Catholic Church in the United States, “Are we cherishing a viper?

EDITORIALLY, in the Christian Statesman of October 28, 1893, Mr. Crafts asks this most pertinent question, and in this and another editorial in the Statesman of December 9, 1893, proceeds at considerable length to answer his own question in a way that is extremely interesting in view of the record which we have reproduced in the preceding notes. Everything he says of the papacy is true enough. But when his knowledge of the papacy, which is thus set forth so clearly, is set alongside of his own actions in forming alliances with the papacy, it fairly sets him and the National Reform combination in an attitude as iniquitous and as treacherous as the very papacy itself. That the people may see this as clearly as may be, we shall reproduce also as much as space will allow of this phase of the subject, that both phases may stand side by side.

THE first sentence in Mr. Crafts’ and the Christian Statesmans answer to the question, “Are we cherishing a viper?” is this:—

The most powerful organized enemy, civil liberty, has ever contended against, is the papacy.

True enough, Mr. Crafts; and yet, knowing this, you formed an organized enemy of civil liberty,” instead of contending against it. On a pretense of liberty, civil and religious, you yourself took the lead in forming an organized alliance with this, as you know, “most powerful organized enemy of civil liberty,” and you did it that you might present before Congress a united front in your united demand that our national Government should put itself in the position of the protector and defender of the “Christian religion” and its institutions, chiefly the Catholic Sunday, “the American Sabbath.” You succeeded, and having thus “shaped legislation on the principles of the true church,” Rome steps in and takes the superintendency of the cause for the future. And now, after all this, you, of all men, you raise the query, “Are we cherishing a viper?”! Yes, of course you are; and you were, all the time, in 1888 and 1889, in your “correspondence and conference” with Cardinal Gibbons and the Catholic congress, to secure an alliance with it to influence the United States Congress to enter upon a course of religious legislation. Of course you are, and you have been, cherishing a viper. And by your cherishing, the viper has been warmed back into active life, and now begins to sting to death both yourselves and the Republic; and now get rid of him if you can!

MR. CRAFTS’ second sentence is this:—

For over a thousand years there has not been an hour when this ecclesiastical organization was not a menace to the political liberties of the civilized world.

True enough, Mr. Crafts. And this being so, what was this ecclesiastical organization in that hour, December 1, 1888, when you wrote with your own hand that request to Cardinal Gibbons, the then head of this ecclesiastical organization in the United States, asking him to join you and your fellows in your demand upon Congress for a national law in behalf of religion?

This being true, what was this ecclesiastical organization in that hour, December 4, 1888, when Cardinal Gibbons sent his response to your letter, expressing himself as “most happy” to join you in your “laudable” work?

This being true, what was that ecclesiastical organization in that hour, December 13, 1888, when you stood before the Blair Committee of the United States Senate, in that magnificent Senate hall, and with your own hand and in your own words presented not only the cardinal’s letter but with it and on the strength of it presented the whole solid body of this ecclesiastical organization (7,200,000) in the United States, as joined with you in your efforts to have the Government of the United States committed to the guardianship of religion? According to your own words this ecclesiastical organization was, in that hour, “a menace to the political liberties of the civilized world,” and therefore a menace to the political liberties of the Government of the United States; and you knew it. Then, what were you yourself in that hour, as you stood there as the representative of the National Reform combination—what were you and your combination, in your efforts there, in that hour, but equally with this other ecclesiastical organization and through it, “a menace to the political” and religious “liberties” of the American people and “the civilized world”? You know that in that same hour I stood before that same Senate Committee to oppose you and your combination, including this other “ecclesiastical organization,” because you and it, and it through you, were at that hour a menace to the political and religious liberties of the American people, and of the civilized world. You stood there to help forward this wicked thing in its menacing purposes toward the political and religious liberties of the civilized world. I stood there uncompromisingly to oppose it. Which was in the right? You stood there cherishing that “viper.” I stood there to keep the evil thing forever chilled into dormancy so far as our beloved land is concerned, by maintaining the principles established by our governmental fathers for this very purpose. If you and your combination had been doing all the time what I was doing that hour and what we have been doing all the time, would you now be raising the interesting and important query, “Are we cherishing a viper?” Would you?

MR. CRAFTS goes on to answer his question at the following rate:—

She has organized and consummated conspiracies which have horrified all after ages, in her efforts to secure universal supremacy over mankind…. There is not an offense against human rights and liberties but may justly be charged against the papacy. Then there is the fact that both ignorance and superstition result from her supremacy…. By her half-heathenish system of Christianity she had held the millions under her authority in the greatest darkness, mental and spiritual…. There is absolutely no excuse for the degraded condition of the masses in papal lands, both on this continent and in Europe; and the only reason for it is to be found in the ecclesiastical system which has enthralled them, mind and soul. The papacy has not changed. She cannot change. The fundamental doctrines of her system forbid it. She is so constructed that she must insist on absolute supremacy over men and nations.

This is all perfectly true. And yet, Mr. Crafts, you and your National Reform combination, for years sought and finally obtained, a close alliance with this “half-heathenish system of Christianity” for wholly heathenish purposes—for religio-political purposes. And her principle of absolutism, which is the very life of her ecclesiastical system, you yourself persistently sanctioned in your crowding all the Catholics of the country into the support of your schemes, because the cardinal had approved it. And you not only thus sanctioned that principle, but you confirmed it in words when you wrote and printed this:—

The [cardinal’s] letter is not equal in value to the individual signatures of the millions he represents; but no loyal Catholic priest or paper, or person will oppose what has been thus indorsed.—Senate Mis. Doc. No. 43, Fiftieth Congress, 2nd Session, p. 18, note.

Oh, knowing all this which you have said, and yet doing all this which you have done, it is perfectly evident that the “Christianity” which you and the National Reform combination represent, is, in every principle, as certainly half-heathenish as is the papal itself?

IN view of that which we have before shown as to Mr. Crafts’ connection and dealings with Mr. Powderly and the Knights of Labor, the following from the editorial of Dec. 9, 1893, is worth considering:—

The retirement of Mr. Terence V. Powderly from the head of that great organization, “The Knights of Labor,” has called forth a great deal of newspaper comment. There is one thing that has impressed us for years that seems not to have been noticed in this connection. Mr. Powderly is a Roman Catholic. Those who watched the growth and developments of the organization have not forgotten how diligently the cardinal and the bishops of the church courted it. “The grand master” did not seem adverse, either, to the advances made by these dignitaries. The blessing of a pope or the presence of a cardinal was an event in the annual meeting. It looked at one time as though “the Church” had captured the organization and might proceed to arm and drill it as she is doing with so many of her “benevolent associations.”

And yet being “impressed” with all this “for years,” you, yourself, Mr. Crafts, spent some of those very years in drawing into alliance with your religio-political combination, Mr. Powderly and the organization of which he was the head. Knowing that Mr. Powderly was a Catholic, that the organization of which he was the head was largely Catholic, that it was diligently courted by the cardinal and the bishops of “the Church,” and that Mr. Powderly was not only “not adverse” to this courtship, but was in direct and official connection with the cardinal,—knowing all this “for years” you, yourself, spent years in diligently courting this organization. So diligently did you do this that you actually went so far as to make a proposal of marriage by declaring that you had “almost decided to become a Knight of Labor” yourself, as in 1889 you made “a proposal of courtship” to the papacy itself direct in that “correspondence and conference” connected with the Baltimore congress.

AGAIN, the editorial says:—

For some reason the world is not ready to accept the explanation the Roman Catholic Church puts on her own actions. It may be a great injustice, but it is a fact that the declarations made by the popes and cardinals for the last few hundred years is taken at a great discount.

But, Mr. Crafts, you did not make any such discount. You, yourself, received a declaration from Cardinal Gibbons that he was “most happy” to add his name to yours and others in your “laudable” enterprise. And instead of taking it “at a great discount” or any discount at all, you took it at such an infinite increase that whereas the cardinals declaration was that he added only his name, you made his one name count for 7,200,000 names. There is not any very “great discount” about that. [19]

AGAIN this editorial says to the papacy:—

Americans are suspicious of your church. The mass of the people of this country do not believe you are to be trusted with power of any kind.

Yes, Americans are suspicious of the papal church. But, Mr. Crafts, your record as a National Reformer does not show that you have been at all suspicious of that church. On the contrary you have acted toward it as though it were the most trustworthy thing in heaven or on earth. Now a question to you, Mr. Crafts: In view of this record of yours, in principle, in purpose, in action are you an American or a papist? Again, in view of this record of yours, it is evident to every candid mind, that you are not one of the people nor is your National Reform combination a company of people who “do not believe that the papal church is to be trusted with power of any kind.” On the contrary, you and your fellow-workers, both men and women, have spent your most diligent efforts, for years, with the aid and alliance of the papal church, to get this Government committed to the support of religion and thus clothe the ecclesiastical with civil power here. You succeeded at last. And then too, you, yourself, set to this viperous ecclesiastical tyranny, the wicked example and the baleful precedent, of calling for armed troops to enforce upon the people at the World’s Fair the observance of the Catholic Sunday which you had got Congress to set up as the “Christian Sabbath.” And now you find the papal “ecclesiastical organization,” which you knew had, for every hour of “more than a thousand years, been a menace to the political liberties of the civilized world”—now you find this ecclesiastical organization in the place and wielding the power which you yourselves hoped to possess. Thus by your very lack of suspicion of the papal church, you have succeeded in clothing her with the greatest power of the world, when you knew all the time that she was not “to be trusted with power of any kind.”

AND finally, from the editorial of Oct. 28, 1893, we quote as the climax, the sum, and the first condemnation, of all this infamous intrigue, the following:—

The government that cherishes the papacy is cherishing a viper that will some day sting it to the heart.

That is true. And you, Mr. Crafts, and the Christian Statesman, knew it all the time. And yet you went to that viper, which had been flung out into the cold by our governmental fathers, as the venomous thing which it is, which they had flung out into the cold to perish, you picked it up, you took it to your bosom, and warmed and cherished it, and, through the success of your religio-political intrigue upon the Government of the United States, the glory of the world, you brought it back to full and active and venomous vigor. You hoped that the hood which you thought you had slipped upon its head would remain, and that you might thus ever use it as a sort of pet in your house for you amusement or service. But, behold, you find that you failed really to hood the thing at the start, and that now you can’t. You find that you have nourished it back to such active and vigorous life that it has taken possession of the house. And now you, you raise an alarm against cherishing a viper! Now you give warning that whosoever cherishes and warms a viper it “will some day sting” him “to the heart.” But who cherished this viper and warmed it back to life? Who picked up and brought into the house, and cherished back to active and vigorous life, this viper which has now taken possession of the American house and which will certainly sting the household to death?—Oh, the National Reform combination did it. And the chiefest instrument of that combination, in the doing of it was you, yourself, “Rev.” Wilbur F. Crafts.

And now, in view of this awful record and present consequences of it, and the fearful results which are yet to be wrought by it, we can only in pity, and in the sorrowful tones of our Saviour, when he saw such things going on in his day, exclaim concerning the whole National Reform combination: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell.”

A. T. J.

NOTE.—Since the foregoing was written, we have received the Christian Statesman of December 30, 1893, containing Mr. Crafts’ valedictory, announcing the end of his connection with that paper, and also the end of his “five years of Sabbath reform campaigning.” From his record, as truthfully set forth in the foregoing notes, it is plain enough that this valedictory to five years of such campaigning is very appropriate, seeing that in these five years and by this campaigning he has done about as much mischief to the American Republic and people as it would be possible for one mortal man to do in the same length of time.

In his valedictory, Mr. Crafts remarks of himself:—

It has been said that Frederick proved himself “the Great,” by saying, “I made a mistake.” On that basis I could prove myself doubly great by confessing, “I have made two mistakes,—or more.”

Yes, Mr. Crafts, you have undoubtedly made “two mistakes” in this five years’ career—the first one when you originated the American Sabbath Union, and the second when you accomplished the alliance of the National Reform combination and the papacy. And by the same token you are most worthily entitled to the dignity which you have suggested and which we cheerfully accord to you, and in accordance with which we sincerely write,—

Wilbur, the doubly great——.

Vale, and we remain as ever,



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