January 14, 1892
HE is wise who never attempts to sunder those things which God hath joined, nor to join those things which God hath put asunder; and he who has this wisdom is he who has been taught of God.
IT is not man’s physical, but his spiritual needs that are to be held in view in the Sabbath commandment. The Sabbath is intended to be a day in which to worship God—a day of holy remembrance of him and of meditation upon his works. The day is to be kept holy. If it is not kept holy, it is not kept at all. When the State undertakes to demand the observance of the Sabbath, or Lord’s day, it demands of men that which does not belong to it, but which belongs only to God. When the State undertakes to secure the observance of the Sabbath, it undertakes that which, to it, is an impossible task, because holiness is not an attribute of civil government, nor has it even the power or the authority to promote holiness.
THE importance to the American citizen at this time, of definite and correct conceptions of the distinct and separate spheres of civil law and ecclesiastical polity can not be over estimated. And yet, never in the political and religious history of this country has there been a time when such powerful agencies have been so actively engaged in propagating deceptive and erroneous theories upon this question as at the present hour. The weight of the entire body of human precedent is used, and relied upon, the support not only the propriety but the duty of enforcing religious moralities by legal suasion. This reliance upon precedent has been established until it is no less an idolatry, in fact, than the ancestor worship of China.
The truth is, that the whole assumption upon which they proceed, who are now advocating legal interference, national, State, and municipal, in religious and moral questions, is established upon a purely human basis of blind adherence to the dictum of human authority, without in any way, subjecting it to test in the crucible of principle.
Unalloyed civil freedom in religious affairs is an achievement of religion pure and undefiled, which the unregenerate heart is unable to comprehend. Correct conceptions upon these questions, in their entirety can only come with a regenerate heart. It is not easy then to over estimate the value of proper views upon a problem in the true solution of which lies the secret of the truth of God; while the acceptance of error, in its solution, develops the mystery of iniquity.