October 27, 1892
THE leaders and managers of the Sunday law cause, evidently, take great pride in advertising themselves as “the best people of the land,” and “the law abiding people of the country.” This is evident from the fact that they take occasion to announce themselves as such by preamble and resolution, and speech, in their mass-meetings. They never lose any such opportunity to exalt themselves as “the best people,” and “the law-abiding portion” of the community or the whole country even.
THE fact is, however, that this claim is as much of a fraud as is all the rest of their claims. It is of the same piece as all the rest of their boasts. It is absolutely fraudulent. The fact is that these very men are the least law-abiding people in the United States. They have no respect for any law but such as their own arbitrary will demands and approves. Without the slightest hesitation, they disregard and override the supreme law of the Government of the United States and of the government of the universe.
THE supreme law of the Government of the United States, the Constitution, positively prohibits any legislation on the subject of religion. Yet, in spite of this, in utter disregard of the supreme law of the land, these men by threats of force—threats of the loss of votes, the only force at their command—obliged Congress to legislate upon a religious subject, to decide a religious question, and take their side in a great religious controversy. And in this they have plainly overridden the Constitution, and violated the supreme law of the land. And they know it.
THEY know it, and we know that they know it. The National Reform Association is the ring leader in this whole religious combination for political purposes. This Association has been working for nearly thirty years for national Sunday legislation. But knowing that Sunday is religious, and religious only, they argued from the first that such legislation would be unconstitutional as the Constitution stands; and therefore they, for more than twenty years, advocated and demanded an amendment to the Constitution which should declare this to be “a Christian Nation,” and so create a basis for national Sunday legislation as “the Christian Sabbath.
THUS, by their own arguments of more than twenty years, we know that they know that Sunday legislation by Congress is unconstitutional. Yet, in conflict with their own continued arguments, these men take the lead in petitioning and threatening Congress for Sunday legislation. One of their own number, who had argued for years the unconstitutionality of such legislation, spent the whole of the late session of Congress at the capitol as “a Christian lobbyist” to secure this very unconstitutional legislation. And now, having secured this legislation which the know to be unconstitutional, having thus knowingly violated the supreme law, having thus subverted the Constitution, these very men take the lead in getting up and managing mass-meetings to endorse their unconstitutional action, and vote themselves the law-abiding people of the Nation.
WHY, their action is as much worse than that of the average law-breakers, as the supreme law of the land is greater and more important than the local statutes. The average law-breaker damages the individual; these supreme law-breakers damage the whole Nation. The average law-breaker invades the rights of the individual; these supreme law-breakers have invaded, and even swept away, the rights of all the people. The average law-breaker disregards social order only in the locality where he is; while these supreme law-breakers strike at the very existence of social order by breaking down the chief governmental safeguard. For the average law-breaker, there is always a ready remedy in the regular forms of governmental order; but for these supreme law-breakers who have broken down the established safeguards of governmental order itself, where is the remedy?
Ah! there is a remedy for this too. It is in the hands of God, the Author of governmental order. Against all their attempts to do this great evil, we ever appealed to the Constitution, the grand charter and safeguard of the rights of mankind—the embodiment of the true principles of governmental order. And now that they have done the evil, and in the doing of it have overridden the Constitution, broken down this safeguard of the rights of mankind, and smitten the very citadel of governmental order—now we appeal to the Author of governmental order itself. And our appeal is heard. We wait in perfect confidence. The just judgment will be rendered in due time.
THESE facts demonstrate that instead of their being truly the law-abiding portion of the people, these men are the chiefest law-breakers in the land—the most lawless of all the Nation. Nor is this at all to be wondered at. For in order to accomplish this their bad purpose, they “gladly joined hands” and hearts with the Papacy—that power which the Lord designates as “the lawless one” and as the very “mystery of lawlessness” itself. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7, (revised version). For eight years continuously, the National Reformers advertised themselves as ready “to make repeated advances, and  gladly to accept co-operation in any form in which they [‘the Roman Church’] may be willing to exhibit it.” After eight years of such endeavor, their wishes were rewarded by the following pronunciamento of the Catholic Lay Congress in Baltimore, Nov. 12, 1889, which, as it passed the inspection of the hierarchy, before it was presented to the public, is the official response of the Papacy in the United States, to the National Reform overtures:
There are many Christian issues 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 an 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.
And this, as the American Sabbath Union branch of the National Reform combination announced at the time, was done “after correspondence and conference with the American Sabbath Union.” The whole statement is in these words:—
The National Lay Congress of Roman Catholics, after correspondence and conference with the American Sabbath Union, passed its famous resolution in favor of co-operation with Protestants in Sabbath reform.
Then in the same connection, this was announced as “a proposal of courtship.” Following this Archbishop Ireland in a public meeting in this city in May, 1891, thanked God that “Protestants and Catholics” “stand together in demanding the faithful observance of Sunday.” And as the “advances,” the “proposal,” and the standing together were all to secure “civil legislation” for the faithful observance of Sunday, the longed-for union was finally accomplished when they succeeded in forcing the Fifty-second Congress into the now famous and no less infamous Sunday legislation.
NOR is it to be considered at all strange that they should show themselves so lawless as to disregard and override the supreme law of the Nation, and join themselves to the very “mystery of lawlessness” to accomplish this lawless purpose. For, for all these years they have openly, both in actions and words, disregarded and overridden the supreme law of the universe—the law of God which he proclaimed with a voice that shook the earth and wrote with his own finger of fire on the tables of stone—and they have followed the preaching, the precedent and the authority of the mystery of lawlessness in the doing of it.
ALL these years they and the people have been told in the words of God that “the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” But instead of believing it, or allowing the people to believe it, they have disregarded it and declared that it is not so. They have taught the people that it is not so. They have put difference between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 23:36) by telling the people that it is no difference what day they keep. Thus they disregard the law of the living God, and teach the people to disregard it. Then after teaching the people to disregard the plain word of the law of God as to the observance of the day which he has commanded; and telling all that there is no command of God for the observance of Sunday; they join heart and hand with the mystery of lawlessness which has established Sunday instead of the Sabbath of the Lord and set its own word and heathen customs above the law of God. Having thus forsaken the Lord, and all true allegiance to his law, and gone over bodily and heartily and “gladly” to the mystery of lawlessness—having gone to such lengths as this in despising the law of the living God, it is not at all to be wondered at that they would despise the supreme law of the Government of the United States, nor that they should compel Congress in violation of its solemn oath, to join in their high-handed enterprise and establish their lawless purpose, by the surrender of the power of the national Government into their hands to be used at their lawless will, to enforce upon all their lawless decrees.
AND these are they who pose before the American people as “the best people,” and “the law-abiding people” of the land! Such self-trumpeted glory is completely becoming. Such modesty fits them exactly.
A. T. J.