“For Conscience’ Sake” American Sentinel 13, 3, pp. 33, 34.

THE Christian is in all things governed by the dictates of conscience. For conscience’ sake he is careful to render to Cesar that which is Cesar’s, as well as to give unto God that which is God’s.

This is in accordance with the plain instructions of that Word which is the Christian’s rule of life. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men,” is the exhortation given in the epistle to the Colossians (chap. 3:23), and the apostle Paul makes a still more definite application of the principle in the thirteenth chapter of Romans. There the Christian is enjoined to be “subject unto the higher powers,” and it is said (v. 5), “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.”

Only conscientiously, therefore, can the Christian be subject to the “powers that be,” in a scriptural way.

When a law is made, therefore, which conflicts with conscience, it strikes at the very mainspring of the Christian’s action as regards his duty toward the state.

If he yields his conscience in deference to the demands [34] of the law, he cannot, “for conscience’ sake,” be subject unto the civil authority.

When the state wants a Sunday law, the Christian, believing it to be his duty to sanctify the seventh day and not the first, according to the fourth commandment, cannot, “for conscience’ sake,” render obedience to the state in it.

For the very sake of the duty he owes to the state, which is to be conscientiously rendered, he must refuse to yield his conscience to the state.

The Christian who parts with conscience can serve neither God nor the state. And no law can ever be in the interests of the state which brings any pressure to bear upon Christians in this direction.

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