January 5, 1899
“IT is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Psalm 119:126.
RELIGIOUS questions pertain solely to the sphere of the individual conscience; all civil questions pertain solely to the sphere of individual rights.
ALL religious legislation is an effort to stagnate the tide of religious progress.
THE world is not wide enough to permit of two individuals living upon its surface in prace, if one of them is a religious bigot.
[Inset.] REFORM CLERGYMAN TO MODERN LEGISLATOR: “There’s a flood of immorality sweeping over the land; you must stop it by legislation!”
THAT tide of immorality in the land is rising, is very true; but why is it true? Is it not because the barrier against immorality has been broken down, so that it does not restrain the flood? That great barrier is the law of God, the Decalogue, which condemns evil in its very citadel—the heart. And who have attacked this barrier, to break it down before the world? Is it not the very clergymen themselves, who have been preaching that the fourth commandment, which sanctifies the seventh day as the Sabbath, does not mean what it says? Is it not the clergymen who have been preaching the “higher criticism,” which denies the truthfulness of Scripture and destroys its reproving and convicting force upon the carnal mind? And now, when they have done all this, by which they have made God’s Word of none effect to the masses of the people, and opened the flood-gates of immorality, they declare that we must have legislation to stay the rising tide. But what will human legislation avail where the law of the Infinite has been set aside? The inadequacy of such a remedy is only faintly depicted in the illustration.