January 11, 1900
THE chief evil of church-and-state union consists not in the showing of partiality to a particular church, but in the attempt to propagate religion by civil force.
THERE can be no union of church and state without a union of church and state, any more than there can be a church without religion, or religion without a church.
A UNION of religion and the state, as distinguished from a union of church and state, is only a broadened form of the latter; and an evil never grows less by spreading out. A union of the state with religion which favored all the churches alike would be only so much worse than a union which favored but one church.
“YOU cannot have stable government without religion,” we are told; but it seems to be overlooked that religion, when joined with a government subject to change, must itself become unstable; even, as one writer has said, “the football of contending majorities.” No government is unchangeable; and therefore no government can maintain an unchanging standard of morality.
THE crowning work of God’s creation was not a state, or government, but a man, made in his image; and no greater thing has ever been created since. The Son of God died to save the individual; but he did not die and would not have died, to save any state or government. It is the individual that is of chief value in the sight of God.
SOME professors of Christianity seem more anxious for a political saviour than for a personal Saviour. That was the trouble with the Jews when they rejected Christ.
MEN say the Sabbath law of God does not specify a particular day of the week; but in their own “Sabbath laws” they never fail to specify one particular day. Are they more particular than God?
THE state cannot decree any religious observance, without assuming to be an authority in religion; it cannot assume authority in religion without erecting a claim to infallibility; and it cannot claim infallibility without an assumption of equality with God.