“How Came It So?” The American Sentinel 5, 32, pp. 249, 250.

IN Our Day, for July, Rev. W. F. Crafts publishes an article entitled, “Trans-continental Notes on Sabbath Desecration,” in which he vents his wrath against the Seventh-day Adventists. Mr. Crafts is either making rapid progress in knowledge, or else those Seventh-day Adventists, of whom he makes so much, are a wonderful people. When he first started in his American Sabbath Union work, so far as the record of any of his efforts would show, there were no Seventh-day Adventists in the United States, or else he did not know of any. Immediately afterward, however, they sprang into existence all over the land, or else he learned something in a little while that he did not know before; for in his Sunday-law tour across the continent and back, last summer, and in his campaign last winter, the Seventh-day Adventists in about an equal ratio with Seventh-day Baptists—these two together—were denounced everywhere as the strongest opponents of Sunday legislation,—stronger, indeed, than all other forms of opposition put together. This season, another bound has been made either by the Seventh-day Adventists or else by Mr. Crafts’s intellect,—it may be, indeed, by both. For now the Seventh-day Adventists, alone, are declared to be out-doing all other forms of opposition to Sunday laws, put together. He says:—

Everywhere are seen the footprints of the little but lively denomination of Seventh-day Adventists, who are outdoing not only the Seventh-day Baptists, but even Hebrews, infidels, and liquor dealers in battling against Sunday law, as if it were the worst of vices. They put beautiful tract-holders into depots, filled with their literature, which they also distribute from door to door with a generosity and industry that shame by contrast the meagre gifts and efforts of the friends of the American Sabbath.

Now the query with us is, How does all this happen? Were there no Seventh-day Adventists in the United States in December, 1888? Or did they immediately [253] afterward spring, like Jonah’s gourd, from the ground, or come like spirits “from the vasty deep?” Were they all there before? and did Mr. Crafts not know it? Or did he know it, and ignore it? Or yet again, were they already “everywhere” quietly attending to their own Christian calling as Christian people should? and did Mr. Crafts’s, conjuring with his Sunday law wand, like that individual whom Macaulay mentions who conjured with his magic wand, call all these into an aggravated prominence with no power to bid them retire again? Mr. Crafts would do well to take a lesson from this, for the confessed peaceful methods employed by this people in their opposition which so disturbs him, are nothing at all, in comparison with the demons of destruction that will be called from the wicked world, professedly in his favor, by the mischievous relationship that will be created between the Church and the State, should he and his party succeed in securing their desired Sunday laws.

In his article, however, he managed to leave his denunciation and discussion of Seventh-day Adventists, long enough to make an attempt to prove that “Sunday-work causes physical injury” and this is the proof:—

Here is an engineer who does fifty-four days’ work a month, making his regular salary swell to $180, almost every month. A part of the extra work he does because he does not wish to displease his superior when asked to do two days’ work in one, and a part because of his blind ambition to make money, at any cost. He is slightly wounded in an accident, from which he would have quickly recovered but that he has no reserve of strength, no recuperative powers, and so he dies at the close of seven years service, for lack of a nine-hour law, and a six-day law.

Is it so, then, that every engineer who swells to $180 his regular salary of $100 per month dies at the close of seven years’ service? Are they wounded only once in seven years, so that the wound and the loss of his reserve strength, and the seven year period, all co-operate symmetrically to demonstrate, so completely, the fact that Sunday work causes physical injury? If so, then every such engineer has a safe and effectual remedy. Each year, according to Mr. Crafts’s figures, he clears $80 per month by his extra work, this amounts to $960 a year, and would amount to $5,760 in six years. Now, there are not many of these engineers who cannot live on the regular salary of $100 per month. For six years, therefore, each might well have a clear $5,760 laid by, then let him skip that seventh year, and with it escape being wounded, and having to suffer death; in short, escape all the consequences of his dreadful dissipation in working on Sunday.

This idea of an engineer’s “making” his salary of $100 per month swell to $180 almost every month, by Sunday work, is as complete a demonstration as need be of the hypocritical fallacy of the plea that the Sunday-law workers make upon the strength of the “slavery” and “Egyptian bondage of Sunday toil.”

Mr. Crafts closes his article with these words:—

Both for the individual and the State, the Sabbath is closely related to success as well as salvation.

And this idea of salvation for the State, as well as for the individual, in the matter of Sunday keeping, shows how much of the civil, and how little of the religious, there is involved, and is intentionally involved, in Sunday laws.

A. T. J.

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