November 19, 1891
ANOTHER very important, and what would seem a rather peculiar passage from Judge Hammond’s dictum in the famous King case, is the following:—
The petitioner can not shelter himself just yet, behind the doctrine of religious freedom, in defying the existence of a law, and its application to him, which is distasteful to his own religious feeling or fanaticism, that the seventh day of the week, instead of the first, should be set apart by the public for the day of public rest and religious observances. That is what he really believes and wishes, he and his sect, and not that each individual should select his own day of public rest, and his own day of labor. His real complaint is, that his adversaries on this point have the advantage of usage and custom, and the laws founded on the usage and custom, and not that religious freedom has been denied to him. He does not belong to the class that would abrogate all law for a day of rest, because the day of rest is useful to religion, and aids in maintaining the churches, for none more than he professes the sanctifying influence of the fourth commandment, the literal observance of which by himself and all men, is the distinguishing demand of his own peculiar sect.
This is an important statement for more reasons than one, all of which we can not just now notice. It presumes to define for Mr. King, and the people with whom he is religiously connected, just what they really believe and wish. The thing is done, too, in such a way that it appears that the Judge considers himself capable of defining their beliefs and wishes, according to his own views, more plainly add more authoritatively than they themselves are able to.
We say that his statement is the statement of his own views, and not theirs, because we personally know that as a matter of fact, the views attributed to them by Judge Hammond, are not, in any sense, the views held by themselves, and which are matters of public record. In other words, we know and are abundantly able to prove, and shall prove, that the statements made by Judge Hammond, as quoted above, are not true in any sense whatever.
As to the belief and wish of Mr. King as an individual, in this respect, we are able to present it in his own words over his own signature, as the following plainly shows:—
43 Bond St., New York City,
October 6, 1891.
MR. R. M. KING,
Lane, Dyer Co., Tenn.
Dear Sir:—His Honor, Judge E. S. Hammond, in his decision in your case, made certain statements in regard to your own personal faith, as to laws enforcing the observance of the Sabbath which you observe, which, from what I know of yourself and your people, seem certainly mistaken. I send you herewith these statements, numbered separately, with questions annexed, to which I wish you would write your own answers as to your own personal and individual belief.
Please answer, and return as soon as possible, and oblige,
Truly yours, ALONZO T. JONES, Editor AMERICAN SENTINEL.
The statements of Judge Hammond and the questions below, were sent to Mr. King, to which he replied as follows:—
October 11, 1891.
MR. A. T. JONES,
Bond Street, New York City.
Dear Sir:— Your letter of the 6th to hand. I will now proceed to answer the questions in regard to the statements made by His Honor, Judge E. S. Hammond, ig his decision on my case.
[The answers to questions below, are the words of Mr. King.—EDITOR SENTINEL.]
The Judge’s statements are as follows:
1. “His own religious feeling or fanaticism [is] that the seventh day of the week, instead of the first, should be set apart by the public for the day of public rest and religious practices.”
Question: Is this true, or was it ever true, in any sense? 
Answer: “This is not true, and never was true in any sense.”
2. “This is what he really believes and wishes, he and his sect, and not that each individual shall select his own day of public rest and his own day of labor.”
Question: (1) Is this true in any sense? That is, Do you “really believe and wish” what he says you do?
Answer: “I never did believe or wish for such a thing.”
(2) Do you really believe and wish what he says you do not, that is, that “each individual shall select his own day of public rest and his own day of labor”?
Answer: “I believe God has set apart the day; but so far as human government is concerned, each individual should be left free to rest or to work.”
(3) To the best of your knowledge and belief, is that which the Judge here says, a true statement of the belief and wishes of your sect upon this point?
Answer: “I never knew of any of my sect believing or wishing for such a thing.”
3. His real complaint is that his adversaries on this point have the advantage of usage and custom, and the laws formed on that usage and custom, not that religious freedom has been denied to him.”
Question: (1) Is it true in any sense that your real complaint is that the Sunday observers have the advantage?
Answer: “It is not.”
(2). Is it your real and unqualified complaint that religious freedom has been denied you?
Answer: “That is the real complaint.”
4. “He does not belong to the class that would abrogate all laws for a day of rest.”
Question: It is presumed that human laws only are here referred to, therefore do you believe in the rightfulness of human laws enforcing a day of weekly rest? or do you indeed believe that all human laws enforcing a day of rest ought to be abrogated?
Answer:” I believe all laws enforcing a day of rest ought to be abolished.”
5. “He professes the sanctifying influence of the fourth commandment, the literal observance of which by himself and all men is the distinguishing demand of his own peculiar sect.”
Question: (1) Is it the distinguishing, or any other kind of, demand, of yourself, that the literal, or any other, observance of the fourth commandment shall be enforced upon yourself or anybody else by any form of human law?
Answer: “No, it is not.”
(2). To the best of your knowledge and belief, is any such thing the distinguishing, or any other kind of, demand of your “own peculiar sect”?
Answer: “So far as iffy knowledge goes, iris not. And I don’t believe it ever was in any case.”
Yours truly, (Signed,) R. M. KING.
As for the Seventh-day Adventists, as a denomination, or a “sect,” or a “peculiar sect,” there is something to be said also.
The Seventh-day Adventists have a record upon this subject, which is plain and unmistakable. Nor is it merely a record in the common acceptation of the term. It is a public record: public, too, in the sense that it is a part of the record of the Senate of the United States. December 13, 1888, the United States Senate Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing upon the bill for a national Sunday law, which had been introduced in the Senate by Senator Blair, chairman of this committee. At that hearing the Seventh-day Adventists were officially represented. In the argument that was there made by them in the person of their official representative, this very point was brought out clearly and distinctly more than once, and we here present their position as stated in that argument, and as since published by themselves, and which has thus been made open to all who have a mind to read upon the subject. We quote:—
Senator Blair.—Would it answer your objection in that regard, if, instead of saying “the Lord’s day,” we should say “Sunday”?
Mr. Jones.— No sir. Because the underlying principle, the sole basis, of Sunday, is ecclesiastical, and legislation in regard to it is ecclesiastical legislation. I shall come more fully to the question you ask presently.
Now, do not misunderstand us on this point. We are Seventh-day Adventists; but if this bill were in favor of enforcing the observance of the seventh day as the Lord’s day, we would oppose it just as much as we oppose it as it is now, for the reason that civil government has nothing to do with what we owe to God, or whether we owe anything or not, or whether we pay it or not…. therefore, we say that if this bill were framed in behalf of the real Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, the day which we observe, if this bill proposed to promote its observance, or to compel men to do no work upon that day, we would oppose it just as strongly as we oppose it now; and I would stand here at this table and argue precisely as I am arguing against this, and upon the same principle,—the principle established by Jesus Christ,—that with that which is God’s the civil government never can of right have anything to do. That duty rests solely between man and God; and if any man does not render it to God, he is responsible only to God, and not to any man, nor to any organization or assembly of men, for his failure or refusal to render it to God. And any power that undertakes to punish any man for his failure or refusal to render to God what is God’s, puts itself in the place of God. Any government which attempts it, sets itself against the word of Christ, and is therefore antichristian. This Sunday bill proposes to have this Government do just that thing, and therefore, I say, without any reflection upon the author of the bill, this national Sunday bill which is under discussion here to-day is antichristian. But in saying this, I am not singling out this contemplated law as worse than all other Sunday laws in the world. There never was a Sunday law that was not antichristian, and there never can be one that will not be antichristian.
Senator Blair.—You oppose all the Sunday laws of the country, then?
Mr. Jones.— Yes, sir.
Senator Blair.— You are against fall Sunday laws?
Mr. Jones.—Yes, sir; we are against every Sunday law that was ever made in this world, from the first enacted by Constantine to this one now proposed; and we would be equally against a Sabbath law if it were proposed; for that would be antichristian, too.
Senator Blair.—State and national, alike?
Mr. Jones.— State and national, sir.
Senator Blair.— In other words, you take the ground that for the good of society, irrespective of the religious aspect of the question, society may not require abstinence from labor on the Sabbath, if it disturbs others?
Mr. Jones.— As to its disturbing others, I have proved that it does not. The body of your question states my position exactly.
Senator Blair.— You are logical all the way through that there shall be no Sabbath.
Senator Blair.— I do not see from what you are stating, but that Christ recognized an existing law, and that it is continuing at the present time. You say that it is one day, and they say that it is another.
Mr. Jones.— But they are after a law to enforce the observance of the first day of the week as the Lord’s day, when they confess that the Lord never, gave any command in regard to it. The commandment which God gave says that the “seventh day is the Sabbath.”
Senator Blair.— Is it still the Sabbath?
Mr. Jones.—Certainly, and we keep it; but we deny the right of any civil government to compel any man either to keep it or not to keep it.
Senator Blair.—The civil government of the Jews compelled its observance?
Mr. Jones:—That was a theocracy.
Senator Blair.—You are entirely logical, because you say there should be no Sunday legislation by State or Nation either.
Mr. Jones:—Of course I am logical, all the way through. I want to show you the wicked principle upon which this whole system is founded, and the reason I do this is because the last step is involved in the first one. If you allow this principle and this movement to take the first step, those who get the power will see in the end that they take the Iast step. That is the danger.
Senator Blair.— Your proposition is to strike out the Sabbath from the Constitution and condition of society in these modern times?
Mr. Jones.—No sir.
Senator Blair.—Certainly, so far as its existence and enactment and enforcement by law are concerned.
Mr. Jones.— Yes, sir, by civil law.
Senator Blair.—You would abolish the Sabbath, anyway?
Mr. Jones.—Yes, in the civil law.
Senator Blair.—You would abolish any Sabbath from human practice which shall be in the form of law, unless the individual here and there sees fit to observe it?
Mr. Jones.—Certainly; that is a matter between man and his God.
Again: There was a proposition made to insert an exemption clause, and upon this point we have the following words:—
Senator Blair.— You care not whether it is put in or not?
Mr. Jones.—There is no right whatever in the legislation; and we will never accept an exemption clause as an equivalent to our opposition to the law. It is not to obtain relief for ourselves that we oppose the law. It is the principle of the whole subject of the legislation to which we object; and an exemption clause would not modify our objection in the least.
Senator Blair.— You differ from Dr. Lewis?
Mr. Jones.— Yes, sir, we will never accept an exemption clause, as tending in the least to modify our opposition to the law. We as firmly and fully deny the right of the State to legislate upon the subject with an exemption clause as without it….
Senator Blair.— You object to it?
Mr. Jones.— We object to the whole principle of the proposed legislation. We go to the root of the matter, and deny the right of Congress to enact it.
Senator Blair.— You say that the proposed exemption does not make it any better?
Mr. Jones.—Not a bit.
Nor is this the only record in the case. February 18, 1890, the House Committee on District of Columbia held a hearing on a Sunday bill introduced by Hon. W. C. P. Breckinridge, for the District of Columbia. The Seventh-day Adventists of the District of Columbia were heard before this committee. From the verbatim report of the speeches made by them that day, we quote again:—
Mr. Corliss.—Mr. Chairman: I have little time for preliminaries, and none for personalities, I have, however, some arguments to present against the bill under consideration, merely pausing to say that I thank the last speaker (Mr. Crafts) for his confession of lack of argument in support of the bill, which he has shown in the fact of his having indulged in personalities the most of the time allowed to him. I can use my time to better advantage. I will use only a half-hour, then yield a half-hour to Mr. Jones, of New York. Mr. McKee, also, has a brief, which he will present for consideration.
The Chairman.— We desire to know in whose behalf you appear?
Mr. Corliss.— I reside in this city, sir, with my family. I speak in behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington, of which I am, at present, the Pastor; as a citizen of the United States; and as a resident of this District. I appear, not as has been affirmed before you, to speak in behalf of a Saturday Sabbath. Far from it, Gentlemen of the
Committee. If this bill, No. 3,854, were to have incorporated into it, instead of “Sunday, or the first day of the week,” the words, “Saturday, or the seventh day of the week,” there is no one who would oppose it stronger than I. And I would oppose it just as strongly as I do in its present form, for the reason that it is not sectarianism that calls us here to-day; but we see in this bill a principle of religious legislation that is dangerous, not to our liberties in particular, but  to the liberties of the Nation. For, as you perceive, this bill has an exemption clause providing that “this act shall not be construed to apply to any person or persons who conscientiously believe in, and observe, another day of the week than Sunday as a day of rest.” This fact gives us more courage to oppose the measure, because we know that all fair minded people will be able to see that our opposition arises from a broader and higher motive than that, of self-interest.
Mr. Corliss.— Mr. Jones has been called here by myself as pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church here in Washington. I have called that church together, and, by a rising vote, they have requested Mr. Jones to appear here on their behalf. Mr. A. T. Jones, of New York City, Editor of THE AMERICAN SENTINEL.
Mr. Jones.—Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee: I shall devote most of my remarks to the subject which was made so much of by the gentleman who spoke last on the other side (Mr. Crafts), namely, the Seventh-day Adventists, and their opposition to this legislation….
Congress can make no law upon the subject of religion without interfering with the free exercise thereof. Therefore the Seventh-day Adventists, while observing Saturday would most strenously [sic.] oppose any legislation proposing to enforce the observance of that day. That would be an interference with the free exercise of our right to keep that day as the Sabbath. Therefore we come to you to plead for protection. We do not ask you to protect us by legislation. We do not ask you to legislate in favor of Saturday,—not even to the extent of an exemption clause. We ask you to protect us by refusing to give to these men their coveted power to invade our rights. We appeal to you for protection in our constitutional rights as well as our rights of conscience….
Gentlemen: It is time for all the people to declare as the Seventh-day Adventists decidedly do, that this Nation is, and of right ought to be. FREE AND INDEPENDENT OF ALL ECCLESIAMSTICAL OR RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE, CONNECTION, OR CONTROL.
If any further evidence be required here it is:—
43 Bond Street, New York City,
October 6, 1891.
ELD. O. A. OLSEN,
Pres. Gen’l Conf. S. D. Adventists, Battle Creek, Mich.
Dear Sir:—In his decision in the ease of R. M. King, or rather in his dictum appended to that decision, his Honor, Judge E. S. Hammond, of the United States Circuit Court, makes certain statements in regard to the beliefs and wishes of the “peculiar sect” with which Mr. King is connected religiously, the Seventh-day Adventists. From my understanding of the views held by this people on this question, I doubt the correctness of the Judge’s statements. Therefore, I send herewith a copy of the statements, with questions appended, to which I respectfully request that you would write an answer as fully as you may deem proper. By so doing, you will greatly oblige,
Truly yours, ALONZO T. JONES,
Editor AMERICAN SENTINEL.
The statements of the Court are as follows:—
(1) His [King’s] own religious feeling or fanaticism [is] that the seventh day of the week, instead of the first, should he set apart by the public for the day of public rest and religious practices. This is what he really believes and wishes, he and his sect, and not that each individual shall select his own day of public rest and his own day of labor.
Question: Is this true?
Answer: I have been personally connected with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination for more than thirty years, and I can freely say that no such belief or wish is entertained by this people. Our belief and wish is directly the opposite of that stated by the Judge.
“He professes the sanctifying influence of the fourth commandment, the literal observance of which by himself and all men is the distinguishing demand of his own peculiar sect.“
Question: Is it the distinguishing, or any other kind of, demand of the Seventh-day Adventist body, that the literal or any other observance of the fourth commandment shall be enforced upon themselves or anybody else, by any form of human laws? 
Answer: It is not. We do teach, not demand, that ourselves and all men should observe the fourth commandment literally, as God gave it. But this observance must be the free choice of the individual, according to the dictates of his own conscience.
(Signed) O. A. OLSEN,
Pres. Gen. Conf. of the Seventh-day Adventists.
Austell, Georgia, October 12, 1891. 
Thus by evidence which cannot be questioned, it is demonstrated that the statements of Judge Hammond as to the belief and wish of the Seventh-day Adventists are false in every particular. Indeed, if the points made in the argument before the United States Senate Committee, December 13, 1888, had never been made till this nineteenth day of November, 1891, and were now publicly made for the first time, in direct and intentional refutation of the statements of the Judge, it would not be possible to make them more flatly contradictory to those statements than they are.
But as these points have been matter of public national record, and matter of knowledge to thousands upon thousands of the people, for nearly three years before Judge Hammond set forth his dictum, this fact leaves him—a judge of a court of the United States—in the unenviable predicament of having upon a simple question of fact, officially published to the world a series of statements which are not only untrue in themselves, but which public and official records show to be untrue, and which thousands upon thousands of the people know to be untrue.
A. T. J.