THE annual address of the president of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is an important document. Not for any particular views of temperance or temperance methods, but because of its views of religion and politics and of religio-political methods. We shall here note some of them. We could not attempt to notice the address in detail for it occupies more than seven solid pages of the Union Signal. We shall only quote the most striking passages. Addressing her beloved comrades, the president said:—
“The marshaling hosts of which you are the vanguard, represent the downfall of sectarianism in religion, and the death of sectionalism in politics. The bugle of your advance strikes the key-note of the church universal…. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, local, State, National, and world-wide, has one vital, organic thought, one all-absorbing purpose, one undying enthusiasm, and that is that Christ shall be this world’s king. Yea, verily, this world’s king in its realm of cause and effect; king of its courts, its camps, its commerce; king of its colleges and cloisters; king of its customs and its constitutions.”
The “undying enthusiasm” of these enthusiastic ladies will be dead more than a thousand and one years before ever they see any such thing as that. For it is “THE WORLD,” mark it, not the world to come, of which they have so enthusiastically set themselves to make Him the King—king of its courts, camps, cloisters, commerce, etc., etc.—and no such thing as that will ever be. The word of God says that when Christ comes to “THIS WORLD” as King of kings, and Lord of lords, “Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it be should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fieceness and wrath of Almighty God… And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, AND THEIR ARMIES, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” See Revelation 19:11-21.
“The kingdom of Christ ‘must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics.’ … There are enough temperance men in both [the Democratic and Republican parties] to take possession of the Government and give us national prohibition in the party of the near future, which is to be the party of God… We pray Heaven to give them no rest … until they shall … swear an oath of allegiance to Christ in politics, and march in one great army ‘up to the polls to worship God.’ … I firmly believe that the patient, steadfast work of Christian women will so react upon politics within the next generation that the party of God will be at the front.”
And this maps out the result:—
“Concerning the platform of our next National Prohibition Conv”ntion, I am content to leave it substantially where it is, save that it should declare Christ and his law to be the true basis of government, and the supreme authority in national as in individual life. I greatly desire and hope that we may use our influence to secure this end. Such a declaration must be clearly divested of anything that looks toward a union of Church and State, to which all enlightened Christians are thoroughly opposed, but must as explicitly recognize Christ as the great world-force for righteousness and purity, and enthrone him King of nations in faith, as he will one day be in fact, through Christian politics and laws, no less than Christian living.”
But how such a declaration as that is to be clearly divested of anything that looks toward a union of Church and State, is what we should like to know. We wish the worthy president of the National W. C. T. U. had given some instruction or at least some hint as to how it is to be done. Notice, “It should declare Christ and his law to be the true basis of government, and the supreme authority in national as in individual life;” it must explicitly recognize Christ, “and enthrone him King of nations in faith.” Now Christ is the head of the church, and the church is his body. Galatians 1:18. Therefore if Christ be enthroned in national affairs it is only the enthronement of the church in national affairs; if Christ be enthroned in the State, the church is thereby enthroned in the State, for the church is his body. To declare Christ and his law to be the supreme authority in national life, is inevitably to declare the church and its law to be the supreme authority in national life; and that is the most perfect union of Church and State; because the church is Christ’s body, and you can’t enthrone him without enthroning his body. This is the Scripture truth of the matter, and when the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union proposes to do what they here announce, and  then at the same time proposes, to divest it of anything that looks toward a union of Church and State, they are simply proposing to divest Christ’s body of its head.
But that they can’t do. And in truth they do not intend to try to do it. They fully purpose to enthrone the church with their enthronement of its Head. It is impossible to do otherwise. And the veil, of their being “thoroughly opposed” to a union of Church and State, under which they, and the National Reformers, altogether, endeavor to hide it, is exceedingly thin. It is said of Augustus that he “was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoy their ancient freedom.” These workers for political power in religious things, seem not to have forgotten the opinion nor the tactics of Augustus. They too,seem to be fully sensible that mankind is still governed by names; and their expectation seems to be that the people of this Nation will submit to the slavery of a union of Church and State, provided that they are repeatedly told that there is no union of Church and State, and that “all enlightened Christians are thoroughly opposed” to it. The danger is that these aspirants to such illegitimate power will not be deceived in their expectation, any more than was Augustus in his.
Again we read:—
“To meet the new creation, how grandly men themselves are growing; how considerate and brotherly, how pure in word and deed.”
Yes indeed! And if you want to see the proof of it, just read the dispatches in any principal daily, any day, in any part of the land.
This also we read in the address:—
“The W. C. T. U. and Prohibition Party must join forces to stand for nationalism as against sectionalism; the future in politics as against the past; … and the everlasting prohibition of sin as against any alliance between sin and the Government.”
Let “the W. C. T. U. and Prohibition Party” be told that no political power nor any civil government, can ever of right have anything whatever to do with the prohibition of sin. For further comment on this read the selection from Professor Harris on “Church and State,” page 15, of this paper.
In her suggestions for 1888, under the heading of “Legal” is this:—
“Respectfully to request our brothers of the Prohibition Party when the time shall come to consider names for the greater political movement into which that party is to merge itself, to consider carefully the merits of the name ‘Home Protection Party’ as embodying its purpose and as educational to the people; also request them to continue to stand firm for the American Christian Sabbath; the Bible in our public schools; the enfranchisement of women as a means to prohibition; and make an open declaration that Christ and his law are the supreme authority in such government as they seek to establish in this Republic.
“Designate a commission representative of the whole country, which shall bear these requests to our friends and allies, the men of the Prohibition Party.”
“To stand firm for the American Christian Sabbath,” as she says in another place, “as a sacred institution.” What is the American Christian Sabbath? and how did it become so? If it is Christian, how can it be American? And if it is American, what made it sacred? The Bible tells about the Sabbath of the Lord, but it nowhere speaks of any such thing as a “Christian” Sabbath, much less does it say anything about an “American Christian” Sabbath. That must be an institution that is found outside of the Bible; and the question again arises how did it become sacred?
“Stand firm for the Bible in our public schools.” Which Bible? The Protestant Bible, or the Catholic Bible? which? Your “brothers” of the National Reform Party proposes to put the Catholic Bible into our public schools, even into the hands of the children of Protestants, wherever the Catholics are in the majority—that is in New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and a number of other States. Ladies, please define your position.
Of all this and a good deal more after the same sort, “the audience manifested its appreciation by universal hand-clapping and waving of hand-kerchiefs.” And “upon motion,” it was accepted by almost unanimous vote as expressing the principles of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.” And by the same token it is abundantly shown that the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is pledged to carry civil government into the realms of conscience in this Nation.
A. T. J.