THE National Reform Association, which for a time was apparently eclipsed by the American Sabbath Union, seems to be renewing its youth, and has entered upon a more vigorous propaganda than ever before.
Formerly, the National Reformers have contented themselves with holding a single convention each year; but a series of such meetings has been arranged for the present winter, and large results are anticipated by the pseudo-reformers.
The keynote of the present campaign was sounded in the opening meeting of the convention held at New Castle, Pa., December 18029, 1894; it was this: “Men will heed God’s argument.” R. C. Wylie, the speaker who used the words quoted, was telling of the progress made by National Reform. He said not much had been accomplished in the way of modeling the Constitution of the States and of the nation after the divine(?) plan, but that great progress had been made in making converts to the “Christian theory of civil government.” Some, he said, had been convinced by the Bible argument; some by the philosophical argument; but very many resisted both these arguments. There was, he said, one other argument. “We cannot use it,” said he, “but God can, and is using it.” He referred to the calamities which have come upon this nation. Men, he said, would be convinced by this argument. And so, municipal corruption, strikes, riots, bankruptcies, defalcations, a depleted national treasury, and general hard times, are all to be pressed into the service of so-called National Reform as never before. Doubtless Mr. Wylie is right in thinking that men will be influenced by this line of argument. Selfishness springs eternal in the human breast, and men will readily believe anything which promises them temporal prosperity.
And truly God has a controversy, not only with this nation, but with all nations, but not upon the issue raised by the National Reformers. God calls upon men everywhere to repent; National Reform calls nations to profess repentance. The difference between the two is as wide as that between sincerity and hypocrisy. God wants hearts; National Reform proposes to give him statutes and constitutions.