TO-DAY the AMERICAN SENTINEL enters upon the tenth year of its work.
The paper was named the SENTINEL because it was intended from the beginning to occupy the place and do the work of a sentinel. It is the duty of a sentinel to be ever on the watch with every faculty alert to detect any movement of an enemy, or any danger of any kind, and sound the alarm.
For many more than ten years the people who publish the AMERICAN SENTINEL had seen what they knew to be a serious danger to the American people and to the world; but until 1886 we had no paper devoted particularly to the study and exposure of the workings of this dangerous element. We refer, of course, to the organized attempt, first represented in the National Reform Association alone, and later, in the solid combination of the popular Protestantism of the whole country, to fasten upon the National Government the recognition and maintenance of the forms of religion,—to accomplish the union of religion and the national power.
As we knew that the doing of such a thing at any time and anywhere could be nothing else than the setting up of a religious despotism; and as we knew that such a thing could not be done in the United States without the subversion of the Constitution and of every fundamental principle of the Government, we knew that this movement, in every possible phase of it, meant only evil and that continually to all the people of the nation. We knew also that the evil wrought by this would not be confined to the people of this nation.
We knew that the principles of the absolute separation of religion and the State upon which this nation was founded, were, and were intended to be, the light and glory of the world. We knew that by the splendid results of these principles, as manifested in the bright example of America, the whole world was being enlightened and drawn more and more toward the right principles of the rights of men and the freedom of mankind.
Knowing all this, we knew full well that the subversion of these national principles and the reversal of the “New Order of Things” in the course of this nation, would surely react upon the other nations, and so swing the whole world back into the evil tide of the old order of things, arrest the progress of mankind, and cause the world to perish in the stagnation and corruption of an enforced religion which is only enforced hypocrisy.
Therefore our paper was not only called the SENTINEL, but the AMERICAN SENTINEL; because we knew that the maintenance of American principles in their integrity was the gain of the world, and that the forsaking or subversion of these principles could be nothing else than the everlasting loss of the world.
These American principles are the principles announced by the Lord himself for the guidance of nations. In the establishing of this nation, “time’s noblest offspring,” these principles were made the foundation for the benefit of all mankind; and the disregard or subversion of them on the part of the nation can work nothing but the irreparable injury of mankind.
These being Christian principles, to disregard them or to set them aside is to erect antichristian principles in their stead. Not only is this true in the philosophy of the case, but as in the making of the National Government, its establishment upon these principles was expressly declared to be that we might not be brought under the domination of the church of Rome nor be afflicted by persecution, the plain practical consequence of the disregard or subversion of these principles could not possibly be anything else than the setting up and carrying out of the  principles of persecution—principles of the church of Rome,—which are nothing else than antichristian principles.
In the very beginning, we told the people that there was danger that the National Reform movement would succeed, and that by this the National Government would be brought under the domination of the church power. By every right means, and in every possible way, we exposed the principles of National Reformism and clearly showed them to be antichristian principles alone—by whomsoever carried into practice. For seven years also we ceased not to tell the people, and to warn the National Reformers themselves, that as surely as the National Reform movement should succeed, the triumph of the church of Rome in this country would certainly follow.
At the end of these seven years, the National Reform movement had succeeded. In 1892, the Government of the United States, in all three of its branches, was surrendered to the church power; and in January, 1893, this surrender was confirmed. And since that time we have had sufficient to occupy our space in pointing out the progress of the church of Rome in fastening her tentacles upon the nation, until now we are obliged to state that she has, in her arrogance, taken possession of the country, and proposes to deal with it and run it, as “a Catholic country.” So open and plain has this now become, that the organ of the National Reform conspiracy from the beginning, some time ago was constrained to exclaim that “if the American people realized the extent to which the Catholic Church had gained a hold upon the National Government, they would turn white with fear and wrath.”
Let us recall the steps that have been taken by the papacy since the National Reformers succeeded in subverting the American principles and setting up in their place the principles of the papacy by the National Government.
Even in 1892, in the very period of the successful culmination of the National Reform aims upon the Government, the plan of Leo XIII. concerning the United States was made public, in which it was announced that “what the church has done in the past for other nations she will now do for the United States.”
In 1893, Satolli was sent to this country with the command from Leo to the Catholics of America, and he announced it to them in the World’s Catholic Congress in Chicago, in September: “Bring your country into immediate contact with that great secret of blessedness—Christ and his church.” And at the same time he promised them “aye! an hundred-fold” reward upon their efforts as they should “go forward” to the fulfillment of this command.
About a month later, when the Catholic Church was heard in the World’s Parliament of Religions, in the paper by Prof. O’Gorman of the Catholic University of Washington City, this country was claimed as a Catholic country “by right of discovery and colonization” and by right of “its Christian character and principles.” In the same month—October—at Cardinal Gibbons’ jubilee, Archbishop Ireland announced the union of the Catholic Church and the United States, and congratulated the assembly in the banqueting-hall upon their having the privilege of seeing this union “typified” in the arrangement then before their eyes in which “the Vice-President of the United States comes and takes his seat at the right hand of the cardinal.”
Sept. 22, 1894, Bishop Keane, returning from Rome, announced that—
The policy of the pope … is the union of the church with the great democratic powers of the future—that is, America and France. This is his hope, and toward it all his remarkable energies are bent.
Two days after this a long dispatch was sent through the Association Press of the country, in which it was stated that Bishop Keane was “the bearer of a rescript from Pope Leo XIII.,” of which the purport is given in the following words:—
The papal rescript elevates the United States to the first rank as a Catholic nation. Heretofore this country has stood before the church as a “missionary” country. It had no more recognition officially at Rome than had China…. By the new rescript the country is freed from the propaganda and is declared to be a Catholic country in whose people the pope has amplest confidence and on whom he confers the rights of self-government, subject only to the holy see on matters of faith. In a way this remarkable action of the Roman pontiff may be looked on as the most astonishing of all the stupendous effects wrought in the world by the American Republic. The United States is considered by the pope as the most promising field in the world for the church.
The importance, not only to Catholics, but to all citizens of the United States, of this radical change in the relations to Rome of the church in America, can scarcely be overestimated.
That it should be authoritatively announced that the pope of Rome is bending all his energies to the union of the Catholic Church and the “power” of the United States, and that the United States is now declared to be a Catholic country—surely this of itself is of “importance to all citizens of the United States” even without the papacy saying so. But when the papacy goes so far itself as to publicly announce that the importance of this step “to all citizens of the United States” “can scarcely be overestimated,” then it is evident that the papacy intends that this procedure shall be of the greatest importance to all citizens of the United States.
And note, too, the words that are used. It is not said that this is of importance to the people, nor even to all people, of the United States; but to all citizens of the United States. “Citizens” is wholly a political, a governmental, phrase. It is impossible that that word can have any other than a political bearing. And this makes it perfectly plain that this procedure on the part of the papacy in declaring this “to be a Catholic country,” and elevating it “to the first rank as a Catholic nation,” is intended to have none other than a political bearing and meaning. This does indeed make the thing of such important to all citizens of the United States as can scarcely be overestimated. Is it any wonder that seeing this, the fruit of their own efforts, and so soon, too, the National Reformers should begin to “turn white with fear and wrath”? And they will turn whiter yet with fear and wrath, and perhaps some other color with vexation, before they get done with the fruit of their doings.
Having fixed the United States in her plans as a Catholic country, and even exalted it to the first rank as a Catholic nation, it is but natural that the papacy should at once proceed to treat it as a Catholic nation and its people as Catholics. For what is a Catholic nation for, if it is not to be subject to the will of the papacy, and to be used to further the designs of the papacy both in that country itself and in the world?
Accordingly, the next thing mapped out by Leo is to proceed to the use of this nation as a Catholic nation for Catholic purposes, and by it to gain new life for the Catholic power throughout the world. For some time the pope has been, and even now is, engaged with his “chief thought” upon what the authoritative reports call, “The Encyclical to the Americans,” and, “The Encyclical to the American People.” And that it is intended, indeed, to be addressed to the Americans or the American people themselves rather than to the Catholics in America, is made plain in the forecasts that have been given of it. And this form of address is in perfect papal keeping with that which has already been done in elevating America “to the first rank as a Catholic nation.” Having made America a Catholic nation, he will now count the American people Catholics and will address them accordingly, signifying to them his will which he will expect them to accept and respect accordingly.
But let us take a glance at this coming “Encyclical to the Americans,” as it has been outlined in advance, that all may see for themselves just what ground it is proposed that the thing shall cover. Under date of “Rome, October 14,” to the New York Sun, and reprinted in the Catholic Standard of November 3, 1894, “Innominato” furnishes a column of matter, from which we take the following:—
The United States of America, it can be said without exaggeration, are the chief thought of Leo XIII. in the government of the Romans and Universal Catholic Church; for it is one of the choice intellects of the Old World who are watching the starry flag of Washington rise to the zenith of the heavens. A few days ago, on receiving an eminent American, Leo XIII. said to him: “But the United States are the future; we think of them incessantly.” The inattentive politician, the superficial observer, in Europe as in America, is astonished at this persistent sympathy for the American people and care for its general interests. But those who know the ardent soul of the pope, restless for what is good, eager for all that is great and fruitful; the philosopher who sweeps over the whole intellectual, social and religious horizon; the statesman who judges matters by the light of central and governing ideas; these all read in the heart of the holy father the motives for his unbending resolution and his devotion to American ideas. This ever-ready sympathy has its base in the fundamental interests of the holy see, in a peculiar conception of the part to be played and the position to be held by the church and the papacy in the times to come.
That is why Leo XIII. turns all his soul, full of ideality, to what is improperly called his American policy. It should rightly be called his Catholic universal policy…. It is in this perspective, wide as a great world and lasting as a whole epoch, that the coming American encyclical must be viewed. To make the delegation independent and sovereign, with a supreme ecclesiastical tribunal; to support Monsignor Satolli and make his mission permanent and successful; to point out the means of increasing influence and liberty; to continue this policy of moderation and adaptability which has brought peace to the nation; to deal, in a word, with all the important questions of the day and to fix for good the ecclesiastical type—the model of life which Leo XIII. wishes, little by little, to bring within the reach of the weakening peoples of the Old World—that is, the sublime inspiration of the encyclical to the Americans.
To say more would be indiscreet; let us wait for events. The United States, after a century of civil greatness, will have the privilege, unequaled in history, of giving to a whole continent examples and lessons. A nation full of vigor and an authority full of lifesprings can alone be strong enough to carry out this historic task.
Such is the use that the papacy proposes now to make of this “Catholic nation.” And as this scheme is proposed and will be insisted on as the essential thing for the salvation of the nation, it will be but an easy step to pass on to the proposition that whoever opposes this scheme will, of necessity, be aiming at the destruction of the nation and must therefore be dealt with as an anarchist. And as the scheme is to be worked through this “Catholic  nation” for the everlasting benefit of mankind, it will be an easy conclusion that those who would oppose it will thereby show themselves the enemies of the human race, and whom, in the interests of the race, it will be doing God service to put out of the world. And thus it will come true indeed that not only what the papacy has done in the past for other nations she will now do for the United States, but also what she has done with individuals who opposed her schemes in the past she will do with those who oppose her schemes now.
For we expect nothing else than that this grand scheme of the papacy for the United States and for the world, will succeed both in the United States and in the world. In fact we know that it will succeed; and we never expect to say anything else. This may not be believed by very many people; but it will surely be seen whether it is believed by many or not.
We never expected anything else than that the National Reform movement would succeed in its design of having the National Government committed to the support of “Christianity,” and especially of Sunday as the badge of that “Christianity.” We always said that that movement would succeed; very few of the people believed it, however. Now everybody can see that we were right all the time, whether they believe we knew anything about it or not. We also said all the time that when that movement did succeed, by it the papacy would be exalted and given power in this nation and greater influence with the world than even in the Dark Ages, as there is more of the world now than there was in the times of the Dark Ages. None of this, however, would any of the National Reformers believe; but now they are compelled to see and bemoan the first part of it at least, and we know that all the rest of it will as certainly be seen.
Yes, the scheme of the papacy for the United States and for the world, substantially as mapped out by Leo XIII., will be a complete success so far as the world is concerned. And by this success, for an hour as it were, the papacy will triumph over the world. And then—then “in one hour” shall her judgment come. This triumph of the papacy over the world, will mark her certain destruction out of the world and from the face of the earth. This apparent triumph of the papacy will mark the assured triumph of Christianity over the papacy for evermore.
And now, just as we expected the National Reform movement to succeed, so we expect this movement of the papacy to succeed. Just as we expected the success of the National Reform movement to assure the renewed exaltation and short-lived triumph of the papacy, so we now expect this renewed exaltation and short-lived triumph of the papacy to mark the day of her utter destruction. And as we always expected that we ourselves should see the success of the National Reform movement, and so to see it give renewed power to the papacy, so now we expect that we ourselves shall see the success of this papal movement and in it the apparent triumph of the papacy once more over the world, and then her swift and everlasting destruction. This we expect to see as certainly as we shall live the natural course of a man’s life. In saying this we do not say that we shall see it in seven years nor in ten years, as we have seen the other we do not pretend to say in what year nor in what number of years we shall see it. We only say that we certainly expect to see it. And as we have certainly seen the other, as we expected, surely we have ground for confidently expecting to see this which is now on the way.
It was upon the authority of the Scriptures that we knew the other was certainly of the Scriptures that we now know that this is certainly coming. It was by the scripture of Revelation 13:11-17, saying that they would make “an image to the beast,” that we knew that the National Reform movement would certainly succeed, and we always said so. And now it is on the authority of the scriptures of Revelation 13:8; Daniel 8:21, 22; and Revelation 18:7, that we know that the papal movement, mapped out by Leo XIII., will certainly succeed. And it is upon the authority of Revelation 18, and many other passages of scripture, that we certainly know that this success of the papacy will be her utter perdition.
There in Revelation 18, is pointed out the time when “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath” of the fornication of “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth;” when she is glorifying herself and living deliciously; and when the kings of the earth are committing fornication and living deliciously with her; and when, because of this, she congratulates herself and “saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” And then the very next word, without a break, is: “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God that judgeth her.” The reader can read the whole chapter and the nineteenth too, and know the whole story for himself.
We always called upon the people to separate entirely from all connection or sympathy with the National Reform movement, in order, not only that they might be might be on ground from which they could consistently, and with all their might, oppose the other evils which were certain to follow the success of this. And now, we say to all people, Separate utterly from all that is in any way connected with either the National Reform combination or with the papacy, in order that when “the beast and his image,” “Babylon the great,” both mother and daughters, sink in everlasting perdition by the just judgment of the Lord, you may rise in the triumph of the everlasting salvation of the righteous power of God. And as the scheme of Rome embraces the world and all that is of the world, this simply calls for the complete separation from the world and from all that is in the world or of the world—separated unto God in an everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten, and by the power of an endless life.
The AMERICAN SENTINEL has always had a mission in the world and a message for the world; and it has this yet. Our message is briefly comprehended in “the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters…. Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
As for seven years we ceased not to call attention to the workings, and expose the evils both present and prospective, of the National Reform movement; so now, for the rest of the time, we shall not cease to call attention to the workings, and expose the iniquity, of this last grand papal movement.