“Note” American Sentinel 12, 33, p. 515.

THE doctrine that an individual is morally bound to obey every requirement of the Government as being an act of God, depends for support upon the idea that God and not man made the governments of the earth. To expose the folly and wickedness of this idea it is only necessary to ask if the United States Government and the Turkish government were made by one and the same being. What God makes, is perfect; but where is there a perfect government on the face of the earth? The imperfections of all human governments stamp them as the work of finite man.

HOW far short the best human government falls in practice, of the ideal set up in the theory upon which it is built, may be seen from the miscarriage of the principle of majority rule in our own country, as set forth in [516] another column. When the United States is spoken of as “this free Government,” the speaker probably has in mind the theory of popular government, with the principles of liberty which it incorporates. In practice, there is very little room for the exercise of individual choice in the filling of public offices and the enactment of State and national laws. The choice in such matters lies with the political “boss” and his henchmen who control the party, and the man of wealth whose gold can support a campaign and purchase legislation. So that, however the pious citizen may aim to cast his vote for the glory of God, he finds himself obliged in reality to follow the lead of some politician to whom very likely the words of Scripture would apply that “God is not in all his thoughts.” In theory, the Government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”; in practice, as seen to-day, it is “of the people” but not by or for them. This is not the fault of the theory; it does not argue any lack of wisdom on the part of those who made this an independent Government. It is only the natural selfishness of the unregenerate heart manifesting itself in popular government, through the opportunities which present-day conditions have put within its reach. Selfishness seems to have quite as full opportunity given it to do its baneful work under a popular government, as it has under a monarchy.

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