“Notes” American Sentinel 13, 20, pp. 305, 306.

May 19, 1898

IT is better to know how to live, than how to die.

INTOLERANCE is always glad to shake hands with error.

IF you do not have religious liberty to grant to others, you do not have it at all.

TO submerge individualism in nationalism, would be like trying to have dollars without cents.

NOT “Remember the Maine,” but “The faith of Jesus,” is the watchword of Christian warfare.

A SINGLE dollar saved for eternity is better than a million dollars saved for a few years of time.

A CHRISTIAN loves peace; a “Christian power” loves piece, and is always willing to fight to keep it.

THE choice is laid before every person in the world, of denying self or denying God. He must do one or the other.

IF this nation should acquire the “big head” by victory over Spain, it might be worse in the end than if it were now to suffer defeat.

IF the papacy can harmonize with Spanish government in Spain and Cuba, she can, and would, harmonize with Spanish government in the United States.

GOD could destroy the whole world in a moment of time, but his wisdom is made known in the gospel by which he would save the world. True wisdom seeks to save life, not to destroy it.

THE barbarians conquered Rome, but the principles of Rome conquered the barbarians. Shall those principles now conquer the Anglo Saxons? If, so then the overthrowing of Spanish armadas will have been a useless task.

“THE powers that be are ordained of God.” So saith the Scripture; and strangely enough, this text is used to justify obedience to the “powers that be” in opposition to the commands of God.

Can the thing ordained be superior to Him who or-ordained [sic.] it? If not, as is self-evident, then cannot the command of men be superior to the precept of Jehovah. “His kingdom ruleth over all.”

IT is declared by both Catholics and Protestants in this country that “this is a Christian nation.”

NOW it is a fact that Catholics do not admit that Protestantism is Christianity. Even the stoutest defender of Catholic “liberality” must admit this.

When Catholics, therefore, say that “this is a Christian nation,” they mean that it is a Catholic Christian nation. Whatever Protestants may mean by the expression, it is certain that this is the meaning, and the only meaning, it has for Catholics.

Roman Catholics and Protestants, therefore, are arrayed against each other in this claim for national recognition,—each one claiming to be the party which makes the nation Christian, and the Catholics at least, denying the position of the Protestants.

The Supreme Court decision raised this controversy, [306] and now it “will not down.” It is here and must be settled. That it is not very prominent as yet does not lessen the significance of the fact. It will grow more and more prominent as time goes on.

And what a bitter controversy must ensue before it is settled! More than this: what a change its settlement must effect in the principles of this Government! for it can be settled only in accordance with papal claims. The principle of both claims is papal.

HE who engages in war, must obey absolutely the commands of his military superiors. This is the first principle of military discipline.

NOW there is a command of God which says, “Thou shalt not kill:” and another which says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” In time of war the soldier must disregard both these precepts at the order of his commander. He must kill men of the opposing force, and must do this, if so ordered, on the Sabbath day.

Is it not plainly evident, therefore, that the soldier must have another god than the Author of the Ten Commandments? Is it not evidence that the Government stands to him in the place of God?

But what man can afford to make this exchange? God has not authorized it, and the eternal interests of every man forbid it; for what James Russell Lowell wrote of war is the truth,—

“If you take a sword and dror it,

And go stick a feller throu’,

Guv’ment aint to answer for it;

God’ll send the bill to you.”

Alas for him who expects government to answer for his misdeeds at the bar of God.

THE salvation of God is brought to the world in Christianity. That which is Christian will be saved from the final dissolution which is to come upon earthly things. All believers in Christianity agree to this.

It is said by leading representatives of the state and of the church in this country, that “this is a Christian nation.” This nation, therefore, will be saved in the kingdom of God.

Every citizen of the United States is a part of this nation. The salvation of the nation must of course include the salvation of its parts.

To secure salvation, therefore, an individual needs only to become a part of this nation. If already such, he needs only to remain in it; and if not, he can become such by taking out papers of naturalization.

He may believe in Christianity, or he may not; he may be a Jew, or an agnostic, or an atheist; it matters not. His salvation is certain, yea, unavoidable, if he remains a United States citizen. And all this by virtue of Christianity!

Such is the logic of the National Reform doctrine that “this is a Christian nation.” It simply makes the gospel of God of no use to the individual, as such.

And this being so, that doctrine is as clearly anti-Christian as anything that ever emanated from the “father of lies.”

WHEN we point to the atrocities perpetrated upon Christians in times past in various lands, and call it religious persecution, some are ready to exclaim, “Oh, no; it was the civil power that inflicted penalties upon them. They suffered for political reasons, and for that the church is not responsible.”

Yes; very likely they did suffer for political reasons. But how came such reasons to be political? How came matters of religious belief to be mixed up with politics, so that political measures had to be instituted against people on account of Christianity?

Oh, it was because the church went into politics. It was because religion and the state became united. And then religion found its way into the laws of the land, and people who opposed that religion were persecuted and put to death by the civil power, for disobedience to the civil law. And that was only a political proceeding, of course!

If the church had kept out of politics, Christians would never have been persecuted for political reasons. And when the church goes into politics, persecution for political reasons is sure to follow.

Let the church keep out of politics. That is the plain lesson taught by the history of every land where Christians have been put to death by the civil power.

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