[IT will be noticed that the following article is on the same subject as one already printed in the December number of the SENTINEL. The writer of that article was absent from the office when he wrote it, and this article was written several days before that one reached the office. Consequently this article was laid over, and that one was printed. This is not printed now because we think that justice was not done in the other, but because it was already written and because it treats the subject so differently that really there is no repetition.]
In the SENTINEL for June we inserted the following: “The National Reform party proposes to make Christ king of the United States, and yet they maintain that the Government must still remain a republic! Will the Christian Statesman or some other one of the advocates of this ‘reform’ tell us how this thing can be?” Rev. M. A. Gault found this item in the SENTINEL, and in it he found something with which he could make his voice to clash, and so, in the Christian Statesman of October 14, he has undertaken to tell us just how this thing can be, and this is how he does it:—
“If you would study your Bible more before you spring into the arena to champion the anti-National Reform cause, you would know that the model of Government which Christ gave to Israel was much more republican than that of the United States. All their rulers were elected by the people, while there are one hundred thousand of ours in whose election the people have no voice.”
Mark it, reader, in the “model of government which Christ gave to Israel,” “all their rulers were elected by the people.” We know not exactly what time it is to which Mr. Gault refers as the one when Christ gave to Israel their “model of Government.” We do not know whether he refers to the time when Moses was chosen; or when the seventy elders were chosen; or when the judges were chosen; or when Saul was chosen; and so not knowing to which time it is that he refers we shall have to notice all four of these, and of course the first one to which we come where the rulers were elected by the people, that must be the time, and that the “model of Government” received from Christ, to which Mr. Gault refers.
If the gentleman refers to the “model of government” that was instituted when Moses was chosen, then we should like very much for him to tell us about how many, if any of “the people” were at the burning bush when Moses was elected. Exodus 3.
If Mr. Gault refers to the “model of government” instituted at the time the seventy elders were chosen, then we would refer him to the following scripture: “And the Lord [not the people] said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with them there; and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them… And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people,  and set them round about the tabernacle. And Lord came down in the cloud, and spake to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders; and came to pass, that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.” Numbers 11:16, 17, 24, 25. And in view of this we wish he would tell us exactly what part “the people” bore in the election of the seventy elders.
If our critic refers to the “model of Government” in which the judges ruled, then we would calI his attention to Judges 2:16-18: “The Lord raised up judges…. And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge.” And in view of this scripture will he tell us exactly what part “the people” bore in the election of a judge whom the Lord raised up?
Or if perchance the reverend gentleman refers to none of these, but means that “model of Government” which was established when a king was chosen, then we ask him to read the following: “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To-morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel …. And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.” “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?” 1 Samuel 9:15-17; 1 Samuel 10:1. But Saul was finally rejected, not by the people, but by the Lord, and again Mr. Gault may read: “The Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite; for I have provided me a king from among his sons.” And when after all the other sons of Jesse had passed by, and David was sent for, when he came, “the Lord said, Arise, anoint him; for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Daniel from that day forward.” 1 Samuel 16:1, 12, 13. And David God said: “When thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom…. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-16.
Mr. Gault conveys the idea that he has studied the Bible a great deal, it certainly is not asking too much of him to request that he tell us about how many of “the people” cast their ballots when Saul or David was elected king of Israel.
Here, then, in these four forms of Government—that under Moses and Joshua, the seventy elders, the judges, and the kings—are all wherein there is any possibility of finding a “model of Government which Christ gave to Israel,” and the plain Scripture, the plain matter of fact, is, that in not a single one of them is there a shadow or a hint of such a thing as that “all,” or any, of “their rulers were elected by the people.” So much for Mr. Gault’s study of the Bible and of the “model of Government which Christ gave to Israel.”
Now just a word upon his study (?) of our own Government. He says that in our Government, in this Government of the United States, “there are one hundred thousand rulers in whose election the people have no choice.” If this were to come from anybody but a leading National Reformer, we should call it a most astounding statement. But as these are the men who are to be made the interpreters of the Scriptures on all points civil, ecclesiastical, and moral, and whose decision is to be final, when one of them speaks ex cathedra, it becomes us, to whom there belongs no right of interpretation nor decision on any subject moral or civil, to be very meek about how we shall handle it. Therefore we shall be very careful in our examination of this oracular utterance.
No doubt it will be a piece of very interesting news to the American people to learn that they have in this Government “one hundred thousand rulers” at all; much more when it is declared that this is only the number of those “in whose election the people have no voice;” and that consequently there are in the United States “one hundred thousand rulers” beside those who are elected by the people! Now we have looked this thing over somewhat, and we know that from the President of the United States down through the governors of States, to the constable of a precinct, they are all “rulers,” as we presume Mr. Gault would call them, in whose election the people do have a voice. To go outside of the list of these, then, the only other place under the Government where we find “rulers” is among officers of the army and navy, for there we know there are some who rule with an iron hand. But they have nothing to do with us, they are not rulers “of ours;” besides there are not one hundred thousand persons in the army and navy together, officers, soldiers, and marines. So assuredly these cannot be the “rulers” whom our critic has in mind.
We cannot imagine, therefore, to what class of our rulers it can be to which Mr. Gault refers by such a vast number “in whose election the people have no voice,” unless it be to the appointees of the civil service! that is, the postmasters, registers, and receivers of land offices, internal revenue collectors, etc., etc., and all their clerks! These we believe now amount to just about a hundred thousand; and these “rulers” are all appointed. In regard to these Mr. Gault is correct in saying that in their “election the people have no voice.” And as these are the only “rulers” “of ours” in whose “election the people have no voice,” we are absolutely driven to the conclusion that these are the “rulers” to whom our eminent critic undoubtedly refers.
But the idea of applying the title of “rulers” to postmasters, registers of land offices, revenue collectors, and such like! The idea of calling a lot of servants, “rulers”! Well, well, no number of exclamation points could express our astonishment, and we are utterly at a loss for language to fitly characterize such a conception of Government, and of rulers; especially when it is coupled with the ambition to make itself the sole interpreter in all affairs of Government.
And it is such men as Mr. M. A. Gault whom the National Reform party proposes to make the National interpreters of Scripture “on moral and civil as well as on theological and ecclesiastical points;” men whose interpretations the most casual reader can see are utterly at variance with every portion of Scripture on the subject; and whose ideas of Government are so crude as to suppose that a lot of Government clerks are rulers of the people. It is such men as this, and men of such ideas of Scripture and of Government as are these, into whose hands the American people are coolly asked to put, by Constitutional Amendment, the direction of all the affairs of religion and Government. It is such men as these whom we are asked to make the supreme arbiters of the Nation, and whose decision will be “final.” And the worst of it all is, that from what we see actually occurrent in the Nation at this very time, we are not prepared to say but that the American people are going to do just this thing. But let them know of a surety that in the day when the affairs of this Nation are put into the ambitious hands of the National Reformers, in that day the American people will bind the fair form of Liberty in fetters more absolute than any she has ever borne outside of the bitter rule of the Papal Inquisition.
A. T. J.