THE Pall Mall Gazette, of February 14, contains the following account of the fining of Mr. John Gibson, of London, a Seventh-day Adventist, for permitting work to be done on Sunday in the printing office of which he is manager:—
Tract Society’s Sunday Labor. ON A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE
The International Tract Society, of 451 Holloway road, which carries on a letterpress printing business, was summoned at Clerkenwell police court for having employed two females and one male young person on Sunday, January 27. Mr. John Gibson, secretary of the society, appeared in answer to the summons, and from his statement of defense it appeared that the society, a Christian institution, was established for the purpose of bringing about the recognition of Saturday as the Sabbath, or seventh day, in accordance with the biblical law. They gave a half-holiday on Fridays, and closed their premises on Saturday; and contended that they were doing all the law required. This was a matter of conscience with them. Some forms were given them by the factory inspector to fill up, but they only provided for members of the Jewish faith, and they were not Jews. Mr. Bros said the society would have to obey the law, and to say this was a matter of conscience was no excuse. He imposed fines and costs, amounting to 78s. [$19.00]. Mr. Gibson said he could not conscientiously pay the fine. Mr. Bros said the find could be recovered by distress; but, no doubt, the directors of the society would see that the law was likely to be too strong for them.
Seventh-day Adventists have for many years, by pulpit and press, taught that the enforcement of Sunday observance, especially upon those who observe the Bible Sabbath (Saturday), would become universal. This teaching was based on the “sure word of prophecy.” The State of Arkansas began this persecution, and has been followed by Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Florida, in the United States; Canada, on the north; Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and England in Europe; and lastly, by the island continent, Australia. In none of these cases have the Seventh-day Adventists disturbed the public or private worship of anyone; in none of these have they violated the Golden Rule. It therefore follows that these prosecutions are nothing short of persecutions and a fulfillment of the scripture of Revelation 12:17, which reads: “The dragon was wroth with the woman [the Church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the last Church, or the Church in the last days], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”