“Purifying the Fountain” American Sentinel 11, 7, pp. 52, 53.

IN a discussion of “The People’s Responsibility for the ‘Christian’ Amendment,” in the Christian Statesman, of January 25, Rev. J. S. Martin declares that “our only security against the destruction threatened by the great flood tide of governmental evils that are coming in upon us, lies in the purification of the fountain whence they flow.”

It is very true that a stream cannot be purified without purifying its fountain head. But how is the fountain head of governmental corruption to be purified? Is it by a “Christian” amendment to the Constitution? We trow not.

We are not prepared to impeach any person in office under this Government, high or low, on a charge of official corruption. That is not the business or purpose of the SENTINEL. Our aim is to point out the truth that any attempt to remedy governmental evils by so-called Christian legislation, either through a “Christian” amendment to the Constitution or in any other way can only make the trouble incalculably worse than it is.

The fountain head of all corruption in this world is the human heart. Well has the prophet said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” No man knows the depravity that is lurking in his own heart. Much less, then, is he able to guard against it by human enactments. There is just one way in which the heart of an individual can cease to be deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and that is by the exercise of the power of God.

The action proposed by the Rev. Mr. Martin would not reach the fountain head of the difficulty at all. The scheme to Christianize [53] the Constitution is in the highest degree absurd and impotent for the purpose at which it aims. Man cannot Christianize himself; how much less, then, can he impart Christianity to anything. He can make the laws over which he has control, just; and that is all that can be asked for any law. Justice is law, and justice is all of Christianity that can pertain to any law of man. A human statute is valuable just in proportion to its approximation to the unwritten law of justice. The true science of legislation is to discover and apply this law.

While a correct form of government is essential, it is also true that this would avail but little without respect for right and justice in the hearts of the citizens under it. As surely as this respect is lessened and the hold of depravity strengthened in the hearts of men, in public or private life, so surely will affairs under this Government go on from bad to worse, without regard to the “Christian Amendment” which some are seeking to incorporate into the Constitution.

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