“Some Features of the Reformed Constitution” The American Sentinel 1, 11, pp. 84, 85.

WE propose to give the American people a view of our Constitution as it will appear when amended to conform to the views of the National Reformers. This is a matter that concerns every one, and will do so more and more, as the National Reform party grows in influence and power. In this matter of reforming the Constitution, and thereby the nation, these National Reformers begin with the Preamble. At the first National Convention ever held by the National Reformers—Alleghany City, Pa., January 27, 28, 1864—a memorial to Congress was adopted, asking the United States Senate and House of Representatives to adopt measures for amending the Constitution of the United States, so as to read in substance as follows, the Amendment in brackets:—


“We, the people of the United States [humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, his revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian Government], and in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It will be seen at a glance that this work of “reforming” the Constitution, cannot stop with the Preamble. For as the amended Preamble demands “a Christian Government,” it follows that the whole Constitution will have to be made to conform to this idea. This is exactly the aim of the Reformers. In that same memorial to Congress, immediately following the reformed Preamble as above quoted, is the following:—

“And further: that such changes with respect to the oath of office, slavery, and all other matters, should be introduced into the body of the Constitution as may be necessary to give effect to these Amendments in the Preamble.”

To present some of these changes, which will be necessary to make the body of the Constitution conform to the reformed Preamble, is the purpose of this article. As the purpose of this reformed Preamble is declared to be “to constitute a Christian Government,” it necessarily follows that all who are to have any part or lot in the Government must be Christians. Therefore Section 1 of Article X1V of Amendments to the Constitution will have to be reformed so as to read thus:—

All Christian persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside, etc.

This then being a “Christian Government,” all officials in the Government will have to be Christians. Therefore Section 2 of Article I of the Constitution will have to be reformed so as to read as follows:—

No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be a Christian, and an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Section 3 of the same Article will have to read the same way in regard to Senators, thus:—

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be a Christian, and an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

In relation to the President, Section 1, Article II, will have to read about as follows:—

No person except a Christian, and natural-born citizen of the United States, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years resident within the United States.

In the matter of the oath this same Section will have to be reformed so as to read something like this:—

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath of office: I do solemnly swear “in the presence of the eternal God, that during the whole term of my office I will serve the same eternal God to the utmost of my power, according as he hath required in his most holy word, contained in the Old and New Testaments; and according to the same word, will maintain the true religion of Christ Jesus; AND SHALL ABOLISH ALL FALSE RELIGION CONTRARY TO THE SAME; and shall rule the people committed to my charge according to the will and command of God revealed in his word; and shall procure to the utmost of my power to the Church of God, and the whole Christian people, true and perfect peace;” and that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

This is a genuine National Reform oath, and is strictly according to the doctrines which that Association preaches. To accord with this, Article VI will have to be reformed about as follows:—

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by the aforesaid oath, substituting in each case the title of his own office for the words President of the United States;[86]

AND THE TEST OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION SHALL be required as a qualification to every office or public trust under the United States.

This will necessitate the reform of Article I of Amendments to the Constitution, so that its first clause shall read thus:—

Congress shall make laws respecting the establishment of the Christian religion; prohibiting the free exercise of all, other religion and of all irreligion; and abridging the freedom of speech and of the press in religious matters.

It is certain that all these changes in the body of the Constitution will not be made without universal and almost endless controversy. To say nothing of the open and confirmed opposition that there will be, it is evident that among those who would favor the changes, there will be great differences of opinion upon the exact shape and wording in which the changed Articles shall be couched. Nor will the controversy be confined simply to the called-for changes in the Constitution. As the reformed Preamble declares the “revealed will” of Christ to be the “supreme law,” the changes in the Constitution will be but the culmination of a grand national discussion as to what is the revealed will of Christ, and just how it is to be made applicable in national affairs. This is only what the National Reformers expect. In the Christian Statesman February 21, 1884, Rev. J. C. K. Milligan writes on this subject, as follows:—

“The changes will come gradually, and probably only after the whole frame-work of Bible legislation has been thoroughly canvassed by Congress and State Legislatures, by the Supreme Courts of the United States and of the several States, and by lawyers and citizens; an outpouring of the Spirit might soon secure it.”

But that the National Reformers expect such a condition of affairs as this, is not all. They are doing, and will do, their very best to create it; not out of love for the Bible, nor for Christianity, but for their own self-aggrandizement. This is clearly revealed by Mr. Milligan in words immediately following the passage just quoted. He continues:—

“The churches and the pulpits have much to do with shaping and forming opinions on all moral questions, and with interpretations of Scripture on moral and civil, as well as on theological and ecclesiastical points; and it is probable that in the almost universal gathering of our citizens about these, the chief discussions and the final decision of most points will be developed there. ‘Many nations shall come and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion.’”

Exactly! the churches are “Zion,” and “the law shall go forth of Zion.” Therefore in the national canvass of “the whole frame-work of Bible legislation,” when it comes to the changes in the body of the Constitution, and thus the culmination of the discussion, in the form of law, then Congress, the State Legislatures, and the Supreme Courts will have to receive that law from the churches and pulpits, and the law in its final form will have to be according to the mould or the indorsement of the “leaders and teachers” in the churches, for “the law shall go forth of Zion, and the “final decision will be developed there.” And then after this august deliverance the Rev. Mr. Milligan straightens himself up and admiringly pats himself, and all his fellows, upon the back, after this style:—

“There certainly is no class of citizens more intelligent, patriotic, and trustworthy, than the leaders and teachers in our churches.”

In connection with these words are certain scriptures which we would commend to Mr. Milligan’s consideration: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Proverbs 27:2. “For men to search their own glory is not glory.” Proverbs 25:27. “Not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” 2 Corinthians 10:18. But whether they will heed these scriptures or not there is one thing certain: that is, by the evidences here presented, it is perfectly clear that the direct aim of the leaders in the National Reform movement is the exaltation of themselves into a hierarchy as absolute as is that of Mormonism, or as was that of the Papacy in the supremest hours of the Dark Ages. They deliberately propose to make themselves the arbiters in every controversy, and the interpreters of Scripture on all points, moral, civil, theological, and ecclesiastical. And mark, their decision, it is plainly declared, will be “final.” There can be no appeal, for there is none higher than they. There can be no appeal to God, for is not the Lord King in Zion? and don’t they represent Zion? and isn’t the law to go forth of Zion? Thus they would make themselves the vicegerents of the Lord, and the fountain of all law. And just now, and in view of these propositions of the National Reformers, the American people would do well to remember the truth stated by Dean Milman in relation to what is simply a matter of fact in all history: “In proportion as the ecclesiastics became co-legislators, heresies became civil crimes, and liable to civil punishments.”

Upon the surface, some of the changes in the Constitution, which we have marked, appear very innocent. It is only when we go below the surface that the real iniquity of the thing appears. When the real purpose of the movement is discovered, it is found that the Christianity that is to become national, is just what this hierarchy shall declare to be Christianity; that the “revealed will” which is to be the supreme law of the land, is what the hierarchy shall declare to be the revealed will; it is seen that in submitting to the proposed test of the Christian religion, it is not such a view of that religion as a man’s own conscience approves, but such a view as the hierarchy approves; that in submitting to this proposed revealed will as the supreme law, it is not to that revealed will as a man may read it in the Scripture and interpret it by the best light of his own conscience, but to what the hierarchy shall declare to be the revealed will, as interpreted by their own will. Then there is no more the liberty of every man worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience, but all must worship (?) according to the dictates of the hierarchy.

Then when these “intelligent, patriotic, and trustworthy leaders in our churches” shall have succeeded in thus placing themselves in the position of supreme arbiter of all controversies, and supreme interpreter in all points of the revealed will of Christ, it will be necessary to reform Section 7 of Article I of the Constitution, so that it shall read about as follows:—

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the President, shall, before it become a law, be presented to “the leaders and teachers in our churches,” whose “decision” shall be “final.”

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President, and to “the churches and pulpits” of the United States, and the “decision” of “the leaders and teachers in our churches” shall be “final.”

There, fellow-citizens, are some of the features that our Constitution will present, when it shall have been reformed according to the doctrines of the National Reform party. We do not say that the work is at all complete, but this is all that we have space to present at this time. We have not forced a single point, for every change which we have marked, we can sustain by the writings of the National Reformers themselves. We have simply presented the logic of the National Reform propositions. If the National Reformers object to our conclusions, they will have to lay propositions. If there are any of our readers who do not yet see that the success of the National Reform movement will be the establishment of an absolute hierarchy in this nation, we ask them to wait till the next issue of the AMERICAN SENTINEL, when we promise, if the Lord will, to present such evidence both of fact and of law, as shall leave no room for any reasonable doubt.

A. T. J.

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