October 9, 1889
THE Denver News says the AMERICAN SENTINEL “is doing great injury to the cause of the masses of America by discouraging the right to a day each week for worship, rest, or innocent recreation.” This will be news indeed to the readers of the SENTINEL, as every intelligent reader of the SENTINEL well knows that its work is and always has been to assert the right of every man to these very things. What the SENTINEL denies is the right of the State or any other earthly power to compel any man to rest who does not want to rest, or to compel him to rest when he does not want to, or to compel him to rest or worship or recreate to suit the majority. The SENTINEL has never denied nor discouraged the right of any man to rest or worship or take innocent recreation when he pleases, as he pleases, and as much as he pleases; but it forever denies the right of the State to compel those who do not want to do any of these things to do them in order to please those who do want to do them. The SENTINEL denies the right of the State to rob any man of his right to follow his honest occupation at all times. It denies the wisdom of Acts which make crimes of honest occupations, and it denies the justice of any system of law that punishes the honest, industrious citizen equally with the thief and the vagabond.
Another statement of the News that will be equally newsy to the readers of the SENTINEL is that this paper “is doing efficient work for he enemies of all religion.” Why! the SENTINEL itself is a religious paper. We know it is doing efficient work; but as for doing efficient work for the enemies of all religion, this is a mistake. For the true religion, the religion of Jesus Christ, the SENTINEL’S sole endeavor is to do the most efficient work that it possibly can. And against every effort to support religion by the State or to enforce its sanctions or observances by civil law, the SENTINEL endeavors to do as efficient work as it possibly can. Any government which sets itself to aid, support or enforce the sanctions or observances of religion, is itself an enemy of all true religion; and he is the best friend to true religion who is most opposed to any such system. Any religious rite or institution whose observance cannot be secured without resort to the civil power, ought not to be observed at all. Any religion that cannot sustain itself or its observances in the world without the aid of civil government is unworthy of the consideration of mankind.
As those who are working most strenuously for Sunday legislation, are doing it professedly in the Christian name; and as the movement can only do the more harm to the Christian name as it becomes the more popular and powerful; so those who most love Christ will oppose the movement most. That is what the SENTINEL opposes and this is why we oppose it. And those who know the most about true Christianity will easily understand our opposition the best. Opposition to false religion is not opposition to all religion. Opposition to false forms of the true religion is not opposition to all religion. Opposition to false methods of securing conformity to false forms of the true religion is not opposition to all religion. Opposition to false methods of securing conformity to even the true forms of the true religion, is not at all opposition to all religion. Will the News please note; for this is the opposition which the SENTINEL conducts.
A. T. J.