“The Arkansas ‘Extravagance’” The American Sentinel 2, 1, pp. 4, 5.

January 1887

In the October SENTINEL, we commented upon an editorial, and an article, both from the Christian Cynosure. The article, copied entire from the columns of the Cynosure, was written to that paper by Elder R. M. Kilgore, from Arkansas, giving an account of the persecution of some Seventh-day Adventists in that State for working on Sunday after having conscientiously kept what they believed to be the Sabbath. The Cynosure correspondent gave a number of names and facts such as clearly showed the meanest kind of persecution.

It seems that the Cynosure got hold of a copy of the SENTINEL containing the matter mentioned above, and from the way in which it refers to us it would appear that the Cynosure does not recognize its own article, but attributes the thing all to the SENTINEL. In the Cynosure of November 25, 1886, in a short editorial we find the following:—

The AMERICAN SENTINEL, of Oakland, California, comes to us with a long reply to an editorial of this paper, in which the writer gives a long list of fines and imprisonments of Seventh-day Adventists for work on Sunday. One man is said to have been sent to jail from Springdale, Ark., for ‘digging potatoes for his table on Sunday.’ This and other parts of the article wear an aspect of extravagance, so that we must wait for confirmation of the facts before commenting on them.”

More than half of our “long reply” and all of that part of it that “gives a long list of fines and imprisonments” was the aforementioned article from the columns of the Cynosure itself. As it appears to the Cynosure to be so extravagant, we would mildly inquire whether it is the habit of that paper to print accounts that are so extravagant that they cannot be believed without confirmation? We might ask too what the Cynosure would count a “conformation”? The account which we copied from the Cynosure is already a matter of public record in Arkansas even to the Supreme Court. In Tennessee also there are similar facts that are likewise a matter of public record. Does the Cynosure demand another [6] batch of those persecuting prosecutions to confirm the statements printed in its own columns? It seems to us that the Cynosure is exceedingly hard to convince.

As for commenting on the matter the Cynosure did that vigorously, and very properly condemned the persecuting proceedings, and asked that the names and the jails should be published at once, while as yet it was a mere matter of report; but since the facts have been given, and the names and the jails have been published in its own columns, not a word has the Cynosure had to say on the subject. And when we published the Cynosures report in full, and commented on it in our columns, that paper turns upon us, and accuses its own article of wearing “an aspect of extravagance,” and demands “confirmation” of its own published report before “commenting on” it.

As the editor of the Cynosure seems not to be acquainted with the matter he printed in his own paper, we will give him some references. Please look at the Cynosure of July 29, 1886, editorial page, and the editor’s comment, and call for names and jails will there be found; then look at its correspondents’ columns in the Cynosure of August 12, 1886, and there will be found the names of the persons, places, and jails, and with these the “long list of fines and imprisonments” and the facts, which seem to the editor of the Cynosure to wear so much of “an aspect of extravagance.” We hope the editor of the Cynosure will examine the articles referred to for we very much desire to see what comments he will make upon the facts.

If the Cynosure must still wait for more confirmation, we know not how it can be satisfied except by repetition of the persecution; but to report such repetition would be only adding more extravagance to that which already has appeared. We agree with the Cynosure that the facts of this persecution do wear an aspect of extravagance. In fact we know not how the matter could be more extravagant without bordering very closely upon the manners and methods of the Romish Inquisition. Yet as the outcome of the National Reform movement will be to make such extravagance National, and as the Cynosure is heartily in favor of National Reform, there appears no ground of hope that we shall ever see in the columns of the Christian Cynosure any just comments upon such persecuting extravagance.

A. T. J.

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