August 14, 1889
TO OBTAIN a world-wide view of Sabbath observance, Dr. Crafts says he has corresponded with more than two hundred persons residing in nearly every nation of the world. One of the questions which he asked in this correspondence was:—
“Where have you seen the best Sabbath observance?”
A San Francisco pastor answered:—
“Among the Christian people of California.”
Now California is the only State that has no Sunday law. Yet this pastor testifies that in this State there is the best Sabbath observance that be has seen. And under the circumstances, it is properly to be, presumed that this pastor has seen Sabbath observance in other States than California. But, the other States have Sunday laws, therefore the Sabbath observance that that pastor saw in other States, must have been under Sunday laws. Consequently, it is demonstrated by Dr. Crafts’s own evidence that there is better Sunday observance where there is no Sunday law than where there are Sunday laws.
Again. Up to 1883, California had a Sunday law. In 1885, Dr. Crafts published his book. This was nearly two years after California abolished her Sunday law. Yet, in that book, on page 94, Mr. Crafts says:—
“Both laymen and ministers say that even in California the Sabbath is, on the whole, better observed and Christian services better attended, than five years ago.”
Five years goes back three years into the time of the Sunday law, consequently it is once more demonstrated by Dr. Crafts’s own evidence that Sunday is better observed, and Christian services better attended, where there is no Sunday law than where there are Sunday laws. Therefore, Dr. Crafts and all the people who work for Sunday laws are working against the best Sunday observance.
The reason why there is better Sunday observance and better attendance upon Christian services where there are no Sunday laws than where Sunday laws exist, is plain. Where there are no Sunday laws, the Christian people are thrown upon their own resources for securing the best observance of the day. Thus they work by Christian means, by Christian influences, and by Christian persuasion, to secure the best observance of that which they deem to be a Christian institution. This is right. Such methods will always win. They will always work for good.
But, on the other hand, when the aid of the civil power is sought, and Sabbath observance is sought to be secured by the enforcement of law, Christians are drawn away from dependence upon Christian methods, men are repelled instead of being won, and Sunday is worse observed, and Christian services more poorly attended.
By these evidences it is clear that every person who respects Christianity, and who wishes to secure the best Sunday observance, and to have Christian services best attended, ought to oppose Sunday laws with all his might. It is entirely out of respect to Christianity that the AMERICAN SENTINEL opposes all Sabbath laws of civil government.
Let religious institutions be sustained by religious means. Let Christian duties be maintained by Christian methods. Let attendance at Christian services be secured by Christian influences and Christian persuasion. This is the position of the AMERICAN SENTINEL, and it ought to be the position of every person who lives Jesus Christ.
A. T. J.