THE religious phase of the Coxey movement is as strange and weird as the movement itself is ominous. By it the influence of fanaticism is added to the urgent demands of physical necessity; and the Coxey “soldiers” marching toward Washington in pursuit of the phantom Government Bounty, are transformed into veritable crusaders, inspired by that strongest of all motives, religious zeal.
So-called orthodoxy has for years taught that sometime a millennium of peace and plenty will come wherein every man will sit under is own vine and fig tree; and in the dire necessities of the evil times upon which we have fallen, men have conceived the idea of ushering in that age of peace by their own efforts—by war if necessary. And so we find the Labor Advocate saying: “Coxey’s army went in peace, but if there is not relief granted soon, the next army will go with their war paint on.”
Thus far only two divisions of this army have actually reached Washington; but the spirit is not dead; neither have the causes that gave rise to the movement ceased to exist. And, as before remarked, to the desperation of dire want has been added the spirit of religious fanaticism.
Speaking in the United States Senate, May 10, of the Coxey movement, a Southern senator said:—
Its divisions and corps are moving upon this Capitol from every quarter of the compass save one. From every section of this Union save that one section they are coming, and we are confronted with the marvelous spectacle of portions of the people in every section except in one turning a listening ear to the appeals of Mr. Coxey and his lieutenants. The section in which the Commonweal Army, as it is called, has received few or no recruits is the South.
Senator Gordon’s words were probably true when uttered, but they are only technically true now. There may be no divisions actually marching from the South, but the same spirit of unrest that has brought forth organized armies in the North and West is bearing a like fruit in the South; and there the religious phase is more marked than in other sections of the country. Southern blood is warm, and Southern religious zeal is ardent; and what the first Commonwealers merely hinted at or claimed with becoming modesty, namely, a divine commission and a spiritual goal, their Southern brethren assert with a positiveness born of honest though mistaken conviction. The Commonweal, published at North Birmingham, Ala., in its issue of May 31, publishes the following:—
The Alabama Army OF THE Commonweal of Christ.
PROCLAMATION OF PRINCIPLES.
PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN, BUTDEATH TO INTEREST ON BONDS.
CESSATION OR REPUDIATION
STARVING IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY! ENSLAVED IN THE MIDST OF DEMOCRACY! EXERCISING EVERY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT! We are brought into a condition of DIRE DESTITUTION, DESOLATION AND DESPERATION by the PUBLIC PROSTITUTES OF PLUTOCRACY.
“We hold: that there are certain SELF-EVIDENT, (constitutional) OSSIFIED rights; among which are, life, liberty and happiness.” The “Right of Pursuit” has NOT OSSIFIED. It has been “o’er well” EXERCISED. WE HAVE BEEN IN IT. The guarantee of its “inalienable” nature has been more than fulfilled; we have been utterly unable to shake it off; yea, we have been ALLOWED TO DISSIPATE in the DESOLATION of “PURSUIT,” until we are DESTITUTE, DESOLATE AND DESPERATE, but not DESPONDENT, thank God; and our BURDEN BEARING BODIES are TIRED, and the conditions are hard and press heavily, but THEY are not OSSIFIED.
We hold: with all plutocracy’s prostitutes, that all “constitutional rights” are for a SOOTHING DECEPTION, to make a PEACEFUL SLAVE, and with all HONOR ABLE STATESMAN, ancient and modern, that they are “CORDS which BIND the WEAK,” but “COBWEBS through which the STRONG BREAK WITH IMPUNITY.”
We hold: that the “inalienable” nature of all “CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS” are ADMITTED and the EFFECTIVE EXERCISE of NONE PERMITTED.
We hold: that the Constitution BINDS us to the DEAD PAMST, BLINDS us to the ever LIVING PRESENT and GLORIOUS FUTURE, and SHIELDS our enemies from our RIGHTEOUS WRATH.
We hold: that, as long as God and man produces, an “overproduction,” as long as the producer is entitled to what he produces, Legislators are responsible for his successful (harmless) spoliation and robbery; and as long as the Divine and human producers, produce a sufficiency, Legislators are responsible for general prosperity; and will be so held by a brave and honest people.
We hold: that “existence is perpetual subsistence,” hence, that all human existence, all government, subsists by and through the producer—the man that labors.
We hold: that all Natural, monopolies naturally, belong to the people.
We hold: that, the land is the God-given heritage of all the people, “Shall not be sold forever,” and that His fiat is sufficient. Hence we declare, that USE and OCCUPANCY is the only Christian title, and that man’s necessities cover the ground.
We hold: that, the producer owns all that he produces and that “he that defraudeth him thereof is a man of blood.” “If he will not labor, neither shall he eat.” We declare that the producer, now, creates ten dollars and fifty cents per day, and gets one dollar per day.
We hold: that, the same cause which produces the value of a corner lot, the aggregation of the people and their necessities, produces money, the Vehicle for the exchange of those necessities; therefore, the FIAT of a Self-governing people makes money, which is the final, the greatest expression of their Sovereignty, and the Resting Place of Freedom: Hence we declare; that, the people are entitled to a FULL supply of money, which will destroy our greatest enemy,  INTEREST. Interest must be destroyed, or it will destroy us.
The source, the cause and the expression; (of prosperity and peace.)
LAND, LABOR AND MONEY, SHALL BE FREED
We hold: that, the only way in which the people can possess (not pursue) “happiness,” is through the REFERENDUM and INITIATIVE.
We hold: that, the public prostitutes, trusted as public servants, contemning the Constitution, on the first day of May, 1894, by excluding the people from their Capitol, their National Home, the Citadel of the Nation’s laws, and denying free speech, declared themselves Masters of the people and Murderers of Liberty; and as Pontius Pilate, the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders slyly secured the condemnation and crucifixion of the Father of Freedom, so have they the lineal descendants, secured the condemnation and persecution of the Forerunners of Liberty. With liberty lying prone in her own home; with freedom destroyed and free speech suppressed; with the HALLS of liberty prostituted and the highways patroled; with the spawn of corruption in our offices of justice; with our respectable poor, hungry and ragged, and afraid to ask to work for bread, for fear of imprisonment; with a complaint of wages, a call to arms; with the State in the bloody hands of “BLACK belt HEROES” anxious to kill; with the Government (both State and national) a Despotism, an organic part of the great gold parasite conspiracy against human liberty; the great head of which is a Jew, the little head of which is a Drunken Hangman; with a “rifle diet” continually offered. Is it strange that you, American Sons of Freedom, to save that freedom, are getting ready to take the “diet”?
With a rotten Representative Republic, that is not and cannot be a government “Of the people, By the people and For the people;” with the Useful Masses in possession of this fact, and the knowledge, that the whole slimy scheme was hatched out of the same nest of Vipers, from which came the parasite bank scheme, and was formulated and foisted onto the people, by one Alexander Hamilton, an alien, a gold bug, a tory and a traitor, in the employ of English Parasites, the same as Judas John Sherman is an was when he engineered through the Crime of 1873, and the same as the Drunken Hangman is and was when he, with paramount patronage, forced through the crime of 1893.
GOD’S COMMON PEOPLE
know that the political crime of all ages; the crime of 1787, which displaced the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States, and destroyed all semblance of Self-government as contained in them in the “referendum;” and perpetrated by the Dear Democratic Party in its innocent youth, when it was young and good, was like the Sayer election law, the finest work of the sharp men of the craft; and like that was fathered by a fool who thought an Infernal Infamy an eternal honor.
With the Jew money system and the English wage slave system fastened upon us; with the “highest expression” of our Shackles forged by her; with that which should bear the impress of our Sovereignty, bearing the image of a Vulture and the initials of an Englishman who made the design to look more like a buzzard than an American eagle; when we look at these public crimes, and at the CORMORANT conditions that surround us, we are almost paralyzed by the “Eternal fitness of things.”
With the “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION IN THE HOLY PLACES,” “THE TIME IS RIPE AND IT NOW HERE,” WHEN YOU MUST AWAKE! AROUSE YOURSELVES!! TAKE ACTION OR TAKE SLAVERY!!!
Your “Inalienable” rights are OSSIFIED; you can look at, you can listen to plutocracy’s sirens sing of them; and you can exercise—the PURSUIT of them.
Christ the incarnation of God, the Creator of liberty and Father of Freedom both celestial and civil, was crucified, beaten with Roman rods and pierced with Roman spears; Coxey and Carl, Heirs of the Spirit of Liberty and sons of the People’s Forerunners of Civil freedom! have been thrown into prison, beaten with American clubs and pierced with plutocracy’s lies.
Cromwell, a farmer, raised an army of “Psalm Singers,” as the plutes called them then, to establish the Commonwealth of England. He called on the House of Commons and CUT OFF the head of Charles. Cromwell established the CommonWEALTH, brought “wealth” within the reach of the people of “common” birth (within the reach of all who possessed the cunning and cruelty of the wolf). Crowned “interest” (which before was a felon), which created plutocracy. Coxey, a farmer, and Carl, raised an army of “Hoboes,” as the plutes call them now, to establish the CommonWEAL of Christ; they have called on the House of Congress and——will establish the COMMONWEAL—The Commongood, the Commonwelfare; DESTROY INTEREST; DEPOSE PLUTOCRACY; PREPARE THE FOOT STOOL; SET UP THE KINGDOM, AND
If you are a good socialist you believe in the teachings, and will be a soldier in the Commonweal and a SON of Liberty. If you believe in Christ you must believe in His teachings; if you love Him you want to live in the midst of them, in manifestation not simply in mind. “Faith without works is dead.” The time has come when His Kingdom is to be established.
THE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
People of Alabama, Freeman; put on your Armor, Organize yourselves! If you love your liberty; if you love your children; if you love the memory of your Sires who have always borne the brunt of battle and the ensign of freedom, STRIKE NOW before it is too late.
PLUTOCRACY IS ORGANIZED
Our brothers are organizing all over the country. (By organizing you can march to the polls in companies and be sure of getting your votes counted as cast.) Alabama’s name is first in the galaxy of American Stars, and she must not be last in the Kingdom of Liberty, the COMMONWEAL OF CHRIST.
You know, we all know that interest bearing bonds have ENSLAVED US, EATEN US UP. All know that non-interest bearing bonds—“Greenbacks”—fought the civil war, vanquished the bravest and best soldiers on earth and Saved The Union. All the five million idle men and their famishing wives and children are willing to take, hungering to get, these NON-LICE bearing bonds—Greenbacks—in exchange for their labor; and this is what we are demanding through Gen. Coxey, and this is the secret of the plutes fighting to Desperation and Destruction.
We demand the creation of greenbacks. They insist upon the creation of “Graybacks.” This is the issue! Are you a Greenbacker fighting for the expression of Your Sovereignty, the exercise of Self-government; or are you a “Grayback” feeding upon the body politic, Denying and Denouncing the expression of Your Sovereignty, the exercise of Self-government? The question is Greenbacks and Liberty, or Graybacks and Slavery?
THERE CAN BE NO SELF-GOVERNMENT WITHOUT FIAT MONEY
Fiat money is to Self-government what the expression activity is to the soul and body. Picture to yourself a soul and body without power of expression, the power to act, and you will see the condition of a people denied the exercise of the power to CREATE and CONTROL their own currency. The “Ossified Man” is the type of our condition. Picture to yourself a body without a soul, a corpse with power to rattle its bones, and grin, and finally to stink, and you see the condition of a Republic without the Referendum and Initiative.
If gold, or gold and silver gives your money power, then gold or gold and silver is Sovereign, NOT YOU; and they who control them are your Masters. The Commonweal of Christ is the only organization demanding your Sovereignty. The People’s Party has sold out to the Silver Bugs, hence we have two Gold Bug parties and one Silver Bug party.
The plutocrats and their sleuth hounds of Sodom will see you and your children starve; as they looked out of the windows of the American “Den of thieves and robbers” and saw Carl Browne and yiour brave brothers clubbed on the head and afterwards SENT TO JAIL IN HANDCUFFS, so they would see all the Christian Commonwealers starve to death and rot in the streets before they will pass our bills, for they would bring death to the “graybacks” and life to this living corpse of Self-government; prosperity and happiness to the people.
Gen. Coxey and Carl, and all the Commonwealers have sworn that they will besiege Washington until our bills are made laws.
You may have little faith in the power of Gen. Coxey, but you should remember that Abraham had no power of himself when he went to Sodom. He went in the Name of God, and Gen. Coxey went to the modern Sodom in the Name of God also. God told Abraham that if he could find as may as five good people in Sodom he would speare the city. He found four. The city was destroyed.
To the present time Coxey’s mission has been similar to Abraham’s. He went in the Name of God and found two (the woman who took Carl our of jail and the man that took Jones out). Do you believe that the modern Sodom will be saved? Does God change?
Thousands from the West are on the way to help our Brothers in Christ. Thousands more are organizing at home to be ready to help. This is what we have done, and ask you to do. Do you want your name recorded in the Commonweal of Christ? Are you going to be a helper in the resurrection and enthronement of liberty and surround your name with a halo of glory from that light on which all the eyes of God’s common people are resting, and in which all their hopes are centered?
“Where the Spirit of God is there is liberty.” Are you, are Southerners too weak to rock the Cradle of Liberty, too cowardly to help kill the Serpent that is STRANGLING the babe?
Must the Ark of the Covenant be given to another people? Or will you stand by, Sepulcered in Selfishness, and see your brothers of the West bear the burden and wear the Crown; or will you, like the vulture-hearted plutes, let the Vanguard starve in the streets of the city that cannot lay claim to even the virtue of hell—Good Resolutions.”
THE STRUGGLE IS ON: THE QUESTION IS WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
It can not be foiled or sidetracked. Are you with the Chief Priest, Scribes, Pharisees and Elders, or are you with God’s common people?
IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND LIBBERTY, WE CALL UPON YOU TO ORGANIZE
Recommend a good man whose soul is in the cause and forward his name to me and I will commission him as County Recruiting officer, with full instructions to organize you so that you can stand for your common good, or secure the counting of your ballots.
JOHN BUNYAN WARE
J. R. WILLIAMS, Chief of Staff.
W. L. METHVIN. Adjutant-General.
A. E. WILLIAMS. Assistance Adjutant-General.
W. T. WILLIAMS, Quartermaster General.
REV. CYCLONE DALE, Chief of Commissary.
J. H. BEAN, Assistant Chief of Commissary.
LEANDREW J. SMITH, Colonel of Staff.
D. A. WILLIAMS, Colonel of Staff.
J. W. DOWNING, Medical Director.
J. W. MAKENSON, Assistant Medical Director.
L. C. THORNLY, Courier.
Birmingham, Alabama, May 23, 1894.
That labor of all kinds has grievances nobody acquainted with the facts can deny. The creators of wealth are certainly entitled to a fair share of the product of their labor; that they do not get it is shown by statistics; but the remedy is not to be found in the direction of the march of the Commonweal. As long as human nature is as it is, “the poor shall never cease out of the land.” Socialism is impracticable; anarchy would bring only more abject slavery. Man is as powerless to relieve the present distress as he is to change his own nature. Help can come alone form God; but it will not come by means of the so-called Commonweal.
In speaking of the present condition of affairs, the Spirit of God has said by the Apostle James:—
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:1-7.
It will be observed that a part of this statement is general, and a part specific. First, two classes are brought to view, namely, those who have heaped together treasure “in the last days” (Revised Version), and the laborers whose hire has been kept back by fraud. Then another class is introduced, namely, the just, the people of God. To them the counsel is:—
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren,  the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. James 5:7-10.
God’s people will not at this time be found engaged in any Coxey movement, nor in any appeal to force. They will heed the admonition: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” But “God executeth judgment for the oppressed;” therefore, “strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:5-10.
But this will never be brought about by the so-called Commonweal. The inhumanity of labor toward labor shows that unrenewed and unregenerate human nature is not different in the poor man from what it is in the rich man; and if the wealth of the world were to-morrow given to the toiling millions, and the implements of industry were put into the hands of those who are now rich, oppression would not cease. Human nature would assert itself as it does now, and the hand of oppression would speedily be as heavy as it is to-day. The only purpose that can be served by the religious phase of the Coxey movement will be to excite religious fanaticism, cause the Coxey “soldier” to imagine himself an instrument of vengeance in God’s hand, and so remove the influences of Christianity which have hitherto restrained men, and fill the land with violence in the name of Christ.