“The Golden Opportunity of National Reform” The American Sentinel 1, 8, pp. 58, 59.

August 1886

THERE is a glorious field open and white already to the harvest of National Reform. There is a tree whose fruit is so lusciously ripe for National Reform, that the tree needs but to be shaken for the fruit to fall into the mouth of the National Reform eater; and we urgently call the attention of the Christian Statesman to it, and through it the attention of all the National Reformers.

Rev. J. H. Pettee, of Okayama, Japan, reports in the May number of the Missionary Herald that Japan is so amazingly eager to become a Christian nation, that there is danger that she will adopt “some low, loose type of Christianity,” and that “in a mere formal way.” He says there is danger that she may adopt the Roman Catholic, or the Russo-Greek form of Christianity, because “Episcopacy, Presbyterianism, Methodism, Congregationalism, or other Protestant denominations will not, or cannot offer her a short road to” her longed-for goal—the name and place of a Christian nation. Now the National Reform Party furnishes just the short cut to the place of a Christian nation, which Japan in her heathen blindness is groping about to find. The National Reform Party, we believe, owns the right of way to this road which now Japan so long has sought, and mourned because she found it not. How can the National Reformers sit still, and lend no helping hand to poor, pleading Japan? We do not wish to interfere in any way with the internal workings of that Party, but if we might be allowed the privilege of making a suggestion, we would recommend that Rev. E. B. Graham and Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D. D., be sent at once as National Reform missionaries to conduct Japan along the National-Reform short-cut to the place where she may stand before the world a Christian nation. here is an opportunity for them to fairly rival St. Francis Xavier or Gregory Thaumaturgus.

We would advise them that, for the success of their particular movement in this case, delay is dangerous; for Mr. Pettee reports that “the most progressive secular paper in the sunrise [59] kingdom” has already “openly advocated baptizing the emperor and a few of the nobles, that Japan may be considered a Christian nation.” It declares, “Christian blue is the fashionable color, and not Buddhist brown; therefore let us put on a blue coat.” So if the National Reform Party would have the glory of starting Japan in the race of Christian nations, it is essential that its missionaries be sent speedily.

Let not our readers suppose for an instant that Mr. Pettee asks for any such thing as the National Reform movement would supply, or that he would indorse it. He has too much respect for Christianity for that. He rightly gives this subject the title of “A New Peril in Japan;” and declares in words of solid truth, “The last thing a true Christian desires to see in Japan is, Christianity proclaimed the State religion.” So say we, in Japan or in any other country; least of all in our own. But that is exactly what the National Reform Party proposes to establish in this country, and aims to create here the identical condition of affairs as that into which Japan is about to plunge. And were its purpose accomplished, that would be the darkest day that Christianity has ever seen in America.

A. T. J.

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