A CORRESPONDENT in the Christian Statesman of July 4, 1889, arguing for the religious amendment to the Constitution, making this a religious instead of a civil government, and pro viding for religious tests and qualifications for office, says “it would exert a salutary influence on other nations” because,—
“They are looking to America as an example of free popular government. Some of them are struggling toward public liberty and are taking this Nation as a model and guide. They are trying to ascertain the secret of our national greatness and prosperity. For this, they look at our written Constitution. Hence, it should clearly indicate that we are a Christian Nation. They should be made to understand that our holy religion is the source of our national exaltation.
Yes, they are looking to America as an example of free popular government, and they see it, too, and have seen it so far; and they do right, in their struggle toward republican liberty, to take this Nation as a model and guide. It is the model of all of earthly governments, and should be the guide of all, as it is the first one of the kind that the earth has seen. And in their efforts to ascertain the secret of our national greatness and prosperity, they do well to look at our written Constitution. It is because that Constitution is as it is, utterly separated from religious, that we have attained to such national greatness and prosperity. No other nation ever had such an opportunity, because no other nation ever had such a Constitution, consequently no other nation ever attained to such greatness and prosperity.
And we are willing to admit that our holy religion is, in its place, the source of our national exaltation. But that religion has been kept as holy as it is by the very fact that it has been utterly separated from the unholy State. If there had been here, as in other nations, a union of religion and the State, nobody would have ever seen such an example of national greatness and prosperity as has appeared in this Nation. And just as soon as religion becomes an element of legislation here in national affairs, then, this Nation may bid an everlasting farewell to all her greatness. Then other nations will cease forever to look to America as an example of free popular government. By the example of this Nation, other nations have been carried forward almost in spite of themselves, and entirely in spite of the Papacy, in the march of liberty and enlightenment. By it even Spain, the home of the Inquisition, has been brought to the “toleration” of other professions of religion than the Catholic. But just as soon as this order shall be reversed and religion be made an element in national legislation; just as soon as oppression and persecution for religious profession shall be established; our national progress thus checked;—just then the reaction upon other nations will be such as to lift the Papacy to the highest point that it has ever stood in the world, even to that where, as it is written, “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:3. Yes, this is the model nation. Let it remain so.
A. T. J.