February 27, 1889
THE National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union proposes to establish a theocracy by ballot in this Government. They have declared that “Christ shall be this world’s king” (although Christ himself said “my kingdom is not of this world”), and that this kingdom of Christ “must enter the realm of law through the gateway of politics.” They have declared that—
“A true theocracy is yet to come, and the enthronement of Christ in law and lawmakers; hence I pray devoutly, as a Christian patriot, for the ballot in the hands of women, and rejoice that the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has so long championed this cause.”—Monthly Reading, September, 1886.
This is not the first attempt of the kind that has been made in the Christian era. The same theory prevailed among the ambitious church leaders in the fourth century, and the same kind of a scheme was set on foot there by them as is here being carried out now. Says Neander, of the time of Constantine:—
“There had in fact arisen in the church a false theocratical theory, originating not in the essence of the gospel, but in the confusion of the religious constitutions of the Old and New Testaments, which … brought along with it an unchristian opposition of the spiritual to the secular power, and which might easily result in the formation of a sacerdotal State, subordinating the secular to itself in a false and outward way.”—Torrey’s Neander, Boston, 1853, p. 132.
Neander calls this a “false theocratical theory;” and it is rightly so called, because since Jesus Christ died, no theocratical theory of earthly government can be anything but false. There was once a true theocracy upon earth. The Government of Israel was a true theocracy. That was really a Government of God. At the burning bush, God commissioned Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. By signs and wonders and mighty miracles multiplied, God delivered Israel from Egypt, and led them through the wilderness, and finally into the promised land. There he ruled them by judges “until Samuel the prophet,” to whom, when he was a child, God spoke, and by whom he made known his will. In the days of Samuel, the people asked that they might have a king. This was allowed, and God chose Saul, and Samuel anointed him king of Israel. Saul failed to do the will of God, and as he rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord rejected him from being king, and sent Samuel to anoint David king of Israel; and David’s throne God established forevermore. When Solomon succeeded to the kingdom in the place of David his father, the record is: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king, instead of David his father.” 1 Chronicles 29:23. David’s throne was the throne of the Lord, and Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king over the earthly kingdom of God.
The succession to the throne descended in David’s line to Zedekiah, who was made subject to the king of Babylon, and who entered into a solemn covenant before God that he would loyally render allegiance to the king of Babylon. But Zedekiah broke his covenant; and then God said to him:—
“Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27; 17:1-21.
The kingdom was then subject to Babylon. When Babylon fell, and Medo-Persia succeeded, it was overturned the first time. When Medo-Persia fell, and was succeeded by Grecia, it was overturned the second time. When the Greek empire gave way to Rome, it was overturned the third time. And then says the word, “It shall be no more, till He come who right it is; and I will give it him.” Who is He whose right it is? “Thou … shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33. And while he was here as “that prophet,” a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, the night in which he was betrayed he himself declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Thus the throne of the Lord has been removed from this world, and will “be no more, until he come whose right it is,” and then it will be given him. And that time is the end of this world, and the beginning of “the world to come.” Therefore while this world stands, a true theocracy can never be in it again. Consequently every theory of an earthly theocracy is a false theory; every pretension to it is a false pretension; and wherever any such theory is proposed or advocated, whether by the Papal Bishops of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, or by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, of the United States in the nineteenth century, it bears in it all that the Papacy is or that it ever pretended to be,—it puts a man in the place of God.
All that the history of the Papacy is, is only the working out of this theory. For the first step in the logic of a man-made, or a woman-made, theocracy, is a Pope; the second step is the infallibility of that Pope; and the third step is the Inquisition, to make his infallibility effective, as we will prove.
First, a true theocracy being a government immediately directed by God, a false theoracy is a government directed by a man in the place of God. But a man governing in the place of God is a Pope. A man ruling the world in the place of God, is all that the Pope has ever claimed to be.
Second, a false theocracy being a professed government of God, he who sits at the head of it, sits there as the representative of God. He represents the divine authority; and when he speaks or acts officially, his speech or act is that of God. But to make a man thus the representative of God, is only to clothe human passions with divine power and authority. Consequently, in order to make all his actions consistent with his profession, he is compelled to cover them all with the divine attributes, and make everything that he does in his official capacity the act of God. This is  precisely the logic and the profession of papal infallibility. It is not claimed that all the Pope speaks is infallible; it is only what he speaks officially—what he speaks from the throne. Under this theory he sits upon that throne as the head of the Government of God in this world. He sits there as the representative of God. And when he speaks officially, when he speaks from the throne, he speaks as the representative of God. Therefore, sitting in the place of God, ruling from that place as the official representative of God, that which he speaks from the throne is the word of God, and must be infallible. This is the inevitable logic of the false theocratical theory. And if it be denied that the theory is false, there is logically no escape from accepting the papal system. The claims of the papacy are not in the least extravagant, if the theory be correct.
Third, God is the moral governor. His Government is a moral one, whose code is the moral law. His Government and his law have to do with the thoughts, the intents, and the secrets of men’s hearts. This must be ever the Government of God, and nothing short of it can be the Government of God. The Pope then being the head of what is pretended as a Government of God, and ruling there in the place of God, his Government must rule in the realm of morals, and must take cognizance of the counsels of the heart. But being a man, how could he discover what were the thoughts of men’s hearts, whether they were good or evil, that he might pronounce judgment upon them? By long and careful experiment, and by intense ingenuity, means were discovered by which the most secret thoughts of men’s hearts might be wrung from them, and that was by the Inquisition. The Inquisition was only the inevitable logic of the theocratical theory upon which the Papacy was founded. And the Papacy—infallibility, inquisition, and all—is only the logic of any theocratical theory of earthly government since Jesus Christ died. And this theocratical theory advocated by the W. C. T. U. is not an exception.
But some may say that the Union says “a true theocracy,” while that of the fourth century, and which made the Papacy, was a false one. That one was not considered false by those who advocated it, any more than this one is by those who advocate it. To the bishops of the fourth century that theory was as truly that of a true theocracy as is this now to the women of the National W. C. T. U.; hence they, too, in their day prayed devoutly for the ballot in the hands of bishops. The theocratical theory of the bishops of the fourth century was no more false than is this one now held by the W. C. T. U. And as that one made a Papacy then, so will this one now, if it should ever become successful. A Papacy is inherent in the very theory itself; and it matters not by whom it may be advocated; that will be the result of any successful carrying out of the theory. If the W. C. T. U. should get the ballot in the hands of women, and should then control the Government of the United States, and establish their theocracy by ballot, and elect the president of the National W. C. T. U. to the seat at the head of the Government, she being head of a theocracy—a Government of God—would sit there as the representative of God, and would be a pope. But the Government of the United States never wants to see a pope, either male or female.
As any theocratical theory of government in this world is a false theory; as any such theory contains a Papacy; and as the National W. C. T. U. advocates just such a theory, therefore that much of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union should be opposed as certainly, and as decidedly, as should the Papacy itself.
A. T. J.