“The Pilot Attacks the Sentinel” American Sentinel 10, 8, pp. 59, 60.

THE Pilot, a Roman Catholic paper of Boston, publishes the following in its issue of February 9:—

Judging from the utterances of the AMERICAN SENTINEL, an organ of the Seventh-day Adventists, on “Romanism,” and its diatribes against Protestants who believe in keeping the Christian Sabbath holy, it is easy to guess how tolerant the Seventh-day fanatics would be if they had the power of making the Sabbath laws. Woe to the Jew who did not keep Saturday, to the Mohammedan who observed Friday, and to the Christian who rested on Sunday. A little toleration of others would be becoming in people who shriek so loudly against the “intolerance” which compels them to respect their neighbor’s religious views on one day of the week.

Now, this is interesting indeed. A Roman Catholic paper, in the role of champion defender of Protestantism against Seventh-day Adventists! It is said that politics sometimes makes strange bedfellows, but politics never accomplished so great a feat in that direction as has been accomplished by Seventh-day Adventists in their advocacy of the Bible Sabbath. By the last sentence we are given to understand that Roman Catholics sympathize with the imprisonment of Seventh-day Adventists, because they neglect to pay to the dominant religion a tribute of one of the “six working days” which God has given them.

Seventh-day Adventists have never been prosecuted for an actual disturbance of any person’s Sunday-rest. Of the hundreds of witnesses against them in the forty-four cases in which they have been punished for laboring on Sunday, only two have sworn that they were disturbed by the work. One testified that though he did not see or hear the work done, he was disturbed by the mere knowledge that it was being done. The other witness swore that he was “shocked” on seeing the Seventh-day Adventist hoeing in his field, while acknowledging, under oath, that at the same moment that he was so “shocked” with the seventh-day observer’s Sunday hoeing, he, with his hired hand, was driving home a cow which they had gone to a neighbor to procure. The kind of disturbance and disrespect which Seventh-day Adventists have inflicted on these Romanizing Protestants is the same kind of disrespect which Huss and Jerome paid to the religion of their Roman Catholic murderers,—they taught and practiced contrary to the religion which, as Pope Leo XIII. expresses it, enjoyed the “favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority.”

The Pilot thinks that Seventh-day Adventists would be just as intolerant as itself and its Protestant imitators of they had the power. We can understand this. It is an absolute impossibility for a papist to understand how a man can enjoy his religion and not desire to force it upon his neighbor, or at least compel him to cease opposition to it. This is not because the Roman Catholic is by nature any more perverse than other men, but it is because his religion teaches him a principle totally at variance with the spirit of the gospel. He who understands the spiritual nature of the gospel will not attempt to compel any man to accept it or to pay a hypocritical respect to it. God himself does not and cannot force the will of man to accept salvation. He wooes him by his Spirit, and when he rejects his tender pleadings, he says: “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

The papal system is a stranger to this spiritual nature of the gospel. We therefore pity the editor of the Pilot, because he is the victim of an antichristian system, and we are making every effort to present the gospel in its true nature, with the hope of winning Roman Catholics by its infinite beauty, love and mercy.

The Pilot charges us with abusing Protestants because we tell them the truth about the papal Sunday. It has been regarded as abuse to tell and live the truth ever since Cain killed Abel “because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” Jesus, during his earthly ministry, spoke and acted the truth about the Sabbath, and those who violated the Sabbath and exalted the traditions of the church above the law of God, sought to kill him because of it.

We have never used, and never will use, as severe language in telling Protestants that Sunday is a Roman Catholic institution as papists are themselves using in telling the same truth. Here are paragraphs from editorials which appeared in Cardinal Gibbons’ organ, the Catholic Mirror, of September 9 and 23, 1893. The editorials in question are two of a series of four articles which appeared in the Mirror of September 2, 9, 16 and 23, 1893, and were afterwards published by the Catholic Mirror, Baltimore, Md., in a pamphlet which has not reached its fifth edition. The pamphlet is entitled, “The Christian Sabbath the Genuine Offspring of the Union of the Holy Spirit, and the Catholic Church His Spouse. The Claims of Protestants to any Part Therein Proved to be Groundless, Self-Contradictory and Suicidal.”

On pages 13 and 14 of the pamphlet we find the following:—

Thus, it is impossible to find in the New Testament the slightest interference by the Saviour, or his apostles, with the original Sabbath, but, on the contrary, and entire acquiescence in the original arrangement; nay, a plenary indorsement by him, whilst living; and an unvaried, active participation in the keeping of that day and no other by the apostles, for thirty years after his death, as the Acts of the Apostles have abundantly testified to us.

Hence the conclusion is inevitable, viz., that of those who follow the Bible as their guide, the Israelites and Seventh-day Adventists have the exclusive weight of evidence on their side, whilst the Biblical Protestant has not a word in self-defense for his substitution of Sunday for Saturday. [60]

Here follows the language to which we call the Pilots special attention (pp. 31, 33):—

Let us now, however, take a glance at our second proposition, with the Bible alone as the teacher and guide in faith and morals. This teacher most emphatically forbids any change in the day for paramount reasons. The command calls for a “perpetual covenant.” The day commanded to be kept by the teacher has never once been kept, thereby developing an apostasy from an assumedly fixed principle, as self-contradictory, self-stultifying, and consequently as suicidal as it is within the power of language to express.

Now are the limits of demoralization yet reached. Far from it. Their pretence for having the bosom of the Catholic Church was for apostasy from the truth as taught in the written Word. They adopted the written Word as their sole teacher, which they had no sooner done than they abandoned it promptly, as those articles have abundantly proved; and by a perversity as willful as erroneous, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the plain, unvaried, and constant teaching of their sole teacher in the most essential doctrine of their religion, thereby emphasizing the situation in what may be aptly designated “a mockery, a delusion, and a snare.”

Should any of the reverend parsons, who are habituated to howl so vociferously over every real or assumed desecration of that pious fraud, the Bible Sabbath, think well of entering a protest against our logical and scriptural dissection of their mongrel pet, we can promise them that any reasonable attempt on their part to gather up the disjecta membra of the hybrid, and to restore to it a galvanized existence, will be met with genuine cordiality and respectful consideration on our part.

But we can assure our readers that we know these reverend howlers too well to expect a solitary bark from them in this instance. And they know us too well to subject themselves to the mortification which a further dissection of this anti-scriptural question would necessarily entail. Their policy now is to “lay low,” and they are sure to adopt it.

And now we suggest to the Pilot that here is a field for missionary effort. Let the Pilot complain to the pope that Cardinal Gibbons and the Catholic Mirror are abusing Protestants. However, we believe that such an undertaking would be fruitless. The Cardinal and the Mirror would doubtless insist that they had told the truth and refuse to recant. However that may be, the AMERICAN SENTINEL and Seventh-day Adventists will continue to tell the truth about “Romanism” and a Romanizing Protestantism, and we do it with the knowledge that it will result as indicated by the Pilots utterances, in compelling Catholicism and apostate Protestantism to make common cause against us. We have expected this for years. The Pilots warning is to us a most important sign of the times. [60]

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