THE abandonment by the Government of the United States of the fundamental principle of the nation, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, is not at all a new thing except in the mere acts in which the thing is manifested in practise. This practise is only the fruit of evil seed diligently sown all over the land for more than thirty-five years.
All these years there has been an organization working and aiming definitely to turn the United States Government into a government of another form. Accordingly it has denied the fundamental principles of this nation as the nation was founded.
All these years this organization has had its agents traveling throughout the length and breadth of the land, diligently teaching these principles which are antagonistic to the principles of the nation. These agents have had unquestioned entry into the academies and colleges of the whole country; they have been prominent on the programs of Chautauqua assemblies; they have had the sympathy and support of the churches and of the W. C. T. U. everywhere. And all these opportunities they have employed to the uttermost.
The organization to which we refer is the National Reform Association: which attained a permanent organization in January, 1864. Their theory of government has from the beginning been only the theocratical one; and accordingly they have ever insisted that this nation should incorporate this theory into its Constitution and thus make of the Government a theocracy instead of a republic; its powers seated in a hierarchy instead of being derived from the consent of the governed.
The representatives of this organization have openly proclaimed, as for instance at a convention at Sedalia, Mo., May 23, 24, 1889, that—
“To appeal to divine authority in our legislation would be to fundamentally change the law of our land, or the principle adopted by our fathers when they said that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. I for one do not believe that as a political maxim. I do not believe that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. And so the object of this movement is an effort to change that feature of our fundamental law…. And I see in this reform a providence teaching us the necessity of recognizing something else besides the will of the people as the basis of government.
And as in another instance at Chautauqua (N. Y.) Assembly in August of the same year, a representative of the National Reform combination of organizations, proclaimed:—
“Governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Now in the discussion of this question in national circles to-day it is recognized that it is the younger generation of public men who are leading in the path of world-glory at the expense of the fundamental principles of the nation; while the old men are the convervatives [sic.], and call for allegiance still to these principles wherever the jurisdiction of the nation may be extended.
This is the truth. And this younger generation of public men of to-day were the boys in the academies and colleges of the country twenty to thirty years ago. And these were the boys who in those academies and colleges were inoculated in those years with this virus of the National Reformers that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. And now when those boys as the men of the younger generation in public affairs to-day meet a crisis in which it must be decided whether the fundamental principles of the nation shall be adhered to or repudiated they are prepared, and have long been prepared, to repudiate these principles in the interests of a will-o-the-wisp of “the empire of the Son of God,” and in order to the execution of “his will”!
This is the secret and the true philosophy of this repudiation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the nation to-day.
The first definite and decisive national steps in this ruinous course were taken in 1892 when the United States Supreme Court declared that an establishment of religion was within the intent of the Constitution, and that therefore “this is a Christian nation;” and when Congress by definite act set aside the Sabbath of the Lord from his own law, and substituted Sunday in its stead; and when the Executive approved the legislation. In that procedure the national Government in all three of its essential branches, did espouse the principles of a theocracy—the National Reform principle.
After that it was in the nature of things that it would be only a question of occasion and opportunity as to when the fundamental principles of the Republic would be openly repudiated by the nation. In 1898 and onward the opportunity came, and was greedily seized, and the occasion has been to date most diligently employed. And it is all only the logical result of the inculcation of the National Reform principles in the formative years of those who are now the younger generation of present day “statesmen.”
Nor has that evil scheme yet reached its culmination; nor will it have reached its culmination until the Government shall have been brought under the sway of a hierarchy, the civil power dominated by the ecclesiastical, after the perfect likeness of the system of the Dark Ages.
Ten years ago in discussing the principles and character of that organization we said: “Such is the National Reform combination and its principles as it stands, in itself considered. And from all this it is evident that the whole scheme and organization forms only a colossal religious combination to effect political purposes, the chief purpose being to change the form of the United States Government and turn it into a new ‘kingdom of God,’ a new theocracy, in which the civil power shall be but the tool of the religious, in which the Government shall no longer drive its just powers from the consent of the governed; but shall be absorbed in the unjust and oppressive power of a despotic hierarchy, acting as the representative of God,’ asserting and executing its arbitrary and irresponsible will as the expression of the law and will of God.”
And so it is swiftly coming to pass.