April 18, 1895
A MOST significant sign of the times in connection with the constantly augmenting Sunday law crusade is the active, aggressive action taken of late by Roman Catholic prelates for the legal enforcement of Sunday observance. When the compulsory Sunday observance movement began several years ago, Roman Catholics fought shy of it, but now all this is changed, and they not only openly favor the movement, but are beginning to assume the leadership.
On the evening of April 7, two thousand Roman Catholics of this city were addressed by the “Paulist Fathers” Doyle and Elliott on the subject, “The Preservation of the American Sabbath.” Among other significant things, the latter said: The law given on Sinai was a law, and please God, there will be a Sunday law as long as our Government lasts.”
And now comes the announcement in the Northwestern Chronicle, a Roman Catholic paper of St. Paul, Minn., of the organization of a Roman Catholic association, called the “Sunday Law Observance League.” Priest John Gmeiner, chairman of its press committee, has issued an address “To the W.C.T.U. and all Friends of the American Sabbath,” which is signed by “Mrs. A. V. Nicholas, State Superintendent of Sabbath Observance.”
This address, which has been sent to the leading papers of Minnesota for publication, begins with a quotation from Crafts’ “Sabbath for Man,” and continues in a strain not distinguishable from an American Sabbath Union document. It concludes with the following appeal:—
All W.C.T.U.’s and Y.’s, churches, pastors, young people’s societies, temperance organizations, Law and Order leagues, and individuals are called upon to help maintain our Sabbath as a day of the Lord for the people, without regard to race, sex, or condition, for a day of rest and worship. To this end let us make Sabbath observance week in Minnesota marked by sermons, public meetings, Sunday-school exercises, distribution of literature, and prayer for the better enforcement of law against all infringement of the right of Sabbath observance and particularly against that arch-enemy of God and man, the saloon.
Priest Gmeiner accompanies the address, as published in the Northwestern Chronicle, of April 5, with a statement of the Protestant organizations that have already indorsed the new Roman Catholic movement. He says: “It has been heartily indorsed and approved by the Methodist Episcopal ministers’ meeting at St. Paul, March 25, and by the Baptist Ministerial Conference held about the same time in the same city.”
The priest next quotes the indorsement of a leading Presbyterian minister of St. Paul, and closes with a request to “all ministers of St. Paul and throughout the State,” “to lay the question of Sunday observance before the members of their congregations at the earliest convenient occasion, so that a decided move in the right direction may be made at once throughout the State.” A mass meeting is announced at St. Paul for the 15th inst., at which the editor of the Northwestern Chronicle will preside.
Now, all this is most significant. It shows that Roman Catholics are forging to the front in the universal Sunday-law stampede. For years the W.C.T.U., the National Reform Association, and the American Sabbath Union have appealed with indifferent success to Roman Catholics for assistance in the enactment and enforcement of Sunday laws; but now Roman Catholics have assumed the leadership and call upon these same societies to coöperate with them in enforcing the observance of Sunday which they claim has no Bible support, and is therefore a sign of the power of the Roman Catholic Church to ordain feasts and holy days, the observance of which by Protestants they declare “is an homage they pay in spite of themselves to the authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church.”
The people who publish the AMERICAN SENTINEL have long expected that Roman Catholics and Romanizing Protestants would unite to enforce the Sunday, the mark of papal apostasy upon all. This expectation was based on the “sure word of prophecy,” and was published to the world before there was a sign of such a union, and when such an unnatural union was scouted at as impossible. It has come and it behooves the people who knew it would come, and the thousands who knew of this prediction and who have been watching to see whether it would be fulfilled, to be up and doing while the day lasts, “for soon the night cometh when no man can work;” when the opportunity will be forever past of proclaiming to the world the message: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” Revelation 14:9, 10.