THE “National Reform” conception of the State,—the conception upon which Sunday legislation is demanded of Congress and other law-making bodies,—is that the State is the creature of God, and therefore amenable to God’s moral law,—that law which says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” etc.
But the “National Reform” party do not purpose to abolish or change the form of this Government. They want it to be “Christian”—to be a government of God on earth, but they do not purpose to ablish the various offices which are now filled by the people’s representatives. They do not advocate a formal transfer of the government of God, by a general abdication of office in his favor. They are probably aware that the Almighty would take no notice of any such action; and moreover, it would seriously interfere with their  plans if he should do so. They would have the various functions and offices of government remain as they are; at least, they have given no hint of any purpose to the contrary.
The question then arises, In this government of God on earth, who would do the governing? We are told of course that God would govern; but how would this be done? He will not descend himself, nor send angels down from heaven, to take control of affairs. No; it will still remain for men to fill the quondam positions of public trust. But how is it to be known what men are suitable for these positions? How is the divine will to be made known in this respect? Where now is the pillar of cloud, from which God communicated with his people of old? Where is the visible shrine of his glory to which men may seek, or where the Urim and the Thummim, by which his will was wont to be made known? Where are the seers and prophets by whose anointing it may be manifest what men are chosen of God? There are none, must be the confession of the religious world. And still the necessity remains of selecting such men for public office as will make this a government of God.
How then can it be done? Will the choice be left to the people themselves? That would not do, for more than half the people of the land are not even professedly Christians. Hence they could not select the proper candidates for office. But the “reform” party are not unprepared for this emergency. They have a solution of the problem, and it has been already announced. It appeared in an article by Rev. W. F. Crafts, in the Christian Statesman of July 5, 1888. It was stated in one sentence, thus:—
The preachers are the successors of the prophets.
This throws a flood of light upon the whole situation. Anciently, the prophets made known the ones whom God had appointed to office; the same will now be done by the preachers. And obviously no preachers can so fittingly assume this task as those who have so long recognized and advocated its necessity!
And thus is seen the purpose of the demand for a “Christian” government: This must be a government of God; it must therefore be a government by Christian officials; the officials must therefore be chosen by the preachers. In short, if only this is made a government of God, we [the preachers] will do the governing! And that is what we want, and are determined to have!
And what the people will then have in place of their present free government, is set forth in the article, “Clerical Civil Government,” on page 60.