Mrs. J. C. BATEHAM, superintendent of Sabbath Observance, of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, is one of the leading workers for the National Sunday law. There is no disputing this. What she says therefore on this subject must be authoritative. What she shall say it is for which they want a National Sunday law, that must be the thing for which they want it. This cannot be questioned. She issued, last spring, a leaflet inquiring, How a weekly day of rest and quiet can be best secured by law? and in this leaflet she tells what they want the Sunday rest for. Here are her words:—
“We want it for the purposes for which God designed it when he bid us keep it holy; not for frivolity and amusement, not for sleep and idleness, not for the Sunday newspaper with its demoralizing literature, but for reading which is elevating and improving, including the Word of God, and for attendance upon church services.”
Then, a little further along, in the same leaflet she says:—
“Senator Blair’s Sunday-Rest bill prepared at the request of the W. C. T. U. and in response to the first two millions of petitions, is in the main entirely satisfactory to us.”
Now let us analyze this. What they want a day of rest and quiet for, is, the reading of the Word of God and for attendance upon church services. The inquiry is, “How these can best be secured by law?” Then the statement is, “That the Sunday-Rest bill prepared at their request, is in the main, entirely satisfactory.” It therefore follows that the object of the Blair Sunday-Rest bill is to establish a day of rest and quiet for the reading of the Word of God and attendance upon church services. This is the inevitable logic of the statements of one of the very chiefest of the Sunday-law workers. If this be not so, then there is no truth in axioms, there is no force in logic, and Roger Bacon was a fraud.
And yet, they blame us for saying that the object of the Sunday law is religious, and that it is the religious observance of the day that they are trying to secure by national law. But why should they blame us? We say no more than they say themselves. We simply draw the conclusions from their own premises. We cannot forsake our senses. We cannot renounce our own power of reasoning, neither can we be so uncharitable nor so ungallant as to hold that Christian women do not mean what they say. She says they want the day “for reading the Word of God and for attendance upon church services.” She wants to know how such a day can best be secured by law, and she says Senator Blair’s Sunday-Rest bill, is in the main entirely satisfactory. Then the direct and intentional object of the Blair Sunday-Rest bill is the religious observance of Sunday, and the religious observance, too, even to the extent of reading the Word of God and attendance upon church service.
Therefore, in the interests of the Word of God and of church services, and of Christianity as a whole, we are everlastingly opposed to the Blair Sunday-Rest bill or any bill like it in any degree. The Union Signal says that the strongest opponents of the Sunday law spent twenty thousand dollars last year in defending their opposing doctrines. That may be true, we have not kept exact account, but we are inclined to think it is rather less than more than the sum; but whether it be less or more, we can inform the Union Signal and the Sunday-law workers all together, that we intend to spend every cent we have in opposition to the Sunday law, so that when they get it, they cannot take anything from us in the way of fines for breaking it. It is evil and only evil, and that continually, and in obedience to the scriptural injunction we do, as far as in us lies, “Abhor that which is evil.”
A. T. J.