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dinance enacted by the town council. protected by, that wonderful and mighty
The demands for Sunday closing are document. not authorized by divine authority. They It may be argued that religious laws are purely of human origin.
are found in many places in this nation. Any institution, or work, or recre But this does not change the plain teachation, or amusement which is proper to ings of that great instrument framed to be carried on during the hours of Mon- be the bulwark of the rights of a free day, cannot justly be prohibited by people. Its guaranties, until revoked civil law upon any other day or days of by the people, still protect the minorities the week. Just civil government protects every man in his rights every day, and does not take any of his natural rights from him.
Proper civil government is ordained to protect the individual as truly as to protect the · majority. This is emphatically true of the supreme law of this the greatest of all republics. Our Constitution recognizes no other power than that of persuasion in enforcement of religion or religious institutions. It forbids the greatest law-making body to interfere in religion. All know this to be a basic principle of our nation. If Congress has no legitimate right to enact any religious law, even when asked to do so by the largest ma
THE THIN EDGE OF THE WEDGE jority possible, we ask, Who gives the city council the right to and limit the power of the majority over enact such a law? Have the city coun- the minority, particularly in matters of cils greater authority than the Congress religious beliefs. This cannot be conof these United States ?
strued to give to any man license to inNot only has Congress been enjoined jure his neighbor; and no man who recogfrom passing any religious law whatso- nizes equal rights of his neighbor, can ever, but it is equally true that every justly be deprived of the exercise of any lesser law-making body is equally for- of his natural rights by any majority, no bidden to pass any law respecting the matter how great. establishment of religion. Every man, Therefore, every man has the fullest great and small, high and low, and all right to choose his own religion. Yea, combinations of men in these United he may choose to be nonreligious; and so States are equally subject to, and equally long as he conducts himself as a good
citizen, he is amenable to God alone for Through Christ only, men are made free his choice. This was recognized by our from the bondage of sin. The Declarafirst President, “ the father of our coun tion of Independence and the United try,” and the noble men of his day. States Constitution recognize and guar
Times have changed, but no possible antee to citizens of the United States change in times and conditions can make freedom in things earthly. it right for even a majority to trample Let us stand fast in this freedom upon inherent rights. No change in wherewith we have been made free, and times can make of none effect the law of never again become entangled in the the Eternal. Changed times and condi. yoke of Dark-Age bondage, when supertions never can change the principles of stition ruled. The church then sat upon the golden rule nor make a wrong, un- the judgment seat, having usurped the just law to be righteous and just. power of the state.
The church that gains a standing in The last step in the scheme of repolitics loses her power in religion. ligious legislation under a union of
church and state is the Inquisition with The martyrs of the gospel were vic
all its horrors. To prevent the taking of tims of a union of church and state.
the last step, we must deny the right of THE church never sank so low in spir- the State to take the first step in that itual life as when she influenced the civil direction. A legal acknowledgment of scepter.
religion and religious obligations on the
part of the state at the instigation of the RELIGIOUS fanatics in the past secured
church has constituted the first step in from the state, laws embodying their re
the past. ligious views upon debatable questions. These laws were so intolerant that they The church which seeks to compel all made criminals out of honest, conscien- people to observe Sunday, irrespective tious men who dared to stand true to of belief, under duress of civil law, has their convictions, and to the word of not progressed beyond the Jewish church God.
which sought to slay Christ because He
refused to conform to their human preIt was a crown of thorns that human
cepts and traditions which made void the hands placed on the head of Jesus Christ.
law of God. It was a cup of gall and vinegar that they placed to His parched lips on the A RELIGION which is good enough and cross. If they treated Christ thus while pure enough to be called Christianity He was here, what but persecution can does not need to seek admission through a true, conscientious Christian expect the gateway of politics in order to befrom sinful man now?
come established in the hearts of the peo
ple. It speaks for itself, and will surA RELIGION that is not capable of tak
vive when all else fails. ing care of itself with God's word on its side, is not worth preserving after it has SUNDAY is arbitrarily called the Lord's forsaken God and fled to the state for day. The Bible calls the Sabbath - the support. The theologian who says the seventh day — the Lord's day. Whose church will perish unless it obtains aid word has authority with you — man's and support from the civil power is lean- . word or God's word? Nowhere in the ing upon a broken staff, and knows not Bible is the first day of the week called the power of the living God.
the Lord's day.
To make others happy is the joy of questions are decided by a majority living. The person who seeks to relieve rule. The National Reformers favor a the oppressed, who extends a kindly majority rule when they are on the mahand to the needy, who exchanges love jority side, and favor a minority rule for hatred, and leaves the world happier when they are on the minority side. and better than he found it, has discovered the secret of a happy life.
LONDOOWWINDOIDIIDIDO THE National Reform Association
Note and Comment claims that both secular and religious
Got t TOTO questions should be decided by the ma
Tatatatatatatatiel jority. If this be true logic, then it must THE Anti-Private School Amendment be admitted that this is not a Christian of Michigan was defeated by a majority nation. Governmental statistics show vote of more than 200,000 at the Novemthat more than 61 per cent of Americans ber election. The referendum gave the are non-church members, non-religious people of Michigan an opportunity to and non-Christian.
reaffirm their faith in the fundamental THE National Reform Association principles of religious liberty and the claims that Christianity and the church individual rights of conscience. cannot survive unless the nation legal
E ke te izes Christianity, and that the civil gov- MAYOR MOORE, of Philadelphia, Pa., ernment will perish which does not le- was threatened with impeachment by the galize religion. When Rome went down, Ministerial Union and the Lord's Day she had more religious statutes upon her Alliance of that city, if he persisted in books than at any other time in her his his refusal to enforce the Sunday blue tory. Germany, under the kaiser; Rus- laws of the State enacted in 1794. The sia, under the czar; and Mexico, under mayor regarded these antiquated laws Huerta, all recognized the God of heaven as obsolete and the ministerial threat as as the ruler of nations, and Christianity a mere bluff. The legislature at Harrisas the legal religion. Their day has burg will have to meet the issue, when passed, but Christianity is still here. A a strong effort will be made to repeal formal, legal recognition of God as the these religious laws of more than a censupreme Ruler and Christianity as the tury and a quarter ago. genuine religion will save no nation from overthrow. Even the devils have done
ACCORDING to the Passaic (N. J.) this much with fear and trembling, but Daily News of Nov. 5, 1920, the Passaic that is no guaranty of salvation. The
County grand jury on the previous day only thing that saves is Christ in the
refused to find indictments against the life.
five motion picture theater owners in THE National Reform Association that city for violation of the New Jersey favors majority rule in one breath and blue laws by keeping their theaters open denies it in the next. “Their proposal," on Sunday. When grand juries refuse says the Christian Statesman, “to sub- to indict violators of the Sunday blue mit the fourth commandment to local laws because of the obsolete character referendums is in principle a proposal to of these laws, is it not time for the legissubmit the ten commandments to refer- latures to repeal these relics that origiendums. This is plain, practical atheism, nated under the old régime of a union the setting up of the people in the place of church and state? Christians do not of God." Yet the Statesman denies the need a state law to make them religious, minority any rights of conscience on a and non-church members should not be religious, controverted question, because compelled to act as if they were reliit insists that both civil and religious gious when they are not.
Six boys were recently arrested in It is difficult properly to characterize Uniontown, Pa., for stealing fruit from such a statement, namely, “She started the freight cars of the Pennsylvania what is now God's kingdom, and man's Railroad. The judge of the juvenile ideal of republic.” Said the Saviour of court sentenced them to compulsory at- men, “My kingdom is not of this world” tendance at the Sunday schools. “No (John 18:36); but according to Dr. excuses, apologies, or requests for leni. Radcliffe, it was set up by the Pilgrims ency will be accepted," said the Court. on the shores of Cape Cod Bay, three A weekly Sunday school certificate show.. hundred years ago. ing their attendance at Sunday school,
Christ said, “I judge no man” (John was ordered to be presented to the parole 8:15); but the Puritans very soon beofficer of the court. The juvenile court, gan to judge and to condemn men, some of course, can exercise a wide discretion of them to torture, and later some even in meting out judgment in cases of this
to death. kind, but we doubt the wisdom of the
This is not to say that the Pilgrims penalty imposed. Boys resent compul
and Puritans were not Christians. No sory religion as much as do full-grown men, and in nine cases out of ten it de
doubt they did the best they knew, and
so far as establishing a new order of velops an innate hatred for religion
things, “they builded better than they which no counteracting influence can
knew.” They shook off the shackles that ever eradicate. A father once remarked: “I cannot understand why my children
bound them in the Old World, and after do not take to religion. I have tried my
a time other men, broader minded and
more liberal than themselves, shook off best to make them religious. If they
the fetters with which the Puritans would not bow down at family worship, I would knock them down."
sought to restrain them, and undoing what the Puritans had attempted and had in part done, actually aided in es
tablishing in this country a government Something Every One Should founded upon the principles of civil and Know
religious liberty. UNDAY, Nov. 14, 1920, Dr. Wallace
Now, however, it is sought to again
turn us back to the days of Puritan MasRadcliffe, pastor of the New
sachusetts, and to rerivet upon our wrists York Avenue Presbyterian church, Washington, D. C., preached from the
the fetters cast off a century and a half words, “He ... set my feet upon a
ago by Baptists and Quakers in New rock, and established my goings.” Ps.
England, by Quakers and Roman Cath
olics in Maryland, and by Baptists, 40: 2. His theme was the Pilgrims, who, he
Quakers, and Presbyterians in Virginia. declared, came to these shores “ that they It was Roger Williams, a Baptist, who might not cease to be English, and they established the first colony in America, built into our continental life the habits,
guaranteeing to all men of every faith, language, law, and ideals that were Eng. full and untrammeled religious liberty; lish.”
and in Virginia it was Baptists, Presby. “ The first foot to step upon the Plym- terians, and Liberals, who, while Massaouth Rock,” continued the doctor, “ was chusetts still had a union of church and that of a woman, and she prophesied the state, established civil and religious freegenius and grace of the present Amer. dom for men of all faiths or of no faith ican womanhood. She started what is at all. now God's kingdom, and man's ideal of These are facts that ought to be known republic, the seat of constitutional liberty to all men, and especially to all Amerand civil government.”
C. P. B.
Sunday Crusade VHE Huntington, W. Va., Sunday law crusade is still raging with all
the fervor and fury of Puritan times. It has lasted longer than any Sunday law crusade of modern times. The mayor is a Presbyterian elder and takes much pride in his Puritan proclivities and ancestry. Even newspapers, cigars, and drug stores are under the ban. Traveling men shun the place on Sunday because they are prohibited from obtaining clean laundry and pressed suits for Sunday wear if they happen to arrive late Saturday night. The people are organizing for a change in administration when an opportunity presents itself. It is proper that the Sabbath should be observed in harmony with God's commandment, but it is not proper that the civil authorities should use police power to enforce religious obligations, nor define such obligations by civil enactments.
declared in favor of more of the “spirit of the Puritans in our observance of the Lord's day."
Of course, the more of the spirit of true worship any man has in all his religious acts the better, but the very fact that Dr. Bowlby appeals to civil law to enforce Sunday observance proves that what he means by “the spirit of the Puritans” includes at least their disposition to use the power of the state to enforce upon all men compliance with their practices. The Puritans did this three centuries ago in Massachusetts, and according to Dr. Bowlby, the Puritan spirit is not dead, even though so many of the descendants of the Puritans refuse to keep Sunday unless compelled so to do.
S stores on news. Whtorce Sunwlby ap
A Nation-wide Drive for a Puritan
Sabbath CCORDING to an Associated A Press dispatch sent out from
New York. November 24, and published the following day in the leading papers of the country,
“ Enactment of laws calling for strict enforcement of the Christian Sabbath will be urged in the legislatures of at least thirty-five States during 1921,' the Lord's Day Alliance announced here today.
"An effort will be made to stop “commercialization" of the Sabbath,' said Dr. Harry L. Bowlby, secretary of the alliance, with elimination of Sunday professional baseball, motion pictures, and automobiling. All stores would be closed.
“We would not impose a Puritan Sabbath,' said Dr. Bowlby, but we would have more of the spirit of the Puritans in our observance of the Lord's day.'
"A bill has already been prepared for submission to Congress for strict Sunday obseryance in the District of Columbia, and particular attention will be given to California and Oregon."
This is not the first time that the secretary of the Lord's Day Alliance has
DR. W. F. CRAFTS is editor of the Twentieth Century Quarterly, official organ of the International Reform Bureau, Inc., of Washington, D. C. In the number of the Quarterly issued in March, 1920, the editor says:
“ The imperiled Sabbath, for example, with which the church itself stands or falls, can be defended against the commercialized amusements that are assaulting it all over the land only by united forces of many churches led by experienced reform societies." espere
While not so stated in this particular paragraph, for years Dr. Crafts has insisted that the Sabbath (Sunday) could not be preserved without civil law. It follows that inasmuch as “the church itself stands or falls " with the Sunday institution, which can be maintained only by the aid of the state, the church cailnot be maintained or stand without the aid of the state!
But is this true? Did the church fail, come to naught, or cease to be when it not only did not have the aid of the state, but when it suffered bitter persecution at the hands of the Roman emperors for more than two centuries? We know, not only that the Christian church know, not only that the of the first two centuries did not fail for lack of state aid, but that it flourished in spite of persecution.