We all understand very well, no doubt, that every lesson that will be given will be on the Third Angel's Message--it matters not by whom it may be given. But there has been assigned to me that particular phase of the Third Angel's Message that relates especially to the prophecies of the beast and his image and the work that they are to do. We shall begin with that tonight and follow it up as the lessons may come. All that I shall attempt to do in this lesson will be merely to state the case, to present the evidence; the arguments will come afterward, upon the evidence of the case as stated. In the time we shall have this evening the case cannot be stated fully, only the case as relates to the side occupied by the image of the beast. The next lesson we will have to consider the case as developed in respect to the papacy--the beast--itself.
I need not undertake to give a definition in detail of what the image of the beast is; we all know well that it is the church power using the government, the civil power, for church purposes.
That is definite enough to recall to the minds of all, the general subject. The case to be presented this evening will be simply the outline of what the professed Protestants of the country are doing; and the evidence that they are doing it in such a way that all may see the situation as it now stands before the country, and not only stands temporarily but stands before the country in such a way that it is intended by those who are conducting the measures to be permanent.
The year 1894 alone we will touch. About the middle of the hear there was the Cedarquist case which arose in the regular army at Omaha. Cedarquist had refused to fire at targets on Sunday. He was courtmartialed for disobedience of orders and sentenced to a term of six months' imprisonment, I believe. We are not to touch upon the merits of the case as it arose in the army. We are to notice the use that was made of it at the time. With this, no doubt, a good many are familiar; but I simply call attention to it now as one of the points in the general array of evidence that is before us. As soon as that was done and the proceedings had been published, the Secretary and General Manager of the Sunday League of America, Rev. Edward Thompson of Columbus, O., sent a communication to the President of the United States, a part of which--the material portion--I will read. This is from The Sunday Reform Leaflets, Vol. 1, No. 8, Sept. 1894.
Office of the Sunday League of America, Columbus, O., July 21 1894. To His Excellency, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the United States Army: Distinguished Sir: Please permit me, in the name of over one hundred thousand voters of the United States, whom I have the honor to represent officially, to petition your excellency for the pardon of Private Charles O Cedarquist, of Co. C, Second Infantry, United States Army, who is now, we learn, imprisoned at hard labor, in Omaha, under sentence of two months and with a requirement attached to the penalty of "imprisonment at hard labor," that he "pay a forfeiture of $10 per month out of his monthly pay."
The reason that we ask for this pardon is that Cedarquist was punished because he refused to engage in "target practice" on Sunday and that he refused on the grounds that the said target practice was in violation of the laws of Nebraska, where he was; in violation of his personal religious convictions; in violation of the principles of Christian civilization and of the laws of nearly every state in the Union. Since the Supreme Court of the United States decided in the "Holy Trinity" case on the 29th of February 1892, that "this is a Christian nation," and said Private Cedarquist had the right to expect that no regulations or requirements would be made in the army of this nation out of harmony with the general laws and customs of that type of Christianity which our history has illustrated.
Then he refers to the Constitution and exemption of Sunday from the time which the President has to sign a bill. The result was, that the man was pardoned and the officer who ordered Cedarquist to do the shooting on Sunday was ordered to be courtmartialed, but his fellow officers acquitted him.
That shows that the combination as represented in that particular form of organization has used the government for its purposes and proposes to do it upon the strength of "over one hundred thousand voters of the United States," whom the General Manager has "the honor to represent officially."
Not far from that same time the postmaster of Chicago, who is a United States officer, proposed to hold an inspection of mail carriers of the city of Chicago, on Sunday, and the directions were given that whosoever among them had any conscientious convictions against such work or service on Sunday were at liberty not to appear. But the parade was not allowed to be held at all, because the churches of Chicago combined and sent such a protest to Washington, the President and his cabinet that the postmaster was forbidden to hold his parade on Sunday.
Likewise there has been before the country for two or three years the campaign headed by Dr. Parkhurst of New York City against the municipal management. It culminated in the election last November, in which this political "reform" element triumphed, and that triumph spread the fame and the influence of the leader of that movement through the nation and other cities that had formerly followed the same course which he was conducting in New York City have since invited him to come to their cities to give instruction on how best to carry on their campaign in the same line of things. Chicago is the first one that has done this since election. About two years ago the city of Washington, with some of the United States Senators, invited him down there, and he went and made several speeches, to teach them how to conduct government.
The other day he was in Chicago at the invitation of a certain club of that city. And I have his speech here. I will make a few quotations from it, merely to illustrate the actuating spirit of that movement that you may see precisely what it is--that it is not intended to be political only, but religiopolitical. It is intended to be the church interfering--no, not simply interfering, but managing, controlling and guiding the government by her dictation, and according to her interpretation of morality, of the Scriptures, and as it is said, of the ten commandments.
And one thing that you will notice too as I shall read these evidences, not only from this speech, but from others that I shall bring, is the prominence that is being given to the ten commandments. Now our work from the beginning has been to set forth the integrity of the ten commandments, and to insist upon them, and we have expected that the issue upon the ten commandments would become national sometime, and one of the points in the evidence that I am to set before you now is that the time is very nearly, if not entirely here, when the ten commandments are to be made a general question, a question for general discussion, and that they are to have a place in national affairs.
It is true that on the part of these politico-religionists, the ten commandments are put before the nation in a false light, and a false use is made of them all the time, but that matters not. When the enemy sets up the ten commandments and makes a false use of them and perverts them, it simply gives the Lord's truth and His cause that much more leverage to insist on them as God gave them and as they mean. And that simply opens the way for the Third Angel's Message to have a larger place and to do more work than otherwise. So that in all these things we need not look at that side as really opposed to the Third Angel's Message. They intended it so of course, but as I remarked once before in your presence, I think all that is merely the other side of the message, but it is all working together to help forward the message.
I will first read three or four statements that were made by Dr. Parkhurst in his speech in Chicago that you may see the character of the procedure, as he is the grand representative of it, that you may see what kind of sentiments are made prominent and what are the representative sentiments of the movement.
Here is one of his expressions: "Damnable pack of administrative bloodhounds." Another is, "A lying perjured, rum-soaked, and libidinous lot." Another is, "Purgatory to politicians and chronic crucifixion to bosses." Another, "'Thou shalt not kill'; 'Thou shalt not commit adultery'; 'Thou shalt not steal'--these are ethical 'chestnuts,' but they laid out Tammany." And all this, not in the heat of an earnest, spontaneous discussion, but in a cold, deliberate essay written out in the study and there read from manuscript.
Another series of expressions will help to illustrate this thing. I read these from his speech as published in the Chicago Inter Ocean of January 24, 1895:
It is not well to discourage people, but it is always wholesome to face the entire situation. To use an illustration that I have used a great many times at home, in order to accomplish anything that is really worth the pains it takes to accomplish it, you will have to "regenerate" your city. The word is a quotation from Presbyterian theology, but answers the purpose well even if it is.
And since all this course has been endorsed by the Presbytery of New York as a presbytery, and as that means the endorsing of him and approving of his course as a presbytery, it is all Presbyterian theology, according to the phase of it as held by the Presbytery of New York. So it is with a double emphasis that he can quote from Presbyterian theology--as held by the Presbytery of New York, at least.
It means more than reformation. Reformation denotes a change [illegible] only. Regeneration denotes a change of heart--the inauguration of a new quality of municipal motives and impulses. If you say this is dealing with the ideal, of course it is dealing with the ideal. What do you propose to deal with? You are not going to win except by the pressure of a splendid enthusiasm, and you will start no popular enthusiasm by any effort that you make to achieve half measures.
Another series of expressions:
I wonder how many there are in this great city that are willing to take their coats off and keep them off until they die or Chicago is redeemed. That is what will do it and it is the only thing that will do it. You will have to take your life in your hands and your comfort and your ease in your hands and conquer victory step by step. There is no call for the dilettante or dude in this work. Reform clubs are numerous and they have large enrollments, but somehow they do not succeed in saving their city. There is no short cut to municipal salvation. You cannot win it by the prestige or the wealth of the reform organizations, municipal leagues, civic clubs or by whatever other name the institution may be distinguished. You will avail nothing except to the degree that you fling your personality and all that it stands for directly against the oncoming tide of evil, even at the risk of being inundated and swamped by it. If this language is more strenuous than fits into your predilections, you have only yourselves to blame for it, for I came here at your bidding, not my own. If you have any object in life that means more to you than the redemption of Chicago, I would counsel you to keep out of the municipal regeneration business.
Jesus Christ said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." This system says, "Seek first of all, have most important of all, the government of cities and kingdoms of this world."
However, I am simply reading these items now; we will sum them up presently. Again:
There is no Republican and no Democrat in the ten commandments. . . . Our movement, then, has had no partisanship in it and no sectarianism in it. An all-around man is bigger than either party, and the Decalogue is as broad as Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism all placed alongside of each other. . . .
Responsibility need not be taken from the shoulders of the laity but the relations proper to be occupied by the clergy is a crisis like yours here and ours in New York are unparalleled and unique. A live preacher, if only he get far enough away from his study and his Bible to know the world and what is going on in it cannot watch the footsteps of the prophet-statesman who swung the destiny of the people of Israel three thousand years ago, without feeling that the inspiration still vouchsafed to the man of God is never designed to be employed exclusively in fitting men to get out of the world respectably and to live "beautifically" in the world to come. The Lord's prayer teaches us to pray: "Thy will be done on earth." For you that means, first of all: "Thy will be done in Chicago." And there is no point from which such a keynote can be sounded so effectively as from your pulpits. It is encouraging to know that the feeling is growing that Christian fidelity means patriotism just as much as it does piety--means being a good citizen just as much as it does being a good church member, and that "Nearer My God to Thee," and "Star Spangled Banner" are both Christian hymns in the mouth of an all-around Christian.
I am simply reading these that you may see the situation and the interest with which these things are being put forth.
The movement with us began in a church, and the appeal all the way through has been to that which the church and the synagogue represent. The strength of the game throughout has been men's responsiveness to the authority of the ten commandments.
There is no event recorded in the old Bible story that for sanctity would rival the enterprise of regenerating Chicago, and no situation in which there was more occasion than here for the ringing out of the voice of some local Elijah, and the more of them the better. The whole question that confronts you just now is a question of righteousness versus iniquity, honesty versus knavery, purity versus filth, and if the clergy cannot come out en masse and take a direct hand in the duel, what under heaven is the use of having clergy anyway?
There is a moral leadership that it belongs to the clergy to exercise and that it is wickedly delinquent if it fails to exercise. an appreciation and a vision of the eternal realities that load the instant, makes out a very large part of the genius of statesmanship, and it is that appreciation precisely that distinguishes the preacher, if so be he is gifted with divine equipment. In the old days of Israel the statesman was the prophet and the prophet was the statesman, and within certain limits, it even yet lies in the intention of nature and of God that the two offices should coalesce and that the man who knows the secrets of God should shape the moral purposes and inspire the moral councils and activities of his town and time. and I venture to say to my brethren in the Christian ministry that I speak with the assurance of definite knowledge when I say that there is no influence that will more immediately operate to bring back the world to the church than for the church and its modern prophets to come back to the world and fulfill to it their mission of gentle authority and moral governance.
This is enough to set the whole field before you, that the terms that relate only to the salvation of the soul in righteousness and are used in the Bible that way and belong only to the church to use that way, these terms are used for worldly things altogether, and the whole of it, the whole plan of salvation, and of church work, is reduced to the level of this world and made to mean the saving of things as they are in this world. Then you see the application of the ten commandments which they make will be only to the outward man and it will be just simply the same old iniquity over again--cleanse the outside of the cup and the platter, and the inside will be as it always has been with the Pharisees.
Some time ago you saw the statement published in the Sentinel, which Dr. John L. Scudder, of Jersey City, New Jersey, made with reference to the position and the work of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. I will read a clause or two from this, and will then call your attention to another statement made within the last week or two, from a direct representative of one of the managers of the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor movement. First introducing the subject, I read some of the statements made by Dr. Scudder as published in the New York Sun of November 5, 1894.
Almost every church in America has its Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, and these societies, extending into every hamlet in the land, have declared their intention to enter politics. This is a significant fact when we remember that these organizations number several hundred million followers and are composed of young people full of energy and enthusiasm. This means that the church is going into politics, and is going there to stay. Furthermore, it means that the church is to become a powerful political factor, for in these societies it has a perfect and permanent organization, extending through county, state, and nation and will act as a unit on all great moral questions.
I do not take it that the churches are to form a separate political party; on the contrary, they will stand outside all parties but they will cooperate and as one prodigious organization make their demands upon existing parties and have their wishes fulfilled. Before election every local union will assume temporarily the appearance of a political convention, ratifying such candidates only as will carry out the desires of the respectable portion of the community. They will secure written pledges from the candidates and hold them to their pledges and if they fail to keep their pledges, those particular politicians will be doomed.
I hail with the utmost joy the coming of this eventful day in the history of the church. At last the politicians will find that we Christian people are not a parcel of fools; that we know enough to cooperate, command several million of voters, and hurl our combined forces against the enemies of righteousness, law, and order. . . . Now, when Christian people combine and hold an overwhelming balance of power, when they pull together and refuse as a body to vote for any man who will not carry out their principles, then, and then only, will they be respected and become politically powerful. Why should there not be Christian halls as well as Tammany halls? What objection to a sanctified caucus? Why not pull wires for the kingdom of God? If sinners stand together and protect their interests, why should not the saints do the same thing and whip old Satan out?
Here is the latest from the Christian Endeavor Department of the Christian Statesman. It is conducted by a Christian Endeavor officer and the particular series of lessons that are being taught now and studied is on "Christian Endeavor Good Citizenship." Just a few sentences from this:
The politics the Christian Endeavor movement is striving for is Christian politics and if party politics, Christian party politics. We are to conceive of it as a section of Christian living, of which the social life, the business activities, the family duties, and the distinctively church work are other sections. Politics as a Christian duty to be thoughtfully considered along with social, business, and home duties. In politics, Christianity takes exactly similar ground. Of two good candidates the church has no right to decide between them, but from every pulpit let there thunder tremendous protests against candidates who have the Ten Commandments on the other side.
That may be a misprint for "leave" the ten commandments on the other side, but you get the thought.
Wherein is a discussion of Christian politics less suitable for the pulpit or prayer meeting than a discussion of Christian business or society or home duties? Politics has its peculiar temptations, and the Christian spirit is indispensable. If only to save a multitude of young men who enter it every year from moral ruin, we must purify it. But also to save the country and our sacred American institutions.
Then what does their salvation reach? What only does that salvation from the whole plan of it concern? Only this world, the things of this world. It does not go beyond that. The minister is to understand, "if he can get far enough away from his Bible" and that is a very appropriate expression--that he is not to work for people getting out of this world in a respectable way and enjoy happiness in another world; he is to work for his own town and his own city, his own state, and the nation, to redeem, to save, to regenerate all these. That is the situation. Further:
Christian Democrats will find great duties in voting and party organization, which are deeper and broader than any details of party movements. With their conservative attitude to all changes, they have an important place in Christian civilization. let them, like good men and true, study their duty, and with faces toward the Judgment Day fully discharge it. So their fellow-Christians in the Republican party, with a different attitude to governmental policies, yet both alive to exalted responsibilities, to Christian patriotism and steady moral development of the nation. Here would be an easy and natural union among Christian citizens.
The church is the best place for the agitation of moral and spiritual good, and this union in every church of all Christian citizens, with sections in it of the closer organization of each party, would promote thorough efficiency where these smaller bodies are most influential, that is, in their own party. Leaving out all details of party action, or leaving these to the general meeting in a hall convenient of all the sections of any designated party, we have good citizenship activity which every church may wisely assume. This is the only sort which will accomplish any good. In Christian Endeavor it is high time more definite plans be pushed. We cannot simply go on giving addresses and holding rallies, with nothing practical beyond. On the principles of Christian Endeavor, and in line with its genius, we urge interpartisan plans. The Christian spirit must have a place in politics and the ten commandments and the Sermon on the Mount must rule.
The Civic Federation of Chicago, modeled after Parkhurst's New York machine, is following the same course that he has, as far as they are able, so far as he followed it in New York. And we have a report from the head of that federation, Rev. Dr. Clark of Chicago. He has written an official report which was published in the Interior. I had a copy of the paper, but it was mislaid. May be we can find it again before we get away from the subject entirely, and have some of his statements also; but one of them particularly is on the same line as this; that is, the Christian's relationship to the state, the Christian's relationship to politics, the Christian's role in molding and shaping and reforming the state. And one of the chiefest principles of politics that he lays down in the platform upon which he stands is the Supreme Court decision of February 29, 1892, that "this is a Christian nation." And as this is a Christian nation he asks in expectation, What is there for a Christian to do but to work according to that idea and carry out the principles of this Christian nation in a Christian way, shaping and moulding it upon the forms of Christianity?
Here then are all these elements working all these plans to get control of the law and the law-making power.
Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No Error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I May be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wish to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The Truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. Selected Messages Bk2, pg. 56
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