A. T. JONES - TRANSCRIPT OF ARGUMENTS TO SENATE - DEC. 13, 1888
ARGUMENTS OF ALONZO T. JONES BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
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This petition of the Carthage Convention could not be granted at once, but in the year 425, the desired law was secured; and to this also there was attached the reason that was given for the first Sunday law that ever was made; namely,
-- In order that the devotion of the faithful might be free from all disturbance." -- Idem, p. 301.
It must constantly be borne in mind, however, that the only way in which "the devotion of the faithful" was "disturbed" by these things, was that when the circus or the theater was open at the same time that the church was open, the "faithful" would go to the circus or the theater instead of to church, and therefore their "devotion" was "disturbed." And of course the only way in which the "devotion" of such "faithful" ones could be freed from all disturbance, was to close the circuses and the theaters at church time. Thus, and by this means, every reason for not being devoted was taken away from all the people. Then in the very next sentence Neander says: --
"In this way the church received help from the State for the furtherance of her ends."
This statement is correct. Constantine did many things to favor the bishops. He gave them money and political preference. He made their decisions in disputed cases as final as the decision of Jesus Christ. But in nothing that he did for them did he give them power over those who did not belong to the church, to compel them to act as though they did, except in that one thing of the Sunday law. Their decisions, which he decreed to be final, were binding only on those who voluntarily chose that tribunal, and affected none others. Before this time, if any who had repaired to the tribunal of the bishops were dissatisfied with the decision, they could appeal to the civil magistrate. This edict cut off that source of appeal, yet affected none but those who voluntarily chose the arbitration of the bishops. But in the Sunday law, power was given to the church to compel those who did not belong to the church, and who were not subject to the jurisdiction of the church, to obey the commands of the church. In the Sunday law there was given to the church control of the civil power, that by it she could compel those who did not belong to the church to act as if they did. The history of Constantine's time may be searched through and through, and it will be found that in nothing did he give to the church any such power, except in this one thing -- the Sunday law. Neander's statement is literally correct, that it was "in this way the church received help from the State for the furtherance of her ends."
The work, however, was not done yet. True, the bishops had secured the power of the State to take away from the people all excuse for not being religious; but from the beginning of the whole scheme, the people had no real wish to be religious. They had none of the spirit of devotion in their hearts; and although the State had forbidden them to work, and had shut the Sunday circuses and theaters, still the people would not be religious. The next step to be taken, therefore, in the logic of the situation, was to compel them; and the theocratical bishops were equal to the occasion. They were ready with a theory that exactly met the demands of the case; and the great Catholic Church Father and Catholic saint, Augustine, was the father of this Catholic saintly theory. He wrote: --
"It is indeed better that men should be brought to serve God by instruction than by fear of punishment, or by pain. But because the former means are better, the latter must not therefore be neglected. . . . Many must often be brought back to their Lord, like wicked servants, by the rod of temporal suffering, before they attain to the highest grade of religious development." -- Schaff's Church History, vol. 2, sec. 27.
Of this theory Neander remarks:
-- "It was by Augustine, then, that a theory was proposed and founded, which. . . contained the germ of that whole system of spiritual despotism, of intolerance and persecution, which ended in the tribunals of the Inquisition." -- Church History, p. 217.
The history of the Inquisition is only the history of the carrying out of this infamous theory of Augustine's. But this theory is only the logical sequence of the theory upon which the whole series of Sunday laws was founded. The church induced the State to compel all to be idle for their own good. Then it was found that they all were more inclined to wickedness. Then to save them from all going to the Devil, they tried to compel all to go to heaven. The work of the Inquisition was always for love of men's souls, and to save them from hell!.
Allow me to summarize these statements from Neander: He says of the carrying into effect of the theocratical theory of those bishops, that they made themselves dependent upon Constantine by their disputes, and "by their determination to use the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims." Then he mentions the first and second Sunday laws of Constantine; the Sunday law of 386; the Carthage Convention, resolution, and petition of 401; and the law of 425 in response to this petition; and then, without a break, and with direct reference to these Sunday laws, he says: "In this way the church received help from the State for the furtherance of her ends." She started out with the determination to do it; she did it; and "in this way" she did it. And when she had secured the control of the power of the State, she used it for the furtherance of her own aims, and in her own despotic way, as announced in Augustine's Inquisitorial theory. The first step logically and inevitably led to the last; and the theocratical leaders in the movement had the cruel courage to follow the first step unto the last, as framed in the words of Augustine, and illustrated in the history of the Inquisition.
That is the system with which Sunday laws belong. That is the theory upon which they are based. They have no other foundation. Mr. Elliott, who has spoken here in behalf of this bill, knows that there is no law in the Bible for keeping the first day of the week. I could read a passage from his own book, "The Abiding Sabbath," page 184, in which he confesses "the complete silence of the New Testament, so far as any explicit command for the Sabbath, or definite rules for its observance, are concerned." And everybody knows that the Old Testament does not say anything about the observance of the first day of the week as Sabbath. Everybody likewise knows that the Old Testament does not say anything about keeping the first day of the week as the day of the resurrection of the Saviour, or for any other reason. Dr. Johnson and others here this morning have said that the first day of the week was chosen because it was a memorial of the resurrection of the Saviour. It is the New Testament that tells about the resurrection of the Saviour. That is granted. Dr. Elliott confesses, and the American Tract Society publishes it, that there is "complete silence of the New Testament" in regard to it. Then what right have they to put it into law, and try to compel by civil law all people to keep as the Lord's day that for which there is no scriptural authority? Let me read another passage from another book, printed by the American Sunday-school Union. On page 186 of "The Lord's Day," written by Mr. A. E. Waffle, are these words:
-- "Up to the time of Christ's death, no change had been made in the day. The authority must be sought in the words or in the example of the inspired apostles."
Then on the very next page he says:
-- "So far as the record shows, they [the apostles] did not, however, give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week."
Dr. Schaff, in the Schaff Herzog Cyclopedia, says:
-- "No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined."
-- If, then, they confess that Christ gave no law for its observance, why do they want to compel people to observe it? What right have they to compel anybody to observe it? I deny their right to compel me or anybody else to do what Christ never commanded any man to do.
Senator Blair. -- You admit there was a Sabbath before Christ came?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly.
Senator Blair. -- And he said came not to destroy, but to fulfill?
0 Mr. Jones. -- Certainly.
1 Senator Blair. -- Is there anything in the New Testament which destroyed the Sabbath already existing?
2 Mr. Jones. -- No, sir.
Senator Blair. -- Then why does it not continue to exist?
Mr. Jones. -- It does exist, and we keep the commandment which provides for the Sabbath.
Senator Blair. -- Then you say there is a Sabbath recognized, and that is equivalent to its re-affirmation by Christ?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly.
Senator Blair. -- I do not see from what you are stating, but that Christ recognized an existing law, and that it is continuing at the present time. You say that it is one day, and they say that it is another.
Mr. Jones. -- But they are after a law to enforce the observance of the first day of the week as the Lord's day, when they confess that the Lord never gave any command in regard to it. The commandment which God gave says that the "seventh day is the Sabbath."
Senator Blair. -- Is it still the Sabbath?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly, and we keep it; but we deny the right of any civil government to compel any man either to keep it or not to keep it.
Senator Blair. -- The civil government of the Jews compelled its observance?
0 Mr. Jones. -- That was a theocracy.
1 Senator Blair. -- Does it follow that when the only form of government is a theocracy and that embraces all that appertains to government, another form of government which is not a theocracy necessarily, cannot embrace the same subject-matter as the theocracy? If the subject-matter of a theocratical, a monarchial, or a republican form of government is not the same, to control the establishment of good order in society, pray what is it? We say, and it our form of government, that the people shall legislate, shall construe the law, and execute the law. Under the old theocratic form, God made the law, God construed it, and God executed it through his instrumentalities; but we do just the same thing by the will of the people, that under the theocratic form of government was done in the other way. Now if the Sabbath is necessarily for the general good of society, a republican form of government must make and enforce the observance of the Sabbath just as the theocracy did. You seem to be laboring, as it strikes me, under the impression that a civil government for the good of the people carried on by us under the republican form, cannot do anything that the theocratic form of government does when the theocratic is the only form. They necessarily cover the same subject-matter, -- the control, the development, the good, and the health of society, it makes no difference which one it may be.
Mr. Jones -- A theocratic government is a government of God.
Senator Blair. -- So are the powers that be ordained of God.
Mr. Jones. -- This Government is not a government of God.
Senator Blair. -- Do you not consider the Government of the United States as existing in accordance with the will of God?
Mr. Jones. -- Yes, but it is not a government of God. The government of God is a moral government. This is a civil government.
Senator Blair. -- A theocracy is a civil government, and governs in civil affairs, as well as in the region of spirituality and morality and religion.
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly, and God governs it, and nothing but a theocracy can enforce those things which pertain to man's relation to God under the first four commandments.
Senator Blair. -- But this proposed legislation is outside of the theocratic part of it.
Mr. Jones. -- Not at all; for it purposes by penalties to "promote" the religious observance of the Lord's day, while nothing but the government of God can do that. That is the point I am making here, that if you allow this legislation, you lead to the establishment of a new theocracy after the model of the papacy, and civil government has nothing to do with religious things. This bill is wholly religious; and if you begin this course of religious legislation, you will end only in a theocracy, -- a man-made theocracy, -- and that will be the papacy repeated.
Senator Blair. -- We have had the Sunday laws in this country for three hundred years. They have constantly become more and more liberalized. Have you ever known an instance, though the sentiment in favor of the Sabbath seems to be growing constantly stronger, where any State in this Union undertook to enact a law that anybody should go to church, which is the danger you seem to apprehend?
Mr. Jones. -- Not yet. They are now after the first law. This will lead to that. The law of Constantine was enacted in 321, and it commanded at first only that towns-people and mechanics should do no work, that they might be religious. They did not ask for too much at first. As was said in a ministers' meeting in San Diego, Cal., about two months ago, "In this thing you must not ask for too much at first. Ask just what public sentiment will bear, and when you get that, ask for more." And as was said upon this bill by Dr. Crafts in this Capitol, --
"We will take a quarter of a loaf, half a loaf, or a whole loaf. If the Government should do nothing more than forbid the opening of the post-offices at church hours, it would be a national tribute to the value of religion, and would lead to something more satisfactory." Then in telling what would be more satisfactory, he said: -- "The law allows the local postmaster, if he chooses (and some of them do choose), to open the mails at the very hour of church, and so make the post-office the competitor of the churches." At another point in the same speech, Mr. Crafts referred to the proposed law as one for "protecting the church services from post-office competition." And in explaining how this could be done, he said: -- "A law forbidding the opening between ten and twelve, would accomplish this, and would be better than nothing; but we want more." And, -- "A law forbidding any handling of Sunday mail at such hours as would interfere with church attendance on the part of the employees, would be better than nothing; but we want more than this."
-- "Local option in deciding whether a local post-office shall be opened at all on Sunday, we should welcome as better than nothing;. . . . but we desire more than this."
0 How much more? Still he continues: --
1 "A law forbidding all carrier delivery of mail on Sunday, would be better than nothing; but we want more than that."
2 And when will they ever get enough? It is precisely as it was when the Emperor Constantine forbade the judges, towns-people, and mechanics to work on Sunday. That was an imperial tribute to the "value of religion," and led to "something more satisfactory" -- to the church managers.
Senator Blair. -- Have you ever heard of a proposition's being made in any legislative body to compel any one to attend church on Sunday?
Mr. Jones. -- The propositions that are made are for that very purpose, to stop the Sunday trains, the Sunday newspapers, -- in short, to stop all work on Sunday, so that the people can go to church.
Senator Blair. -- But these people come here and say that they have no such purpose, and they have been doing these things in the States for a hundred years, and during the Colonial period anterior to that time. Have you ever heard on the American continent, within the territory of what is now the United States, a proposition or a suggestion in a legislative body to compel anybody to attend church?
Mr. Jones. -- Not in legislative body, but in ecclesiastical bodies.
Senator Blair. -- Ecclesiastical bodies do not make the laws. Congress is not an ecclesiastical body.
Mr. Jones. -- But it is an ecclesiastical body that is seeking to secure and enforce this law, just as the New England theocracy did when "absence from `the ministry of the word' was punished by a fine;" and then when people were compelled under such penalty to go to church and listen to the preaching, it was such preaching as, said one of the victims, "was meat to be digested, but only by the heart or stomach of an ostrich." Nor was this confined to Colonial times or to New England; for after the Colonies became States, North Carolina had a Sunday law, -- has yet, for aught I know, -- reading as follows:
-- "Be it enacted. . . that all and every person or persons shall on the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, carefully apply themselves to the duties of religion and piety."
In 1803, Tennessee passed a law embodying the same words. But South Carolina and Georgia went farther than this; South Carolina enacted that -- "All and every person whatsoever, shall, on every Lord's day, apply themselves to the observation of the same, by exercising themselves thereon in the duties of piety and true religion, publicly and privately; and having no reasonable or lawful excuse, on every Lord's day shall resort to their parish church, or some other parish church, or some meeting or assembly of religious worship."
In 1803, Georgia likewise enacted a Sunday law whose first section required all persons to attend public worship. In 1821, the State of Connecticut, in revising its laws, made its Sunday law read in the first section, that
-- "It shall be the duty of the citizens of this State to attend the public worship of God on the Lord's day."
This is precisely the line of things proposed by these men and women now working for this Sunday law. This is the first step in that direction. The whole object which they have in view in stopping work on Sunday, is identical with that of the fourth century; namely, in order that the people may be devoted, in order that they may go to church. The very intention of these men in securing the law is religious.
I will refer you to some of the statements of the very men who stood in this room this forenoon, arguing for this Sunday bill. Dr. W. W. Everts, of Chicago, in a Sunday-law convention in Illinois, Nov. 8, 1887, declared Sunday to be the "test of all religion." Taking his own words, what can the enforcement of it ever be but the enforcement of a religious test? Dr. Crafts, who is so prominent in this work, said to the Knights of Labor at Indianapolis, as I have before quoted, and he repeated it in this city last night, "If you take religion out of the day, you take the rest out of it." This statement was made in reply to a question as to whether a day of rest could not be secured to the working-men without reference to religion. Taking the statement of Dr. Crafts, therefore, its being a day of rest to anybody depends altogether upon whether religion is in it; for if you take religion out, you take the rest out. He, with these others, demands a law compelling the people to take the rest. Religion being in the rest, and the rest wholly dependent upon the fact that religion is in it, it is inevitable that their effort to secure a law compelling everybody to rest on Sunday is an effort to establish by law a religious observance.
Again: in the Boston Monday lectureship of 1887, Joseph Cook said,
-- "The experience of centuries shows that you will in vain endeavor to preserve Sunday as a day of rest, unless you preserve it as a day of worship."
Further: Dr. Everts said in the Elgin convention:
-- "The laboring class are apt to rise late on Sunday morning, read the Sunday papers, and allow the hour of worship to go by unheeded."
And in Chicago only three weeks ago, Dr. Herrick Johnson named the matter with which he said the Sunday papers are filled -- crime, scandal, gossip, news, and politics -- and exclaimed: --
"What a melange! what a dish to set down before a man before breakfast and after breakfast, to prepare him for hearing the word of God! It makes it twice as hard to reach those who go to the sanctuary, and it keeps many away from the house of worship altogether."
Dr. Everts said further in the Elgin convention: --
"The Sunday train is another great evil. They cannot afford to run a train unless they get a great many passengers, and so break up a great many congregations. The Sunday railroad trains are hurrying their passengers fast on to perdition. What an outrage that the railroad, that great civilizer, should destroy the Christian Sabbath!"
I will give one more statement which sums up the whole matter. In a Sunday-law mass-meeting held in Hamilton Hall, Oakland, Cal., in January, 1887, Rev. Dr. Briggs, of Napa, Cal., said to the State: --
"You relegate moral instruction to the church, and then let all go as they please on Sunday, so that we cannot get at them."
Therefore they want the State to corral all the people on Sunday, so that the preachers can get at them.
These statements might be multiplied indefinitely; but these are enough. The speeches, and the sermons, and the work, of those who are in favor of the Sunday laws, are all in the same line. They all plainly show that the secret and real object of the whole Sunday-law movement is to get the people to go to church. The Sunday train must be stopped, because church members ride on it, and don't go to church enough. The Sunday paper must be abolished, because the people read it instead of going to church, and because those who read it and go to church too, are not so well prepared to receive the preaching.
It was precisely the same way in the fourth century concerning the Sunday circus and theater. The people, even the church members, would go to these instead of to church; and even if they went to both, it must be confessed that the Roman circus or theater was not a very excellent dish -- "What a melange!" -- to set down before a man to prepare him for hearing the word of God. The Sunday circus and theater could not afford to keep open unless they could get a great many spectators, and so break up a great many congregations; and as they hurried the spectators fast on to perdition, they had to be shut on Sunday, so as to keep " a great many congregations" out of perdition. It is exceedingly difficult to see how a Sunday circus in the fourth century could hurry to perdition any one who did not attend it; or how a Sunday train in the nineteenth century can hurry to perdition any one who does not ride on it. And if any are hurried to perdition by this means, who is to blame: the Sunday train, or the ones who ride on it? And Dr. Johnson's complaint of the Sunday papers, is of the same flimsy piece. If the Sunday paper gets into a man's house, where lies the blame; upon the paper, or upon the one who takes it and reads it? Right here lies the secret of the whole evil now, as it did in the fourth century: they blame everybody and everything else, even to inanimate things, for the irreligion, the infidelity, and the sin that lie in their own hearts.
When they shall have stopped all Sunday works; and all Sunday papers, and all Sunday trains, in order that the people may go to church and attend to things divine, suppose that then the people fail to go to church or attend to things divine: will the religio-political managers stop there? Having done all this that the people may be devoted, will they suffer their good intentions to be frustrated, or their good offices to be despised? Will not these now take the next logical step, -- the step that was taken in the fourth century, -- and compel men to attend to things divine? Having taken all the steps but this, will they not take this? Having compelled men to rest, will they stop short of an effort to supply the religious sanctions which alone can prevent a day of enforced rest from being a day of enforced idleness, and consequently of wickedness? The probability that they will not is strengthened by the fact that the theory upon which this is carried on is identical with that of the fourth century -- the theory of a theocracy.
I have cited the theocratical purpose of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The National Reform Association, whose secretary stood at this table to-day to plead for the passage of this bill, aims directly at the establishment of a theocracy in this Government. In their own words, they propose to make this republic "as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel."
The Sunday-law Association also holds much the same theory. In the Elgin Sunday-law convention, Dr. Mandeville, of Chicago, said:
-- The merchants of Tyre insisted upon selling goods near the temple on the Sabbath, and Nehemiah compelled the officers of the law to do their duty, and stop it. So we can compel the officers of the law to do their duty."
Nehemiah was ruling there in a true theocracy, a government of God; the law of God was the law of the land, and God's will was made known by the written word, and by the prophets. Therefore, if Dr. Mandeville's argument is of any force at all, it is so only upon the claim of the establishment of a theocracy. With this idea the view of Dr. Crafts agrees precisely, and Dr. Crafts is general field secretary for the National Sunday-law Union. He claims, as expressed in his own words, that
-- "The preachers are the successors of the prophets." -- Christian Statesman, July 5, 1888.
Now put these things together. The government of Israel was a theocracy; the will of God was made known to the ruler by prophets; the ruler compelled the officers of the law to prevent the ungodly from selling goods on the Sabbath. This government is to be made a theocracy; the preachers are the successors of the prophets; and they are to compel the officers of the law to prevent all selling of goods and all manner of work on Sunday. This shows conclusively that these preachers intend to take the supremacy into their hands, officially declare the will of God, and compel all men to conform to it. And this deduction is made certain by the words of Prof. Blanchard, in the Elgin convention:
- - "In this work we are undertaking for the Sabbath, we are the representatives of God."
And the chief of these representatives of God, will be but a pope again; because when preachers control the civil power as the representatives of God, a pope is inevitable.
These quotations prove, to a demonstration, that the whole theory upon which this religio-political movement is based, is identical with that of the fourth century, which established the papacy. They show also that the means employed -- Sunday laws -- by which to gain control of the civil power to make the wicked theory effective, are identical with the means which were employed in the fourth century for the same purpose. The next question is, Will they carry the theory into effect as they did in the fourth century and onward? In other words, when they get the power to oppress, will they use the power? A sufficient answer to this would seem to be the simple inquiry, If they do not intend to use the power, then why are they making such strenuous efforts to get it? If Congress lets them have the power, they will surely use it. Human nature is the same now as it was in the fourth century. Politics is the same now it was then. And as for religious bigotry, it knows no centuries; it knows no such thing as progress or enlightenment; it is ever the same. And in its control of civil power, the cruel results are also ever the same.
How appropriate, therefore, is it that Cardinal Gibbons should endorse the national Sunday bill! How natural, indeed, that he should gladly add his name to the number of petitioners in support of the movement to secure legislation in the interests of the church! He knows just how his brethren in the fourth century worked the same kind of scheme; he knows what the outcome of the movement was then; and he knows full well what the outcome of this movement will be now. He knows that the theory underlying this movement is identical with the theory which was the basis of that; he knows the methods of working are the same now as they were then; he knows that the means employed to secure control of the civil power now, are identical with the means employed then; and he knows that the result must be the same. He knows that when religion shall have been established as an essential element in legislation in this Government, the experience of fifteen hundred eventful years, and "the ingenuity and patient care" of fifty generations of statesmen, will not be lost in the effort to make the papal power supreme over all here and now, as was done there and then. And in carrying out the instructions of Pope Leo XIII., that "all Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States and legislation to be modeled upon the principles of the true church," the Cardinal assuredly is glad to have the opportunity to add his name to the more than six millions of Protestants who are set for the accomplishment of the same task.
To those Protestants who are so anxious to make religion a subject of legislation, it now appears very desirable; and it also appears a very pleasant thing to secure the alliance of the papacy. But when they shall have accomplished the feat, and find themselves in the midst of the continuous whirl of political strife and contention with the papacy, not alone for supremacy, but for existence, -- then they will find it not nearly so desirable as it now appears to their vision, blinded by the lust for illegitimate power.
And when they find themselves compelled to pay more than they bargained to, they will have but themselves to blame; for when they make religion a subject of legislation, they therein confess that it is justly subject to the rule of majorities. And then, if the Romish Church secures the majority, and compels the Protestants to conform to Catholic forms and ordinances, the Protestants cannot justly complain. Knowing, as we do, the outcome of the same kind of movement before, we do not propose to allow this scheme to be worked out here without a decided protest.
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Senator Blair. -- You are entirely logical, because you say there should be no Sunday legislation by State or nation either.
Mr. Jones. -- Yes, sir, of course I am logical, all the way through. I want to show you the wicked principle upon which this whole system is founded, and the reason I do this is because the last step is involved in the first one. If you allow this principle and this movement to take the first step, those who get the power will see in the end that they take the last step. That is the danger. See how in the fourth century the logic of it ended only with the Inquisition.
Senator Blair. -- Was the Inquisition abolished by the abolition of the Sunday laws?
Mr. Jones. -- No; but the principle of it was established by Sunday laws.
Senator Blair. -- Then if the inquisition was established by the Sunday laws, how was it abolished, but by the abolition of the Sabbath? How can you remove an effect except by removing its cause?
Mr. Jones. -- The Sunday laws never have been abolished.
Senator Blair. -- Then the Sunday law could not have been the cause of the Inquisition.
Mr. Jones. -- The power which embodies the Inquisition still continues, and its emissaries have been in this country defending the Inquisition. That same power is now grasping for the control of the civil law, and the same causes generally produce the same effects.
Senator Blair. -- And the removal of the causes removes the effects with them.
Mr. Jones. -- Sometimes.
0 Senator Blair. -- Therefore the Sunday laws were not the cause of the Inquisition, unless the Inquisition still exists.
1 Mr. Jones. -- No, the Sunday laws did not cause the Inquisition.
2 Senator Blair. -- I understood you to say that it did.
Mr. Jones. -- I say, through that the church received the power to make the principle and the work of the Inquisition effective. A certain exercise of power may be forbidden, and yet the means by which the power was obtained may not be forbidden. In other words, the power which was obtained through the deception of Sunday laws, may be prohibited in certain things, and yet allowed in many other things.
Senator Blair. -- The Lord made the Sabbath, and governed the Jewish nation for nearly three thousand years with a Sabbath. Do you think the Sabbath was for the good of the Jewish people, or for their injury?
Mr. Jones. -- It was established for the good of the human race.
Senator Blair. -- Including the Jewish people? Mr. Jones. -- Yes, sir.
Senator Blair. -- It was established as a part of the civil administration.
Mr. Jones. -- But the church and the State were one.
Senator Blair. -- Therefore what we call the civil administration was included in that theocracy.
Mr. Jones. -- The church and the State were one. They were united, and it was a theocracy.
0 Senator Blair. -- If the administration of the Sabbath during these three thousand years, at least, was for the good of the Jews and the human race, why will not the Sabbath be good for the Jews and the human race since the time of Christ, as well as before?
1 Mr. Jones. -- It is for the good of the human race.
2 Senator Blair. -- The civil law must administrate it if it is done. Then we will get no Sabbath now under our division of powers of government, unless we have the Sabbath recognized and enforced by the State authority?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly we have a Sabbath.
Senator Blair. -- Your proposition is to strike out the Sabbath from the Constitution and condition of society in these modern times?
Mr. Jones. -- No, sir.
Senator Blair. -- Certainly so far as its existence and enactment and enforcement by law are concerned.
Mr. Jones. -- Yes, by civil law.
Senator Blair. -- It was enforced in what we call the civil conduct of men under that theocratic form of government for at least three thousand years.
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly.
Senator Blair. -- Now the observance of the Sabbath depends upon a compulsory observance of the law.
Mr. Jones. -- Not at all.
0 Senator Blair. -- It required the law of God which he enforced by death, by stoning men to death when they violated it, and we have the Sabbath day only by virtue of what we call the civil law, which is equally a part of God's law.
1 Mr. Jones. -- That government was not organized specially to enforce the Sabbath.
2 Senator Blair. -- They stoned men to death who violated the law.
3 Mr. Jones. -- Certainly; and likewise for the transgression of the other commandments.
4 Senator Blair. -- God enforced it, in other words, by human means.
5 Mr. Jones. -- Certainly; my answer to all that is that that was a theocracy, -- a union of church and state. The church was the State, and the State was the church.
6 Senator Blair. -- You say now that there is no State to enforce it?
Mr. Jones. -- I say that no government can enforce the Sabbath, or those things which pertain to God, except a theocratic government -- a union of church and state. Therefore I say that if you establish such a law as is here proposed, you lead directly to a union of church and state. The logic of the question demands it, and that is where it will end, because the law cannot be enforced otherwise. These gentlemen say they do not want a union of church and state. What they mean by church and state is, for the State to select one particular denomination, and make it the favorite above all other denominations. That is a union of church and state according to their idea. But a union of church and state was formed by Constantine when he recognized Christianity as the religion of the Roman empire. Everybody knows that that was a union of church and state, and that it ended in the papacy. A union of church and state is where the ecclesiastical power controls the civil power, and uses the civil power in its own interests. That is where this movement will end, and that is one of the reasons why we oppose it.
Senator Blair. -- You say the church and state separated shall not do those proper things which the church and state always did when united in the theocracy?
Mr. Jones. -- No, sir.
Senator Blair. -- Then why do you say that the state --
Mr. Jones. -- I did not mean to deny your proposition; I think the way you intended, I mean "Yes," because I certainly do say that the church and state separated shall do those proper things which were done when they were united in the theocracy. Senator Blair. -- If in this division of the powers of government into church and state, you exclude from the powers of the church the establishment and enforcement and regulation of the Sabbath, why do you not necessarily, if the Sabbath is a good thing, pass it over to the control of the State? ( page 93 )
Mr. Jones. -- Because if the church will not recognize it and preserve it, the State cannot compel people to do it. The State that attempts it is bound to fail.
Senator Blair. -- Then you necessarily take the ground that God did wrong in the enforcement of the Sabbath during those three thousand years when his government was both church and state.
Mr. Jones. -- No, sir. If God would come himself to govern, and make himself governor, as he did of Israel, he could enforce the law as he did there. But until God does that, we deny the right of all the churches or anybody else, to do it.
Senator Blair. -- Even if it is for the good of society?
Mr. Jones. -- What they say is for the good of society is for the ruin of society.
Senator Blair. -- Do you understand that it is the church or the State that is making this law?
Mr. Jones. -- It is the State that is doing it, just as Constantine did it, to satisfy the churches.
Senator Blair. -- It may or may not satisfy the churches. The churches give their reasons here, which may be right or wrong, for the establishment of the Sabbath -- for this Sunday legislation in all the States. The State, the whole people, make the law. You say that the whole people shall not make a good law because the churches ask for it.
Mr. Jones. -- I say the whole people shall not make a bad law, even though the churches do demand it; for any civil law relating to God is a bad law.
Senator Blair. -- Then what God did for three thousand years for the good of the Jews and the human race, was wrong?
Mr. Jones. -- No, sir; it was right.
Senator Blair. -- Then why not continue it?
Mr. Jones. -- Because he has discontinued that kind of government.
Senator Blair. -- We have done nothing in the world to divide the powers of government into those of church and state. We say those departments shall not interfere with each other.
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly.
Senator Blair. -- Here and in the States we are trying to run the civil parts. We have taken jurisdiction of a portion of what God has entire jurisdiction, as to the church and state in the civil relations of men. The entire society does that. We put the sovereignty into the hands of everybody except women, and some of us are trying to do that. We have the same subject-matter, the good of society under our control, which under the theocracy was united into both church and state. If you do not let the State continue to do what was essential to society then, and is now, you are striking at one of the great ends for which government exists.
Mr. Jones. -- Not at all; because God has discontinued that kind of government.
Senator Blair. -- He has not discontinued the necessity of laws for the regulation of society.
0 Mr. Jones. -- He has in that way.
1 Senator Blair. -- No; it is just as necessary that there should be a Sabbath now for the good of man, as when God made and enforced the law by his direct supervision under a theocracy.
Mr. Jones. -- But no government but a theocracy can enforce such laws.
Senator Blair. -- Then unless we have a theocracy, we shall have no Sabbath. Mr. Jones. -- We shall have no laws regulating the Sabbath.
Senator Blair. -- The Sabbath did not descend to the Jews and to all mankind, because there was a theocratic form of government among the Jews. How did the Sabbath come to mankind at large, when there was no theocratic form of government?
Mr. Jones. -- Those nations never kept it. Nobody but the Jews ever kept it.
Senator Blair. -- They could have kept it, because you say the Sabbath existed for all; not for the Jews alone, but for the human race.
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly, but if they did not keep it, it would do no good.
Senator Blair. -- It did not exist for good, then?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly; a thing may exist for my good, and I may refuse to use it, as thousands do the salvation of Christ.
0 Senator Blair. -- I was taking your statement as true that it did exist for good outside of the Jews.
1 Mr. Jones. -- I said it was for the good of man. The Saviour said it was for the good of man. The Saviour died for the good of man.
2 Senator Blair. -- You would abolish the Sabbath, anyway?
3 Mr. Jones. -- Yes, in the civil law.
4 Senator Blair. -- You would abolish any Sabbath from human practice which shall be in the form of law, unless the individual here and there sees fit to observe it?
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly; that is a matter between man and his God.
Senator Blair. -- Your time has expired. Please take five minutes to close, as I have asked you some questions; still, they were questions that touched the trouble in my own mind.
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly; but I supposed that I was to have an hour to devote, uninterruptedly, to the points in questions.
Senator Blair. -- We have always been accustomed to conducting these hearings with reference to getting at the difficulties we had in our own minds, and I do not feel as though you could complain with an hour and ten minutes, if we give you ten minutes more.
Mr. Jones. -- Very good. Mr. Chairman, I have shown that in the fourth century this same movement developed a theocracy and in that the papacy, religious despotism, and oppression for conscience' sake. Now I want to show the secret of at least a portion of the present movement. The representative of the National Reform Association spoke here in behalf of this proposed legislation. That Association is asking for such a law and for such an amendment to the Constitution as you have proposed, in relation to the Christian religion in the public schools. That measure pleases them well, and this proposed Sunday law pleases them well.
Senator Blair. -- Just incorporate that proposed amendment to the Constitution in your remarks.
Mr. Jones. -- Very well; it is as follows:
-- "50th CONGRESS, } S. R. 86. 1st SESSION. } "Joint Resolution, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States respecting establishments of religion and free public schools.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States be, and hereby is, proposed to the States, to become valid when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States, as provided in the Constitution: -- "ARTICLE.
"SECTION 1. No State shall ever make or maintain any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
"SECTION 2. Each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools adequate for the education of all the children living therein, between the ages of six and sixteen years, inclusive, in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion. But no money raised by taxation imposed by law, or any money or other property or credit belonging to any municipal organization, or to any State, or to the United States, shall ever be appropriated, applied, or given to the use or purposes of any school, institution, corporation, or person, whereby instruction or training shall be given in the doctrines, tenets, belief, ceremonials, or observances peculiar to any sect, denomination, organization, or society, being, or claiming to be, religious in its character; nor shall such peculiar doctrines, tenets, belief, ceremonials, or observances be taught or inculcated in the free public schools.
"SECTION 3. To the end that each State, the United States, and all the people thereof, may have and preserve governments republican in form and in substance, the United States shall guaranty to every State, and to the People of every State and of the United States, the support and maintenance of such a system of free public schools as is herein provided.
"SECTION 4. That Congress shall enforce this article by legislation when necessary."
What, then, do these men propose to do with the civil power when they can use it? The Christian Statesman is the organ of that Association, and in its issue of Oct. 2, 1884, said: --
"Give all men to understand that this is a Christian nation, and that, believing that without Christianity we perish, we must maintain by all means our Christian character. Inscribe this character on our Constitution. Enforce upon all who come among us the laws of Christian morality."
To enforce upon men the laws of Christian morality, is nothing else than an attempt to compel them to be Christians, and does in fact compel them to be hypocrites. It will be seen at once that this will be but to invade the rights of conscience, and this, one of the vice-presidents of the Association declares, civil power has the right to do. Rev. David Gregg, D. D., now pastor of Park Street Church, Boston, a vice-president of the National Reform Association, plainly declared in the Christian Statesman of June 5, 1884, that the civil power "has the right to command the consciences of men."
Rev. M. A. Gault, a district secretary and a leading worker of the Association, says:
-- "Our remedy for all these malefic influences, is to have the Government simply set up the moral law and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it."
When they have the Government lay its hand on dissenters, what will they have it do? Rev. E. B. Graham, also a vice-president of the Association, in an address delivered at York, Neb., and reported in the Christian Statesman of May 21, 1885, said: --
"We might add in all justice, If the opponents of the Bible do not like our Government and its Christian features, let them go to some wild, desolate land, and in the name of the Devil, and for the sake of the Devil, subdue it, and set up a government of their own on infidel and atheistic ideas; and then if they can stand it, stay there till they die." That is what they propose to do. And that is worse than Russia. In the Century for April, 1888, Mr. Kennan gave a view of the statutes of Russia on the subject of crimes against the faith, quoting statute after statute providing that whoever shall censure the Christian faith or the orthodox church, or the Scriptures, or the holy sacraments, or the saints, or their images, or the Virgin Mary, or the angels, or Christ, or God, shall be deprived of all civil rights, and exiled for life to the most remote parts of Siberia. This is the system in Russia, and it is in the direct line of the wishes of the National Reform Association.
Nor is that all. Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D. D., another vice-president of that Association, makes all dissenters atheists. He names atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh-day Baptists, then classes them all together as atheists. I will read his own words: -- "These all are, for the occasion, and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the same tactics against us. They must be counted together, which we very much regret, but which we cannot help. The first-named is the leader in the discontent and in the outcry -- the atheist, to whom nothing is higher or more sacred than man, and nothing survives the tomb. It is his class. Its labors are almost wholly in his interest; its success would be almost wholly his triumph. The rest are adjuncts to him in this contest. They must be named from him; they must be treated as, for this question, one party." ( page 100 )
They class us as atheists, and are going to condemn all alike; and you are asked to give them the power. Remember these are the views of the members of the National Reform Association, whose secretary stood at this table this morning in defense of this Sunday law. These extracts show what his ideas are, and how he would use them. Dr. Everts, of Chicago, who also was here, declared last month in Chicago, in my hearing, on the subject of this Sunday law, that "it is atheism or the Sabbath."
Mr. Edwards continues:
-- "What are the rights of the atheist? I would tolerate him as I would tolerate a poor lunatic; for in my view his mind is scarcely sound. So long as he does not rave, so long as he is not dangerous, I would tolerate him. I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator. The atheist is a dangerous man. Yes, to this extent I will tolerate the atheist; but no more. Why should I? The atheist does not tolerate me. He does not smile either in pity or in scorn upon my faith. He hates my faith, and he hates me for my faith. . . . I can tolerate difference and discussion; I can tolerate heresy and false religion; I can debate the use of the Bible in our common schools, the taxation of church property, the propriety of chaplaincies and the like, but there are some questions past debate. Tolerate atheism, sir? There is nothing out of hell that I would not tolerate as soon ! The atheist may live, as I have said; but, God helping us, the taint of his destructive creed shall not defile any of the civil institutions of all this fair land ! Let us repeat, atheism and Christianity are contradictory terms. They are incompatible systems. They cannot dwell together on the same continent!"
Senator Blair. -- Many atheists are for Sunday laws.
Mr. Jones. -- Let them be so if they choose; but what I am striking at, is that these men have no right to say that I am an atheist simply because I do not believe in keeping Sunday.
Senator Blair. -- You come here and seriously argue against these people, because they and the atheists blackguard each other. What have we to do with that? They abuse each other. It is worse in the Christian than in the atheist, because the Christian has some rules to guide his conduct, which the atheist has not. Here seems to be some strong intemperate language which one human being makes use of towards another. An atheist or a Christian alike may find fault with that. I do not know any way that we can interfere with it; but if you claim to argue against this bill because these people abuse atheists, I reply to that by saying that many atheists are for this bill just as these people are. They unite in support of this bill, therefore mutual recriminations amount to nothing.
Mr. Jones. -- But the mutual recrimination amounts to this, that although this is confined simply to words between them now, --
Senator Blair. -- I do not think you ought to argue to us by taking this precious time of yours and ours to show that these people use intemperate language towards each other.
Mr. Jones. -- But I am doing it to show that they use the intemperate language now, but if they get the law, they will use more than the language against them. These men only want to make the State a party to their religious disputes. They want to get the nation by law to commit itself to the defense of religious observances, so they can add its power to their side of the controversy, and send to "hell" or some other place where the Devil is, those who even accidentally disagree with them. But the State has no business to allow itself to be made a party to any religious controversy. That has been the bane of every nation except this, and God forbid that this one should be dragged from its high estate, and made the tool of the irregular passions of religious parties. The State will find its legitimate employment it seeing that these parties keep their hands off each other, and that the ebullitions of their religious zeal are kept within the bounds of civility. It is not safe to put civil power into the hands of such men as these. But that is just what this Sunday bill will do if it shall pass.
Senator Blair. -- The atheist is for this proposed law. He is not intelligently going to support a law which enables these people to burn him at the stake.
Mr. Jones. -- I know he is not intelligently going to do it.
Senator Blair. -- He is liable to be as intelligent as they are. Mr. Hume was a very intelligent man; so was Voltaire; so was Franklin, if Franklin was an atheist; Franklin was a deist, at all events.
Mr. Jones. -- It is safe to say that not one in ten of the people whose names are signed in behalf of this Sunday law know what is the intention of it, and what those will do with it when they get it.
Senator Blair. -- Then it is a lack of intelligence on their part.
Mr. Jones. -- I know people who signed that petition who would now be just as far from signing it as I would. Senator Blair. -- That is because you told them of those terrible consequences which they had not believed would follow. The masses of the people do not believe that the Christian people of this country have united in every State in this Union for such a purpose.
Mr. Jones. -- Here is the principle: Here are six million Protestants and seven million two hundred thousand Catholics --
Senator Blair. -- Cardinal Gibbons has written a letter which is in evidence. He is for it, and a great many Catholics are also for it; but it does not follow that those Catholics are for it simply because Cardinal Gibbons wrote that letter. They were for it before Cardinal Gibbons wrote the letter. You must remember that the Catholics in this country are intelligent, as well as we. Some of them are ignorant, some of us are ignorant.
Mr. Jones. -- But here is the point. These people are complaining of the continental Sunday --
Senator Blair. -- They do not complain of it because it is Catholic; they complain of it because it is not as good for the people as our form of Sunday --
Mr. Jones. -- Certainly. And in this movement, the American Sunday, they say, comes from the Puritans, and these people know --
Senator Blair. -- Do you argue against it because it comes from the Puritans, or because it comes from the Catholics? It comes from both, you say; we say it is for the good of society, and that God is for it, because it is for the good of man.
Mr. Jones. -- But let me state the point that I am making: I think everybody knows that it is perfectly consistent with the Catholic keeping of Sunday for the Catholic to go the church in the morning and to the pleasure resort if he chooses in the afternoon. These men stand here in convention, and cry out against the continental Sunday and against its introduction here. Everybody knows that the continental Sunday is the Roman Catholic Sunday. Yet these men, while denouncing the continental Sunday, join hands with the Roman Catholics to secure this Sunday law. They have counted here six million Protestants and seven million two hundred thousand Catholics. Suppose this law were secured in answer to these petitions, would they then have a Puritan Sabbath, or a continental Sunday? In other words, would the six million Protestants compel the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics to keep Sunday in the Puritan, or even the Protestant way, or will the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics do as they please on Sunday, and let the six million Protestants whistle for "the breath of the Puritan " which Dr. Herrick Johnson invokes ? More than this, if it should come to compulsion between these, would not the seven million two hundred thousand Catholics be able to make it unpleasant for the six million Protestants?
Senator Blair. -- I have been all through this that the working people go through. I have been hungry when a boy. The first thing I can remember about is being hungry. I know how the working people feel. I have tugged along through the week, and been tired out Saturday night, and I have been where I would have been compelled to work to the next Monday morning if there had been no law against it. I would not have had any chance to get that twenty-four hours of rest if the Sunday law had not given it to me. It was a civil law under which I got it. The masses of the working people in this country would never get that twenty-four hours' rest if there had not been a law of the land that gave it to us. There is that practical fact, and we are fighting with that state of things. The tired and hungry men, women, and children, all over this country, want a chance to lie down, and rest for twenty-four hours out of the whole seven days.
Mr. Jones. -- So have I been through this that the working people go through. I have carried the hod by the day. I have swung the hammer and shoved the plane by the day. I am a working-man now just as much as I ever was, though not in precisely the same way; and I say to you that I never was robbed of that twenty-four hours' rest. Nor are there so many compelled to lose it as these Sunday-law advocates try to make out. Dr. Crafts said last night over in that convention that he had had communication with people in every nation but two, and "In the world around he could not find a man who had financially lost by refusing to work on Sunday. But many have gained by the conscientious sacrifice."
Much testimony was borne in the Chicago convention last month to the same effect in this country; and in the convention now in session in this city, the Hon. Mr. Dingley, member of Congress from Maine, said last night that the American workingmen are indifferent to the efforts which are put forth in this direction.
Senator Blair. -- He is wrong about it. Mr. Dingley didn't know what he was talking about when he said that.
Mr. Jones. -- He said he had investigated the matter.
Senator Blair. -- I have investigated it, and I say that Mr. Dingley was simply laboring under a misapprehension.
Mr. Jones. -- Dr. Crafts said this morning that he talked two hours with a convention of laboring men at Indianapolis, answering their questions, until at the end of two hours they endorsed this movement. If they are crying for it, if they are fairly tearing their hair for it, how can it be possible that he had to talk two hours to persuade them that it was all right?
Senator Blair. -- Take his statement in full, if you take it at all. He says they are crying for it.
Mr. Jones. -- Then why was it necessary to talk to them for two hours?
Senator Blair. -- Then you simply say he did not tell the truth? You discredit the witness?
0 Mr. Jones. -- I do.
Senator Blair. -- You say perhaps he did not tell the truth, that is all. I think he was right.
Mr. Jones. -- But the two things do not hitch together properly. If they are calling for it so loudly, certainly it ought not to require two hours to convert them. The fact is that the laboring men are not calling for it. Great effort is being made to have it appear so. But the Knights of Labor never took any such step except at the solicitation of Dr. Crafts. This bill had scarcely been introduced last spring before Dr. Crafts made a trip to Chicago and other cities, soliciting the endorsement of the Knights of Labor. Instead of their petitioning for this Sunday law, they have first been petitioned to petition for it; the object of it had to be explained, and objections answered, before they could even be brought to support it. The object of the petition for this bill was explained by Dr. Crafts to the Central Labor Union of New York, and its endorsement secured. the Central Labor Union embraces a number of labor organizations, and the Christian Union declares the Central Labor Union to be a "radically Socialistic" organization. This, in itself, would not be particularly significant were it not for the fact that the arguments which Dr. Crafts presents to these organizations to gain their support are entirely Socialistic. Nor are these confined to Dr. Crafts. Other leaders of the movement also advocate the same principles.
Dr. Crafts went to the General Assembly of the Knights of Labor at Indianapolis last month to get the delegates there to endorse the petition for the passage of this Sunday bill. He has referred to this in his speech here this forenoon, and has made a portion of his speech to them and to the Locomotive Engineers a part of his speech here. A report of his speech at Indianapolis was printed in the Journal of United Labor, the official journal of the Knights of Labor of America, Thursday, Nov. 29, 1888. He said to them there: --
"Having carefully read and re-read your 'declaration of principles' and your 'constitution,' and having watched with interest the brave yet conservative shots of your Powderly at intemperance and other great evils, I have found myself so closely in accord with you that I have almost decided to become a Knight of Labor myself. If I do not, it will be only because I believe I can advance your 'principles' better as an outside ally."
The following question was asked by one of the Knights:
-- "Would it not be the best way to stop Sunday trains to have the Government own and control the railroads altogether, as the Knights advocate?"
Dr. Crafts answered: --
"I believe in that. Perhaps the best way to begin the discussion of Government control for seven days per week is to discuss this bill for Government control on one day. If the railroads refuse the little we now ask, the people will be the more ready to take control altogether."
The Knights of Labor advocate the doctrine that the Government shall take control of all the railroads in the country, and hire the idle men in the country at regular railroad wages, and run the roads, as it now runs the Post-office Department, without reference to the question whether anything is made or lost by the Government. This is what gave rise to the above question. Dr. Crafts proposes to play into their hands by making the bid for their support, that if they will help the Sunday-law workers get Government control of the railroads one day in the week, then the Sunday-law workers will help the Knights to get Government control every day in the week.
Another question that was discussed both there and at the convention of Locomotive Engineers at Richmond, Va., was the following: --
"Will not one day's less work per week mean one-seventh less wages?"
The response to this was as follows:
-- "As much railroad work as is done in seven days can be done in six days, and done better, because of the better condition of the men. And on this ground the engineers would be sustained in demanding, and, if necessary, compelling, the railroad company to so readjust the pay schedule that the men will be paid as much as at present."
That is to say, Dr. Crafts and the Sunday-law workers propose to stand in with the laboring men to compel employers to pay seven days' wages for six days' work. This is made certain by the following petition to the State legislatures, which is being circulated everywhere with the petition for this bill. I got this at the Chicago convention. Dr. Crafts distributed the petitions by the quantity there, and he is doing the same at the convention now in this city:
-- "To the State Senate [or House]: The undersigned earnestly petition your honorable body to pass a bill forbidding any one to hire another, or to be hired for more than six days in any week, except in domestic service, and the care of the sick; in order that those whom law or custom permits to work on Sunday may be protected in their right to some other weekly rest-day, and in their right to a week's wages for six days' work."
Now a week consists of seven days. A week's wages for six days' work is seven days' wages for six days' work. This petition asks the legislatures of all the States to pass a law protecting employees in their right to seven days' wages for six days' work. No man in this world has any right to seven days' wages for six days' work. If he has a right to seven days' wages for six days' work, then he has an equal right to six days' wages for five days' work; and to five days' wages for four days' work; and to four days' wages for three days' work; to three days' wages for two days' work; to two days' wages for one day's work; and to one day's wages for no work at all. This is precisely what the proposition amounts to. For in proposing to pay seven days' wages for six days's work, it does propose to pay one day's wages for no work. But if a man is entitled to one day's wages for doing nothing, why stop with one day? Why not go on and pay him full wages every day for doing nothing? It may be thought that I misinterpret the meaning of the petition; that, as it asks that nobody be allowed to hire another for more than six days of any week, it may mean only that six days are to compose a week; and that it is a week's wages of six days only that is to be paid for six days' work. That is not the meaning of the petition. It is not the intention of those who are gaining the support of the Knights of Labor by inventing and circulating the petition.
- - - - 42 minutes into the reading of part 4
Dr. George Elliott, pastor of the Foundry Methodist Church in this city, -- the church in which this National Sunday Convention is being held, -- the church that is now festooned with fourteen million petitions that they haven't got, -- festooned, at least partly, with one seven-million-two-hundred-thousand-times-multiplied Cardinal, -- Dr. Elliott, while speaking in favor of this bill this forenoon, was asked by Senator Call these questions:
-- "Do you propose that Congress shall make provision to pay the people in the employ of the Government who are exempted on Sunday, for Sunday work?"
"Mr. Elliott. -- I expect you to give them adequate compensation.
"Senator Call. -- Do you propose that the same amount shall be paid for six days' work as for seven?
"Mr. Elliott. -- I do; for the reason that we believe these employees can do all the work that is to be done in six days. And if they do all the work, they ought to have all the pay."
There it is in plain, unmistakable words, that they deliberately propose to have laws, State and national, Which shall compel employers to pay seven days' wages for six days' work. This is sheer Socialism; it is the very essence of Socialism. No wonder they gained the unanimous endorsement of the convention of the Knights of Labor, and of the Locomotive Engineers, and the Socialistic Labor Union of New York City, by proposing to pay them good wages for doing nothing. I confess that I, too, would support the bill upon such a proposition as that if I looked no further than the money that is in it.
But this is not all. The Knights of Labor not only accept the proposition, but they carry it farther, and logically, too. This principle has been advocated for some time [be] the Knights of Labor in demanding ten hours' pay for eight hours' work -- virtually two hours' pay for doing nothing. The Christian Union and the Catholic Review propose to help the working-men secure their demanded eight-hour law, and then have the working-men help to get the six-day law by forbidding all work on Sunday. Dr. Crafts and Dr. Elliott go a step farther, and propose to secure the support of the working-men by having laws enacted compelling employers to pay them full wages on Sunday for doing nothing. But the Knights of Labor do not propose to stop with this. The same copy of the Journal of United Labor which contained the speech of Dr. Crafts, contained the following in an editorial upon this point: --
"Why should not such a law be enacted? All the work now performed each week could easily be accomplished in five days of eight hours each if employment were given to the host of willing idle men who are now walking the streets. It is a crime to force one portion of a community to kill themselves by overwork, while another portion of the same people are suffering from privation and hunger, with no opportunity to labor. The speech of the Rev. Mr. Crafts, published elsewhere, furnishes an abundance of argument as to why such a law should be put in force."
So when the Sunday-law advocates propose to pay a week's wages for six days' work of eight hours each, because all the work can be done in six days that is now done in seven, then the Knights of Labor propose to have a week's wages for five days' work, because, by employing all the idle men, all the work that is now done in seven days can be done in five. And as Dr. Elliott has said, "If they do all the work, they ought to have all the pay." But if a week's wages are to be paid for five days' work of eight hours each, that is to say, if two days' wages can rightly be paid for no work at all, why should the thing be stopped there? If the Government is to take control of the railroads all the time in order to pay two days' wages for doing nothing, and if the States are to enact laws compelling employers to pay employees two days' wages for doing nothing, then why shall not the Government, both State and national, take possession of everything, and pay the laboring men full wages all the time for doing nothing? For if men have the right to one day's wages for no work, where is the limit to the exercise of that right? The fact of the matter is that there is no limit. If a man is entitled to wages for doing nothing part of the time, he is entitled to wages for doing nothing all the time. And the principle upon which Dr. Crafts and his other Sunday-law confreres gain the support of the working-men to this Sunday bill is nothing at all but the principle of down-right Socialism.
There is a point right here that is worthy of the serious consideration of the working-men. These Sunday-law workers profess great sympathy for the laboring men in their struggle with the grinding monopolies, and by Sunday laws they propose to deliver the workingmen from the power of these monopolies. But in the place of all these other monopolies, they propose to establish a monopoly of religion, and to have the Government secure them in the perpetual enjoyment of it. They may talk as much as they please about the grasping, grinding greed of the many kinds of monopolies, and there is truth in it; but of all monopolies, the most greedy, the most grinding, the most oppressive, the most conscienceless the world ever saw or ever can see, is a religious monopoly. When these managers of religious legislation have delivered the working-men from the other monopolies -- granting that they can do it -- then the important question is, Who will deliver the working-men from the religious monopoly?
|End of part 4 -- go to Audio page and click on part 5 of the reading ( Page 112 of Transcript )|
Senator Blair. -- Abolish the law of rest, take it away from the working people, and leave corporations and saloon keepers and everybody at perfect liberty to destroy that twenty-four hours of rest, and lawgivers and law-makers will find out whether or not the people want it, and whether they want those law-makers.
Mr. Jones. -- There are plenty of ways to help the working-men without establishing a religious monopoly, and enforcing religious observance upon all. There is another point that comes in right here. Those who are asking for the law and those who work for it, are those who compel the people to work on Sunday. In the Illinois State Sunday convention in Chicago last month, it was stated in the first speech made in the convention, "We remember how that the working-men are compelled to desecrate the Sabbath by the great corporations." The very next sentence was, "We remember also that the stockholders, the owners of these railroads, are members of the churches, that they sit in the pews and bow their heads in the house of God on the Sabbath day."
Senator Blair. -- That is only saying that there are hypocrites in this world. What has that to do with this proposed law?
Mr. Jones. -- I am coming to that. It has a good deal to do with it. The stockholders who own the railroads act in this way, those men said; and it was stated by a minister in that convention that a railroad president told him that there were more petitions for Sunday trains from preachers than from any other class.
Senator Blair. -- There are a lot of hypocrites among the preachers, then.
Mr. Jones. -- Precisely; although you yourself have said it. I confess I have not the heart to dispute it.
Senator Blair. -- I do not find any fault with that statement. If it is true, it does not touch this question.
Mr. Jones. -- If these preachers and church members will not keep the Sabbath in obedience to what they say is the commandment of God, will they keep it in obedience to the command of the State?
Senator Blair. -- Certainly the hard working man needs rest; the preachers, church members, and millionaires may do as they please: the bill comes in here and says that the national government, taking part of the jurisdiction of the civil government of the United States by a concession made by the States, by virtue of its control of interstate commerce, and the post-office business, and the army and navy, will take advantage of what the States have given to the general Government in the way of jurisdiction, and will not introduce practices which destroy the Sabbath in the States. That is the object of this legislation. That is all that is undertaken here. It is simply an act proposing to make efficient the Sunday-rest laws of the State, and nothing else.
Mr. Jones. -- But those laws are to be enforced, if at all, by those who are so strongly in favor of them.
Senator Blair. -- No, by the State. If these people were in favor of them, or not in favor of them, or violated them, that is another thing. A man may be for a law which he violates. A great many of the strongest temperance people in the world use intoxicating liquors. They say that they realize the evil, and that they are in favor of the enactment of law which will extirpate those evils. The strongest advocates I have ever seen of temperance legislation are men who have come to realize that the grave is just ahead of them. They cannot get rid of the appetite, but they pray the government: for legislation that will save the boys.
Mr. Jones. -- That is all right. I am in favor of prohibition straight; but not Sunday prohibition.
Senator Blair. -- You cannot adduce a man's practice as a reply to the argument on a question that touches the public good. It does not vitiate a man's principle because he fails to live up to it himself.
Mr. Jones. -- But the secret of the whole matter is this: As an argument for the Sunday law, these men assert that the great railroad corporations desecrate the Sabbath, and by persistently running Sunday trains, also compel the railroad men to work and to desecrate the day. They at the same time assert that the men who own the railroads belong to the churches. If, then, the railroads compel their men to desecrate the day, and the owners of the railroads are church members, then who is it but the church members that are compelling people to desecrate the day?
Further than this, they quoted at Chicago the statement of a railroad president, that the roads "get more requests for Sunday trains signed by preachers" than they do from other people. But as the church members own the railroads, and the preachers request them to run Sunday trains, then who is to blame for the "desecration" of the day but the preachers and their own church members? Can't the preachers stop asking for Sunday trains without being compelled to do so by the civil law? In the Chicago convention last month -- November 20, 21 -- Dr. Knowles, who is secretary of this National Sunday-law Union, said that by the influence of William E. Dodge, even after his death, the Delaware & Lackawanna Railroad Company had resisted the temptation to run trains on Sunday until the present year. But five hundred ministers met in conference in New York and used competing lines on Sunday, and by this the hands of the Sunday observance committee have been tied ever since. After that, when the Delaware & Lackawanna directors were asked not to run Sunday trains, they replied,
-- "How can you come to us pleading for us to run no trains on Sunday, when your preachers by the hundreds on Sunday use our rival lines, which do run on Sunday. If your preachers ride on Sunday trains on other roads, we cannot see why they and other people cannot ride on our trains on Sunday. And if it is all right for these other roads to run trains on Sunday, -- and certainly ministers of the gospel would not ride on them if it were wrong, -- then we cannot see how it can be such a great wrong for us to run Sunday trains."
That is a very proper answer. No wonder the Sunday committee's hands are tied by it. And yet that very conference of five hundred preachers, assembled in New York last summer, took the first decided step toward the organization of the National Sunday Association, of which Dr. Knowles himself is secretary.
By these facts there is presented the following condition of things: (1.) Church members own the railroads; (2.) Preachers sign requests for Sunday trains; (3.) The church members grant the request of the preachers for Sunday trains, and the preachers ride on the Sunday trains, and other church members go on Sunday excursions; (4.) Then the whole company -- preachers and church members -- together petition Congress and the State legislatures to make a law stopping all Sunday trains! That is to say, they want the legislatures, State and national, to compel their own railroad-owning church members not to grant the request of the preachers for Sunday trains. In other words, they want the civil power to compel them all -- preachers and church members -- to act as they all say that Christians ought to act. And they insist upon quoting all the time the commandment of God, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." But if they will not obey the commandment of God, which they themselves acknowledge and quote, what assurance have we that they will obey the law of Congress or State legislature when they get it, especially as it will rest entirely with themselves to see that the law is enforced? Will they compel themselves by civil law to do what they themselves will not otherwise do? The sum of this whole matter is that they want the civil power to enforce church discipline; and that not only upon themselves, but upon everybody else. The whole system, and all the pretensions upon which this Sunday law is demanded, are crooked.
As to the enforcement of the law, it will fall to those who are working to get it; because certainly those who do not want it will not enforce it, and the officers of the law are not given to the enforcement of laws which are not supported by public opinion. This is proved by the fact that the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago now have Sunday laws that ought to satisfy any reasonable person, and yet not one of them is enforced. And the preachers of that city and State, instead of seeing that these are enforced, call convention after convention to work up more Sunday laws, both State and national.
What, then, is the next intention? -- It is to make it a political question in both State and nation, and make the enactment and enforcement of Sunday laws the price of votes and political support. This is proved by the following resolutions adopted by the Elgin Sunday-law convention:
-- "Resolved, That we look with shame and sorrow on the non-observance of the Sabbath by many Christian people, in that the custom prevails with them of purchasing Sabbath newspapers, engaging in and patronizing Sabbath business and travel, and in many instances giving themselves to pleasure and self-indulgence, setting aside by neglect and indifference the great duties and privileges which God's day brings them.
"Resolved, That we give our votes and support to those candidates or political officers who will pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcing of statutes in favor of the civil Sabbath."
Such a resolution as this last may work in Illinois, though it is doubtful, but with their own statement made in that convention, it is certain that this resolution can never work under the Constitution of the United States. They stated in the convention that the Sabbath is "the test of all religion." To demand that candidates or political officers shall pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcement of statutes in favor of the Sabbath is, therefore, to require a religious test as a qualification for office. The national Constitution declares that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this Government; "consequently, no Sabbath or Sunday-law test can ever be applied to any candidate for any national office or public trust.
It is true they use the word civil in the resolution, but that corresponds with much of their other work. There is not, and there cannot be, any such thing as a civil Sabbath. The Sabbath is religious wholly, and they know it; and in all their discussion of this resolution and the subject generally in the convention, it was as a religious institution, and that only.
Senator Blair. -- Is there any other point you would wish to present?
Mr. Jones. -- There is another point, and that is, that we will be sufferers under such a law when it is passed. They propose to put in an exemption clause. Some of them favor an exemption clause, but it would not in the least degree check our opposition to the law if forty exemption clauses were put in, unless, indeed, they should insert a clause exempting everybody who does not want to keep it. In that case, we might not object so much.
Senator Blair. -- You care not whether it is put in or not?
Mr. Jones. -- There is no right whatever in the legislation; and we will never accept an exemption clause as an equivalent to our opposition to the law. It is not to obtain relief for ourselves that we oppose the law. It is the principle of the whole subject of the legislation to which we object; and an exemption clause would not modify our objection in the least.
Senator Blair. -- You differ from Dr. Lewis?
Mr. Jones. -- Yes, sir, we will never accept an exemption clause, as tending in the least to modify our opposition to the law. We as firmly and as fully deny the right of the State to legislate upon the subject with an exemption clause as without.
Senator Blair. -- There are three times as many of you as of his denomination?
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