The Divine Right of Individuality in Religion or Religious Liberty Complete
1 Chapter I -- As related to Autocracy.
22 Chapter II -- As related to the Supremacy of the Law.
33 Chapter III -- As related to Union of Church and State.
45 Chapter IV -- As related to the Church Itself.
68 Chapter V -- As between Individuals.
79 Chapter VI -- God and Caesar.
96 Chapter VII -- Recapitulation.
108 Chapter VIII -- Individuality the Supreme Gift.
119 Chapter IX -- Sunday Legislation.

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Publisher of the
"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)
- 1970s
- 1980s
- 1990s
- 2000s

All the Specials and Commentaries are in the last file of the year. There are 4 files for each year: jm=Jan-Mar; aj=Apr-Jun; js-=Jul-Sep; od=Oct-Dec

WWN is a thought paper that was published monthly continuously from Jan, 1968 to the end of Dec. 2006 . by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi, Inc.(ALF), with William H. Grotheer as the Editor of Research & Publication.

The Nov. 1977 issue discusses "What is the "Watchman, What of the Night?"

SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
Further Background Information on Zaire -General Conference pays Government to keep church there.
From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
Trademark of the name Seventh-day Adventist [Perez Court Case] - US District Court Case - GC of SDA vs.R. Perez, and others [Franchize of name "SDA" not to be used outside of denominational bounds.]


Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
- William H. Grotheer

Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

Excerpts - Legal Documents
- EEOC vs PPPA - Adventist Laymen's Foundation

Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
- William H. Grotheer

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
 - William H. Grotheer

SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

- William H. Grotheer

Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
- William H. Grotheer

Elder William H. Grotheer



Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy


Due to his failing health, Elder Grotheer requested that ALF of Canada continue publishing thoughts through its website which developed into frequent Blog Thought articles plus all of the Foundation's historical published works written and audio.

As of 2010, with the official closing of the ALF of USA , The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website www.Adventist is the only officially operating ALF branch established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.

We are thankful for the historical legacy that is now available through

The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada,

The MISSION of this site -- is to make available the articles from the thought paper "Watchman, What of the Night?" It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.

Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada."








"Vindicating the right of Individuality
even in Religion,
and in Religion above all,
the new Nation dared to set the example of accepting in its relations to God the principle first divinely ordained of God in Judea."
-- Bancroft.

Individuality In Religion.



p 5 -- Religion is "the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it."

Liberty is "the state of being exempt from the domination of others, or from restricting circumstances. In ethics and philosophy, the power in any rational agent to make his choices and decide his conduct for himself, spontaneously and voluntarily, in accordance with reasons or motives."

Religious liberty, therefore, is man's exemption from the domination of others, or from restricting circumstances: man's freedom to make his choices and decide his conduct for himself, spontaneously and voluntarily: in his duty to his Creator, and in the manner of discharging that duty.

Since God has created man, in the nature of things the first of all relationships

p 6 -- is that to God; and the first of all duties could be nothing but duty to God.

Suppose a time when there was only one intelligent creature in the universe. He was created: and his relationship to his Creator, his duty to his Creator, is the only one that could possibly be. That is the first of all relationships that can possibly be. Therefore it is written that "the first of all the commandments is, Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord: and Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."

All there is of any soul is first due to God; because it all came from God. This, therefore, is the first of all commandments, not because it is the first one that was ever given by spoken word, or that was ever written out; but because it is the first that could possibly be. And this because it is the expression of the first principle of the existence of any intelligent creature. The principle

p 7 -- was there, inherent in the existence of the first intelligent creature, in the first moment of his existence;and there the principle abides eternally, unmodified and unfading.

Now, though that is the first of all possible relationships, and the first of all duties; though that relationship and duty are inherent in the very existence of intelligent creatures; yet even in that inherent obligation, God has created every intelligent creature free -- free to recognize that obligation or not, free to discharge that duty or not, just as he chooses.

Accordingly it is written: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Thus it is absolutely true that in religion -- in the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it -- God has created man entirely "exempt from the domination of others and from restricting circumstances;" has made him free

p 8 -- "to make his choice, and decide his conduct for himself, spontaneously and voluntarily." Thus religious liberty is the gift of God, inherent in the gift of rational existence itself.

Any service as to God that is not freely chosen by him who renders it is not service to God. There can be no virtue in it; there can be none of God in it. Any service rendered as to God that is not freely chosen on the part of him who renders it cannot be of God; because "God is love": and love and compulsion, love and force, love and oppression, never can go together. Therefore any duty, any obligation, anything, offered or rendered as to God that is not of the individual's own freely chosen choice, can neither be of God nor to God. Accordingly when the Lord created whatever creature -- angel or man -- in order that that creature should be happy in the service of God, and in order that there should be virtue in rendering service or worship to God, He

p 9 -- created him free to choose to do so. And this is individuality, and the divine right of it.

God created man free. When man by sin was separated and lost from that freedom, Christ came to restore him fully to it. The way of God and of Christ, therefore, is the way of liberty. And the work of God through Christ with mankind in the whole history of the world has been to make plain this way and to give to man the absolute assurance of this "soul liberty" which is the only true liberty. Whom the Son makes free is free indeed.

In the Scriptures there are given distinctly and clearly six specific lessons on this subject of religious liberty -- the liberty of the individual soul against the domination of man and combinations of men in the powers of the world. Each of these lessons deals with the subject upon a distinct and specific principle. And the six lessons, taken together,

p 10 -- cover completely the whole ground upon every principle. We now purpose to take up for special study these six lessons separately and in succession as given in the Scriptures. The contest for religious liberty is not yet finished. Religious liberty complete is not yet recognized, even in principle, and much less in practice, even by the mass of Christians, as it is made perfectly plain in the Scriptures.

- Come, then, let us study and let us have, and let us study that we may have, religious liberty complete, in principle and in experience, as it is in the Scriptures of truth. TOP


In Religion.



p 11 --In the nature of things there is no rightful room for the domination of others in the life and affairs of the soul of the individual person. This is peculiarly and supremely the realm of God alone, who created man in His own image and for His own glory; and who created each person individually and personally responsible and answerable to Him alone.

Yet man, sinful and unruly man, has never been willing to allow God to have His place in and with the soul of the individual man; but has always been ambitious and ready to claim that place for himself, and by every means and contrivance possible to make this claim effective.

p 12 -- History itself, as it relates to general principles and not to details, is hardly anything else than a succession of attempts upon the grandest possible scale to make successful this arrogant claim of sinful and unruly man in the place of God to dominate the souls of men. And no grander demonstration that there is a divinity striving hard to shape the destiny of mankind could ever be asked or given than from the day of Abel until now is given in the perpetual heroic assertion and maintenance of this perfect liberty of the individual soul by the individual person against the subtlest pretensions and mightiest combinations of force and power that this world could possibly contrive. From Nimrod to Nebuchadnezzar and from Nebuchadnezzar until now the course and energy of empire have been bent and exerted to this one thing. And through all that time such splendid individuals as Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Daniel and his three brethren, Paul, Wyckliff, Huss,

p 13 -- Militz, Matthias, Conrad, Jerome, Luther, Roger Williams, and multitudes unnamed, and over all Christ Jesus, by divine faith have sublimely stood alone with God, absolutely alone so far as man is concerned, for the individuality, and in that the liberty, of the soul of man; and for the sovereignty of God alone in and over the realm of the soul.

The Empire of Babylon embraced the civilized world, as the world then was. Nebuchadnezzar was monarch and absolute ruler of the empire. "Thou, 0 king, art a king of kings; for the God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all." Dan. 2: 37, 38.

In His own providential purpose God had made all nations subject to the sway of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Jer. 27: 1-13. In the form and system

p 14 --of government of Babylon the authority of the king was absolute. His word was the law. In this absolutism of sovereignty King Nebuchadnezzar assumed that he was sovereign of the souls, as well as the bodies, of the religious life as well as the civil conduct, of those who were subject to his power. And since he was ruler of the nations he would be ruler in the religion, and of the religion, of the nations.

Accordingly he made a great image, all of gold, about ninety feet tall and nine feet broad, and "set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon." Then he summoned from the provinces all the officials of the empire to the dedication and the worship of the great golden image. All the officials came, and were assembled and stood before the image.

"Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, 0 people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music,

p 15 -- ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace." And as the instruments of music sounded forth the grand signal for the worship "all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image." Dan. 3: 4-6.

But in the assembly there were three young Hebrews who had been carried captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, but who had been appointed by the king, officials "over the affairs of the province of Babylon." These neither bowed nor worshipped, nor otherwise paid any particular attention to the proceedings.

This was noticed, and excited accusation before the king. "There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, 0 king, have not regarded

p 16 -- thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Verse 12.

Then the king "in his rage and fury" commanded that the three young men should be brought before him. This was done, The king himself now spoke to them personally and direct: "'Is it of purpose, 0 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?" The king himself then repeated the command that at the sound of the instruments of all kinds of music they fall down and worship, and if not, they were to be cast "the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."

But the young men quietly answered: "0 Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and be will deliver us out of thine hand, 0 king. But if not, be it known unto thee, 0 king, that we will not serve thy

p 17 -- gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Verses 14 - 18.

The issue was now clearly drawn. The sovereign of the world's power had personally issued his command direct to the three individuals; and from them he had received answer as direct, that they would not conform. This was conduct, and these were words, such as the king in his absolutism of power had never met before. There was therefore a personal as well as an official resentment aroused in him; and be was so "full of fury" that "the form of his visage was changed against" the young men, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than usual; and that "the most mighty men in his army" should bind the young men and cast them into the midst of the roaring furnace.

It was done. And the three men, "in their coats, and their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments" fell down bound "into the midst of the burning

p 18 -- fiery furnace." But just then the king was more astonished than ever in his life before. He was fairly petrified "astonied" -- and "rose up in haste" and to his counsellors cried out, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"

They assured him that this was true. But he exclaimed, "Lo, I see four men, loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

Then the king went near to the mouth of the furnace and called to the men by name and said, "Ye servants of the most high God, come forth and come hither." And they "came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed upon them.

"Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and

p 19 -- said, blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God."

Here, then, is the situation: The Lord had brought all nations in subjection to the king of Babylon. By messages of His own prophet He had commanded His people, the Jews, and these three young men among them, to "serve the king of Babylon." Yet these three had explicitly refused to serve the king of Babylon in this thing which he had personally and directly commanded them; and in this refusal the Lord himself had most signally stood by them and delivered them.

Therefore it would be impossible more plainly to show that the Lord, in commanding the people to be subject to the king of Babylon and to serve him, had never either commanded or intended

p 20 -- that they should be subject to him or serve him in the realm of religion.

By this unmistakable approval of the course of the three men, and this signal deliverance of them, the Lord made perfectly plain to the king that his command in this matter was wrong: that he had demanded a service that he had no right to require: that in making him king of the nations the Lord had not made him king in the religion of the people: that in bringing him to be head of all the nations, peoples, and languages, God had not given him to be head of the religion of even a solitary individual: that while the Lord had brought all nations and peoples under the king's yoke as to their political and bodily service, this same Lord had unmistakably shown to the king that he had given no power nor jurisdiction in any way whatever as to their soul's service: that while in all things between nation and nation, and between man and man, all peoples, nations, and languages had been given to

p 21 -- him to serve him, and God had made him ruler over them all; yet with the relations between each man and God the king could have nothing whatever to do: and that in the presence of the rights of the individual person, in conscience and in worship "the king's word" must change, the king's decree is naught: that in this the king even of the world is only nobody, for here only God is sovereign and all in all.

And for the instruction of all kings and all people forever, all this was done that day, and it was written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. TOP




p 22 --THE world-power and empire of Babylon passed away forever; and another took its place -- the power and empire of Medo-Persia. Here was another principle of government, and here there is given to the world another lesson in religious liberty.

In the Medo-Persian empire the principle of government was different from that of Babylon.

Babylon, as we have seen, was not only an absolute monarchy, but an autocracy -- a one-man government, a one-man absolutism. The word of the king was the law, and the law was changeable as the will and word of the king might change. The king was the source of the law; his word was the law for all

p 23 -- others; but as for himself there was no restriction of law.

The Medo-Persian government was an absolute monarchy also. There, also, the word of the king was the law: but with this all-important difference from Babylon, that when once the word of the king had gone forth as the law, that law could not be changed nor reversed even by the king himself. The king himself was bound, even against himself, by his own word or decree that had once become the law. The government of Medo-Persia, therefore, was a government of law; its principle was the supremacy of THE LAW.

At the head of the administration of the affairs of this empire there were three presidents, of whom Daniel was first. Because of Daniel's knowledge, integrity, ability, and general worth in the administration, the king had it in mind "to set him over the whole realm." This, becoming known, excited the jealousy of the other two presidents and of

p 24 -- the princes; and they conspired to break him down.

They sought, first, "to find occasion against Daniel" concerning his conduct of the affairs of the empire. But after long and diligent search, and the closest possible scrutiny, they were obliged to cease their endeavor and confess that "they could find none occasion nor fault;" because "he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him."

"Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God." But they could not find any occasion against him concerning even the law of his God, until they themselves had first created a situation that would render inevitable the desired occasion.

Their long and exacting endeavor to find some occasion or fault against him in the affairs of the empire had convinced them of his absolute devotion in loyalty to God. Through their investigation

p 25 -- they knew by experience that he could not by any means be caused to swerve a hair's-breadth from the straight line of absolute devotion to God. But this was wholly an individual matter, in which there was no interference with any man in any way whatever. And in his conduct in relation to others and to the State, their own consciously prejudiced investigation had demonstrated that it was actually beneficial.

Thus there being no possible ground upon which they could find occasion against him even concerning the law of his God, as circumstances and conditions were; and they, therefore, being put to the necessity of actually creating such ground, Daniel's unswerving devotion to God became the way over which they would proceed. They therefore concocted a scheme into which they drew all the officials of the empire, and went to the king and said: -- "0 king, live forever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors,

p 26 -- and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask any petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, 0 king, he shall be cast into a den of lions. Now, 0 king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Dan. 6:6-8.

The king allowed himself to be caught by this very flattering proposal of so large a number of the highest officials of the empire, and he signed the decree. Daniel knew that the decree had been framed, and that the writing had been signed by the king. He knew that such was now the law of the empire -- a law that could neither be waived nor altered. Nevertheless he went to his house, and as his regular times of prayer recurred, three times a day, he "prayed and gave thanks before God, as he did aforetime." And his windows happening to be open, the Imperial law had not enough place in his

p 27 -- mind or weight upon his attention to induce him to take the precaution even to close the windows.

The plotters expecting nothing but just this on the part of Daniel, "assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God." Then at sight of this open disregard of the imperial law, they hastened to the king and very deferentially inquired. "Hast thou not signed a decree?" etc. The king answered, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." Then the plotters reported, "that Daniel which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, 0 king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day."

"Then the king, when he had heard these words, was sore displeased with himself," because he had allowed himself to be so flattered as to be caught in such a trap as that. "And he set his heart on Daniel to deliver him." But the plotters

p 28 -- were ready with their plea of the supremacy and integrity of "the law"; and to urge arguments that it was "not a question of religion, but of the law;" that to countenance disregard and violation of "the law" was simply to undermine all the government and make an open bid for a reign of anarchy, and for the very dissolution of society itself: that they were exceedingly sorry that such an excellent man as Daniel should be thus involved, yet to allow such open disregard of "the law" by one of such high standing and reputation would be only all the worse; because this very fact of the high standing and wide reputation of the one who so openly disregarded "the law" would be only the more encouragement to all people to do the same, etc., etc.

Yet the king "labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him." But through all that time and at every turn, the king was met by the plotters with the plea, "The law; the law." "Know, 0 king, that the law of the Medes and Persians

p 29 -- is, that no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed." The supremacy of the law bound the king himself: there was no escape: and, though with greatest reluctance, "the king commanded and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions."

The king passed the night in fasting and in sleeplessness. But very early in the morning he hurried to the den of lions and "cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel . . . 0 Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?"

Daniel answered, "0 king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him, innocency was found in me; and also before thee, 0 king, have I done no hurt." And therein the demonstration is made in perfection forever that the person who disregards any law that touches

p 30 -- service to God is innocent before God, and also does "no hurt" to the king, nor to the State, nor to society, nor to any principle of law or government.

All of which in divine truth demonstrates again that no earthly government can ever have any right or jurisdiction in matters of religion: that is, in "the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it." And in this case there is the additional demonstration that no government can ever of right incorporate in the law provisions touching religion, and then plead the supremacy and integrity of "the law:" that "it is not primarily a question of religion but only of the law:" that "we are not asking for religious observance, we ask only respect for law." In the case of Daniel and the "supremacy of the law of the Medes and Persians," the divine answer to all such pleas is that, nothing pertaining to religion can ever of right have any place in the law.

The right of perfect individuality in

p 31 -- religion is a divine, and therefore an absolutely inalienable, right. And to make religious observances or prohibitions a matter of the law, does not affect the free exercise of this divine right. The fulness of the right, and the perfect liberty of its exercise, abide ever the same, even though religion be made a matter, and a part, of the law. And when religion or religious observance or prohibition is fixed in the law, even though the law be as supreme and inflexible as that of the Medes and Persians, the divine right and perfect liberty of individuality in religion then extends to the law that incorporates the religion, and such law is simply no law. The subterfuge of enforcing religious observances or prohibitions under cover of "the supremacy and integrity of the law," instead of taking away or in any way limiting the divine right and perfect liberty of individuality in religion, simply reacts to the extent of actually sweeping away all ground of claim for "the supremacy and integrity of the

p 32 -- law"-- in actually nullifying the specific law in the case.

The civil law is rightly supreme in the realm of things civil, but in the realm of things religious it simply has no place at all.

, In the presence of the divine right of individuality in religion as relates to autocratic government, illustrated in King Nebuchadnezzar, the king's word must change.

In the presence of the divine right of individuality in religion as relates to the supremacy and inflexibility of the law, illustrated in the government of the Medes and Persians, any law that touches or contemplates religion is simply no law at all.

The realm of religion is the realm of God. In that realm God alone is Sovereign, and His will is the only law. And in that realm the individual stands alone with God, and responsible to Him alone. TOP




p 33 -- By most remarkable facts and unquestionable experiences, in the case of King Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrew young men, there was made plain forever the divine truth and principle that with the religion of the people no monarch can of right have anything to do; that in the presence of the right of individuality in religion, the king's word must change.

By corresponding facts and experiences in the case of the Medo-Persian government against Daniel there was made plain forever the divine will and truth and principle that with the religion of the people no law, nor any government by means of law, can of right have anything to do -- that in the presence of the free exercise of individuality in religion,

p 34 -- any law touching religion is nothing; and every individual in absolutely ignoring and disregarding such law is "innocent" before God, and also does "no hurt" to government, to law, or to society.

These two examples and the principles which they illustrate cover every phase of earthly government as such: and so make plain the great and vital truth that religion, with its rites, institutions, and observances, is totally excluded, and is to be totally exempt, from the cognizance of earthly government of whatever phase or form: that religion, with all that is incident to it, pertains to the individual alone in his personal relations to God.

But there is another means by which man has sought to dominate man in the realm of religion, that is by means of the Church through the State.

People called out from the world and separated from the world unto God, are His church in the world. When God

p 35 -- had called His people out of Egypt they were first "the church in the wilderness;" and afterward in the land of Canaan they were the church there.

Through their stiffness of neck, hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, they sadly missed God's great purpose for them as His church. Yet in His goodness and mercy God "suffered their manners in the wilderness," and in the land from age to age. Thus through randy vicissitudes that people had continued as the church till the time when Christ the Lord came to dwell on the earth: and through all that time this church was heir to most glorious promises of a widespread kingdom and dominion.

At the time when Christ came to the earth as man, the dominion and power of Rome held the people of that church in stern and cruel temporal subjection, and they longed for the promised Deliverer to appear. This Deliverer had been abundantly promised, and at last

p 36 -- He came. But the high ones of the church had allowed their worldly ambition to hide their eyes from the spirituality of the kingdom and dominion that had been promised; and they looked for, and had taught the people to expect, a political and temporal deliverer who should strike off the yoke of Rome, break her power, and exalt the church of the chosen people to a position of power and dominion over the nations, corresponding to that which for so long had been held by the nations over them.

When Jesus first appeared in His public ministry, these high ones of the church went with the crowds that flocked to hear Him, listened with interest, and hoped that He would fulfill their expectations. But when they saw the interest and enthusiasm of the multitude reach the point where "they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king"; and when they saw that Jesus, instead of accepting the honor or encouraging the project, "withdrew Himself from

p 37 -- them"; in this they also saw that all their ambitious hopes of deliverance from the dominion of Rome, and of exaltation over the nations, were utterly vain so far as Jesus was concerned.

But by this time the influence of Jesus with the people had become so widespread and so strong that the church-leaders saw that their power over the people was very rapidly vanishing. Instead of seeing fulfilled or sanctioned their ambitious plans and hopes for worldly power and dominion, they saw with dismay that what power and influence they did have with the people was most certainly undermined: and this by a man risen from the greatest obscurity, who came from a town of the meanest reputation, and who was at most only a private member of the church! Something must be done, and that very soon, to preserve their own place and dignity. It was manifestly too late to think of commanding Him not to preach or teach: by this time

p 38 -- they knew full well that not only He but the multitudes themselves would pay no attention to any such prohibition. But there was a way out -- a means by which to maintain their place and dignity, and to assert their power over Him and the people. In their opinion of themselves and their position it was a very easy thing to make their place and dignity identical not only with the position but with the very existence of the church and even the nation itself. Accordingly they concluded, "If we let Him thus alone all men will believe on Him and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." And "from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death." John 11: 47, 53.

But subject as they were to the Roman authority, it was not lawful for them to put any man to death. Therefore, to effect their purpose they must get control of the governmental or civic authority. It mattered not that this

p 39 -- authority, was Roman; and it mattered not that this Roman authority they hated above all other earthly things, and could not by any possibility willingly recognize: all this must be forgotten in the presence of the awful alternative of seeing vanish their place and dignity and power in the church.

In the church the Pharisees and the Herodians stood at opposite poles. The Herodians were so called because they were the party and partisans of Herod. They were the apologists of Herod in his position of king of Judea. But as Herod was king only by the direct appointment of Rome, and was seated and maintained as king by the power of Rome, for any one to be a partisan and an apologist of Herod was to be even more a partisan and an apologist of Rome.

The Pharisees were the exclusively righteous ones of the church. They were the extreme church party. As such they were the conservators of the purity

p 40 -- of the church, the representatives of the truest loyalty to God and the ancient dignity of the chosen people. As such they were the extreme and most uncompromising dissidents from Rome, and from all that was of Rome or that was in any way connected with Rome.

But the Pharisees, as the exclusively righteous ones and the chiefest in dignity, were the most fixedly set against Christ, and took the lead in the counsels and plans to destroy Him. And to accomplish their purpose to put Him to death, they must have the cooperation of the secular power, which was Roman only. Therefore to accomplish their purpose against Jesus, they would glaze their hatred of Rome, and would use for their purpose against Jesus that very power of Rome of which they were by profession the extreme disputers and opposers.

The means by which at one stride they would both cross this gulf to Rome and make sure of the secular

p 41 -- power, was to pool issues with the Herodians. The Herodians, as being only less opposed to Jesus than were the Pharisees, were ready for the alliance. By this alliance the political party would be at one with the Pharisees, and the political influence and power of that party would be at the command of the church leaders. This would make sure to them the use of the soldiery, which they must have if they would be really secure in their open movements against Jesus.

The alliance was entered into, and the conspiracy was formed: "And the Pharisees went forth and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him." Mark 3: 6. " Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians," "spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and

p 42 -- authority of the governor." Matt. 22:15, 16; Luke 20:20. And that governor was Pilate the Roman.

And when finally the time came, at that awful midnight hour when Judas, "having received" a band of men and a captain and officers, "with swords," came upon Him in Gethsemane, it was "the band and the captain, and the officers," who, at the direction of "the chief priests and Pharisees," took Him and bound Him.

And having so taken Him they led Him to Annas first. Annas sent Him to Caiaphas, and Caiaphas sent Him to Pilate, the governor, the Roman. Pilate sent Him to Herod, who "with his men of war" set Him at naught and mocked Him and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him again to Pilate. And when Pilate would have let Him go, they rung their final political note and plea of loyalty to Caesar and Rome, even above the loyalty of Pilate the Roman himself, "If thou let this man go thou

p 43 -- art not Caesar's friend. Whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar."

Pilate made his last appeal, "Shall I crucify your King?" only to be answered with the words expressive of their final abandonment of God, and of their completest unity with Rome, "We have no king but Caesar. Crucify Him. Crucify Him. And they were instant with loud voices. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed."

Thus the mightiest crime and the loudest crying sin in all the history of the universe was committed, and was made possible as it was committed, only by the union of church and State -- only by the church in control of the civil power, using that power to make effective her wicked will and purpose.

And that awful fact alone is all-sufficient to blast with perpetual and infinite condemnation, and to consign to eternal infamy, all such connection any-

p 44 -- where forever. And with such a record in the very first instance of the thing, it is not at all strange that this same thing of union of church and State -- the church in control of the secular power -- should have proved and must ever prove, the chiefest curse to men and nations wherever found in all after times.

So true it is, and so completely demonstrated, that "secular power has proved a Satanic gift to the church." TOP




p 45 -- We have seen that no monarchical government has any right to enforce or require any religious observance; and that when any such power does so, the right of individuality in religion is supreme, and the monarch's word must change.

We have found also that no government in which the law is supreme has any right to put into the law of the realm any statute, decree, or provision touching religion; and that when such a thing is done, the right of individuality in religion remains supreme, and innocency before God, and perfect harmlessness before the government, the law, and society, is found in him who disregards such law.

We have found that the church has no right to control the civil power for

p 46 -- the execution of her will or the furtherance of her aims; and that when she does so a connection of crowning iniquity is formed, only a Satanic gift is in the possession of such church, and the right of individuality in religion is still supreme and to be freely exercised.

There is yet another combination by means of which domination of man in religion has been sought: this is the church itself, within itself -- the church as relates to the membership of the church. And upon this, whether in principle, or in facts of remarkable experience, the Scripture is no less explicit than in any other of the examples given on this subject.

It has been already related how that Israel when delivered from Egypt was first "the church in the wilderness" and afterward in the land of Canaan; and that this same Israel in the days of Christ on earth, though in spirit and substance far short of God's ideal for them,

p 47 -- yet in fact was still the church in direct descent.

The official organization of this church was also still in fact the same in direct descent. The priesthood -- the chief priests, and the high priest -- in order and in succession, were the direct continuance in succession of the order established by the Lord through Moses in the wilderness. The official council of the church -- the Sanhedrin -- was also in its idea and form descended from the seventy elders appointed by the Lord through Moses in the wilderness. Thus in the days of Christ on earth, the whole order of Israel, -- the priesthood and the great council, -- was in form and in fact directly descended from the divine order established by the Lord through Moses in the wilderness; and was just as truly the church in descent from the church in the wilderness.

And the apostles of the Lord and the original disciples of Jesus were all, with-

p 48 -- out exception, members of that church. They took part equally with others in the services and worship of that church. They went to the temple and into the temple, with all the others to worship at the regular hours; and they taught in the temple (Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:12). And the people were glad to have it so, and the approval of God in great power was upon them all.

But those apostles and disciples had learned something and knew divine truth that the high ones of the church did not know and would not recognize: and knowing this they would tell it. Therefore they preached Jesus and the resurrection, and salvation through Him, and that there is no other way -- that very Jesus of whom the official order and organization of the church had "now been the betrayers and murderers." Therefore this official order and organization of the church assumed the office and prerogative of deciding that those private

p 49 -- church-members should neither preach nor teach this truth that they knew to be the truth.

Accordingly the priests and the temple authorities arrested Peter and John and put them in prison, when they had gone up to the temple at the hour of prayer, and the lame man had been healed through faith in the name of Jesus, and Peter had preached to the assembled wondering people. Then the next morning all the official order and organization of the church -- the rulers, the seventy elders, the scribes, the priests, and the high priest -- gathered together and had Peter and John brought and set in the midst, and demanded of them what authority they had to be preaching: "By what power, and by what name, have you done this?"

Then Peter "filled with the Holy Ghost" made answer. The whole assembly "marveled" at the boldness of these two only common and illiterate

p 50 -- members of the church in the presence of that official and august body; "and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus." Peter and John were remanded outside the council, while the council "conferred among themselves."

In their conference they decided, "Let us straitly threaten them that they speak henceforth to no man in this name." Then they called in again Peter and John "and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." But Peter and John answered immediately, "Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard." In that answer so promptly given, it seemed to that assembly that these mere common men and private and illiterate members of the church would actually convey the impression that it was possible for such as they to be taught of God,

p 51 -- and to know from God, things that this whole assembly of the highest officials and most learned ones of the church did not know; and that they would pay no attention whatever to the command of the council, but would go right ahead regardless of all that the council might say or do or be. Plainly enough in the view of the council such a course could mean only every one for himself, an individual independence that "would overthrow all order and authority."

Such an answer as that from such persons as those, to such an official and dignified body as this: such an answer from mere common persons to this august assembly: from mere private members of the church to the regular assemblage of that which for ages had been the highest official and divinely appointed order in the organization of the church: could not be considered by those officials as anything less than arrant presumption, and the destruction of all order and organization in the church.

p 52 --However, the council let them go with further charge under heavy threat that they should so teach no more.

Peter and John being let go went to the company of the other disciples and "reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them." And all the others, instead of being in the least awed or made afraid by it, not only decidedly approved what Peter and John had done, but were so glad of it that "with one accord" they thanked and praised God, asked Him to "behold the threatenings of the church officials and grant to all of the disciples boldness that they may speak thy word." And God witnessed to their Christian steadfastness, "and the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women."

p 53 -- This open disobedience to the "authority" of the church, this bold "disregard for established order and organization" could not be allowed to go on. Therefore all the apostles were next arrested and imprisoned: for "then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, and were filled with indignation, and laid hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison."

But, lo! "The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning and taught."

That same morning the high priest and they that were with him "called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison" to have the apostles brought before them to answer for all this "insubordination," "apostasy" and "opposition to

p 54 -- the organized work" of the church. The messengers returned and reported that they found the prison securely closed and the keepers on guard, but there were no prisoners. But while those of the council were wondering what this could mean, there came one saying that the men were "standing in the temple and teaching the people."

Officers were sent who arrested them all anew and brought them before the council. The high priest demanded of them, "Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine."

The apostles answered as before: "We ought to obey God rather than man. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel with forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses

p 55 -- of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him."

At this bold persistence in the forbidden course the council "took counsel to slay them." From actually murdering the apostles the council was dissuaded by Gamaliel. Nevertheless, the council called in the apostles again, and "had them flogged" and then again "commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go."

The apostles departed from the presence of the council. But instead of being either awed or subdued by the council or by what it had done, they were all only glad again to be counted worthy to suffer stripes and whatever other disgrace from the official organization of the church for teaching what they saw and knew to be the truth. And notwithstanding that it was "all the senate of the children of Israel," that is, all those who composed the official organization of the church that had so treated them

p 56 -- and had repeatedly commanded them not to preach at all nor teach the things which they were both preaching and teaching, "never for a single day, either in the temple or in the private houses, did they discontinue teaching or telling the good news of Jesus the Christ."

Thus by plain facts of remarkable experiences under God it is demonstrated that above all officialdom of priesthood, council and senate of any church, the right of individuality in religion, in faith, and in teaching, stands supreme. By this unquestionable Scripture account it is demonstrated that no church assembly or council or senate has any authority or any right to command or call in question any man of even the church's own membership concerning what he shall teach or preach. *

* -- "As relates to conduct, in matters of 'trespass' or 'fault' of any member, divine instruction and direction are given to the church precisely how to proceed: and this word is to be faithfully followed in letter and in spirit and in the spirit of meekness to 'gain' and to 'restore' such an one, never to judge, to condemn, or to cast off. But as relates to faith the church has no divine instruction and therefore no right of procedure -- 'not for that we would have dominion over your faith:' 'Hast thou faith? have it to thyself' before God:' 'Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith.'"

p 57 -- By the inspired record in this case, it is demonstrated that --

1. -- Just as certainly as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrews it is divinely shown that no monarch can ever of right command anything pertaining to religion;

2. -- Just as certainly as in the case of the law and government of Media and Persia, it is divinely shown that no government can ever of right make any law touching religion;

3. -- Just as certainly as in the case of the church of Israel against Christ it is divinely shown that no church officialdom can ever of right use the civil power to make effective her will or to further her aims;

4. -- Just so certainly in this case of the church of Israel against the apostles and disciples of the Lord, it is also divinely shown that no church, no council, senate or other collection or association of officials or others, can ever of right command any member even of her own communion

p 58 -- in anything pertaining to what he shall believe or not believe, or what he shall teach or not teach.

The four cases presented in the Scriptures are perfectly parallel: in every case the power that attempted domination in religion was directly opposed and exposed by the God of Heaven, and was thus divinely shown to be absolutely in the wrong; and in each case the right of individuality in religion was divinely demonstrated to be eternally right.

In each of the four cases a distinct principle is involved and illustrated: in the fourth no whit less than in each of the preceding three. As certainly as Nebuchadnezzar was wrong in commanding worship; as certainly as the law of Media and Persia was wrong in prohibiting worship; as certainly as the church of Israel was wrong in using the civil power to execute her will against the Lord Jesus; so certainly that same church was wrong in prohibiting any member of the church from teaching or

p 59 -- preaching the truth which he knew from the the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.

And as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar the principle is that no monarch may ever of right do as that monarch did; as in the case of the law of the Medes and Persians the principle is that no law may ever of right be similar to that law; as in the case of the church organization using the civil power against Christ, the principle is that no church and no church order or organization or officialdom may ever of right use the civil power in any way whatever; just so in the case of the church of Israel against the apostles, the principle is that no church, and no church order, or organization or officialdom, may ever of right do in any way similar to what in its officialdom that church did.

No; Gamaliel's counsel to that church senate that day was right then and is right forever, and it is divine instruction to every church assembly, council, and

p 60 -- senate, forever: "Let them alone." If the preaching or the work be only of man or of human origin it will come to naught of itself. And if it be of God you cannot overthrow it whatever you do: and in that case, in whatever you do to overthrow it you will be found to be only fighting against God. This thing is in the realm of God. It is subject to His jurisdiction alone. Leave it there, and trust Him and serve Him for yourselves; and let others alone to do the same themselves.

This is also plain enough in the plain truth itself. For the Holy Spirit is given to each individual to guide him "into all truth." The truth of God is infinite and eternal. Therefore it will always be true that there is still an infinity and eternity of truth into which the Christian is to be guided. In the nature of things it is impossible for any other than the infinite and eternal Spirit to guide any one into or in the truth of God. Therefore every soul must be in-

p 61 -- finitely and eternally free to be guided by the infinite and eternal Spirit into this infinity and eternity of truth.

To say anything else than this is only to limit the truth of God, and limit the mind's advancement in the knowledge of truth and of God; and is to put an effectual estoppel upon all possibility of progress. Imagine the condition of mankind and the world today, if the principle espoused by that church of Israel had been recognized and her commands obeyed by the apostles and disciples of the Lord! But the crowning iniquity of saying anything else than this, is that it recognizes, sanctions, and establishes a mere human tribunal in the place of the eternal Spirit, and clothes a clique of sinful men with the prerogative of that infinite and eternal Spirit, as the guide into and in all truth.

Yet as plain as all this is in the simple manifestness of the truth of it, it is deplorably true that from the close of the apostolic period unto this hour, there has

p 62 -- not been, and there is not now, a single church "organization" or denomination in the world that has not espoused the identical principle, taken the same position, and done the like thing, as did that Jewish church in the case of the apostles. And today there is not a denomination in the world, even to the very latest one that has risen, in which there is in any way recognized the right and the freedom of each individual member of the denomination to be led of the Spirit of God into truth and to the teaching and preaching of truth that the denominational officialdom does not know or chooses not to countenance. And when any member is so led and does teach and preach the truth that he knows by the Spirit and Word of God, immediately the denominational officialdom is awake, and its machinery in motion, and in the very spirit, and in the very way, of the officialdom and machinery of the Jewish church, he is forbidden to teach or preach any more in

p 63 -- that name. And if, as did the apostles, he disregards such action and command, and ceases not to teach and to preach Jesus in the truth and the way that he knows, then he, as were the apostles, is persecuted and driven out.

And this is, precisely and alone the cause of there being three hundred and sixty-five or more denominations in the world.

But is there never to be any end to this wicked thing? Will the time ever come, or must it never come, when there will be among Christians the recognition of the fundamental Christian principle of the right of individuality and liberty in faith and in guidance into divine truth? Will the time ever come, or must it never come, when there will be a company of Christians in the world who will recognize that the Holy Spirit is the Guide into all truth, that will recognize the right and the liberty of that Spirit to guide, that will recognize the right and the liberty of each Christian to be

p 64 -- guided into all truth by that Spirit of truth, and that will recognize the liberty of each Christian to hold, to teach, and to preach any and all truth into which by the Spirit of truth he may be guided?

Isn't it time that such a thing should be? Isn't it time that the Christian principle should be recognized, that such a condition should prevail among Christians? Even the world has learned the principle that the monarch and the autocrat must recognize the full and perfect right of individuality and liberty in religion. Even the world has learned that the law must recognize the full and perfect right of individuality and liberty in religion. Even the world has learned that the church must not control the civil power to cause her will to prevail, but must recognize the full and perfect right in the field of persuasion, and therefore must recognize the free and perfect right of individuality and liberty. And now must it be that the Church herself will never learn that she must recognize

p 65 -- the free and perfect right of individuality and liberty in faith, in the Spirit, and in the truth? Isn't it high time that the Christian church should be learning to recognize in its perfect genuineness the fundamental principle of her own origin and very existence? And if it must be so that no denomination will ever learn or recognize this fundamental principle of her own origin and existence, then is it not doubly high time that individual Christians shall everywhere recognize and practice constantly this fundamental principle of their own origin and existence as Christians, as well as the fundamental principle of the origin and existence of the Christian church?

And so it shall be and will be. The God of individuality and of liberty will not allow that the divine principle and right of individuality and liberty in faith and in truth which He has wrought so wonderfully and so constantly through all these ages to make plain and to maintain shall be forever beaten back and

p 66 -- pressed down, unrecognized and misrepresented by the Christian church and by Christian people. No; this truth, this splendid truth, that is the fundamental and the crowning truth in and to the very existence of the Christian church and of Christianity itself -- this divine truth will yet win and hold forever its own divine place before the world and in the church. For those who espouse this divine and fundamental truth of the Christian religion and church will themselves be now and forever, as in the beginning they were, the true Christian church in the world, and will compose that "glorious Church" which Christ, who gave Himself for the Church, will "sanctify and cleanse with the washing of water by the word," in order that at His glorious appearing "He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without blemish."

For upon this whole story of the church of Israel against the apostles,

p 67 -- there stands out with transcendent meaning a truth that is worthy of the most solemn consideration by every Christian: this truth is, --

That which until that time had been the true church, called and preserved by the Lord, then and there ceased to be the true church at all; and that which this church despised, and forbade, and persecuted, and cast out, became itself the true church.

And so it is forever. John 9:34-38. TOP




p 68 -- From the Scriptures it is plain that the divine right of individuality in religion stands supreme in the presence of autocratic monarchy; in the presence of any decree, statute, or law, of any government; in the presence of the church in control of the civil power; and in the presence of the church itself, even within the membership of the church.

There is just one other possible relationship -- that of the individual to the individual. But when it is plain and positive by the word of God that no autocracy, no government of law, no church in control of civil power, and no church within the circle of its own membership, has any authority, jurisdiction, or right, in matters religious in the presence of the supreme and absolute right of the individual, then it is certain that

p 69 -- no individual can ever have any authority, jurisdiction, or right over another individual in things religious.

Though this is plain in itself it is well to study at least some of the Scriptures on this, as well as on each of the other phases of this subject.

Faith is the gift of God, and to the individual. Jesus Christ is both the Author and the Finisher of faith. This being so, it lies in the nature of things that never by any possibility in righteousness can anybody but Christ have any authority, jurisdiction, or right, respecting the exercise of faith which is the vital element of religion. Christ being both the Author and the Finisher of faith, to Him alone belongs the sole sovereignty and jurisdiction in all things relating to faith and to the exercise of faith, which is religion.

Accordingly the Scriptures say, "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before `God." Rom. 14: 22. Faith being the gift of God, and Christ being the Author

p 70 -- and the Finisher of it, it is impossible for any one to owe to any but God in Christ any responsibility in matters of faith or the exercise thereof, which is religion. And this is the ground and surety of complete individuality in religion.

Therefore, the word of God stands written to individual believers forever, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations": not to judge his doubtful thoughts; not for decisions of doubts; not to "judge him"; not to "despise him"; "for God hath received him." ROM 14: 1-3.

Please let there be noted forever, and forever regarded, that the reason, divinely given, as to why no Christian can ever "dispute" with or "decide" for or "judge," or "despise" another, is that "God hath received him."

"God hath received him" therefore, "receive ye" him.

"God hath received him" upon his

p 71 -- faith, therefore, "receive ye" him upon his faith.

Even though he be "weak in the faith," yet "God hath received him"; therefore, even though he be still "weak in the faith," "receive ye him."

Even though he be "weak in the faith," it is "the faith" in which he is weak. And in that faith and by that faith he is saved. That faith is the gift of God, given to save the soul; and whosoever is in that faith, even though he be weak, has the salvation of God which is by faith. Of that faith, Jesus Christ is the Author and the Finisher; and whosoever is in that faith has Christ working in him to finish the blessed work of that faith unto the eternal salvation of the soul. That faith, the individual is to hold unto God the giver of it, and in Christ, the Author and Finisher of it. The faith being the gift of God through Christ, he who has it, has it only unto God in Christ; and in that faith his responsibility is solely to God in Christ.

p 72 -- Therefore, "him that is weak in the faith receive YE, . . . for God hath received HIM." God being the giver of "the faith" through Christ, the Author and Finisher of faith, the responsibility of every one "in the faith" is to God in Christ. Therefore, "him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations, not for decisions of doubts," not to "despise him," not to "judge him"; for, since "God hath received him" "in the faith," and since "in the faith" he is responsible to God only, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?" Verse 4. This is impossible in righteousness even though he be a man's servant; how much more, when he is God's servant, received and accepted of God "in the faith?"

Who then, art thou that judgest God's servant, received of Him "in the faith?" "To his own Master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand." And when "God hath received" "in the

p 73 -- faith" one whom you and I will not receive "in the faith," then, where shall we appear? The question is not then between us and him, but between God and us. Our difference is then with God, and we have entered into judgment with God. But when we enter into judgment with God over His having received "in the faith," one whom we will not receive "in the faith," then it is certain that we cannot stand in that judgment; because we ourselves are not "in the faith."

And when God will hold up, and will make to stand "in the faith," him whom you and I will not receive him, whom you and I will not hold up nor try to make to stand, then that one is altogether safe with God "in the faith." And even though he be "weak in the faith," yet God is able to hold him up and to make him stand, and "he shall be holden up" and made to stand by God who has received him "in the faith" of which God is the giver, and Christ the Author and Finisher. And as for you

p 74 -- and me, in all this matter, "let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."

Another item that demonstrates the perfect individuality of man in things religious, follows immediately the words already quoted, thus: "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Verse 5.

This Scripture does not say that all days are alike; but only that some "esteemeth every day alike." The Scriptures are perfectly plain upon the truth that all days are not alike: that there is a day that God has made peculiarly his own, and for man's eternal good has set it apart from all other days. That day is "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God."

And though this is true by the word of God, yet as to the observance or non-observance of that day the word of the Lord explicitly declares, "Let every man be

p 75 -- fully persuaded in his own mind." And in this declaration he has again confirmed the perfect supremacy and absolute right of individuality in religion.

And, by the way, this item touches a matter that is everywhere rife today: the matter of the compulsory observance of a sabbath or day of rest. But in all things pertaining to the observance or regarding of a day, the word of God to all people is, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that regardeth not the day to the Lord, he doth not regard it." Verse 6.

Any day regarded or observed not to the Lord is not truly regarded or observed at all; for then there is nothing in it truly to regard. It is God who has selected, distinguished, and set apart, the day. The observance of the day pertains, therefore, to God; and lies only between God and the individual in faith and conscience. Therefore any observance

p 76 -- of a sabbath or rest day enforced by law, by statute, by police, by court, by prosecution, or by persecution, is, in the first instance, a direct invasion of the province of God and of the realm of faith and conscience in the individual; and in the second instance is not even the observance of the day, and never can be, because it is not of persuasion in the mind.

God has appointed his own chosen and sanctified day to be observed; that is true, He calls upon all people to observe it, that is true. But in the observance or regarding of this day, the word of God thus explicitly declares that it is wholly an individual matter: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." And when any man is not fully persuaded in his own mind , and therefore does not observe the day to the Lord, his responsibility for this is to God alone, and not to any man, nor to any set of men, nor to any law, or government, or power, on earth.

p 77 -- Following this item there is made an appeal in behalf of the recognition of perfect individuality in religion -- this in view of the awful fact of the judgment of Christ and of God. This appeal runs thus: "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For it is written, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Verses 10, 11.

Every one of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and of God, there to be each judged by Him. How then can it be possible ever in righteousness, that one of us can be called to be judged by another, or by any or all others, in the things of religion? that is, in the things in which we are to answer at the judgment seat of Christ.

No, no. "One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." And, "He that speaketh evil of his brother,

p 78 -- and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" James 4 :11.

Thus, that there is to be a judgment-seat of Christ and of God where all must appear, each to answer for "the deeds done in the body" -- this is one of the mightiest guarantees of perfect individuality in religion, and one of the strongest possible pleas for the recognition of it by every soul always.

Finally, the whole thought and truth of perfect individuality in religion is splendidly summed up, and powerfully emphasized as well as clearly expressed, in the inspired conclusion,

"So then every one of us shall give account of HIMSELF to GOD." Verse 12. TOP




p 79 -- IN the case of the church of Israel against the members of that church who chose to believe in Christ and to teach the truth concerning Him, the principle is made perfectly plain that no church has any authority, jurisdiction, or right, in, over, or concerning, the faith or the teaching, of any individual member of that very church itself. Acts 4 and 5; 2 Cor. 1:24.

There is another remarkable scripture that not only illustrates this total absence of authority, jurisdiction, or right, of any church, but also makes plain some additional principles of the great truth of religious liberty.

This notable scripture is the one that, contains the words of Jesus when the spying Pharisees and Herodians came to Him with their crafty question, "Is it

p 80 -- lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?" With the tribute money in His hand, Jesus said: "Whose is this image and superscription? they say unto Him, Caesar's. Then saith He unto them, Render, therefore, unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Here are revealed two persons -- God and Caesar: two powers -- the religious and the civil: two authorities -- the divine and the human: two jurisdictions -- the heavenly and the earthly: and only two, to whom, by the divine instruction, is anything due or to be rendered by men.

There is a jurisdiction and an authority a power and a right, that belong to God. There is also a jurisdiction and an authority, a power and a right, that belong to Caesar.

And these are totally distinct realms. There is that which is Caesar's; this is to be rendered to Caesar, not to God. There is that which is God's; and this is to be

p 81 -- rendered to God, not to Caesar. It is to be rendered to God alone and direct. ]It is not to be rendered to Caesar, nor to God by Caesar.

Originally there was, and ultimately there will be, only one realm, only one jurisdiction, only one authority, only one power, only one right -- that of God alone. 1 Cor. 15: 24-28.

If sin had never entered there would been any other realm, nor any other jurisdiction, authority, power, or right, than that of God alone. And even when sin had entered, if the Gospel had been received by each and every individual ever coming into the world, then there would never have been any realm or jurisdiction, authority, power, or right, other than that of God alone. Eph. 1: 7-10; Col. 1: 20-23.

But not all will receive the Gospel; and so not all will recognize the sovereignty, the jurisdiction, the authority, the power, and the right, of God. Not recognizing God's kingdom, will, purpose,

p 82 --and power, which is moral and spiritual, and which makes moral and spiritual all who do recognize it, these then, being sinful, fail to be even civil. Therefore there must be in the world a jurisdiction and a power that will cause those to be civil who will not be moral. And this is the State, the civil power, Caesar; and this its reason of existence.

In the nature of things there are only the two realms and the two jurisdictions: the moral and the civil, the spiritual and the physical, the eternal and the temporal; the one of God, the other of Caesar. There are these two realms and jurisdictions, and NO MORE. And there simply cannot of right be any more. One of these is God's realm and jurisdiction. The other is Caesar's.

And since by the divine word these are the two, and these two are the only two that there can possibly be, then it follows absolutely and exclusively that to the church there is neither kingdom nor dominion, realm nor jurisdiction,

p 83 -- nor is there any place for any.

It is therefore perfectly plain that ,without assumption and usurpation no church can ever have any kingdom or dominion, any realm or jurisdiction. The church is not Caesar's; and without assumption and usurpation it is impossible for the church to exercise any of the jurisdiction of Caesar. The realm and jurisdiction of Caesar -- the State, the civil power -- is wholly of this world. The church with all that is of it, is "not of this world." It is therefore impossible for the church without assumption and usurpation ever to occupy the realm of Caesar, or to exercise any jurisdiction in the things of Caesar, which things are wholly of this world.

This being so of the church as relates to Caesar, how much more is it true of the church as relates to God! The church is not Caesar and cannot be Caesar. Much more the church is not God and cannot be God. And has not Inspiration set forth in such unsparing terms

p 84 -- as "the man of sin," "the son of perdition," "the mystery of iniquity," "sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God," THAT CHURCH that has thought to be the kingdom and hold the dominion, to occupy the realm and exercise the jurisdiction, of God. Is anything other than that needed to make perfectly plain the truth that for any church to assume that to her it belongs to be the kingdom and hold the dominion, to occupy the realm and exercise the jurisdiction, of God, is the very ultimate of arrogancy, assumption, and usurpation.

But, it is asked, is not the church the kingdom of God? -- Yes, it is -- provided that by the term "the church" is meant only the divine conception of the church as expressed in the divine word -- "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." When only that is meant in the use of the words "the church," then it is indeed the kingdom of God. But when by the "church" is meant some human

p 85 -- conception, some religious sect or denomination, some earthly "organization," then it is not true of any church ever in this world that it is the kingdom God.

But suppose that such a thing as that were really the church, and therefore the kingdom of God; even so, it would still be true that in order for such to be in deed the kingdom of God, it could be so only by God's being king there. And where God is king, he is king and Lord of all in all. God is never, and can never be, king in a divided kingdom. He never does, and never can, share His dominion with another. Will any one claim or imply that there can in truth and in fact be a kingdom of God without God's being in truth and in fact king, there; and king in all that is there? No, God must be king there or else it is not in truth the kingdom of God. He must be king and Lord of all and in all that is there, or else it is not in truth and in fact the kingdom of God. The realm

p 86 -- must be occupied by Him, the jurisdiction must be exercised by Him, the principles must be His, the government must be of Him, the image and superscription must be His, and all this exclusively, or else it is not in truth and in fact the kingdom of God.

The soul and spirit of man, as man is in the world, as the world is, is in intent and by right the kingdom of God. And so to wicked and unbelieving Pharisees, Jesus said, "the kingdom of God is within you." But in lost mankind that kingdom is usurped and that realm is occupied by another. The usurper is on the throne, exercising jurisdiction that enslaves, debases, and destroys. Thus, while in intent and by right the kingdom is God's, yet in truth and in fact it is not God's but another's. Yet let the lost and enslaved soul only welcome God into that alienated realm to occupy His own place on that usurped throne, and to exercise true jurisdiction there, THEN will that soul and spirit

p 87 -- and life in truth and in fact, as well as in intent and of right, be the kingdom of God. And even then it is the kingdom of God in truth only as God is king in all and over all to that soul. And so it is with the church.

The Church OF GOD is indeed the kingdom of God: it is "the fulness of him that filleth all in all:" it is composed only of those who are His. And He is king and sole ruler in this His kingdom. The jurisdiction in this realm is His alone; the principles of the government, and the authority and the power of the government are His alone. And every citizen of the kingdom owes allegiance to Him alone: and this direct, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Every inhabitant of that realm is subject to His jurisdiction alone: and this direct, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Every member of this church, which is His kingdom, is inspired and actuated by the principles which are His alone and from Him alone; and is governed by the authority and

p 88 -- power of Him alone; and this all direct from Him, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Thus all who are of the Church of God in truth, which is the kingdom of God, render to God all that is of the heart, of the soul, of the mind, and of the strength. These also render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's -- tribute, custom, honor, in his place. Rom. 13:5-7.

Thus again it is perfectly plain and certain that neither between God and Caesar, not yet along with them, is there any third person, party, power, realm, or jurisdiction, to whom any man is to render anything. There is no command nor obligation from God to render anything to any kingdom or dominion, to any power or jurisdiction, but that of God and that of Caesar, -- these two only. There is no image and superscription of the church, neither is there place for any.

And this is only to say that without God, and without God in His place as all in all, any church is simply nothing.

p 89 -- And when such church attempts to be something, she is only worse than nothing. And in either case nobody can ever owe anything to any such church.

On the other hand, when the church is truly with God; and when He is truly to her all in all; she is truly of the kingdom of God. And yet even then the the kingdom, the dominion, the realm, the jurisdiction, the authority, and the power, are all God's NOT HERS: so that all that is owed or rendered is to God, not to the church. Thus it is strictly and literally true that never in any case is anything owed or to be rendered by anybody to the church, as such.

And thus again it is emphasized that there are just two persons, two realms, two jurisdictions, two authorities, two powers to whom anybody can really owe or render anything -- God and Caesar: these two and no more, and no other.

This requires, therefore, that the church to be true to her calling and her

p 90 -- place in the world, shall be so absolutely devoted to God, so completely swallowed up and lost in God, that only God shall be known or manifested, wherever and in whatsoever she is or is to do.

In the very spirit of Christianity this is certainly true. For this is exactly the calling and attitude of individual Christians in the world -- to be so absolutely devoted to God, so completely swallowed up and lost in Him, that only God shall be seen in all that they are : "God manifest in the flesh." And the church is composed only of individual Christians. Also the church is "the body of Christ;" and Christ is God manifest, to the complete emptying, yea, the very annihilation, of self. And this is the mystery of God.

And just here is where the church, both before Christ and after Christ, missed her calling,and her place: she aspired to be something herself, It was not enough for her that God should be all

p 91 -- in all. It was not enough for her that the kingdom and the dominion, the realm and the jurisdiction, the authority and the power, the word and the faith, should all be God's and only God's. She aspired to kingdom herself; to realm and jurisdiction of her own; to authority that she could assert; to power that she could wield; to a word that she could speak; and to a "faith" that she could dictate.

To satisfy this ambition and to make tangible this aspiration, she rejected God and assumed and usurped the kingdom and the dominion, the realm and the jurisdiction, the authority and the power, that belonged to both God and Caesar. And so being herself neither God nor Caesar, but only a self-constituted and self-exalted interloper, her blundering confusion of things only multiplied iniquity and deepened the curse upon the world.

And such precisely is the charge that God lays against her in each age and in

p 92 -- both testaments. The glory and the beauty, the honor and the dignity, the authority and the power, the sweet influence and divine attractiveness, that all were hers and that were grandly becoming to her, because of His dwelling with her and being in her -- these all she arrogated TO HERSELF and assumed to be OF HERSELF. Read Eze. 16: 11-19. ROM 1: 7-9; 2 Thess. 2: 2-3; Rev. 17: 1-6.

When God gave to her the true and divine faith that could be "spoken of throughout the whole world," upon this she assumed that HER faith was to be the faith of the whole world, and so took it upon herself to assign and to dictate "the faith" for the whole world, and to maintain that "the faith" which she dictated was the true and divine.

When God gave to her His word in such perfect purity to speak, that when she should speak it would be as the voice of God, upon this she exalted herself to the claim that HER voice was the

p 93 -- voice of God, and that the word which she chose to speak was the word of God because she spoke it.

When God gave to her such perfection of truth that her very speaking of that truth was to speak with all authority, upon this she assumed for herself that SHE had authority to speak; and therefore that when she should speak, all must obey because it was she who spoke.

'When God bestowed upon her such measure of his power that even the devils were subject to that power and must obey God, upon this she assumed that to HER belonged the power; and even the power to compel all men and nations in all the world to be subject to her and to obey her.

Thus in all things she actually thought it a thing to be grasped and held fast, "a usurpation to be meditated, to be equal with God." But the time has come when every person and everything that would be the church or of the church, must never more think it a

p 94 -- thing to be seized upon, a usurpation to be meditated, to be equal with God; but must think only of how the church shall empty herself, and make herself of no reputation, and take upon herself the form of a servant, and humble herself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; and all this in order that GOD may be made manifest in His own person and Spirit in her: and through her to the world.

The time has come when no church should any more call men to herself but to Christ only. The time has come when the church herself must be most of all interested in making it manifest that there is no third kingdom, realm, jurisdiction, or power; but only the two -- God and Caesar; and when she must ever urge upon all people the divine instruction, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

The time has fully come when the church in all things must let only this

p 95 -- mind be in her that "was also in Christ Jesus, " that will not think it "a thing to be grasped, to be equal with God;" but that will completely empty herself in order that God may be revealed: the living and true God, and He all in all. He, only King and Lord of all in the church and to the church, and that church "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all."

Long enough have both states and churches usurped the authority of God, and have assumed to reign in the place God. Now the time has fully come when there should be, yea when there will be heard on earth the grand words of the glorious voices in heaven: "We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and was, and is to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee thy great power, and hast reigned." Rev. 11:17. TOP




p 96 -- WE have now traced in the Word of God the principle of the divine right of individuality in religion, as that principle is applied and illustrated as relates to autocracy, to government of the supremacy and inflexibility of law, to the union of Church and State, to the church itself, and to individuals.

Please let no one think that all this is only a series of studies in ancient history, nor yet that it is a study of principles and Scriptures only as such: though on either ground the study would be amply justified. However, it is nothing of the kind. It is a study of principles which in one phase or another are fully as alive and active today as ever. And the day is yet to be, and that not far distant, when the whole series of illustrations covered in these studies will

p 97 -- again be alive and active, and all at once, as truly and to the like purpose as each was in its place and day.

The day is coming, and is not far distant, when autocracies, governments of the supremacy and the inflexibility of the law, unions of church and State, and churches as such, will all be standing unitedly, and bent as from one mind, to compel submission and uniformity in religion; and to crush out every suggestion of individuality in religion and every kind of right of it.

It is particularly in view of what is soon to come that these studies have been published. All these things written in the Scriptures were set down there by the Spirit of inspiration, not only for the instruction of all people always, but, particularly "for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come." The mightiest contest, and this upon the grandest scale, between the forces of evil and the reign of righteousness that this world's experience

p 98 -- shall ever know, is yet to be. This mightiest conflict is to be in the time when the ends of the world are come. That time is even now at hand. For this reason these lessons from the inspired record are all-important just now.

In view of the mighty pressure from all these sources and by all these forces, that is soon to be put on every individual, it is of the greatest importance that each individual shall know for himself, and know by the surest possible evidence -- to know by very certitude itself -- just what is his place, his responsibility, and his right, individually, in the presence of principalities and powers, and before God and with God.

While in these studies of the Scriptures we have discussed each case from the point of view that these powers have no right to assert or exercise any authority or jurisdiction in religion, but that the right of individuality in religion is supreme in the presence of all, the other side is equally true and no less

p 99 -- important, even if it be not even more important -- that it is incumbent on the individual never to allow any other than God to assert authority or jurisdiction in religion without being openly challenged and absolutely ignored: that in true allegiance to God and perfect loyalty to the right, the divine right of individuality in religion, shall be maintained. This every individual owes absolutely to God, to the right, and to himself in God and for the right. This principle each individual must maintain or else prove disloyal to God, to himself as a man before God, and to consent that the wrong shall prevail instead of the right: in other words, to consent that the wrong shall be the right.

It is true, as the inspired record shows, that autocracy, as illustrated in King Nebuchadnezzar; that government of the supremacy of law, as illustrated in the Medo-Persian power; that the union of church and State, as illustrated in the Jewish church and the Roman

p 100 -- power united against Christ; that the church as such, as illustrated in the church of Israel against the disciples of Christ; has no right to assert authority or jurisdiction in religion. It is equally, and even more emphatically, true, that, to be at all loyal to God and the right, or true to themselves and to their fellow men, the three Hebrew young men, the man Daniel, the Lord Jesus, and the apostles of the Lord, must absolutely disregard every such assertion. In each case God's dominion was usurped. In each case the right was being completely thrown over, and the wrong established in its place. In such a case and at such a time could any who knew God or cared for the right, sit still and do nothing? Is allegiance to God, nothing? Is loyalty to the right, never to be known? Shall the wrong be recognized as having only the right to prevail? Shall man never be true -- neither true to God nor to the right, neither true to himself nor to his fellowmen.

p 101 -- It is true that Nebuchadnezzar was entirely out of his place and did wholly wrong when he attempted to exercise authority in religion; and the story is written to show to all people forever that every autocracy is just as much of place, and just as far wrong, when it presumes to assert authority in religion. At the same time it is true, and equally important to remember, that the three Hebrew individuals openly and uncompromisingly disregarded that autocratic assertion of authority in religion. And the story is written to teach that all other individuals forever must do as did those three individuals, if these too will be true to God, to the right, to themselves, and to their kind.

It is true that, notwithstanding its principles of supremacy and inflexibility of the law, the Medo-Persian government did wrong when it by its law entered the field of religion; and the story is written to show to all governments and people forever that every government

p 102 -- is equally wrong in entering by law the field of religion. It is equally true, and equally important to remember, that the individual, -- Daniel, -- did absolutely and uncompromisingly disregard that law; and that the story is written to teach all individuals forever that in all like circumstances they must do as did that individual, if they will honor God and the right and be true to themselves and to their fellowmen.

It is true that the Church of Israel did an enormously wicked thing when she allied herself with the civil power in order to make her will effective; and the story of it is written to show to all the world forever that every church commits the like enormity whenever, under any pretext whatever, she seeks to control the civil power to make her will effective. It is equally true, and equally important to recognize and remember, that the One lone Individual Who was the object of this wicked alliance of the church and State, would die

p 103 -- under it rather than to yield to it or to recognize it in the slightest degree. And this is all written, that every other individual to the world's end shall be ready under like circumstances to do as did the Lord Jesus, in order to be true to God, to the truth, true to himself, and true to the human race.

It is true that the church of Israel went out of the right way, and did entirely wrong, when she assumed the authority to decide what the members of that church should or should not believe and teach; and the story of it is written to make plain to all churches and people forever, that every church is just as far from the right way, and equally wrong, when she assumes any authority to decide what any member of the church shall or shall not believe and teach. It is equally true, and just as important to remember, that the individual church-members there openly and uncompromisingly refused to recognize any such authority to any extent or in any degree

p 104 -- whatever. And this is written to teach to all church-members forever that they must individually do the like, if they will be true to God, true to Christ, true to the right, true to themselves, and true to mankind.

The three Hebrew young men did right when they refused to recognize any right of autocracy in religion. Daniel did right when he refused to recognize any right of civil government of law in religion. The Lord Jesus did right when he refused to recognize any right of the church through the civil power to make effective her will. The apostles and disciples of the Lord Jesus did right when they refused to recognize any right of the church to decide or to dictate what they should or should not believe and teach. In each of these cases God openly and in mighty miraculous power made perfectly plain to all that these individuals were right. By this it is openly demonstrated not only that they were right, but that they were divinely

p 105 --right. And in each case the story has been written out that all powers and people forever may know that such course is divinely right. And whosoever will stand with God as did each of these in his place, can know it.

It is these individuals and such as these, who, in their day and from age to age, kept alive in the world the honor of God, who have kept alive the right in the world, who have kept alive integrity and true manliness in mankind; yea, it is just these and such as these blessed individuals who have kept the world itself alive.

It is not autocracies, nor governments of law, nor unions of church and state, nor yet is it even churches as such that have maintained the honor of God, that have held true to the right, and that have preserved the integrity of man. For all history with one voice testifies that all these have done all that they could to undermine and break down all individuality and integrity of man,

p 106 -- to obliterate the right, and to shut out God from his own place in men and in the world.

No, it is not these, but the blessed INDIVIDUAL with God and in God; it is those who have known and maintained the divine right of individuality in religion; it is the Daniels, the Christ, the Pauls, the Wyckliffes, the Luthers, who have stood alone in the world and in the church, and against both the church and the world -- it is THESE, who have maintained the honor of God, who have kept alive the knowledge of God, of the right and of the true, and so have kept alive the world.

And now, and for the time to come when there is being pushed forward among the churches and urged upon the world, denominational, national, international, and world FEDERATION in religion and of religion; when all this is aimed expressly to the one end of asserting by autocracies, by governments of the supremacy and inflexibility of

p 107 -- law by churches allied with and in control of civil power, and by churches of themselves; when all these shall work at once and together to the assertion and exercise of absolute authority in religion -- in view of all this, just now, as never before, it is essential to know, to proclaim, and to maintain,

The Divine Right of Individuality in Religion,
and Religious Liberty Complete.




p 108 -- GOVERNMENT exists in the very nature of the existence of intelligent creatures. For the very term "creature" implies the Creator; and as certainly as any intelligent creature is, he owes to the Creator all that he is. And, in recognition of this fact, he owes to the Creator honor and devotion supreme. This, in turn, and in the nature of things, implies subjection and obedience on the part of the creature; and this is the principle of government.

Each intelligent creature owes to the Creator all that he is. Accordingly, the first principle of government is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.

p 109 -- This is pronounced by the Lord to be the first of all the commandments. It of all the commandments because it was the first one that was ever given; but simply because it exists in the very nature and existence of every intelligent creature, and so inheres in the nature of things as soon as a single intelligent creature exists.

It is, therefore, the first of all the commandments, simply because it is but the expression of the inherent obligation in the first relationship which can possibly exist between creature and Creator. It is the first in the nature, the circumstances, and the existence of created intelligences.

It is the first of all the commandments in the supreme and most absolute sense. It inheres in the nature and the relationship of the first intelligent creature, and stands as complete in the case of that one alone as though there were millions; and stands as complete in the case of each one in the succession of future

p 110 -- millions as in the case of the first intelligent creature, as he stood absolutely alone in the universe. No expansion, no multiplication of the number of the creatures beyond the original one, can ever in any sense limit the scope or meaning of that first of all commandments. It stands absolutely alone and eternally complete, as the first obligation of every intelligent creature that can ever be. And this eternal truth distinguishes individuality as an eternal principle.

However, just as soon as a second intelligent creature is given existence, an additional relationship exists. There is now not only the primary and original relationship of each to the Creator, for both owe equally their existence to the Creator, but also an additional and secondary relationship of each to the other.

This secondary relationship is one of absolute equality. And in the subjection and devotion of each to the Creator, in the first of all possible relationships,

p 111 -- each of these honors the other. Therefore, in the nature of things, in the existence of two intelligent creatures, there inheres the second governmental principle, mutuality of all the subjects as equals.

And this principle is expressed in the second of all the commandments, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This is the second of all the commandments, for the like reason that the first is the first of all the commandments: it exists and inheres in the nature of things and of intelligences just as soon as a second intelligent creature exists. And also, like the first, this is complete and absolute the moment that two intelligent creatures exist, and it never can be expanded nor can it be modified by the existence of the universe full of other intelligent creatures.

Each, himself, alone, in his own individuality, is completely subject and devoted first of all to the Creator; because to Him he owes all. And in this

p 112 -- subjection and devotion to the Creator first of all, each honors every other intelligent creature as his equal: as equally with himself occupying his place in the design of the Creator, and responsible individually and only to the Creator for the fulfillment of that design. Therefore out of respect to the Creator, to his neighbor, and to himself, he loves his neighbor as himself. And this second eternal truth, equally with the first distinguishes individuality as an eternal principle.

This is original government. It is also ultimate government; because these are first principles complete and absolute; and because they eternally inhere in the nature and relationships of intelligent creatures. And this government, which is at once original and ultimate, is simply self-government -- self-government in rationality and in God. For it is only the plainest, simplest dictate of rationality that the intelligent creature should recognize that to the Creator he

p 113 -- owes all; and that, therefore, subjection and honor are the reasonable dues from him to the Creator. It is likewise a dictate of reason that, since his neighbor equally with himself owes all to the Creator, his neighbor must be respected and honored in all this as he himself would desire to be respected and honored in it.

It is also the simple dictate of rationality that, since these have all been created, and in their existence owe all to the Creator, this existence with all its accompaniments in the exercise of abilities and powers should be ever held strictly in accordance with the will and design of the Creator. Because it is still further the simple dictate of reason that the Creator could never have designed that the existence, the faculties, or the powers of any creature should be exercised contrary to His will or outside of His design. Therefore it is the simplest, plainest dictate of rationality that this original and ultimate government, which

p 114 -- is self-government, is self-government under God, with God, and in God. And this is truly the only true self-government.

God has created all intelligences absolutely free. He made man, equally with other intelligences, to be moral. Freedom of choice is essential to morals. To have made an intelligence unable to choose would have been to make it incapable of freedom, Therefore, He made man, equally with other intelligences, free to choose; and He ever respects that of which He is the Author the freedom of choice.

When, in the exercise of this freedom of choice, an intelligence chooses that his existence, with its consequent faculties and powers, shall be spent strictly subject to the will and within the design of the Creator, and so, indeed, with the Creator and in the Creator, this is in the truest sense strictly and truly self-
government. And when the service, the worship,

p 115 -- and the allegiance, of each intelligence is to rendered entirely upon his own free choice, this reveals on the part of God, the Supreme and true Governor, the principle of government with the consent of the governed.

Thus the divine government as it relates to both the Governor and the governed, the Creator and the creature, is demonstrated as well as revealed to be government of perfect freedom; and of perfect freedom because of perfect individuality.

Through sin man lost his freedom and therefore his individuality. But in the gift of Christ all was restored. "He hath sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives." "Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."

Christ Jesus, therefore, came from Heaven unto the world to bring back to man, and to bring man back to, what man had lost. Individuality was the Creator's supreme gift. In the fall, this

p 116 -- was lost. In the gift of Christ the day that man sinned, the gift of individuality was restored to man.

In the long ages of sinful and imperial despotism from Cain to Tiberius Caesar, men had been so continually and systematically oppressed that they had been robbed of every vestige of individuality. Then Christ came into the world in human flesh as man, and through every phase of human experience established the individuality of man upon its own original and eternal basis. Matt. 25 : 15. Therefore, without Christianity in its original and native purity there cannot be true individuality.

But in the interests of despotism the very name of Christianity was perverted. And through long ages of ecclesiastical imperialistic tyranny men were again systematically robbed of every vestige of individuality. In the Reformation, God again restored men to Christianity and individuality. But Protestantism

p 117 -- hardened in forms and creeds; and every form and denomination of Protestants has denied, and done all that it could to destroy, Christian liberty and individuality. And now, through denominational, national, international, and federation and confederation in religion and of religions, again ecclesiastical imperialistic despotism will work with all worldly power, deceiving signs, and lying wonders, systematically to rob man finally of every vestige of individuality.

But Christianity in its supreme gift of individuality, as always before, will now and finally triumph over all. Rev. 15 : 2, 3. And Christianity triumphing through individuality, in the nature of the case, does it now as always before only in and through the blessed individual: the individual under God and with God, the individual maintaining in perfect sincerity the Divine Right of Individuality in Religion, and Religious Liberty Complete.

p 118 -- Individuality, bear in mind always not individualism: for it is distinctly and eternally an "ity"; never an "ism." TOP




p 119 --Whence came Sunday Legislation?

What is its origin? What is its character?

What does it mean to the people of the States, of the United States, and of the world?

These questions are pre-eminently pertinent everywhere in the United States today; for in the States and in the Nation, Sunday legislation is universally demanded; before Congress and State legislatures Sunday legislation is constantly urged.

Also for another reason these questions are not only pertinent, but all important. That reason is that it is through Sunday legislation that all the autocracies, all the governments of law, all the unions of Church and State, and all the churches as such, are to be

p 120 -- enlisted and combined under the pressure of denominational, national, international, and world Federation of religion, for the domination of the whole world in religion. The whole movement for the federation of the world in religion, culminates pre-eminently in the one thing of Sunday observance, and this by law.

ITS ORIGIN AND CHARACTER. -- The first legislation in behalf of Sunday was that by Constantine; and it originated in the church and was enacted solely upon the initiative and the demand of the bishops. This is certain, not only from the provisions of the legislation itself, but also from all the facts and circumstances of the legislation, and from the whole history of the time, as well as of the legislation.

The first legislation on the subject was about the year A. D. 314, and included Friday as well as Sunday. And the intent of the legislation was specifically

p 121 -- religious, for it provided and ordered that on Friday and on Sunday "there should be a suspension of business at the courts and in other civil offices, so that the day might be devoted with less interruption to the purposes of ,devotion."

Such is Neander's paraphrase of the statement of Sozomen respecting this first of all legislation in behalf of Sunday observance; and it shows that the only intent of the legislation was religious. But Sozomen's words themselves, as we have them in English in Professor Walford's translation, really intensify the religious character of the legislation. Here they are: --

He [Constantine] also enjoined the observance of the day termed the Lord's day, which the Jews call the first day of the week, and which the Greeks dedicate to the sun, as likewise the day before the seventh, and commanded that no judicial or other business should be transacted on

p 122 -- these days, but THAT GOD SHOULD BE SERVED WITH PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS." -- Sozomen's "Ecclesiastical History," Book 1, Chap. VIII.

This puts it beyond all question or contrivance that the intent of the first legislation ever in the world in behalf of Sunday as a day of cessation from certain business and other common occupations was religious wholly and solely.

In the second step in Sunday legislation, in the law of Constantine issued A. D. 321, Friday was dropped and Sunday stood alone. The scope of the law was now extended to include not only courts and other State offices, but also the "people residing in cities" and "such as work at trades." And still the intent of it was unqualifiedly the same; for Eusebius, one of the bishops who had most to do with the legislation, says of it: --

"He [Constantine] commanded too, that one day should be regarded as a special occasion FOR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP."

p 123 -- -- Oration in Praise of Constantine, - Chap. I

And when in A. D. 386 the scope of the legislation was made universal and " civil transactions of every kind on Sunday were strictly forbidden," the same exclusively religious character still attached to it; for "whosoever transgressed was to be considered in fact, as guilty of sacrilege." --Neander.

"Sacrilege" is not in any sense a civil, but in every sense only a religious, offense.

Thus on the face of the legislation itself it is perfectly plain that there was neither in it, nor about it, in any way, any other than an exclusively religious intent. Yet we are not left with only this evidence, all-sufficient as it would be in itself. By the very ones who initiated and promoted and secured the legislation, there is given the positive assurance that the intent of the legislation was exclusively religious, and specifically so. Again, Bishop Eusebius

p 124 -- is the one who assures us of this, as follows, referring to Constantine in this connection:

"Who else has commanded the nations inhabiting the continents and islands of this mighty globe to assemble weekly on the Lord's day and to observe it as a festival, NOT indeed for the PAMPERING OF THE BODY, BUT for the comfort and invigoration of THE SOUL by instruction in divine truth."-Ibid. Chap. XVII.

All this is confirmed by the course of Constantine himself in connection with the law. As the interpreter of his own law, showing what he intended that its meaning should be, he drew up the following prayer which he had his soldiers repeat in concert at a given signal every Sunday morning:

"We acknowledge Thee the only God; we own Thee as our king and implore Thy succor. By Thy favor have we gotten the victory; through Thee are we mightier than our enemies

p 125-- We render thanks for Thy past benefits and trust Thee for future blessings. Together we pray to Thee and beseech Thee long to preserve to us, safe and triumphant, our Emperor Constantine and his pious sons." - Life of Constantine," Book IV, Chap. XX

If, however, there should yet be in the mind of any reasonable person any lingering doubt as to whether the original Sunday legislation was religious only, with no thought, much less any intent, of its having any other than an exclusively religious character, even such lingering doubt must be effectually removed by the indisputable fact that it was by virtue of his office and authority as pontifex maximus, and not as Emperor, that the day was set apart to the uses signified; because it was the sole prerogative of the pontifex maximus to appoint holy days. In proof of this there is the excellent authority of the historian Duruy in the following words:

p 126 -- "IN DETERMINING WHAT DAYS SHOULD BE REGARDED AS HOLY, and in the composition of a prayer for national use, CONSTANTINE EXERCISED ONE OF THE RIGHTS BELONGING TO HIM AS PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, and it caused no surprise that he should do this." History of Rome," Chap. CII, Part I, par. 4, from end.

So much for the exclusively religious origin and character of Sunday legislation as it is in itself. Now what for ITS INSPIRATION AND INITIATION.

This original Sunday legislation was but a part of the grand ambition and scheme of the popular church of the time through politico-ecclesiastical connivance and intrigue with Constantine to establish a "kingdom of God" on earth; and this in the very thought and purpose of an earthly theocracy. For there had in fact arisen in the church "a false theocratical theory . . . which might easily result in the formation of a sacerdotal State, subordinating

p 127 -- the secular to itself in a false and outward way." "This theocratical theory was already the prevailing one in the time of Constantine; and "the bishops voluntarily made themselves dependent on him by their disputes and by their determination to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims." - Neander.

Accordingly the whole scheme of a human theocracy in imitation of the original and divine one in the Scriptures, was definitely worked out by the bishops; and through Sunday legislation was made effective. This is absolutely unmistakable and undeniable in the history of the time. It is the plain thread-thought of the whole ecclesiastical literature of the time; and stands crystallized in Bishop Eusebius's "Life of Constantine." The church was Israel in Egypt oppressed by the Pharaoh Maxentius, and Constantine was the new Moses who delivered this new oppressed Israel. The defeat of Maxentius

p 128 -- by Constantine in the battle of the Milvian Bridge, and his drowning in the Tiber, was the overthrow of Pharaoh in the sea, and his "sinking to the bottom like a stone." After this deliverance of the new Israel by this new Moses, the new Moses with the new Israel went on to the conquest of the heathen in the wilderness, to the full establishment of the new theocracy, to the entering of the promised land, and to the saints of the Most High taking the kingdom. Accordingly, by the new Moses a tabernacle was set up, and a priesthood in imitation of the divine original in the Scriptures was established. And still in imitation of that divine original in the Scriptures, Sunday was by law made the sign of this new and false theocracy, as the Sabbath was and is the sign of the original, the true, and the divine Theocracy. And this was done with this direct intent; for we have it so stated in the words of Bishop Eusebius him-

p 129 -- self who was one of the chief ones in the doing of it. Here are his words: --

"All things whatsoever it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these WE have transferred to the Sunday."

That the scheme and system of things thus established was in their thought the very kingdom of God on earth, is also plainly and positively stated by Bishop Eusebius thus: --

"Invested as he is with a semblance of heavenly sovereignty, he [Constantine] directs his gaze above and FRAMES HIS EARTHLY GOVERNMENT according to THE PATTERN of that DIVINE ORIGINAL, feeling strength in ITS CONFORMITY TO THE MONARCHY OF GOD." "And by the appointment of the Caesars fulfills the predictions of the prophets, according to what they uttered ages before: 'And the saints of the most High SHALL TAKE THE KINGDOM.' " "Oration," Chap. III.

And Sunday observance established and enforced by imperial law, as the

p 130 -- sign of the new and false theocracy, in the place and in imitation of the Sabbath as the sign of the original and true Theocracy, was the means of making all the people "fit subjects" of this new and false "kingdom of God." Here are the words, still by Bishop Eusebius:

"Our Emperor, ever beloved by Him, derives the source of imperial authority from above." "That preserver of the universe orders these heavens and earth and the celestial kingdom, consistently with His Father's will. Even so, our emperor, whom He loves, by bringing those whom he rules on earth to the only begotten Word and SAVIOUR, RENDERS THEM FIT SUBJECTS OF HIS KINGDOM." Ibid. Chap. II.

These evidences demonstrate that the inspiration and initiation of the original Sunday legislation was exclusively and specifically ecclesiastical; and this all to the promotion of a grand and subtle scheme of the bishops for the erection

p 131 -- of "a sacerdotal state" that should "subordinate the secular to itself in a false and outward way"; and to make effective "their determination to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims."

Therefore by the evidence on these two counts -- 1. -- "The Origin and Character:" 2. -- "The Inspiration and Initiation," of the original Sunday legislation -- that the said Sunday legislation is specifically religious and ecclesiastical, with every other thought and intent specifically excluded, stands proven to a demonstration: to a demonstration, because it is the unanimous testimony of all the evidence that can be brought in the case.

HOW STANDS THE CASE NOW? -- The exclusively and specifically religious and ecclesiastical character of the original Sunday legislation being a positive fixture, the question next arises, Has Sunday legislation ever lost that

p 132 -- exclusive and specific religious and ecclesiastical character?

First of all, how could that character possibly be lost? That being its native and inherent character; that being absolutely the only character that it ever had; it is perfectly plain that this character simply never could be lost. As certainly as the thing survives at all, its native and inherent character is there. Therefore, wherever, to the world's end, Sunday legislation shall be found, its native and inherent religious and ecclesiastical character inevitably attaches to it.

That is true in the very principle and nature of the case. But let us trace the thing historically and see how completely the principle is manifested. The "sacerdotal State," in the erection of which the original Sunday legislation was such a potent factor, did, all over Europe and for more than a thousand years, "subordinate the secular to itself," and did thus most despotically

p 133 -- "make use of the power of the State -- every State -- for the furtherance of her aims." In all this dismal time Sunday legislation was continued, and with no pretense of any other than its original, native, and inherent, religious and ecclesiastical character.

In 1533 Henry VIII divorced himself and England from the Pope of Rome. But that was all: for, to what then and thus became "The Church of England" Henry immediately stood as pope in the place of the pope. By statute it was ordered that the king "shall be taken, accepted and reputed the only supreme head on earth of the church of England." And in 1535 Henry assumed officially the title "On earth supreme head of the Church of England." That which was now the Church of England was only that which before had been the Catholic Church in England. "In form nothing had been changed. The outer constitution of the Church remained unaltered. "- Green.

p 134 -- And in this same unchanged system the original papal Sunday legislation was continued, and has been continued to the present day: and still with no pretense or suggestion of anything else than as in its original, native, and inherent, religious and ecclesiastical character.

From England there spread colonies to America. In America these colonies were established by English charters, and so were but the extension here of the English Government. And in strict accord with the English system, and in plain extension of it, every colony established in America, except only Rhode Island, had an established religion: either in the form of "the Christian religion" in general, or else, as in most, in the form of some particular church.

And in every one of these colonial religious establishments in America, there was extended, and in some there was even intensified, the Sunday legislation of the English system, which was only the extension of the Sunday legislation

p 135 -- of the original Roman and papal system.

And still here, as always before in England and in Rome, the Sunday legislation of the colonies in America was never with any thought or purpose, or pretense, other than as in its original, native, and inherent, religious and ecclesiastical character.

Presently these colonies cut loose from the government of Britain and became free and independent States." But still each of them was the same as before in its system of established religion and Sunday legislation. Virginia, however, immediately disestablished there the Church of England and her religion; and as regards established religion as such swept it all away by "An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom." Yet on the statute books of the now State of Virginia there stood and remained unmodified the identical Sunday legislation of the Colony of Virginia, which was only the unmodified Sunday

p 136 -- legislation of the English Church - and State - system, which was only the unmodified Sunday legislation of the Roman and papal system in its old, original, native, and inherent, religious and ecclesiastical character.

And the story of Virginia in this is substantially the story of every other of the original Thirteen States; excepting always Rhode Island. And the Sunday legislation of all the States of the Union, after the original Thirteen, has been only the extension, and practically the copying, of the Sunday legislation of the original Thirteen States that had it. And in this bad progress even Rhode Island has been perverted and disgraced. And always this Sunday legislation of the later States has been of the same original native and inherent religious and ecclesiastical character of that of the Colonies, of England, and of Rome.

Thus, from the original Sunday legislation of Constantine to the latest Sun-

p 137 -- day legislation in the United States, it the same thing, to the same purpose, and of the same character precisely.

SUNDAY LEGISLATION UNCONSTITUTIONAL -- Then came the formation of the National Government of the United States with its total separation of religion and the State, and its constitutional provision that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This principle of the national Constitution with the preceding "Act for Establishing Religious Freedom," in Virginia, has been the guide in the formation of the Constitutions of all the States of the American Union, after the original Thirteen: and even the Constitutions, though not the legislation, of the original Thirteen States have been materially shaped by it. And so faithfully has this guidance been followed, and so generally has the principle been

p 138 -- recognized throughout the whole American Union, that, as summarized, the case stands thus: --

"Those things which are not lawful under any of the American Constitutions may be stated thus:

" 1. -- Any law respecting an establishment of religion.

" 2. -- Compulsory support, by taxation or otherwise, of religious instruction.

" 3. -- Compulsory attendance upon religious worship.

" 4. -- Restraints upon the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience.

" 5. -- Restraints upon the expression of religious belief.

"These are the prohibitions which in some form of words are to be found in the American Constitutions, and which secure freedom of conscience and of religious worship. No man in religious matters is to be

p 139 -- subjected to the censorship of the State or of any public authority."

"The legislators have not been left at liberty to effect a union of Church and State, or to establish preferences by law in favor of any religious persuasion or mode of worship. There is not complete religious liberty where any one sect is favored by the State and given advantage by law over other sects.

"Whatever establishes a distinction against one class or sect is, to the extent to which the distinction operates unfavorably, a persecution; and if based on religious grounds, a religious persecution. The extent of the discrimination is not material to the principle; it is enough that it creates an inequality of right or privilege." -- Cooley's "Constitutional Limitations," Chap. XIII, par. 1-9.

Now, in view of these facts, provisions. And principles, taking Sunday legislation for just what it unquestionably

p 140 -- is, -- exclusively and specifically religious -- it is perfectly plain upon every principle that anywhere and everywhere in the United States, and under all the Constitutions, Sunday legislation is "a religious persecution," and is absolutely unconstitutional and void of itself.

That it is unconstitutional has been admitted by both State and United States Courts. The Supreme Court of Ohio said plainly that "if religion were the sole ground of Sunday legislation, it could not stand for a moment" under the Constitution. And a United States District Court has remarked upon the "somewhat humiliating spectacle of the Sunday Advocates trying to justify the continuance of Sunday legislation . . . upon the argument that it is not in conflict with the civic dogma of religious freedom," when "It surely is"; and says that "the potentiality of the fact that it is in aid of religion might be frankly confessed and not denied."

p 141 -- And the latter court distinctly recognized it, in the very word, as "persecution." TOP

JUDICIAL INVENTION AND FIAT. -- And yet all over the United States Sunday legislation is held by courts to be constitutional! How can this be? The answer is that it is solely by judicial invention and fiat.

Note: -- It is not by judicial construction or interpretation of the Constitutions, but wholly by judicial invention and fiat as to the character of the legislation. That is to say: By judicial invention and fiat an utterly new and foreign character is given to Sunday legislation: and then upon this new and foreign ground the legislation is held to be constitutional. If this new and foreign ground were in truth the original and native ground, even then the constitutionality of such legislation would be open to question. But not in any sense is the new and foreign ground true. It is a sheer invention, and false both as to principle and to the facts.

p 142 -- This judicial invention and fiat of new and foreign ground for Sunday legislation is the proposition that it is for the physical benefit, for the promotion of the health and for the restoration of the wasted energies, of the people; that "it is for the protection of labor," and so is constitutional "as a police regulation" and a "purely civil rule"!

Now, everybody who knows but the A B C of Sunday legislation, knows full well that no Sunday law in the world was ever enacted with any such intent, or for any such purpose, or upon any such ground, as that; but that every Sunday law ever in the world was enacted solely because of its religious and ecclesiastical character, with every physical and civic element specifically excluded.

The State of Idaho is an illustration in point, and being the very latest, is strictly pertinent. In the very spirit, and with the very aim, of the bishops in the time of Constantine, an ecclesiastical clique, not of the State of Idaho, framed

p 143 -- for Idaho a Sunday Bill and carried it to the legislature of Idaho and got it enacted into the law of Idaho. And then under a Constitution declaring that:

"The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed; . . . no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege, or capacity on account of his religious opinions; . . . nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship,"

the Supreme Court of Idaho held that religious and ecclesiastical statute to be "constitutional."

The State of Washington is another illustration. The Constitution of that State declares that

"Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion."

p 144 -- When in 1889 this constitutional provision was framed, it was the unanimous intent of its framers that it should exclude Sunday legislation equally with every other form of religion in law. The writer of this book was present with the committee of the Constitutional Convention when that provision was framed. And I personally know that such was the intent of the framers of it, because this very subject of Sunday legislation was particularly considered by the committee and it was held by the committee unanimously that this constitutional provision as framed would, as intended, exclude Sunday legislation. And yet under that Constitution the Supreme Court of the State of Washington has held Sunday legislation to be "constitutional."

Thus with Sunday legislation actually framed by ecclesiastics with no other than religious and ecclesiastical intent, and with constitutional provisions framed with direct intent to prohibit it,

p 145 -- the courts by sheer judicial invention and fiat make it "constitutional."

But every such decision is plainly in open disregard of one of the very first principles, and of "the universally admitted rule," of judicial action -- the principle and the rule, that "the intention of the lawmaker is the law"; that "the law must be construed according to the intention of the lawmaker"; and that "a law can have no meaning beyond the intent of those who made it."

This principle, that must ever, in justice, guide in the construction of statutes as well as constitutions, is authoritatively stated as follows: --

"A court which should allow a change of public sentiment to influence it in giving to a written constitution a construction not warranted by the intention of its founders, would be justly chargeable with reckless disregard of official oath and public duty." -- Cooley, "Constitutional Limitations," p. 67.

p 146-- The principle applies with equal force to the construction of a statute, as to the construction of a Constitution. And whether the change of sentiment which a court should allow thus to influence it, be public and general or only the private and personal sentiment and bias of the court itself, the principle is the same and such court is equally "chargeable with reckless disregard of official oath and public duty." Yet this is precisely what has been done by the courts when, by setting up an utterly new and foreign meaning, they give to Sunday legislation a construction not in any sense warranted by the intention of its founders or its framers, anywhere in human history or experience.

A PALPABLE SUBTERFUGE. -- Yet even this invention and fiat of new and foreign ground for Sunday legislation, is not allowed to exclude the original and native religious ground of it. This invention, in fact, is only the stalking-horse

p 147 -- by which Sunday legislation as religious can be brought in and made to stand as "constitutional" under constitutional provisions that absolutely prohibit it. For no sooner has it in each instance been made "constitutional" as "purely a civil rule" than it is immediately given standing as religious by the declaration that "the fact that the legislation is founded in religion" and is "the peculiar feature of Christianity," "is nothing against it, but rather is strongly in its favor." Thus, under Constitutions prohibiting religious legislation, by a sheer sleight of judicial legerdemain the feat is accomplished of making "constitutional" legislation that is wholly religious and ecclesiastical.

STILL IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. -- But against it all there still stands the abiding truth that Sunday legislation is unconstitutional everywhere in the United States, because of its religious character. The inventing of a

p 148 -- "civil basis" for it in order to render it constitutional, only leaves it still unconstitutional because of its original, native, and inherent religious and ecclesiastical character. In other words, when the Constitution guarantees absolute freedom from all religious observances, restrictions, or provisions, by law required, then any religious character whatever attaching to any law renders it unconstitutional for that reason.

The Constitution is the supreme expression of the will of the people in the government. And when that supreme will excludes from legislation all things religious, then this supreme will can not be evaded by the mere trick of inventing a "civil basis" for a religious thing. By such trick every religious thing ever heard of could be made constitutional and enforced upon all: and the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom would thus be turned into a tantalizing figment.

p 149 -- Therefore, instead of the "religious ground of Sunday observance being nothing against, but rather in favor of, Sunday legislation as a civil rule," the truth is that this is the strongest possible objection against it; so strong indeed that this alone nullifies it, whatever might be its "civil" nature or necessity.

The Supreme Court of California has well stated this principle, as follows: --

"The Constitution says that 'the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State.' . . . The constitutional question is a naked question of legislative power. Had the legislature the power to do the particular thing done? What was that particular thing? -- It was prohibition of labor on Sunday. Had the Act been so framed as to show that it was intended by those who voted for it, as simply a municipal regulation; yet, if, in fact, it contravened

p 150 -- the provision of the Constitution securing religious freedom to all, we should have been compelled to declare it unconstitutional for that reason. " - Ex-parte Newman.

The principle is that it would be impossible for as much damage to accrue to the State, to society, or to the individual, through being deprived of a desired "civil benefit, as must certainly accrue to the State, to society, and to every individual, through the infringement of religious freedom, the invasion of the rights of conscience, and the clothing of religionists with civil power. TOP

EVEN IF CONSTITUTIONAL IT WOULD YET BE WRONG. -- It is undeniable then, that Sunday legislation is religious and ecclesiastical, and, as such, and under whatever plea, is unconstitutional and "a persecution" everywhere in the United States. But even if it were constitutional here, as it is in England and France and Spain and

p 151 -- Russia, it would still be wrong. As religious and ecclesiastical, Sunday legislation is wrong of itself and never can by any possibility be right.

King Nebuchadnezzar, as against the three Hebrew young men, made a law having a religious basis and character, But God taught him and all kings and people forever, that it was wrong.

The Medo-Persian government, as against Daniel, enacted a statute of inflexible law having a religious basis and character. But God taught that government and all governments and people forever that it was wrong.

And as for the church "making use of the power of the State for the furtherance of her aims," which could not possibly be with any other than religious intent -- that by this slimy, serpentine, trick there was accomplished by the church her "aim" at the crucifixion of the Lord of Glory, this is sufficient demonstration to the wide universe and for eternity that such combination and the

p 152 -- procedure under it is supremely and satanically wrong.

Thus there is a higher law and a mightier Authority than any of earth; that is the will and authority of God. Religion is the duty which intelligences owe to their Creator, and the manner of discharging that duty. The religion therefore, of every soul stands only between him and the Sovereign of the soul. Therefore, though Sunday legislation were constitutional in every State or government on earth, still, as being religious, it would be altogether wrong; because it is an invasion of the realm, and a usurpation of the authority and jurisdiction, of God.

NO POSSIBLE GROUND FOR IT. -- There are just two authorities to whom, as respects law or government, anybody in the world is under any obligation to render anything. These two are God and Caesar. Accordingly the Lord Jesus declared this truth thus:

p 153 -- "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Sunday legislation and Sunday observance come from neither God nor Caesar.

It is not of God; for, as the evidence shows, in the very beginning of it, it was set up as the sign of the false and human theocracy of the man of sin in the place of God, showing himself that he is God, to supplant the Sabbath of the Lord as the sign of the true and divine Theocracy in which God Himself is God alone.

It is not of Caesar: for, as the evidence shows, it was not as Caesar -- the head of the State, but solely as pontifex maximus -- the head of religion, that Constantine decreed Sunday to be a sacred day and established its observance: and this under the inspiration and demand of "the Church" which is neither God nor Caesar.

Therefore, since it is from neither God nor Caesar, but only from "the church"

p 154 -- through a heathen "head of religion," there is no obligation, no ground, and no room, for anybody in the universe ever to render to anybody any observance of it in any way whatever.

ITS ULTERIOR PURPOSE. -- By every count in the indictment then, it is demonstrated that the original, native, and inherent character of Sunday legislation abides ever the same -- exclusively and specifically religious and ecclesiastical.

And the ulterior purpose in Sunday legislation is likewise ever the same. We have seen that in the original Sunday legislation the ulterior purpose was "the formation of a sacerdotal State, subordinating the secular to itself in a false and outward way"; and the making effective of "the determination" of the ecclesiastics "to make use of the power of the State for the furtherance of their aims."

And that is precisely the ulterior purpose

p 155- of it now. Congress and legislatures are constantly besieged; legislators are persistently pestered, and even threatened, by ecclesiastics now, as the imperial office was then, always for Sunday legislation, and more Sunday legislation. It matters not how much of such legislation there may be already on the statute books, still the persistent demand is that there shall be more, and more, and yet more; and it is all dictated, when it is not actually framed, by the interested ecclesiastics themselves, and in terms more and more approaching the Inquisition, precisely as by those other ecclesiastics at the first.

We need not follow the subject further here. The evidences here presented show conclusively that the character of Sunday legislation is ever only exclusively and specifically religious and ecclesiastical; that, therefore, in the United States it is unconstitutional and un-American; and that everywhere it is un-Godly and anti-Christian.

End of Book.