By A.T. Jones
I will take a text tonight that will last a week at least. It is a familiar statement to all, I think. It is as follows:
The people who will now see what is soon to come upon us by what is being transacted before us, will no longer trust in human inventions, and will feel that the Holy Spirit must be recognised, received, presented before the people.
Tonight, to begin with and to lay the foundation for what is to come, we will look at the situation as it exists tonight before us in the United States government. And for this reason I shall relate the experiences of the hearing that took place lately in Washington; beginning with that, and simply state the facts as they are before us tonight, and then afterward we can find out the bearing of the facts that already exist.
When the first movement was made for religious legislation by Congress in the United States, you will remember that we began to circulate a petition, which was, in effect, a remonstrance against anything of the kind, containing these words:
To the Honourable, the Senate of the United States: We, the undersigned, adult residents of the United States, twenty one years of age or more, hereby respectfully, but earnestly, petition your Honourable Body not to pass any bill in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, or the Lord's day, or any other religious or ecclesiastical institution or rite; nor to favour in any way the adoption of any resolution for the amendment of the National Constitution that would in any way tend, either directly or indirectly,to give preference to the principles of any religion or of any religious body above another, or that will in any way sanction legislation upon the subject of religion; but that the total separation between religion and State, assured by the National Constitution as it now is, may forever remain as our fathers established it.
And the Sunday closing of the World's Fair, when that came up, this was likewise brought before Congress under this protest:
We the undersigned, citizens of the United States, hereby respectfully, but decidedly, protest against the Congress of the United States committing the United States Government to a union of religion and the State in the passage of any bill or resolution to close the World's Columbian Exposition on Sunday, or in any other way committing the Government to a course of religious legislation.
The Breckinridge bill was protested against in the same way; the bill to stop the delivery of ice on Sunday, last year, in Congress, was protested against in the same way so that our protest in this respect has been against Congress touching the subject in any way at all. But it did do it, as we expected always, of course, that it would.
While we were circulating these petitions men would not believe that there was enough of importance in it to sign their names to the petitions, even when they believed that the petition was all right in itself. Men would admit that that was all right. They would say, "I believe all that; but it is not of enough importance to pay any attention to; I would not take the time to sign my name to it, although I am in favour of all that you are saying. No such thing as that will ever be done." And because there were so many of that kind of people who did not believe that it would ever be done, it was done. And when they found out it was done, they began to try to have it undone. They began to wake up to see that they were mistaken and that it had been done, and then seeing their mistake, they began trying to retrieve it by asking that the World's Fair should be open on Sunday. And the reasons they urge for the opening of the Fair are precisely the same reasons that were given for closing it.
This movement for opening originated in Chicago. The Chicago Herald started it, and the city council of Chicago took it up and drafted a memorial to Congress, which the city council, with the mayor at its head, as representatives from the city of Chicago, took to Washington and presented the first day of the four days' hearing. Some of the reasons that were given upon which they asked that the Fair should be opened on Sunday, I will read:
The wish of the Council is, That the gates of the world's Columbian Exposition be not closed Sunday. That all machinery be stopped, and that noise be suppressed that day, to the end that quiet may prevail, which is in keeping with the Sabbath.
That recognises Sunday as the Sabbath, and of course there is a certain quiet that becomes it, and they wanted it open with the machinery stopped "that the quiet may prevail." That is the same reason that the other folks want it shut on Sunday. They want the same thing.
That suitable accommodations be provided within the Exposition grounds for holding religious services the Sabbath day, to the end that all the denominations may have worship conducted according to their several customs without obstruction or hindrance.
That is the same reason that the other folks wanted it shut--so that they could have religious services in their churches.
We recognise and rejoice in the fact that our country is and always has been a Christian Nation. . . . And the leading reason urged by the churches for closing it is that "this is a Christian Nation." We are of the opinion that more good will be accomplished by permitting these people and all others who desire it, to visit the inside of the grounds than will follow from keeping them out. . . . We believe that the United States, as a Christian country, should open the gates Sunday as a recognition of the fact that in no branch of human interest or thought has there been more progress during that four hundred years of time than in the Christian Church.
That is exactly the reason that the other folks gave for shutting it: that the United States, as a Christian nation, should shut the Fair on Sunday as a recognition of the advancement made in Christian ideas.
Would it not be a good thing to throw the sanctify of religious worship about the great temple dedicated to the things of use and beauty?
And the reason given for shutting the Fair was that it would be a good thing to throw the sanctity of religion over the whole Fair.
So you can see the reasons that were given for opening it are precisely the reasons that were given for shutting it.
The Chicago Tribune, in mentioning the letter that Cardinal Gibbons wrote on the subject, introduced it in this form, in its issue of December 3, 1892:
There is a strong and growing sentiment in some religious circles in favour of the repeal of the World's Fair Sunday closing act. One eminent divine after another is coming out in favour of this liberal movement. The possibilities for a series of religious demonstrations at the Park become more and more manifest. With the leading religious and moral teachers of Europe and America to conduct services every Sunday, with sacred music produced by choruses embracing, perhaps, thousands of trained voices, Sunday at the World's Fair will be one of the grandest recognitions of the Sabbath known to modern history.
So the other folks said if the Fair be closed on Sunday and the solemnity of the Sabbath overspreads it and this nation sets the grand example of the recognition of the Sabbath, it will be "one of the grandest exhibitions of the Sabbath known to modern history."
More than this: those who worked for the opening of the Fair pandered to the church interests precisely as the others did in working for the shutting of it. As soon a these things appeared in print I wrote a letter to Brother A. Moon, sending him these marked passages, and I said to him, "You can readily see that the reasons that are given by these people for opening the Fair are precisely the reasons that were given for shutting it. Now that being so, for us to join with them would be to recognise the legitimacy of the legislation and the reasons for the legislation, whereas every one of these reasons is directly against everything that we have been working for all these years in Congress. So this makes it plain enough that we cannot put a single one of our petitions along with theirs. We cannot take a single step along with them; we can not work with them at all or connect with them in any way in the way they are working or upon the reasons which they give for opening the Fair. We will have to maintain the position that the legislation is not and never was right at all. The only thing we can do therefore is to hold that the thing ought to be undone. The only position which we can take is that the Sunday part of the legislation should be unconditionally repealed.
Brother Moon immediately replied that he had seen these statements and had already taken the position that I spoke of in my letter. You will remember that about the same time I wrote an article which appeared in the Sentinel setting forth the same facts and taking the same position; saying that we did not care a turn of the hand whether the Fair was opened or shut on Sunday but we did care more than could be told whether the subject should be dealt with at all by Congress. Therefore Brother Moon told the Chairman of the Committee and the gentlemen who were managing that side of the question in Washington that neither we nor our petitions could be counted at all in connection with that movement. The Chairman of the Committee asked Brother Moon what our position was. He told the Committee what our position was and how many petitions there were there. Of course all the names that were gathered upon that first petition, nearly four hundred thousand, are just as good today as they were then, whenever any congressman chooses to call them up and present them. They are everlastingly against the whole thing. Therefore the Chairman, when Brother Moon told him what our position was and the reasons for it said to him: "You write out your position as regards this legislation, and I will present it as a bill in the House so as to give you a basis upon which to present your petitions and for your arguments to be heard." Brother Moon, in that room, dictated to Mr. Thompson of Chicago, what we desired, and Chairman Durborow introduced it with his own name on it. Following is the bill:
52d Congress H. Res. 177 2d Session In the House of Representatives, December 20, 1892. Referred to the Select Committee on the Columbian Exposition and ordered to be printed. Mr. Durborow introduced the following joint resolution: Joint Resolution to repeal the religious legislation pertaining to the World's Columbian Exposition. Whereas the United States Constitution specifically states that 'Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof'; Therefore be it-- Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the act of Congress approved August fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, appropriating five millions of Columbian half dollars to provide for celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus by holding an international exposition of arts, industries, manufactures, and products of the soil, mine, and sea in the city of Chicago, in the State of Illinois, on the condition that the said exposition shall not be opened to the public on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday; and also that section four of 'an act to aid in carrying out the act of Congress approved April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled An act to provide for celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus by holding an international exposition of the arts, industries, manufactures, and products of the soil, mine, and sea in the city of Chicago, in the State of Illinois,' be, and the same is hereby, amended so as to leave the matter of Sunday observance entirely within the power of the regularly constituted authorities of the World's Columbian Exposition.
Then that being understood that that was introduced with the understanding and for the express purpose of opening the way for us to present our petitions and to be heard upon the question, we proceeded upon that idea. The arrangement for the hearing was made. Brother Moon tells me that if the hearing could have been had before Christmas he is perfectly satisfied that we would have been heard; but the hearing was not appointed until after the holidays, and Congress took a recess during the holidays and when Congress reconvened it was discovered that the Chairman of that Committee was another man altogether. I was informed that he had a dinner with Elliott F. Shepard in the meantime. Whether that had any effect upon his digestion or some other part of his make-up I do not know. At any rate that or something caused him to repudiate all that he had done and shut out the principle which he had embodied in that resolution and presented in order that we might be heard.
Dr. Lewis, the Seventh-day Baptist, went to Congress to be heard. He told me that he went to Mr. Durborow, the chairman of the committee, and asked to be heard. Mr. Durborow asked him what he represented and what his argument was to be. Mr. Lewis told him that it would be upon the point of the unconstitutionality of the legislation already taken by Congress. Mr. Durborow told him that the Committee had decided not to hear any arguments at all upon the principle but only upon the policy of the legislation; not to consider any question at all as to whether it was constitutional or not, but that Congress had done it, and it was presumed that Congress had the right to do it. And any mention as to the propriety of the legislation would be entirely left out, and it was only considered now as to whether it would be better policy for the country to open the Fair or shut it on the Sunday that had been adopted by Congress.
When that was done Dr. Lewis had nothing at all to say, and made no calculation to say anything. But the third day and among the last minutes of the day, Mr. Durborow called upon him to speak, giving him five minutes. Dr. Lewis told him that he did not have anything to say, that he did not have his documents with them, and that he had no intention to speak under the circumstances. But Mr. Durborow rather insisted that he should, that he had five minutes to occupy if he chose. So he occupied them though in rather a perfunctory way.
Samuel P. Putnam was there for the same purpose, having several thousand of petitions in his pocket. He is president of the Free Thought Federation of America. He went to Mr. Durborow for a portion of time to be appointed him, and he received the same information--that any arguments as to the constitutionality of the question or the principle involved was not to be considered at all, but only the policy of the legislation. That being so, Mr. Putnam made no further request. But he likewise was called upon to speak, but was given only a very few minutes, which he occupied as best he could.
I did not get there long enough beforehand to find all that out. Brother Moon knew it, but I did not have a chance to talk with him. My train was late, and I arrived there in time, by hurrying, to get to the committee room as the argument was opened. So I did not have time to learn anything about the situation at all. After the hearing Mr. Thompson of Chicago came to me and asked me if I would take the balance of the time that day, the last half hour. I had written to Brother Moon that whatever arrangements they should make I would conform to when I got there. I supposed that was the arrangement. I told Mr. Thompson if they thought best I would speak that day, but I would like to wait until after the American Sabbath Union had spoken, but if they would rather, I would take the time. And so when I began I began on the only thing I knew. It was to call in question the legislation, but that was the thing they had decided not to have discussed.I noticed immediately that they were restless. The chairman was very restless. But I did not know what was the matter.
So I will take up the question right there now. It is true that the chairman made a statement in opening the hearing that I understand now, but did not then. He said:
The meeting today will be held for the purpose of giving a hearing to those favouring the legislation that is before the Committee. I think it would be proper to state to the Committee that the present case is somewhat different from the case as presented a year ago, and that the proposition before the Committee is to modify existing law, not create law, as was the proposition a year ago. Therefore the discussion before the Committee on this occasion it is expected will be held very closely within the lines of modification presented in the resolution before the Committee, copies of which are on the desk and which can be furnished to you, which provides for the modification of the closing of the gates of the Columbian Exposition on Sunday by permitting them to be opened under restrictions as stated in these resolutions.
That expression, "Not to create law," was the statement that I did not understand then, but do now.
Well, it was fortunate in another sense that I spoke that half hour, because there was no time afterward when I could have had a half hour. The longest time occupied by anybody after that was about twenty-five minutes, and the most of the fifty-seven speakers had only an average of about ten minutes allowed them.
Although the chairman shut out the argument I was making upon the constitution, yet other members of the Committee asked questions until the whole half hour was consumed, and every one of their questions was presented in such a way that I was compelled to strike the constitution and the unconstitutionality of what they had done, in answering the questions. And so the argument they wanted to shut out was presented in spite of the efforts of the chairman. And the very things that he refused to listen to from us were presented by others in a great deal stronger way than we should or could have stated them. My argument before the Committee is as follows:
Mr. Durborow: You have just thirty minutes left, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones: Mr. Chairman, I expect to speak in favour of this legislation that is now before the Committee for a larger number of reasons than could be given in the half hour which I may have to speak, but I shall endeavour to touch upon such reasons as have not been dwelt upon very particularly hitherto. I shall start with one that has been touched by Mayor Washburne, to some extent, but which may be referred to a little more fully, and then I shall go from that to the consideration of other points.
My first point is that this subject, of whether the gates of the World's Fair shall be closed or opened on Sunday, is a subject with which the national government has nothing at all to do. It is entirely beyond its jurisdiction in any sense whatever. There are three distinct considerations--
Mr. Robinson: What church do you belong to? Mr. Jones: I do not see what that has to do with the question. Mr. Durborow: The gentleman certainly has the right to ask the question. Mr. Jones: Is he a member of the Committee? Mr. Durborow: Yes sir.
Mr. Jones: Very well; I beg your pardon. I did not know that the gentleman was a member of the Committee. I am perfectly willing to answer the question, though I cannot see what bearing it has upon this discussion. I am a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But I speak here today as a citizen of the United States and upon the principles of the government of the United States. And I may say further that in the way that Congress has touched this question, I may probably speak upon it as a Seventh-day Adventist. As Congress has entered the field of religion already, we have the right to follow it there, if necessity should require.
What I was about to say is that three distinct considerations in the Constitution of the United States forbid Congress to touch this question. The first is well defined by George Bancroft in a letter which he wrote Dr. Philip Schaff, Aug. 30, 1887, which reads as follows:
"My Dear Mr. Schaff: I have yours of the 12th. By the Constitution no power is held by Congress except such as shall have been granted to it. Congress therefore from the beginning was as much without the power to make a law respecting the establishment of religion as it is now after the amendment has been passed. The power had not been granted and therefore did not exist, for Congress has no powers except such as are granted, but a feeling had got abroad that there should have been a Bill of Rights and therefore to satisfy the craving, a series of articles were framed in the nature of a Bill of Rights, not because such a declaration was needed, but because the people wished to see certain principles distinctly put forward as a part of the Constitution. The first amendment, so far as it relates to an establishment of religion, was proposed without passion, accepted in the several States without passion, and so found its place as the opening words of the amendments in the quietest manner possible. . . . George Bancroft"
This is shown by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution which says that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." As no power has been granted to Congress on the subject of religion, that is reserved to the States or to the people. That is where we ask that this shall be left, just where the Constitution has left it. It is a question reserved to the States. It is for the State of Illinois alone, so far as any State can have anything to say upon the subject, to say whether that Fair shall be opened or shut on Sunday. If the State of Illinois should not say anything on the subject, it is still left with the people. It is for the people in their own capacity as such, to act as they please in the matter, without any interference or dictation by Congress.
Not only is that so on that point, but if the Constitution had not said a word on the subject of religion, there would have been no power in Congress to touch this question. But the people have spoken; the constitution has spoken and denied the right of the United States government to touch the question and has reserved that right to the States or to the people. Not only did it do that but it went further and actually prohibited the government of the United States from touching the question. This lack of power would have been complete and total without the prohibition, because the powers not delegated are reserved. But they went further and not only reserved this power but expressly prohibited Congress from exercising it. It is trebly unconstitutional for Congress to touch the question. It was so at the beginning of the government, and this is why we insist that this legislation shall be undone, and leave it where the Constitution has left it--to the States or to the people.
Mr. Houk: The language of the Constitution, I believe, is that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.
Mr. Jones: I am going to follow this question a little further and notice that amendment. The amendment does not read, as it is often misquoted, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion"; but "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." There are two meanings in this clause. When the Constitution was made, all that it said upon this subject was that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Some of the States had established religions at the time; I think all except Virginia. Virginia had released herself in a campaign directly touching this question. The first part of the clause was intended to prohibit Congress from making any law respecting any of these religions which were established already in those States, and the second part of the clause prohibits Congress from touching the subject of religion on its own part, in any way. In the State of Virginia from 1776--with the exception of the interval when the war was highest--to December 26, 1787, there was a campaign conducted over the same question that is now involved in this legislation.
The English Church was the established church in Virginia, and the Presbyterians, the Quakers, and the Baptists sent a memorial to the General Assembly of Virginia, asking that as the Colonies had declared themselves free and independent of British rule in civil things, so the State of Virginia should declare itself free from British rule in religious things and that they should not be taxed to support a religion which they did not believe, nor even any religion which they did believe. And the English Church was disestablished. Then a movement was made to establish the "Christian religion" and to legislate in favour of the Christian religion" by passing a bill establishing a provision for teachers of that religion. Madison and Jefferson took the opposition to that bill, and by vigorous efforts defeated it, and in its place secured the passage of a bill "establishing religious freedom in Virginia," which is the model of all the state constitutions from that day to this, on the subject of religion and the State.
Now then, that campaign in Virginia against the establishment of the Christian religion there, embodied the same principle that is involved in this legislation of today, and as that was distinctly shut out, so we ask that this shall be also and Congress and the government step back to the place where it was before and where it belongs. Madison went right out of that campaign into the convention which formed the Constitution of the United States and carried with him into that convention the principles which he had advocated in the campaign and put those principles into the United States Constitution, and the intention of all was, and is, that Congress shall have nothing at all to do with the subject of religious observances.
Washington, in 1797, made a treaty with Tripoli, which explicitly declared that "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion." And when Congress has legislated upon this question with direct reference to the Christian religion, therein again it has gone contrary to the express intent of those who made the Constitution and established the supreme law, as expressed in their own words. And for this reason we ask that the thing shall be undone and Congress put the government right back where it was before that legislation was established, and leave the question where it belongs.
Mr. Durborow: Your objections are simply constitutional? Mr. Jones: There are some others, but the foundation of all is the unconstitutionality of it. Those who sent up the petitions here and those who worked for the movement in this Capitol knew that it was unconstitutional when they asked it. A gentleman who spent six months at this Capitol for this legislation, has argued for more than twenty-five years, in print and in speech, that any Sunday legislation by Congress or legislation in behalf of the Christian Sabbath would be unconstitutional. And yet he worked here six months to get Congress to do that without any change in the Constitution. For twenty-five years, he, with the Association to which he belongs, has been working to get an amendment to the Constitution recognising the Christian religion and making this a "Christian nation" so that there would be a constitutional basis for Sunday legislation. But now in the face of that twenty-five years' history and work and in the face of their own arguments, they have gone right ahead, and got Congress to do it, when they knew it was unconstitutional.
Another reason why we ask the repeal of it is that it was secured upon false representations. The representations which they made to Congress in order to secure this legislation were all false. They represented before Congress that the mass of the people of the United States were in favour of their cause, which has been demonstrated over and over to be false. It was forcibly demonstrated in the city of Chicago not quite a month ago. There the American Sabbath Union held a convention--a national convention. They had four mass-meetings the first night of the time in which the convention was held. One of those mass-meetings I attended. It was reported in the Chicago papers, of which I have copies here. I will read the Chicago report of it so that it will be seen that I have not put any of my feelings into it. The Chicago Tribune of December 14, 1892, had this report:
"It Was Voted Down "The American Sabbath Union suffered a defeat last night at one of its meetings which so surprised the leaders present, that the incident was a veritable sensation. It was an unexpected blow, and the more grievous because it was administered by one of the most sabbatarian of all Christian denominations." Mr. Jones: This was not the first instance of the kind, as some present here will remember. Rev. W. F. Crafts: That's a good joke.
"The Union opened a national convention here yesterday afternoon and made arrangements for four mass- meetings throughout the city last night to forward the movement. One of these meetings was held at the M. E. Church, South Park Avenue and 33d St. It was a small mass-meeting, but everything went on smoothly for a time and the 'American Sabbath' had everything its own way. Dr. H. H. George, a leader in the movement, Mr. Locke, and others advocated the closing of the World's Fair on Sunday, and vigorously denounced the efforts of the directors and of the mayor and city council to have Congress repeal the closing act. These speeches were warmly if not unanimously approved by frequent amens and clapping of hands. No one looked for any opposition, and so the following resolutions were drawn up in a confident and emphatic manner:
"Whereas, We are informed by the Chicago press that our City Council through the influence of Mayor Washburne has appointed a committee of its members to go to Washington for the purpose of influencing Congress to reverse its action with reference to closing the World's Fair on Sunday; and, "Whereas, The Chicago directors have opened headquarters in Washington for the same purpose, notwithstanding the acceptance of two and one half million dollars' appropriation from Congress on the express conditions that the gates should not be opened to the public on Sunday; and, "Whereas, there are seven thousand saloons running open every Sunday, contrary to the State law; therefore, be it-- "Resolved, First, That we enter a most earnest protest against such official action on the part of the mayor and city council in using such measures in opposition to the action of Congress and spending the people's money in attempting to reverse the very conditions upon which the appropriation of Congress was received. "Resolved, That we deprecate and condemn the action of the directors, who received the money from Congress upon condition that the Fair should not be opened Sunday (a bona fide contract), and are now using all possible effort to influence Congress to set aside said condition. "Resolved, That in our judgement it would be more proper for the mayor and city council to close the saloons on Sunday in accordance with the State law, than to endeavour to influence Congress to open the Exposition Sunday, contrary to law. "There was applause at the end, and then the chairman of the meeting, Rev. H. H. Axrell, put the resolutions to vote. To his and others surprise the 'Ayes' and 'Noes' seemed equal, with the volume of tone apparently in favour of the latter. The chairman then said, that a rising vote would seem to be in order, and he requested all in favour of the resolutions to stand up. The secretary counted thirty on their feet. "'All opposed will arise.' "The rest of the audience, with the exception of four who seemed to have no opinion on the matter, stood up, and the secretary looking astonished at the evident majority paid little attention to counting heads, and declared that there were at least thirty-five against the resolution, and what seemed strangest was that many of them were women. "After a moment of wonder the chairman said he would like to have some explanation for the action of the majority." Mr. Jones: I was there and gave the reason why we were opposed to the resolutions. The next day in their convention this thing was called up and quite fully considered. And so I read the report from the Chicago Times of the following day:
"Gloom pervaded the meeting of the American Sabbath Union yesterday morning. The unexpected set-back received at the meeting held at the South Park Methodist Church the evening before had dampened the ardour of the delegates, and only a baker's dozen were in their seats when the presiding officer of that session, Dr. H. H. George, of Beaver Falls, Penn., called the meeting to order. The cause of the depression was the outcome of the meeting the night before. Four mass-meetings were held Tuesday night. At the first three, resolutions were adopted in favour of Sunday closing of the World's Fair. At the last the resolution was defeated, the attendance, it is now claimed, being principally of Adventists. That was the reason of the gloom which pervaded the South Park Church yesterday. "The committee appointed to prepare a telegram to Congress reported the following: "'The National Convention of the American Sabbath Union, meeting in this city, respectfully request our Congress, and especially the Committee on the World's Fair, that no action be taken to repeal the Sunday closing law. Mass-meetings were held in four different parts of the city last night to protest against this repeal as an act dishonourable to Congress and the nation.' "Dr. Mandeville was on his feet in an instant. "'That should not read four mass-meetings, for one meeting was opposed to the resolutions," he said. "It should read three mass-meetings.' "'Yes,' protested the committeeman, 'but our resolution covers that point. It says the meetings were held to protest--it does not tell what they did.' "But Dr. Mandeville would not be hoodwinked by any double dealing of the sort, and the resolution was made to say that three mass-meetings vigorously protested against the repeal of the Sunday closing law."
And the Secretary of the American Sabbath Union for the State of Illinois wrote a correction to the Chicago Evening Post in which he denounced those who voted against their resolutions as 'brass interlopers,' and for having 'massed their forces to defeat the object of this mass-meeting.' That opened the way for me to reply, which I read here as a part of my argument and which explains this point a little more fully before this Committee:
"Chicago, December 17: Editor of the Evening Post: I would not needlessly add to the afflictions of the American Sabbath Union, but in justice to the people denounced in Rev. Mr. McLean's letter in the Evening Post of Thursday, as well as to bring that letter within the boundary of facts, Mr. McLean's correction needs to be corrected. That he should not have a clear understanding of the situation at the South Park Church mass- meeting of Tuesday night, is not strange. He was not there. I was there, and, therefore, beg a little space to correct his correction. He states that the Seventh-day Adventists, 'evidently supposing it would be a fine stroke of policy, in order to defeat the object of the meeting, massed their forces,' from the region of the meeting, 'with the result as published.' This is a total misapprehension. There was not a particle of policy about it; there was no thought beforehand of defeating the object of the meeting; and our forces were not massed. That there was no massing of forces will readily appear to all from the fact that while there are one hundred and ninety- four Seventh-day Adventists in this quarter of the city, there were only about forty at the mass meeting. And whereas, there are fully three hundred Seventh-day Adventists in the other three divisions of the city--west side, north side, and Englewood--there were none in attendance at the Sunday union mass meetings in those three quarters. If we had done as we are charged with doing, at least three, instead of only one, of their mass- meetings would have been carried against their resolution. Mr. McLean ought to be thankful that we are not so black as he has painted us, and that they escaped as well as they did. "But why should they denounce us? Was it not--"
What I was going to read further was this: "Was it not advertised and held as a mass-meeting? Had we not a perfect right to attend it? And had we not a perfect right to vote against any resolutions that might be offered? When we went to the meeting, as the masses were expected to go, were we to keep still when called upon to vote? And to remain silent when directly called upon, both by the gentleman who offered the resolutions and by the chairman, to explain our vote? In view of these facts, is it the fair thing for them to denounce us as 'atheists,' 'religious anarchists,' 'brass interlopers,' etc., as they have done? What kind of a mass meeting did they expect to hold, anyhow? More than this, what kind of a mass meeting is that wherein forty people can 'mass their forces' and defeat the object of the meeting? In all their meetings they missed no opportunity to proclaim over and over that forty millions of the American people are on their side of the Sunday question. In the meeting that night Dr. George vehemently declared that on their side were forty millions, while there were only about twenty-five thousand of the Seventh-day Adventists in the United States. 'Forty millions of us,' he shouted, 'and we are not afraid. Forty millions of us and we have the government on our side, and we are not afraid of anything that the Adventists can do.' Now if the people were so overwhelmingly in favour of the work of the American Sabbath Union, how would it be possible for a few, in proportion of only one in sixteen hundred, either to pack their meeting or defeat their resolutions? If their own representations were true, they would have had the house full and the galleries packed with people in favour of the work of the Sunday Union, and it would be literally impossible for all the opponents that could be 'massed' to defeat the object of the meeting. But when the facts demonstrated that their own mass-meetings were so slimly attended that forty people could largely outvote them and kill their resolutions and 'defeat the object of the meeting,' this in itself demonstrates that their claim of an overwhelming majority of the people in favour of Sunday closing of the World's Fair is a [Continued on next page] The Chairman (Mr. Durborow): I don't want any more of such stuff as that. I do not see what bearing that has on this question. Please confine yourself to proper lines of argument.
Mr. Jones: It shows this: that their representation of forty millions of people--the masses of the country--is not true. When forty people can go to a mass-meeting and outvote them it shows that the masses are not with them.
Mr. Durborow: We are here on a matter of changing some legislation. I think we might as well drop that. The congressmen undoubtedly knew what they were doing when they passed that bill.
Mr. Jones: I am not casting any reflection upon Congress in this. I am not saying that the Congress knew that these representations were false. But is it not possible for congressmen to be deceived, and seriously to consider representations which were false?
Mr. Durborow: I don't think your whole argument is very respectful to the Congress of the United States.
You see he shut me off from showing that these representations were false and said he did not "want any more of that stuff," but he got it. Rev. H. W. Cross, a Presbyterian minister from Ohio went to Washington to make a five minutes' speech. And the third day of the hearing he set forth this matter stronger than I could have done. I think I had better give his speech right here. It is as follows:
SPEECH OF REV. H. W. CROSS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE Mr. Durborow: Rev. H. W. Cross of Ohio will speak for five minutes.
Rev. H. W. Cross: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee: The real object of my being here to speak a word, is in favour of intellectual honesty on the part of the orthodox churches. I am a minister of an orthodox church. I notice in my territory that these church petitions are exceedingly delusive as to the number of those that sign them or vote for them.
Now, for example, in one instance in our State the Presbyterians passed a resolution, saying that we represent so many, aggregating a certain membership; and then the Christian Endeavour Society, composed of many of the same church members alluded to by that Presbyterian church, will pass a like resolution, and say we represent fifty, seventy, or one hundred members. And then it will be brought before the Sunday school. And many of the persons who are counted as voting for the resolutions will have been counted three, four, or five times, and it is almost on the principle of voting early and often--which is so much opposed in secular politics. I am witness to this fact. There was one petition claiming to represent eighty _________ [Continued] downright fraud. And this is what hurts them. As long as they can go on unmolested and uncontradicted in their misrepresentations they are happy. But when an incident occurs that exposes the fraud in their claims it grinds them." church members that signed the petition to Congress but they were not present at all. It was at a Sunday school, and the vote was taken by the Sunday school superintendent, and there were children that voted for those resolutions that were not old enough to know whether the expression "World's Fair" meant the pretty girls in the next pew or the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
I deem it my duty to inform this Committee of the facts in that case. The real animus of these petitions is religious. But you cannot tell by the wording of the petitions just what they mean; it is the spirit back of them that shows this. The columns of the religious press and the exhortations of class leaders and Sunday school superintendents--it is what they say to the few that were voting, that tell what these petitions mean. I deem our legislators thoroughly competent, intellectually and morally, to decide this question without any imperious dictation from any sect or group of sects, as to whether this opening of the great educational exposition is consistent with the civil Sabbath. I notice a tendency in my own church papers and in other orthodox church papers to gloat over the fact that "we (that is this group of denominations having this common idea) have been strong enough by our own strength, to grasp Congress. We have hurled Congress against the Seventh-day Adventists, against the Seventh-day Baptists, and against the Roman Catholic citizens, and against various other of our citizens." Now it seems to me that is hardly a desirable thing to do in this country.
I cannot speak to you, gentlemen of the Committee, in the manner and to the extent that I had prepared myself, owing to the fact that I have but five or six minutes allowed me, and so I have simply presented these two points: that these petitions are exceedingly delusive as to the number who sign them, inasmuch as one and the same identical people have spoken many times, and in a great variety of instances, at conventions as individual signers, at Sunday schools, as members of the Society of Christian Endeavour--the same persons have voted again and again. And when you come to figure out the vast aggregate it is exceedingly delusive, and if the interests of the civil Sabbath--
Mr. Durborow: Mr. Cross, your time has expired.
Mr. Cross: Very well, then; I will leave my sentence unfinished. I bow to the decision.
Another speech which most powerfully set forth this that the Committee refused to hear from me, was that of Mr. Thomas J. Morgan, a labouring man from Chicago. He had his speech written out to be read. But after hearing some of the church representatives, he was so stirred by their misrepresentations, that he, when he came to speak, forgot all about his written speech, the passing of time, and everything else, till the Chairman told him his twenty-five minutes were gone. I will give his speech here also. So I read:
SPEECH OF THOS. J. MORGAN After stating whom he represented and that he had received word "from 375 labour organisations, coming from every town and city in the United States, in which there is sufficient industry carried on to promote or encourage the organisation of a body of workmen," and covering up to date "thirty-three States of the Union," he said:
Now Mr. Chairman, having stated the authority that is vested in me, I wish to say that I appear before this Committee under very great embarrassment. I did not know until two hours before I took the train that I should be able to reach this Committee. I arrived here at eleven o'clock last night, and being in a new place, in unaccustomed conditions, I lost my sleep. In addition to that I am just from the bench. You see [holding up his hands] I am a workman; there are the calluses and corns that are a necessary incident to manual labour. I come unprepared by education to meet the arguments presented here or to present my case with the force and fluency that gentlemen in the opposition have, having been forced by my condition to labour all my life-time since nine years of age, without a single vacation; absolutely denied the opportunities of education except that which was wrested from my sleeping hours.
I am also embarrassed by the fact that I find myself, for the first time in my life, in the midst of a lot of friends of labour, whose existence I never before was aware of; and I am absolutely astounded as well as embarrassed at the statements they make. They not only claim to speak in the name of labour, such as we have it in the United States; but, lo and behold, they speak with the voice of authority from my fellow-workers in Great Britain, from which country I came. Not only that, but they take the name of a man whom I honour more, possibly, that any other, and hurl authority from that source at this Committee--that man is Karl Marx. They speak in the name of the social Democrats of Germany also; and I, being a Social Democrat, being an Englishman, and associated intimately with the reform movement of that country, and being here in the United States for twenty-three years an active labour reformer--why, you can imagine my embarrassment and astonishment when I find myself in the presence of these advocates and friends of Karl Marx, the Social Democrats of England, and the friends of labour reform here in the United States. [Turning to the Clergymen] I regret exceedingly that I cannot grasp your hands in fraternal friendship. I am sorry that I have to say, Oh, save us from our friends. I am embarrassed in being compelled to say that I am here with authority to absolutely repudiate you and charge you with false representation.
When I heard the statements they made, I thought I will approach this matter with kindness, gentleness, etc.; I thought to myself, I hope I will have the power to deal with this question in the same spirit; but I am afraid I have overstepped the limits already. I have this thing so near at heart that ordinary composure is absolutely destroyed when I find that we are attacked, that our interests are so misrepresented, that our desires and wants are so distorted, by these men who claim to speak with authority.
[To the clergymen] You bring men's names from England who are absolutely unknown. What is the matter with Joseph Arch? What is the matter with Tom Mann? What is the matter with Ben Tillott? Can you speak in their names? No. You bring some unknown names here to add force to your misrepresentation. You have never been the friends of labour and at this time you have no right to speak in that sense.
When you brought your references here my mind ran back at once to England, to Joseph Arch, a layman in the church, whose zeal for the Christian religion was too great to be contained. As a layman he taught, under the hedge-rows, the moral truths that Christ enunciated, and he found in his efforts to lift up his class that the whole array of clergymen of Great Britain were against him, as we find the whole array of the clergy of the United States except the Catholic Church arrayed against us. [Voices from the clergymen expressing disapproval.]
Possibly that statement I made that the whole clergy was arrayed against us is not strictly true. I hope to save myself from any statement that is not absolutely based upon facts. Possibly I would be right if I said that the evangelical churches of the United States, as here represented, are absolutely opposed to us and to our interests. Probably I should except the Catholic Church; possibly I will admit that. I tell you I am embarrassed. Possibly you will give me some consideration at least in that respect. I wanted to undo the work that you have been doing here and I will do it to the best of my ability.
Joseph Arch, to whom I referred who now lives, and from whom you have got no word, who was lifted from the hedge-row into the House of Parliament, was placed there by the people, and he promised to make it possible for them to live in decency and respectability. After he had accomplished that, the clergymen of Great Britain called him to a great meeting in Exeter Hall, at which there were present two hundred clergymen. They asked him to explain the purposes of his organisation, and he did so. It was to lift the people out of absolute ignorance, into the comforts and decencies of manhood; it was to kill the saloon, to empty the jail, to give men in the agricultural districts a chance to live, as decent human beings. He had accomplished a great deal in that direction and he not only told the ministers, "We not only did it without your help, but we did it in the face of your absolute effort in antagonism." And he said, "After we have accomplished this work you call us to account! We give you the results of our work. We did that without your help. We will go right along. All that we ask you is that if you can not see your way to help us, get out of the way and leave us alone to do our work." This is my answer to your English production.
You speak here of the Social Democrats of Germany. What right have you? You have no authority at all. You go to work and take this little bit and that little bit from the work of Karl Marx, the Social Democrats, and the result of their convention and present it here with authority. I am a Social Democrat. I belong to that organisation, and have done all I could to proselyte, in my humble way, the minds of the workmen of the United States, to the principles they hold. And I want to tell you clergymen that the principles held by the Social Democrats of Germany are the principles enunciated by Jesus Christ and which you do not understand.
[Voices: "Hear, hear."] Mr. Chairman, I not only speak with this authority that I have expressed, but I want to call attention to the relative position that we occupy toward this World's Fair matter, in comparison with this body of clergymen organised like a machine [turning to the ministers]. I want to call up one after another to do his portion of the work.
Mr. Durborow: Mr. Morgan, the Committee is at this end of the table.
Mr. Morgan: My general statement as to my unfitness for this kind of work will excuse me, I hope. If the friends of the Church had been kinder to me when I was a child, had they taught me to read and write, I possibly would have been able to follow all the requirements of refined and common etiquette and society. Thanks to them, possibly I shall make some bad breaks, for which I ask to be excused.
I was going to say, Mr. Chairman, that in addition to the authority that I have here set forth, I wish to say that we workmen of Chicago particularly and especially demand the right to be heard with more consideration than our opponents. As soon as the word went forth that it was proposed to have an exposition, a world's exposition, in the United States, the labour organisations everywhere responded with gladness to that proposition, and as soon as it was settled that the World's Fair should be held somewhere in the United States, Chicago workmen put forth their claim to Chicago as the proper geographical point to have a world's exposition located. They backed up their request that Chicago should be the place with petitions from labour organisations throughout the United States, to such an extent that Congressman Hawley was able to stand up in the Congress of the United States and say, "I hold in my hand petitions from organised labour from every State in the Union, except New York, asking that the Fair shall be located in Chicago." That Fair was located there. But even before it was located there, the demand was made by Congress that Chicago should show its ability to conduct that Fair, by subscribing for ten millions of her stock. The workmen put their hands into their pockets and with dimes and fifty cent pieces and dollars subscribed for half a million of her stock. What did the Church do? Did the Church demand that there should be an exposition of the world's products and man's ingenuity? If they did, they did it silently. The workmen responded in this substantial fashion; and since then they have built the Fair and consecrated it with their blood. Hundreds and hundreds of workmen have been killed and maimed in the construction of that mighty work. And I think that because of these reasons what we have to say should have additional weight attached to it.
Not only that, but giving all due credit to the master minds who designed and planned that wonderful exposition, giving them all due credit, the products exhibited there come from this kind of hands [Holding up his own labour-hardened hands]. And after we have built the Fair, sacrificed our lives in doing so, after we have contributed by our ingenuity and labour in placing there the exhibits, these men, who had no hand in it, neither in designing, constructing or in anything else connected with it, have come and shut the gate and turned the lock on us workmen! And then they come here with the miserable plea that they are instructed, that they are justified in speaking for labour! It is absolutely astounding, the assumption these men have in making their plea. I cannot comprehend how they could risk their reputation for veracity, for honesty, and for truth--and that is all the stock in trade that the clergy have, and if that is lost they are gone, how they could risk their veracity and honesty in making these statements? One of them comes here this morning and says, "I hold a petition from a labour union in New York City." What labour union?
Rev. Mr. W. F. Crafts: The engineers of the United States. Mr. Morgan: Who? Mr. Crafts: The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mr. Morgan: No! Look here; that claim, that statement that is made, that they do not duplicate things is basely, maliciously false. They do duplicate things. And they bring in a single petition from one of the local unions in the state of New York and you make people believe you have got another organisation. Mr. Crafts: O, no. Mr. Morgan: Well, of course, my comprehensive faculties are not equal to grasp your way of managing these things. Another statement is made that because the engineers of the United States speak, that settles the question; that they are the most intelligent of all workmen in the United States. I absolutely repudiate that statement.
[Here Mr. Morgan spoke a few words touching some rather personal matters between the organisation which he represented and the organisation of engineers, which we think it best for us not to seem to take any part in by printing and circulating as widely as this document will be spread--Publishers (original document)].
Then the plea is made that the opening of the Fair will necessitate extra work upon the part of the engineers. Let me call your attention to this fact, that if the World's Fair is closed on Sunday, people will be absolutely prohibited from enjoying its privileges on that day. That day will be given to travelling. Men will start on Sunday, reach Chicago Sunday night or Monday, spend the week at the Fair, take the train the latest hour Saturday night or the earliest hour Sunday morning.
Mr. Durborow: Mr. Morgan, you have been speaking just twenty-five minutes and have consumed the time allotted to you. I understand that you desire Mr. Askew to follow you and unless you give way to him, of course you would occupy his time.
Mr. Morgan: O, excuse me, Mr. Chairman. I did not think I had been talking so long. But really I would like to have a little more time. I have a paper here which I would like very much to present.
Mr. Durborow: If you have the consent of the other speakers, of course it will be all right.
Dr. W. H. Thomas: I will give you my time. Mr. Durborow: Simply state a synopsis of your paper if you can, and give it as quickly as possible. Mr. Morgan: I will read it as rapidly as possible, and you can read it at your leisure. [Reading] In regard to the religious side of this matter, I wish to say that the working men attribute the action of Congress in closing the World's Fair on Sunday to the activity and influence of the Protestant evangelical church, and that in the accomplishment of its purpose the representatives of these churches assume to be the guardians of the economical and moral interests of the working people, and in their name and behalf urge Congress to close the gates of the World's Fair on Sunday.
We are here duly authorised by the only organised and formal movement made by workingmen in relation to the closing of the Fair on Sunday to absolutely deny the right of these churches or their representatives to speak or act for us in this matter, and to prove to you by documentary evidence we present that all such representations made to Congress by these churches were wilfully or ignorantly fraudulent.
In this connection we desire to call the attention of congressmen who may have been influenced by the action of these churches, and who are sincerely interested in the religious side of this question, to the fact that the indifference or active antagonism of the working classes toward the Church is at present and has been for years past, a subject of the most serious consideration by the clergy. We respectfully represent that one of the principal causes of this latent and active hostility to the Church is due to the fact that its representatives are so far removed economically and socially from the wage-working classes as to entirely fail to understand their wants, desires and aspirations, and hence as a result, when they do speak in our name, they misrepresent us, as they have in this case. This has occurred so frequently and universally that the respect and reverence for the Church held by the working people in the past, has been destroyed to such an extent that the Church itself has become alarmed. With a few exceptions, and upon rare occasions, a suggestion to have a clergyman open or participate in our conventions or mass-meetings would be met with contemptuous ridicule. Tens of thousands of wage-workers who like myself have passed from infancy to manhood within the folds of the Church, and in being forced from it, have retained a fervid love for the moral principles taught by the Carpenter of Nazareth, realise not only the wickedness embodied in the acts of the clergy in shutting the workers out of the Fair, but also understand the effect it will have in further alienating the working classes from and intensifying their hostility toward the Church.
Speaking as we do, with this intimate personal knowledge, we respectfully, but most earnestly, urge congressmen who have been influenced by religious considerations to undo this ill-advised and injurious act of the Church.
Rev. Mr. Martyn, in advocating the closing of the Fair on Sunday, declared that neither literature nor art had any effect whatever upon the moral status of the people. Our reply is that this statement is a libel upon literature and art and a monstrous insult to all scholars and artists, and an absolute denial of the advantages of secular education, whereas we insist that every advance in general knowledge is necessarily an advance in public morals and that the knowledge of individuals, and hence their moral status, is affected largely by their environment.
Place a working man within the gates of the World's Fair, bring him in contact with the wonders of nature as there shown, and the marvels of man's production gathered from the whole world, and in open-eyed wonder he will be lifted out of his ordinary self, all his lowest and basest instincts and habits will be for the time submerged, and deep into his mind and heart will be pressed, as never before, a comprehension of nature's varied resources and the limitless ingenuity and power of the human mind, which will ever after be a profitable source of reflection, a subject of conversation, instructive alike to himself and his associates, that must necessarily make him a better man, a more skilful, and hence a more valuable, worker and a more useful citizen.
These conclusions are reached not from abstract reasoning, but through practical personal experience, and were I a clergyman or an active member of the Church, having the moral welfare of the people at heart, I would consider it an imperative duty not only to open wide the gates of the fair on Sunday, but to advocate the organisation of special means to bring the masses within its intellectual and moral influences on that particular day.
In the consideration of the moral side of the subject I asserted that the influence of a visit to the World's Fair would make the labouring man a more skilful and hence a more valuable worker. To the great army of unknown inventors a day in the World's Fair would be an inspiration of inestimable value, not alone to themselves but to the nation and to the human race. Again I speak from actual experience, being personally benefited by visits to expositions similar in character to the World's Fair, but in size and scope comparatively insignificant.
Those guarding the industrial and commercial interests of Great Britain and France thoroughly understand this view of the case. In Birmingham, England, where I came from, one of the greatest manufacturing towns in the world, such exhibits on a small scale were permanent institutions. Special delegations of workers were regularly sent to the world's expositions of London and Paris, and from personal conversation with one of the French wermon No. 2: Religious Legislation
I will take a text tonight that will last a week at least were equally alert to the importance of this particular matter.
I am also advised by one of my associates, actively interested and aiding in this work of opening the gates of the World's Fair on Sunday, that in Germany in the industrial towns along the Rhine the workingmen's societies regularly sent delegations to both London and Paris to report upon the exhibits relating to their particular trades and that such visits were so arranged, for economical reasons, that the delegates reached Vienna or Paris on Saturday night or Sunday morning, visited the exposition during Sunday, and departed for home Sunday night or Monday morning.
Comparatively few of the workers in the United States have had the advantage of those stimuli to thought and invention, nor have the manufacturing and commercial class as yet reached a full realisation of its importance. Hence I press this view of the matter, hoping that it may aid in opening the gates of the World's Fair on Sunday to the hundreds of thousands of workers in Chicago and its neighbouring towns and to encourage by that privilege the visits of as many wage-workers throughout the nation as may by months of self-denial and sacrifice save sufficient to pay the expenses of a visit to the World's Fair, such visit being necessarily limited to a few days.
Now I return to my own speech, where it was interrupted by the Chairman of the committee.
Mr. Jones: Well, very good. I will take it, then, that Congress knew what they were doing. Here is the record of it in the Senate; that is where this part of the legislation began, because the legislation in the House touched only the closing of the government exhibit and passed the House that way and said nothing about closing the Fair on Sunday. When it came to the Senate, there this part of the legislation originated. I shall read from the Congressional Record of July 10, 12, and 13.
Mr. Durborow: Well, it is no use to read that here. We are more familiar with that than you are yourself. What we are after is modifications of the existing law.
Mr. Jones: Certainly.
Mr. Durborow: Now, if you will argue on the point of the modification of the law, the benefits why this law should be changed and modified in accordance with the resolutions that are before this Committee--that is what this Committee has these hearings for:
Mr. Jones: Well, that is what I am doing. I have given the Constitution as it provides, prohibiting this legislation, and when the Constitution prohibits it, then ought not the legislation to be undone?
Mr. Durborow: This is not the place to argue that question. Mr. Little: I think you perhaps misunderstand the legislation that has already been taken. I agree with you as to the Constitution. But this legislation makes an appropriation and accompanies the appropriation with the condition that the Fair should be closed on Sunday. For instance, you have no right to say to a gentleman walking along the street, You shall not go into that saloon. But if you give him five dollars you have the right to connect with it the condition that he shall not spend it in the saloon *
Mr. Jones: I see your point. The argument has been made, and it was made when the legislation was before the Senate, that as Congress was appropriating the money, it had the right to put whatever restrictions it considered proper upon the use of the money.
Mr. Little: But they were not forced to take the money. Mr. Jones: Certainly. But I deny that proposition. Congress had the right to put whatever civil restrictions she pleased upon the use of the money; Congress had no right under the Constitution to put any religious restriction at all upon the use of the money.
Mr. Little: Is it a religious restriction? Mr. Jones: Yes, sir. It is religious legislation entirely. Mr. Houk: Do you believe that it would be right for Congress to say that the Fair should be closed one day in seven?
Mr. Jones: No, it would not be proper, for it all rests upon religious ground, and that is the only ground upon which Sunday observance or Sunday recognition rests. And the claim that the legislation was in the interests of the workingmen is contrary to the proceedings of the Senate. Senator Hawley said plainly, "Everybody knows what the foundation is; it is founded in religious belief." Senator Peffer said, "Today we are engaged in a theological discussion as to the observance of the first day of the week." So that they considered it as religious, and religious only. Now, I repeat, they had no right under the Constitution to put any religious restriction upon it. When they put that restriction there and said that the directors should sign an agreement to close the World's Fair on Sunday, on the "Christian Sabbath," as Congress declared Sunday to be, before they could receive any money, they had just as much right to say that the World's Fair directory should sign an agreement to submit to Christian baptism before they could receive any of the appropriation.
Voice: Or try Dr. Briggs. Mr. Jones: Yes. When Congress put upon this appropriation the condition that the directory should sign an agreement to shut that Fair on the "Lord's day," as Congress declared Sunday to be, before they could receive any of the money, Congress had just as much right to require that the World's Fair Committee should observe the Lord's supper before they could get any of the money. Hence, if Congress can define what the Christian Sabbath is, they can require anything else in the Christian religion.
Voice: That is so. Voice: Is not this a Christian nation? Mr. Jones: No, of course not. Mr. Jones: When they go beyond the Constitution in one point for religion's sake, they can go beyond it on every point. What Congress has done in this respect in favour of Sunday only opens the way to do whatever else may be demanded by those who have secured this. And it will be demanded, for the Christian Statesman, whose editor is in the hall, has said that "the great Christian majority has learned, by response to its great _________
This is not admitted. For we have no right to bribe a man, even not to drink. And if Congress did this act upon this principle, as is here suggested, then it did add to the other evils of this legislation the element of bribery. And in fact this is precisely the view of it which has already been held by the American Sabbath Union. The President of the Sabbath Union has published that this act of Congress "puts a premium of $2,500,000 on doing right. It proves in a concrete way that 'godliness hath great gain.'" And this whole idea we repudiate with all the rest of the evil thing. petition, and its host of letters with reference to the World's Fair, that it can have of national and State governments whatever legislation against immorality it will ask unitedly and earnestly." And a preacher in Pittsburgh, as soon as this bill had passed Congress, declared in a sermon: "That the Church has weight with great political or governing bodies has been demonstrated most effectually in the late World's Fair matter, when the United States Senate, the highest body in the country, listened to the voice of religion and passed the World's Fair five million appropriation bill with the Church-instituted proviso that the gates of the great Exposition should not be opened upon Sunday. That grand good fact suggests to the Christian's mind that if this may be done, so may other equally needful measures. The Church is gaining power continually, and its voice will be heard in the future much more often than in the past."
Voice: The statement of an individual. Mr. Jones: No, not the statement of an individual only; it is representative, because those who secured the legislation, those who presented the petition--they did it as a grand combination, not as individuals, but as a combination. The National Reform Association, the American Sabbath Union, and the whole combination put together--they worked for it for religious reasons; they demanded it upon religious grounds only, and did it as religious. The basis of it was declared to be the fourth commandment, when Senator Quay sent up his Bible to the Secretary of the Senate to be read there. Here it is in the Record. Who will deny that the fourth commandment is religious? Who will deny that the fourth commandment as given in the Bible is religious and that the Bible itself is religious? I appeal to this Committee: Has the Congress of the United States a right to put that Bible into its legislation and to make that the basis of legislation in this government? No, sirs.The Constitution is the basis of legislation by Congress, and not the Bible. And the Constitution has shut religious questions from the consideration of Congress. But the Bible was sent up that day, and this is the record:
"Mr. Quay: On page 122, line 13, after the word 'act,' I move to insert: 'And that provision has been made by the proper authority for closing of the Exposition on the Sabbath day."
The reasons for the amendment I will send to the desk to be read. The Secretary will have the kindness to read from the Book of Law I send to the desk, the part enclosed in brackets.
The Vice President: The part indicated will be read. The secretary read as follows: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.'"
Mr. Jones: You know the fourth commandment; I need not read it.
Voice: Read it all. Mr. Jones: "Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
Voice: Is that the seventh day or the first day? Mr. Jones: The commandment says the seventh day; but in the face of this plain declaration of the Lord that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, the Senate has put its own interpretation upon that commandment, and has declared that the statement that "the seventh day is the Sabbath" means "the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday." Thus the Congress of the United States has taken the fourth commandment from the Bible and put it into its legislation, and has put its own
interpretation upon that statute. If Congress can interpret the Bible on one point, it can interpret it on every other point. So that when it went beyond the Constitution of this country in this thing, it has put itself and the government in line with all the Church-and- State governments that have ever been and has assumed to itself to be the interpreter of the Bible for all the people in the land and for all who come into the land. That is what has been done.
Mr. Houk: Your argument is, then, that the quotation of that commandment by Senator Quay, and the insertion of that, incorporates the fourth commandment and the whole Bible into the legislation of this country?
Mr. Jones: In principle it does. [laughter] Why not? What is to hinder it? When they can incorporate one part of the Bible for this occasion, what is to hinder their incorporating every other part of the Bible as other occasions may be presented? And therefore it is true that the incorporation of this part of the Bible here, does in principle incorporate the whole.
Mr. Houk: That is a kind of general way to get God into the Constitution.
Mr. Jones: Exactly. And that is what these are rejoicing at who have wanted all these years to put God into the Constitution. And that is why they say now, "We can have all we want, when we ask unitedly for it." And this is true. This does give them all they wanted, for when congress can do that in one point, who will deny its right to do it in any other point? When the principle is once established, the thing is all done. But it did put the fourth commandment there as giving the reasons why the Fair should be closed Sunday and as forming the basis of the legislation upon this question.
Mr. Durborow: Now was the reading of that commandment an organic act of the Senate, of Congress, in doing any such thing as that?
Mr. Jones: It was the organic act of Congress, because it was an inseparable part of the legislation itself; it was given as the basis of the legislation, and as containing the reasons for it.
Mr. Houk: Then anything that a member says incorporates it in the act?
Mr. Jones: Oh no, not necessarily. But let us consider how this was brought in. Senator Quay proposed an amendment. The House had passed a bill to close the government exhibit, letting the Fair alone. When it went to the Senate, Senator Quay introduced an amendment to close the whole Fair. His amendment was "That provision has been made by the proper authority for closing the Exposition on the Sabbath day." That was the first step taken in Congress on the subject of closing the Fair, not the government exhibit, but closing the Fair. The Senate took that step, and in the taking of it, the fourth commandment was quoted by him who offered the amendment, and was adopted by the Senate as the basis, and as giving the reasons for the amendment. Now when this commandment was given by him, and read afterward by the secretary from the desk, as the basis of that amendment, and as containing the reasons for the legislation that was in the amendment, and when the Senate adopted that amendment by changing it to the first day of the week and calling it Sunday, and then the House confirmed their decision--then it is as plain as day that the fourth commandment is put there and embodied in the legislation of the country by the definite act of Congress. [The clock struck 12, the time expired.]
Mr. Durborow announced that the time had expired and said, "This will bring the discussion to a close for this day."
That closed the hearing for that day. The Chairman had shut out the constitutional argument and refused to have that go before the Committee; but the questions that were asked brought all that out, until the time was consumed. The American Sabbath Union knew that their cause was safe, and after the hearing was over, they simply stepped outside the door in the entry way and called a meeting of their Union and passed a vote of thanks to the Lord for preserving the American Sabbath. They knew that when the constitutional argument was shut out, they had all they wanted.
The next day Elliott F. Shepard made the opening speech, and note how he started. The only thing that makes a congressman is the Constitution of the United States. He has no authority in this world but such as the Constitution gives him, and he has no right to listen to any argument that would not come within the Constitution. But they shut that out, and now see what they did listen to in the first speech that followed:
OPENING REMARKS OF COL. E. F. SHEPARD I approach this subject with great reverence. When we come to deal with heavenly things, we should put aside earthly things, and should do very much as the Jews used to do in the temple at Jerusalem. Before they made their offerings, before they entered upon the service, they prepared themselves by ablution and by prayer for the proper discharge of their duties. Now when we come to consider the Sabbath, that it rests upon the law of God, that it is a revelation to mankind which no one would have thought of, that we owe it entirely to our Father which is in heaven, we ought therefore to come with the same reverential spirit to its consideration ourselves. . . .
We have resolved not [to] say one single word as to the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of this law before this Committee, for to claim that it is unconstitutional here would be a reflection upon the Committee, upon both Houses of Congress, and upon the President of the United States who approved this law. And you yourself very wisely took that last consideration entirely out from before the Committee when you stated that this was not the place to argue that question. Therefore we dismiss it without saying a single word.
Mr. T. A. Fernley, in his speech, told the Committee that there was no authority for reconsidering the question because there was no new evidence presented, that there was not a single new reason before the Committee for opening the Fair on Sunday. And he said that the only possible ground upon which you can reconsider that question is its unconstitutionality. So that confirmed the position that he had refused to hear from us so that everything they objected to from us they got from somebody else. They went on--not with heavenly arguments by any means--but they proposed to consider heavenly things, and they reined the Committee up before death and the Judgement, stating that when they came to die it would be a consolation to them to know that they had acted right on the maintenance of the Sabbath.
Others would bring up and threaten the wrath of God upon the nation if it did not preserve the Sabbath. A man was there from Asia Minor, and he wanted the World's Fair closed on Sunday as a stimulus to missions, and if the World's Fair should be opened on Sunday it would be the greatest set-back to the missionary cause that ever could happen to it. And thus they would bring the Judgement before the Committee and the presence of death and threaten them with the wrath of God and the Judgement of God if they did not do so and so. In an editorial in the Review not long ago there was a quotation referring to this point, that these men would go to Congress, speak for God, and threaten these things if Congress did not do so and so. (See Review of October 25, 1892) That has been done.
Here is an argument from a lawyer, a judge, Judge S. B. Davis, of Terre Haute, Indiana, that was sent up there and distributed by the hundreds and lying in quantities on the table of the Committee, in which is said:
The Supreme Court of the United States says, 'This is a Christian nation,' and goes on from this to argue for national and State recognition of Sunday. Yes, 'this is a Christian nation.' That was the grand chief argument of all. This is a Christian nation; the Supreme Court of the United States has said so. If there are any of the brethren here who doubt whether the decision of the Supreme Court means anything, I wish they had been there and seen what it meant there.
What is the situation now as the legislation stands tonight? As it stood then? What is the situation since? Here is an article from the Chicago Herald of January 14, 1893, that gives the situation, and so I read it here: 'It is anything but an encouraging prospect which the friends of Sunday opening of the World's Fair have before them. . . . The hearings which have taken place during the last four days have greatly hurt the Sunday opening cause. Not that the advocates of closing have had the best of the argument, for they have not, but the publicity given to the matter throughout the country by this agitation has brought down upon Congress an avalanche of protests and appeals from religious people and church organisations all over the country.
The churches and the ministers are at work again quite as earnestly as they were a year ago and with equal effectiveness. . . .General Cogswell, who was counted upon till today, is now wavering. The Methodist Episcopal Church has brought some influence to bear upon him which he finds it difficult to resist. . . . The trouble is that a large number of members who believe in Sunday opening on principle and as a matter of right are too timid to vote their convictions in the face of organised opposition from the churches and ministers. These statesmen argue that the men who want the Fair open on Sunday are reasonable men who will not permit their judgement or their votes to be affected by failure to get what they want. While on the other hand the Church people who are for Sunday closing will, if their wishes are thwarted, lose their tempers and at the next election make trouble for those who vote against them.
This sort of cowardice or caution, combined with the fact that the ministers who are making Sunday closing a sort of stock-in-trade have no hesitancy about bulldozing their congressional representatives or anyone else they can get hold of, offers an explanation of the changed condition of affairs with reference to this question.
I read here the closing statement of Rev. Joseph Cook in his speech before the Committee:
Sunday is the tallest of the white angels now entering foreign lands. Shall we consent to allow Chicago now to rise up and stab this angel in the back, in our country? And shall we call down the goddess of liberty from the Capitol to assist at the murder? God forbid.
In whose hands is the government of the United States? The churches. Who owns Congress? The churches. Who is using it? As that gentleman from Ohio said: "We have been able by our strength to use Congress as we choose." The churches. These are the facts.
These are some of the things that are taking place before us. Now the study will be what is soon to come upon us from what is now taking place before us. When we see that, as the testimony has said, we will see the necessity, recognise the necessity, that the Holy Spirit shall be recognised, received, presented to the people. And that is where we are, brethren, as Brother Prescott has said. The only question is, Shall we seek God for the power of his Holy Spirit? The country is sold into the hands of a religious hierarchy, and that is sold into the hands of the devil.