American Sabbath Union

TimeWatch Editorial
August 12, 2016

In the Deseret Evening News, May 9 1901, one of the outstanding headlines of the day was:
“American Sabbath Union, Opposed to Opening Buffalo Exposition on Sunday.” The article was quite specific in its condemnation of the opening of such a secular event on a Sunday.

“At a meeting of the board of managers of the American Sabbath Union, the opening of the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo was discussed and resolutions were adopted denouncing the directors for disregarding the petition of 2,000,000 individuals, representing a constituency of 22,000,000 of ecclesiastical, civic humanitarian and labor organizations, by deciding to throw open the gates of the exhibition on Sunday. The resolution stamps the directors’ action as an affront to the religious convictions of the majority of the people of the Empire State. Ministers of the gospel are asked in the resolution, to preach upon the subject before the formal opening of the exposition on May 20.” the Deseret Evening News, May 9 1901, “American Sabbath Union, Opposed to Opening Buffalo Exposition on Sunday.”

The first question that would arise then would be who is this American Sabbath Union? And secondly, upon what authority do they make such a demand?

“The American Sabbath Union was founded in 1888 when representatives from six major Protestant denominations met in Washington, D.C. to organize the American Sabbath Union. The name was later changed to The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States. Still active, the LDA describes itself as "the one national organization whose sole purpose is to maintain and cultivate the first day of the week as a time for rest, worship, Christian education and spiritual renewal."The University of Minnesota, Law Library

We have already dealt with the Blair Sunday Law bill that was presented to the Senate and Congress May 21, in the year 1888. Our Editorial entitled “A Constitutional Amendment” was published on March 3, 2016. The Sunday Rest Bill contained five more sections that restricted any and all labor on the first day of the week. Professor Alonzo T. Jones, of Battle Creek College, Michigan stepped forward in defense of religious freedom and liberty of conscience. The bill was defeated and shelved. So you might ask, upon what authority would this organization, the “American Sabbath Union” make such demands. As we have said before, the plan was shelved, not abandoned. Immediately after the bill was defeated, they began to organize for the future. They are determined to succeed in this venture. Nothing will be allowed to get in their way. E. J Waggoner describes the unbelievable drive that pushes and pushes. He describes a speech delivered at the New York National Reform Convention

Dr. Jonathan Edwards in a speech at the New York National Reform Convention in 1873 says the following:-

"What are the rights of the atheist?”The atheist is a man who denies the being of a God and a future life. To him mind and matter are the same, and time is the be-all and the end-all of consciousness and of character. "The deist admits God, but denies that he has any such personal control over human affairs as we call providence, or that he manifests himself and his will in a revelation.”The Jew admits God, providence, and revelation, but rejects the entire scheme of gospel redemption by Jesus Christ as sheer imagination, or-worse sheer imposture. "The seventh-day Baptists believe in God and Christianity, and are conjoined with the other members of this class by the accident of differing with the mass of Christians upon the question of what precise day of the week shall be observed as holy.”These all are, for the occasion, and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the same tactics against us. They must be counted together, which we very much regret, but which we cannot help. The first-named is the leader in the discontent and in the outcry,-the atheist, to whom nothing is higher or more sacred than man, and nothing survives the tomb. It is his class. Its labors are almost wholly in his interest; its success would be almost wholly his triumph. The rest are adjuncts to him in this contest. They must be named from him; they must be treated as, for this question, one party." E. J. Waggoner “The American Sabbath Union and Human Rights,” page 2

E.J. Waggoner continues that the man who differs with the majority as to the exact day to be observed, the man who conscientiously observes the seventh day, because the Bible says so, instead of the first, concerning which the Bible says nothing, is classed as an atheist; and it is plainly declared that an atheist is not to be tolerated, except as a lunatic would be tolerated.

The drive has not lessened, but rather it has intensified. The warning is clear. The time grows shorter every day. It is certainly time to be ready.

Cameron A. Bowen

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