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hibits its interference with the free exercise thereof. By this article the separation of Church and State is formally decreed, and the right of private judgment in matters of religion is secured to the citizen. In section third of Article VI. it is declared that “no religions test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." If we should give a guess as to the origin of this provision we should say it was intended to offset the Puritanical requirements of the colonies in the days of Winthrop and Roger Williams, when no citizen could hold office who was not a member of the Church as established among them. We who glory in this liberty cannot complain of the provision ; but it works somewhat to the disadvantage of our civilization, for Chinese temples and Mohammedan mosques may be as freely erected in our cities as houses for Christian worship and propagandism. Under this provision, however, the Christian Church should so advance in its control of public sentiment as practically to prevent heathenism gaining a foothold on our shores or within our borders. The spirit of toleration so manifest in the Constitution should leaven the public thonght, and dispose the nation to deeds of charity, both toward its own citizens in degradation and darkness and toward all other peoples. We do not regard the Constitution as infidel because God is not nained in it, for the Book of Esther makes no reference to Deity, and there are hymns and sermons that are quite barren of a recognition of the divine Being or his providence. In view of its catholicity, its recognition of human rights, its far-seeing discernment of
gov. ernmental ends, its provisions for the welfare of the people, its organic stability in time of trouble, and its adaptation to the conditions of the age, we must pronounce it the most remarkable, if not the strongest, governmental instrument ever fashioned by congress or convention, and ever proclaimed as the bulwark of any civilization.
Stephen A. Douglas conld not have bequeathed a richer legacy to his sons than the exhortation to study, revere, and obey the Constitution and the laws under it, for it is the sheetanchor of the nation's hopes and the guiding star to her destiny. The Constitution! The Constitution! Let it be cherished until the ages are fatigued with the burdens of time and sink away into eternal silence.
THE RELIGIOUS FACTOR.
The Declaration of Independence may be taken as the religiopolitical creed of the American people. It acknowledges the universal fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It appeals to Heaven for the justice of its cause, and supplicates the Divine favor upon the issue.
At every stage of our national history our fathers acknowledged God as the sovereign ruler of the universe, as the giver of all good, as the saviour and friend of man, by whose favor and help nations and individuals have prosperity and blessing. They were not slow to recognize these truths always and everywhere. Our revolutionary struggle commenced, and was carried on, largely in and by the churches. Ministers and people esteemed it their first duty to defend their lives, their homes, and their liberties. Serinons were preached, fasts and special services were held, and every sanction given to resistance by the men to whom the people looked for direction in religious as well as civil affairs. Every defeat drove them nearer to God, and erery victory called for special acknowledgment, and was celebrated with public thanksgivings. George Washington's inaugural address is permeated with the recognition of God and our obligations to him for his marvelous, almost miraculous, support and deliverance wrought out for us in times of our greatest distress and peril, and our dependence upon
him for future guidance and protection. How can any one, in the light of history, question the sincere piety and consistent religious character of Washington ?
The first one hundred and fifty years of American history is comparatively meager: Battling with poverty and hardships incident to pioneer life in the wilderness, fighting with Indians and wild beasts, suffering from excessive taxation and other forms of oppression from the mother (?) country, it is not strange that the colonists, having reclaimed this country from a wilderness, making it habitable for themselves and their children, should come to regard it as their country, and that they had a right to manage its affairs to suit themselves.
Surely no one at all acquainted with the heroic and sturdy character of our revolutionary fathers, the sacrifices and sufferings that they endured, their invincible con rage and neverfailing confidence in the justice of their cause, can donbt that it was their faith in God that nerved and sustained them throagh their long and severe struggle, and that the Christian religion was the grand inspiration and support of their convictions and aspirations.
For the defense and support of our American institutions and Christian civilization we are indebted to all nationalities and all religions more than we generally give thein credit for. Only a few weeks ago English, Irish, German, French, Scotch, Ital. ian, Scandinavian, Bohemian, and Pole all united to celebrate the centennial of the adoption of the Federal Constitution and the inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States. On that occasion one hundred thousand churches and three hundred thousand public schools held special services, and listened to patriotic addresses. Some of the grandest utterances of that occasion were from Irish and German, from Catholic and Jew, all vying with each other to honor the day and the man, his principles and character, and in honoring him they proclaimed their allegiance to the constitution and the civilization of this country. Not only were all religions and all nationalities represented in the struggle for American independence, but also in the later wars-in 1812, the Mexican War, and the late Civil War of the Rebellion. We made no distinction between native and foreign born, between Protestant and Catholic, between Calvinist and Methodist, but all united in defense of what all claimed as their flag. The pres. ent and coming generations of all races in this country will be not only native but loyal Americans as we, if they are properly educated, and they will hold the blessings of civil and religions liberty as dear, and be as ready to sacrifice and die for this government, as the purest American. We owe it to them and to ourselves to see that they have the education and the Christian culture. Objects appear different to different individuals and from different stand-points. Travelers on the same road are very differently impressed by the landscape throngh which they pass. Some see nothing but the great waste of forest and prairie. Others behold with pleasure comfortable homes and farms, rich fields of golden grain and exuberance of flowers. Still others mark with saddened thought and lugubrious expression the cemeteries, and dwell with apprehension upon all the accidents of which they have ever heard or read. We are apt to charge anarchism, intidelity, Sabbath desecration, saloonswith their unmitigated evils, incapable of exaggeration-and Clan-na-Gael assassinations to foreigners, forgetting or being willfully ignorant of the facts that, if none but foreigners were responsible for these, they constitute a very small minority; that the large majority of the foreign populations of this country have no sympathy with these things, but are as much opposed to them as we; also, that the meanest and worst of these dangerous classes can be duplicated by unscrupulous American demagogues and politicians, who gladly pander to all foreign habits and prejudices in order to secure their votes, by which they hope to attain to places of power and profit.
A few statistics as to the character and extent of religious enterprise in this country will be a fitting conclusion to this article, and an illustration of the religious factor.
The New York Independent, May 19, 1887, gave the following table of the leading denominations in the United States :
The number of Roman Catholic communicants is a probable estimate. Universalists, Unitarians, Quakers, Swedenborgians, Independents, Jews, and several sınaller bodies or denominations are overlooked or not recognized because not generally reckoned as evangelical Christians. They are, nevertheless, not to be excluded in our estimate of the religious factor of the Republic. They are not pagans or infidels. However they may differ upon some points, they certainly all agree in most, while as to moral character, enterprise, liberality, and patriotismn they will average with any of the leading denominations. They all accept the Bible as a revelation from God. With one exception they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. They all believe in the immortality of the sonl, and future rewards and punishments, of some kind, conditioned upon character.
43-FIFTH SERIES, VOL. V.
We have no exact statistics of these numerous societies or churches. It is certainly not extravagant to claim that, including these, there were, at the above date, not less than 150,000 churches, 100,000 ministers, and 16,000,000 members. At this writing, two years later than the above, the increase would certainly justify the estimate at present to be 200,000 churches, 125,000 ininisters, and 20,000,000 members. To these must be added Young Men's Christian Associations, embracing thousands who are not included in the above. They have now in the United States over 1,000 organizations; value of property held by them, $8,944,000; annual expenses and disbursements, $1,560,000. The number of persons attending religious sery. ices more or less regularly, not members of Churches, would justify the conclusion that more than one half of the entire population of the United States is embraced in worshiping congregations. Taking the statistics of the Methodist Episcopal Church alone, exclusive of the Church South, we had in 1888, 25,000 Sunday-schools, with over 2,000,000 scholars, and nearly 280,000 teachers.
Value of church property, about.......
MONEY RAISED ANNUALLY.
For improvement and increase of church property....
$5,760,252 8,895,077 1,204.676 141,100 84,587 40,371
88,221 2,140,031 2,000,000
These figures do not embrace the Church South or other branches of Methodism.
All other denomiuations are pushing Church enterprise in all of the above lines with more or less vigor and success. If the Methodist Episcopal Church represents one sixth of all the property owned, money raised and work done, and church members in the United States, Protestant and Cath