The Religious Press

THE distinctive Baptist doctrine of the separation of Church and State is in grave peril from certain tendencies that are developing in American churches and missionary societies; but those who see the peril are coming to a larger recognition of the validity of the doctrine. For example, Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst, the eminent New York Presbyterian clergyman and reformer, has recently said,—

You cannot make a man believe in God if you do not convince him you believe in Him yourself. Peter, by brandishing his sword, denied the divinity of Jesus; and any other man cheapens God when he goes about to yoke God's Spirit alongside of carnal contrivances. It is the absence of such carnal contrivances that explains the rapid extension of Christianity during the first three centuries of our own era. God worked mightily because he had no backing. Up to that time armies and navies were on the side of the pagans. Christianity is never so powerful as when it is unprotected, and evangelization that depends upon soldiers and gunboats has no future. The instant Christianity begins to lean on anything, its divine vitality dries out of it. The cause of Christ prospered in the Roman Empire till it became the State religion—till it came to have the government back of it—then Christianity deteriorated into a pious kind of politics, with a good deal more politics than piety.

In contrast with these utterances we put the declarations of the Rev. Dr. Radcliffe, the moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly, who last week said in his annual sermon:—

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A Chapter on Medical Legislation
July 20, 1899

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