Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 201

who stand at the head of the work in these countries should be careful that they do not give it a narrow mould. As they treat the work, so will be the impression made upon the minds of those who are left to carry it forward in their absence. Brethren, we need less of self, and more of Jesus. We should seize upon every God-given privilege and opportunity, and by example as well as words show the sacredness and importance of the message of warning which God sends to the world.

Reformers in Sweden

Orebro was the home of two of the leaders in the Swedish Reformation, Olaf and Lawrence Patersen. They were the sons of a blacksmith, but received a liberal education, studying for several years at the University of Wittemberg, under Luther and Melancthon, where they received the doctrines of the reformed faith. The elder of the two brothers is said to have been in the crowd before the door of the church at Wittemberg when Luther nailed his theses to it. Both were eminent for their learning and piety, and for the zeal and courage with which they advocated their faith. They are said to have resembled the great reformers of Germany. Like Melanchton, Lawrence, the younger, was learned, thoughtful, and calm, while Olaf by his powerful eloquence aroused the people. For this reason he was often violently assailed by the mob. The Catholic priests stirred up the prejudices of the ignorant and superstitious people, so that upon several occasions the reformer barely escaped with his life.

These reformers were, however, favored and powerfully assisted by the king. Under the rule of the Romish church, the people were steeped in poverty and ground down by oppression. They were destitute of the Holy Scriptures, and having a religion of mere signs and ceremonies, which conveyed no light to the mind, they were returning to the superstitious beliefs and pagan practices of their heathen ancestors. The nation was divided into contending factions whose perpetual strife increased the misery of all. The king determined upon a reformation in the State and the Church, and he welcomed these able and powerful assistants in the battle against Rome. Olaf Patersen he appointed preacher in the great cathedral at Stockholm, while Lawrence was made professor of theology in the university at Upsala. The two brothers translated the Bible into the Swedish language, giving to the people of that country for the first time the word of God in their native tongue.

In the presence of the king and leading men of Sweden, Olaf Patersen ably maintained the doctrines of the reformed faith against the Romish champions. He declared the Fathers to be below and not above Scripture, and that their interpretations were to be received only when in accordance with Holy Writ. He denied that the word of God is obscure when laying down the fundamental doctrines of the faith, and he presented the Bible's own testimony to its simplicity and clearness. Christ said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me,” and Paul declared that should he preach any other gospel than that which he had received, he would be anathema. “How, then,” said Dr. Olaf, “shall others presume to enact dogmas at their pleasure, and impose them as things necessary to salvation?” He showed that the decrees of the church are of no authority when in

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