Ellen G. White Writings

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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, Page 203

Persecution for Preaching the First Angel's Message

In Sweden, as in other countries, the most bitter opposition to the reformation was from the clergy. As the reformers gained the ascendency, and Protestantism became the State religion, they grew intolerant and oppressive. The priests of Sweden possess great influence, though their authority is limited. In every town there is a church council, which has power to forbid all preaching that is considered dangerous to the State Church, or that will cause division in it. Of this council the priest is a member; but while he may desire to enforce the law, he can do nothing if the other members of the council are opposed. The law is now very unpopular, and is not often enforced. There is a strong public sentiment in favor of freedom of speech and conscience, but as we have seen, the Lutheran clergy are jealous of any influence which shall weaken their hold upon the people, and the spirit of intolerance and persecution is not extinct.

The preaching of the first message in Sweden excited much opposition, and the experience of those who took part in the movement is full of interest. The message was brought to this country from England. In the province of Orebro it began to be proclaimed in the year 1843, by several laymen, called “ropare.” These preached with great earnestness that the hour of God's Judgment had come, and a wide-spread interest was aroused among the people. In the fall of the same year, two young men were moved to give the warning. The people assembled in great numbers to listen to their preaching, and the meetings were continued both day and night, sometimes in a private house, and

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