Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 86

Chapter 6—Seventh-day Adventists In Time Of War

As the year 1861 dawned, the United States was in somewhat of a turmoil. The recent presidential election had polarized the Northern states and the Southern states, where slaves were held. Before Lincoln's inauguration as president, South Carolina passed an ordinance seceding from the United States.

Sabbathkeeping Adventists had no sympathy with slavery and were aware, of course, of the tensions and excitement, but had kept aloof of matters relating to the political situation. Just at this time light concerning what was ahead was given to Ellen White in vision:

I was shown that many do not realize the extent of the evil which has come upon us. They have flattered themselves that the national difficulties would soon be settled and confusion and war end, but all will be convinced that there is more reality in the matter than was anticipated....

The North and South were presented before me. The North have been deceived in regard to the South. They are better prepared for war than has been represented. Most of their men are well skilled in the use of arms, some of them from experience in battle, others from habitual sporting. They have the advantage of the North in this respect, but have not, as a general thing, the valor and the power of endurance that Northern men have (Testimonies for the Church, 1:264-266).

Seventh-day Adventists, just moving into church organization, were, as the War Between the States opened, forced to find their way in a very difficult and sensitive area. They had no guidelines to follow. While the Ten Commandments prohibited the taking of life and the desecration of the seventh-day Sabbath, the history of God's people of old under the theocracy was not a paradigm. But God did not leave His remnant people to flounder. They prayed and studied, and when God gave counsel through His messenger, Ellen White, they listened.

Even before the first shots of the Civil War were fired, Ellen had been given a view of the coming conflict and its ferocity. The visions given at Parkville, Michigan; Roosevelt, New York; and Battle Creek, Michigan, put Adventists in the unique position of knowing, first, of the coming war and its long duration,

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