Ellen G. White Writings

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Report of Progress

December 3, 1907

An Important Testimony

[The following testimony was written in 1902, and was addressed to Elder Irwin, who was in Australia at the time.]

I will try to answer your question as to what you should do in the case of Sunday laws being enforced.

The light given me by the Lord at a time when we were expecting just such a crisis as you seem to be approaching, was, that when the people were moved by a power from beneath to enforce Sunday observance. Seventh-day Adventists were to show their wisdom by refraining from work on that day, devoting it to missionary effort.

To defy the Sunday laws will but strengthen in their persecution the religious zealots who are seeking to enforce them. Give them no occasion to call you law-breakers. If they are left to rein up men who fear neither God nor man, the reining up will soon lose its novelty for them, and they will see that it is not consistent nor convenient for them to be strict in regard to the observance of Sunday. Keep right on with your work, with your Bibles in your hands, and the enemy will see that he has worsted his own cause. One does not receive the mark of the beast because he shows that he realizes the wisdom of keeping the peace by refraining from work that gives offense, doing at the same time a work of the highest importance.

When we devote Sunday to missionary work, the whip will be taken out of the hands of the arbitrary zealots who would be well pleased to humiliate Seventh-day Adventists. When they see that we employ ourselves on Sunday in visiting the people, and opening the Scriptures to them, they will know that it is useless for them to try to hinder our work by making Sunday laws.

When a man, white or black, is arrested for Sunday breaking, he is placed at a great disadvantage. He is humiliated. And it is well-nigh hopeless for him to obtain a fair trial. Often when Sabbath-keepers in the Southern states are arrested for working on Sunday, they are sent to the chain-gang, where they are forced to work on the Sabbath. The Lord does not command them to place themselves where they are obliged to dishonor his holy rest-day.

Our churches should understand the methods to be used in avoiding this difficulty. Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday. Make these meetings intensely interesting. Sing genuine revival hymns, and speak with power and assurance of the Saviour's love. Speak on temperance and on true religious experience. You will thus learn much about how to work, and will reach many souls.

Let the teachers in our schools devote Sunday to missionary effort. I was instructed that they would thus be able to defeat the purposes of the enemy. Let the teachers take the students with them to hold meetings for those who know not the truth. Thus they will accomplish much more than they could in any other way.

The law for the observance of the first day of the week is the production of apostate Christendom. Sunday is the child of the papacy, exalted by the Christian world above the sacred day of God's rest. In no case are God's people to pay homage to it. But I wish them to understand that they are not doing God's will by braving opposition when he wishes them to avoid it. Thus they create prejudice so bitter that it is impossible for the truth to be proclaimed. Make no demonstrations on Sunday in defiance of the law. If this is done in one place, and you are humiliated, the same thing will be done in another place. We can use Sunday as a day on which to carry forward work that will tell on the side of Christ. We are to do our best, working with all meekness and lowliness.

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