Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 [Nos. 419-525]
MR No. 426—Religious Liberty
The world is becoming more and more lawless. The churches are united in their efforts to restrict religious liberty. What are we as a people doing in this crisis? Are we purifying our souls by obedience to Christ's words? Are we humbling our hearts before God and confessing our sins? Are we seeking with earnestness and contrition of soul Him who is the source of our strength? Are we claiming the promises, believing that Jesus pardons our transgressions and forgives our sins? Are we educating ourselves to overcome all temptation to murmur and complain? ... 7MR 51.1
Ever we need to manifest kindness and true courtesy. We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to exercise independent judgment, to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience. Thus in His Providence God has designed that the claims of His holy law shall be brought before men in the highest authority. But as we do all we can as men and women who are not ignorant of Satan's devices, we are to manifest no bitterness of feeling. Constantly we are to offer prayer for divine aid. It is God alone who can hold the four winds until the angels shall seal the servants of God in their foreheads.—Letter 5, 1883, pp. 1, 4. (To “Dear Brethren,” November, 1883.) 7MR 51.2
I have been shown that from the first rebellion Satan was working to this end, to exalt his own power in contradiction to God's law and God's power. He does this in exalting Sunday observance, and anything that shall by this people go forth as their voice, to respect the idol sabbath, would it not dishonor God and confuse minds and place them where they will be deceived by Satan's devices? Anything we may do that lifts up the spurious to take the place of the true and genuine Sabbath, is disloyal to God and we must move very carefully lest we exalt the decisions of the man of sin. We are not to be found in a neutral position on this matter of so great consequence. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus must be from conviction of duty inscribed on our banners.—Manuscript 6, 1889, 12. (Untitled, November 4, 1889.) 7MR 51.3
The persecution of two of our brethren of one of the neighboring churches, and the sentence requiring them to pay a fine or be placed in the stocks, has created such indignation in the public mind that the people are ready to hear, and are calling for the reasons of our faith. This persecution has resulted for the truth rather than against it. Our brethren refused to pay the fine, and the alternative was the stocks, but the authorities have no such instruments of torture. They forced one brother to pay the fine, by seizing upon his horse and cart, leaving him no chance to get home, so he had to hand over the money. The other brother has no property they can attach, and refuses to pay the fine; so here the matter stands.—Letter 40b, 1894, p. 2. (To C. H. Jones, May 14, 1894.) 7MR 52.1
The commandment-keeping people of God will ere long be placed in a most trying position; but all those who have walked in the light, and have diffused the light, will realize that God interposes in their behalf. When everything looks most forbidding, then the Lord will reveal His power to His faithful ones. When the nation for which God has worked in such a marvelous manner, and over which He has spread the shield of Omnipotence, abandons Protestant principles, and through its legislature gives countenance and support to Romanism in limiting religious liberty, then God will work in His own power for His people who are true. The tyranny of Rome will be exercised, but Christ is our refuge.—Letter 61, 1895, pp. 11, 12. (To O. A. Olsen, February 2, 1895.) 7MR 52.2
Released May 23, 1975.