Manuscript Releases, vol. 2 [Nos. 97-161]


MR No. 152—That I May Know Him

MR No. 153—Statement Concerning Slavery

[On November 20, 1895, at an interview with leading workers in Australia, Ellen White answered certain questions placed before her. The report of this interview was published by her son, J. E. White, about 1900, in The Southern Work. In this document for rather general distribution he wisely omitted a sentence concerning the revival of slavery. This statement is all in print except the one sentence in italics, upon which release is sought.—ALW.]

Question: “Should not those in the Southern field work on Sunday?” 2MR 299.1

E. G. White Answer: If they do this, there is danger that as soon as the opposing element can get the slightest opportunity, they will stir up one another to persecute those who do this, and to pick off those whom they hate. At present, Sundaykeeping is not the test. The time will come when men will not only forbid Sunday work, but they will try to force men to labor on the Sabbath. And men will be asked to renounce the Sabbath and to subscribe to Sunday observance or forfeit their freedom and their lives. But the time for this has not yet come, for the truth must be presented more fully before the people as a witness. What I have said about this should not be understood as referring to the action of old Sabbathkeepers who understand the truth. They must move as the Lord shall direct them, but let them consider that they can do the best missionary work on Sunday. 2MR 299.2

Slavery will again be revived in the Southern States; for the spirit of slavery still lives. Therefore it will not do for those who labor among the colored people to preach the truth as boldly and openly as they would be free to do in other places. Even Christ clothed His lessons in figures and parables to avoid the opposition of the Pharisees. When the colored people feel that they have the word of God in regard to the Sabbath question, and the sanction of those who have brought them the truth, some who are impulsive will take the opportunity to defy the Sunday laws, and by a presumptuous defiance of their oppressors they will bring to themselves much sorrow. Very faithfully the colored people must be instructed to be like Christ, to patiently suffer wrongs, that they may help their fellow men to see the light of truth. 2MR 299.3

A terrible condition of things is certainly opening before us. According to the light which is given me in regard to the Southern field, the work there must be done as wisely and carefully as possible, and it must be done in the manner in which Christ would work. The people will soon find out what you believe about Sunday and the Sabbath, for they will ask questions. Then you can tell them, but not in such a manner as to attract attention to your work. You need not cut short your work by yourself laboring on Sunday. It would be better to take that day to instruct others in regard to the love of Jesus and true conversion.—Manuscript 22a, 1895, p. 4. (“Words of Caution Regarding Sunday Labor,” November 20, 1895.) 2MR 300.1

Released October 23, 1963.