Ellen G. White and Her Critics


Conclusions That Naturally Follow

To say, as does the critic, that Mrs. White taught that Seventh-day Adventists were to “suffer great persecution because they would not cease working on Sunday,” is grossly to distort her words. The persecution is to come because they will not give up the Sabbath. The keeping of Sunday is simply an act that follows the giving up of the Sabbath. The former is placed in contrast to the latter. Hence we conclude that the Adventist who is loyally keeping the Sabbath is certainly not a keeper of the first day of the week simply because he may be using Sunday for “missionary work.” There is an attitude of the mind and a purposeful act of the will involved in this matter she is discussing. As we face the crisis of which she speaks we are to remember that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, and thus to keep that day, holy, despite all threats of persecution. At the same time we are to resist all endeavors of men to make us observe “the first day of the week.” In other words, we are not to transfer our affections from God’s holy day to the papal day. We are not to give up keeping the former holy and begin to keep the latter holy. EGWC 358.3

This is Mrs. White’s consistent teaching through all her writings, including Testimonies, volume 9, which is cited in the charge as the book that contains a “square backdown from all she had published before.” The charge declares that her statement in volume 9 as to engaging in missionary work on Sunday “avoids all possibility of persecution for Sunday work.” But we have just discovered from the quotations given that “God’s people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day.” And that statement is found only three pages before, and in the same context with, the passage quoted by the critic to prove his case against her! EGWC 358.4