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Did God send a prophet?

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The National Sunday Law

The Prediction

Ellen White not a few times predicted that Sunday worship would one day be enforced by law, and that obedience to the fourth commandment would be prohibited. In 1882 she claimed to have foreseen these events in vision 36 years before (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 137). Indeed, by 1851 a vision along these lines had been committed to writing, a vision received in June 1850 (Experience and Views, p. 55; Early Writings, p. 64).

The following is one of her many statements on this topic, a selection first published in 1884, and then revised and republished in 1888 and 1911:

The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17.—Great Controversy, p. 592.

The 1880's

By the 1880's, it wasn't hard to see how such a scenario just might occur. In that decade Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists were imprisoned and fined for working on Sunday, while Sunday keepers could often work on Sunday unhindered. Then in 1888 came a national Sunday law bill introduced by U.S. Senator Henry Blair. The Women's Christian Temperance Union circulated a petition in support of passage of this bill, and that petition drive reportedly obtained 13 million signatures, or roughly 20% of the population of the country at the time.

Thus her prediction almost came true over a century ago, but the controversy gradually died down, and though there have been rumblings over the decades since, we still have not seen a national Sunday law. How could such a thing ever occur in today's climate?

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