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Phrase - Religious Liberty
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  Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Religious  Liberty
Related phrase:   restriction of religious liberty  ( 3 )
Making his way at last, after months of change and wandering, to the shores of Narragansett Bay, he there laid the foundation of the first state of modern times that in the fullest sense recognized the right of religious freedom.  The fundamental principle of Roger Williams's colony was "that every man should have liberty to worship God according to the light of his own conscience."-- Ibid., vol. 5, p. 354. His little state, Rhode Island, became the asylum of the oppressed, and it increased and prospered until its foundation principles -- civil andreligious liberty -- became the cornerstones of the American Republic.  {GC 295.1}  
 
 
"Happily they looked at the principle on which this arrangement was based, and they acted in faith. What was that principle? It was the right of Rome to coerce conscience and forbid free inquiry. But were not themselves and their Protestant subjects to enjoy religious freedom? Yes, as a favor specially stipulated for in the arrangement, but not as a right. As to all outside that arrangement, the great principle of authority was to rule; conscience was out of court; Rome was infallible judge, and must be obeyed. The acceptance of the proposed arrangement would have been a virtual admission that religious liberty ought to be confined to reformed Saxony; and as to all the rest of Christendom, free inquiry and the profession of the reformed faith were crimes, and must be visited with the dungeon and the stake. Could they consent to localize religious liberty? to have it proclaimed that the Reformation had made its last convert? had subjugated its last acre? and that wherever Rome bore sway at this hour, there her dominion was to be perpetuated? Could the Reformers have pleaded that they were innocent of the blood of those hundreds and thousands who, in pursuance of this arrangement, would have to yield up their lives in popish lands? This would have been to betray, at that supreme hour, the cause of the gospel and the liberties of Christendom."--Wylie, b. 9, ch. 15. Rather would they "sacrifice everything, even their states, their crowns, and their lives." --D'Aubigne, b. 13, ch. 5.  Great Controversy, page 200.1  Read entire Chapter 11
 
"And he had two horns like a lamb." The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as "coming up" in 1798.Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that "all men are created equal" and endowed with the inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.   Great Controversy, page 441.1  Read entire chapter 25
 
 
But when the State forms laws directly opposed to the laws of Jehovah, and thus strives to compel men to obey them, it is following the example set by the king of Babylon. When it takes the guardianship of the religious interests of the nation, a spirit of intolerance is manifested if men seek to practise the truth, which, by earnest study, they have found in God’s Word. Those who are actuated by such a spirit of oppression can not understand what religious liberty means. { ST May 13, 1897, par. 6 }
 
This principle we in our day are firmly to maintain. The banner of truth and religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the gospel church and by God's witnesses during the centuries that have passed since then, has, in this last conflict, been committed to our hands. The responsibility for this great gift rests with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His word. We are to receive this word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God's word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A "Thus saith the Lord" is not to be set aside for a "Thus saith the church" or a "Thus saith the state." The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.  {AA 68.2}   {GW 389.2}
 
To Meet the Sunday-Law Movement. -- I do hope that the trumpet will give a certain sound in regard to this Sunday-law movement. I think that it would be best if in our papers the subject of the perpetuity of the law of God were made a specialty. Should there not be a paper or a pamphlet issued to take the place of the Sentinel? I have not been able to think that it was the wise thing to do to let that paper drop. It was a voice that was constantly speaking in defense of religious liberty. The truth should be presented in short articles, in clear, distinct lines, giving special points in regard to the Lord's Sabbath, and showing that those who frame laws to compel the observance of the first day of the week, are disloyal to the Lord of heaven, who placed His sanctity upon the seventh day. Are we doing all we can to exalt the law of Jehovah?  {CW 97.1}
 
I have been shown that Satan is stealing a march upon us. The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom, religious liberty will come to an end. The contest will be decided over the Sabbath question, which will agitate the whole world.  {Ev 236.3}
 
There are many souls to come out of the ranks of the world, out of the churches—even the Catholic Church—whose zeal will far exceed that of those who have stood in rank and file to proclaim the truth heretofore. For this reason the eleventh hour laborers will receive their penny. These will see the battle coming and will give the trumpet a certain sound. When the crisis is upon us, when the season of calamity shall come, they will come to the front, gird themselves with the whole armor of God, and exalt his law, adhere to the faith of Jesus, and maintain the cause of religious liberty which reformers defended with toil and for which they sacrificed their lives.... { 3SM 386.4} 
 
against  religious  liberty
There are many, even of those engaged in this movement for Sunday enforcement, who are blinded to the results which will follow this action. They do not see that they are striking directly against religious liberty. There are many who have never understood the claims of the Bible Sabbath, and the false foundation upon which the Sunday institution rests.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 711.  {ChS 161.2}
 
principle  of  religious  liberty
In England the establishment of Protestantism as the national religion diminished, but did not wholly stop, persecution. While many of the doctrines of Rome had been renounced, not a few of its forms were retained. The supremacy of the pope was rejected, but in his place the monarch was enthroned as the head of the church. In the service of the church there was still a wide departure from the purity and simplicity of the gospel. The great principle of religious liberty was not yet understood. Though the horrible cruelties which Rome employed against heresy were resorted to but rarely by Protestant rulers, yet the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience was not acknowledged. All were required to accept the doctrines and observe the forms of worship prescribed by the established church. Dissenters suffered persecution, to a greater or less extent, for hundreds of years.  {GC 251.4}
 
It was the desire for liberty of conscience that inspired the Pilgrims to brave the perils of the long journey across the sea, to endure the hardships and dangers of the wilderness, and with God's blessing to lay, on the shores of America, the foundation of a mighty nation. Yet honest and God-fearing as they were, the Pilgrims did not yet comprehend the great principle of religious liberty. The freedom which they sacrificed so much to secure for themselves, they were not equally ready to grant to others. "Very few, even of the foremost thinkers and moralists of the seventeenth century, had any just conception of that grand principle, the outgrowth of the New Testament, which acknowledges God as the sole judge of human faith."-- Ibid., vol. 5, p. 297. The doctrine that God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors. While the Reformers rejected the creed of Rome, they were not entirely free from her spirit of intolerance. The dense darkness in which, through the long ages of her rule, popery had enveloped all Christendom, had not even yet been wholly dissipated. Said one of the leading ministers in the colony of Massachusetts Bay: "It was toleration that made the world antichristian; and the church never took harm by the punishment of heretics."-- Ibid., vol. 5, p. 335. The regulation was adopted by the colonists that only church members should have a voice in the civil government. A kind of state church was formed, all the people being required to contribute to the support of the clergy, and the magistrates being authorized to suppress heresy. Thus the secular power was in the hands of the church. It was not long before these measures led to the inevitable result -- persecution.  Great Conroversy, page  292.3
 
 
Restrict  religious  liberty
 
When the National Reformers began to urge measures to restrict religious liberty, our leading men should have been alive to the situation, and should have labored earnestly to counteract these efforts. It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people,--the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all our ministers who are giving the third angel's message, really understand what constitutes that message. The National Reform movement has been regarded by some as of so little importance that they have not thought it is necessary to give much attention to it, and have even felt that in so doing they would be giving time to questions distinct from the third angel's message. May the Lord forgive our brethren for thus interpreting the very message for this time.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 715.  {ChS 162.4}
 
 
Through His servants, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. He manifested Himself through His witnesses in their arrest, in their trial, and in their imprisonment. Yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. They were men of whom the world was not worthy, and by killing them the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. So it will be again. The authorities will make laws to restrict religious liberty. They will assume the right that is God's alone. They will think they can force the conscience, which God alone should control. Even now they are making a beginning; this work they will continue to carry forward till they reach a boundary over which they cannot step. God will interpose in behalf of His loyal, commandment-keeping people.  {DA 630.1}
 
 
The principle for which the disciples stood so fearlessly when, in answer to the command not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, they declared, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye," [ACTS 4:19.] is the same that the adherents of the gospel struggled to maintain in the days of the Reformation. When in 1529 the German princes assembled at the Diet of Spires, there was presented the emperor's decree restricting religious liberty, and prohibiting all further dissemination of the reformed doctrines. It seemed that the hope of the world was about to be crushed out. Would the princes accept the decree? Should the light of the gospel be shut out from the multitudes still in darkness? Mighty issues for the world were at stake. Those who had accepted the reformed faith met together, and their unanimous decision was, "Let us reject this decree. In matters of conscience the majority has no power." [D'AUBIGNE: "HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION," BOOK 13, CHAP. 5.]  {GW 389.1}
 
 
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