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Control the conscience ( 19 )
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
control  the  conscience
Related phrase:  control the consciences  ( below )
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 Controversy, page 292.3
Many are the ways by which Satan works through human influence to bind his captives. He secures multitudes to himself by attaching them by the silken cords of affection to those who are enemies of the cross of Christ. Whatever this attachment may be, parental, filial, conjugal, or social, the effect is the same; the opposers of truth exert their power to control the conscience, and the souls held under their sway have not sufficient courage or independence to obey their own convictions of duty.  Great Controversy, page 597.1   {1MCP 267.2}  {RH, June 28, 1906 par. 3}
The grand principle maintained by these Reformers -- the same that had been held by the Waldenses, by Wycliffe, by John Huss, by Luther, Zwingli, and those who united with them -- was the infallible authority of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith and practice. They denied the right of popes, councils, Fathers, and kings, to control the conscience in matters of religion. The Bible was their authority, and by its teaching they tested all doctrines and all claims. Faith in God and His word sustained these holy men as they yielded up their lives at the stake. "Be of good comfort," exclaimed Latimer to his fellow martyr as the flames were about to silence their voices, "we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." -- Works of Hugh Latimer, vol. 1, p. xiii.  {GC 249.1}
A hundred years later, John Trask acknowledged the obligation of the true Sabbath, and employed voice and pen in its defense. He was soon called to account by the persecuting power of the Church of England. He declared the sufficiency of the Scriptures as a guide for religious faith, and maintained that civil authorities should not control the conscience in matters which concern salvation. He was brought for trial before the infamous tribunal of the Star Chamber, where a long discussion was held respecting the Sabbath. Trask would not depart from the injunctions and commandments of God to obey the commandments of men. He was therefore condemned, and sentenced to be set upon the pillory, and thence to be publicly whipped to the fleet, there to remain a prisoner. This cruel sentence was executed, and after a time his spirit was broken. He endured his sufferings in the prison for one year, and then recanted. Oh that he had suffered on, and won a martyr's crown!  {4SP 181.1}
Satan has kept up his system of cruelty, and still employs his planned agency of crookedness and deception, and accuses and condemns and tortures in order that he may control the conscience. While exercising his power in torturing those whom he controlled through demoniacal possession, he yet laid the blame of it upon the Lord God of heaven. He put his own interpretation on his Satanic actions, and charged God with being the author of all evil. In the parable of the shepherd Jesus puts his own interpretation on his work and mission, and represents himself as the good shepherd, feeding and taking charge of the sheep. He said, "He that entereth not in by the door [by himself] into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." Christ said that all who came before him claiming to be the Messiah were deceivers. At the time of Christ's coming there was much agitation concerning the appearance of the world's Messiah. The Jewish nation expected that a great deliverer would come, and there were men who took advantage of this expectation, turning it to the service of themselves, that they might be thereby profited and glorified. Prophecy had foretold that these deceivers would arise. The deceivers did not come in the way in which it was prophesied that the world's Redeemer should come; but Christ came, answering every specification. Types and symbols had represented him, and in him type met antitype. In the life, mission, and death of Jesus every specification was fulfilled.  {ST, December 4, 1893 par. 5}
"Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep," the Lord says, "for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." Some will seek to place obstacles in the way of Sabbath observance, saying, You do not know what day is the Sabbath. But they seem to understand when Sunday comes, and have manifested great zeal in making laws for compelling its observance, as though they could control the conscience of man.  {KC 148.3}
control  the  consciences
When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of "heresy." In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends.  Great Controversy, page 443.2   Read entire chapter 25
could  not  control  the  conscience
The priests and rulers did all that lay in their power against the only begotten Son of God, and against all who acknowledged him; for they were imbued with the spirit of him who is a liar and a murderer. But though Satan thus vented his spite against the children of God and their great Head, he could not control the conscience nor tarnish the soul. He may cause all the suffering possible to the body, but he can not change the character of the man who conscientiously serves God.  {RH, June 19, 1900 par. 2}
The same spirit that was moving the priests and rulers had moved the heart and mind of Cain to slay his brother. It is the apostasy from truth that worketh in the children of disobedience to silence the voice of those who are calling them to obedience, and provoke the loyal to become disloyal as Cain tried to provoke Abel. A demoniacal spirit takes possession of men in our world. They combine the perverted animal life with the perverted human animal, intelligence making them human demons, detestable in the sight of God in proportion as they manifest the attributes of the satanic. Demon intelligence, by culture, will rend and destroy man formed in the divine similitude because he cannot control the conscience of his brother and make him disloyal to God's holy law, because he himself is unrighteous like Cain who was disobedient.  {19MR 164.2}
It is the apostasy from truth that worketh in the children of disobedience to silence the voice of those who are calling them to obedience, and provoke the loyal to become disloyal as Cain tried to provoke Abel. A demoniacal spirit takes possession of men in our world. . . . Demon intelligence . . . will rend and destroy man formed in the divine similitude because . . . [man] cannot control the conscience of his brother and make him disloyal to God's holy law, because he himself is unrighteous like Cain, who was disobedient. . . .  {UL 285.3}
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