2 Timothy 3:12-17 KJV, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
EG White, SOP Vol 4, 1884, pp. 174-176, “The Church of England, following in the steps of Rome, persecuted dissenters from the established faith. In the seventeenth century thousands of godly pastors were expelled from their positions. The people were forbidden, on pain of heavy fines, imprisonment, and banishment, to attend any religious meetings except such as Were sanctioned by the church. Those faithful souls who could not refrain from gathering to worship God, were compelled to meet in dark alleys, in obscure garrets, and at some seasons in the woods at midnight. In the sheltering depths of the forest, a temple of God’s own building, those scattered and persecuted children of the Lord assembled to pour out their souls in prayer and praise. But despite all their precautions, many suffered for their faith. The jails were crowded. Families were broken up. Many were banished to foreign lands. Yet God was with his people, and persecution could not prevail to silence their testimony. Many were driven across the ocean to America, and here laid the foundations of civil and religious liberty which have been the bulwark and glory of our country.
As in apostolic days, the persecution turned out rather to the furtherance of the gospel. In a loathsome dungeon crowded with profligates and felons, John Bunyan breathed the very atmosphere of Heaven, and there he wrote his wonderful allegory of the pilgrim’s journey from the land of destruction to the celestial city. For two hundred years that voice from Bedford jail has spoken with thrilling power to the hearts of men. Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners,’ have guided many feet into the path of life.
Baxter, Flavel, Alleine, and other men of talent, education, and deep Christian experience, stood up in valiant defense of ‘the faith once delivered to the saints.’ The work accomplished by these men, proscribed and outlawed by the rulers of this world, can never perish. Flavel’s ‘Fountain of Life’ and ‘Method of Grace’ have taught thousands how to commit the keeping of their souls to Christ. Baxter’s ‘Reformed Pastor’ has proved a blessing to many who desire a revival of the work of God, and his ‘Saints’ Everlasting Rest’ has done its work in leading souls to the ‘rest that remaineth for the people of God.’
A hundred years later, in a day of great spiritual darkness, Whitefield and the Wesleys appeared as light-bearers for God. Under the rule of the established church, the people of England had lapsed into a state of religious declension hardly to be distinguished from heathenism. Natural religion was the favorite study of the clergy, and included most of their theology. The higher classes sneered at piety, and prided themselves on being above what they called its fanaticism. The lower classes were grossly ignorant, and abandoned to vice, while the church had no courage or faith to any longer support the downfallen cause of truth. Whitefield and the Wesleys were prepared for their work by long and sharp personal convictions of their own lost condition; and that they might be able to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, they were subjected to the fiery ordeal of scorn, derision, and persecution, both in the university and as they were entering the ministry. They and a few others who sympathized with them were contemptuously called Methodists by their ungodly fellow-students,—a name which is at the present time regarded as honorable by one of the largest denominations in England and America.”
John 15:20-21 KJV, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
Sincerely in the Blessed Hope.