According to Ellen White, there would be both slaves and slave masters at the second coming:
Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should
rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory
and shake off the chains that bound him, while his
wicked master was in confusion and knew not what to
do; for the wicked could not understand the words of
the voice of God. Soon appeared the great white cloud.—Early Writings, p. 35.
. . . the master must endure the seven
last plagues and then come up in the second resurrection
and suffer the second, most awful death.—Ibid., p. 276.
In making this prediction, Ellen White was not alone, as an appendix note
for the second quote above points out:
Page 276: Slaves and Master.—According to Revelation 6:15, 16
there will be slavery at the second advent of Christ. Here we
find the words "every bondman, and every free man." The
statement by Ellen White under discussion indicates that she was
shown in vision the slave and the slave master at the second
advent of Christ. In this she is in perfect accord with the Bible.
Both John and Mrs. White were shown conditions that would
exist at the second coming of our Lord.
That's interesting. John in Revelation more than once spoke about slavery
at the very end of time.
In 1895, three decades after the
Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed, Ellen White was even more direct.
In this quote she specifically predicted that slavery
would be revived in the South:
At present, Sundaykeeping is not the test. The time will
come when men will not only forbid Sunday work, but they will try to force
men to labor on the Sabbath. And men will be asked to renounce the Sabbath
and to subscribe to Sunday observance or forfeit their freedom and their
lives. But the time for this has not yet come, for the truth must be
presented more fully before the people as a witness. . . .
Slavery will again be revived in the Southern States; for the spirit
of slavery still lives.
—Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, p. 299.
Could a revival of slavery really take place?
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
A question that arises is whether the U.S. Constitution would have to
be amended in order to allow the type of slavery Ellen White specifically refers to, namely,
punishment for the "crime" of working on Sunday.
Here is how the 13th Amendment presently reads:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except
as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
"Except as a punishment for crime." That means that there would not
need to be any change at all to the 13th Amendment in order to punish
Sunday-breakers with enslavement.
"The Spirit of Slavery Still Lives"
Some might agree, and some might disagree with Ellen White's 1895 statement that the
spirit of slavery still lives. Yet it is interesting to note that
of the 36 states in the Union at the time the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865,
If it took 130 years for Mississippi to go on record
as being opposed to slavery, except for punishment of a crime, then it is
highly likely that the "spirit of slavery still" lived in parts of the South
when Ellen White said what she did in 1895.
But to what extent today is the spirit of slavery still alive in the South and elsewhere?
- New Jersey rejected it on March 16, 1865, and then ratified it ten months later.
- Delaware refused to ratify it until 1901.
- Kentucky couldn't bring itself to ratify it until 1976.
- Mississippi finally took the plunge and ratified it in 1995.
A 21st-Century Problem?
Seems like everyone wants to get into the act on this one,
whether they be government agencies, religious groups, or the media.
Everyone wants to be on record as opposing today's rampant slave trade.
We'll cite just a few of the many references out there.
First, National Geographic did a 24-page story in their September 2003 issue.
It was entitled, "21st Century Slaves," and on page 12 gave the following list of countries
known by the U.S. State Department where more than 100 slaves were sold in 2002, even though
slavery is illegal there:
Out of around 192 countries in the world, 116 have an active slave trade going on.
That's far too many, and it shows that even when slavery is illegal,
that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
How big is the slave trade really? A Department of Justice press release
in July of 2004 that reported the president's participation in a conference in
Tampa, Florida, on slavery gave the following statistic:
Trafficking in persons, a modern day form of slavery, is a serious
problem in the United States and throughout the world. Each year,
an estimated 600,000-800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked
against their will across international borders. Of those, 14,500-17,500
are trafficked into America. Victims are forced into prostitution,
or to work in sweatshops, quarries, as domestic labor, or child
soldiers, and in many forms of involuntary servitude.—"Bush
Administration Hosts First National Training Conference to Combat Human Trafficking."
Statistics like these have prompted politicians to make the following statements, reported
by the BBC on January 25, 2005:
William Hague sounds about right. Some estimate that around 11 or 12 million
Africans were exported as slaves over the 450 years that the slave trade was
in operation. At today's rates of 600,000 to 800,000 per year, we would reach
the hideous figure of 12 million in as little
as 15 or 20 years.
The President with John Ashcroft and Jeb Bush at the July 2004 conference on slavery
Slavery in the South
That 2003 National Geographic article described one of
five cases of slavery exposed in Florida over the previous six years.
The Ramos family used at least 700 slaves in their citrus-picking operation
in the town of Lake Placid. In June 2002, three members
of the family found out that they would be spending a total
of almost 35 years in jail for their slave trafficking.
National Geographic points out that the Ramos
operation was in full view. Their main slave camp was next to the Ramada Inn,
and a retirement community and golf course on the edge of town.
One of the Ramoses' stores where their slaves were regularly forced
to turn over their paychecks on payday was but a block from a police station.
How often is slavery going on right under our noses
without our noticing it? Often enough that the Palm Beach Post's lengthy
2003 special report entitled "Modern-Day
Slavery" uses the following as a heading:
Used and Abused
With fake names, fake Social Security cards and few rights,
migrant farm workers stay invisible in plain sight.
Give Us Your Opinion
|What do you think of Ellen White's prediction that slavery would be revived?