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Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists

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    Sweden and the Thirty Years’ War

    Sweden is a weak and apparently unimportant country, in comparison with some of its powerful neighbors; but its history is not without events of thrilling interest. It was from Sweden that deliverance came to Germany in her terrible struggle against the papal armies during the thirty years’ war. The imperial forces had swept over the Protestant States of Germany, to the shores of the Baltic Sea, and were looking across its waters to a conquest which should extend the papal dominion over the countries of the North. The religion and the liberty of Christendom were on the point of being trodden out. For years the work of ruin had been going forward. Other nations looked on, but lifted no hand to interpose. Even England stood apart. And in Germany itself, some of the Protestant princes had so far lost the spirit of the Reformation that they contented themselves with appeals and protests, and lent no aid to their brethren struggling against such fearful odds.HS 191.5

    Then it was that Gustavus II., the king of little Sweden, came to the deliverance of the oppressed nations. It was a herculean task which he had undertaken. With slender means and a small army he must encounter an enemy that possessed exhaustless resources and unnumbered forces. But faith that God, whose cause he was undertaking, would sustain him, urged him forward to become the defender of Protestantism.HS 192.1

    “Like a dying man he set his house in order,” and bade a solemn farewell to the States, which he was never to see again. With his little force he landed on the shores of Germany on the 24th of June, 1630, exactly a hundred years from the day when the Augsburg Confession had been presented to Charles V. The emperor Ferdinand heard with contemptuous indifference of the coming of Gustavus. The proud courtiers of Vienna “looked in the State Almanac to see where the country of the little Gothic king was situated.” Even the Protestant princes failed to discern their deliverer in a guise so humble. They had hoped for assistance from some powerful nation, but what help could a petty kingdom like Sweden bring them? But the Lord delivereth neither by few nor by many. The armies of Ferdinand could not stand against the attacks of Gustavus. Victory after victory attended the Protestant arms. In the full tide of success, Gustavus fell; but his people, true to the purpose for which his blood was shed, continued the struggle, until a peace was won which delivered all Northern Europe from the papal yoke.HS 193.1

    In the old Riddarholms church at Stockholm the body of Gustavus is entombed. The following inscription is placed near his resting-place: “He undertook difficult things; he loved piety; he conquered his enemies, extended his kingdom, exalted the Swedes, and delivered the oppressed; and he triumphed in death.”HS 193.2

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