Here is the quote on the picture, followed by its context (all-caps added for emphasis):

“Now, as in the days of Esther and Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate his truth and his people.” (The Review and Herald, January 23, 1908, “The Return of the Exiles—No. 11 In the Days of Queen Esther,” par. 22, by Ellen G. White)


“The seventy years’ captivity dated from the time when the Babylonian kings began to hold universal sway. God gave Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, much ‘majesty, and glory, and honor.’ ‘All people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.’

“This same universal sway was exercised by Nebuchadnezzar’s descendants until, nearly seventy years later, in the days of Belshazzar, because of the wickedness of the nation, the kingdom was ‘divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.’ Thus arose the second universal monarchy, Medo-Persia.

“It was only about two years afterward that Cyrus, king of Medo-Persia, issued the remarkable decree providing for the restoration of all the Israelites, ‘the children of the captivity,’ to their home in the land of Canaan.

“Nearly fifty thousand, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, took advantage of this providential opportunity to return. These were, however, comparatively speaking, only a few, a mere ‘remnant,’ of all the Israelites scattered throughout the provinces of Medo-Persia. Many chose to remain in the land of their captivity, rather than to accompany their brethren, and to assist in restoring the temple services.

“Nearly twenty years passed by. Many of the remnant who returned to Judea, had fallen into a backslidden condition, and were doing no more to restore the house of God than were their brethren living elsewhere in the Medo-Persian realm. But as the result of the appeals of Haggai and Zechariah, the returned exiles repented before God, and labored diligently to complete the temple. The Lord blessed them, and they were greatly prospered. Their efforts were brought to the notice of Darius Hystaspes, who was the monarch ruling at that time; and he was impressed to issue a second decree, fully as favorable as the one issued by Cyrus over twenty years before.

“Thus did God, in mercy, provide another wonderful opportunity for the Jews in the Medo-Persian capital, and throughout the provinces, to return to the land whence they had been carried captive. And the Lord not only wrought a change of feeling in the hearts of men in authority, so that they favored the Jews in their realm; but he also inspired Zechariah, his prophetic messenger, to plead with them most earnestly to flee from their Babylonian surroundings, and return to Jerusalem.

“‘Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon!’

“How amazing is God’s love, how infinite his compassion! He pleads with the wayward to return unto him. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’

“The Lord desired that those who had once named his name, but who now dwelt in Babylon, should become a praise in the earth, to the glory of his name. Nearly a century had passed by since, because of their sins, he had been compelled to allow them to be taken captive to Babylon. And yet their affliction was to be a means of salvation. Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord revealed his desire to save the transgressor, even by means of calamity. ‘I will bring him to Babylon,’ the Lord declared, ‘and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.’ In tender pity the Lord continued to plead with every suffering captive. Some chose to listen and to learn; these found salvation in the midst of affliction.

“Those who listened to the pleadings of heavenly agencies, and repented with full purpose of heart, are likened by the prophet Ezekiel to ‘the highest branch of the high cedar,’ which was to be planted ‘upon an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel.’ A remnant would return; and God gave every captive Israelite in Babylon an opportunity to form a part of this remnant.

“It was those ‘whose spirit God had raised,’ who returned under the decree of Cyrus. But God ceased not to plead with the ones who voluntarily remained in the land of their exile; and, through manifold agencies, he made it possible for them also to return. But the vast number who failed to respond at the time of the decree of Cyrus, remained unimpressible to later influences working in their behalf. When Zechariah, in unmistakable language, warned them to flee from Babylon without delay, they heeded not the gracious invitation.

“Conditions in the Medo-Persian realm rapidly changed. Darius Hystaspes, under whose reign the Jews were shown marked favor, was succeeded by Xerxes the Great, the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. It was during his reign that the Jews of Medo-Persia, those who had failed of heeding God’s warning message to flee for their lives, were called to face a terrible crisis. A few years before, God had provided a way of escape; but this had been passed by, and now all the Jews were brought face to face with death.

“Haman the Agagite, an unscrupulous man high in authority in the Medo-Persian realm, was the one through whom Satan sought at this time to counterwork the purposes of God. Haman cherished bitter malice against Mordecai the Jew, a godly man who had done Haman no harm, but had simply refused to show him the reverence that belongs to God alone. Scorning ‘to lay hands on Mordecai alone,’ Haman plotted ‘to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.’

“Misled by the false statements of Haman, Xerxes the Great was induced to issue an edict providing for the massacre of all the Jews ‘scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces’ of the Medo-Persian kingdom. A certain day was appointed on which the Jews were to be destroyed and their property confiscated. Little did the king realize the far-reaching results that would have accompanied the complete carrying out of this decree. Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was planning to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God.

“‘In every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.’ The decrees of the Medes and Persians could not be revoked; apparently there was no hope; all the Israelites were doomed to destruction.

“But the plots of the enemy were defeated by a Power that reigns among the children of men. In the providence of God, Esther, a Jewess who feared the Most High, had been made queen of the Medo-Persian kingdom. Mordecai was a near relative of hers. In their extremity, they decided to appeal to King Xerxes in behalf of their people. Esther was to venture into his presence as an intercessor. ‘Who knoweth,’ said Mordecai, ‘whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’

“The crisis that Esther faced demanded earnest, quick action; but both she and Mordecai realized that unless God should work mightily in their behalf, all their own feeble efforts would be unavailing. So Esther took time for communion with God, the source of her strength, and the One in whose hand is the heart of every earthly ruler, to turn it whithersoever he will, as he turneth the rivers of water. ‘Go,’ Esther directed Mordecai, ‘gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.’

“The events that followed in rapid succession,–the appearance of Esther before the king, the marked favor shown her, the banquets of the king and the queen with Haman as the only guest, the troubled sleep of the king, the public honor shown Mordecai, and the humiliation and fall of Haman upon discovery of his wicked plot against the Jewish people,–all these are parts of a familiar story. In a marvelous manner God wrought in behalf of his penitent people; and a counter-decree issued by the king, allowing them to fight for their lives, was rapidly communicated to every part of the realm by mounted couriers who were ‘hasted and pressed on by the king’s commandment.’ ‘And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.’

“On the day appointed for their destruction, ‘the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.’ Angels that excel in strength had been commissioned by God to protect his people while they gathered themselves together, and ‘stood for their lives.’

“The trying experiences that came to God’s people in the days of Esther, were not peculiar to that age alone. The Revelator, looking down the ages to the close of time, declared by inspiration, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ In the near future we shall see these words fulfilled, as the Protestant churches unite with the world and with the papal power against commandment-keepers. The same spirit that actuated those who persecuted the true church in ages past, will lead Protestants to pursue a similar course toward those who will maintain their loyalty to God. Church and state are now making preparations for the last great conflict.

“The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Protestant world today see, in the little company keeping the Sabbath, a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord, and are trampling upon his Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.

“The same masterful spirit that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey his law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God. Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church-members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith. By false representations and angry appeals, they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a ‘thus saith the Scriptures’ to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for Sunday laws. Those who fear God can not accept an institution that violates a precept of the decalogue. On this battle-field comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. NOW, AS IN THE DAYS OF ESTHER AND MORDECAI, THE LORD WILL VINDICATE HIS TRUTH AND HIS PEOPLE.

“Mordecai was advanced to the position of honor formerly occupied by Haman. He was ‘next unto King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren;’ and he sought to promote the welfare of his people. Thus did God bring his chosen people once more into favor at the Medo-Persian court, making possible the carrying out of his purpose to restore them to their own land. But it was not until several years later, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes I, the successor of Xerxes the Great, that any considerable number returned to Jerusalem to assist their brethren in the restoration, under the leadership and spiritual watch-care of Ezra.” (The Review and Herald, January 23, 1908, “The Return of the Exiles—No. 11 In the Days of Queen Esther,” pars. 1-23, by Ellen G. White)