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Messenger and Advocate/1/11
|←Number 10|| Messenger and Advocate
1, Number 11
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 1
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume I. No. 11.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, AUGUST, 1835.||[Whole No. 11.|
At a General Assembly of the Church of the LATTER DAY SAINTS, according to previous notice, held on the 17th of August, 1835, to take in consideration the labors of a certain committee which had been appointed by a General Assembly of September 24, 1834, as follows:
"The Assembly being duly organized, and after transacting certain business of the church, proceeded to appoint a committee to arrange the items of doctrine of Jesus Christ, for the government of his church of the Latter Day Saints, which church was organized and commenced its rise on the 6th day of April, 1830. These items are to be taken from the bible, book of Mormon, and the revelations which have been given to said church up to this date, or shall be until such arrangement is made.
"Elder Samuel H. Smith, for the assembly, moved that presiding elders, Joseph Smith, jr. Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams compose said committee. The nomination was seconded by elder Hyrum Smith, whereupon it received the unanimous vote of the Assembly.
ORSON HYDE, } Clerks."
Wherefore O. Cowdery and S. Rigdon, Presidents of the first presidency, appointed Thomas Burdick, Warren Parrish and Silvester Smith, Clerks, and proceeded to organize the whole assembly, as follows: they organized the high council of the church at Kirtland, and Presidents W. W. Phelps and J. Whitmer proceeded and organized the high council of the church in Missouri. Bishop Newel K. Whitney proceeded and organized his counsellors of the church in Kirtland, and acting Bishop John Corrill, organized the counsellors of the church in Missouri: and also presidents Leonard Rich, Levi W. Hancock, Sylvester Smith and Lyman Sherman, organized the council of the seventy; and also, Elder John Gould, acting President, organized the travelling Elders; and also Ira Arnes, acting President, organized the Priests; and also Erastus Babbit, acting President, organized the Teachers; and also William Burges, acting President, organized the Deacons; and they also, as the assembly was large, appointed Thomas Gates, John Young, William Cowdery, Andrew H. Aldrich, Job L. Lewis and Oliver Higley, as assistant Presidents of the day, to assist in preserving order, &c. in the whole assembly. Elder Levi W. Hancock being appointed chorister, a hymn was then sung and the services of the day opened by the prayer of President O. Cowdery, and the solemnities of eternity rested upon the audience. Another hymn was sung: after transacting some business for the church the audience adjourned for one hour.
AFTERNOON.—After a hymn was sung, President Cowdery arose and introduced the "Book of doctrine and covenants of the church of the Latter Day Saints," in behalf of the committee: he was followed by President Rigdon, who explained the manner by which they intended to obtain the voice of the assembly for or against said book: the other two committee, named above, were absent. According to said arrangement W. W. Phelps bore record that the book presented to the assembly, was true. President John Whitmer, also arose, and testified that it was true. Elder John Smith, taking the lead of the high council in Kirtland, bore record that the revelations in said book were true, and that the lectures were judiciously arranged and compiled, and were profitable for doctrine; whereupon the high council of Kirtland accepted and acknowledged them as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. Elder Levi Jackman, taking the lead of the high council of the church in Missouri, bore testimony that the revelations in said book were true, and the said high council of Missouri accepted and acknowledge them as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
President W. W. Phelps then read the written testimony of the Twelve, as follows. "The testimony of the witnesses to the book of the Lord's commandments, which he gave to his church through Joseph Smith, jr. who
was appointed by the voice of the church for this purpose: we therefore feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of mankind, to every creature upon the face of all the earth, and upon the islands of the sea, that the Lord has borne record to our souls, through the Holy Ghost shed forth upon us, that these commandments were given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for all men, and are verily true.—We give this testimony unto the world, the Lord being our helper: and it is through the grace of God, the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, that we are permitted to have this privilege of bearing this testimony unto the world, in the which we rejoice exceedingly, praying the Lord always, that the children of men may be profited thereby. Elder Leonard Rich bore record of the truth of the book and the council of the Seventy accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
Bishop N. K. Whitney bore record of the truth of the book, and with his counsellors, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
Acting Bishop, John Corrill, bore record of the truth of the book, and with his counsellors, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. Acting President, John Gould, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and with the travelling Elders, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
Ira Ames, acting President of the Priests, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and with the Priests, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
Erastus Babbit, acting President of the Teachers, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and they accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
Wm. Burges acting President of the Deacons, bore record of the truth of the book, and they accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.
The venerable assistant President Thomas Gates, then bore record of the truth of the book, and with his five silverheaded assistants, and the whole congregation, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. The several authorities, and the general assembly, by a unanimous vote accepted of the labors of the committee.
President W. W. Phelps then read the following article on Marriage, which was accepted and adopted, and ordered to be printed in said book, by a unanimous vote, namely:—
"According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies: therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority.—We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving; and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, shall be addressed, by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the Holy Spirit: and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names: "You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives." And when they have answered "Yes," he shall pronounce them "husband and wife" in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him: "may God add his blessings and keep you to fulfil your covenants from hence forth and forever. Amen."
The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages, solemnized in his branch.
All legal contracts of marriage made
before a person is baptized into this church should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife: and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptised contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptised, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents and masters who exercise control over their wives, children and servants, and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.
President O. Cowdery then read the following article on "governments and laws in general," which was accepted and adopted, and ordered to be printed in said book, by a unanimous vote.
"That our belief, with regard to earthly governments and laws in general, may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.
We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administering them, for the good and safety of society.
We believe that no government can exist, in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property and the protection of life.
We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people, (if a Republic,) or the will of the Sovereign.
We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are amenable to him and to him only for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinion prompts them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.
We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments, and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest, at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.
We believe that every man should be honored in his station: rulers and magistrates as such—being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty: and that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror: human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man, and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.
We believe that rulers, states and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right, in justice, to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence is shown to the laws, and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.
We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offence: that murder, treason, robbery, theft and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offence is com-
mitted: and for the public peace and tranquility, all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders, against good laws, to punishment.
We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.
We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealing be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or put them in jeopardy, either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them,—they can only excommunicate them from their society and withdraw from their fellowship.
We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted, or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons, in times of exigencies, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.
We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them, contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with, or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men: such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude.
A hymn was then sung. President S. Rigdon returned thanks, after which the assembly was blessed by the Presidency, with uplifted hands, & dismissed.
SIDNEY RIGDON, } Pres'ts.
SYLVESTER SMITH, } Clerks.
Faith of the Church.
We deem it unnecessary to pursue the subject of visions very lengthily, as the bible is so full and clear on it, as to render it only necessary to excite the mind of the inquirer after truth to it, and he will see for himself, the office which is assigned unto visions in the salvation of men.
It will not, I presume, be allowed, by those who profess to believe in revelations, that the apostles could not have taught the world the things of righteousness, unless they had obtained visions through which they could have the knowledge necessary to perform this great work, and that without visions they could not have obtained this knowledge.
The degree of knowledge, which is proposed in the bible to those who embrace the gospel cannot be obtained by any person or persons, without visions, and more particularly in the last days, as they were to be the days of light and knowledge; to an unparalleled degree, even so great was to be the knowledge of the last days as to dry up all the tears of sorrow, and drain all the fountains of sickness, and leave the inhabitants of the world in peace and health. If we ask, how are these great blessings to be attained? The answer is, through an increase of knowledge and intelijgence [intelligence], and if we ask by what means the people are to obtain this knowledge? The answer is, through visions; for it is by visions, that the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the face of the great deep.
When this day of knowledge and intelligence comes, all the causes of sickness, disease and sorrow, will be found out, and removed, so that through the intelligence and knowledge obtained by means of visions, all the blessings of heaven proposed to the subjects of the gospel in the last days shall be realized. If sickness and diseases ever cease among men, there must be more knowledge on earth than there is now; and if there is an end to sorrow and crying, there must be a great increase
of intelligence, from what there ever has been; for to talk about the earth resting from all her affliction, without obtaining a knowledge of the cause of all the evils which afflict her, is to think and talk most unreasonably; for the reason that the heavens are not afflicted is because of the great intelligence, and perfect knowledge which abounds there. And if the earth ceases to be afflicted, it will be because of the increased intelligence which will abound on her surface; knowledge sufficient to understand the causes of all evils, and through this knowledge, power to remove them.
It would be enthusiasm to perfection to even think of the removal of all the evils which afflict the world, without the people in the first instance understanding the cause of those evils, and through this understanding, obtain the removal of them; for it to be otherwise, would be to save the world in blindness, and make ignorance the mother of devotion; and who does not know that this knowledge is alone attainable by visions and revelations; for the world has experimented on the evils which afflict her for the space of nearly six thousand years, without being able to make these discoveries, and we have no reason to expect that six thousand years to come will make it any better, unless the God of heaven takes it in hand himself and accomplishes the work, by giving to the people visions and revelations sufficient to understand all these things and remove them; for notwithstanding all things are to be done by faith, yet, it would be impossible for a man to have faith without intelligence, as it would be, for him to have this natural life without blood, and intelligence produces faith, and faith produces intelligence, and faith and intelligence produce knowledge, and knowledge perfects faith, and thus they mutually assist and advance each other until they are all perfected, and visions and revelations, are their constant companions, and without them, intelligence, faith, or knowledge could not be perfected.
From the whole surface of the subject as it now lays before us, the conclusion is inevitable, that without visions, the blessings proposed in the scriptures to the saints of the last days can never be enjoyed.
It is necessary to observe in this place that, if there are visions, there must of necessity be manifestations also; for if angels did not manifest themselves, there would be no seeing of angels in visions, and if there were no manifestations of the Son, the Saviour of the world, there would be no seeing of him in visions, and if there were no manifestations of the Father there would be no seeing of him in visions, so that without manifestations, visions would loose all their glory. If the Lord the king of glory had never manifested himself, the eyes of Isaiah would never have beheld him, neither would he have seen him high and lifted up, and his train filling the temple: and if the Savior had never manifested himself after his ascension, Paul would never have seen him so as to be a witness for him, neither would Stephen have said in the very article of death, "That I see the heavens open and the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power," neither would it ever have been said by the prophet Joel and confirmed and re-promulgated by Peter, that in the last days God would pour out his spirit on all flesh, and sons and daughters would prophecy, old men dream dreams and young ones see visions.
From the foregoing we learn that the office which is assigned to the saints in the salvation of their fellow men, does not consist alone in their going forth during the days of their flesh to preach, and testify to their fellow men of the things of God; but also after they leave this world to enjoy another state of being, to manifest themselves to their brethren, who are in the flesh, and who have the testimony of Jesus, and to administer unto them, and to make them acquainted with those things which pertain to the kingdom of God, and to be ministering spirits unto them who are the heirs of salvation. This ministration of the angels or messengers, who were once in the flesh, is to those who are heirs of salvation, and who are approved of in the sight of God: the reason that they do not appear to the sectarian world is, because they are not approbated in the sight of heaven, not heirs of sa[l]vation, for they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who are heirs of salvation, not to them who are not the heirs of salvation; but to them who are. When a society of people denies the ministering of angels, they declare vir-
tually that they are not heirs of salvation.
It also belongs to the work of the Savior to manifest himself to the saints, in order that they may be witnesses for him to those who believe not that they may be made acquainted with his glory also. Thus says Paul in the 1st epistle to the Corinthians 15:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8th verses. Therefore, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have beli[e]ved in vain. For I declare unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present; but some are fallen asleep. After that he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also as one born out of due time.
This quotation puts the matter beyond a doubt, that part of the Savior's work in the salvation of men was, to manifest himself to them after his resurrection and ascension, and to shew [show] himself after his passion, not to all the world; but to witnesses chosen of God, who appear to have been very numerous among the former day saints, for not only the apostles, but the multitude of brethren, even five hundred at once, and how many more at other times it is not our province to say at present; but no doubt vast multitudes; for as he was without respect of persons, he could doubtless deal with all alike, and if so, he manifested himself to the saints according to their faith and holiness before him.—(CONCLUDED.)
LO, THE DAYS COME, &c.
The appearance of our country is truly alarming. Every mail brings new accounts of mobs and riots; great fires, and other destructions, of life and property. Particulars are unnecessary. Repentance, deep repentance must take place in this nation, or the Lord will continue to scourge our once delightful country, and vex her exalted inhabitants with sore vexation. A land of liberty; a community of law; a region of light; a people that profess to be christian, must maintain the dignity they have assumed and proclaimed to the world, by righteous acts, or else they must fall and fester in their own infamy. As men, as citizens, as saints, let us hope for the best and prepare for the worst, ever mindful of the wise man's saying: "Virtue exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people." P.
Messenger and Advocate
KIRTLAND, OHIO, AUGUST, 1835.
From the letters of the Elders abroad we make the following extracts:—
Elder C. Rich writes from Tazwell co. Ill. "I have just returned from the north part of this state, where I have been laboring in company with Elder M. Phelps for a few weeks past. We were opposed by the missionaries: but succeeded in establishing a church in Cook co. comprising nine members. I have baptized one since my arrival at home; and there are more enquiring, and are friendly to the cause of truth."
Elders L. Rich and R. Orton, write from Cambria, N. Y. July 22. "It is about five weeks since we left Kirtland, O. and have baptized ten, since we have come to this place. We expect to baptize a number next Lord's day, who have manifested their determinations in public: Thus grows and spreads the mighty work of God. We feel as men but in the strength of the Lord, we are resolved to blow the gospel trumpet. "Elder L. Rich has returned to this place and says he and R. Orton have baptized nine since they last wrote."
Elder J. Blakesley writes from Woodville, N. Y. That four have been baptized in that place since the 15th of June. The elders of that place have held a conference: and have selected and appointed wise men to purchase lands for their inheritances according to a revelation given Kirtland, Ohio, December 1834.
Elder A. Babbit writes from Aurora, Erie co. N. Y. July 22. "I have been preaching in this place and in Niagara, and last Sabbath at Rushford, and baptized five in all.
Elder E. H. Groves writes from Carmi, Ill. July 4. "I left the church in Chariton co. Ill. in company with
Elder I. Higbee, on the 30th of April, and arrived at McLeansburgh on the 4th of May. We have been preaching in this region of country and the Lord has blessed our labors: We have baptized 45 in the counties of Hamilton and White: all were strong in the faith."
Elder G. M. Hinkle writes from Green co. Ia. July 20. "I would inform you that I have travelled and preached some time in the vicinity of Sullivan and Green counties, and have baptized seven."
Elders C. W. Patten and G. P. Dykes, write from Edwards co. Ill. Aug. 3d. "Saying that they have baptized 45 in that co.
Elder S. Wixom writes from Lewiston, Ill. Aug. 4. He says, "that he has been laboring in that place and vicinity about three weeks, and has baptized one many are convinced of the truth, and are enquiring after the old paths; some are hindered by those who have authority over them. Brethren, pray that the Lord may loose the shackles of priestcraft and let the cavtives [captives] go free: that he that will may come and partake of the waters of life freely."
Elder J. P. Green writes from Huntington, Con. Aug. 12. He has travelled and preached and baptized 10, since May last.
The twelve write from Bradford, Mass. Aug. 7. "Our conference in St. Johnsbury, Vt. was attended by a goodly number of brethren and sisters from different parts. The limits of this conference extends throughout the State, and the number belonging to it, as nearly as we could ascertain, was one hundred and fifty members, in good standing and fellowship.
"On Saturday our meeting was attended by a respectable number of people. After a sermon was delivered by Elder O. Hyde and exhortation by Elder Lyman Johnson, six came forward to obey the everlasting gospel. Sunday, we had, as was judged, from one thousand to fifteen hundred people, to hear the word preached by Elders McLellin and P. P. Pratt: after which two came forward for baptism, which was administered by Elder L. Johnson. A great and effectual door is open for proclaiming the gospel in the East. Where intelligence dwells, there truth is received, but where ignorance reigns, truth is an unwelcome guest.
"Elder G. Bishop has been tried before us, and was acquitted; the charge on which he was suspended, not being sustained. But there were some things in his teaching conduct, &c. for which the council chastised him, and he instead of confessing his faults, arose and justified himself. We saw that he was likely to cleave to the same things still; therefore, we took his license.
O. Hyde, Clk."
Br. A. C. Graves writes from Liberty, Mo. July 29. "and says, the church is reviving, 22 have been baptized mostly children.
"Elder William Legg died on the 24th inst., strong in the faith of the Latter Day Saints." We understand that Elder Legg was about 30 years of age; was born in England, and had, in his earlier days, followed a sea fareing [faring] life. He was a man of piety and virtue, ever ready to reach out the hand of charity to the needy and distressed, showing the reality of his profession by his faith: by his decease the church has been deprived of a most examplary [exemplary] elder, and society a worthy citizen he has left a young widow to lament his departure. We hope, that like the mantle of Elijah upon Elisha, his gifts and qualifications may fall upon others.
Elder W. Parish writes: Kirtland, Aug. 13, 1835. "Dear Brother in Christ:—I am happy to inform you, that through the blessing of God, I have returned from my mission in the South, in company with Seth Utley, a visiting brother from the church in West Tenn. and in the enjoyment of common health. The Lord in his goodness has smiled upon us and crowned our labors beyond our anticipation.—On the 23d of July last, after delivering a lecture on the subject of the gospel, to a large and respectable congregation, assembled on the banks of the Tennessee River, I opened the door for baptism and received one member: I then took the parting hand with my brethren and sisters, (who were overwhelmed in tears,) commending them to God in the name of Jesus Christ.—The church in that vicinity consists of 86 members, organized into six branches which I left under the superintendence of Elder W. Woodruff. Brother D. W. Patten and myself, I believe,
were the first that opened the gospel kingdom in the western district of Tennessee, in the month of October last; the adversary and his votaries were immediately disturbed; the heathen raged, and the people imagined many vain things; but the honest in heart have, and will believe, and obey; and mighty truth will triumph, and roll on until Christ's kingdom becomes universal. I expect when God calls upon the South to give up, that many will come with songs of everlasting joy to rejoice with me, and all the saints in the kingdom of our heavenly Father. Even so let it be. Amen."
It becomes the saints in these last days, to be prudent, for time is precious, and should be used with discretion, that we may show ourselves approved in all things. But according to the management of the affairs of the church of Latter Day Saints, there is much evil done, and many difficulties presenting themselves before the high council and bishop's council, in consequence of the neglect of the laws of God. Who is to blame? Are the Elders, because they do not properly instruct those who are looking to them for information? Or is it for want of perusing the scriptures and becoming familiar with them? Or is it to gratify selfish motives? These questions are left to be solved by those who are concerned.
But to avoid difficulties for the future; we will endeavor to give a few instructions, for the good of all who desire to become wise and save themselves from utter destruction; not only temporal but spiritual. Therefore, "If thy brother offend thee, thou shalt take him between him and thee alone; and if he confess thou shalt be reconciled and if he confess not, thou shalt take another with thee; and then if he confess not, thou shalt deliver him up unto the church, not to the members but to the Elders." This is in case of offence; and should this pattern be followed strictly, many serious difficulties would be avoided; and much time saved.
But in case a man becomes an offender of the law, he must be dealt with according to the law, he must be dealt with according to law: "Thus if a man shall rob, he shall be delivered up unto the law. And if he shall steal he shall be delivered up unto the law.—And if he lie, he shall be delivered up unto the law. And if he do any manner of iniquity, he shall be delivered up unto the law, even that of God." Not only so, but if a disciple becomes an offender of the law of the land, let him suffer the penalty of the same. For this church is not intended to cloak sins, and misdemeanor, but to make them manifest, and bring offenders to punishment.
What more need be said, concerning offences or transgressions? Search the scriptures which you have before you; and practice upon them—and pray for more wisdom and understanding. That you may be prepared, to receive and practice upon the revelations and commandments, that will soon be published and sent forth to this generation: which will prove a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death: according to the use made of them into whose hands they may fall. Therefore beware how you esteem the things of God: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust doth not corrupt and thieves do not break through and steal, remember where your treasures are your hearts will be also." You cannot serve God and mammon. Time is allotted to man to prepare for eternity.
It matters not how much time we employ in obtaining a knowledge of the commandments and precepts of God; if we do not practice them, they will avail us nothing in the day of accounts: but will serve to bring upon us greater misery. And surely this would not be making a wise improvement of time. The mind of man is continually employed on some subject, and time properly devoted together with truth, can alone unfold things as they were, as they are, and as they are to come.
Prayer to the Lord is one of the most pleasing and necessary acts of worship. To enter into the closet and shut the door, and pray to the Father of all good, in secret, and then be rewarded openly, is so joyous, so heavenly, and so saintly—that we can only marvel at the goodness and mercy of HIM who sees, and knows; and was, and is, ETERNALLY. Religion is nothing without prayer, worship is nothing without prayer, and man is nothing without prayer. In all ages the
saints, that were humble before the Lord, have prayed, openly and in secret. In the book of Mormon, we learn that Alma taught thus: "Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye might begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; yea, cry unto him for mercy, for he is mighty to save; yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him; cry unto him when you are in your fields; yea, over all your flocks; cry unto him in your houses; yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day and evening; yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies; yea, cry unto him against the devil which is an enemy to all righteousness." Without quoting farther from this pure example, let us remark, that few men have left a better specimen for the saint to follow, as a sample of daily worship. It is simple; it is easy; it is holy, and it is necessary, in order to be forgiven of our sins; to be justified before the Lord; to be humble; to be virtuous; to be faithful; to be diligent; to be temperate; to be charitable; to be holy—that we may become pure in heart. The just shall live by faith, and the prayers of the righteous avail much. "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber, toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees THREE TIMES A DAY, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime:" and the lions' mouths were shut, so that Daniel received no harm.
Now what saint ever thought of being heard in heaven and answered on earth, unless he prayed in faith? Who expects miracles without the prayer of faith? Who can heal the sick without the prayer of faith? Who can obtain blessings without asking for them?—Yea, did the Lord ever bless unless he was sought unto, in humility, with clean hands, and pure hearts? No; nor will he: He knows what we stand in need of before we ask, and when our humility, our contrition, our works, our hearts, our thoughts, and our faith, come up to God as a sweet savor, he grants our requests, and the angels and all the heavenly hosts rejoice. If we ever come up to the privileges of the ancient saints; or, if we ever find favor with God, so as to walk in the fire without being burned; or stop the mouths of lions; or put the armies of the aliens to flight; or cast out devils, it will be because we pray, in spirit and in truth, acceptably—and our prayers are registered in heaven; then the Lord will be as free to bless, as the saints are humble to pray; and the land will flow with milk and honey; peace will be extended as a river, and no good thing will be withheld.
All disciples are commanded to remember their prayers in the season thereof; and if they do not, they are to be called to an account for their neglect before the proper authorities of the church. In St. John's gospel we learn, that when the Savior sees his saints again, in that day, he will pray the Father for them, because the Father loves them.
When the love of God fills the heart of a saint, he will pray,—and God will hear, and the blessings of heaven will come to him as softly and as sweetly as the zephyrs of even. Where there is humility, and faith, and prayer, the Lord delights to bless. Mark the family where the father prays in public and in private; where the mother prays in public and in private; where the children pray in public and in private; where the words of God are held in sacred reverence; where the sweet incense of all hearts in the house, in prayer and praise, go up to heaven morning, noon and night, and there peace reigns; and there joy reigns; and there contentment reigns; and there Jesus reigns!
How much like heaven it seems to see little children kneeling and praying: yea, how sweet is the sound, and how pure the accents of a babe, calling on the maker of his frame, for the blessing of health, peace, and protection, before it is old enough to be tempted by satan? Parents! teach your little ones to pray; that they may remain in the kingdom of the Lord, and grow in grace and glory, till a day of righteousness shall come, when children can be bro't up before their parents, and their Savior, without sin unto salvation.
In one of the revelations to the church of Latter Day Saints, is found this important instruction:
"Inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance; faith in Christ the Son of the living God; and of baptism and
the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the head of the parents, for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands: and they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. And the inhabitants of Zion, also, shall remember their labors, inasmuch as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness, for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord. Now I the Lord am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness: They also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness.
This is good instruction, and let us profit by it; let us bring up our children to pray; and praise the Lord. If we set a good example before our children, the world may follow it, for no one is so lost to a sense of glory, and things to come, that he would think that prayer would do any hurt, if he even had no faith in its doing any good, and so the love of prayer might win a soul to God. Says the apostle, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;" yea, brethren, watch and pray always, that ye fall not into temptation. Tongue is unable to express the consolation derived from prayer.
We profess to worship a God that hears and answers prayer. We call upon a God nigh at hand, and not afar off, and how necessary is it, that all should pray in faith, and in spirit, and in truth? We say in spirit, as the apostle, because "the spirit helps our infirmities:" for we know not what we should pray for at all times, but the spirit makes intercession.
But beware of making long prayers, and of thanking God that you are not like other men, like the pretending Pharisee, lest you offend your benefactor. Remember the humble Publican: "God be merciful to me a sinner!"—Give the Lord your heart, and he will give you a treasure in heaven—where your heart may be also. P.
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS.
By an article entitled "General Assembly," in this month's paper, it will be seen that the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Latter Day Saints, is nearly ready for sale. At any rate it may be expected in the course of a month, as one thousand copies have already been delivered to the binder.
Since the commencement of this work, even in Missouri, where, just before it was ready to come out, it fell into the hands of a mob, our anxiety and exertions have been unabated, to put in the possession of the Saints, and all who feel a desire to be saved. We have greatly desired that this little sacred volume might go into the world, that the inhabitants thereof might know what the Lord was about to do in the last days. We know that the word of the Lord is sure, and never fails, and, as faithful servants to him, living in the hope of a glorious resurrection with the just when the righteous arise to meet him in the cloud, we bear testimony that the revelations therein contained are true and faithful.
We hope and pray that the Saints may be as anxious to keep the commandments, and be governed by the Doctrine and Covenants, contained in said book, as they have been for its publication: if they do observe all the requirements towards perfecting themselves in holiness, that they may serve the Lord acceptably with "clean hands and pure hearts," it will be well with them: but if they neglect to walk in all the ordinances of the Covenants and law of the Lord blameless, they must be chastened. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance before the Lord, but the ungodly shall be cut off and forgotten; and their end no man knoweth, save he that is ordained to such condemnation. P.
Few men in our day know of the extreme persecution the ancient saints endured for the sake of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Paul, who also suffered death for the testimony which he bore, has given us to understand that those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews has mentioned the fact, that those who lived before him, were under the necessity of excluding themselves from society, and wander in dens and caves of the earth.
The following from "Fox's history of the Martyrs," may not be uninteresting to the readers of the Messenger and Advocate, as it will give us an idea of the unanimity of the enemies of truth, and the eagerness to deprive
the saints of their privileges and rights. C.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE FOURTH CENTURY TO THE DEATH OF GALERIUS.
We have been in some measure prepared for the awful scene which began to display itself at the commencement of the next century. The conflict was dreadful, but the conquest was glorious. For the human powers being first subdued by the influence of the christian doctrines, were at last compelled to become its protectors. But the furious wind of persecution was first to be once more raised, to purge away the remaining rubbish from the church, and winnow the chaff, by driving it to a distance from the genuine grain. It was declared impossible to describe particularly "the vast assemblies, the numerous congregations, and the multitudes, that thronged in every city to embrace the faith of Christ.—Spacious churches were erected from the very foundations, throughout all cities of the empires." But impieties and jealousies intruded themselves to the annoyance of the church, and schisms and divisions were productive of mischiefs, which were the occasion of great disturbances. The deprivation of Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, of Thebais in Egypt, for sacrificing to idols and other crimes, disdaining to recant to cover his disgrace, disseminated many calumnies against Peter, bishop of Alexandria, and the other bishops assembled in a synod, as shewing too great indulgence in the restoration of apostates. But Hierocles the philosopher, now governor of Alexandria, who wrote against certain pretended inconsistencies of the Christian religion, and Galerius Maximian, who had been nominated Caesar, by the emperor, a most zealous and superstitious Pagan and hostile to the Christians, instigated thereunto by his mother, prevailed upon Dioclesian to form a system of persecution against them, to which the emperor was greatly adverse, but at last consulted his judges, and likewise the oracles of Apollo. Yet still his advice was to exercise moderation, whilst Galerius maintained the necessity of burning them alive. The day was at last fixed when the bloody scene was to commence.
The church of the Christians was the first place visited by the prefect and his officers in the morning of the day, when the doors were forced, and the first search was to find the image of their god. When they could find none, the sacred books and other things were cast into the fire, so that every place was at once filled with force and violence. Dioclesian overruled the proposal for burning the church; but it was soon leveled with the ground. By an edict of the following day all churches were ordered to be demolished, and the scriptures to be burned; and all Christians were interdicted from honors and officers, put out of the protection of the law, deprived of right by means of any suit, and no rank or dignity should exempt them from torture. This was immediately torn down by a Christian, for which he was seized and cruelly tormented, and afterwards burned alive. Another edict ordered all the bishops to be imprisoned, and every means to be used to compel them to sacrifice. All this did not satisfy the bloody-minded Galerius. The imperial palace, by his direction, was secretly set on fire, and charged upon the Christians. It was repeated, and a report was propagated, that the Christians had conspired with the eunuchs to murder the emperors; which had the designed effect, and Dioclesian in his fury resolved to compel every person to sacrifice, beginning with his daughter and empress. Many of the eunuchs and first-rate courtiers were put to death: amongst whom were Dorotheus, Gorgonius, and Peter, this last enduring courageously all their tortures, scourgings, gridirons, and fires. Many presbyters and deacons were seized, and, without requiring any manner of proof, condemned and executed. Anthimus, bishop of Nicomedia, was beheaded, with whom a great number of martyrs were joined. Mr. Echard relates, that "no regard was had to age, sex, or order; not contented with single executions, whole houses fell were burned at once, and droves tied together with ropes, thrown into the sea, with millstones about their necks. The persecution was not confined to Nicomedia; for the judges were sent to all temples to force people to sacrifice, and prisons were every where crowded, and unheard of torments invented.—That none but Pagans should have the
benefit of the law, they placed altars in the very courts of judicature, where every person was obliged to sacrifice before he could plead. New edicts were daily sent into cities and provinces; so that in a short time the persecution spread through most of the empire, and became almost universal.—Multitudes of martyrs were made in all parts of the empire. The deaths were innumerable, far exceeding all former relations. Some were beheaded, as in Arabia; some devoured by wild beasts, as in Phœnicia; others slain by breaking their legs, as in Cappadocia; some were hung up with their heads downwards, and suffocated by slow fires, as in Mesopotamia; and others were broiled upon gridirons, as in Syria.—In Pontus, some had sharp reeds thrust up under all their nails; others had melted lead poured upon their naked skin, which ran down and burned the most necessary parts of their bodies; while others, without any commiseration, endured such obscene tortures as are unfit to be related, which the impious judges used as a demonstration of the acuteness of their wit, as if the greatness of that consisted in the most unnatural inventions."
Add to these the torments which the persecuted Christians endured in Egypt, where "infinite numbers of men, women, and children, suffered various kinds of deaths; some of whom, after their flesh had been torn off with torturing irons, after they had been racked, and most cruelly scourged, and sustained the most horrible torments, were committed to the fire, and others drowned in the sea. Other some cheerfully offered their necks to the executioners; some died under their tortures, others perished with hunger. Again, others were crucified, some according to the ordinary manner of malefactors, and others were nailed with their heads downwards, and left to die by famine. In the province of Thebais, the torments and indignities surpass all relation; instead of torturing irons, being torn with sharp shells all over their bodies till they expired. Women were tied by one of their feet, and by engines hoisted up into the air with their heads downwards, and their bodies, being entirely naked, were made a most detestable and inhuman spectacle. Others were tied up by the feet to great boughs and trees, violently forced together by machines, which, being let go, in a moment rent the bodies of the martyrs all in pieces. This continued for the space of whole years; sometimes no more than ten, at other times above twenty, were destroyed; sometimes not less than thirty, at others near sixty; and again at another time a hundred men together, with very small children and women, were executed in one day, being condemned to various and interchangeable kinds of punishments. In Phrygia, the soldiers invested a populous city, consisting all of Christians; and setting fire to it, men, women, and children, while calling upon God were all consumed in the flames."
When the governors of provinces were weary with slaughter, and glutted, as it were, with the blood of the Christians, an affectation of clemency and humanity was ostentatiously displayed by some of them. WE have not alluded to the vast numbers of prelates, bishops, and clergy, who suffered in this persecution, far too many to be distinctly named. But they afterwards contented themselves with discouraging the Christians, and making them miserable in life by "setting marks of infamy upon them. Accordingly some had their ears, noses, or hands cut off, others their eyes put out, and one of their legs disabled." The noted ecclesiastical historian of that period says, "It is impossible to reckon up the innumerable multitudes of the Christians, who had their right eyes put out, and seared with a hot iron, and of those who had their left legs made useless by torturing instruments; after which they were condemned to the mines, not so much for the service they could do, as for the miseries they should endure.—All kinds of arts were made use of to eradicate Christianity, and the greatest care was taken, but in vain, to destroy the holy scriptures. But the Christians thronged to the tribunals of their judges, freely declaring their opinions and religion, despising the barbarity of their enemies, and receiving their last sentences with a smile. Yet as some pressed too forwards to death and torments, so others leaped from the tops of houses to avoid the malice of their enemies. Some ladies of Antioch drowned themselves to escape ravishment by the soldiers. Yet some from fear, culpably delivered up their
bibles; and too many, to avoid torments, apostatized. But far the greatest part behaved themselves so manfully, that neither fears nor charms" had any influence to prevent them from giving undeniable evidence of their fortitude. Donatus, in particular, must be mentioned by name, who endured torments nine several times from three different governors. Maximian, also, willingly joined with Dioclesian and Galerius in these cruelties; and these three wild beasts exercised their barbarities on all the provinces from east to west, Gaul alone escaping, where the mild Constantius governed, being one of the Caesars, whose mother Claudia was niece to the renowned emperor Claudius II. who signalized himself in the wars against the Goths.—To satisfy his superiors, he made a shew of pulling down some of the Christian churches, without farther damage; and he once politely pretended to persecute the Christians, commanding those of his household to do sacrifice, or quit their situation. But those who did so were discharged in the greatest disgrace, declaring generously, that "men, who were false to their God, would never be true to their prince."
To pass over the celebration of the emperor Dioclesian's Vicennalia, or twentieth year of his reign, and his triumphs for his victories, which are foreign from our purpose, we need only mention that in the first year of the persecution we meet as martyrs with the names of Procopius, Alphaeus, and Zaccheus in Caesarea, and of Romanus in Antioch, who gloriously withstood the malice of their persecutors; and the second year was memorable not only for the triumphant death of Timolaus, Dionysius, Romulus, Agapius, and several others also at Caesarea, but of Timotheus at Gaza. Marcellinus, bishop of Rome, also suffered towards the latter end of this year.—The emperor was now so much reduced by sickness, on his arrival at Nicomedia, where Galerius visited him, after being a little recovered, to compel him to resign the empire; which was effected, notwithstanding many objections, when the old emperor declared this determination to his soldiers with tears in his eyes, and named two of the creatures of Galerius, Severus, and Maximinus, who were as wicked and barbarous as himself. He had before compelled Maximian to resign the government of the East, as the only means of preventing a civil war; after which the empire devolved upon Constantius and Galerius. Their opposite tempers and dispositions did not prevent them from agreeing to a division of it; by which Constantius, in addition to Britain and Gaul, which he before possessed, had Spain and Germany, with Italy, Sicily, and the greatest part of Africa; and Galerius had Illyricum, Pannonia, Macedonia, Thrace, with the provinces of Greece, the lesser Asia, with Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and all the East. Though the share of Constantius was least, he gave up Africa and Italy to Galerius; and Galerius also surrendered these to Severus, one of his Caesars, and gave up Egypt, Palestine, and the East, to Maximin.
Whilst Constantius reigned in the hearts of his subjects, and every one was happy, Galerius treated even his Pagan subjects with the utmost tyranny and oppression, exacting his extortions by the most violent means; but the Christians were condemned to tortures, and in slow fires most inhumanly consumed. "They were first chained to a post, then a gentle fire set to the soles of their feet, which contracted the foot so that it separated from the bones; then flambeaux just extinguished were applied to all parts of their bodies, that they might be tortured all over; and cruel care was taken to keep them alive, by throwing cold water in their faces, and giving them some to wash their mouths, lest the extremity of the anguish should dry up their throats and choke them. Thus their miseries were lengthened out whole days, until their skin was quite consumed, and they were just ready to expire, when they were thrown into a great fire, that their bones might be burned to ashes; after which the remains were ground to powder, and thrown into some river.—With fresh rage and cruelty also was the persecution carried on in the East by the bloody Maximin, who had issued out edicts to the governors of provinces to put in execution the laws against those who refused to comply with the public ceremonies of the empire. At Caesarea, during the proclamation and summons from a public roll of names, Apphianus, a young gentle-
man of Lycia, then a scholar of Eusebius, pressed through the crowd, and caught hold of the hand of Urbanus the governor, so that he dropped his sacrifice, gravely reproving him at the same time for these impieties." He was immediately apprehended, and put to the severest tortures, and thrown half dead into the sea. His brother Aedesius, for a similar fact, "suffered the same kind of martyrdom at Alexandria, and almost at the same time; not to mention innumerable others who gloriously ended their lives."
Yet the resignation of Maximian occasioned a cessation of the persecution in Italy, Spain, Africa, and their vicinity; after two years continuance.—This encouraged the bishops and clergy to assemble to consider the measures most advisable to be adopted for receiving those who had shrunk from their profession in the day of trial, and those who had surrendered their bibles and the consecrated or appropriated vessels of the church. But the persecution continued to rage in Egypt, and Peter, bishop of Alexandria, published an excellent canonical epistle, containing many temperate and charitable rules for penance on the one hand, and indulgence on the other, as relating to the various classes of those who had lapsed. How the young Constantine, the son of Constantius, escaped from the court of Galerius, where he was kept as a hostage for his father's fidelity, is foreign to our history; he happily arrived at York, in the island of Britain, where his father lay in a weak and feeble condition, beyond all recovery. Debilitated as he was, he received the young Constantine with raptures, to which his weakness little corresponded, and declared him emperor, particularly recommending the poor Christians to his pity and compassion. His first public act, after being joyfully received as emperor of the West, was to give the free liberty of religion to the Christians. Maximian, who had been forced to abdicate the government under Dioclesian, to avoid a civil war, availed himself of the usurpation of Maxentius, at Rome, who had caused himself to be declared emperor, in apposition to Constantine; an act, which was not less hostile to the disposition of Galerius. He soon reduced Maxentius, but still had reason to dread Galerius, especially if he should +++++ with Maximin. Having fortified Rome, he visited Gaul, and, to strengthen his interest gave his youngest daughter Fausta in marriage to Constantine. Galerius came against them, as Maximian had foreseen; but his soldiers, disliking this unnatural war, as they approached Rome, began to desert, and to convince him of his danger. He was, therefore, compelled to retreat; and Maxentius, who had before manifested some signs of compassion for the Christians, upon this success became insolent both to them and his other subjects, which soon increased to an Intolerable tyranny. Severus raised an army against Maximian also, but was soon defeated and reduced to submission, though he was afterwards bled to death; but Maxintius maintained his usurpation in Rome and Italy, by means of his army, for six years, though he soon lost Africa to another usurper of the name of Alexander.
Though Maximian had a share of the empire with Maxentius, that did not satisfy his restless mind. By his manoeuvres [manoeuvers] he caused great mischiefs among the Praetorian soldiers, and he was ignominiously compelled to leave Rome. The artifices of his visit to Galerius, the appointment of a new Caesar in the place of Severus, and the resolute opposition of Maximin in the East against the appointment of Licinius, are somewhat beside our purpose; but the result was, that Galerius first abolished the title of Caesar, and declared himself and Licinius the proper emperors, that Maxentius and Constantine had first the title of sons of the emperors, that Maximin boldly assumed the title of Augustus, and that Constantine and Maxentius soon after received the same title.
Maximin speedily discovered his tyranny, after this manifestation of his ambition, following the steps of Maxentius, at Rome, but surpassing him in impieties. From his excessive superstition, he more severely persecuted, than even his predecessors. In the celebration of his birthday at Caesarea, the Christians were made to share in the triumphs of the day: and therefore, "Agapias, who had before been sentenced to the wild beasts, was brought into the ampitheatre, and, being invincible to all persuasions, was delivered to the mercy of a she bear, which only left him so much life, as to be able to survive till the next day, when, with stones tied to his feet, he was thrown into the sea. Not long after, Eusebius' dear friend, Pamphilus, was apprehended & brought before Urbanus, the pres't who endeavored to turn him by all the arts of
insinuation and terror, but in vain; for the martyr was immovable, and resolutely despised his threatenings. This so enraged the governor that he commanded him to be put to the acutest tortures: and when they had more than once raked his sides, and torn off his flesh with iron pincers, he was sent to keep company with the other confessors in prison, the governor himself being immediately after disgracefully displaced, and condemned to death by the emperor." During an imprisonment of two years, he was constantly visited by his friend Eusebius, and they employed their time to the most useful purposes. They had before published the Greek translation of the Septuagint, from Origen's Hexapias, for the use of the Palestine churches; and they now composed an elaborate apology, to vindicate Origen from those rude censures and reflections, which the indiscreet zeal of some had cast upon his memory.
The persecution still continued in the East, where Maximin issued new edicts in every province, ordering the idol temples to be repaired, compelling all persons to do sacrifice, and forcing them to eat part of the flesh which was offered. It was likewise directed, that all provisions exposed for sale in the markets should be defiled with things which had been sacrificed: and by these means the miseries of the Christians became so prodigious, that many of the Pagans, themselves condemned the emperor's barbarities, and the cruelties of his officers. Eusebius has given a particular account of the intolerable cruelties practiced in Palestine by Firlnilian, the successor of Urbanus, and of the martyrdom of two virgins and many others; for which the stones and senseless matter miraculously wept, to reprove the barbarous disposition of men. In the following year Pamphilius, over two years' imprisonment, was brought forward, and, still persevering, was condemned, together with his companions. His servant Porphyrius requested that the bodies might be decently buried; but the tormentors were directed to torture him by every device.—They raked off his flesh, until they had laid open the inward recesses of his body, which he bore with invincible patience, though no more than eighteen years of age, being a youth of good parts and learning. He was afterwards "ordered to be burnt in a slow fire, and sucked in the flames at a distance, entertaining his friends in the midst of his torments with a most serene undisturbed mind," till his soul departed from his body: and such was the rage and malice of their persecutors, that their dead bodies were exposed as a prey to wild beasts, under a military guard. Yet neither birds nor beasts would come near them; and their friends were at length permitted decently to inter them.
It was no longer advisable for Eusebius to remain, and therefore he prudently retired from Caesarea into Egypt. Yet the persecution there, especially about Thebais, raged with increased violence. The most deplorable spectacles were there daily exhibited: the numbers executed blunted the very edges of the Pagan swords. The tormentors were tired out, though they relived one another. The constancy of the martyrs, however, was unshaken; and the sentence of one only had the effect of the advance of others to confess themselves Christians at the tribunal. He was at length cast into prison; but how long he remained there, or by what means he was delivered is no where related. Even Rome was not exempt from persecution, though the western parts were generally peaceable. The tyrant Maxentius not only oppressed the Christians, but condemned Marcellus, bishop of that city, to keep beasts in a stable, and then banished him. Eusebius, son of a Grecian physician, was appointed about seven months after, and in about four or five months also suffered under this tyrant. Soon after this the persecution abated in the middle parts of the empire, as well as in the west: and Providence at length began to manifest vengeance on the persecutor. Maximian endeavored to corrupt his daughter Fausta to murder Constantine her husband: which she discovered, and Constantine forced him to choose his own death, when he preferred the ignominious death of hanging, after being an emperor near twenty years.
Galerius was visited by an incurable and intolerable disease, which began with an ulcer in his secret parts and a fistula in ano, that spread progressively to his inmost bowels, and baffled all the skill of physicians and surgeons. Untried medicines of some daring professors drove the evil through his bones to the very marrow, and worms began to breed in his entrails; and the stench was so preponderant as to be perceived in the city, all the passages separating the passages of the urine and excrements being corroded and destroyed. The whole mass of his body was turned into universal rottenness; and, though living creatures, and boiled animals, were applied with the design of drawing out the vermin by the heat, by which a vast hive was opened, a second imposthum discovered a most prodigious swarm, as if his whole body was resolved into worms. By a dropsy also his body was grossly disfigured: for although his upper parts were exhausted, and dried to a skeleton, covered only with dead skin, the lower parts were swelled up like bladders, and the shape of his feet could scarcely be perceived. Torments and pains insupportable, greater than those he had inflicted upon the Christians, accompanied these visitations, and he bellowed out like a wounded bull, often endeavoring to kill himself, and destroying several physicians for the inefficiency of their medicines. These torments kept him in a languishing state a full year; and his conscience was awakened, at length, so that he was compelled to acknowledge the God of the Christians, and to promise, in the intervals of his paroxysms, that he would rebuild the churches, and repair the mischiefs done to them. An edict, in his last agonies, was published in his name, and the joint names of Constantine and Licinius, to permit the Christians to have the free use of their religion, and to supplicate their God for his health and the good of the empire on which many prisoners in Nicomedia were liberated, and amongst others Donatus. He soon after committed his wife and son to the care of Licinius; and at his death appointed Constantine emperor of Gaul, Spain, Britain, and Germany; Licinius his successor in Illyricum, Greece, and Asia Minor; Maximin had been named Caesar, and since that emperor of Egypt and the East: and Maxentius, though an usurper, but since called emperor of Italy and Africa, notwithstanding the pos-
session of the latter by Alexander, another usurper.
The high council in Kirtland have withdrawn their fellowship from Elder Phineas H. Young, until he returns to this place and makes ample satisfaction for a public offence. By order of the council.
W. PARRISH. Clerk.
Kirtland, August 17, 1835.
*** This number of the Messenger and Advocate has been delayed beyond the ordinary time of publication, on account of finishing the printing of the Doctrine and Covenants. The next number we hope to issue in season. The re-printed Star will now continue till the whole are published. We are not in the habit of making excuses, but consider it our duty to inform the saints why things were as they are:—that they might know our labors were unabated towards building up the great cause of our Savior, that Zion may be redeemed, and all Israel saved.
DIED in this town on Tuesday, (the 1st of Sept.) after a lingering illness of over two years, MARY, consort of Isaac Hill, aged 29 years and six months.
IN Clay Co. Mo. Sept. last, SOLOMON HUMPHREY, aged about 56 years. He was an elder in the church of Latter day Saints, and had done much good in the cause of our Lord.
"Praise ye the Lord."
BY MISS ELIZA S.
Great is the Lord: 'tis good to praise
His high and holy name:
Well may the saints in latter days
His wondrous love proclaim.
To praise him let us all engage,
That unto us is giv'n:
To live in this momentous age,
And share the light of heav'n.
We'll praise him for our happy lot,
On this much favored land;
Where truth, and righteousness are taught,
By his divine command.
We'll praise him for more glorious things,
That language can express,
The "everlasting gospel" brings,
The humble souls to bless.
The Comforter is sent again,
His pow'r the church attends;
And with the faithful will remain
Till Jesus Christ descends.
We'll praise him for a prophet's voice,
His people's steps to guide:
In this, we do and will rejoice,
Tho' all the world deride.
Praise him, the time, the chosen time,
To favor Zion's come:
And all the saints, from ev'ry clime,
Will soon be gathered home,
The op'ning seals announce the day,
By prophets long declar'd;
When all, in one triumphant lay,
Will join to praise the Lord.
BY W. W. P.
Come let us sing an evening hymn
To calm our minds for rest,
And each one try, with single eye,
To praise the Savior best.
Yea, let us sing a sacred song
To close the passing day:
With one accord, call on the Lord,
And ever Watch and Pray.
O thank the Lord for grace and gifts
Renew'd in latter days;
For truth and light, to guide us right,
In wisdom's pleasant ways.
For ev'ry line we have receiv'd
To turn our hearts above:
For ev'ry word, and ev'ry good,
That's fill'd our souls with love.
O let us raise a holier strain,
For blessings great as ours,
And be prepar'd, while angels guard
Us through our slumb'ring hours.
O may we sleep and wake in joy,
While life with us remains;
And then go home, beyond the tomb,
Where peace forever reigns.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|IS EDITED BY|
|And published every month at Kirtland, Geauga Co. Ohio, by|
|F. G. Williams & Co.|
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