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Messenger and Advocate/2/7
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 2, Number 7
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2
|Number 6||Number 8|
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 2, Number 7
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume II. No. 7.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, APRIL, 1836.||[Whole No. 19.|
For the Messenger and Advocate
BROTHER O. COWDERY:
Dear Sir—This place having recently been visited by a gentleman who advocated the principles or doctrines of those who are called abolitionists; if you deem the following reflections of any service, or think they will have a tendency to correct the opinions of the southern public, relative to the views and sentiments I believe, as an individual, and am able to say, from personal knowledge, are the feelings of others, you are at liberty to give them publicity in the columns of the Advocate. I am prompted to this course in consequence, in one respect, of many elders having gone into the Southern States, besides, there now being many in that country who have already embraced the fulness of the gospel, as revealed through the book of Mormon,—having learned, by experience, that the enemy of truth does not slumber nor cease his exertions to bias the minds of communities against the servants of the Lord, by stir[r]ing up the indignation of men upon all matters of importance or interest.
Thinking, perhaps, that the sound might go out, that "an abolitionist" had held forth several times to this community, and that the public feeling was not aroused to create mobs or disturbances, leaving the impression that all he said was concurred in, and received as gospel and the word of salvation. I am happy to say, that no violence or breach of the public peace was attempted, so far from this, that all except a very few, attended to their own avocations and left the gentleman to hold forth his own arguments to nearly naked walls.
I am aware, that many who profess to preach the gospel, complain against their brethren of the same faith, who reside in the south, and are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship because they will not renounce the principle of slavery and raise their voice against every thing of the kind. This must be a tender point, and one which should call forth the candid reflection of all men and especially before they advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fall States of the South, and set loose, upon the world a community of people who might peradventure, overrun our country and violate the most sacred principles of human society, chastity and virtue.
No one will pretend to say, that the people of the free states are as capable of knowing the evils of slavery as those who hold them. If slavery is an evil, who, could we expect, would first learn it? Would the people of the free states, or would the slave states? All must readily admit, that the latter would first learn this fact. If the fact was learned first by those immediately concerned, who would be more capable than they of prescribing a remedy?
And besides, are not those who hold slaves, persons of ability, discernment and candor? Do they not expect to give an account at the bar of God for their conduct in this life? It may, no doubt, with propriety be said, that many who hold slaves live without the fear of God before their eyes, and, and same may be said of many in the free states. Then who is to be the judge in this matter?
So long, then, as those of the free states are not interested in the freedom of the slaves, any other than upon the mere principles of equal rights and of the gospel, and are ready to admit that there are men of piety who reside in the South, who are immediately concerned, and until they complain, and call for assistance, why not cease their clamor, and no further urge the slave to acts of murder, and the master to vigorous discipline, rendering both miserable, and unprepared to pursue that course which might otherwise lead them both to better their condition? I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall.
And further, what benefit will it ever be to the slave for persons to run over the free states, and excite indignation against their masters in the minds of thousands and tons of thousands who understand nothing relative
to their circumstances or conditions? I mean particularly those who have never travelled in the South, and scarcely seen a negro in all their life. How any community can ever be excited with the chatter of such persons—boys and others who are too indolent to obtain their living by honest industry, and are incapable of pursuing any occupation of a professional nature, is unaccountable to me. And when I see persons in the free states signing documents against slavery, it is no less, in my mind, than an array of influence, and a declaration of hostilities against the people of the South! What can divide our Union sooner, God only knows!
After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt but those who have been forward in raising their voice against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling and unkind—wholly unacquainted with the gospel of Christ. It is my privilege then, to name certain passages from the bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon this nature, as the fact is uncontrovertable, that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation and walked with God. And so far from that prediction's being averse from the mind of God it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude!
"And he said cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem and Canaan shall be his servant."—Gen. 8:25, 26, 27.
Trace the history of the world from this notable event down to this day, and you will find the fulfilment of this singular prophecy. What could have been the design of the Almighty in this wonderful occurrence is not for me to say; but I can say that the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the decrees and purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before him; and those who are determined to pursue a course which shows an opposition and a feverish restlessness against the designs of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do his own work without the aid of those who are not dictate by his counsel.
I must not pass over a notice of the history of Abraham of whom so much is spoken in the scriptures. If we can credit the account, God conversed with him from time to time, and directed him in the way he should walk saying, "I am the Almighty God: walk before me and be thou perfect." Paul says that the gospel was preached to this man. And it is further said, that he had sheep and oxen, men servants and maid—servants, &c. From this I conclude, that if the principle had been an evil one, in the midst of the communications made to this holy man, he would have been instructed differently. And if he was instructed against holding men—servants and maid—servants, he never ceased to do it; consequently must have incurred the displeasures of the Lord and thereby lost his blessings—which was not the fact.
Some may urge, that the names, man—servant and maid—servant, only mean hired persons who were at liberty to leave their masters or employers at any time. But we can easily settle this point by turning to the history of Abraham's descendants, when governed by a law given from the mouth of the Lord himself. I know that when an Israelite had been brought into servitude in consequence of debt or otherwise, at the seventh year he went from the task of his former master or employer; but to no other people or nation was this granted in the law to Israel. And if, after a man had served six years, he did not wish to be free, then the master was to bring him unto the judges, boar his ear with an awl, and that man was "to serve him forever." The conclusion I draw from this, is that this people were led and governed by revelation and if such a law was wrong God only is to be blamed, and abolitionists are not responsible.
Now, before proceeding any farther, I wish to ask one or two questions:—Were the apostles men of God, and did they preach the gospel? I have no
doubt but those who believe the bible will admit these facts, and that they also knew the mind and will of God concerning what they wrote to the churches which they were instrumental in building up.
This being admitted, the matter can be put to rest without much argument, if we look at a few items in the New Testament. Paul says:
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ: Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart: With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. Knowing that whatsoever good thing may man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him." Eph. 6:5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Here is a lesson which might be profitable for all to learn, and the principle upon which the church was anciently governed, is so plainly set forth, that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here, certainly are represented the master and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord: the master in turn is required to treat them with kindness before God, understanding at the same time that he is to give an account.—The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of having servants.
The same writer, in his first epistle to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the five first verses, says:
"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness: he is proud, knowing nothing but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is Godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
This is so perfectly plain, that I see no need of comment. The scripture stands for itself, and I believe that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God, than all the abolitionists in the world.
Before closing this communication, I beg leave to drop a word to the travelling elders: You know, brethren, that great responsibility rests upon you, and that you are accountable to God for all you teach the world. In my opinion, you will do well to search the book of Covenant, in which you will see the belief of the church concerning masters and servants. All men are to be taught to repent; but we have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind and will of their masters. In fact, it would be much better and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted: and then, teach the master to use them with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God, and that servants are bound to serve their master, with singleness of heart, without murmuring I do, most sincerely hope, that no one who is authorized from this church to preach the gospel, will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South. Having spoken frankly and freely, I leave all in the hands of God, who will direct all things for his glory and the accomplishments of his work.
Praying that God may spare you to do much good in this life, I subscribe myself your brother in the Lord.
JOSEPH SMITH, jr.
The following extract of a letter written to a friend in the State of N. Y. may be of some consequence to the numerous readers of the Messenger and advocate: if you think so you are at liberty to insert it in its columns.
DEAR SIR:—Yours of a recent date has been received and read, I trust, with that attention which the nature of the subject requires. Every man has his peculiarities, his peculiar feelings, his peculiar taste, and his mode of reasoning or arriving at conclusions from any premises.—You have yours and I have mine; and without pretending to tell yours, suffice it to say, that I arrive at mine in the following manner. If I am requested to solve a
question in arithmetic, I know there are certain rules, by which, if I proceed, I am sure of a correct result, and inasmuch as I love and value the truth, with just so much intensity of thought and fixedness of purpose I shall pursue that course, that will enable me in the conclusion to arrive at the object of my desire,—If I have no confidence in the rule I shall most assuredly take my own way and when I have gone through with my process and find I have failed, ought I to blame the correct rule, or the author of it, or say that either or both are changed? Certainly not; Again, if I, with all the zeal and energy of my soul, should labor with you to prove that six and four make twelve, how do you think I should succeed? Poorly I trust, poorly you would respond truly. Why, I ask, have I not been sincere and unwearied in my efforts to convince you? Certainly I have. Why then are you not bound to believe me? Your answer will no doubt be ready. My dear friend, I am bound to respect your feelings and treat you with becoming reverence, but I cannot concede to your opinion or your judgment with regard to your operation with the figures. The result of your process was incorrect for the reason, that you applied the wrong rules. Although you labored unremittingly, and seem to be positive in your own mind that you are correct, still, you will say, I do know and can fully prove by a correct process, and strict application of known rules, that six and four, make but just ten, that they do not make twelve nor never did. What then is the difficulty with me? I pretend to believe in just principles and correct rules as much as you do, I certainly have as much anxiety and as much zeal? Your answer will again be ready, My friend, you neither believe me nor the rule I take to arrive at my conclusions, if you did, we should draw like inferences from the same premises, and it would be a clearly demonstrable fact in your mind as it is in mine that six and four make just ten.
You will examine the foregoing remarks and say they are correct and that you never doubted them. Let us look at another subject although equally plain with the simple one I have adduced for a figure, and see if there be not some who, through prejudice or wil[l]ful blindness are not, to say the least, as much in error with regard to the gospel as I have made myself in relation to the subject of figures.—When God said in his holy word, "these signs shall follow them that believe," I receive it as proof positive that he meant just what he said. Now Sir, any operation or any process you may take to bring out a conclusion, if you do not come at the one shown us by inspiration, you will permit me to say to you, it will be as hard for you to convince me that your religion is approbated by the God of heaven, as it was for me to persuade you into the belief that six and four make twelve. You may show me some of the characteristics: So I showed you a part of what was necessary to make up the number twelve, but they actually fell short of it. Just so you must allow me to look upon your religion, in the light of divine truth, the only correct rule, it is a base counterfeit. If the scriptures be our guide such must be the fact; and it is just as useless in my opinion, to blend some good things that obtain at the present day among the different sects with their errors in principle and practice, and call the compound the religion of the bible, as would be the vain attempt to weld iron and clay. Thus you see people do not believe the rule that God has given, all their boasted pretentions to the contrary notwithstanding. It is often boastingly said that, God, our heavenly Father has ceased to reveal himself to the children of men, that the day of miracles has gone by, that the canon of scripture is full. Can you point me to that passage in his word where he has made any such declaration? Can you tell me how the scriptures of the old and new testament are to be fulfilled without miracles and without revelation from heaven, do enlighten my mind on this subject. I read that it shall come to pass in the last days that God shall pour out his spirit upon all flesh, some will see visions, others all flesh, some will see vision, others dream dreams, and other still will prophesy. These, you know, were anciently the effects of the true gospel, you will recollect there was a little specimen of it on the day of pentecost, which virtually continued while the
church was led by revelation. Do you think if the Lord should lead a people as he led his church in the days of the apostles, there would be more than one faith or one mode of baptism. Certainly not,—Then is it not an argument, strong and conclusive, that God has no respect for the doctrines, commandments and precepts of the professing christian world. This generation is not blameable because their fathers lost the power and authority to hold intercourse with heaven. They come under condemnation for resisting authority (the priesthood) now that he has given it again. It is worse than useless for the different religious sects of this generation to pretend to the least vestige of authority to administer in holy things, that is not mere assumption to come down to them through the mother of abominations.
You must be aware, Sir, from but even a cursory view of this subject, that if the mother church had any authority that was of divine origin, she was sure to divest her dissenting members of any. Not only so, but they were treated as heretics and outlaws. Now you know they were anciently made ministers and clothed with authority to act in that high and holy calling, in a certain way; they were witnesses of Jesus and required to bear testimony in his name. They could truly say that flesh and blood had not revealed it to them. The religion they preached, and urged upon their auditors, was truly the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believed and obeyed its mandates. Just so I believe the religion of heaven always was and always will be. It is vain to tell me this power was confined to the apostles, unless you convince me the gospel was confined to them, for it is abundantly evident that those who embraced the gospel from their preaching participated in the same power, the power of God. Any thing short of this, is not the power of God unto salvation consequently it is not then the gospel, and if it be not the gospel, will it save men? I pause for a reply. But I am aware you will say that the religion of the professing christian world, saves men from vice, and makes them love God and one another: to which I reply, I fear many are awfully deceived, even in those two points. If they love God they will keep his commandments, and if they keep his commandments they know it and they know they please him. You know the scripture says he [the Lord] is no respecter of persons. Then it is clear as the noon day sun, that in order to please him we must obey him in all things, and if we obey him we certainly embrace the gospel, and if we have that in its fulness, we have the power of God unto salvation. Any thing short of this cannot be the true gospel however nearly it may resemble it.
Try all the rules you please and six and four will never make twelve, nor will seven eighths of an integer, even of the true parts, constitute the whole. The whole is equal to all the parts, and all the parts are but just equivalent to the whole. You have too much good sense not to see, Sir, that the sectarian world have lost all their authority to administer in any of the ordinances of his house, all they have is assumed, and you have as much divine right to officiate in any of them as they have. Tell me nothing about their goodness, their piety or their purity. Do you think they are really any better than Cornelius was before Peter baptized him? He had that power with God, and so far pleased him that an angel was sent to converse with him and instruct him.—What was the subject of communication to him? Here mark the direction given by this messenger of heaven.—"Send men to Joppa and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, he lodgeth with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea-side; he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do."
Now, Sir, for a moment examine this subject in the light of reason and revelation. If Cornelius could have been saved without complying with the requisitions of the gospel as preached by Peter, then the Lord required something unnecessary. And again if Cornelius could be saved without those things required in the gospel another man can be, and if another man can be, all men can be. If all men can be, then it necessarily follows that the gospel is unnecessary, and if it be unnecessary the wisdom of the author of it stands impeached, and we cannot avoid it.
Yours truly, W
To the Editor of the Messenger.
DEAR BROTHER:—Happening a few days since to take up the "Ohio Atlas" of the 26th inst. my eye caught an article in the shape of an anonymous letter to the Editor, dated Painesville, March 16,—from which, if you please, I beg leave to make some extracts accompanied with such remarks as I may deem proper.
The writer, in speaking of the church of "Latter Day Saints" vulgarly styled "Mormons," at this place, commences his tirade, by saying:—"I have been to Kirtland, and witnessed the operations of that most deluded set of visionaries, that our land, or any other enlightened land has ever witnessed." You will see, that he is positive in his assertion, and does not rest with giving a conjecture, or a maybe—so, that we are a "deluded set of visionaries." Noah Webster says, that the word "deluded" means deceived, misled, disappointed:—Now, if, to believe in the existence of a God, and that that same God gave his only begotten Son, to be sacrificed as a propitiation or atonement for the sins of the whole world, even as many as believed on him; to follow the precepts and commandments of the Almighty, as laid down in the old and new testament, for the government of his creatures; to throw aside the creeds and dogmas of men; to follow the preachings of the Apostles of our Lord and Savior; going as the Apostles did, into all the world, warning our fellow men, to "repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins;" to live uprightly, walk humbly before God, and to deal justly, love mercy, exercise faith toward our heavenly Father, and clarity to man, and in short "doing to others as you would be done by," constitutes a deluded people, then am I, for one, ready to plead guilty, and suffer myself to be made a hiss and a by-word for this generation, but until I am convinced of this, I must beg leave to differ with the gentleman, if such he can be called.
Again he says:—"I have no doubt that Jo Smith's character is an equal compound of the imposter [impostor] and fanatic, and that Rigdon has but a small spice of the latter, with an extraordinary portion of the former:"—I am aware that any thing I can say in vindication of the characters of these brethren, will be entirely superfluous where they are personally known, but to those who have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with them, I would say, that the above quoted assertion is false from beginning to end, and could not have come from a heart instigated by any other than an evil spirit. And in support of this position I would be willing, for the sake of truth, to compare their private and public character with that of the Painesville writer, or any of his brethren of lying, backbiting, and villification notoriety.
Again he says:—"None of them appear to be within the reach of argument on the subject of religion." This the writer knew, (if he knew any thing about the church,) was not true—so far from it, that wherever our Elders have travelled abroad they have at all times, been ready, God giving them his Spirit, to stand up boldly, in defence of the religion they profess; and even "beardless boys," among them, have been able to confound the Priests of this generation, who were considered by their followers, well versed in the scriptures, and filled with all the wisdom and learning of the world; for the servants of Heaven put their trust in Him, who has said, that, no weapon raised against his gospel should prosper. And so it always will be in spite of men or devils.
Again.—"They, [the "Mormons"] say, and they are probably not far from the truth, that their numbers in the United States amount to 45,000." This is but equal to the rest of the writers' assertions;—I do not believe that ever any member of the church of Latter Day Saints gave him such information:—It is true, we are as yet but few in numbers; but the Lord has set his hand to work in these last days, and he has said that his work should roll forth, until he would gather in all the honest in heart, and they should become a great and mighty nation, until all the righteous should be separated from the wicked, and they that fear not God and keep his commandments, should be cut down and burnt as stubble;—and when did God ever lie?
We would warn the Painesville writer and all others who do like him, to speedily repent and obey the everlasting gospel, ere it be too late; for
God has said, I the Lord am not to be mocked in these last days: For the day speedily cometh when I will send my angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire.
I might follow this redoubtable scribbler in the Atlas through his entire communication, but the whole of it being about on a par with that already quoted, I will close with the following: "Their temple at Kirtland is a huge mis-shapen edifice."—The writer's judgment in regard to this building must have been warped as much as his views in relation to all other matters connected with the society. For it has been acknowledged by men of skill and taste in the science of architecture to be a building superior in structure and finish to almost any other in the Union. And to all who do not wish to take my word for it, I would say, visit Kirtland and view not only the "House of the Lord," but become acquainted with the society here as well as the doctrines and principles held to and taught; and if they do not go from us divested of that rancor and prejudice so much entertained against us, then I will acknowledge that I am no judge of human nature, nor of the feelings that should actuate high minded and honorable men.
Brother, I have done,—and if you think the foregoing worthy of an insertion in your useful and widely circulated paper, you will confer a favor by giving it a place in the same.
Hoping that the Lord will be merciful to us all, and at last save us in his Celestial Kingdom, I subscribe myself as ever, your brother in the Lord.
For the Messenger and Advocate.
Not long since a gentleman of the Presbyterian faith came to this town (Kirtland) and proposed to lecture upon the abolition question. Knowing that there was a large branch of the church of Latter Day Saints in this place, who, as a people, are liberal in our sentiments; he no doubt anticipated great success in establishing his doctrine among us. But in this he was mistaken. The doctrine of Christ and the systems of men are at issue and consequently will not harmonize together.
However, with the assistance of some few others, who possessed congenial spirits, he succeeded in getting a hearing, and after holding several meetings we are informed that he established an abolition society in this vicinity. We indeed profess to be liberal, not only in a religious, but in a political point of view; and for this reason we stand aloof from abolition societies. We are liberal in our religious sentiments as far as truth and righteousness will warrant, and no farther. We believe in cultivating the pure principles of the gospel to the extent; and that every man has an undoubted right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience however erroneous his principles may be, and that none should molest or make him afraid.
We also believe that the constitution of these United States, is the best form of government that exists upon the foot stool of God. Our wise legislators who framed it were elected by the voice of the people, and after taking into consideration the general good of this republic have deemed it expedient to guarantee to the Southern States the right of holding slaves;—And we do not feel disposed to rise up in opposition to it. It is their right, and we expect they will be as tenacious of their privileges as we are of ours, and we believe that it is the duty of every individual to submit to the government of that State or Kingdom in which he resides, so long as that government affords him the protection of its laws; and he that will not is an enemy to his country; an enemy to mankind, and an enemy to that God who teaches us to pay due deference and respect to magistrates, and rulers, and to be in subjection to the powers that be.
And although political demagogues, and religious fanatics, in their blind zeal, may bustle and rage, and compass sea and land with the pretention to meilorate [meliorate] the condition of Ham's descendants, yet God's curse pronounced by his servant Noah will remain upon them; and Canaan must dwell in the tents of Shem and be his servant until He, who pronounced it shall order it otherwise. And all the abolition societies that now are or ever will be, cannot cause one jot or tittle of the prophecy to fail. The curse that was pronounced upon that people was by the spirit of prophecy, and when the Lord turns away his wrath
and pronounces a blessing upon them he will announce to his servants the prophets that the time has arrived that there is to be no more the Canaanite in the land; and when that time comes all the devils on earth or in hell, cannot prevent it. Here then we rest the matter:—This is the ground on which we stand, this is the position we take in regard to this question. We would therefore be distinctly understood, that we do not countenance the abolition system, nor fellowship those who advocate its principles; and he that would stir up rebellion among the blacks, is an enemy to the well being of society, and instead of bettering their condition is heaping upon them innumerable evils that they would otherwise be strangers to and is indirectly shedding the blood of his fellow-men.
To the Editor of the Messenger and Advocate,
DEAR BROTHER:—Having just returned from a short mission, say about three weeks, in the county of Portage Ohio, I feel disposed to drop you a few lines that you may know something how the cause of truth has prospered in my hands during this short period.
I commenced preaching in the township of Hiram, the place where our beloved brethren, Joseph Smith jr. and Sidney Rigdon were most shamefully beaten, tarred and feathered some three or four years since by the inhabitants of that place and vicinity. Let it here be noted that Hiram stands first on the list of heroes who have waged war against the servants of God with the honorable weapons of clubs, tar and feathers, and you may well suppose that characters thus depraved were not very willing to embrace the truth—yet there are some precious souls in Hiram who have and will own the Savior before men.
After baptizing one in the above place, I went into Mantua and Shalersville where I baptized seven more, also attended meeting in Middlebury, and two more came forward for baptism which was administered by Elder Boosinger.
There is an opportunity of doing much good in those regions, if some faithful laborer would go into that part of the vineyard.
I expect to leave town to-morrow for the purpose of sounding the ram's horn again around Jericho, that her walls may be broken down, but may God bless and spare those who entertain the spies, (or the servants of the Most High.)
The cause of God will roll on in the face of an opposing world, and I cannot but make the expression of the Prophet, saying, "no weapon formed against thee shall prosper." The first weapon raised against the spread of truth, of any consideration in this country, was the wicked and scurrilous pamphlet published by A. Campbell. Next, perhaps, were the letters of E. Booth, and thirdly, Mormonism unveiled written by Mr. E. D Howe, alias. Doct. P. Hulbert.
These were designed severally in their turn for the exposure and overthrow of "Mormonism" as they termed it; but it appears that heaven has not blessed the means which they employed to effect their object, "No weapon raised against it shall prosper."
The writings of the above named persons, I find have no influence in the world at all; for they are not even quoted by opposers, and I believe for no other reason than—that they are ashamed of them.
The servants of God are declaring boldly the counsel of the Most High, as contained in the book of Mormon, the Scriptures and the book of Covenants—Many are repenting and coming to baptism that they may obtain the remission of their sins through faith in the name of Christ.
May the Lord pour out his Spirit upon the Elders abroad, and may the angel of thy presence go before them,—may they be endowed with wisdom and power from on high, to stop the mouths of gainsayers, and to heal the sick, and cast out devils in the name of the Lord.
I am, Sir, Yours
in the Bonds of
the new Covenant,
Kirtland, May 4, 1836.
For the Messenger and Advocate.
Br. O. COWDERY
Sir:—It appears that the notice which I took of Simons Rider in the Messenger and Advocate of January last, has given some offence to him, as according to his usual way of correcting my errors, he has been leveling his shafts at me, at the distance of thirty or forty miles; where he thinks I suppose that he can vent his feelings with safety, as there will be no person to call him to an account for it.
He complains it appears, that I have injured his character to publishing his conduct to the world in your periodical. Now, that he should be ashamed to have his conduct made a public thing is not at all surprising to me; for I should think that would of necessity be the case; for while there are any people who acknowledge him as a public teacher, his conduct is not very credible to him. But what surprises me is, that he should charge me with injuring his character, as he knows that there was nothing said in your paper concerning him but what was strictly true; for he does know most assuredly, that without cause or provocation, he made an unmanly attack as well as an unrighteous one, upon myself, as well as others of the church of the Latter Day Saints.
He attacked both our characters and religion, in public assemblies, and in his public proclaimings; and that at a time, when we had no way of exposing his wickedness: we had no paper through which we could communicate to the world. He availed himself of this our defens[e]less situation, to do all the injury he could, and if possible, to stop the spread of truth; but in this he failed, and when called upon to support his assertions in my presence, he had recourse to slander and abuse: these things Simons knows to be true. Why then complain that I have injured his character, by publishing them to the world? it is the same as to say, that his character cannot stand where truth prevails, and I have no reason that I know of, to doubt it. I am sure his religion cannot stand the test of truth, and he knows it as well as I do, and I expect he things his character is equally as weak, and would fall as easy to prey to the truth as his religion.
How far the charge of dishonesty, can be preferred in truth against Simons Rider, as well as others, of the smaller animals of this species (I mean the Campbellites) remains yet to be made manifest; as they, at present, are under tutors and governors, and not at liberty to think for themselves. For instance, there are A. Bently S. Rider as well as others, who at present are not at liberty to think for themselves; but must think as A. Campbell, and W. Scott think. They are not at liberty to believe what the bible says, unless they first find it in the Evangelist, or Harbinger, and then, and not till then dare they believe it; but if they find it in the Evangelist, or Harbinger, it matters not whether it is in the bible or whether it is not in it, of course, in their estimation it is true; because brother Campbell, or brother Scott, has said it, that is enough: bible or no bible.
We feel in the mean time at liberty to say, that we have all the evidence necessary to satisfy our mind, that Messrs. Campbell, and Scott, the leaders of that brotherhood, are not honest in their religion: they are men who think and act for themselves, independently, and they do know, that the same Jesus who said to his disciples "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." Also said "That signs shall follow them that believe &c.
Now that Messrs. Bently, Rider and others, should not know this is not surprising, because they never saw it, in either the harbinger, or evangelist and not having seen it there, of course could not say whether it was in any other place or not. But Messrs. Campbell and Scott, are not thus tram[m]eled: they know it is there, and they do know also, that they have the same authority for saying "these signs shall follow them that believe" that they have to say unto the people believe and be baptized, that is, they have the authority of Jesus Christ for both; delivered at the same time, to the same people, and on the same occasion; and of equal truth, and duration. We are not afraid of a contradiction in truth, when we say, we know that Messrs. Campbell and Scott know these things; and the greater share for them, as
keep such men as Simons Rider, and A. Bently, held in bondage, whose minds are too limited to exercise one independent thought for themselves, and only think as they are permitted by their masters.
They do know too, that the same Peter who said "Repent and be baptized every one of your in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and said, it consisted in dreaming dreams, and seeing visions, prophesying, &c., and that Peter made that promise to all that were afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
These things they do know, because they read for themselves, and think for themselves, and are not under bondage to any man, therefore, they have no excuse for their sin, neither cloak for it: all the excuse which can be pled for them is, that the God of this world has blinded their minds, so that when they see a thing, and know it, they will not confess it; for such there is a day of judgment, when their injustice will come up in remembrance before the Lord, and if there is one place in hell hotter than another, or where the torment is great than another, it is surely had in reserve for such men.
Some excuse can be pled for Presbyterians, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalians, &c. for they profess to be governed not by the bible, but by their respective creeds and confession; against which Messrs Campbell and Scott have spoken with great freedom, denouncing them as heretical in the extreme, and offering in the most positive manner, that the bible, and the bible only, should be our creed, and by that alone we should be governed for rations, deny that which is written as with a sun-beam on almost every page of it, and profess to believe and try to establish an order of things (which by the by he will never accomplish) that is no where found in it.
After generations will rise up and instead of calling them blessed, will view all their labor, and toils in a light less favorable, than they do the crusaders, the missionary projects of the day: yes, worse than the veriest follies of any age.
The scheme of Messrs. Campbell and Scott is the most barefaced and impudent imposition ever attempted to be pawned on any generation, and those who are stupid enough to continue to follow them, will cast a shade upon the character of this generation as long as the name of it is known among the living.
These gentlemen surely have the right to investigate the religion of the bible, but after the principles of it have all been fairly brought to light to call them the barest of impositions, and those servants of God whom he called to this work for the world, fanatics, and impostors, when they do know that those who they thus denounce are contending for the pure principles of the bible, and for that only; and all this because God understood the base corruption of their hearts, did not choose them to be among the honored ones into whose hands the kingdom should be delivered in the last days; but saw proper to choose those whom he knew to be more righteous than they. If it were to be asked why did not the Lord choose Messrs. Campbell and Scott, to lay the foundation of his work in the last days? the answer would be, that God who knows the hearts of all living, knew that they were corrupt to the very core, and destitute of that nobleness of soul which would entitle them to this honor, and because God saw proper thus to reject their sacrifice, as he did Cain's they thought to destroy those on whom God conferred this high honor, (for their honor is truly of man, but not of God) thus proving that they were of the same spirit of Cain, and only lacked in power or else they would have done as he did.
I would call on them now to reflect for a moment on the situation in which they have placed themselves, by reason of their great desire to destroy the saints. Let them look at him who catered lies for them, I mean old Clapp of Mantor, who has sunk into everlasting disgrace, and dragged his family with him because it is a just judgment of God on them for their iniquity.
Would God have suffered a righteous family to have been thus disgraced. I answer nay their very shame rises up and cries against them, and will tell their iniquities to all generations; and why? because they sought
to disgrace the saints, and God has disgraced them, or he has permitted them to be disgraced to their latest generations; for the scandal of their progenitor will be entailed upon them for a patrimony until the race is blotted out from under heaven.
This man Clapp, was the coadjutor of Messrs. Campbell and Scott, he was there fellow laborer in the persecution, and as such they are justly entitled to a share in his disgrace, and that of his family, which is a token of the righteous judgment of God. "For it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you" 2 Thessalonians 1:6, says Paul to the saints.
If Messrs Campbell and Scott were to consider for but a moment, they could not avoid seeing, that they had espoused a bad cause, and were leagued with adulterers, and of the same spirit. Were they not the same spirit of old Clapp? let them ask themselves and see?
Did old Clapp persecute the saints? So did they. Did he slander them? So did they. Did he exert himself to give credibility to a book of falsehoods? So did they. Are not they then of the same spirit with him? Surely, as face answereth to face in water, so does their conduct and his correspond with each other.
But all their attempts have been vain: their shame is rolling back on their own heads, while the word of God grows and multiplies, and the multitude of the saints increase greatly, and are edified together. And well may the saints rejoice; for the Lord he is their God, and their maker is their husband; and their Redeemer, the holy one of Israel.
This may certify that Elder Hiram Stratten, from whom fellowship was withdrawn by the first Seventy, in December last, has returned and made full satisfaction to the Presidents of the Seventies, and is restored to fellowship.
Kirtland. May 2, 1836.
Clerk for the Pres. of the Seventy.
Messenger and Advocate
Kirtland, Ohio, April, 1836.
We particularly invite the attention of our readers to those communications upon the subject of Slavery. We have long looked upon this as a matter of deep moment involving the dearest interests of a powerful, a wealthy, a free and happy republic. No one can appreciate more highly than ourself the freedom of speech, the liberty of conscience, and the liberty of the press.—Most sincerely do we believe ours to be one of the most happy forms of government ever established by men. But to see it distracted and rent to the center with local questions—questions which cannot be discussed without the sacrifice of human blood, calls forth the feelings and sympathy of every Christian heart.
There is no disposition in us to abridge the privilege of free discussion—far from this; but we wonder at the folly of men who push this important subject before communities, who are wholly unprepared to judge of its merits, or demerits, and call for public sentiment before the opposite side of the matter has been touched.
If those who run through the free states, exciting their indignation against our brothers of the South, feel so much sympathy and kindness towards the blacks, were to go to the southern states, where the alleged evil exists, and warn those who are guilty of these enormous crimes, to repent and turn from their wickedness, or would purchase the slaves and then set them at liberty, we should have no objections to this provided they would place them upon some other continent than ours. Then we should begin to believe they were acting honestly; but till something of this is manifested, we shall think otherwise.
What benefit can the slave derive from the long harangues and discussions held in the north? Certainly the people of the north have no legal right to interfere with the property of the south, neither have they a right to say they shall, or shall not, hold slaves. These states were admitted into the Union with the privilege of forming their own state governments; besides if they were not disposed, they
are in no situation to let their slaves loose. If the evil is on them it was brought on them by the acts of their fathers, and endure it they must. But so long as they do not complain, why should we? If we dislike slavery we are free from it and are in no danger of being afflicted with it. If they are satisfied with it, it is their right as governments, and any interference with them on the subject, so as to endanger their lives, can have its origin from no other source than from such as seek the overthrow and dissolution of our government.
Where can be the common sense of any wishing to see the slaves of the south set at liberty, is past our comprehension. Such a thing could not take place without corrupting all civil and wholesome society, of both the north and the south! Let the blacks of the south be free, and our community is overrun with paupers, and a reckless mass of human beings, uncultivated, untaught and unaccustomed to provide for themselves the necessaries of life—endangering the chastity of every female who might by chance be found in our streets—our prisons filled with convicts, and the hang-man wearied with executing the functions of his office! This must unavoidably be the case, every rational man must admit, who have ever travelled in the slave states, or we must open our houses, unfold our arms, and bid these degraded and degrading sons of Canaan, a hearty welcome and a free admittance to all we possess! A society of this nature, to us, is so intolerably degrading, that the bare reflection causes our feelings to recoil, and our hearts to revolt.
We repeat, that we have long looked upon this subject with deep feeling, and till now have remained silent; but for this once we wash our hands of the matter.
We have travelled in the south, and have seen the condition of both master and servant; and without the least disposition to deprive others of their liberty of thinking, we unhesitatingly say that if ever the condition of the slave is bettered, under our present form of government, it must be by converting the master to the faith of the gospel and then teaching him to be kind to his slave. The idea of transportation is folly, the project of emancipation is destructive to our government, and the notion of amalgamation is devilish!—And insensible to feeling must be the heart, and low indeed must be the mind, that would consent for a moment, to see his fair daughter, his sister, or perhaps, his bosom companion, in the embrace of a NEGRO!
We entreat our brethren of the Eastern, the free States, the Canadas, and all, wherever they may be found, not to be surprised or astonished at this step, which we have thus publicly taken: were they acquainted with the present condition of the slave, they would see that they could not be freed, and we enjoy our present, civil and social societies. And further, that this matter cannot be discussed without exciting the feelings of the black population, and cause them to rise, sooner or later, and lay waste and desolate many parts of the Southern country.
This cannot be done without consigning to the dust thousands of human beings. And the bare reflection of being instrumental in causing unprovoked blood to flow, must shock the heart of every saint.
Heretofore we have confined our comments to the principles of the gospel, the restoration of Israel, and matters connected with them, when ever attempting to write for the public eye; but owing to the great increase of the church, as it respects numbers, and the deep anxiety felt by our southern brethren on this subject, we have now simply stated our belief. It is a fact, and one which appeals to our heart with great force, that members of this church resident in the South, have long looked for something from this press, calculated to do away that bitter feeling existing against them, through unfounded jealousy, on the subject of slavery. And we have asked the question, can they look to us and plead for assistance in vain? We answer No. They have our fellowship, they have our prayers, they have our best desires, and if we can give them influence by expressing our sentiments, and thereby enable them to be more beneficial and successful in proclaiming the gospel, we will not withhold. And if our brethren of the free States differ from us, on these principles, we beseech them, in the name of Jesus Christ to withhold, and consider that every step they take to encourage that factious spirit so prevalent in our land,
is not only closing up the way of the gospel in the mouths of the elders, but is, most certainly, endangering the life of every man who embraces it in the south.
We speak as an individual and as a man in this manner. Our strong feeling for liberty, and prejudice against the south, in consequence of education, at a former period, would have urged us, perhaps, to pursue another course; but after examining this matter seriously, and looking at its principles from the scriptures, as well as being some what prepared to judge from an actual experiance [experience] in the south, we again repeat, that the condition of the slave cannot be bettered other than by converting the master to the faith of the gospel.
It was an inhuman thing to tear a people of another color from their friends and homes, and bring them to a strange land, and cause them to endure the toils of servitude; and that which was done by a few ship's loads by our fathers, has now involved us, their children, in trouble and difficulty; but, I am more inclined to take the garment upon my shoulders and walk backward, and cover their folly, than expose them further to shame, or laugh at their conduct. They have done as they have—we are not accountable for their conduct—they have long since fled to be here no more: and why disgrace ourselves by contending about that that we cannot better by contention, at the same time involving ourselves in everlasting ruin?
There is a strange mysteriousness over the face of the scripture with regard to servitude. The fourth son of ham was cursed by Noah, and to this day we may look upon the fulfilment of that singular thing. When it will be removed we know not, and where he now remains in bondage, remain he must till the hand of God interposes. As to this nation his face is inevitably sealed, so long as this form of government exists.
From what we have said, let no one charge us with inhumanity—it is for the cause of humanity we have thus freely written. It is the good of all men we desire, and for their salvation we labor, and for a long time have labored, night and day; and what further remains in our power to do, shall as freely and faithfully be done.
Let those who may be disposed to differ from us take the trouble to examine the gospel, as taught by the ancient apostles; let them follow their instructions to the different churches, raised up through their instrumentality; let them look with a feeling eye to our brethren of the south, and contemplate the flow of human blood, occasioned by an unjust excitement; let them ask that God before whom they must stand in judgment, if they are justified in leading on a dissolution of this Union and piercing the hearts of millions with the weapons of death, to gratify a vain ambition; let them examine the prophets, and see if the children of Israel will not, when they return, "lay their hand upon Edom and Moab, and cause the children of Ammon to obey them;" if they will not "take them captives whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors," and then let them look into that law which was thundered from Sinai, the fundamental principles of which govern the civilized nations of the earth, and if after this, they differ from us, it may be a matter between them and Jehovah,—our governments are unspotted!
In this matter we consider we have spoken in behalf of the slave, as well as the slave holder. It has not been a thing of hasty conclusion; but deliberately and carefully examined, and we are sensible, if there are any who believe the gospel as we, and differ from us in point of national government, and would take the pains to inform themselves, not only by searching the holy scriptures, but by visiting the south, they would soon commend us for the course we have now taken.
Those who feel disposed, may easily ascertain the feelings of this church, as published in the book of doctrine and covenants; and from that, and what has already been said, those who are laboring in the south, will be able to set the matter in a fair light, and we trust, escape persecution and death: which we hope God will order, for his Son's sake.
THE "ATLAS" ARTICLE.
Every day discloses more and more of the weakness, the folly, the prejudice, and the wickedness of this generation. Though for more than six years this church has been abused and
insulted by slander and falsehood, it is not yet sufficient—men who hypocritically shudder at the thought of evil, are the most forward in blasting our character before an uninformed community; and those too, who professedly stand up to warn mankind to flee the wrath to come. In consequence of our having admitted the article signed J. M. into our columns, we have thought proper to make a more lengthy extract from the article in the "Ohio Atlas," printed at Elyria, in this state.
We are not exactly prepared to call names, though we may hereafter be, but, on reflection, if our memory serves, about the date of this scandalous, unhallowed piece, (March 16,) a gentleman from Elyria was introduced into our Hebrew school, by the title of Rev. Mr.— and the circumstances alluded to bearing date with the article, and it being the only one of the kind during the term of the Hebrew class, it is thought by many that our conjectures are well founded, and we only regret that we are not positive, but to the extract. The writer says:
"You would naturally suppose that the Mormons were the most ignorant, degraded, and stupid set of beings on the face of the earth. This is true of some of them: but there are not wanting men of sagacity and information, and some men of strong powers of mind. From what I saw, I should suppose that they were generally real believers in the doctrine of their prophet. They are quite polite and affable to strangers, and ready to unfold the whole system, so far as they know it, until you press them with an argument, and then their wrath rises, or they assume an heir of awful superiority, and dogmatically pronounce you blind and ignorant, and in the way to destruction: whereas, "they know the certainty of all these things whereof they affirm."—They are now studying Hebrew with great zeal, under the instruction of Mr. Seixas.—They profess to believe the common bible firmly, but they have "received additional revelations," which contain "the fulness of the Gospel." They all have Revelations, in proportion to their faith. I was introduced to the Immortal Prophet, Jo Smith, and his renowned coadjutor, Sidney Rigdon,, and a host of the inferior satellites: and could scarcely suppress a laugh, during the formality of making acquaintance of shaking hands with the exalted dignitaries, high priests, &c. of Mormonism. I have no doubt that Jo Smith's character is an equal compound of the impostor and fanatic, and that Rigdon has but a small piece of the latter, with an extraordinary portion of the former; while the mass of the disciples are men of perverted intellect, and disordered piety, with no sound principles of religion, with minds unbalanced and unfurnished, but active and devout; inclined to the mystical and dreary, and ready to believe any extraordinary announcement as a Revelation from God.—None of them appear to be within reach of argument on the subject of religion. They profess to have the gift of tongues; and one individual, after becoming very much excited in conversation, offered to give me a specimen, and began to close his throat for the purpose, but I shuddered at the proposal to exhibit such blasphemy and mockery of a miraculous gift, and he desisted."
A few words only by way of comment, and this we do more to show from whence a great, and the greatest share of the slanders against this church originate—from those who are treated with affability and politeness, as the writer admits. On the subject of argument, we have only to say, that if the writer will disclose his name, and produce a gentlemen of standing, reputation, ability and talents, one who at least, possesses a good moral character, he can be accommodated with men who will converse or reason upon the subject of the religion we profess, and leave for candid unprejudiced persons to judge, whether or not, when we "are pressed," we have not the whole scope of the word of God, common sense and all truth, to sustain us in our faith touching the gospel. Why we say, that if he will produce another person, possessing those virtues of which we named, is, because they are so foreign from his own heart.
His abuse and scurrility upon brs. Smith and Rigdon, is but another proof of the corruption of his own bosom. Does he pretend that these men illy treated him when here? No! does he say he conversed with them sufficiently to learn their belief with regard to religion? No! neither does he say that he conversed with them at all. Then why seek to destroy the reputation and blast the character of men who have never injured him? It shows upon what principle he formed his opinion upon rumor! Rumor, that bane of social society, that fiend of hell, that destroyer of virtuous reputation, and the monster which has deluged the earth with the blood of millions of the saints of God; that great, dear and darling companion of those who tremble for their own craft, must rear its hideous head, and act into operation its thousand tongues, for the purpose of closing the ears of a sinking gener-
ation against the word of eternal life.
This is but another fair specimen of the way and manner the community judge of us as a people: A worthless villain, destitute of credit or character at home, calls by our place, and runs off with a lie in his mouth, and the public believe him: another does the same, perhaps a disappointed priest, who has failed to obtain as large a salary for reproaching his Connecticut manufactured sermons as he had anticipated, and puts a scurrilous article into some church and state paper, and others as mean as themselves, paper, editor and all, are ready to swear that the statements are correct. But his renegado, this redoubtable tom-fool correspondent of the Elyria Atlas, has aimed a blow at the characters of men who have withstood the shafts of persecution for many years, and are yet above the reach of such low bred canting insinuating imposters [impostors]. If they are "immortal," they have rendered themselves so from a long tried and virtuous walk, and now live, and will live, when they have gone hence, in the bosoms of men where integrity and virtue are unimpeachable!
This writer further says: "They assure you, with the utmost confidence that they shall soon be able to raise the dead, to heal the sick, the deaf, the dumb, and the blind, &c."
That this church professes to believe, that by faith the pure in heart can heal the sick, cast out devils, &c. we do not deny; in fact, it is an item in our articles of faith, and one we find in the apostles'; but, that we profess to be able to raise the dead, or ever expect to be, or in fact, have a wish to call back, to this scene of suffering, those who are freed from it, is utterly and unequivocally false. Having been in the church from its organization, we have overheard this item preached; and that a man, a stranger, who was here a few hours, to have heard any thing of the kind, is not very unaccountable to us, when we consider what else he has written.
Relative to what the writer has said, touching the general intelligences of the members of this church, we have nothing to say—their every day appearance, their common conversation, their free, frank and familiar deportment, are sufficient; but when he says that "the great mass of the disciples are men of perverted intellect and disordered piety, with no sound principles of religion, with minds unbalanced and unfurnished," he ought to be informed, that the least among us values more highly his profession, and holds too sacredly that heavenly communication bestowed by the laying on of hands of those who were clothed with authority, than all that frail, worse than thread-bare hypocritical pretention, which came down through the mother of abominations, of which himself and all others of like profession can boast. We only add, that he is to be pitied for his folly and blindness, notwithstanding his boasted superiority and wisdom, and the world warned against the delusions, fanaticisms, and perverseness of such men.
May the Lord have mercy upon the world, and hasten the day when wickedness shall be known no more upon its face, it is our sincere prayer.
FROM OUR ELDERS ABROAD.
Elder Caleb Baldwin writes from Clear Creek Ill. March 14th 1836. After giving a succinct account of his travels from this place, he says the Lord is pouring out his spirit in an astonishing manner, to use his expression the power of God has been displayed here in the eyes of all people to their great astonishment . It appeared to attend their preaching and manifest itself not only in giving his servants a message to deliver to the people, adapted to their wants, but in a good degree accompanying it, with the influence of his holy spirit. Truth we know is mighty and will prevail when that is urged in plainness and honest simplicity satan's dominions always quail under its influence. Elder Baldwin sums up his communication by saying, that the Lord had blessed him and his companion in travel in a wonderful manner since they were in Kirtland last. That they had held thirty three meetings and baptized in all since they left home 26. We say to our brethren in that region, go on, be faithful and the blessings of heaven shall attend you.
Elder Daniel Stevens writes from Killingworth Ct. under date of April 11th 1836, stating that many are favorably disposed in that region, and that a fellow-laborer in the vineyard
would be very acceptable. We mention this fact for the reason that, as our Elders are travelling in almost all directions the present season, the the eyes of some of them may catch this article and be induced to unite their strength with that of br. Stevens in the land of steady habits.
Elder Libbeus T. Coons write from Coneaught, Crawford Co. Penn. under date of April 25, 1836, in substance as follows, I left Kirtland on the 12th and arrived in this place on the 19th have labored diligently, and the Lord has blessed me attending the word spoken in his name with his spirit and power. Elder Coons had baptised three at the date of his last, and adds that many listen with attention to the word when it is preached, thereby indicating to us, that prejudice, is given way before the light of reason and truth.
Elder John Knapp writes from Milford, Ashtabula co. Ohio, stating that the Lord was pouring out his spirit in that place, that Elder Samuel Phelps had recently visited them and during his stay baptized five, and since Elder Phelps left he had baptized four more. He further adds that more are convinced of the truth and the present prospect flattering.
To our elders one and all we have to say, be circumspect in all your deportment, be watchful and prayerful, and the God of heaven shall be with you and crown your labors with abundant success. You may always rest assured that you have the prayers and good wishes of your brethren in this place, for your prosperity in the cause of our Redeemer. We trust therefore that you will see your duty and the advancement of the Redeemers kingdom inseparably connected and feel the importance of being diligent in business, fervent in spirit serving the Lord.
Kirtland, March 26.
I take this opertunity [opportunity] to inform you of a short mission, I have recently taken to the west.—Having been invited by some of the most respectable citizens of Newburgh Cuyahoga Co. O. to visit them, and set forth the gospel of Jesus our mediator, in its original simplicity and purity. And also to visit a small branch of the church in Bedford, which was established by Elder B. H. Groves and myself, (the forepart of last winter,) numbering twenty one.
Accordingly I left Kirtland, to visit the before mentioned place, trusting in God for help, who has said: "The laborer is worthy of his hire." I arrived at the Village of Newburgh on the 8th inst. And found that the Methodists had been holding a protracted meeting for seven or eight days in succession. I found it was to continue until next Sunday. I delivered a discourse at 10 o'clock the next day; and concluded to leave the place until they got through with their meeting.—I left an appointment for the next monday evening; and went to visit the before mentioned town. I found the disciples rejoicing in the new and everlasting covenant, and growing in the knowledge of the truth. I preached 5 times and added one more to their number, and many invitations to preach in the adjacent counties, but my time being limited, I was obliged to return to Newburgh. I was informed that the Methodists had closed the meeting some two or three days sooner in consequence of not having hearers. I was informed that notwithstanding their meeting held for near two weeks, there was but two added to their number.
I attended to my appointment on the evening of the 14th: I preached to a large and respectable congregation, and they gave great attention. I preached twice afterwards in the vicinity, God blessed my labors, I baptized 9 whom I left rejoicing in the Lord, and others reading their bibles, to see if these things were so.
The inhabitants of Newburgh, are intelligent and genteel, and I hope the Lord will bless and save as many of them as will comply with the conditions of salvation.
G. M. HINKLE
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