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Messenger and Advocate/3/6
|← Number 5|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 3, Number 6
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 3
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume III. No. 6.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, MARCH, 1837.||[Whole No. 30.|
Wisdom is better than weapons of war.
Facts and arguments, whether pointed and conclusive or obscure and far fetched, are alike useless to sustain any position laid down by the inspired penmen, not only from the credit they have obtained in the christian world, that "they spake and wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost," but from the proverbs and sayings of this kind which flowed from their pens, being axioms or self-evident facts, "facts that can neither be weakened by argument or entangled by sophistry." Therefore, in whatever point of light we view the import of the words at the head of this paragraph, whether in the light of inspiration or as the dictates of a sound understanding and a correct taste, enlightened by experience and philosophy, we come to the same inevitable conclusion, it is a fact that no one can gainsay nor resist. The writer who left on record this saying, had the reputation of being the wisest of men. And it is recorded of him that he prayed to the King of heaven for wisdom and understanding that he might be able to rule his people, Israel, in righteousness and execute justice and judgment among his subjects.
We are aware that the sentiment couched in the text is directly at war with the practice and principle of many at the present day, but notwithstanding this discrepancy the principle is no less heavenly, no less divine. In order that we may be distinctly understood, and have no one mistake our meaning, we will state simply the words that are often used for wisdom, but as we think incorrectly. Knowledge and understanding are generally considered as being synonymous with wisdom, or words of the same import, but we think no two words in our language are exactly synonymous, therefore that such are most accurate in their conception of the term knowledge who consider it as consisting in a stock of judicious and proper ideas and notions of things; and that wisdom consists in reducing these to practice or in conducting any affair with ingenuity and skill. Knowledge has its seat in the speculative understanding, but wisdom in the practical; or we may say that knowledge is an understanding of general rules, wisdom is, drawing conclusions from those rules in order to particular cases.-Therefore, we see that a man may have the knowledge of the whole scriptures, and have all learning in the treasury of his memory, and yet be destitute of skill to make use of it on particular occasions.
Although the author of our text is rather antiquated and some of his practical observations and proverbs have become rather obsolete, still, from the definition we have given of the term wisdom, we think the genuine moral philosopher, although he may be a sceptic [skeptic] as it respects divine revelation, much less the believer in the christian religion, will call in question the truth or practical utility of the sentiment in our text.
Our text contemplates two diametrically opposite ideas, and when we look at them mentally, the associations produced in the mind are so widely different, and the practical results when followed out in detail, so diverse from each other, that we think the philosopher, the philanthropist, the christian and even the infidel can but arrive at the same conclusion; viz. "that wisdom is better than weapons of war." We, therefore, in justice to the position we have taken, can but speak of the two sentiments or ideas, in the light which we view them. And first, weapons of war are always associated with the battle-field; with blood and carnage. Not only so, but with the angry passions, and not unfrequently [infrequently] with all that malice, hatred and revenge that characterize the most depraved and barbarous of the human race, even the demons of the lower regions "grin horribly a ghastly smile" at their use, when "death deputes ambition to do the work of age and toss him twice ten thousand at a meal." Are weapons of war calculated in their nature to produce true converts to the christian faith? Let the history of the crusades of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries answer. Let the bloody inquisition disclose the weakness, the blackness,
and worse than puerile imbecility of her arguments. Let all the bloody tragedies that have been acted, be chronicled in one black catalogue, and what arguments do they confirm or establish, in favor of that pugnacious disposition which delights in revenge, and deals out liberally "fire-brands, arrows and death?" Can any one be so void of reason as not to consider "wisdom the better part of valor?" I wisdom dwell with prudence, says the inspired penman. The scripture has no where spoken of weapons of war in those strong commendatory terms, that characterize "that wisdom which is first peaceable, then pure, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of compassion and good fruits without partiality and with out hypocricy [hypocrisy]." The very idea of war and weapons of war, are always revolting to the best feelings of a philanthropic bosom, and when contrasted with wisdom and that meek, and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, how astonishing that any but carniverous animals, cannibals, or beasts of prey, should for one moment think they did not suffer in comparison with that wisdom which the inspired writers have commended so highly?
We are not now writing a political essay, upon the science of our own or any other government, and we do not say a resort to weapons of war in nations or individuals may not be tolerated under certain circumstances. We are certainly friendly to that liberty of speech and of the press which we enjoy, under the government that protects us. We are not sure the time will never come that weapons of war will not have to be used in their defence [defense]; but of one thing we are certain, as we have before remarked, wisdom is surely the better part of valor. Let that wisdom actuate our rulers and ruled that ought to guide them in their counsels, and conduct, and the sanguinary accounts of the battle field and of "garments rolled in blood," will never blacken the page of our future history, nor make the heart of the wise and the good sicken at the revolting sight. Beasts of prey may be met with weapons of war, and men as wild and uncultivated as they, are sometimes to be brought to yield to the only argument that can be adduced, the last resort of kings. But these few exceptions are far, very far, from weakening the force of the sentiment in our text. In fact we feel that it rather confirms it. It is most assuredly a mark of wisdom to act with that prudence and circumspection that will secure the approbation of a good conscience, and the smiles of approving heaven. Says the scripture, see that none return reviling for reviling, but contrariwise reward evil with good. The Savior of mankind said to his disciples, be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We might here go on and particularize; but we deem it unnecessary, for who does not know that the same sentiment is included, the same spirit breathed in all the divine teachings?-Not only did the Savior teach by precept and by example what we would fain persuade the saints is their duty and their interest, but his disciples and their followers, while actuated by that spirit which their divine Master said should come, and should lead them into all truth, taught the same sound doctrine.
We are not now aware that we are giving new lessons in ethics; not so, but we would stir up the pure minds of the saints by way of remembrance of those pure and holy principles that are so interwoven and identified with their happiness here and their well-being hereafter.
The great Author of our existence has so diversified the human character, that perhaps, it would be morally impossible to find two individuals who are exactly and in all respects alike; and at the same time there is a striking resemblance. Indeed, the temper and disposition of mankind are so nearly alike, that we have but one course to pursue with our fellow men to convert them from the error of their ways, and that certainly is a plain one, for it is the same our heavenly Father has pursued with us. By a course of conduct fraught with wisdom and love, convince them that we are their real friends but not their enemies.
Mildness and dignity of deportment disarms an enemy of his bitterness and asperity towards us. Why will it?-because a soft answer turns away wrath, and is evincive of a cultivated mind, and a correct taste, while on the other hand, grievous words stir up strife, and engender all the evil passions that dwell in a corrupt heart actuated by motives most foul and impure.
We would now make some practical application of the subject on which we have been writing. And first, of that class of people who know not God nor have ever heard his gospel preached, we say may the Lord have mercy on them and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. We have less fears for them than for the self-righteous professor who has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. The Judge of all the earth will do right and those who never heard his gospel, cannot be justly condemned for a non-compliance with its requirements. Thus said the Savior to the Jews, "If I had not come among you and did the work that none other man did, ye had not had sin but now ye have no cloak for your sins." If they never heard, they certainly could never believe and obey. The great apostle of the Gentiles makes the subject very plain by a few interrogatories which he puts. He says, how shall they hear without a preacher, and how shall they preach except they be sent? But we have inadvertantly [inadvertently] digressed from the main thread of our subject. Therefore, we say in calling to mind what the wise man endeavored to impress on the heart, that wisdom was better than weapons of war, that all the saints will believe and be governed by that wisdom which is first peaceable, then pure, &c.; but we are sure the fearful, the abominable, the unbelieving, the contentious, the whoremonger, the adulterer, the tatler [tattler] and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, are disobedient to the divine mandate: they obey not God nor are they actuated by the principles of the gospel of his dear Son. But brethren, who are saints, we are persuaded better things of you, than to suppose you would knowingly violate any of the injunctions of holy writ, or by your conduct set at nought any precept of inspiration. Though we have thus written, we would fain draw a vail [veil] of charity over the follies and faults, and wickedness and ignorance of poor human nature, and we here further say, that we feel it our duty and our privilege to forgive all that the Lord has, or will forgive, "but if they sin wilfully [willfully] after they have come to a knowledge of the truth, have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain looking for a judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversary." If the saint, or the minister of Jesus Christ differ in opinion from his fellow clay, he will always bear in mind that wisdom is better than weapons of war; he will never resort to violence to produce conviction or procure converts to his faith. He will never violate the laws of his country, by trespassing on the feelings, the rights, the privileges or persons of others.-He knows and he feels, that wisdom is better than weapons of war. He knows that reason and argument are the weapons, the rightful, the legal weapons, to combat the errors and follies of this generation. He "is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity;" in himself or others; "but rejoiceth in the truth" and in works of righteousness. He flatters no man's vanity by indiscriminate, wicked and foolish adulation, nor does he hastily impugn the motives or censure the acts of those who have the misfortune to differ from him in principle or practice. He has his friends, and they are among men of sense, of truth, and stern integrity. The wicked fear him, the vain shun him, for he commends no man's evil deeds, nor loves his friends for unrighteous acts. He advises with candor, reproves with mildness, and rebukes with a steady, decided, inflexible purpose of heart, that clearly evince his love to his friends and his unshaken confidence in God and his cause. Our readers will reflect on what we have penned for their perusal, and we hope profit by the remarks we have made. The hints are such as were suggested to our mind from the reading of the text, and we trust the saints will receive them, and compare them with their own experience and the main scope of the divine teachings and find them correct. To our enemies we say, our only object is to do good, that we trust we have not wilfully [willfully] misrepresented, exaggerated, or "set down aught in malice," and we still say, it is our firm conviction that in all our intercourse with our fellow men, wisdom is better than force, than violence, or weapons of war. ED.
DIED-In Lyman, Grafton co. N. H. on the 21st of January last, SUSANNA, wife of Solomon Parker, aged seventy years.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.
[Concluded from our last.] We have an abundance of ponderous volumes on the subject of moral philosophy; but the different theories which have been proposed and discussed, and the metaphysical mode in which the subject has been generally treated, have seldom led to any beneficial practical results. To attempt to treat the subject of morals without a reference to divine revelation, as most of our celebrated moral writers have done, seems to be little short of egregious trifling.-It cannot serve the purpose of an experiment, to ascertain how far the unassisted faculties of man can go in acquiring a knowledge of the foundation and the rules of moral action; for the prominent principles of Christian morality are so interwoven into the opinions, intercourses and practices of modern civilized society, and so familiar to the mind of every man who has been educated in a Christian land, that it is impossible to eradicate the idea of them from the mind, when it attempts to trace the duties of man, solely on the principles of reason. When the true principles of mortality are once communicated through the medium of revelation, reason can demonstrate their utility, and their conformity to the character of God, to the order of the universe, and to the relations which subsist among intelligent agents. But we are by no means in a situation to determine whether they could ever have been discovered by the investigations and efforts of the unassisted powers of the human mind. The only persons who could fairly try such an experiment were the Greeks and Romans, and other civilized nations, in ancient times, to whom the light of revelation was not imparted. And what was the result of all their researches on this most important of all subjects? What were the practical effects of all the fine-spun theories and subtle speculations which originated in the schools of ancient philosophy, under the tuition of Plato and Socrates, of Aristotle and Zeno? The result is recorded in the annals of history, and in the writings of the apostles. "They became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened-They were filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder deceit, malignity; they were backbiters haters of God, despiteful, proud, inventors of evil things, disobedience to parents, without natural affection, implacable and unmerciful." Their general conduct was characterized by pride, lasciviousness and revenge; they indulged in the commission of unnatural crimes; they were actuated by restless ambition; and they gloried in covering the earth with devastation and carnage.
It is true, indeed, that some of the sects of philosophers propounded several maxims and moral precepts, the propriety of which cannot be questioned; but none of them could agree respecting either the foundation of virtue, or the ultimate object toward which it should be directed, or that in which the chief happiness of man consists; and hence it happened, that the precepts delivered by the teachers of philosophy had little influence on their own conduct, and far less on that of the unthinking multitude. Where do we find, in any of the philosophical schools of Greece and Rome, a recommendation of such precepts as these, "Love your enemies; do good to them who hate you; and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you?" In opposition to such divine injunctions, we can trace in the maxims and conduct of the ancient sages, a principle of pride insinuating itself into the train of their most virtuous actions. It has been reckoned by some a wise and a witty answer which one of the philosophers returned to his friend, who had advised him to revenge an injury he had suffered; "What, (says he) if an ass kicks me, must I needs kick him again?"-Some may be disposed to consider such a reply as indicating a manly spirit, and true greatness of soul; but it carries in it a proud and supercilious contempt of human nature, and a haughtiness of mind, which are altogether inconsistent with the mild and benevolent precepts of Him, who, in the midst of his severest sufferings from men, exclaimed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
It appears somewhat preposterous to waste our time, and the energies of our minds, in labored metaphysical disquisitions, to ascertain the foundations of virtue, and the motives from which it is to be pursued; whether it consists in utility, in the fitness of things, or in the regulations of states and political associations, and whether it is to be prose-
cuted from a principle of self love or of benevolence, when every useful question that can be started on this subject may be immediately solved by a direct application to the revelations of heaven, and an infallible rule derived for the direction of our conduct in all the circumstances and relations in which we may be placed. Even although the moral philosopher were to reject the Bible, as a revelation from God, it would form no reason why its annunciations should be altogether overlooked or rejected. As an impartial investigator of the history of man, of the moral constitution of the human mind, and of the circumstances of our present condition, he is bound to take into view every fact and every circumstance which may have a bearing on the important question which he undertakes to decide. Now, it is a fact, that such a book as the Bible actually exists-that amidst the wreck of thousands of volumes which the stream of time had carried into oblivion, it has survived for several thousands of years-that its announcements have directed the opinions and the conduct of myriads of mankind-that many of the most illustrious characters that have adorned our race have submitted to its dictates, and governed their tempers and their actions by its moral precepts-that those who have been governed by its maxims have been distinguished by uprightness of conduct, and been most earnest and successful in promoting the happiness of mankind-that this book declares, that a moral revulsion has taken place in the constitution of man since he was placed upon this globe-and that the whole train of its moral precepts proceeds on the ground of his being considered as a depraved intelligence.-These are facts which even the infidel philosopher must admit; and instead of throwing them into the shade, or keeping them entirely out of view, he is bound, as an unbiased inquirer, to take them all into account in his researches into the moral economy of the human race. In particular, he is bound to inquire into the probability of the alleged fact of the depravity of man, and to consider, whether the general train of human actions, the leading facts of history in reference to all ages and nations, and the destructive effects of several operations in the system of nature, have not a tendency to corroborate this important point. For the fact, that man is a fallen intelligence, must materially modify every system of ethics that takes it into account. Should this fact be entirely overlooked, and yet ultimately be found to rest on a solid foundation, then, all the speculations and theories of these moralists who profess to be guided solely by the dictates of unassisted reason, may prove to be nothing more than the reveries of a vain imagination, and to be built on "the baseless fabric of a vision."
LOVE TO GOD.
Love, considered in reference to the Supreme Being, may be viewed as dividing itself into a variety of streams or kindred emotions, all flowing from one source. The most prominent of these emotions are the following-Admiration, which consists in a delightful emotion, arising from a contemplation of the wonderful works of God, and of the wisdom and goodness which they unfold-Reverence, which is nearly allied to admiration, is a solemn emotion, mingled with awe and delight, excited in the mind, when it contemplates the perfections, and the grand operations of the Eternal Mind,-Gratitude, which consists in affection to the Supreme Being, on account of the various benefits he has conferred upon us-Humility, which consists in a just sense of our own character and condition, especially when we compare ourselves with the purity and perfection of the divine character. To these emotions may be added Complacency and delight in the character and operations of God-Adoration of his excellencies, and an unlimited Dependence upon him in reference to our present concerns, and to our future destination.
Love is that noble affection which is excited by amiable objects; and therefore, in order to its being rational, permanent, and delightful, it must be founded on the perception of certain amiable qualities or attributes connected with its object. In order to demonstrate the reasonableness of this affection in reference to God, it is only requisite to consider his character and perceptions, and the relation in which he stands to us as the Author of our existence and enjoyments.
For, for this cause was the gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. FIRST PETER, 4th: 6th.
To the apostle who penned these words for our instruction; were committed the keys of the kingdom, altho' he was a fisherman by occupation previously to his being chosen and ordained by his divine Master to proclaim that gospel for which he eventually suffered martyrdom. He accompanied the Savior during his travels and public ministry, almost constantly. He witnessed his transfiguration on the mount, saw and heard him converse with Moses and Elias. He had seen the mighty works which he did while he tabernacled with men in the flesh. He had heard him converse with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and lawyers, and knew that the wisdom and the power of the living God were manifest in all his words and deeds, therefore, he could testify boldly of what he had seen and heard.
There was another consideration which gave boldness and confidence to the apostle whose words we have quoted as a foundation to the remarks we intend to make.
Before he suffered, he said to his disciples, If I go away I will send the comforter, and he shall lead you into all truth, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have told you; and from this promise being so fully verified, Peter taught, boldly and understandingly, that gospel, a dispensation of which had been committed to him. He taught the things he knew and spake of those he had seen. He not only taught those who listened to his instructions, the principles of the gospel by precept but by example, enforcing the whole with the most pointed arguments drawn from the scriptures, in which the Jews as a body most implicitly believed, but the whole course of his instruction after the ascension of the Saviour seemed fraught with that wisdom, that power and that authority, that most clearly evinced the divine authenticity of his mission, and enabled him to teach "as one having authority and not as the scribes."
In the words we have quoted he appears to magnify his office by exalting and honoring the character of God, when he judges men, and if he did no [t] answer queries that had arisen and been agitated in his day, he seems clearly to have anticipated what would arise in ours; therefore, "for this cause (said he) was the gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh."
This course of instruction seemed to be the more important from the fact that the inventive faculties of man, backed by all the suggestions of the adversary, are ever watching for an opportunity to bring the word of God and his cause into disrepute. But our heavenly Father so ordered it, that all will be left without excuse at the great assize, so that "he will be justified when he speaks and clear when he judges." He has done so upon the principles of reason and of justice. He has not acted the part of a tyrant and doomed men to perdition who never had an opportunity of learning his will concerning them. Some of our readers may think this an unwarrantable assertion, but we think such a sentiment is the legitimate influence of the primises laid down by the Savior himself in his address to his disciples as given us in John's testimony 15th chapter 22, 23 and 24th verses. We come now more directly to an interrogatory that has often been reiterated in our ears; what has become of those who have died since the prophets and apostles fell asleep, till the conferring of the priesthood and the coming forth of the gospel in these last days? Are they all lost? We answer no, we unhesitatingly and unequivocally answer no. Was the gospel preached to them?-No. Were they baptized for the remission of their sins? again we answer no, for the very good reason that since that period, till the renewal of the covenant and the restoration of the priesthood, no one was authorized to do it. Then are not thousands of souls lost, who have come into the world and died since the days of the apostles? Here we would ask in our turn if the inhabitants living on the earth in the 18th century, were blameable because there was not an inspired man upon it, one who had the authority of the Holy priesthood? certainly not, then it follows of necessity they could not be justly condemned, for not yielding obedience to that authority. How then are they to be made happy, having not the true gospel? Let the word of God decide. We now ask is God impartial?
Most assuyredl[y] If he have no other scheme of saving mankind but the gospel, and there are myriads of them who have never heard it preached, will a just, wise, impartial and benevolent being condemn them? He will be justified when he speaks and clear when he judges. Here would seem to be a discrepancy, the word of God has not been generally understood or he must be perfectly holy, just and good to all the workmanship of his hands.
Here, then, lies the main difficulty If it be a point sustained by the word of God, that all who do not have, or have not had, the privilege of embracing or rejecting the gospel here in the flesh, have that privilege in God's own time before the judgment day; thne [then] will the character of God be vindicated. What says our text, for, for this cause was the gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh.
Again, we find this idea more fully supported in the preceding chapter of the same epistle from which our text is taken, at the 18th, 19th and 20th verses: "For Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit; by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing, &c." Here are the words of inspiration that the antediluvians had the offer of life, eternal life and salvation, and that too, some thousands of years since they had fallen asleep.
But we have no evidence that the Lord will be thus compassionate to those who have the gospel preached to them here in the flesh, and reject it. -Hence said the Savior, if I had not come among you and done the work that none other ever did do, ye had not had sin, but now ye have no cloak for your sins; thus plainly intimating that they would be left without excuse in the day of judgment. We may also justly infer that they would have excuse, and that, too, founded upon reason and justice, if they were to be condemned for non-compliance with a law, rule or commandment, when such law, rule or commandment, never was made known to them. We believe in the justice, mercy and goodness of God, and in the harmony of all his attributes, that not a soul will be saved in the celestial kingdom of God except upon the gospel plan which he has devised. We feel also assured, that he will condemn no one until he hears, and refuses to obey the mandates of heaven. We believe that at the grand assizes, all will be left without excuse, and that "God will be justified when he speaks and clear when he judges."
We are assured from our own observation and experience that the God of the universe is not a man, that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent; we feel that he is the same yesterday, to-day and forever, and changes not; that those who love and obey him, will be received with this pleasing plaudit, well done good and faithful servant, &c; while the unthankful, unholy, and disobedient shall be excluded from the presence and the joys of the righteous. ED.
ANCIENT HISTORY.—No. 2.
EGYPT. "A great portion of the knowledge and attainments of the ancient nations, and by consequence, of those of the moderns is to be traced to Egypt. The Egyptians instructed the Greeks; the Greeks performed the same office to the Romans; and the Romans have transmitted much of that knowledge to the world of which we are in possession at the present day."
The antiquity of this empire is supposed to be very great. The Mosaic writings represent it as a great and flourishing kingdom four hundred and thirty years after the flood. Indeed, from the nature of the country the presumption is, that it was settled and became a flourishing kingdom or empire soon after the deluge.
The periodical inundations of the Nile supply all the bottoms, bordering upon it, with that fertilizing alluvion that has rendered them the most productive of almost any other of equal extent in that country. We are assured of that fact from the Mosaic writings, if from no other source, and that notwithstanding the dense population, Egypt furnished a surplus of corn to feed foreigners in time of famine.
The government of Egypt was a hereditary monarchy. The king and the priests, who were his deputies who
filled the offices and exercised all the authority both civil and ecclesiastical.
The administration of justice was defrayed by the sovereign, and litigants were their own advocates. The penal laws of Egypt were uncommonly severe. Female chastity was most rigidly protected.
There was an extraordinary regulation in Egypt regarding the borrowing of money. The borrower gave in pledge the body of his father, and it was deprived of funeral rites if he failed to redeem it. Population was encouraged by law, and every man was bound to maintain and educate the children born to him of his slaves. The Egyptians were tenacious of their own manners, customs and ancient usages, and had a great abhorrence to strangers and to innovation.
They preceded most of the ancient nations in the knowledge of the useful arts, and in the cultivation of the sciences. Their pyramids and obelisks, are monuments, evincive of their skill in building and architecture as well as of their industry and perseverance to accomplish such great undertakings. Indeed the whole country abounds with the remains of ancient grandeur, surpassing almost any other. Thebes in upper Egypt was one of the most splendid cities in the world. Modern travellers [travelers] describe the stones that were used in some of its walls or towers as being of curious workmanship, and of immense size. The Egyptians possessed considerable knowledge of geometry, mechanics and astronomy.
The morality taught by the priests was said to be pure and refined, altho' it had little influence on the manners of the people. The theology and secret doctrines of the priests were rational and sublime, yet the worship of the people was debased by the most contemptible superstition.
The Egyptians sequestered themselves from all strangers as much as was possible. They were not known to other nations by conquest, or much commerce. They had a great antipathy to strangers, consequently never imitated them in their customs or manners. There was another circumstance that rendered their manners degrading in the eyes of other nations. All professions were hereditary, and the rank of each was exactly settled; the objects of religious worship were different in different parts of the kingdom, which was a fruitful source of division and controversy. Their peculiar superstitions were absurd and debasing, and their manners loose and profligate.
We shall in our next give some account of the Phoenicians. ED. ____________
KIRTLAND, MARCH 3, 1837. The following is a list of the names of Ministers of the Gospel, belonging to the church of Latter Day Saints, whose Licences [Licenses] were recorded the last quarter in the Licence Records, in Kirtland, Ohio, by THOMAS BURDICK, Recording Clerk. ELDERS. Matthew Allen Wm E M'Lellin Wm Aldrich Benjamin Mitchell Dennis M Barmore Jacob Myers Richard Brazier Isaac Perry Ephraim Badger Alex. Richardson Asaph Blanchard Stephen Reed Nathan Cheney Luman A Shirtliff Robert Culbertson Abram O Smoot Anthony Combs Wm Stevens David Dort Elias Smith* David Fullmer Masten Tindal David Gamet C G Vanburen Levi Graybill John Williams James Huntsman Wm Whick John Kelso Charles Wood John Lyons Jacob Zundel PRIESTS. Daniel Allen Anthony Fisher Austin Butler Wm Felshaw Daniel Carter Elisha Hoops jr David K Dustin TEACHERS. Chauncy I Calkins Martin H Peck Thomas Carrico DEACONS. Josiah Miller John Pulsipher * Published Charles, in December paper, through mistake.
CAUSES OF HUMAN MISERY.
The natural causes of human misery may be reduced to two: ignorance and immorality. Both are great. Philosophers are right in recomending [recommending] the cultivation of intellect, and by doing so, many disorders will be removed, but the aim will not be attained without attending with the same care to the moral nature of man.-Spurzheim.
Messenger and Advocate.
'W. A. COWDERY, Editor.'
KIRTLAND, OHIO, MARCH, 1837.
Some years since we were struck with the force and propriety of some remarks which we read in the writings of Mrs. Barbauld. We think they are evincive of a contemplative mind, a sound understanding and a correct taste. We have extracted them from the People's Magazine, under the head of Philosophy and Consistency.
Philosophy and Consistency.-Among all the excellent things which Mrs. Barbauld has written, she never penned any thing better than her essay on the inconsistency of human expectations; it is full of sound philosophy. Every thing, says she, is marked at a settled price. Our time, our labor our ingenuity, is so much ready money, which we are to lay out to the best advantage. Examine, compare, choose reject; but stand to your judgment, and do not, like children, when you have purchased one thing, repine that you do not possess another, which you would not purchase. Would you be rich? Do you think that the single point worth sacrificing every thing else to? You may, then, be rich. Thousands have become so from the lowest beginnings by toil and diligence, and attention to the minutest articles of expense and profit. But you must give up the pleasures of leisure, of an unembarrassed mind, and of a free unsuspicious temper. You must learn to do hard if not unjust things; and as for the embarrassment of a delicate and ingenuous spirit, it is necessary for you to get rid of it as fast as possible. You must not stop to enlarge your mind, polish your taste, or refine your sentiments; but must keep on in one unbeaten track, without turning aside to the right or to the left.-"But," you say, "I cannot submit to drudgery like this; I feel a spirit above it." 'T is well; be above it, then; only do not repine because you are not rich.
Is knowledge the pearl of price in your estimation? That too may be purchased by steady application, and long solitary hours of study and reflection. "But," says the man of letters, "what a hardship is it that many an illiterate fellow, who cannot construe the motto on his coach, shall raise a fortune, and make a figure, while I possess not the common necessaries of life!" Was it for fortune, then, that you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and gave the sprightly years to study and reflection? You, then, have mistaken your path, and ill employed your industry. "What reward have I, then, for all my labor?" What reward! a large comprehensive soul, purged from vulgar fears and prejudices, able to interpret the works of man and God-a perpetual spring of fresh ideas, and the conscious dignity of superior intelligence. Good Heavens! what other reward can you ask? "But is it not a reproach upon the economy of Providence that such a one, who is a mean, dirty fellow, should have amassed wealth enough to buy half a nation?" Not the least. He made himself a mean, dirty fellow for that very end. He has paid his health, his conscience, and his liberty for it. Do you envy him his bargain? Will you hang your head in his presence because he outshines you in equipage and show? Lift up your brow with a noble confidence, and say to yourself, "I have not these things, it is true; but it is because I have not desired them nor sought them; it is because I possess something better. I have chosen my lot; I am content and satisfied." The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one object, which it considers important, and pursue that object through life. If we expect the purchase, we must pay the price.
A GOOD LEGACY.
He that at any rate procures his child a good mind, well principled, tempered to virtue and usefulness, and adorned with civility and good breeding, makes a better purchase for him, than if he had laid out the money for an addition of more earth to his former acres.-Spare it in toys and play-games, in silk and ribbons, laces and other useless expences [expenses], as much as you please; but be not sparing in so necessary a part as this. It is not good husbandry to make his fortune rich and his mind poor. I have often with great indignation, seen people lavish it profusely in tricking up their children in fine clothes, and feeding them sumptuoulsy, allowing them more than enough of use-
less servants; and yet at the same time starve their minds, and not take sufficient care to cover that which is the most shameful nakedness, viz. their natural wrong inclinations and ignorance. This I can look on as no other than sacrificing to their own vanity; it showing more their pride than true care of the good of their children. Whatsoever you employ to the advantage of your son's mind will show your true kindness though it be the lessening of his estate. A wise and good man can hardly want either the opinion or reality of being great and happy. But he that is foolish or vicious, can be neither great nor happy, what estate soever you leave him: and I ask you whether there be not men in the world whom you had rather have your son be, with five hundred pounds per annum, than some others you know, with five thousand pounds? -Locke on education
DUTIES OF MASTERS TO APPRENTICES.
The following capital remarks on this subject are from a late charge to the Grand Jury of his Court by the Recorder of Philadelphia. The neglect of the manners and morals among apprentices, is undoubtedly among the leading causes of the increase of vice and crime in our day and the subject is here well presented:
"Apprenticeship is a term of probation, and should be made the scene of vigorous exertion & moral study. When therefore, we see the corners of our streets beset after the night fall of each evening by crowds of idlers, we cannot but regret the carelessness of the master, and the danger of the apprentice. When every moment that is exempt from labor is devoted to studied idleness, among ignorant and depraved companions, we cannot wonder that worthless habits should ensue. The gathered bands remove, in process of time, to the door of the tavern. The jests are soon pointed with ribald obscenity, and their language swelled with boasting profanity, until citizens shrink and shudder as they pass. The beer house or the brothel next becomes the scene of their mispent [misspent] hours. The Sabbaths and evenings are passed amid debauchery and vice; they return each morning enfeebled and disgusted to their labor. Thus they wear out their term of service. Their minds are left to ignorance, and their manners to debasement. They become men with minds and bodies diseased -without industry, ambition, or character-and sink into that class from which the dockets of our courts and the cells of our prisons, are filled. The causes of these evils are no doubt manifold. There are, and necessarily must be, in a crowded city, many resources of demoralization. But as the law gives the master the power to protect the morals of his apprentice it makes it also his duty-a duty from which nothing can excuse him. The man who takes an apprentice, voluntarily assumes towards him the relation of a father. Such is the light in which the law regards the master and apprentice. Humanity also dictates that in removing a child from his parental roof, the master should supply the place of a parent; instruct and guide his inexperience, and watch and protect him as a child. Such a course would not only render the apprentice an ornament to society but would fill his bosom with gratitude to his master, and naturally inspire him with a desire to repay the kindness of his benefactor. No master should take an apprentice unless prepared to discharge these duties."
"ABOUT TO DO IT."
An agent writes us that he was "about getting" some subscribers, but in the mean time an agent for another paper visited the place, and got them all away. How many failures are there in this world, of things which were about to be done. The merchant was about to go to his store but the customer has come and made his purchase elsewhere. The farmer was about to mend his fence but the cattle have got in and destroyed his corn. The house was about to be insured but in the mean time it took fire and burnt up. The debter [debtor] was about to discharge his honest dues, but in the mean time he suffars [suffers] his money slip away for some other use. The head of a family was about to attend family worship but the proper hour had passed, and the call of a friend, or pressure of business, has laid it aside for the present. The good man was about to make a donation for benevolent purposes, but he died suddenly. The sinner was about to repent, but sudden death prevented.
Minutes of a meeting of the members of the "Kirtland Safety Society," held on the 2d day of January, 1837.
At a special meeting of the Kirtland Safety Society, two thirds of the members being present, S. RIGDON was called to the Chair, and W. PARRISH chosen Secretary.
The house was called to order, and the object of the meeting explained by the chairman: which was,
1st. To annul the old constitution, which was adopted by the society, on the 2d day of November, 1836; which was, on motion, by the unanimous voice of the meeting, annulled.
2d. To adopt Articles of Agreement, by which the Kirtland Safety Society are to be governed.
After much discussion and investigation, the following Preamble and Articles of Agreement were adopted, by the unanimous voice of the meeting.
We, the undersigned subscribers, for the promotion of our temporal interests, and for the better management of our different occupations, which consist in agriculture, mechanical arts, and merchandising; do hereby form ourselves into a firm or company for the before mentioned objects, by the name of the "Kirtland Safety Society Banking Company," and for the proper management of said firm, we individually and jointly enter into, and adopt, the following Articles of Agreement.
Art. 1st. The capital stock of said society or firm shall not be less than four millions of dollars; to be divided into shares of fifty dollars each; and may be increased to any amount, at the discretion of the Directors.
Art. 2d. The management of said company shall be under the superintendence of thirty two Directors, to be chosen annually by, and from among the members of the same; each member being entitled to one vote for each share, which he, she, or they may hold in said company; and said votes may be given by proxy, or in PROPRIA PERSONA.
Art. 3d. It shall be the duty of said Directors, when chosen, to elect from their number, a President and Cashier. It shall be the further duty of said Directors to meet in the upper room of the office of said company, on the first Mondays of November and May of each year, at 9 o'clock, A. M. to inspect the books of said company and transact such other business as may be deemed necessary.
Art. 4th. It shall be the duty of said Directors to choose from among their number, seven men, who shall meet in the upper room of said office, on Tuesday of each week, at 4 o'clock, P. M. to inquire into and assist in all matters pertaining to said company.
Art. 5th. Each Director shall receive from the company one dollar per day for his services when called together at the annual and semi annual meetings. The President and Cashier, and the seven, the committee of the Directors, shall receive a compensation for their services as shall be agreed by the directors at their semi-annual meetings.
Art. 6th. The first election of Directors, as set forth in the second article, shall take place at the meeting of the members to adopt this agreement, who shall hold their office until the first Monday of November, 1837, unless removed by death or misdemeanor, and until others are duly elected. Every annual election of Directors shall take place on the first Monday of November, of each year. It shall be the duty of the President and Cashier of said company, to receive the votes of the members by ballot, and declare the election.
Art. 7th. The books of the company shall be always open for the inspection of the members.
Art. 8th. It shall be the duty of the Directors of the company, to declare a dividend once in six months; which dividend shall be apportioned among the members, according to the installments by them paid in.
Art. 9th. All persons subscribing stock in said firm, shall pay their first installment at the time of subscribing; and other installments from time to time, as shall be required by the Directors.
Art. 10th. The Directors shall give thirty days notice in some public paper, printed in this county, previous to an installment being paid in. All subscribers residing out of the State, shall be required to pay in half the amount of their subscriptions at the time of subscribing, and the remainder, or such part thereof, as shall be required at any time by the Directors, after thirty days notice.
Art. 11th. The Cashier shall be empowered to call special meetings of the Directors, whenever he shall deem it necessary; separate and aside from the annual and semi annual meetings.
Art. 12th. Two thirds of the Directors shall form a quorum to act at the semi-annual meetings, and any number of the seven, the committee of the Directors, with the President & Cashier, or either of them, may form a quorum to transact business at the weekly meetings; and in case none of the seven are present at the weekly meetings, the President and Cashier must transact the business.
Art. 13th. The Directors shall have power to enact such by laws as they may deem necessary, from time to time, providing they do not infringe upon these Articles of Agreement.
Art. 14th. All notes given by said Society, shall be signed by the President and Cashier thereof, and we the individual members of said firm, hereby hold ourselves bound for the redemption of all such notes.
Art 15th. The notes given for the benefit of said society, shall be given to the Cashier, in the following form:
"Ninety days after date, we jointly and severally promise to pay A. B. or order dollars and cents, value received." A record of which shall be made in the books at the time, of the amount, and by whom given, and when due-and deposited with the files and papers of said society.
Art. 16th. Any article in this agreement may be altered at any time, annulled, added unto or expunged, by the vote of two-thirds of the members of said society; except the fourteenth article, that shall remain unaltered during the existence of said company. For the true and faithful fulfilment [fulfillment] of the above covenant and agreement, we individually bind ourselves to each other under the penal sum of one hundred thousand dollars. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day and date first written above.
Sidney Rigdon Leonard Rich
N K Whitney Artemus Millet
Reynolds Cahoon Peter Shirts
Joseph Smith jr Wm D Pratt
Warren Parrish Jerusha Smith
Sylvester Smith Martha Knight
Hyrum Smith Josiah Butterfield
Edwin P Merriam John Smith
Elijah Cheney Hiram Corey
Eliphalet Boynton Jared Carter
Vinson Knight C P Lott
Solon Foster Elijah Able
Daniel Bowen Nathan Haskins
Loren Babbit Geo W Robinson
Joel McWithy Noah Packard
Zemira Draper Daniel Allen jr
Wm Drapersen Edson Barney
Wm Draper jr Erastus Babbit
Asa Lyman Reuben McBride
Laban Morill Russell Potter
Bechias Dustin Harvey Stanley
Jesse Turpin Uzziel Stevens
Alexander Badlam John Johnson
Wm Smith Ezekiel Rider
Luke Johnson Elisha C Coltrin
A Pettingall Luman Carter
Isaac H Bishop Wm Woodstock
Harrison Burgess Jonathan Hampton
Joseph Smith sen Sterny Tripp
Lucy Smith Amasa Bonney
Jonas Putnam P P Pratt
Edmund Bosley John Gaylord
Hyrum Stratton Daniel S Jackson
Samuel Parker Edwin D Webb
David Whitmer Edward M Webb
Roger Orton Wm F Cahoon
Erastus Snow Horace Burgess
Lyman Sherman Wm Miller
Isaac Rogers Orson Pratt
Salmon Gee Brigham Young
Andrew Brim J B Smith
Jonathan H Holmes S B Stoddard
Wm C Rolfe Ebenezer Barr
Warren Smith Lyman E Johnson
Simeon Andrews Heber C Kimball
Nath. Milliken Lorenzo Young
John F Boynton Zebedee Coltrin
Reuben Hedlock Gardner Snow
J B Noble Amasa Lyman
Smith Humphrey Nathan Tanner
Francis G Bishop Jeremiah Willey
Ephraim Badger Nathan Chency
Ira Bond L H Franks
George W Gee Lewis Eager
George A Smith Silas Smith
Mahew Millman Jesse Baker
Chauncey G Webb Gideon H Carter
Thos Butterfield David Clough
Lebbeus T Coons Astin Butler
Samuel Newcomb Benj Andrews
Sabra Granger Wm Foster 1st
Benj Winchester L M Davis
Samuel Hale W Huntington jr
Israel Barlow Zima Huntington
Nathaniel Carr Lorenzo Wells
Reuben Field James M Carrel
Dorcas Brooks Truman O Angell
Phebe Rigdon Graham Coltrin
A E Robinson Thomas Carrico Elijah B Gaylord Levi Gifford Samuel H Smith Joel H Johnson Amos R Orton Heman T Hyde Willford Woodruff Haratio N Parks Ira Ames Amos B Fuller Lorenzo Booth Hugh Coltrin Henry D Garret George Strope Benj S Wilber John P Greene Benjamin Kempton Samuel Phelps Hiram Clark Canfield & Spencer Hiram B Booth M C Davis Isaac Hubbard J Coodson Wesley Knight H A Sharp Benj H Stall John Coltrin Clark L Whitney Hezekiah Fisk Russell Pemberton Lucy Ives J D Parker Liester Gaylord Martin H Peck Thomas Gates jr Hiram Dayton Isaac Cleaveland Oliver Olney Wm Gould William Aldrich Wm Barker Joseph Young Andrew L Allen John B Carpenter John W Duty David Dort S Hanchett Temperance Mack and others.
Persecution has been the lot of the righteous since the days of righteous Abel; no righteous people have escaped, or ever will; for the nearer that a person draws to the living God, the farther off the world thinks he gets. Hence says the Savior, "They that kill you, think they do God service; and they do this, because they know neither the Father nor me."
For this very cause the saints may expect nothing but persecution at the hand of any people; because no other people but them know the Father nor the Son, and for want of this knowledge, they are always ready to persecute, and not only persecute; but to persecute unto death; for "they that kill you think they do God service."
A persecuting spirit always arises from ignorance of the Father and the Son, and this ignorance leads men to seek the lives of the saints; and there is nothing wanting but power to fulfil [fulfill] their designs.
The Savior says, in speaking of his mission into the world, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I come not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."-Matthew 10: 32,35,36.
When the Savior says "I come to set a man at variance against his father," &c. the very expression, "set against" supposes that the persons were not at variance before, but on terms of peace and friendship; for he could not set a man at variance with his father, when he was so before.
We are necessarily called upon to view the persons thus set at variance, as being on terms of friendship; having so conducted themselves as to be entitled to each other's friendship and esteem, until they were put at variance by the teaching of the Savior; one or the other of them receiving the Savior in his true character, or any of his disciples whom he had authorized to teach, was sufficient cause to excite the bitterest feelings of the others, not only to object to their religion, but also to justify them in attacking their characters, and destroying them if possible; yea, more than this, their lives also.-No doubt it was in that day as in this; the very instant an individual or individuals received the gospel, though their characters were without blemish, yet their former associates had their recollections greatly brightened; they could call to remembrance a great many things which they had said, and a great many things which they had done, which were very exceptionable; they could look back for years and call to remembrance blemishes in their character, improprieties in their behavior, and they now recollect that, at that time it made a bad impression on their minds, though they had entirely forgotten it until their recollections had been enlivened. They could also now call to mind that the persons thus transgressing, had always been enthusiastic, versatile, and unsteady minded, and withal weak minded, with an indescribable multitude of evils that were very gross indeed.
There is perhaps in the whole brood of persecutors not one single one who is honest enough to confess that they persecute a man purely on account of his religion; they will hatch up some cause to justify themselves in their wickedness, though they know that it is alone on account of the man's religion; but being unwilling to confess this, they will invent and circulate the basest lies that human nature is capa-
ble of, for the purpose of blinding the eyes of the people, or rather of giving a handle to those base wretches who are capable of persecuting a man on account of his religion. For I will venture an assertion which will be found true in the day of God Almighty, if it should not before, that is, that there is not a man nor a woman under heaven who will persecute any people for their religion, that is not a base liar, be they priest or people.
It is most remarkable to see how some people's recollection can be improved when their supposed interest, ambition, or pride, dictates to them the necessity of persecuting some person or persons; their whole ingenuity is put into requisition to find out a justifiable cause for their railing and abuse; and they soon begin to recollect of most marvelous things: they can call to mind with the greatest ease of hearing things (which things by the by were never heard by themselves nor any body else,) which were of an alarming character, and called immediately for their exertion to prevent some great evil. They could also recollect of having seen things (it happened, however, that there were no such things to be seen,) which a sense of duty required them to expose. You would suppose, to hear them talk, that their recollection having been so greatly refreshed, it, by gathering up past things, and the great discoveries they were making at the present time, of things as they actually existed, had transformed them into a bundle of pure consciousness; for they were so conscientious, that they could not rest day nor night, until they discharged the duty they were bound to discharge, for the benefit of both God and man.
However, when the matter comes to be examined, and the great bustle a little allayed, it is found out that some people found, as they supposed, that it was their interest to persecute some body on account of their religion, and because they had no truth with which they could injure them, they found it very convenient to hatch up a good bundle of lies; and that is all there is of it.
In every age the Savior's words have been verified, that wherever his religion is embraced, it "sets the father against the son, and the son against the father, and a man's enemies will be they of his own household." The reason of this the Savior gives in a former quotation. "This they will do, because they know neither the Father nor me."
There is no truth plainer than this, that all false religionists, in the world, are unable to tell when a people are doing the will of God: there never was but one religion which had the power to give this understanding to men, and that is the religion of Jesus Christ; this alone is able to do this. All other religions have the direct different tendency; instead of making men acquainted with the will of God, they tend to bewilder the mind, and prevent men from understanding his will, or knowing what he requires of them.
In attending to the history of the former day saints, as written in the scriptures, there seems to be one thing written as with a sunbeam, that is, that in every age when any people began to listen to the voice of God, and give heed to his teachings, and were thereby in some good degree conformed to his image; all the religionists of that day would begin to proclaim against them with great energy, pronouncing it the works of the adversary, and the persons who were thus taught, as being in the very likeness of satan.
This strange tact was so clearly exemplified in the days of the Savior, that the most blind might see, that the nearer any person or persons approached to the likeness of the Deity, the nearer the false religionists thought that they resembled the prince of darkness, and if a person were to be transformed into the very likeness of the Deity, then the false religionists would say that they were the very image of the prince of devils himself.
The Savior of the world, of whom it was said, that he was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, was called by all other sects in religion in his day, the beelzebub, the very prince of devils. So little did they know of either the Father or the Son, that when the express image of the Father was before them, in the person of the Son, they supposed that it was the prince of devils himself.
Those sects and parties knew as much of God, as do the sects of this day. The Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Baptist, and the Campbellites, know as little of the Father and the Son, as did the Phar-
isees and Saducees of the Savior's day, and the Savior has said, that, "If they have called the Master beelzebub, so will they call the servant also."
The saints of the last days may calculate on being scandalized by every evil epithet which malice and ignorance combined can invent, and the nearer they approach to the image of the Savior, the nearer these ignoramuses will think, they will approximate the likeness of satan, and if they should so purify their hearts, as to be in the express image of the person of the Savior, then they may confidently expect to be called beelzebub the prince of devils.
There have been some things truly amusing, if wickedness could be said to be amusing, among those who have persecuted the saints of the last days. Take, for instance, Matthew Clapp, the Campbellite beloved disciple. At one time, to have heard him talk, you would have supposed that his whole breast was a mass of recollection, so that he could recollect from the waistband of his breeches, to the crown of his head. At another, you would have thought his whole carcass to have been a monstrous pair of eyes, with which he could see out of his back, or the calves of his legs, as easily as he could look out of his face. At another, to hear him spout, and see him stride through the streets, you would necessarily have supposed, that he was nothing but an outlandish pair of ears, with which he could hear out of the ends of his fingers, or the end of his toes, or from between his shoulders or any part of his body as easily as his head.
It wanted only, however, for a person of the least discernment, to see him once, to discover that he was nothing more or less, than the veriest folly, wrapped up in a mantle of the most perfect pride, that there was any where on this side the gates of perdition.
The scandalous conduct of the persecutors of the saints of the last days, the base lies which they have made and circulated in order to stop the progress of the truth, are another comment upon the Savior's words, "If they call the Master beelzebub, so will they call the servant also." This is what the Master of the house has forewarned us of, and of which he has testified; therefore, we may expect to receive it at the hand of this persecuting, though very religious generation. And when it comes we have another testimony of the truth of the Savior's saying, and an additional proof that we are his disciples.
Let us then do as he did before us; let us endure with much long suffering, the contradiction of sinners against ourselves, until he who is our life shall appear, and then shall we appear with him in glory, and where he is, there shall we his servants be also. S. R.
An eminent instance of true Fortitude.
All who have been distinguished as servants of God, or benefactors of men; all who, in perilous situations, have acted their part with such honor as to render their names illustrious through succeeding ages, have been eminent for fortitude of mind. Of this we have one conspicuous example in the apostle Paul, whom it will be instructive for us to view in a remarkable occurrence of his life.
After having long acted as the apostle of the Gentiles, his mission called him to go to Jerusalem, where he knew that he was to encounter the utmost violence of his enemies. Just before he set sail, he called together the elders of his favorite church at Ephesus; and, in a pathetic speech, which does great honor to his character, gave them his last farewell. Deeply affected by their knowledge of the certain dangers to which he was exposing himself, all the assembly were filled with distress, and melted into tears.
The circumstances were such, as might have conveyed dejection even into a resolute mind; and would have totally overwhelmed the feeble. "They all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him; sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they should see his face no more."-What were then the sentiments, what was the language, of this great and good man? Hear the words which spoke his firm and undaunted mind.
"Behold, I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there; save that the Holy Spirit witnesseth in every city, saying, that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to
testify the gospel of the grace of God."
Attend now to the sentiments of the same excellent man, when the time of his last suffering approached; and remark the majesty, and the case, with which he looked on death. "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."
How many years of life does such a dying moment overbalance! Who would not choose, in this manner, to go off the stage, with such a song of triumph in his mouth, rather than prolong his existence through a wretched old age, stained with sin and shame?
If at one time, and in one place, certain individuals become better, why should not the whole mass improve? If partial societies become perfect, why should it not happen with society at large?
We see neighborhoods, districts and towns becoming, almost instantaneously, more inquiring, more intelligent and more respectable and influential; and we also see certain individuals in almost every circle, however adverse the circumstances, suddenly starting from the stupidity of their associates, and rising into knowledge, influence and respect. What one neighborhood or individual has done, every neighborhood or individual may do. Cato remarked, "I can do whatever MAN has done."
Preventive Check.-It is the custom in Germany and Moravia, to make two distinct ceremonies necessary to constitute marriage; the betrothal and final rite. The latter precedes the former from one to four years, according to circummstances [circumstances], and is the best Malthusian plan that could be devised as Miss Martincau would acknowledge, being founded on prudence.
"It interposes a seasonable pause before young parties enter into the expenses of a family and house. It gives an opportunity of discovering any cause, such as drunken or idle habits or poverty which might make the marriage unsuitable; and perhaps, as a probationary period, is not without its good effect on the character and temper of both sexes. If we reckon the prolific age of a female at twenty two years, or from eighteen to forty; the interval of a year, (& in less opulent classes it is often several) alone reduces to the amount of between four & five per cent the increase of population"
THE EVENING CLOUD.
A cloud lay cradled near the setting sun, A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow; Long had I watched the glory moving on O'er the soft radiance of the lake below. Tranquil its spirit seemed, and floated slow: E'en in its very motion there was rest; While every breath of eve that chanced to blow Wafted the traveller [traveler] to the beauteous west. Emblem, methought, of the departed soul, To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is given; And, by the breath of mercy, made to roll Right onward to the golden gates of heaven, Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies, And tells to man his glorious destinies. Wilson.
KIRTLAND PRINTING OFFICE AND BOOK BINDERY. SMITH & RIGDON DEALERS IN BOOKS, STATIONERY, CAP, LETTER, AND WRAPPING PAPER. PLAIN AND ORNAMENTAL JOB PRINTING. CARDS, BLANKS, HAND BILLS, CHECKS, NOTES, SHOW-BILLS, DRAFTS, LABELS, Together with Book, and every other description of Printing; as also Blank Books of all kinds executed in a superior style, on short notice.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
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