FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice.
Messenger and Advocate/3/9
|← Number 8|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 3, Number 9
|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. 9.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, JUNE, 1837.||[Whole No. 33.|
The following communication was designed, originally, as a private letter by brother TAYLOR, of Toronto, U. C. to a clergyman, a friend of his, in England. We were shown the rough draft, and from a hasty perusal, we deemed it worthy a place in our periodical. We come to this conclusion from the fact that the plain principles of the gospel as taught by the apostles, are so clearly set forth and elucidated in a style at once simple, scriptural, and yet logical and conclusive, that it may strengthen and cheer the hearts of many, while it dispels the clouds of mystery and superstition that brood over the minds of others. We have thought it might serve one other valuable purpose, viz: that of showing the whole professing Christian world that they have no authority to administer the ordinances of the church, unless they have received it as there pointed out.
The Catholic church having become corrupted, and been emphatically termed the the mother of harlots, no Protestant church feels proud to claim any relationship with her, or that any authority derived from, or coming thro' her would be good, or acceptable to God. If it would, her authority would be equally good to excommunicate, and in this situation stands the whole Christian world, unless the Lord has renewed the covenant, and revealed himself, as brother Tailor [Taylor] contends he has, in these last days.
TORONTO, U. C. May 3, 1837.
REV. and DEAR SIR:-The anxious care and solicitude manifested by you to know the will of our heavenly Father concerning the accomplishment of his designs, and the coming forth of his kingdom in these last days, together with the readiness of purpose manifested by you to do that will when known, render it an important duty in me to unfold those things as far as the limited space of a letter will admit.
You express great fear in consequence of having been, as you observe, so nearly caught by Irvingism, and remark that you could not endure any thing which was in any respect like that. I do not fully understand you. If you mean any thing like their absurdities in doctrine and practice-their great assumptions, and yet their extreme unwillingness to have their principles investigated-their exclusive meetings, &c., I would say push it from you as far as you can. If you refer to the apostles, prophets, &c. the gifts which they profess to have, I would observe, that if ever we have a true church organized by the spirit, such officers we may expect in the church. If apostles, prophets, teachers, &c. were given for the perfecting of the saints, &c. it will take the same to perfect them in these days. Because they may be governed by a false spirit, shall we say there is no true one? Because their prophets have proved themselves false, shall we say that the word of the Lord will not again be spoken? No; it rather proves that Satan is transforming himself into an angel of light and is coming, as is spoken of by Paul, "with all deceivableness."
I shall now commence with the questions that you have proposed, concerning our church. The first that you mention, is a desire to know something of its origin. As you have a copy of a letter which Elder P. P. Pratt wrote to England, it will give you full satisfaction on this point, as he is better acquainted with the origin of the church than I am. I would however observe, that an holy angel appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. and revealed those plates to him; and that he translated them by the gift of God imparted for that purpose, and he was told to choose other three men to whom God would reveal the same things. These three men were together, making prayer to the Lord on the subject, and the angel of the Lord appeared to them, unfolded God's purposes, showed them the plates, and told them the interpretation was correct. Since that time angels have appeared to a great number of others, who bear testimony to the same things. I have conversed with three who have travelled through this part, that have had communion with angels-men whose lives adorn the doctrine of God
our Saviour [Savior]. One of those observed that it was easy for him to conceive of how the Lord could teach a man more in five minutes than volumes would contain. The remembrance of which, in every subsequent trial, dispelled his fears and caused his heart to sing with joy. Another of these men, about 8 months ago, left a wife and three children, two of which were twins and only six weeks old, and the other only 20 months. His wife felt so much about the importance of the work, that she urged him to go and labor in the vineyard of the Lord. He did so. And has since been the means in the hands of the Lord of bringing near 300 to the glorious liberty of the gospel.
You ask about healing the sick. I have seen I may scores of instances of it. The power of the Lord is indeed manifest in the church. When any are sick among us, we do not send for a doctor, but for the elders of the church, who, according to the admonition of James, pray for the sick, and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith heals the sick and the Lord raises him up. They are not always healed but generally according to their faith.
You ask how the apostles were chosen. As they were in days of old, by the voice of God and by the ministration of angels, and by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. You ask what is the number of the apostles. There are twelve that are ordained to go to the nations, and there are many others, no definite number. You ask next how they are appointed. They have got to introduce the gospel to all the nations of the earth, and then the seventies that are or may be chosen, will unite with them in the great work that the Lord has to accomplish in these last days. You next ask how the Evangelists, Elders, &c. are chosen. I would observe, just as the word of the Lord points out-by prophesy and by the laying on of hands, by those in authority. In answer to your question about an elder, I would take the same rule and give you a scriptural definition of it, which is what we hold. 1 Peter 5:1. The elders which are among you I exhort, which am also an elder. Peter here shows that there were elders in the church that were not apostles, and yet the apostles were elders. Those elders that Peter exhorts I conceive are such as are mentioned, Acts 14:22, whom they ordained in every church, who could confer with the apostles in the church affairs, as in Acts, 15:4. You ask who the gospel is to be preached to. I would answer, according to John in the Revelations, to every nation, and people, and kindred and tongue-to people and priests, saints and sinners. As far as the affairs of the church are concerned, that you have mentioned, the spirit is unrestrained. It is the privilege of all the saints to enjoy it if they are faithful-male and female-all are allowed to pray, speak, &c. as they may be led by the spirit; and there is no privacy about any of our meetings as in Mr. Irving's, nor is there any thing unnatural in the gifts of the spirit among us as in their utterances; nor are we afraid of investigation, as they are; the more the principles are investigated in honesty, the better. Paul cared not about having his principles investigated in the school of Tyrannus, and Paul's principles will not lose any thing by investigation at the present day.
You ask are sinners converted. I would observe that nearly one-half of those brought in, that I have seen, are from the world, and are young in the glorious liberty of the children of God, and by a consistent walk, adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.
I have now answered most of your questions. Those that are not answered will be embraced in what I have answered, and in what few remarks I may yet make. One thing I would mention, before I proceed, concerning what we preach. Faith, we consider, the first principle of the gospel; repentance, the second; baptism, for the remission of sins, the third; and laying on of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fourth. You seem to startle at the idea of being baptized over again. At this I am not surprised. Seeing the error has so widely spread, I will make a few remarks on this subject; and as I shall be plain, you will have to bear with me.
The whole Christian church have apostatized from God, and have, as in Isa. 24: Transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant. The glory of that dispensation, which is emphatically called the dispensation of the spirit has long since faded away. The gift of proph-
esy tongues, healing, miracles, &c. has ceased to exist, and the power of the spirit is not manifested in what is now called the church (the sects of the day.) The absence of the spirit necessarily implies a want of authority in the ministry of said church to officiate; which renders those ministers incapable of teaching the things of the spirit, which accounts for the present disorder and conflict of opinion that now exist; for if they were governed by the spirit of God they would be led to speak the same things, as the spirit of "God is not the author of confusion." If the Methodists are governed by the spirit of God, the Presbyterians are not. If the Baptists are, neither of the former have it. The spirit of God cannot teach two, much less 5 or 600 different doctrines. Turn to the 4th of Ephesians, and you will there find what Christ gave the gifts for-the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ-that we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. If you say apostles, prophets, &c. are not among the gifts of the spirit, I would observe that Paul speaks of Christ ascending to heaven, and gave gifts to men, and he gave some apostles, &c. And you will find the same body and the completeness of the body referred to there, as in the 12th of Cor. In Ephe. he says, 4:16, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth," &c., &c., and in Cor. 11:14-28, he describes the completeness of the body as not being one member but many, and that the eye can't say to the ear, I have no need of thee; nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee. I would here observe that it is as necessary to have ministers chosen of God, apostles, prophets, &c. to perfect the saints, as it is to have the gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, discerning of spirits, &c., to complete the body. One especial purpose for which they are given is "the work of the ministry." Many will tell us they are called of God, but where do they get their commission, unless God has spoken to them? for the spirit, as in the apostles' days, does not now exist in the church. Let us notice the importance attach'd to the authority of the priesthood in the apostles' days. The apostles were with our Lord and Saviour during his personal ministry. They conversed with him forty days after the resurrection. Had an opportunity of seeing all his miracles, and were taught by our Lord himself. If any were prepared to preach without the spirit, they were; but they were not then prepared. They had to tarry at Jerusalem until they should receive power from on high. They did tarry for that, and received it. How did Paul get his? The Lord spoke to him from heaven, and afterwards Annanias [Ananias] was sent to him to lay hands on him. How did Timothy obtain his authority? Paul says, neglect not the GIFT that is within thee, which was given thee by prophesy and by laying on of the hands of the Presbytery; and to exclude all possibility of obtaining it in any other way, Paul has told us, that no man taketh his ministry upon himself, but such as are called of God, as was Aaron. Paul speaks of a time when "men would heap to themselves teachers loving itching ears, who would turn away our ears from the truth, and turn them to fables," &c. Men have no business to heap to themselves teachers. This is God's work. God provided means, but men have spurned at his way, and made cisterns of their own; but do they perfect the saints with them? do they keep them from being carried about with divers "winds of doctrine?" Some that are in the Church of England, profess to have this authority, and to trace it thro' from the apostles' time. But what channel did it run through? The mother of harlots. You may say she might retain her power though she had lost her virtue. If so, she had power to excommunicate, which of course would nullify all that had been done. We see then, that at the present time, nothing but direct revelation from God could set in order the church, place them in that state of dignity from which they fell, and prepare them for the glorious appearing of God our Savior.
I would here observe, sir, that revelation is the only principle upon which God has ever dealt with his people, and that wherever the kingdom of God existed, there existed the fruits of the kingdom also. In the patriarchal dispensation, God revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, &c., under the gospel, for "Abraham had the gospel preached to him," &c. Under the Mo-
saical dispensation, the Lord manifested himself to his people by his prophets, visions, and the ministration of angels, and when the Milchezedek [Melchisedec] priesthood was again introduced by our Saviour, he had communion with his Father and "whatsoever his Father revealed unto him he made known unto them (his disciples.)-It was expedient for them that he went away in order that the comforter might come." He did ascend upon high, and gave gifts to men, and thus the power of the spirit then rested upon them and they then were immediately governed by revelation. By this power were the church affairs governed. Hence, on the question of circumcision, it seemeth good unto the HOLY GHOST and to us, &c. The HOLY GHOST SAITH separate now Paul and Barnabas for the work, &c. It was given for the work of the ministry also as before alluded to.
I would here observe, sir, that when the kingdom was taken away, the fruits of the kingdom ceased to exist. Our Savior observes that he would take the kingdom from the Jews, and give it to a people that should bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, and why they killed the prophets and stoned them that were sent unto them, and if they would not receive the word of the Lord by his prophets, and last of all, by his Son, they could not be God's people, for the simple reason that they would not be governed by revelation, and God could not deal with then [them] upon any other principle. You will observe here, sir, that as soon as the kingdom of God was taken from the Jews, the fruits of the kingdom ceased to exist among them. Since that time they have been without prophets, revelations, visions, &c. &c. and have been groping in the dark, knowing nothing of the dispensation in which they live. When the kingdom was given to the Gentiles, they then had visions, received the ministration of angels, the gift of prophesy, &c., &c. Hence Paul, Peter, James, Jude, John, &c. all prophesied, and could look thro' the dark vista of future ages, and unfold circumstances that should transpire through every subsequent period of time, until the final winding scene of all things. And why? Because they had got the kingdom, and, consequently, revelation.
Now, sir, let me ask, what is our condition at the present day? Where are our prophets, visions, revelations, ministration of angels, &c? They do not exist among any of the sects of the day. By what then are we governed? As I have before mentioned, in the Patriarchal, Mosaical, and the Christian dispensation, they had their prophets and the word of the Lord through them; we may trace them all through the scriptures until the apostles' time. The loss of it we have in John's Revelation. But there is a dreadful chaos from that time to the present. And now what have we for our guide? Oh, the opinion of the Fathers-the opinion of Commentators-the opinion of Divines, bodies of divinity-and cart loads of Theology!-all the opinions of men, and those opinions differing as much from one another as light from darkness. Thousands of opinions, but none to say, Thus saith the Lord. Hence we find the doctrines, ordinances, organization, &c. are all changed, and we have yet another state of things to that which existed in the apostles' day; and why? Because we have got the opinions of men instead of the word of the Lord.
I am, Rev. Sir, yours, respectfully,
WHERE IS THE GOSPEL?
The Gospel is the plan which God has devised from eternity for the salvation of mankind. A scheme which was evidently understood by Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, JESUS, and the Apostles. Some of them had written about it; a part of which writings we have in our possession, namely, that of the Old and New Testaments. In examining these scriptures we learn that By faith Abel offered up unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, &c. Heb. 11:4. Query: how did Abel obtain this faith, &c., and what had he faith in? I answer, he obtained it by hearing the word of God; for it is written that faith cometh by hearing the word of God. If so, then this word must have contained certain instructions to him, which enabled him to look forward to the great atoning Sacrifice, of which the sacrifice that he offered was a type. Then he had faith in the great plan of salvation to be brought about by the Father through Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant. And, having faith,
he was obedient to all his instructions and obtained a witness that he pleased God.
Enoch obtained life and immortality, which was evidently brought to light through the gospel. 2 Tim. 1:10. He was a prophet, could foresee and foretel the coming of the Saviour, with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, &c. Jude 14th and 15th verses. By faith he was translated, that he should not see death, and before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Query. His faith in what? For his faith came by hearing the word of God, spoken unto him, teaching him the gospel or plan of salvation, through which life and immortality were brought to his knowledge: he pursued the directions, or commandments, contained in that plan, until he triumphed over the power of the elements, and ascended up on high; consequently through having faith in the gospel, he was translated that he should not see death. But where are the writings containing these instructions to Enoch? Behold, the world knows of none such!
Noah was perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God. Gen. 6:9. And he became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Hebrews 11:7. How could he become perfect but by keeping the commandments of God? How could he walk with God but by having the mind of Christ?
And how could he become heir of the righteousness which is by faith, but by first becoming acquainted with the plan of salvation, and then by being obedient to all the requirements of God contained in that plan?
But where are all the instructions which were given to this great man, this perfect man of God, during the long period of 950 years, concerning his numberless posterity, their righteousness and their wickedness, their wars, contentions, divisions, dissensions, and the great plan of salvation by which they might be saved in the kingdom of God? I answer, such writings are not extant, and I must conclude that it is because of the wickedness of the children of men that they are hid from our eyes.
Abraham was the friend of God. "And the scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal. 8:6. Mark, "The scriptures foreseeing."
Notwithstanding the world of mankind suppose that Moses was the first writer of scriptures, we learn from the above quotation, together with the one which Jude makes use of, (14th verse) that scriptures existed hundreds of years before his day, and that these scriptures contained prophesyings and the gospel of Christ, which foretold unto Abraham that God would justify the heathen through faith.
Again, we find by all that is written of the covenants made with Abraham and his seed, and by his faith spoken of, that he understood the plan by which he and his seed should find an eternal inheritance in the city of their God. All his hopes of life and immortality were wrought in him by his knowledge of the scheme of redemption; for in this scheme of things he firmly believed, looking forward to the day of redemption and glory; and in this faith he died. By faith Moses esteemed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, &c. By this it appears that he had a knowledge of Christ before he fled from Egypt. And what had he faith in, if it was not in the plan of redemption, to be brought about through Jesus Christ? This appears plain from his having preached the gospel to the children of Israel in the wilderness, (Heb, 4:2,) and from their having been all baptized unto him in the waters of the Red Sea, and by the Holy Ghost when they were over shadowed by the cloud.
When we consider Elijah, of whom so little is said, we find he also obtained life and immortality, for he was translated. And it was undoubtedly through faith in the gospel that he came by this power.
But where is the man in all Christendom, who can disclose or lay before us this scheme with which Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Elijah were so well acquainted? I answer, there is none, unless it has been revealed from above in these last days. It is asserted by most of professors of religion that it is recorded in the New Testament. But what man is there among all the children of men who teaches it from that Book? If the Ro-
man Catholics do, the Presbyterians do not; if the Episcopalians do, the Methodists do not; and if the Baptists do, the Campbellites do not. I grant that they all pretend to declare it, and that each one is ready to say, "We understand the Gospel." But when we examine the matter a little we find that it is only their notions and opinions, which they have imbibed concerning the meaning of that which is written. This, and this alone, is all the gospel which is now preached among the children of men, by the above named sects of the day.
All deny at the present day, inspiration and revelation. All deny the spirit of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. Consequently all are ignorant of God the Father, and the Son, and know them not; for it is written that no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. And again, no man can know the Son but by revelation, if it be true that flesh and blood did not reveal him unto Peter; for it is written, "Upon this rock [revelation] I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Who does not see then, that he who has no revelation, has no knowledge of God, nor, that Jesus is the Christ; and he who does not know that Jesus is the Lord, does not know the Gospel? Although he may have ten thousand New Testaments before him, he will remain ignorant still-for all will be to him parables and mysteries!
Jesus said unto his disciples that he would send the comforter, which was the Holy Ghost, or spirit of truth; and that when it should come, it should reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of Judgment, and that it should shew [show] them things to come. And after they had received it on the day of pentecost, Peter arose and said that the promise of this Holy Ghost was unto them, and their children, to all that were afar off, even as many as the Lord should call; amd [and] that it was the same spirit which Joel, the prophet, said should be poured out upon all flesh in the last days, which should enable their sons and daughters to prophesy, their old men to dream dreams, and their young men to see revelations. Do we not see, then, that the promise was not confined to the apostles, but it extended to all people, and whosoever is without it, is ignorant of God and Christ, and of his plan of salvation. Whosoever is in possession of this promised blessing, hath the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy: it becometh record of the Father and the Son, and showeth them things to come: it bringeth all things necessary, to his remembrance: giveth him clearly to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven; and, in a word, it leadeth him into all truth. We know that there is much in the world which passes for Holy Ghost religion; but away with every spirit which denies inspiration and revelation, or will not answer the description given by Jesus, Joel and all the holy apostles.
Although hireling priests and learned doctors, have labored for centuries to unfold the scriptures and make known the prophecies, yet the people are as ignorant as ever as to the gospel: nothing is unfolded; nothing is made plain; and upon the very frontispiece of all their boasted gospel is written, "MYSTERY-BABYLON!"
Wherefore, the Gospel is no where found, known, nor understood, but in the Church of the God of Israel,-which church is built and standeth upon the Revelations of Jesus Christ, through his prophets and apostles.
THOMAS B. MARSH.
FROM OUR ELDERS AND CORRESPONDENTS ABROAD.
From Blain, Lawrence Co. Ky., Br. JESSE T. BAILEY writes, that he and his wife are the only persons in that immediate vicinity who belong to the Church, that he is surrounded by opposers to our religion. He states that he has but recently removed to the place from Ohio, that he is now seated among his relations and has held two meetings. Some of his congregation witnessed to the truth of what he said and some, or the greater part, as is the case in all places, opposed him. He earnestly solicits the assistance of Elders who are travelling, to instruct him and others in that place, more perfectly in the principles of our holy religion. May the Lord bless our brother and send him such assistance, and that portion of his spirit which are necessary for the edification of his own soul and the instruction of others in the way of truth and righteousness.
A brother MOSES SMITH writes us under date of May 28, from Foxville,
Racine County, Wisconsin Territory, stating that there are six only with himself in that place of the church of Latter Day Saints, that they want instruction in the gospel, and information relative to the situation of our brethren in the west, of whom they have not heard since last September.
For the information of our brethren generally we say, from the latest intelligence we have received; that our brethren are fast settling in a new county set off from the North part of Ray, that they have 2 county Judges 14 justices of the peace and one Post Master appointed from among their number. They have apointed a building committee and are making their arrangement to build a house of worship. Subscriptions are collecting for the building. Their county is called Caldwell, and their city or centre [center] and the name of their Post Office are called "Far West." It is said to be fertile, with a salubrious climate and that the brethren are rapidly gathering in from all parts of the country. Our brethren and the Missourians are at peace for ought we know. Indeed we hope better things than to hear of any disturbance, since they settled in their present location by the mutual consent of a committee, representing some of the people of Clay County, and a majority of our brethren in the same place.
Brother AARON HOLDEN writes us from Carthage, Illinois, under date of May 21, expressing his anxiety to have the papers sent him, and to have Elders call and give him and others such instruction as they need to advance and build up the kingdom. He assures us that in his belief, much good can be done in that region by such as are qualified to preach the word in truth and soberness, in spirit and power. We hope for our brother's sake, and for righteousness' sake, that elders or other official members travelling [traveling] to and from the 'Far West,' will call, set in order the things in that region that are wanting, and instruct our brother and others "in the way of God more perfectly."
Elder JOSEPH ROSE writes us from Huntersville, Indiana, under date of May 22, giving us a little sketch of his travels and success in the ministry since he left Kirtland, in 1836. He gives us to understand that he has travelled and preached some in this state, been to Missouri, and on the 29th of January left there and came to Illinois, where he has preached in various places, and been always well received, with but one exception.
He assures us that doors have been open, and a pressing invitation given to tarry longer in most places where he has preached. It would seem that he is now in Tippacanoe Co. Indiana, where he purposes tarrying till he hears from this place. We trust our brother will tarry while the Lord disposes the children of men to listen to the words of life and salvation.
Many of our Elders have gone out, and others are going on missions this season. There is no school for the instruction of elders now in this place. It is expected that a course of instruction in Hebrew will be given, to continue 12 weeks, commencing as soon as a sufficient number have signed to warrant the undertaking.
Elder F. G. BISHOP writes under date of June 4. from Uniontown, Pa., stating some of the particulars of his travels and mission since he left here in April, till the date of his letter. The Elder tarried about ten days in Beaver, Pa. where during that time he preached, and baptized eight persons. Thence he went to Pittsburgh, where he preached or lectured six times. Brother Bishop acknowledges himself indebted to the Rev. S. A. Davis for the use of his church, while in Pittsburgh, and for a letter of introduction to a clerical gentlemen, a friend of his in Baltimore, whither he expects to travel. Elder Bishop has associated himself with Elder James, with whom he intends to travel this season. Their calculations are to travel and preach in Pa., Md., and Va., where they can be useful in dispensing the words of life, and bringing people to the knowledge of the gospel.
Elders DANIEL M. CRANDALL, and MOSES MARTIN, write from Alabama, Genesee County, N. Y., June 12, 1837, stating the particulars of their travels and success since they left this place on the 22d of April. They inform us that they have travelled and labored in Napoli, Conewango, and Rutledge, in Cattaraugus County, about three weeks, baptized six persons; held one debate with a Methodist, and others associated with him; and make a request that Elders travelling that way shall call on
them, and set in order the things that are wanting and strengthen those that remain.
Brother _____ _____, of Providence, R. I., writes us under date of June 20, expressive of his approbation of our humble services in stating the truth in plainness, and asks us to answer some queries, which may be necessary and proper hereafter.
MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE.
W. A. COWDERY, Editor.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, JUNE 1837.
A train of causes, and a combination of circumstances, not in our power to control, have operated to prevent our issuing our paper in the month of June. We admire punctuality in all business, but in a periodical like ours, we are as deeply sensible as any one can be, of the character and importance that are given to a regularly issued periodical, whether it be weekly or monthly, religious or political. We know from our own experience, that the human system no more craves food after a suitable time, than the political demagogue his newspaper or the saint his periodical when he has reason to expect it. He anticipates a mental treat; he expects his spirits will be refreshed, his understanding be enlightened, his judgment be corrected, his hopes brightened, his soul be edified, and his spiritual strength increased. And we are not insensible of the depression of spirits occasioned by a tardy mail, or a total failure of the paper when the mail arrives. Being fully aware of all these facts, we have labored assiduously on our part, to obviate all difficulties and remove all obstacles that would retard the forthcoming of the paper in due season. But so it is-we with our numerous patrons are doomed to bear a disappointment. We have no compositor. We have till recently, had laborers enough at our control, but now we are destitute, or nearly so. Let but our readers be as patient with us, as we are with many of them relative to remittances, and we pledge ourselves there will be no falling off, but every reasonable allowance be made for the great and severe pressure in the moneyed institutions of our country, and the consequent effect which that has upon all business, and upon every occupation in community.
We claim no indulgence for idleness nor any excuse for sheer neglect of known duty, but simply for that charity to be extended to us "that endureth long and is kind, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."
The change of times, and circumstances, and the almost entire revolution in the monetary affairs of our country, have sensibly affected this our community as well as all others. With few exceptions, a sullen, we can almost say, a desponding gloom hangs over us, sufficient at least to show a striking contrast between this and last year. One year since and our village was all activity, all animation-the noise and bustle of teams with lumber, brick, stone, lime or merchandise, were heard from the early dawn of morning till the grey [gray] twilight of evening. The sound of the mechanic's hammer saluted the ear of the sluggard before the rising sun had fairly dispelled the sable shades of night, and the starting up, as if by magic, of buildings in every direction around us, were evincive to us of buoyant hope, lively anticipation, and a firm confidence that our days of pinching adversity had passed by, that the set time of the Lord to favor Zion had come, that we might almost rejoice when the world around us mourn, laught [laugh] at its calamity and mock when its fear comes; but we too feel the pressure, occasioned by the derangement of the currency, the loss of
credit, the want of confidence, or by overtrading; either the whole combined, or a part of these causes, have contributed to produce the state of things that now exists. So far as prophylactics are concerned, it may be well to look to causes, remote and proximate. But the great desideratum is how shall we extricate ourselves, now that we have fallen into the dilemma. And first, with the wisdom of a Socrates or a Phocion, we must necessarily experience more or less of the evils incident to a deranged state of the currency, an inflated paper circulation, and from our intercourse with neighboring communities, the want of sound capital to purchase the necessaries of life, and materials for building up and enlarging our place in proportion to our numbers and wants. Although our religion differs from that of our fellow citizens around us, as much as that taught by the apostles differed from that of their contemporaries, yet we must of necessity have intercourse with them, in a commercial point of view, and suffer more or less as they suffer, taking into consideration the frequency and amount of that intercourse. With all the precaution we could possibly have exercised, as other adjacent places have been made to feel a reverse of fortune, so have we. But as we write for posterity as well as for our contemporaries, we feel bound to notice some of the remote and proximate causes, and leave our readers to suggest the remedy. We are all sensible that one year ago our village was lively, and every countenance was lit up with a smile. The laborer found employ and fair wages. The farmer living near found a ready market for all his surplus produce. The mechanic constant employ for all the hands he could engage. A great amount of merchandise was purchased on credit, and sold in this town during the summer, fall, and winter past. Lumber and every kind of building material bore a high price; and much of it, as there was much used, was necessarily bought on a credit. Real estate rose from one to eight hundred per cent and in many cases more. Men who were not thought worth fifty or an hundred dollars became purchasers to the amount of thousands. Notes, (some cash,) deeds, and mortgages passed and repassed, till all, or nearly all, vainly supposed they had become wealthy, or at least had acquired a competence. With the consciousness of having suddenly and without much effort enhanced the amount of his worldly fortune, every one thought he must clothe himself and family according to his circumstances & present prospects, he therefore made large bills with the merchants, and promised to pay in a few short months, or when the bank should open and begin to discount.
Time rolled on with its usual rapidity. All the necessaries of life rose in value, while the demand continued the same or rather increased, and the supply rather diminished. The time of payment on many large contracts had already come. The merchant, the mechanic, and the wholesale dealer began to call; the laborer who is ever worthy of his hire, began to feel the pressure. The effects of overtrading were visible, daily. Almost every man had given his notes for more than he could raise; contracts were expiring, where hundreds, yea, thousands were at stake. Some made exertions to extricate themselves by their own economy or the assistance of friends. Some sacrificed what they had paid, and gave up their contract. Some appeared to almost sink in despair, on viewing the prospect before them. While there were still another class, who reckless of all consequences, rushed blindly on, till ruin stared them full in the face.
This being a simple statement of
facts, it is easy to see that overtrading is one of the principal remote causes of distress in our community. 2d. An inordinate desire to become suddenly and vastly rich. 3d. The deranged state of the money market abroad, and an inflated paper circulation at home, together with every article of food rising nearly one hundred per cent above the prices of last year. The laborer found less employ and still less pay, than formerly. The influx of inhabitants from abroad, in consequence of the general pressure, was less, and the few who did arrive felt little inclined to part with their disposable means. The day of speculation, we mean local speculation in real estate, appears to have gone by for the present, and the hour of adversity-the time of trial-has come; payments are due, money scarce, credit impaired, and confidence gone! We speak not of these, as calamities peculiar to our little town. We mention them because they are common to our whole country, and because causes of a similar nature have combined to produce nearly the same effect throughout our whole country.
We are now, after having hinted at what we deemed the remote and proximate causes, to propose the remedies. And, first, let every man live within his income, and contract no debts, except such as he is able, willing, and expects to pay himself; let him indulge in no visionary schemes of worldly greatness, or be puffed up with vanity as if the world was made for Cæsar and all mankind beside his vassals. Let every man study to know his duty to himself, his family, his friends, his neighbors, his country, and his God. Let him assert his rights as a free intelligent citizen of the government that protects him, but let him never abuse those rights. Let him not aggravate the distresses of his fellow men by pandering to the passion, the prejudice, the tyranny, or pride of any. If in his judgement his rulers are good, and their government good, let him uphold, protect, and constitutionally defend them. But let him beware lest a blind zeal for party throws him off his balance, and he imbibe the idea, that man, frail man like himself, has claims to infallibility! Remember that the great Creator never made an independent man, and with equal propriety we might add he never made an infallible one.
Industry and good economy will overcome all the imaginary, and many of the real evils with which we are afflicted. Let all the constitutional remedies be put in requisition and our great affliction if not soon removed will soon be mitigated. "Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. HEB. XII:11.
It would seem almost superfluous to adduce any proof or raise any argument to convince even the most sceptical [skeptical] of the truth of this naked, broad assertion. Whether afflictions come and are viewed as the well-intended chastisements of a merciful Father, or are the concomitants of vice and crime, the apostle was right in saying they are not joyous, but grievous to be borne. Afflictions come not from the dust, neither do troubles spring out of the ground, but come they when they will, or from what cause they may, they are unwelcome, and are never joyfully received. Whether they are necessary to our enjoyment or not, it is morally certain they produce a sense of our dependence on Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Man is prone to forget his Maker, and to turn a deaf ear to the requirements of heaven. But chastisements bring him to feel what the word of God teaches him to believe. Under his affliction he reflects on the beneficence of his Creator, and pours out his soul in gratitude to him from whom all blessings flow. He realizes that it is not in his power, while pursuing a course contrary to the will of heaven, to taste joys unsullied, or bliss without alloy. The
transgressor is sure to be visited with stripes; the reward of his iniquities will be given him, and none can deliver. Such is the effect of chastening on that soul that feels the importance of complying with what God requires of him. He bows in humble submission to the mandates of heaven. He sees, he feels, he knows, that his 'heavenly Father chastens every son whom he receiveth.' He also knows that chastisements are directed by a merciful hand, and that for the present they are not joyous but grievous; and he has an assurance that they will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness to such as are exercised thereby.
God, as we have before remarked, chasteneth every son whom he receiveth. He truly dealeth with his own as a parent; and those who are without chastisement and without rebuke from him, may well conclude "that they are bastards and not sons," that he has withdrawn his Spirit, and given them over to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. They are left to believe lies that they may be damned, because they love not the truth, and have pleasure in unrighteousness. Why, it may be asked, should God deal thus with his creatures? Are they not all his? Did he not create all? and does he not sustain all? Truly. And he deals with all as rational, accountable beings to him. If he had peopled the whole world with idiots, he certainly would not condemn them for a noncompliance with a law given for the government of wise, intelligent men. Why? because they could not understand it; therefore, since he is a just God and requires much only where much is given, it is easy to see that it could not be obligatory upon them. God has made millions of the human family and placed them upon the planet on which we dwell, and they are not favored with the light of revelation as we are. They know nothing of the written revealed will of God, his laws, or his gospel. Under these circumstances, will a just God condemn them? We are sensible that our answer must come in direct contact with the opinion of a great mass of the professing Christian world, but we unequivocally say no: we say so for two reasons.
And, first, because we believe it to be a plain dictate of common sense to say it; and, second, because the scriptures warrant us in such a conclusion. The apostle Paul, who is supposed to have written the epistle of which the words at the head of this article forms a part, when addressing his Roman brethren, says, "how shall they believe without they hear? and how shall they hear without a preacher," &c. The plain, legitimate inference from which is, that if they did not hear and understand they would not be bound to obey. The God of heaven will never condemn men who have not known his will, for not complying with what he requires of those to whom he has revealed himself, and those among whom his will has been promulgated. We are aware that in making this assertion, we come in contact with the creed of such of our professing Christian brethren as believe that God sends all to hell who do not believe the scriptures-the Old and New Testament-when they have never seen, read or heard them. We think we are warranted in this belief from what the Saviour [Savior] said to the unbelieving Jews: John 15:22, "If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." Where the word of God is not known, where it is not understood, mankind cannot be expected to comply with it. This imposes an obligation on those who have received and obeyed the truth, to proclaim it to others, and urge the necessity of a compliance with it. But it cannot attach blame, or render that part of the human family liable to punishment, who have never been favored with the light of revelation.
But to return again to the subject from which we have inadvertently digressed. Chastisements are designed by our heavenly Father to bring us to him, to show our dependence on him, to excite humility in us, and thereby yield those peaceable fruits of righteousness which are so desireable [desirable] to the saints of God. Therefore they seem to be necessary to bring the saint to God, our heavenly Father. Before I was afflicted I went astray (says the Psalmist) but now have I kept thy word. If they (the saints) go astray, they will be afflicted, they will be chastised; nevertheless "The Lord does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." He has given us a law for our government, and affixed a penalty if we depart from it. He is
no respecter of persons, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the bondman, the freeman, are alike to him. Such only as "fear him and work righteousness are accepted with him." No one can claim exemption from punishment or chastisment [chastisement], who is a wilful [willful] transgressor; he can only plead in the name of Jesus for pardon, he can deprecate the evils consequent upon a course of transgression, and humbly implore forgivness [forgiveness] for all his sins. "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1st John 1:9.
We presume no one feels to controvert the ideas advanced by the sacred penman, from which we have made these few desultory remarks. We did not select it because it was a point of doctrine or principle about which we supposed the saints had any doubt.-But we are aware after all, there are some nice distinctions respecting it. There are consequential evils, and there are penal evils. The saints who are truly such, are surrounded with a crooked and perverse generation, who are continually persecuting, vexing or grieving them. These are among the evils or chastisements which we are doomed to endure, which are consequent upon our situation here, and will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness to such as are exercised thereby.
We might here enlarge upon our subject, and say much on humility or self-denial; we might plead for it, and urge reasons and arguments drawn from scripture in support of it, but we need not. Of penal evils we have only to say, they are the just retribution of heaven for our crimes, and when we suffer for them, what thank have we, even if we bear them patiently? God has given us intelligence, he has required of us obedience, and justly made us accountable, "and if we sin wilfully [willfully] after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement [judgment] and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries." We are to deprecate such chastisements as shall come on the ungodly, who know their Master's will and do it not. We are to deplore the evils that flow from transgression, and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. The blessings even, of a temporal nature, with which we are surrounded, and of which we are permitted to participate, ought to excite humility in us, and gratitude to Him from whom all blessings flow. How ungrateful then are we to rebel against the government of Heaven! or practically say, mine own hand has gotten me all these things; when we are taught, that "every good gift, and every perfect gift, cometh down from above, from the father of light, in whom is neither variableness nor shadow of turning"?
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard that went down to the skirts of his garments: as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more."-Ps. 133.
The Psalmist was no doubt well acquainted with all the vicissitudes of human life;-with peace and with war, with prosperity and with adversity. The high encomium which he passes upon the union of brethren, and the figure which he brings to illustrate his ideas and portray his feelings, are of themselves evidence of his experience in the mutability of sublunary things, and the thrice happy situation of such a society as enjoys that union of which he speaks so highly. Man learns somewhat of the motives of his fellow man by the experience of others, but he is never so sensibly affected by what he is taught to believe, as by what he is brought to feel. We are far, very far, from inculcating the idea that we should embark in a war, that we may be able to appreciate the blessings of peace; or that we ought to do evil that good may come. But we do say that good and evil, virtue and vice, are so contrasted, or commingled, that, although we are not willing to subscribe to the doctrine, that they both flow from the same fountain, still that order of things is permitted by the great Ruler of the universe, which allows both to exist. We do not say that vice and crime are allowable by the laws of God, but we do know that good & evil, vice and crime exist, or are suffered to be; and that too among rational, intelligent, accountable beings, who have repeatedly read the law of God, and understood all its obligatory moral precepts.
Therefore, we say, although God does not approbate, yet he suffers or permits them to exist.
Here, in this chequered scene, we almost necessarily pass through enough of the varieties of fortune to know how to contrast union with disunion, to appreciate the former and deprecate the latter.
We look at this subject with deeper and more intense interest the longer it dwells upon our mind. Not that it is any greater or better than formerly. Not because it has become a controverted subject in divinity and we recently become a convert to the sentiment we now advocate; not that we suppose God has changed or his purpose varied. But because our own experience has proved the truth of what God by the mouth of the Psalmist has said. It enables us to say we know the truth of so much scripture most perfectly.
It appears that the character of God and the society of the blessed are delineated, although but faintly, by any human beings, yet we, by the union described in our text, can, at least, have some faint conception of such society as we shall all be pleased to enjoy, where the toscin of alarm, the din of arms and the noise of war, shall have no place, only in the reminiscences of bye-gone days.
While the adversary is not bound, sin is in the world, and so long as sin has any place in any society, so long that society, whether it be composed of saints or sinners, must suffer the evils that flow from it. In vain do they attempt to evade the evils consequent thereon. In vain do they attempt to hide from the scrutinizing eye of Jehovah, deeds of evil or works of darkness.
Man may plot iniquity with gravity the most sanctimonious; he may rear fabrics in his imagination the most splendid, for a while fortune may attend him, still if his works are not works of righteousness, however plausible in the outset, the issue will be unfavorable, the smile of heaven will not rest upon his labors, prosperity will not crown his efforts. That which is evil, that which is sin, will never produce union or harmony in any society: it will not bring order out of chaos nor restore peace to the troubled soul. Truth must prevail, righteousness must be pursued or no people can dwell together in unity. We are not uttering prophesies, or speaking of things that have recently passed before our eyes, but of things which have long since become matters of history, and recorded for our instruction. Man, we know is an imitative animal; with the purest of motives and the best intentions, he follows almost imperceptibly the footsteps of those around him. If he respect and revere his rulers, he copies their manners, he imbibes their habits, and if they have vices, he will hardly escape contamination by them. So that the sacred penman hath well said, "when the wicked bear rule the land mourns,"-when the wicked bear rule, there is discord, disunion and every evil work. But not so when the righteous bear rule. "The works of righteousness are peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever."
Of a Conference of Elders held in West Township, Columbiana Co. O. commencing Friday, June 16, 1837. The Conference assembled at 6 o'clock, P. M. Eld. S. B. Stoddard was chosen to preside during the sitting of the Conference, and M. F. Cowdery was appointed Clerk.
After opening prayer, President Stoddard stated the Conference was ready to transact such business as might be thought important.
The conference then proceed to try the case of Eld. John Kelso, who was charged with teaching and preaching erroneous doctrine, of defying the High Council at Kirtland, and of going to law with his brethren, contrary to the laws of the church.
After hearing the testimony, and the remarks of Elder Kelso in his own behalf, President Stoddard decided that the charges were sustained against him and that he ought to make a public confession, in order to maintain his standing in the church.
The question was then put to the Elders, and Members present, whether they concurred in the decision; and they unanimously decided in the affirmative.
Elder Kelso refused to comply with the requirements, and the hand of fellowship was consequently withdrawn from him.
The conference then adjourned till 10 o'clock on Monday morning.
On Saturday and Sunday there was preaching to a respectable and attentive audience, by Elders. S. B. Stoddard, G. W. Meeks, L. Barnes, and G. A. Smith. On Sunday, three were added to the church by baptism, and many others seemed to be enquiring [inquiring] after truth. The prospect at present is, that many others will yet embrace the truths of the gospel in this region of country.
On Monday morning the Conference again convened to inquire into the affairs of the church and to transact such business as might be thought necessary.
It appeared from the statements of the officers of the church that there were in all 30 members; that there had been but little faithful teaching and preaching among them for some time past, and that but very few among them observed the word of wisdom. After some remarks from the Elders, and also from President Stoddard on the importance of observing the word of wisdom, and also of keeping all the commandments of God, the church almost or quite unanimously covenanted to keep the word of wisdom in future and to perform such duties as were binding upon them.
Eld. L. Barnes, from Portage, stated that the church in that place consisted of about 100 members, and that he believed they generally kept the word of wisdom.
Eld. G. A. Smith, from Kirtland, stated that he had been about two weeks from home, that on his way to this place he passed through the town of Suffield, found a small church of eight members, who, he believes, were obeying the word of wisdom; also, that they had an Elder residing in the town who seemed to be anxious to know and do his duty.
After hearing from the members individually, and partaking of the Sacrament, the Conference adjourned.
S. B. STODDARD, Pres.
M. F. COWDERY, Clerk.
"The life of almost every good man exhibits virtue for a season struggling with difficulty, overwhelmed with distress, but emerging, rising, triumphing at length."-Hunter.
ANCIENT HISTORY.-No. 5.
Superstition, in the early periods, was a predominant characteristic of the Greeks.
The institution of the public games, and the origin of the Grecian oracles, may be referred to this period. It may here be remarked, that in this early age of the world, among a people who were but few removes from barbarism, where the light of revelation had not been reflected upon their understanding, had that strong desire that we have seen manifested in all subsequent time, to look into futurity-to learn the fate of man beyond this mode of existence. Hence the practice of consulting their oracles.
The resort of strangers to these oracles gave rise to a festival and to the public games in honor of their gods. The four solemn games of the Greeks, particularly termed icpot, were the Olympic, the Pythuan, the Nemean and the Isthmian. These games consisted in athletic exercises, and the prizes of the victors were honorary marks of distinction. They had an excellent effect in a political point of view, they promoted a kind of national union, a love of military glory, and measurably fitted youth for soldiers, by thus early training them to martial exercises. They cherished, at the same time, a heroical [heroic] and superstitious spirit, which led to the formation of extraordinary and hazardous enterprises.
The history of Greece for a period of three hundred years preceding the Trojan war, is intermixed with fables; but contains, notwithstanding, many facts entitled to credit.
Erutheus, who cultivated the plains of Eleusis, instituted the Eleusinian mysteries. These mysteries were of a religious and moral nature, conveying the doctrines of the unity of God, the immortality of the soul, and a future state of reward and punishment. Cicero speaks of them in terms of high commendation. But the ceremonies connected with them, were childish and ridiculous.
Theseus laid the foundation for the grandeur of Attica by uniting its 12 cities, and giving them a common constitution, 1257 before the Christian era.
The first great enterprize of the Greeks, was the Argonautic expedition, according to Usher, 1263, or according
to Sir I. Newton, 937, A. C. This expedition is supposed to be both a military and a mercantile adventure. It was bold for the time it was undertaken. The object was to open the commerce of the Euxine and to secure some establishments on its coasts.
The astronomer, Chiron directed the plan of the voyage, and formed for the mariners a scheme of the constellations, fixing with accuracy, the solstitial and equinoxial points.
Sir Isaac Newton, has founded his emendation of the ancient chronology on a calculation of the regular procession of the equinoxes, from this period to the present, as well as a medium length of human generations.
The military art of the Greeks at this period may be estimated by the sieges of Thebes and Troy.
The modes of attack and defence [defense] were rude and imperfect. The mode of attack nearly resembled a blockade, and was almost necessarily of long duration.
A dispute about the divided sovereignty of Thebes between two brothers, gave rise to a war, and finally resulted in a single combat in which both were killed.
The detail of the war of Troy rests chiefly on the authority of Homer, and ought not, in spite of the cavils of modern scepticism [skepticism], to be refused, in its principal facts, the credit of true history. The blockade or siege of Troy lasted ten years, when it was taken by surprise or by storm, 1184, A. C. and being set on fire in the night was burnt to the ground, and not a vestige of it remains at the present day. The Greeks settled a colony near the spot. Military expeditions were carried on only in the summer. Every battle was but a multitude of single combats. The soldier had no pay but his share of the booty. Their weapons were the sword, bow, hatchet and sling.
SUMMARY OF THE NEWS OF THE DAY.
Relative to our intercourse with the eastern nations, it is on an amicable footing and of a friendly, reciprocal nature. Our government is envied by despots, loved by the friends of liberty, and its citizens and its flag respected in almost every clime.
The great pressure in the money market has been felt in England as well as in America, but the latest advices, bring accounts more favorable to returning prosperity.
Bread stuffs are every where high, throughout our whole country. The season has been cool, wet, and consequently backward, and the prospect of the husbandman, gloomy and foreboding; but present prospects here, and recent accounts from abroad, are far more cheering than they were but a few short weeks since. We now hope for a good harvest and good crops. Fruit trees are heavily laden as far as we have travelled or learned by others.
The Indians in and about our extreme southern borders, continue at intervals a kind of cowardly, predatory warfare, upon the sparse population of that country, rather than open, manly hostilities.
Mexico, our southern neighbor, by no means acknowledges the independence of Texas, but considers her inhabitants as rebellious subjects.
Spain is divided against herself and is exhausting her blood and treasure in her own destruction. Portugal has long been wasting her own resources to pamper her princes, or gratify the different competitors for the crown, till she hardly holds a respectable rank among nations.
Russia is powerful in men and means, holds the balance of power in Europe, and at home in her high northern latitude and severe climate may defy the combined attack of all her neighbors.
Poor Poland has lost her rank among the nations and become extinct, to gratify the ambition of Nicholas, the Autocrat of Russia.
China is nearly in statu quo, while the Turkish or Mohamedan power is rather on the wane.
Of Africa we can say but little, only that it was once the home of the black man. Liberia is situated on its coast and is famous for the colony of emancipated negroes established there, by the munificence of citizens of our own government.
But to return again to our own continent, our own country, the land that gave us birth-we look around and see men reckless of consequences abuse one another, to gratify prejudice, envy or party rancor, and we blush at their folly; we then reflect that we have a government of laws, with balances and checks-and the acts of all are subjects of free discussion.
O, THOU ETERNAL ONE! whose presence bright,
All space doth occupy—all motions guide;
Unchanged through time's all devastating flight,
Thou only God! There is no God beside.
Being above all beings! Mighty One!
Whom none can comprehend, and none explore,
Who fillest existence with thyself alone;
Embracing all-supporting-ruling o'er-
Being whom we call GOD-and know no more!
In its sublime research, Philosophy
May measure out the ocean deep-may count
The sands or the sun's rays-but God! for thee
There is no weight nor measure; none can mount
Up to thy mysteries: Reason's brightest spark,
Though kindled by thy light, in vain would try
To trace thy councils, infinite and dark;
And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in eternity.
Thou from primeval elements, didst call
First chaos, then existence-Lord on thee
Eternity had its foundation; all
Sprung forth from thee; of light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin-all life, all beauty, thine.
Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thy splendor fills all space with rays divine.
Thou art, and wert, and shall be, glorious! great!
Life giving, life sustaining Potentate.
Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround;
Upheld by thee, by thee inspired with breath!
Thou the beginning the end hast bound,
And beautifully mingled life and death!
As sparks mount upward from the fiery blaze
So suns are born-so worlds spring forth from thee!
And as the spangles in the sunny rays
Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry
Of Heaven's bright army glitters in thy praise.
A million torches lighted by thy hand
Wander unwearied through the blue abyss;
They own thy power; accomplish thy command,
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss:
What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light?
A glorious company of golden streams?
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright?
Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams?
But thou to these art as the noon to night.
Yes, as a drop of water in the sea
All this magnificence is lost in thee:
What are ten thousand worlds compar'd to thee?
And what am I, then? Heaven's unnumber'd host,
Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed
In all the glory of sublimest thought,
Is but an atom in the balance weighed
Against thy greatness-is a cypher brought
Against infinity! What am I, then? Nought!
Nought!-but the effluance of thy light divine,
Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too;
Yes, in my spirit doth thy spirit shine
As shines the sun-beam in a drop of dew.
Nought!-but I live, and on hope's pinions fly,
Eager toward thy presence; for in thee
I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high;
Even to the throne of thy Divinity.
I am, O God, and surely thou must be!
Thou art directing, guiding all. Thou art!
Direct my understanding then to thee;
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart;
Though but an atom 'midst immensity,
Still I am something, fashioned by thy hand!
I hold a middle rank, 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of being stand,
Close to the realm where Angels have their birth,
Just on the boundary of the spirit land!
The chain of being is complete in me;
In me is matter's last gradations lost,
And the next step is spirit Deity!
I can command the lightning, and am dust,
A monarch, and a slave, a worm, a God!
Whence came I here, and how? so marvellously [marvelously]
Constructed and conceived unknown!
This clod Lives surely through some higher energy,
For from itself alone it could not be.
MARRIED-On Wednesday evening, the 24th inst. by Elder Nathan Haskins, Mr. URIAH HAWKINS, to Mrs. LYDIA ANN HAWKINS. Kirtland, Ohio, June 3, 1837.
A list of the names of Ministers of the Gospel, belonging to the Church of the Latter Day Saints, whose Licenses were recorded, the last quarter in the License Records, in Kirtland, Ohio, by THOMAS BURDICK, Recording Clerk.
ELDERS. Briggs Alden, James Locke, James M. Adams, William Law, Walter M. Blanchard, Samuel M'Clanathan, Leister Brooks, Laban Morrill, Caleb Baldwin, Russell Potter, John B. Carpenter, George Rose, Samuel Crawford, Isaac Russell, Dominicus Carter, John Stiles, Daniel M. Crandal, Lorenzo Snow, Alexander Cheney, Benjamin Sweat, Hiram Clark, Archibald M. Wilsey, Giles Cook, Bradley B. Wilson, John Goodson, George C. Wilson, John P. Green, Lewis D. Wilson, Emer Harris, Bushrod W. Wilson, Henry Herriman, Willard Woodstock, Heman T. Hyde, John Wilson. Chester S. Judd,
PRIESTS. Lewis Eager, John McVay. Jesse Turpin,
TEACHERS. Cyrus P. Dunton, George Pack.
DEACONS. Abram Cheney, Ebenezer Scott.
DIED-On the 6th day of June, DEBORAH H. HURLBUT, wife of Joseph P. Hurlbut, of Nelson, Medina County, Ohio. She was a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and died in the faith of the everlasting gospel. -- In Euclid, July 6, Mrs. FANNY PARKS, wife of Col. William Parks, aged 47. She had been a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, three years, and died in full faith of the new and everlasting Covenant, and in hope of a blessed immortality.
MESSENGER AND STAR,
Bound together, or in separate volumes can be had at this office.
|THE LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|Messenger and Advocate,|
|is published every month at Kirtland, Geauga Co. Ohio, by|
|$1, per an. in advance. Every person procuring ten new subscribers, and forwarding $10, current money, shall be entitled to a paper one year, gratis. All letters to the Editor must be|
|—> Post Paid. <—|
|No subscription will be received for a less term than one year, and no paper discontinued till all arrearages are paid, except at the option of the publishers.|