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The Evening and The Morning Star/2/14
|←Number 13|| The Evening and The Morning Star
Volume 2, Number 14
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: The Evening and The Morning Star Vol. 1
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR|
|Vol. 2.||Independence, Mo. July, 1833||No. 14.|
BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
Our object in quoting this caution of our blessed Savior, is to give the saints and the world, inasmuch as the inhabitants thereof wish to enter in at the door and be saved, a few hints relative to false prophets.
There have been, are, and will be, till the Lord comes, false prophets, that have tried to, and would if possible, but it is not possible, deceive the very elect.
Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.
To come to the point, there were to be many that should deceive many in the last days: such as Paul said should be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, false accusers, incontinent, dispisers [despisers] of those that are good; lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
It has long been so, that if a saint went east, west, north or south, he could not go, without having his ears continually saluted by individuals of this character.-He could find many deceiving many. How often have many in the presence of many, declared, without the gift of inspiration, that such and such would be damned, except they believed thus and thus, when the Lord says, more than once in the scriptures, Vengeance is mine, I will repay.
It is, and has long been, an acknowledged point, that there can not be but one church of Christ, as there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. With this sacred truth before us, amid all the confusion, and trouble now existing, in consequence of so many different denominations, all declaring they are right, and that they take their doctrines from the holy scriptures, we feel it a duty that we owe to God and to all that seek the riches of eternity, to say as Jesus said: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing.
When men, who pretend to be shepherds of the Lord's sheep, without authority, rail against the word of the Lord, or endeavor to warp its meaning to fit some peculiar notion, which will never extend farther than to gain the esteem and goods of this world, we say, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing.
When men, as servants of the Lord, under the sacred name of religion, instead of building up the church of Christ, by preaching baptism for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of the hands, with a promise of eternal life, by keeping all the commandments of the Lord, and continuing faithful to the end, are building up mite societies, temperance societies, missionary societies, bible societies, or any other societies wherein the scribes and pharisees sit in Moses' seat; or wherein money is the principal means of urging on the work of the Lord, (as it is termed) seeing that the blessed Savior never taught any such things as the gospel, or as an appendage to it, we exclaim, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
When men, that are looked up to as teachers in Israel, mingle in the follies and fashions of the world, and look upon sin with any degree of allowance; give their opinions on the most popular side of the question, because great A is on that side too, without even examining into the truth of either side; yea when such men are ready and willing, without being asked, to write, print, or publish their opinions upon what they are not acquainted, and much less judges, whereby they unman themselves of honesty, for the sake of forcing public opinion against any man, or men, country or kingdom, earthly or heavenly-we caution all men, and who will not do so to? Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
We might pursue this subject to a great length but who, that believes in the revelations of the Lord, is not ready to say, the world is full of such men? Instead of seeing all men every where, repent to prepare for the kingdom of God, the time has come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.
Instead of seeing all men every where, coming to a unity in the faith, and enjoying the glorious privilege of the new covenant, the time has come, when almost every teacher forms his own creed, and where we would expect to find one of Christ's-we behold hundreds of man's churches.
Instead of seeing devout and humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, preaching the gospel without respect to persons, without purse or scrip, willing to become any thing for Christ's sake, contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, we may behold some, supported by large salaries, striving shrewdly to maintain the systems invented by men since they rejected the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is enough to cause the righteous to shudder, and cry out, Beware of false prophets.
We are sure that the Lord delights in plainness, if it is expressed in meekness, and he is well pleased with those that serve him in spirit and in truth: He is not the author of confusion in his church, but of peace. The gospel was committed unto man that he might pe [be] prepared for a kingdom of glory; but when we observe them that pretend, or profess to be disciples of him that sinned not, but did the will of his Father in all things, full of pride, and full of contention; fond of vanity, and fond of variety, what can constrain us from crying, Beware of false prophets?
Lest we should offend any of the disciples of Christ, or even tire the patience of any, that are earnestly seeking the kingdom of our Redeemer and its righteousness, we will say something about true prophets.
When the Lord by the mouth of Noah, warned the inhabitants of the earth of a flood, giving them one hundred and twenty years to prepare in, the flood came: This proved that Noah was a true prophet.
When the Lord said to Abram, know thou for a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs; and shall be afflicted four hundred years and after wards they shall come out with great substance: When the children of Israel were brought out of Egypt under the hand of Moses, precisely four hundred and thirty years from the time that Jacob with his household entered into it, having been afflicted four hundred of that time, the fact must have been, if not before, established in the minds of all who had a knowledge of the word of the Lord to Abraham, that he was a true prophet.
When Moses declared the words of the Lord to the children of Israel, that if they would not observe to do all the words of the law, as it was written in the book that they might fear the glorious and fearful name of the Lord their God, that the Lord would scatter them among all people from the one end of the earth even to the other, and they were afterwards scattered, the ten tribes first and so on, and at last the Jews, until the power of the holy people had ceased to be known, or even the elect to be respected, who, that believes the scripture denies that he, even Moses, was a true prophet of the Lord?
Again, many things have come to pass just as they were foretold, and who doubts that the men who delivered them, were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and were true prophets? The prophet Joseph, who brought forth the book of Mormon, containing the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ, declared through the medium of that book, that there should be a gathering of the righteous on this continent, and in a revelation directly to the church, that in this generation, there should be men standing that should see a desolating sickness cover the earth, and in the name of the Lord, let us ask how long it will take, if so much as has come to pass in three years, is not sufficient evidence, to prove that he also is a true prophet of the Lord?
The only way of ascertaining a true prophet, is to compare his prophecies with the ancient word of God, and see if they agree, and if they do and come to pass, then certainly he is a true prophet: For it is not possible that the Lord will suffer FALSE prophets, to bring forth the truth, moved upon by the Holy Ghost, for it is written that the Holy Ghost dwelleth not in unholy temples. By their fruits shall they be known.
When, therefore any man, no matter who, or how high his standing may be, utters, or publishes, any thing that afterwards proves to be untrue, he is a false prophet. And if he does it uncalled for, for the sake of injuring his fellow-beings, or for the sake of gain, or to deceive any man, by putting a false coloring upon a matter of religion, to lead astray or prejudice the minds of any, to hinder them from receiving the truth, wo unto him, he is a false prophet and will have his part with the beast in the lake of fire and brimstone, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched!
Truth is light, and needs no art to recommend it to the soul that loves the Lord: A wise man is choice of his heart, but the fool exposes his to the world, and is not the better for it. Here then we can say, where we find a person uttering, or publishing, what he does not know to be a truth, merely to make a noise, whereby the least saint on earth might be offended, beware of false prophets, lest you have a portion with them, in the lake of fire and brimstone where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
Brethren in the church of Christ, did you ever hear of a true prophet, that persecuted any one for his religion, whether pure or of man? Did you ever hear, or have you ever read of a true prophet, that spake evil of any man, or that would lie to further the cause of God, or any thing else? If you have, brethren, then has the hypocrite an excuse for leaving his own fault unexposed, and, publishing his neighbor's to the world!
Then has the false prophet an opportunity to plead his right to send his lying words abroad, that he may obtain the praise and glory of this world, and deceive the simple.
But this is not so; what is good comes from the Lord, and what is evil comes from satan: therefore brethren, when any man, priest or prophet, minister or member, walks after the image of his own god, which is in the image and likeness of the word, and is filled with evil contentions, mark that man, for his heart is not right before the Lord, and his soul without repentance, will have a part in the lake of fire and brimstone, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
Brethren, when a man who obeys the ordinances of the Lord, preaches, prophecies, utters or publishes, any thing that will make men better; anything that will guide men in the path of eternal life; any thing that will promote the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of Jesus Christ, showing by a godly walk, and a holy conversation, that he is meek and humble; and witnessing unto the world that he is willing to leave father and mother, wife and children, houses and lands, for the sake of his Savior, follow his example, for his end will be peace, and his glory eternal in the presence of God.
Solomon once said, (let the saints mark the saying.) The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
ERRORS OF THE BIBLE.
The apostle Paul said, in his day, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. And when the disciples have read the following passing events of the bible, they may judge whether Paul was a true prophet or not. They are gleaned from our exchange papers.
"FALSIFICATION OF THE SCRIPTURES.-A reverend gentleman in England, named Curtis, has recently made some apaling [appalling] disclosures in relation to the careless and iniquitous manner in which the University editions of the Holy Bible-published by the King's Printer, are put forth to the world. Mr. Curtis has exposed some enormous errors, and variations from the original text, as given in King James time. Six hundred mistakes have been found in one book, & eight hundred in another; many of them most important, and all of them inexcusable. Some of the grosser ones, which would seem to have been concerted and intentional, have been rife for forty years. The true sense of Holy Writ, it is contended, has been greatly warped by these errors; and measures are in train to have them rectified, in all future editions of the Scriptures published in England. It is stated that the churches in America have long since adopted the edition in question, as a standard;-if so, it is of the last importance, we should conceive to import one of the corrected copies, now preparing, at the earliest period. The writer remarks, with much sorrowful feeling, that such preversions [perversions] of the Sacred Word have given rise to more scoffers and infidels, than could have been otherwise produced by any one cause."
"It is announced that Dr. Noah Webster, the lexicographer, is engaged in preparing for publication an edition of the Bible, in the common version, but with amendments of the language, chiefly in the following particulars-
"1. The correction of errors in Grammar.
2. The omission of obsolete words and phrases, and the substitution of equivalent terms now in use.
"3. The use of euphemisms for such indelicate words and phrases as are most offensive, and which cannot be uttered without pain both to the reader and hearer."
-> REMARKS ON THE ABOVE.-As to the errors in the bible, any man possessed of common understanding, knows, that both the old and new testaments are filled with errors, obscurities, italics and contradictions, which must be the work of men. As the church of Christ will soon have the scriptures, in their original purity, it may not be amiss for us to show a few of the gross errors, or, as they might be termed, contradictions.
It is said in the first chapter and 30th verse of Genesis, in our present King James' translation, That to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every GREEN herb for meat.
But the Lord said thus: To every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every CLEAN herb for meat. It needs but little wisdom to discern the difference between green and clean. If the beasts and fowls were to eat of EVERY GREEN HERB, they would be very apt to eat some poison ones.
Again: In the king's translation, in the sixth chapter and 6th verse of Genesis, it is said that the Lord repented: It is thus written: And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
The Lord never said that he repented as it is thus recorded in the present English bible: But it is thus: And it repented Noah, and his heart was pained, that the Lord had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Let one more sentence suffice for the present: King James translators made Paul say, in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for: But Paul said, Now faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for.
As to a new translation, by Dr. Webster, we think he is already superseded in one which follows; yea, with all the euphemisms he could collect from his Quarto dictionary, he could not destroy the sublimity of the scripture faster, than Dr. Dickinson has.
[From the Louisville Herald.]
NEW TRANSLATION OF THE TESTAMENT.-A new translation of the Testament has been recently published by the Rev. Rodolphus Dickinson, a Presbyter of the Protestant Episcupal [Episcopal] Church in the United States, and Rector of St. Paul's Parish, Pendleton District, S. Carolina. The avowed object of this translation, is "to furnish a work better adapted than the old translation to the advanced state of literature and refinement, and correct the errors in grammar and rhetoric, and the harsh and indelicate expressions which are dispersed through the common version." As a specimen of his improvement, we copy the following passages from the common version, and the improved translation of Mr. Dickinson:
John 3-16. "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into this mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered and said, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit."
"Moreover, there was a Pharisee, whose name was Nicodemus, a senator of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Teacher, we know that thou art an instructor emanated from God; for no one can achieve these miracles which thou porformest [performest], unless God be with him. Jesus answered and said to him, Indeed, I assure you, that except a man be reproduced, he can not realize the reign of God. Nicodemus saith to him, how can a man be produced when he is mature? Can he again pass into a state of embryo, and be produced? Jesus replied, I most assuredly declare to you, that unless a man be produced of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter the kingdom of God. That which is produced from the body, is natural life, and that which is produced from the Spirit is spiritual life."
Amos said, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
With the old copy full of errors; with Dickinson's and Webster's polite translation, with Campbell's improved, and many more from different persuasions, how will a person of common understanding know which is right without the gift of the Holy Spirit? Well might Amos prophesy of a famine to hear the words of the Lord, for it will be even so with thousands of our fellow-men.
It must be admitted by all who have any knowledge of the general state of society, at the present time, that it is very corrupt; and those who have a knowledge of things as they really are, and as they really will be, know that it does and wiil [will] grow worse from year to year, and yet the bible, instead of the hearts of men must be PURIFIED!
Now just at the close of this world, or more properly at the close of this wicked generation, the bible, after a period of hundreds of years, is found to be faulty and indecent. It has been translated and sent to almost all nations, and now, the whole work is full of errors, and unchaste expressions! Well may the saints of Christ's kingdom, exclaim, like the Roman orator, "O the degeneracy of the times! O the corruptness of the manners!"
What better testimony needs the disciple of the humble Jesus, that satan rules in the same places, where the daughters of the Mother of abominations, are corrupting nations and holding vile commerce with the sons of men?
O what a blessing, that the Lord will bestow the gift of the Holy Spirit, upon the meek and humble, whereby they can know of a surety, his words from the words of men! O that men would learn wisdom, and know that a house divided against itself can not stand! Verily, all flesh, as before the flood, has corrupted itself before the Lord. Iniquity abounds, and the love of men waxes cold.-But the elect can not be deceived, for Israel knows the voice of God, and will obey it.
THE GATHERING, &c.
No one that believes in the revelations of the Lord, can, or will deny the gathering of the saints to holy places, in the last days. From the time that Jacob prophesied to his sons what should befal [befall] them in the last days, till as it is recorded in Acts: When, therefore, they were come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? the children of Israel, that were of a pure heart, expected a gathering, or, in other words, a restoration of all the tribes to the land of their inheritance.
But from this time, to those that Jesus answered: It is not for you to know the times nor the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power, it was not expected that the tribes would be restored; or, properly, the righteous gathered, till about the time that the glorious thousand years commenced, when a light should break forth among them that sat in darkness, that a present might be brought unto the Lord of hosts, of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers had spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion.
The Lord, who frequently speaks the same things by the mouths of different prophets, in different ages of the world, said, by his servants Isaiah, and Micah:-And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
In support of this prophecy, which was delivered long before the coming of the Messiah, and which has not yet been fulfilled, the inhabitants of the earth may look and witness a part of the scene passing, to bring to pass the gathering of the Lord's elect.
Again, from rumors like the following, of which extracts have before appeared in our paper, we may naturally conclude that the Lord is bringing to pass his strange act.
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.-To the city of Jerusalem, and to their long lost lovely country that "flowed with milk and honey," it is said, is about becoming a very serious point of consideration among the cabinets of Europe. The complicated state of Turkish affairs, and the dread that Russia may acquire a footing on the Bosphorus and Asia Minor, have led the cabinets of Europe to inquire into the propriety of establishing an independent sovereignty in Palestine, as they have already done in Greece.
A new power raised up in Palestine, a Jewish Kingdom erected in Jerusalem, might prove a check to the designs of the Pacha of Egypt, as well as to the Northern Nicholas. It is said in private letters, that the celebrated Rothschild, and all the leading Israelites in Europe have been consulted on the subject, and that the project has been favorably received by many. The plan is to send an army and a fleet to Palestine, under the combined auspices of England and France, and to take possession of Palestine-to negotiate with Egypt, or fight that power, but at all events to lay the foundations of a new empire in the East, in which the Jews of Europe could occupy the first rank, on condition of their emigrating to that country, and furnishing that part of the funds necessary to defray the expenses.-Of course the utmost liberty of opinion in religion, would be extended to all classes in the new Judea, for it is a singular fact that the Jews of the present age are the most liberal thinkers in all matters of political and religious belief. The exclusiveness which pravailed [prevailed] in the "high and palmy state" of Jerusalem is completely changed in this age of the world.
What a singular spectacle it would be to see that curious, original, and ancient people restored to their country by the Christian cabinets of Europe!-to see the banks of the brook of Kedron, the vale of Josaphat, the river Jordan, the mounts of Carmel and Lebanon again peopled with the descendents [descendants] of their ancient possessors!-[Pennsylvanian.]
A great number of religious Jews in Poland are making preparations to visit Jerusalem, in the belief that the time predicted by the prophets has nearly arrived, in which they shall be restored to the possession of that country. The Jews generally are, we hear, watching the movements of the Egyptian army with great eagerness, in belief that some arrangements will be made which will enable them to return to Judea, and this belief has led to actual associations in Poland.-[London paper.]
In ancient days, Judah, (from whom sprang the Jews) was great in the eyes of the Lord. The scepture [scepter] was not to depart from him, nor a law giver from between his feet, until the Savior, or, as it is written, Shiloh came: and unto him was to be the gathering of the people.
Moses, who was a great prophet of the Lord, said many hundred years before Judah was scattered among all nations, Hear Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people.
But the events which are beginning to come to pass of the Jews; and of the remnants of the tribe of Joseph; yea, of the Gentiles, show that for Zion's sake the Lord will not hold his peace, and for Jerusalem's sake he will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
It seems remarkable, to those who feel for their fellow beings, that so many rational persons, who profess to believe and understand the sacred scriptures, should be so blind to the events which are foretold in them, by the prophets of the Lord.
Some from all nations, according to the prophets have yet to be gathered to Zion; and the Lord is suddenly to come to his temple And the Jews must assemble at Jerusalem: For the Lord will yet comfort Zion and he will yet choose Jerusalem. The horn which the Gentiles lifted up over Judah to scatter it, will vanish when the Lord raises up out of his holy habitation, to shake terribly the earth! Be silent, O all flesh before him!
We might follow this pleasing subject to a great length, but as new events are constantly bursting upon an astonished world, and unfolding fresh evidence, that the lord has set his hand again the second time, to restore the scattered remnants of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, we leave the matter at the beginning.
Although we have frequently spoke of the necessity, of having children taught in all things appertaining to their welfare in this world, and that to come, still we feel a great anxiety on the subject, seeing that many children among the disciples, are deprived of, or do not enjoy the blessing of a school.
If children are to be brought up in the way they should go, to be good citizens here, and happy hereafter, they must be taught. It is idle to suppose, that children will grow up good, while surrounded with wickedness, without cultivation.-It is folly to suppose they can become learned without education. And it is in vain to think they may be saved in the kingdom of God, without salvation.
As soon as our father Adam was born of the water and the Spirit, he received a commandment to teach his children; and, as soon as the church was called to prepare for the Lord, in these last days, the fathers and mothers in Israel, were commanded to teach their children the plan of salvation; to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.
In order to do this as it should be, it is necessary that children should be taught in the rudiments of common learning out of the best books; and then, as they grow up they can be qualified to search the scriptures, and acquire the knowledge of the Lord, become heirs of the kingdom, and, guided by the Holy Spirit, which is a never failing promise to the saints, they will walk in all the commandments of the Lord blameless, in thanksgiving forever.
Brethren, if you want your children to be useful, industrious, temperate, humane, meek and charitable, teach them so; if you want them to be prayerful, watchful and godly, teach them so, and if you want them saved in the celestial kingdom, teach them faithfully the doctrines of that kingdom, and they will soon come to the day, that they will grow up without sin unto salvation, and walk with God where the wicked will not trouble.
A BEE STORY.
A friend told me the other day a bee story, and were he not a man on whose word I can strictly rely, I should set it down as a real Munchausen. Such as it is you shall have it.
In Wythe county, in Virginia, in a spur of the Alleghany [Allegheny] Mountains, called the 'Tobacco Row,' is a perpendicular ledge of rock fronting the southeast, about fifty feet high-an open sunny situation. About thirty feet from the base, a horizontal crack or fissure opens in the rock, from half an inch to six inches in width, and extending near eighty feet in length. How deep this fissure extends into the mountain is not known, as no one has ever examined it. This fissure is full of bees! Their numbers are so great, that in the summer time they hang out in huge clusters for several feet, above and below the fissure, in its whole length. A short distance above are two other cracks, containing earth, in which grow some little chinquapin bushes, and these are covered with the bees. They frequently go off in huge swarms, like a barrel or hogshead in bulk, and are often compelled to return, finding no place large enough to contain them. In the spring, previous to commencing their labors, the dead bees, remnants of comb, and cleanings of the habitation which are brought out and dropped by them, make a winrow [windrow] of a foot in height the whole length of the opening.
My informant saw it in the month of June, when immense numbers of bees were out on the surface, making great patches of rock black with their swarming masses. The oldest inhabitants say that the first settlers found the bees there, and the Indians told them that their oldest traditions knew nothing of its origin. 'It was always there.'
No one has ever been found bold enough to attempt its plunder, or to examine the place where they are. It is in fact too dangerous an enterprise to meddle with.
If these facts be so, and I cannot doubt it, does it not form rather a new feature from that generally received in the history of the bee? By the way, I fear that I am going to have all this bee discussion to myself. But we'll see.
Do none of the correspondents of the American Farmer live near this great bee hive? If so I should be much gratified to hear further about it.-[Gen. Farmer.]
REMARKS.-To them that believe in the revelations of the Lord, this bee story is no great mystery. The bees may have been there more than three thousand years. When Jared and his brother came from the tower of Babel, to settle the continent of America, they brought bees, as it is written in the book of Ether: And they did also lay snares and catch fowls of the air; and they did also prepare a vessel, in the which they did carry with them the fish of the waters: and they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee: and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
What a pity it is that man has strayed so far from the knowledge of the Lord! Created as he was in the image of his Maker, an agent unto himself, and capable, by obeying the commandments of the Lord of receiving the Holy Ghost, which bringeth all things to remembrance, he might let his understanding reach to heaven, and never be at a loss for the truth; but alas he trusts in his own wisdom, and scarcely arrives at certainty.
Before the flood, bees might have been in every part of the world, but since Noah left them on the other side of the Atlantic, unless brought by man they would not have been able to cross it.
WHAT a field for reflection does the world now present, to the contemplative disciple of our Savior? A desolating sickness is wasting the inhabitants in many places, while war dreadful war is preparing to destroy his thousands among all nations. The most illiterate; yea, the most careless can see that great things, are about to come to pass.
The Lord has said, that he is holding his Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth, and when we see a robbery in one paper, and a murder in another; yea, and all manner of crimes following each other, in quick succession, we are led to exclaim: The Spirit of God has nearly done striving with man! Surely great things await this generation. The Lord has called servants to publish glad tidings; and them that go forth to bear them unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given, to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious; yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked, without measure, unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
Notwithstanding, man has been laboring for centuries, to preach the gospel to all nations, it has not been done; and the Lord has now commenced his strange act, and he will perform it. He will send forth servants that will preach the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people: yea, and all shall hear in their own tongue and language; so that before this generation passes away, some, out of all nations, may be gathered to Zion, ready to meet Jesus when he comes in the clouds of heaven.
Let us ask, who shall enter into the Lord's sacred rest, prepared for those that gather faith for a treasure. They that keep all the commandments. They that are ready and willing to give up houses and lands; leave all relatives and friends, and follow Jesus: such shall find rest for their souls.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
It affords us great joy to witness the spread of the gospel of our blessed Savior. Notwithstanding the unmerited opposition from many sources, the work goes on, and the poor among men, have the fulness of the gospel preached unto them, without money and without price, or any expense whatever, more than that of going to hear it.
It is impossible for man, though his acquired knowledge may be as broad as the earth, to hinder the work of the Lord. It is really painful to see how blind to the things of God, some are, who in fact, are endeavoring by worldly wisdom, to raise themselves above their fellow men, that they may be esteemed great and popular in matters of religion.
No personal reflections is meant by this, but a general idea. Some men are so fraid of the fulness of the gospel of our blessed Redeemer, that they declare against it before they hear it or know what it is. Others pin their faith upon the sleeve of some friend, and as he says, they say, right or wrong. But among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, the Lord has some precious souls; and they can be touched by his love. The elect hear his voice and harden not their hearts.
It does a saint's heart good to see an honest man brought into the kingdom of Jesus, where he can keep the commandments of the Lord and be saved. Where he can consecrate unto the Lord, all the property that he has, more than he wants for himself and family, for the benefit of the poor and needy; that he may administer to their necessities as the gospel requires.
There is a joy and consolation in the gospel of our Lord, that amply repays the sufferings and persecutions of this life: yea, the everlasting covenant of the Lord; to his people, is worth more to happify the soul in this life and prepare it for eternity, than all the religion, that man has invented and modeled over for the last thousand years.
The righteous will be rewarded. The faithful shall be blessed with many sheaves and in order to prove it, we continue our extracts of letters from the brethren abroad.
Kirtland, Ohio, May, 1833.
Dear Brethren, I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines. In the first place I must give you some idea of the churches: The church at Kirtland is sharing bountifully in the blessings of the Lord, and many have the gift of tongues and some the interpretation thereof. The work is prospering in all the regions round about, especially east, much addition is made to several churches, and new ones are springing up.
Brother Jared has been to Michigan and raised up three small ones. There is the greatest prospect in Florence that there ever has been: I baptised [baptized] ten there and one in this place, and expect to baptize some more next Lord's day.
Yours in the Lord,
GIDEON H. CARTER.
New Rowley, Massachusetts, May 5, 1833.
Brother Phelps, Feeling a desire for the prosperity of Zion, and for an increase of knowledge in the great things, which the Lord is doing in these last days, I have obtained the number of subscribers, for the Star, (herein inclosed [enclosed]) for the next volume. I am your brother in the new covenant.
Palmyra, Missouri, May 16, 1833.
Brethren, yesterday brother Daniel took leave of us and started to visit the churches in Illinois and Indiana; to labor with them and prepare their hearts for Zion. It seemed good to the Lord to let me and brother Groves stay and labor in these regions, as there is a considerable door opened for preaching. The Lord is opening the eyes of the blind, and blessing our labors. We have baptized eighteen members in this settlement, and there is a greater prospect now than there has been of doing a great work. Some are raging considerably, but the day is close at hand, that the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water shall overflow their hiding places: Therefore let the servants go forth and labor with their mights in the vineyard of the Lord, for the harvest truly is great but the laborers are few. Pray for us, as we do for you.
Your brethren in the Lord, G. M. HINKEL,
Pleasant Grove, Illinois, May 25, 1833.
Dear brother in the Lord, I wrote to brothers Porter and Phelps to send to me and brother Jones, the papers: I have received them, and find they unfold, to my mind, many, things that are precious.
I think, if the Lord directs, I shall come to Zion this summer. I am striving to instruct the people, in this part of the Lord's vineyard, in the way of truth.
There is great opposition, but some believe and are striving to keep the commandments. The church here has generally enjoyed the blessings of God, and none has fallen away, but some have fallen asleep.
What is most grievous, is, that the hardest persecution comes from them that profess the religion of Jesus Christ. It is marvelous how satan strives to justify himself, and prove his doctrine by the bible; and condemn Christ's doctrine by the same. The only way I can see for the saints, is to live humble enough to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord; and watch and pray always.
I mean to try to establish the work of the Lord, as far as I can, for I can see almost all laying up for themselves treasures on earth, which must soon perish.
How little do mankind realize their situation! How easy they are satisfied without knowing whether they are born of water and the Spirit, or not! O that God would grant that they might humble themselves before him, that they might know the plan of salvation!
I desire an interest in your prayers that I may be able to do the will of the Lord in all things. CHARLES RICH.
Chenango point, New York, May 16, 1833.
Dear Brother, It is with a joyful heart that I take the opportunity to send a few subscribers for the Evening and the Morning Star. I rejoice much in the prosperity of Zion, and pray God to enlarge her borders, and increase her converts; yea, and extend peace unto her as a river, that she may arise as from the dust and come to light, and go forth unto the regions round about, and become the joy of the whole earth.
It is about six weeks since I left Kirtland to take a mission to the east; since which time I have visited twelve churches, and passed three others, in coming to this place: all of which are nearly in the course from Kirtland to Chenango, New York: so grows, and so spreads the mighty work of the Lord. Some of said churches are composed of nearly one hundred members; and, in nearly all of them, the work is still going on. With some few exceptions, union prevails among them.
The hearts of the people are generally open to hear preaching, and we frequently get admittance into their synagogues of worship, and sound the gospel in Babylon's halls; which often causes her priests to wonder. O may the Lord cause his glorious voice to be heard until error and superstition shall give way to the everlasting gospel of Jesus.
I feel much weakness as a man, but in the strength of Christ I am resolved to blow the trumpet of the gospel, until the people of God are delivered from the merchants and traffickers of souls, unto the glorious liberty of the gospel. I have great need of aid from heaven, for I find the mother of abominations, has presented the cup to the lips of all people, languages and tongues; and nearly all have been sipping her delusion: and taking the name of the Beast instead of the name of Christ. Some say the book of Mormon is contrary to the bible, because it speaks against unconditional election, and reprobation; some because it exhorts the saints to continue faithful to the end, lest they fall out by the way and perish; some because it teaches immersion for baptism, and discards the baptism of infants. The universalist says it reproaches his creed; the atheist complains that it disorganizes his laws of nature: and thus it is condemned as destructive to every craft under heaven. All parties seem to feel a disquietude because of the marvelous and wonderful work that the Lord is beginning to accomplish in the earth; and may he stay not his hand until it is finished, and the despisers of godliness, are sent to their place, and hypocrites shall wonder and perish.
And O may the sheep that will hear the voice of the good Shepherd, and that know it when they hear it, be gathered unto the fold: so that there may be one fold, one Shepherd, and one flock, when the Lord brings again Zion; yea, from the days of Adam to the return of Israel, from the land of the north.
I have baptized four since I left Kirtland; and some here are ready to go forth out of Babylon and receive the new and everlasting covenant. The male members in this place have nearly all turned back to the world, but some six or eight sisters are in good faith, and the Holy Spirit is in their hearts, but they have been without any one to break the bread of life to them. I hope the Lord will raise up an elder for them, before I go away.
Pray for them for they are left to stem the torrent alone.
I have received a letter from brother John informing me, that the church in Benson, Vermont, was going up to Zion, this summer, but he is going to lake George. The churches in those regions are in a prosperous condition.
As for myself, I amend, if possible, to attend the School at the LATTER Jerusalem, to which I am confident, it is my privilege to go, as often as the old apostles went to the FORMER Jerusalem.
Since I commenced my mission I have labored the most of the time with the churches which I have visited, but I intend to return, if the Lord will in a southern direction by way of the Gentiles, and plant the standard of truth wherever I can find soil sufficiently pliable to receive it: for I am sensible that the word will not grow and flourish upon the barren rocks of pride and unbelief, which is almost the only characteristic of the old churches.
When I view the situation of the sectarians of the day, my heart cries wo, wo, wo to the scribes, and pharisees, hypocrites, who build and garnish the sepulchres [sepulchers] of the apostles! but alas! their building upon the old covenant, will not save them if they reject the new! Their crying out against the murderers of Christ and his apostles, will not save them, while they stone those whom the Lord sends to warn them of the desolations which await the wicked! But as said the Saviour [Savior]: As your fathers did, so do ye.
The world has always rejected the word of the Lord, when it came to them, from his servants, in their own day, because they would look back to the words given to people before them, and say, O that we had lived in the days of those holy men, we would have believed! Alas! even so this generation, seem very willing to lay hold of the blessings promised to the world eighteen hundred years ago, but reject the glory that might be obtained in this generation, by obeying the commandments which now come forth for the salvation of men.
It is likely to be with the present inhabitants of the earth, as it was with the antedeluvians [antediluvians]. The Saviour [Savior] said, They knew not till the flood took them all away: So this eating and drinking generation will be overtaken with the judgments of God, when the cup of his indignation is poured out upon all nations.
And the Lord will say: When I called to you out of the heavens, ye refused and neglected my servants, which I sent to testify of your abominations: I will, therefore, laugh at your calamity, and mock at your fear.
Had this generation lived in the days of the Savior, they would have crucified him and killed the apostles and would not have known the voice of the good Shepherd, any better than they do now.
I know of no reason why the angels, after the people have been warned a little longer, should not receive the great command: Go reap down the earth.
O ye children of the kingdom in Zion, fail not to lift up the ensign from afar; even upon mount Zion, that the nations of the earth may see it, and flee unto it; that they may behold the glory of that city which is set upon a hill and can not be hid! and O ye watchmen upon the walls of Zion, lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump; and set an example of love and union; and teach the peaceable things of the kingdom, that the saints may see eye to eye when the Lord brings again Zion, that his people may be one! May the mighty God of Jacob regard you as the apple of his eye, and make you perfect. May he purify you as gold seven times tried in the fire.
Brother Harpen Riggs is with me, and though young, he bids fair to be useful. His faith is good. We have travelled [traveled] about five hundred miles in about six weeks. We held fifteen meetings, and I trust that we shall continue to receive the grace of God to support us even to the end.
As a laborer in the vineyard, I am SYLVESTER SMITH.
6 miles off Quincy, Missouri, June 3, 1833.
Brethren in the Lord, I embrace another opportunity of writing to you, to inform you, that the Lord is still blessing me with strength to travel, and the power of his Spirit to preach the gospel. Every few days there are some honest souls born into the kingdom of God. The work progresses slow in this region, but sure. The hearts of the people are hard, but when they do come, they are firm in the faith. And we are careful to receive none but what bring fruit meet for repentance.
Persecution rages to a considerable extent. It seems as if every denomination, sect, party, and club, were prepared to fight against the work of the Lord. I often think of Paul when his friends let him down by the wall, in a basket: but notwithstanding all that I suffer, I rejoice. I will live godly in Christ Jesus, though I suffer persecution.
We mean to go to Palmyra in a few days. We have some friends in that place, and hope to begin a work as we think the Lord has a people there. Pray for us brethren, that the Lord may assist us in doing good. The brethren here are somewhat able, and they are willing to do all they can for the prosperity of Zion.
They talk of going up this fall. I am now about six miles off Quincy. I have not heard from my family for some weeks. There is much said about the cholera in this region. A few cases have occurred, say half a dozen in Hannibal; some in New London, and some in Palmyra.
Brother Groves is still with me. We intend to come up to Zion as soon as we can. I was called to see a brother seized with the cholera, but before I reached him, he was dead. His wife was also taken, but having hands laid upon her, the Lord healed her.
A man has just told me, that in Palmyra, in 48 hours, the cholera had taken forty-seven to their graves. The disease is in the country as well as the town, and carries off all ages, colors and conditions, sparing none. Pray for us and we for you. G. M. HINKEL.
THE BOOK OF MORMON.
IN our last number, we commenced the publication of the book of Mormon, but having altered our calculation, it is stopped. Our reason is, that, at no very distant period, we shall print the book of Mormon and the Testament, and bind them in one volume: therefore to continue it in the Star would be superfluous.
FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR.
To prevent any misunderstanding among the churches abroad, respecting Free people of color, who may think of coming to the western boundaries of Missouri, as members of the church, we quote the following clauses from the Laws of Missouri.
"SECTION 4. Be it further enacted, That hereafter no free negro or mulatto, other than a citizen of some one of the United States, shall come into or settle in this state under any pretext whatever; and upon complaint made to any justice of the peace, that such person is in his county, contrary to the provisions of this section, he shall cause such person to be brought before him. And if upon examination, it shall appear that such person is a free negro or mulatto, and that he hath come into this state after the passage of this act, and such person shall not produce a certificate, attested by the seal of some court of record in some one of the United States, evidencing that he is a citizen of such state, the justice shall command him forthwith to depart from this state; and in case such negro or mulatto shall not depart from the state within thirty days after being commanded so to do as aforesaid, any justice of the peace, upon complaint thereof to him made may cause such person to be brought before him, and may commit him to the common goal [jail?] of the county in which he may be found, until the next term of the circuit court to be holden in such county. And the said court shall cause such person to be brought before them, and examine into the cause of commitment; and if it shall appear that such person came into the state contrary to the provisions of this act, and continued therein after being commanded to depart as aforesaid, such court may sentence such person to receive ten lashes on his or her bare back, and order him to depart the state; and if he or she shall not so depart, the same proceedings shall be had and punishment inflicted, as often as may be necessary, until such person shall depart the state.
SECTION. 5. Be it further enacted, That if any person shall, after the taking effect of this act, bring into this state any free negro or mulatto, not having in his possession a certificate of citizenship as required by this act, [he or she] shall forfeit and pay, for every person so brought, the sum of five hundred dollars, to be recovered by action of debt in the name of the state, to the use of the university, in any court having competent jurisdiction; in which action the defendant may be held to bail, of right, and without affidavit; and it shall be the duty of the attorney-general or circuit attorney of the district in which any person so offending may be found, immediately upon information given of such offence [offense], to commence and prosecute an action as aforesaid."
Slaves are real estate in this and other states, and wisdom would dictate great care among the branches of the church of Christ, on this subject. So long as we have no special rule in the church, as to people of color, let prudence guide; and while they, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful God, we say: Shun every appearance of evil.
-> While on the subject of law, it may not be amiss to quote some of the Constitution of Missouri. It shows a liberality of opinion of the great men of the west, and will vie with that of any other state. It is good; it is just, and it is the citizens' right.
"4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man can be compelled to erect, support or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of the gospel or teacher or religion; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person can ever be hurt, molested or restrained in his religious professions or sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their religious worship:
"5. That no person, on account of his religious opinions, can be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this state; that no preference can ever be given by law to any sect or mode of worship; and that no religious corporation can ever be established in this state."
THE ELDERS STATIONED IN ZION TO THE CHURCHES ABROAD, IN LOVE, GREETING:
Dear Brethren: One year having passed since we addressed the churches abroad on the situation of Zion, and the state of the gathering, it seems to be our duty, to again address the saints on the same subjects. Although you frequently learn through the medium of the Star, our situation and progress, yet we indulge a hope, that a circular from us, particularly setting these things forth at this time, will be received by you in fellowship.
We have abundant reason to thank the Lord for his goodness and mercy manifested unto us, since we were planted in this land. With the exception of the winter season, the gathering has continued slowly. At present, we have not the exact number of the disciples, but suppose that there are near seven hundred.-Include these, with their children, and those who belong to families, and the number will probably amount to more than twelve hundred souls.
Many have been planted upon their inheritances, where, blessed with a fruitful soil, and a healthy climate, they are beginning to enjoy some of the comforts of life; in connection with peace and satisfaction of pure and undefiled religion; which is to visit the widow and the fatherless in their afflictions and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world: This brings down the blessings of peace and love from our Father, and confirms our faith in the promise, that we shall see him in the flesh, when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.
Here let us remark, that our duty urges us to notice a few letters which have been sent from this place by persons seeking the loaves and fishes, or by such as have lost their standing among men of character in the world. In the letters alluded to are some facts: but the most of them are false.
It is said, that women go out to work: this is a fact, and not only women, but men too; for in the church of Christ, all that are able, have to work to fulfil [fulfill] the commandments of the Lord; and, the situation in which many have come up here, has brought them under the necessity of seeking employment from those who do not belong to the church; yet, we can say as far as our knowledge extends, that they have been honorably compensated. And we are willing that the decree concerning mankind, thou shalt eat thy bread by the sweat of thy brow, should be fulfilled. Members of the church have, or will have, "deeds" in their own name.
One Bates from New-London, Ohio, who subscribed fifty dollars for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the necessaries for the saints, after his arrival here, sued Edward Partridge and obtained a judgment for the same. Bates shortly after denied the faith and run away on Sunday, leaving debts unpaid. We do not mention this to cast reflections, but to give a sample of his work manifested since he came to this land.
No man that has consecrated property to the Lord, for the benefit of the poor and the needy, by a deed of gift according to the laws of the land, has thought of suing for it, any more than the men of the world, who give, or donate to build meeting houses, and colleges; or to send missionaries to India, or the Cape of Good Hope.
Every saint that has come to this land to escape the desolations which await the wicked, and prepare for the coming of the Lord, is well satisfied with the country, and the order of the kingdom of our God; and we are happy to say, that the inhabitants of Zion are growing in grace, and in the knowledge of those things which lead to peace and eternal glory. And our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for the privilege of bearing this testimony concerning our brethren on this land.
One object in writing this epistle, is, to give some instructions to those who come up to the land of Zion. Through a mistaken idea, many of the brethren abroad, that had property, have given some away; and sacrificed some, they hardly know how. This is not right, nor according to the commandments.
We would advise in the first place, that every disciple, if in his power, pay his just debts, so as to owe no man, and then if he has any property left, let him be careful of it; and he can help the poor, by consecrating some for their inheritances: For as yet, there has not been enough consecrated to plant the poor in inheritances according to the regulation of the church, and the desire of the faithful.
This might have been done, had such as had property been prudent. It seems as though a notion was prevalent, in Babylon, that the church of Christ was a common stock concern. This ought not so to be, for it is not the case. When a disciple comes to Zion for an inheritance, it is his duty, if he has any thing to consecrate to the Lord, for the benefit of the poor and the needy, or to purchase lands, to consecrate it according to the law of the Lord, and also according to the law of the land; and the Lord has said, that in keeping his laws, we have no need to break the laws of the land. And we have abundant reason to be thankful, that we are permitted to establish ourselves under the protection of a government, that knows no exceptions to sect or society, but gives all its citizens a privilege of worshiping God according to their own desire.
Again, while in the world, it is not the duty of a disciple to exhaust all his means in bringing the poor to Zion; and this because, if all should do so, there would be nothing to put in the storehouse in Zion, for the purpose which the Lord has commanded.
Do not think brethren by this, that we would advise or direct, that the poor be neglected in the least; this is not the desire of our hearts; for we are mindful of the word of our Father, which informs us that in his bosom it is decreed, that the poor and the meek of the earth shall possess it.
The welfare of the poor has always a place in our hearts; yet we are confident, that our experience, even had we nothing else to prompt us to advise on this point, and that wholly for the good of the cause in which we labor, would be sufficient in the minds of our brethren abroad, to excuse a plainness on this important part of our subject.
To see numbers of disciples come to this land, destitute of means to procure an inheritance, and much less the necessaries of life, awakens a sympathy in our bosoms of no ordinary feeling; and we should do injustice to the saints, were we to remain silent, when, perhaps, a few words, by way of advice, may be the means of instructing them, that hereafter great difficulties may be avoided.
For the disciples to suppose that they can come to this land without ought to eat, or to drink, or to wear, or any thing to purchase these necessaries with, is a vain thought. For them to suppose that the Lord will open the windows of heaven, and rain down angel's food for them by the way, when their whole journey lies through a fertile country, stored with the blessings of life from his own hand for them to subsist upon, is also vain.
For them to suppose that their clothes and shoes will not wear out upon the journey, when the whole of it lies through a country where there are thousands of sheep from which wool in abundance can be procured to make them garments, and cattle upon a thousand hills, to afford leather for shoes, is just as vain.
The circumstances of the saints in gathering to the land of Zion in these last days, are very different from those of the children of Israel, after they despised the promised rest of the Lord, after they were brought out of the land of Egypt. Previous to that, the Lord promised them, if they would obey his voice and keep his commandments, that he would send the hornet before them, and drive out those nations which then inhabited the promised land, so that they might have peaceable possession of the same, without the shedding of blood. But in consequence of their unbelief and rebellion, they were compelled to obtain it by the sword, with the sacrifice of many lives.
But, to suppose that we can come up here and take possession of this land by the shedding of blood, would be setting at nought the law of the glorious gospel, and also the word of our great Redeemer: And to suppose that we can take possession of this country, without making regular purchases of the same according to the laws of our nation, would be reproaching this great Republic, in which the most of us were born, and under whose auspices we all have protection.
We feel as though enough was said on this point, knowing that a word to the wise is sufficient; and that all our brethren are aware of the fact, that all the tithes can not be gathered into the storehouse of the Lord, that the windows of heaven may be opened, and a blessing be poured out that there is not room enough to contain it, if all the means of the saints are exhausted, before they reach the place where they can have a privilege of so doing.
Do not conclude from these remarks brethren, that we doubt in the least, that the Lord will fail to provide for his saints in these last days; or, that we would extend our hands to steady his ark; for this is not the case. We know that the saints have the unchangeable word of God, that they shall be provided for; yet we know, if any are imprudent or lavish, or negligent, or indolent, in taking that proper care, and making that proper use of what the Lord has made them stewards over, which is their duty to, they are not counted wise; for a strict account of every ones' stewardship, is required, not only in time, but will be in eternity.
Neither do we apprehend that we shall be considered as putting out our hands to steady the ark of God, by giving advice to our brethren upon important points relative to their coming to Zion, when the experience of almost two years' gathering, has taught us to revere that sacred word from heaven, LET NOT YOUR FLIGHT BE IN HASTE, BUT LET ALL THINGS BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU.
Then brethren, we would advise, that where there are many poor in a church, that the elders counsel together and make preparations to send a part at one time and a part at another. And let the poor rejoice in that they are exalted; but the rich in that they are made low, for there is no respect of persons in the sight of the Lord.
The disciples of Christ, blessed with immediate revelations from him, should be wise and not take the way of the world, nor build air-castles, but consider, that when they have been gathered to Zion, means will be needed to purchase their inheritances, and means will be needed to purchase food and raiment for at least one year; or, at any rate, food: And where disciples, or churches, are blessed with means to do as much as this, they would be better off in Zion than in the world, troubled as it is, and will shortly be, with plagues, famines, pestilences, and utter destructions upon the ungodly.
On the subject of false reports, which are put in circulation by evil minded men, to ridicule the idea of the gathering of Israel, in these last days, we would say to our brethren abroad, believe them not: The Evening and the Morning Star, was established expressly to publish the truth, and the word of the Lord, that the saints might not be deceived, by such as make broad the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts; yea, by such as bind heavy burdens which are grievous to be borne, and lay them upon men's shoulders, but will not move them with one of their fingers. Yea, we give this caution that the disciples may not give heed to the gainsaying of those who seek the honor of this world and the glory of the same, rather than seek the honor of God and his glory: nor those who have turned away from the church of Christ, and denied the faith delivered to his saints in these last days.
Brethren, the Lord has begun to gather his children, even Israel, that they may prepare to enter into and enjoy his rest when he comes in his glory, and he will do it. No matter what your ideas, or notions may be upon the subject; no matter what foolish reports the wicked may circulate to gratify an evil disposition, the Lord will continue to gather the righteous, and destroy the wicked, till the sound goes forth, IT IS FINISHED.
It ought to be know abroad that much improvement is needed in the cattle,
sheep and hogs in this part of the country. For the sake of comfort and convenience, as cows here are worth from ten to fifteen dollars, our brethren would do well, and we would advise them to purchase before they arrive in this region.
In fact, if they journey according to the commandments of the Lord, pitching their tents by the way, like Israel in days of old, it would be no more than right to drive cows enough to supply every family, or company, with milk on the way.
They would then have them when they arrived here; and, if they selected of the best breeds, they would lay a foundation for improvement. A thing of which all our brethren who are acquainted with raising stock, will at once see the propriety.
The sheep of this state, are large, but as their wool is coarse, the breed would soon be improved, if our brethren would drive with them, some Merinoes, or Saxony. As soon as wool and flax are had among the brethren, sufficient for the purpose, they will manufacture cloth for their own use in the church.
The swine in this country are not good, being the old fashioned shack breed and much inferior to the large white grass breed of the eastern states. If any could introduce this breed into the church in Zion, what little pork might be wanted in the winter, would be much better, and easier raised.
It is a matter of some surprise to us, that our brethren should come up to the land of Zion, as many do, without bringing garden seeds, and even seeds of all kinds. The Jaredites and Nephites, took with them all kinds; and the Jaredites, all kinds of animals. And although the Lord has said that it was his business to provide for his saints, yet, he has not said that he would do it, unless they kept his commandments.
And notwithstanding the fulness [fullness] of the earth is for the saints, they can never expect it unless they use the means put into their hands to obtain the same in the manner provided by our Lord. When you flee to Zion, we enjoin the word, prepare all things, that you may be ready to labor for a living, for the Lord has promised to take the curse off the land of Zion in his own due time, and the willing and the obedient, will eat the good of the same: not the idle, for they are to be had in remembrance before the Lord.
One very important requisition for the saints that come up to the land of Zion, is, that, before they start, they procure a certificate from three elders of the church, or from the bishop in Ohio, according to the commandments; and when they arrive to present it to the bishop in Zion, otherwise they are not considered wise stewards, and cannot be received into fellowship with the church, till they prove themselves by their own goodness.
Some of our brethren may at the first instant, think, perhaps, that this is useless and formal, but a few reflections, will be sufficient for them to see the propriety of it, and more especially, when they learn that it is a commandment given us of our Lord.
Our brethren will find an extract of the law of this state, relative to free people of color, on another page of this paper. Great care should be taken on this point. The saints must shun every appearance of evil. As to slaves we have nothing to say. In connection with the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery, and colonizing the blacks, in Africa.
The foregoing remarks have been addressed to our brethren abroad, considered as one general body, and have been designed as general information to all. We can not close this epistle, compatible with our duty, without particularly addressing ourselves to our brethren, the elders, to whom is intrusted [entrusted] the preaching the everlasting gospel, the glad tidings of salvation to Israel, and to all the Gentiles, if they will listen to the invitation.
Brethren, we are aware of your many afflictions, or at least in part, some of us having been eye witnesses to the things of God, and having been called to bear testimony of the same from the first, since this gospel has been proclaimed in these last days. The desire of our hearts for your prosperity we can truly say is inexpressible: for when you are prospered, we are, and when you are blessed, we are blessed also. The afflictions which you are necessarily called to undergo in these days of tribulation and vengeance upon the wicked, call forth from our hearts unceasing prayers to our common Parent in your behalf, that you may be enabled to deliver his message in the demonstration of his Spirit, and call together his elect from the ends of the earth, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even to mount Zion.
By those few expressions, you will see brethren, how important we view your callings. We do not consider that it is our duty to direct you in your missions; but we will give you in few words what we have reason to expect relative to the gathering of the saints, according to the revelations of the Lord.
By the authority of your callings and ordinances, you, no doubt will admit, that it will be expected, that you will know your duty, and at all times and in all places, teach the disciples theirs; but we are sorry to say, that in some instances, some of our brethren have failed to do so.
We would remind our brethren of a clause in the Covenants, which informs us, that all who are ordained in this church, are to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains them. We would also remind them of one valuable caution recorded in Paul's first letter to Timothy, which says, Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other man's sins.
Those cautions, however, are particularly addressed to our young brethren in the ministry. We know, that many of our brethren are wise in these important parts of their labors, and have rid their garments of the blood of this generation, and are approved before the Lord.
We will proceed further brethren to notice some particular items immediately connected with your duties, and what, as we said before, we have reason to expect from you, according to the revelations. In one given December 4, 1831, we learn that it is the duty of the elders of the church in the east, to render an account of their stewardship, unto the bishop appointed unto the church in that part of the Lord's vineyard.
The Lord says, And now, verily I say unto you, that as every elder in this part of the vineyard, [the east] must give an account of his stewardship unto the bishop in this part of the vineyard, a certificate from the judge or bishop in this part of the vineyard, unto the bishop in Zion, rendereth every man acceptable, and answereth all things for an inheritance, and to be received as a wise steward, and as a faithful laborer; otherwise he shall not be accepted of the bishop in Zion.
And now, verily I say unto you, let every elder who shall give an account unto the bishop of the church, in this part of the vineyard, [the east] be recommended by the church or churches, in which he labors, that he may render himself and his accounts approved in all things.
We hope brethren, that you will be particular to teach the disciples abroad, prudence and economy in all things. Teach them in plainness, that without regular recommends, they can not be received in fellowship with the church in Zion, until after they have proven themselves worthy by their godly walk. And those who are recommended by you, we expect, will be such as are personally known to you to be disciples indeed, and worthy the confidence of all saints.
Viewing the quotation relative to your obtaining a certificate from the bishop in the east concerning your worthiness, you can not blame us, brethren, if we are strict on this point. It may be understood therefore, by our brethren, the elders, who come from the east, and do not bring a regular certificate showing that their labors have been accepted there, that they can not be accepted in Zion. We do not set ourselves up as judges in this; we have only a desire to see the order of our Redeemer's kingdom observed in all things; for his commandments are precious with us: we have them in our hands, and they are sacred to our hearts.
Our brethren who labor in the churches a distance to the west of the residence of the bishop in the east, who do not render their accounts to him, should be particular to bring recommends from the churches in which they do labor, and present them, with the accounts of their labors to the bishop immediately after their arrival here. And those elders who labor continually in preaching the gospel to the world, should also be particular to render their account of the same, that they may show themselves approved in all things, and be known to be worthy of the high office in which they stand in the church of Christ.
Having said considerable concerning those particular points which are necessary to be observed by our brethren who journey to this land, and also a few words to the elders; we deem it a privilege before we conclude, to say something more to the church at large. In the previous remarks, however, we presume our brethren may make many improvements; and, perhaps discover some errors; if so, we can say, that the best of motives have prompted us to write to our brethren; and if some small errors are to be found, we are certain, that the general ideas are correct, and will be a means of doing good, if those who are immediately interested in the same, give heed to them.
Dear brethren in the New Covenant, accept this as a token for a salutation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, from your brethren in Zion. While we are permitted to witness the great things which are continually taking place in fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the last days, as the children of God are gathered home to prepare themselves for the supper of the Lamb, our language, that is, the English tongue, fails to express our joy.
[To be continued in our next.]
In the room of publishing a list of letters received, we shall publish as much of the contents of each as may be worthy of a place in the Star, for the information, and edification of the saints and the world.
-> Our accounts of the ravages of the cholera, in the south-western states, exceeds any thing of last year. We shall notice the subject in our next.
ALL MUST COME TO PASS, BUT THE END IS NOT YET.
It is our bounden duty to set forth the judgments which are abroad, and will continue, in the earth, till there is an end of the wicked, and wickedness, that those who are looking for desolations to come upon Babylon, may know that the same are beginning to be accomplished, and that such as are watching the signs of the times, may be awakened and profit thereby; and above all, that our garments may be clear from the blood of our fellow men, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
An observer of the passing events of the times must see signs enough to show, that it is a time of trouble. He may behold, in one short year, plague, pestilence, famine, fire, flood and the sword, each, as it were, in their turn, consuming the inhabitants, or the wealth of the land. Crimes of every description are multiplying, and the thirst for the riches that perish, and the fame that fades, increases with the calamities which are destroying all before them.
It is a time of trouble, a day of gloom and thick darkness to them that are not prepared to meet the Savior in this generation, as he comes in the clouds of heaven, with all the holy angels with him. We simply ask all to look for themselves: for all must come to pass, which was spoken by the prophets, and shortly the end will come. Read the accounts which we glean from our exchange papers, from month to month, for great things await the inhabitants of the earth.
THE FLOOD-LOSS OF LIVES AND PROPERTY.-The most painful accounts begin to be received of the destructive effects of the Freshet. The river continued rising till about 10 o'clock this forenoon, when it was a foot higher than in the spring. The loss of property is immense; nearly all the stores and buildings east of Market street, the whole of the city, are inundated. Our fellow citizens at Troy are heavy sufferers. We are informed that five men were drowned by the breaking up of a raft of which they had charge. A man and a boy near Troy, were drawn into the current and lost, while attempting to rescue a cow. The Bridge across the Mohawk at Fort Plain has been swept away.
We fear that the injury to the Canal is so great as to interrupt the navigation for several weeks.
We regret to see that the labors and hopes of the gardners [gardeners] upon the Islands below and opposite the city, are all blasted. This loss will fall heavy upon an industrious and valuable class of citizens.
It is impossible to estimate the loss of our citizens, which is much greater from the occurrence of such an extraordinary flood at an unusual season.
Upwards of 200 cords of wood was swept away from one yard this morning.- The quantity of lumber lost is very great.
Many of our merchants found the water in their stores, yesterday morning, before they had an article of their goods removed.
The accounts of freshets occasioned by the late sudden and copious rains, are rather numerous and afflicting. The Susquehanna, at Marietta, Pa. had risen, in 24 hours, from 3 o'clock, on Tuesday afternoon, about 15 feet. The property destroyed is immense; the greater part of the rafts and lumber borne [born] down by the flood has been lost. Many persons have lost their entire property, and many have seen the labor of months suddenly swept from them. The canal has suffered so considerably, and the wall at Bainbridge so utterly destroyed, that it is apprehended the entire section will become useless for the season. The disasters are increased by the death of Mr. Cook, a respectable resident of Marietta, who was drowned on Thursday morning, below the town. The river opposite Columbia had also risen, and was sweeping down rafts and loose lumber. The outlet lock had been injured, and the span of the bridge on the Wrightsville side destroyed.-A considerable loss of property was apprehended, from the increase of the freshet, which still continued at 7 o'clock, Thursday morning.
We learn with regret, that the rise of the water in the Delaware has been productive of much public and private injury at and near Easton. Lumber, merchandize [merchandise] and boats have been swept away, and much injury sustained on the banks of the canal.
"When our paper went to press, the Susquehanna had reached the height of 16 feet above low water mark, and was still rising. The oldest inhabitants say that the rise is greater than has taken place for thirty years-higher than the flood 16 years ago. The rain must have been much more powerful up the river than in this vicinity. There must be a great destruction of property-the river is full of floating timber-sometimes whole rafts pass swiftly by."-[Eastern papers.]
CONSTANTINOPLE.-March 27.-Neschet Effenei, who was sent to Alexandria with the Turkish Ambassador, Halil Pacha, has returned to Constantinople. He has been sent by Halil Pacha to inform the Porte that Mehemet Ali was not to be induced to any peace compatible with his (Halil's) instructions, and that the Pacha, in consequence of Halil's declaration on the occasion, had announced, to his son that he would send him reinforcements to enable him to continue his operations against Constantinople. This news, and perhaps also the supposition that Mehemet Ali acts in this manner in consequence of an understanding with England and France, has induced the Divan to take the resolution to require all possible assistance from Russia, and to request the Russian Ambassador to hasten the arrival of the intended succours [succors] in the capital as the urgency of the case demands.-Couriers were immediately dispatched in all directions, and since that time the communications between the Turkish Ministry and M. Von Butanieff are observed to be extremely frequent.
The Russian corps which is marching by way of Sizeboll along the coast of the Black Sea, will partly arrive here in fourteen days. Quarters are already preparing for those troops in Ramis Tschiflik, and as Ibrahim Pacha is also to advance, it is very possible that he may soon come in contact with the Russians. This circumstance has again thrown the inhabitants of the capital into the greatest alarm. Turks and Christians have already packed up their most valuable effects to convey them to a place of safety at the first notice, and the wavering of the Porte which cannot wholly shut its ears to the incessent [incessant ] exhortations of the French Ambassador, not to place too much confidence in Russia, and is thereby continually lead to take measures which indicate suspicion is not calculated to remove the apprehensions of the inhabitants. There are different statements respecting the amount of the Russian force, which is provisionally to occupy and defend Constantinople; it is believed to be from 40,000 to 60,000 men. On the other hand, Ibrahim's army is said to be continually increased by volunteers, and when joined by the new reinforcements coming from Alexandria, will amount to much more than 100,000 men.
TEXAS.-By the brig Fredericksburg, arrived at New York from Matamoras, we learn that a vessel of war from Vera Cruz, arrived at that place a few days previous to her sailing, with troops, who with others assembled at that place, amounting altogether to about 3,500 men, were to march in a short time to Texas, for the purpose of driving the American emigrants from that place.
HEALTH OF THE METROPOLIS.-The epidemic disease, which has for some time prevailed in London and its vicinity, and which last week confined so many persons to their chamber, has continued to spread with unabated severity. We believe we may assert, with confidence, that there is not an inhabited house within the bills of mortality in which there has not been one or two sufferers, and in many instances whole families and establishments have been compelled to find nurses as attendants on the sick. On Saturday week the performances at all the theatres [theaters], including the Italian Opera, were, it will be recollected, meagre [meager] and unsatisfactory, in consequence of the sudden illness of many of the principal performers.-On Monday Covent Garden was closed from the same cause, until Wednesday; on that evening an attempt was made to renew the performances, but the number of the afflicted under the influenza had increased so much in the meantime that the establishment was ultimately closed till the 24th. At Drury Lane the manager was extremely anxious to keep his house open, and the more so as her Majesty had commanded the performances, but there too the disease asserted its omnipotence, and at 4 o'clock on Tuesday it was announced that the house must remain closed till Saturday. The performance at the Haymarket and the Strand Theatre [Theater] have been also interrupted; the Court of Review was unable to hear causes from the indisposition of the judges; and it was with great difficulty, and under considerable pain, that some of the city functionaries presided at the Old Baily Sessions. In many of the establishments at the west end of the town, the whole of the domestics have been confined. In Devonshire and Northumderland Houses there was scarcely a member of the household in attendance during the week, and some of them were at one time considered to be in a state approaching to dangerous. Lord Palmerston and many of the members of both Houses have been added to the sick list. His lordship's attack was both severe and of long continuence [continuance]. Nearly 800 of the police force have been reported absent this week, from the effects of this singular complaint, being an increase of more than 100 over the week preceding.
Those who live in low and damp situation appear to have suffered most; but we learn that in two or three instances death has been the consequence of the attack, but whether from the severity of the complaint, or from its aggravating the symptoms of previous illness, seems to be extremely doubtful. -[Lond. Observer.]
SONG OF ZION.
The great and glorious gospel light, Hosanna, let the voice extend,
Has usher'd forth into my sight, Till time shall cease, and have an end;
Which in my soul I have receiv'd, Till all the throngs of heav'n above,
From death and bondage being freed. Shall join the saints in songs of love.
With saints below and saints above. Hosanna, let the trump of God,
I'll join to praise the God I love; Proclaim his wonders far abroad,
Like Enoch too, I will proclaim, And earth, and air, and skies, and seas,
A loud Hosanna to his name. Conspire to sound aloud his praise.
Hosanna, let the echo fly
From pole to pole, from sky to sky;
And saints and angels, join to sing;
Till all eternity shall ring.
The Evening and the Morning Star
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