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The Evening and The Morning Star/2/22
|←Number 21|| The Evening and The Morning Star
Volume 2, Number 22
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: The Evening and The Morning Star Vol. 1-2
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR|
|Vol. 2.||Kirtland, Ohio. July, 1834||No. 22.|
Millenium. NO VII.
[Continued from our last.]
Isaiah says in the 60 chapter of his prophecy and the 2 verse, "For behold, the darkness, shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be upon thee." Any man who will read this 60 chapter of Isaiah will see that he was speaking of the last days, even the days of the coming of the Son of man, the time of the gathering, or the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, in which all things are to be gathered that are in Christ Jesus, whether they are things on earth, or things in heaven: and it was at this time, that darkness was to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. But more of this hereafter.
Paul, in the 2 epistle to the Thessalonians, 2 chapter and 3 verse, told that people whom he had besought by the coming of the Lord Jesus, and by their gathering together unto him, that they need not expect the day of the Lord, or the coming of the Lord, until there had been a falling away first. And in his first epistle to Timothy, 4 chapter, 1, 2, and 3 verses, he declares, "that the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared as with a hot iron; forbiding [forbidding] to marry, to abstain from meats, which God had created to be received with thanksgiving of them who believe and know the truth."
This same apostle, in his 2 epistle to Timothy, has set forth this same apostasy in words so plain as not to be easily misunderstood. 3 chapter, commencing with the first verse, to the close of the 5: "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-brakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, dispisers [despised] of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
We can see by the last verse in this quotation, that it is the religious world he is speaking of; for others have not a form of godliness. The apostle continues his discourse down to the 4 chapter, and then in a most solemn manner charges Timothy: [see 1 and 2 verse:] "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." After this charge, he gives the reason why he was thus strict, in verse 3: "For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables." In consequence of the great corruptions of the last days, their exceeding great apostasy, the apostle declares in the 2 chapter of 2 Thessalonians, and 11 verse that the Lord will abandon them to strong delusions, that they may believe a lie; and in the 12 verse for this object, "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Who can read these declarations of the apostles, and not see that the world, in the last days, when it begins to draw near to the time of the coming of the Son of man, will be in a deplorable condition, led by a parcel of teachers whom God never sent, and themselves full of all corruption and vileness? The apostle does not say that their teachers will not be very learned men, and that it will not be an age when science will be greatly studied, as men call it, nor yet an age of politeness, and of great worldly refinement; but on the contrary we may fairly infer from what he says about there being found boasters, that they will be all this, and a great deal more; but he says that they will not be a people of God. Jesus says that they will be just such a people as lived in the days of Noah; and Isaiah says, that gross darkness will cover them.
There are some thoughts which force themselves on the mind, when reflecting on what the Savior says about the people of the last days being as the people were in the days of Noah. Paul has shown, that the people of the last days were apostate religionists, and their great corruption arose from this thing, that they had apostatized from the faith of the gospel. Now, as we are told that they are just such a people as were in the days of Noah, would it be hazarding much to draw the conclusion, that the people in the days of Noah were apostate religionists, also, and that their fore fathers understood the religion of heaven as perfectly as the fore fathers of this generation? or do not like causes produce like effects?
Another thing of great importance to those who believe in the second coming of the Savior is, that if the testimony of the Savior himself is to be credited, all attempts to convert this generation will be vain; for he says as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man. Now, if we can find how it was in the days of Noah, we need not be at a loss to tell how it will be with this generation: Let us ask what advantage would it have been in the days of Noah to have gone throughout the land and built up churches? the answer is, it would have, (if the people thus built up believed that they had embraced the religion of heaven,) effectually secured them in blindness until the day of their destruction!
There was but one way for them to escape, and that was, to hear the preaching of Noah, and be gathered as God might have directed him. "And so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man:"
The scriptures abound in warnings and admonitions to the people of the last days, lest they should be overtaken in an hour they expected not, and the Son of man should come and find them sleeping; but notwithstanding all the warnings and admonitions which the sacred writers left on record for their use, they well knew that they would be overtaken at last as by a thief in the night: even when they were crying peace and safety sudden destruction should come upon them; for so great was to be their darkness, that they were not to be able to discern the signs of the times. All the signs of the coming of the Son of man were to pass before their eyes, and still they were not to be able to discern them, nor yet know them to be such, because they were the children of darkness and not the children of light.
No man who believes, can read the prophetic history of the last days without marveling greatly. We are told that before this marvelous advent of the Savior, and as testimony to the world that his coming draws nigh, the sun is to be darkened, the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from heaven: that there are to be wars, and rumors of wars, with earthquakes in divers places, famines and pestilences; and all this declared by the Savior as well as the apostles, to be to the world for signs, that his coming was at hand; and still, with all this testimony, the sacred writers testify, that they would be in such great darkness, that all these might pass by, and the world be overtaken by the coming of the Son of man as a thief in the night; and what could produce this effect? one thing, and only one, that God had given them over to strong delusions that they might believe lies, in order that they might be damned; because they did not receive the truth in the love of it. Compare first Thessalonians, 5 chapter, from the 1 to the 12 verse, with Matthew, 24 chapter, 29 and 30 verses; Isaiah 24, chapter, 23 verse; Acts, 2 chapter, and 20 verse; Revelations, 6 chapter, and 12 verse. Who can read, understandingly, and not marvel, yea, greatly marvel at the generation of the last days.
Peter, in his 2 epistle, 2 chapter, 1, 2, and 3 verses, has given us the reason of the gross darkness which is to cover the people. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you." The apostle in the subsequent part of the chapter, gives us the terminating point of a false religion, and the full extent of its influence on the minds of men-it reduces them to the level with the beast which perish: "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption." This is the final result of a false religion: it places its victim in a situation to perish, having first reduced him to a level with the beasts. It matters not how learned he may be, how refined, how polite, how genteel, nor yet how moral, according to the judgment of the world; destitute of the true religion, he is, notwithstanding all this, like a natural brute beast, if Peter's testimony is to be credited. But let us enquire [inquire] a little, what will make a man like a beast? we know of but one thing, and that is, being in a situation that he cannot get revelations; for should he have power sufficient with God to get revelations, he can escape any destruction, but without it, he can escape none only by mere accident, or chance, and so it is with the beasts. Nor could nature produce any thing more suitable to describe the situation of a race of men, who do not receive revelations, than the beasts; neither is it possible for a false religion to bring a greater evil on the human family than this, and nothing but a false religion can produce this effect: for there never was a society of people who possessed the true religion, but they received revelations from God, whether they were Jews, or Gentiles, unless they had corrupted it; or at least, if there were any such, we have no account of them; for the bible which we have, never makes mention of any such people.
If religion was ever designed of the God of heaven to be of any use to men, it was intended to bring him into the nearest possible relation to himself, and to give him the highest possible communion with his Creator, that his nature would admit; and any thing, or system, which in any degree prevents mankind from this attainment, is a departure from the pure religion of heaven, and the less of this communion men have, the farther they are from the truth, and when they get so far as not to be able to get revelations at all, they are like unto the beasts, and are ripe for destruction!
These sayings of Peter, when properly considered, taken in connection
with what Paul says in his 2 epistle to Timothy, 4 chapter, "For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned to fables," may assist us in understanding the peculiar darkness of the generation, who shall inhabit the earth at the coming of the Savior. Peter says, that there shall be false teachers, who shall make merchandise of them, and so bewilder them that they will at last be like the beasts that perish. Paul says, that they will have itching ears, and heap to themselves teachers, who shall turn their ears away from the truth, and they shall be turned to fables. From what Paul has said in the 5 chapter of 1 Thessalonians, 1, 2, and 3 verses, we can see that they were to be in such darkness, that the Son of man was to come upon them as a thief in the night, when they were in the very act of crying peace and safety, notwithstanding the sun, previous to this time, had been darkened, the moon had been turned to blood, and the stars of heaven had fallen. And why was it that they could not discern the signs of the times? why? because, they had had itching ears and had heaped to themselves teachers, and through their influence their ears were turned away from the truth unto fables! false teachers had got them so far from their God, that they were like the beasts that perish, they could get no revelations. Be sure they had seen the sun darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and they beheld some thing like stars falling from, or flying in the midst of heaven, but then they could not tell whether this was what was intended by the Savior and the apostles, when they said these signs should appear in the heavens as a prelude to the Savior's coming; and as none of them had power with God sufficient to get a revelation and know of a truth whether this was the case or not, like the beast which perish, they must stand and perish without power to know the things of God for themselves.
Peter, in his 2 Epistle, 3 chapter, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 verses, speaking of the people of the last days, says: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
This testimony of the apostle is very decisive: he says that the people of the last days, are to be mockers and scoffers; they are to scoff at the idea of the Saviors coming, saying, "where is the promise of it?" &c.
This will doubtless be after the church begins to come out of the wilderness, and to announce to the world his coming; then will the mockers and scoffers begin to cry, "where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation;" and this because they are willingly ignorant. The apostle, by this expression, seems to suppose that the subject of his coming to burn the world with fire, or to be revealed in fire, as Paul says, was so plainly written that it is wilful [willful] ignorance not to be acquainted with it, and understand it. This is a hard saying for those who have been for years trying to find out something about the second coming of Christ, or Millennium, which is the same thing, and yet say they dare not approach it. Peter says they are willingly ignorant of it, the same as to say, that they are unwilling to believe what the scriptures say about it, and want to spiritualize them, or interpret them, so as to make them mean something different from what they say, and are, in consequence of this, in great ignorance, which ignorance is wilful [willful]. Isaiah, in the 28 chapter of his prophecy, from the 8th to the 23 verse, gives us a similar account of the last days, the time when God should begin to give revelations to a people of stammering lips and of another tongue, for the benefit of Israel, he says:
" ["] Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest: and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which was in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work: and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth."
That the prophet refers to the same people that Peter referred to, I think will not admit of a doubt. Peter said of the people of the last days, that they were mockers, and scoffers, and were to mock and scoff at the coming of the Son of man. Isaiah says that the people of whom he spake, were scorners, and mockers, and they were to mock at the overflowing scourge, saying it would not come unto us. Another fact which puts the matter to rest is, that Isaiah wrote of a people who were to live in the days, when God had decreed a consumption on the whole earth. This was to be done in the last days, at the coming of the Son of man. So that Isaiah as well as Peter, has given the same character to the generation which is to live in the days of the coming of the Son of man.
I shall have occasion for this quotation in another part of this disertation [dissertation].
I shall now sum up the substance of what is said in the foregoing quotations, concerning the situation of the world at the coming of the Son of man.
1. They are to be false religionists, broken up into parties and sects.
2. Their teachers are to be numerous and of their own making; for they are to "heap to themselves teachers having itching ears."
3. Those teachers that they heap to themselves, are to be false teachers, and are to make merchandise of the people.
4. They are to be in gross darkness, not able to discern the signs of the coming of the Son of man, however visible they may be.
5. They are to be mockers, and scoffers; mocking at the idea of the coming of the Son of man; mocking and scoffing at the revelations, even the line upon line; the precept upon precept, which the Lord is to give to Israel to cause them to rest, by a people of stammering lips and another tongue, even by the Gentiles.
6. They were to have a form of godliness denying the power thereof.
7. They were to be like the natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, not being able to get revelations for themselves.
8. To crown all, they are to be a people just such as God destroyed in the days of Noah, marrying and given in marriage, being proud, boasters, inventers [inventors] of evil things; heady, high minded; lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, with an innumerable train of other evils.
Thus the sacred writers discribe [describe] the people of the last days, and no doubt but the people themselves will say they are enlightened, very learned, exceedingly polite, remarkably genteel, peculiarly scientific, the greatest of statesmen, the profoundest of politicians, and the best of generations,-truely [truly] God seeth not as man seeth.-So differs inspired men and non inspired men in their judgment of mankind. TO BE CONTINUED.
FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE LAST DAYS. NO. V
[Continued from our last.]
It is really marvelous to hear men proclaiming to the world what great duties have been required of them by their God, when they have no authority for it but the workings of their own brain.
Among the follies of men this is the greatest; and where is the sect that is free from it? I answer none; there never was nor never will be a people on this earth, except those who get direct revelations from heaven for themselves, but will forge out their own religious duties, and enjoin duties on themselves that no other being ever required of them. In consequence of the gods of the nations all being dumb, we have had at one time and another, in this world, the most marvelous codes of religious laws that ever honored or disgraced the archives of any planet, of all God's vast creation. Men might be great statesmen and politicians, brave warriors, able counsellors [counselors], wise governors, discrete rulers, as far as worldly government was concerned; but unless their god could, and did talk, and that to themselves, their religion was perfect folly, and the most senseless ignorance. Take, for instance, the Greeks in their greatest glory, and with all their sagacity as statesmen, and wisdom as legislators, yet their religion was the greatest folly, being of no advantage to them, neither in this life nor yet in that which is to come, consisting in running races, with men, horses, and chariots, with every species of folly, not even drunkenness excepted, licentiousness, and debauchery, and still they were conscientious in the observances of their self-created duties, as necessary religious performances.
Let any candid person read the history of religion, as it has been practized [practiced] in the world from one period to another, during the thousand years, of man's existence, and he will read nothing but a mixture of folly and wickedness from one end of the earth to the other, except among that portion of mankind who received direct revelation from heaven; nor were they any better off, though their fathers had received revelations from God, unless they received them themselves, they would soon degenerate, and their religion would be turned into the greatest nonsense and wickedness.
Whenever the Jews began to reject the prophets sent to them, they began to corrupt themselves, and become defiled before God, and ripened rapidly for destruction, and nothing could have preserved them from the complete overthrow which they suffered, but receiving constant revelations from
God. Had they continued to acknowledge the prophets, and received their teachings, they never would have crucified their Messiah, and they would have escaped the calamities which befel [befell] them.
The world, at one time and another, has supported all kinds of religion without direct revelations from heaven, except the religion of Jesus Christ, but that they never preserved without direct revelations from heaven since the world began. For revelations direct from heaven was a part of that great system devised in the heavens, for the salvation of man, and a very important item of it too, without which all the rest of the plan would have failed of its object, for without this, no people were ever saved, nor ever will be; nor is there salvation in the system and take this important item away. There never was a society on earth, nor never will be one, it matters not how pure they may be, let the God of heaven say as the religious world now says, that the canon of scripture is full, and there is now no more need of revelations, you have got enough; and from that very hour that society would begin to corrupt its way before God, and would never stop its deterioration until every vestage [vestige] of purity had departed from it, and it would become a sink of corruption. It was part of the scheme of salvation to give constant revelations to the saints, and that, as long as they lived, nor was there any period in their life that they did not need to receive revelations.-A person might as well talk about a perfect human system, when it had an arm or a leg cut off, as to talk about a perfect scheme of purification, by which men are fitted for heaven, without the persons thus being fitted received continued revelations for themselves, for their own direction and salvation.
Without this power, what vain and foolish duties men hatch up out of their own brain and enjoin them on their followers, and on themselves also! what various kinds of obligations, from the severe austerities of a dominican friar, to the laborious duties enjoined on Mr. Scott, even the task of converting the world! for the dominican friar, or the augustine monk, has as much authority for his austerities, as Mr. Scott has for his arduous task of converting the world: that is just as much authority as they could give to themselves, or get from persons in the same situation as themselves. Indeed, they both worship the same kind of god, one who has found it necessary to hold his tongue for nearly two thousand years, and does not calculate to speak any more till time shall end, and one of them has as good a chance to know his duty as the other, and has as good a right to practice his austerities as the other has to convert the world.
No man ever yet knew his own individual duty to God only, as it was made known to him from time to time, as he needed instruction by immediate revelation direct from God. Without this he will labor in the labyrinths of uncertainty and doubt, "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth!"
In consequence of the religious world having lost the power of getting revelations for themselves, they have fallen into their present state of confusion, each party manufacturing duties for themselves. For instance, the Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Methodist, and the Catholic god, with the god of some other sects, requires them, (or at least they think he does,) to sprinkle their children, while the Baptist, the Christian, (so called,) and the Campbellite god, or gods, are greatly offended with it, and considers it an insult to him for them to perform such a thing in his name; but reqires [requires] them to immerse only. But notwithstanding their gods reqires [requires] them all to immerse, they differ widely in the object for which they do immerse: the Baptist and Christian gods, command their worshipers to be babtized [baptized]because their sins are forgiven them; and the Campbellite god commands his worshipers to be baptized for the remission of their sins, in order that their sins may be remitted; the Episcopalian god reqires [requires] the children of his worshipers to be sprinkled, that their sins may be remitted, as also the Catholic god; but the Methodist god considers the children of his worshipers all fit for heaven without sprinkling, as he considers them without sin: the Baptist and the Presbyterian god have elect and non elect among the children of their worshipers, as well as among the adults. But after all the supposed requirements of these gods, (gods we say, for who in his senses will have the afrontery [effrontery] to say that all these clashing commandments come from the same god?) let a person ask any of them, has your god at any time spoken to you and told by direct revelation that he reqired [required] this at your hands? O no; say they, we worship a god that does not give revelations at present, nor will he ever speak any more to men in the flesh: he formerly conversed very freely with men, and told them every thing that they desired to know in righteousness; but he has now of a long time, seventeen hundred years, at least, been silent, and will remain so forever. Well, how do you know that he requires such ceremonies of you as these which you perform? We know because we find in a book which he caused to be written that these were required. But of whom were they required? why; they were required of the people who lived at that day. Well, do you expect to receive the same reward for your obedience as the people received in that day? No; we do not expect to receive any of the spiritual gifts which were bestowed upon them, neither healings, miricles [miracles], speaking with tongues, nor yet the interpretation of tongues. And still he requires the performance of the same duties of you as he did of them? To be sure; for he never changes! But he does not give you as great a reward as he gave them. After all you have said about your god a man must draw the conclusion, that he is very much like the Pharaoh which rose up in Egypt who knew not Joseph; he requires the tale of brick; but makes you hunt the straw! Criticise [Criticize] all these sects down closely, and you will soon find that their gods, notwithstanding they are supposed to differ so much in their requirements, agree in one thing, that is, they are not very noisy! thay [they] are all dumb dogs [gods?]: they have ears, but they hear not; mouths, but they speak not. So were the gods of the heathen, which were made by man's hands, of wood and stone; and after all the cry which pretended religionists make against the follies of heathenism, their gods are but a very little better than those.
A god that never speaks, is no better than an image of stone or wood, nor is any person under any more obligation to worship him, than he is to worship wood or stone, the gods of men's hands. But there are none of these gods, the God of the bible: the God of the bible, whenever he had a people on earth, whether they were Jews or Gentiles, whether they were in Pontus, Gallatia [Galatia], Cappadocia, Bithynia, in Libya, Macedonia, or the parts about Cyrene, Cretes, or Arabians, God spake to them all, and gave revelations to them all, if they were worthy of promises; they were not under the necessity of going and hunting after the revelations given to some other people, but by the faith that was in them, they obtained them for themselves.-By faith, says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, the elders, or ancients, obtained promises: see the 11 chapter, 33 verse. The sectarians of this generation, are very different from the ancient saints; for instead of their obtaining promises by faith, they get them by stealth, by plundering the property of the saints and call it their own. They do not even pretend to get promises, but to claim those which others obtained for themselves eighteen hundred years since, and call them their own! "God say they, has promised eternal life to his children." And they call themselves his children, or they get their priests to set in judgment on them, and get them to call them the children of God; and having got a priest to name them they claim to themselves the promises which were made to the saints in the days of the ancient apostles, which they obtained by their faith; though they do not, neither can they claim the same standing before God which the saints obtained; for they came so near to God as to have heavenly visions, obtain the spirit of prophecy, of revelation, and of speaking with tongues, of the interpretation of tongues, as also the gifts of healing by the same spirit, and of working miracles; as also the seeing and conversing with angels-with the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and faith. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews, informs us, that the saints to whom he wrote that epistle, had "come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel;" Such was the power which the ancients had with God, that by their faith they were introduced into the society of all the heavenly host, not even the Father and the Son excepted, so that they became acquainted with the unseen world and its inhabitants, and having this power with God, through faith, they obtained promises, enjoyed the spirit of both revelation and vision, and as such, received the promises of God because he considered them worthy.-Another peculiarity about these saints was, that it was God who sat in judgment on them, and not men: they did not call on priests to know whether they were the people of God or not; but on the Father of heaven himself, and he passed decision on their head: if they had sinned, he who searched the hearts and tried the reins of all living, declared it unto them, and told them wherein: if they were indulging in secret iniquities he made it manifest to all: thus, they were searched reproved, rebuked, and chastened, until they were made clean every whit, and became a fit temple for the holy spirit, which dwelt in them, and led them into all truth: they were full of the spirit of wisdom and understanding: God dwelt in them and they in him, until they became identified with the Father and the Son, as the Father and the Son were identified in one! see John's gospel, or testimony, 17 chapter, from the 10, to the 23 verse.
If the epistolary writings of the new testament, were examined closely, it will be found that all the churches that did not obtain this power with God, were rebuked for their wickedness instead of being flattered with the promises made to another people. This was the perfection which God required, and he would receive nothing less from them or else he would "spew them out of his mouth."
But in these last days, we have churches and very many of them, who have never obtained a particle of power with God, and are utter strangers to the purity, holiness, and faith of the saints, and yet they are claiming their promises, and expect that God will receive them into the same heavenly mansions with those who overcame the world and obtained power with God. If I were to ask this sectarian generation, where their promise of eternal life was, they would have recourse to the promises made to the saints of former days, and there found their hope of eternal life! But ask them, do you sustain the same character before God they did? Have you the same power with God that they had? Can you draw near with as pure hearts to God as they did, and obtain the judgment of God on yourself
as they obtained it? All these questions they would have to answer in the negative, and confess they did not! how vain, then, must it be to expect to be benefited by their promises, unless we sustain the same character, and have obtained the same standing before God they had obtained. If men are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, shall persons whose sayings, doings, and sufferings, bare as little resemblance as those of the primitive saints and the sectarians of the nineteenth century, receive the same reward, and be appointed unto the same glory in the eternal world? If they are, God will not judge men according to the deeds done in the body!
If men obtain power with God in proportion to their holiness and purity before him, there must be a vast difference between the purity and holiness of the primitive saints and the modern sectarians; for there is a great difference in their power, one having power to do all things, and the other power to do nothing! one doubtless was holy, and the other is as certainly corrupt! one pure, and the other impure! and yet, they are all to be rewarded alike in the eternal world! And to crown the whole, all are to be rewarded "according to the deeds done in the body!!!" TO BE CONTINUED.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, JULY, 1834.
REFLECTIONS FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1834.
Every citizen of this great Republic, can, with propriety join in the same voice in offering a tribute of gratitude and veneration to the Author of the universe, for those privileges and blessings which are not to be found in the same abundance in no other nation on earth, as every one must admit, when he compares these with the history and situation of other countries. There are other Republics, we admit, for other people have been roused up to exert their strength in consequence of the unjust oppression exercised over them, and have been permitted to partake, in a degree, the benefits derived from a government administered by their own hands; but they are yet young, and need care to sift from among them every principle of their former anarchy, which if done, they may rejoice equally with our nation and partake of all the abundant blessings which surround us at this day.
It has invariably been the case to the present day, that whenever a people threw off the shackles of despotism, they were, more or less, involved in difficulties, occasioned by party strifes and excesses; but if a firm course was pursued, trifling divisions were easily accommodated, and petty disputes buried, while each year brought its additional blessings, with a year's increase of intelligence and experience. And while integrity and virtue were the leading principles actuating the administrators of the law, such governments have continued to increase in strength and beauty, leaving far behind those whose personal ambition and tyrannical dispositions were opposed to the freedom of mankind.
There is something enchanting in the word LIBERTY! Can gold purchase it? no; it is the gift of heaven! and degraded, indeed, must be that man, who is once brought to taste its sweets, and then condescends so far beneath that exalted station in which nature at first placed him, (equal with all,) as to submit himself to the disposition of tyrants and usurpers!
When the reflecting man surveys our happy form of government, and contemplates the unsullied benefits which are, and can be enjoyed within its jurisdiction, he must be impressed with gratitude for that kind providence, which has, up to this present day, been so peculiarly favorable for the existence and continuation of the same. Fifty eight years have rolled away since the "Thirteen confederate colonies dissolved their allegiance to the British crown." Amid embarrassments and perplexities calculated in their very nature to despond the hearts of all except FREEMEN, they threw off a foreign yoke, and gave birth to millions of happy mortals who must otherwise have remained in obscurity and sunk into the dust in silence.
It would have required a prophetic glance for either of those illustrious signers of that sacred compact, to have conceived the vast superstructure which was to be reared on that foundation so memorable in the mind of every lover of this exalted country, and without a firm reliance upon the divine authenticity of such a vision, he would even himself, been willing to pronounce it a vain fanaticism, and a wild uncertainty, fit only for the superstitious and ignorant class, who were entirely unacquainted with the history of other nations, and the subsequent events attendant on acts of this importance, in former days. And nothing short of a reliance on that Arm which has ever been sufficient to deliver those who were unjustly oppressed, could have induced our fathers to take this step.
Had they not taken this step, hundreds whose illustrious deeds do and will shine upon the pages of history, must have remained unseen and unknown, and hundreds whose genius and intelligence have bettered the condition of men, and served to raise them above wretchedness and degradation, would have remained like the unwrought marble in the bosom of the mountain, unpolished, without disclosing one beauty, or adding one ray of elegance to the work of sculpture, to grace the march of science, and to spread a single luster over the memory of men after they sleep in the dust. Blessings like ours! where can they be found?-Not in a foreign clime! At home, alone, is the place of their residence-they are our own-our sacred property; and each individual has an equal share! Had not heaven smiled, to this day gilded coaches would have rolled over the ashes of the peasant; opulent landlords would have thronged our capitals, and held the poor in bondage; Deputies would have stalked at the corners of our streets, to exact the stipulated fee of a hereditary prince, whose virtues or vices we knew nothing of, and as little whether he were a wise man or a fool, with ten thousand armed soldiers at his heels, to enforce the royal edicts, and this whole beautiful country, so peculiarly formed by the hand of Omnipotence to sustain a virtuous and happy people, would groan under the oppressive tax of ambitious sovereigns, to support an army to keep in subjection the humble laborer, or massacre him if by chance he should refuse so to do, or speak amiss of his foreign lord!
But millions have cause to rejoice that it is otherwise-Here, each man, so far as he conducts himself in prudence and discretion, is entitled to the highest privileges and honors of this Government-here he is protected from oppression, honored as an equal, and respected as a citizen of the same great family, which God has planted with his own hand and sustains by his own power. Here he can contemplate the happy days of his rising posterity, (if they walk in righteousness,) and when called to leave this present state of existence, he can bless God that he can repose in peace with the joyful reflection, that his lot has been cast upon a consecrated land, where factions have not been permitted to boil, nor usurpation, with her destructive wand been permitted to blight the flower of freedom, nor wither the genial rose that blossoms upon the tree of liberty, contributes strength, and adds a perpetuity to our noble institutions.
Here while law is administered in equity, an asylum is held out to the oppressed, and a proper inducement offered by which he can break those natural affections which bind him to the place which gave him being, which fact is demonstrated yearly by the many thousands who emigrate to our shores-here he may enjoy his religion equally with others, and his social relations unmolested; and while his labor is blessed he can enjoy the fruit of that also, without an exacter to rob him of the same to support a vile ministry, either civil or ecclesiastical; but what heaven blesses him with is his own-his liberty is guaranteed, his person is protected, and his right of citizenship questioned by none. Such privileges and blessings are no less than the gift of God, and every individual enjoying them, is bound to acknowledge his hand in the organization of this Government, and the protection heretofore given to our fathers, his peculiar mercy, that a people might possess this land for a purpose unthought of and unknown to thousands, but held in reserve in his own mind to disclose to future generations, when his strong arm shall be revealed in the deliverance of Jacob, and his mighty power manifested in his defense.
These may be reflections foreign to the minds of most men in this delightful country, and perhaps might be spurned from them as a wild superstition, were they to be presented, in consequence of the overwhelming ignorance of men on the subject of the promises of God to his elect nation.-But however lightly these facts may be esteemed at this day, certain it is, that a peculiar providence was manifest from the first discovery of this continent, to the period when this nation became independent. This can be demonstrated from facts, and clearly shown to the mind susceptible of light,
and willing to admit an overruling Hand in every act of nations to bring about great and important events in the future happiness of man.
Why, it might be asked, was not this continent discovered to eastern nations previous to the year 1492? great boast is made of the arts and learning of the Egyptians, of the wisdom and science of the Greeks and Romans, and to this day a continual strife is made to copy in the train of these nations, and equal their learning and refinement. The Egyptians could astonish the universe for centuries with their knowledge of embalming their dead, of concealing their arts in mystical characters of hieroglyphics, and cause creation to wonder at their unparalleled power in piling rocks into huge masses as monuments of their iudustery [industry] and extravigance [extravagance], and yet their knowledge of the extent of this globe be limited to a little narrow space, on which they were born, figured so wonderfully, and at last laid their bones with those of their fathers upon the same.
Greece could rise by transmitting to her shores the instructions she received from Egypt as a mother, and cause generations to gaze on her works of art and sculpture, men of intelligence to strive to equal her in wisdom and march in her train of philosophy; leave ruined cities and decayed temples as specimens of her vain ambition, for men of after years to admire with astonishment, and yet fall to the ground, after speculating upon the system of creation sufficiently to draw the world in her course, and yet her knowledge be as limited as the former.
Rome could rise on the ruins of Greece, exist century after century filled with riches and luxury, render herself famous for her power, conquer the east with her arms, and transmit her laws to after nations, with a great share of her profligacy, and sink at last into ruin without being able to soar over the vast deep and discover another world to poison with her wickedness-That was left for after ages, and the honor to be given to a future generation, though Italy may boast of raising the favored city which gave birth to the man who, by the immediate inspiration of heaven, conceived the idea of the existence of another earth. Fourteen hundred and ninety two years from the birth of the Saviour [Savior], one thousand and sixteen from the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, and thirty nine from its extinction in the east, had collapsed, before the nations of the eastern continent were favored with this knowledge. One wave might have overwhelmed his little bark and consigned this adventurer to the deep; and without a spirit equal to the first, another man might not have been found to hazard his all upon this dangerous experiment, and so the plan remain forever without being undertaken again-but the time had arrived, and wisdom in the Author of the world made it expedient for this treasure to be disclosed! Why not Egypt have this honor? or why not Greece study out by her philosophy the power of the great BALANCE, and transmit to mankind this important blessing? Why not Rome, proud mistress of the eastern world, unfold the secret which was to make so many millions a resting place and a covert from the tempest? The short answer is, the time had not arrived, and with all their intelligence these nations were limited to territory, and though their genius were fertile in innumerable arts, yet they never touched upon the great and important thought of leading their children into an almost boundless region, where nature, with her luxuriant mantle had thrown around the blessings of the earth in the fullest abundance!
Many items present themselves to the mind which are pleasing as one reviews the history of the discovery of this country by the Europeans, and its subsequent settlement by them, at least, such parts of it as are not characterized by acts of cruelty and unparalleled barbarity. In perusing the history of the first introduction of the Spaniards into South America and the Mexicos, the heart of the philanthropist must shrink at those scenes of inhumanity to which they had recourse to deprive the aborigines of their country and precious metals. It may be said that they obtained it by right of conquest. This may be a sufficient excuse for some, yet when compared with the true principles of justice, will be found wanting. It may be said that the natives were ignorant, and the introduction of arts, sciences, and religion, would better their condition in time, and particularly religion in eternity; but if this is the case, (and is, no doubt,) it might be asked, and with propriety too, what confidence could a rational mind place in a people who should rob them of every thing they possessed-treasures, lands, and homes, and drive them into mountains, and then turn round and offer them religion, and hold it forth as the only means of salvation!
As the eye of the student rapidly glances over the history of the world, he may ask at first, why so long a period elapsed from the first discovery of San Salvador, by Columbus, in the year 1492, to the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, in the year 1607? a period of 115 years.
It may be urged, philosophically, that the complicated condition of the affairs of Europe, was the main preventative, as the more part of its sovereigns were employed in either gaining possession of their thrones, or defending them from usurpation when once obtained, and that in consequence of these acts, there were none to engage in enterprises of this kind except individuals, and they, for a want of means, or a desire for self aggrandizement, by which they destroyed that confidence so necessary for others to repose in them, were insufficient to accomplish an undertaking of such great importance. But one fact was, the country invited agriculturer rests, who must depend wholly upon their own industry with the blessing of heaven for their support, while the South was overspread with ambicious [ambitious] Spaniards, who made no scruple as to the justice of carrying death and desolation with them, for the purpose of robbing the innocent and unsuspecting natives of their gold, and of bringing them into slavery!
Leaving the history of the South, by glancing over that of the North, we shall find the newly settled inhabitants involved in many difficulties, and at times unable to extricate themselves without the aid of a Superior power.
From the natives they received frequent assaults, and from the "mother country" after a few years, the cruel oppressions of a tyrant instead of that kind protection and fostering care so much needed, and so anxiously looked for and expected. From the latter, excuses would prove ineffectual to satisfy the mind that the colonies were nourished in a parental manner. But from the former, had they the advantages of other people, and were heard when urging their excuses, by contrasting their first conduct with that of their new neighbors, right, between man and man, would unquestionably outweigh many charges now preferred against them, and excuse them in many acts where they have been charged with being the first aggressors, although they have been called, savages and heathen.
It may be said, that the established customs of the whites, had constituted as a part of their religion the principle of taking of each other by force what they could not by purchase or flattery, and consequently, as the aborigines were a wild uncultivated race of men, wandering over a vast uncultivated region, obtaining their support from the wild beasts of the wilderness, that the whites had a right to demand a certain portion of this country for themselves, and if they could not obtain it by gift nor bribery, they could by force, as their means and experience of warfare were superior to that of the natives; not thinking that the Judge of all regarded the poor equally with the rich, and the destitute "Red man," though humble, worthy his privileges!
But whatever their custom may have established as a rule of right, if practiced, except that point can be founded upon the immediate revelation of heaven, or agree with the principles emanating from that source, they must fall, and in a coming day, be pronounced unrighteous before, and by the great and mighty One.
It might be urged on the part of the natives, that custom and tradition, which with them constituted their religion, had established as a just principle the cruel practice of avenging themselves on a conquered enemy, although defenseless, and of treating their wives and little ones in the same manner; and as they had been provoked by the whites, their new neighbors, according to the received custom of their warfare, they had a just right to lurk for the blood of their enemy, and also carry his wives and little ones into captivity, to sacrifice them in tortures the same as their unfeeling fathers before them, after conquering a neighboring tribe!
But this does not prove that a course of this kind was just, however sacredly it might have been handed down by tradition, nor however strictly it had been observed for generations, any more than the practice of the other to take by force what they could not obtain by treachery. These two items, are, unquestionably, decided in the mind of our common Creator, and in a coming day will be proclaimed when the secrets of all are revealed,
and each rewarded according to his works.
Without discussing particularly the justice or unjustice of the conduct of our fathers in obtaining this country in the manner they did, we shall pass more directly to the subject immediately before us-the 58th anniversary of American Independence. Still, there can be no doubt but our fathers had as just a right to drive the "wild man" from his hunting and fishing ground, without giving him an adequate compensation for the privilege of forming a Government upon the same; as the monarchs of Europe had to claim jurisdiction over them because some of their subjects happened to sail along its coasts. And the fact, that the Supreme Being ordered in his providence, all things in their proper time of the discovery of this continent to the Europeans, does not prove that they had a right to cheat its lawful owners, and by any unjust principle obtain their lands. An act which may be censured or pronounced unjust in one instance, will, under the same circumstances, be equally as unjust, let it be committed by whom it may. And though the descendants of Jacob upon this continent, (which no man can disprove that they are,) are yet in darkness, the day is not far distant when light shall be reflected upon them, and that deep malicious feeling, now reigning in many of their bosoms in consequence of injuries received, will be lost in the perfect knowledge of the gospel of the Lord Jesus, and they be prepared to receive and enjoy the promises so frequently (though long since) made to their fathers by the mouths of all the holy prophets.
If our fathers acted unjustly in any respect in taking possession of this country, no man in his sober moments when made acquainted with the conduct of the "Mother country," will for an instant doubt the justice of their act in dissolving their former allegiance. Though frequently annoyed by the acts of the British Parliament, and the false insinuation of persons in power, no thought of revolt was meditated till long after their sovereign's troops had commenced an unwarrantable attack upon the unoffending citizens.-From the battle of Lexington, on the 19 of April, 1775, more than a year elapsed before the united colonies declared themselves FREE. And when carefully examined, it will be seen, was the last and only resort, except lying submissively down to be walked over by their oppressors!
Notwithstanding their affections for the country which contained the ashes of their fathers, the convention of 1776 resolved, at all peril, to try the test, and on the 4th of July, according to previous arrangement, the committee appointed for that purpose, reported a Bill which was carefully examined, and engrossed. Thus, being driven to the last expedient, their act on this day has claimed a name which will cause it to be observed with care by rising generations, should this Government exist, and like the "passover," will be hailed as the anniversary of freedom and blessings, when all who bore a share in those toils which purchased the same have gone down to the silent shades of death!
Millions will celebrate this day, and if one to ten of their number know or realize for what, or why, it will be something uncommon. The great mass "turn out"-every heart is filled with joy for some cause-every youth has looked for the anxious day to arrive, and enquired [inquired] if it were near-the gay and fashionable have promised to themselves enjoyments unknown to the other days, all anxious to act their part in celebrating the same-Work is suspended, the laborer ceases from his toil, and the slave forgets for one day that his soul has been bought with money like the beast, while a general time of festivity and joy occupies the mind and engrosses the attention of all.
But how few there are who realize the eventful moment which gave birth to this enjoyment! How few contrast the circumstances surrounding us with those surrounding our fathers who had courage and confidence sufficient to put their trust in the arm of God, and offer their lives a sacrifice to secure the blessings of peace and prosperity uncontrolled to their children! Those were days which tried men's souls, and an hour when every feeling of patriotism had to be brought into requisition; and each man who embarked in this great enterprize [enterprise] must "count the cost!" for if he did not succeed the debt must be paid at the end of the halter. But these are different days-surrounded with the blessings of heaven, what more can be asked that we have not already received? and what can disturb our peace, except unwise and factious men, who never inherited a virtue cherished in the bosoms of our fathers, rise up and seek the destruction of others without cause?
Though none of the signers of the declaration of Independence are now remaining, yet a few who fought in its defense are still alive, to see the reward of their sufferings and toils. But the mind cannot be brought to reflect upon these characters without asking, what has been done for these men, and what have they received from their children? comparatively nothing. It may be said that the more part receive pensions from the Government, and this is sufficient. What is a few dollars in comparison to life and liberty? It ought to be remembered, that these men not only spent their best days, but while doing it offered their lives in the cause. Their numbers are now small, and in a few years the remainder will leave us, and all that can be done for them must be done soon.
While this day is spent in reveling by thousands, there is no doubt but many realize the importance of it, and reflect upon the consequences had our fathers failed in maintaining their declaration. Though all are bound to acknowledge the doings of the Creator in the discovery of this country, and the subsequent blessings in establishing a free Government upon the same, yet it is not to be expected that those who profess a belief in the religion instituted on high, will be wanting in gratitude, or behind in ascribing suitable thanks to heaven for these peculiar mercies. Here they may rejoice with the assurance, that while the law is faithfully administered, their persons and effects are secure from all religious intolerance and ecclesiastic oppression; that here they can worship as it best suits their minds or consciences, without the least fear from such as may feel disturbed on the account of it! Certainly, then, the saint is prepared to acknowledge this fact, and he, of all men is the most willing to ascribe the hand of his Master in it. For the privilege of living undisturbed, and enjoying that communion ever held between heaven and the church of Christ, is a thought so pleasing, that while thousands pass unconcernedly along, the saint cannot but view it as an uncommon providence, and a mercy given to but few since the world began.
Who cannot see it? and who so destitute of the spirit of life as not to acknowledge it? How many might have groaned, and that in vain, had it not been for this; and how many millions may now come to a knowledge of the gospel who might otherwise have remained in darkness! Here the Nazarene, the Jew, the Mahomedan, and the Hindoo [Hindu], may each worship according to his respective system, and yet hold an equal influence in all matters of this great Government, and each respectively transmit to his children the same privileges.
Amid these reflections the question may be asked, how long is this Government destined to stand? It is easy to discover the improprieties of other nations who have risen, flourished and sunk again into barbarism, and perished; but had they been capable of discerning their own approaching ruin, and marked the causes of the same, it is to be expected that they would have shunned the evil. Rome is justly said to boast of the longest Republican form of Government of any other, and yet it is to be observed, that the whole, or a great part of the time its citizens condescended to acts of profligacy and idolatry. One eighth of that time has transpired since this Government declared itself free, and it may be asked, cannot this, with all the experience drawn from former Governments, exist a still longer time? Every lover of free Governments is ready to enquire [inquire], will ambitious men rise up and lead to destruction the inhabitants of this favored country, and involve them in ruin? Will not a respect for the name and honor of our fathers, as well as our own personal happiness, be a stimulous [stimulus] to awaken every feeling bosom to assert a cause so just, so holy, and so important to the welfare of men? And will there not be found a sufficient number who shall fearlessly stand forth in the defense of this righteous cause? Will men look calmly on and see their liberties proscribed, their dearest and most sacred rights trampled upon, and their children destined to wear out a life in wretched slavery, and spend their years in bending to their fellow creatures who are no better than themselves? May heaven forbid it!!
In offering these reflections we have only spoken the convictions of our own mind, without any desire to turn the affections of others from a just regard for their own laws. They may boast of their respective Governments, and flatter themselves that theirs is the most liberal, most refined, and the best, and while they can live in peace, and particularly the saints, they are bound to be content, and in all cases be obedient to their laws, at least, so long as their privileges of worshiping [worshipping] God are not infringed; but when ever this time arrives in the administration of any Government, when all are not privileged by law to worship as they please, how they please, and when they please, every saint is justified in revolting against such oppressive systems, and resting assured that heaven approves the course.
Believing as we verily do, that our privileges are superior to any others, we are bound to offer up our feeble petitions for the long continuence [continuance] of this Government and the increasing prosperity of its citizens. We cannot but wish that it may long continue, a sample for others and a resting place for all-and when destructions and desolations come upon all nations, and the indignation is poured upon all who are unprepared, as assuredly will be the case, we sincerely pray that God may here have a people, yes many thousands, redeemed from the corruptions of the world, taught in the mysteries of his kingdom, and prepared to rise and meet him when he comes to reign on earth with his elect! Then earthly kingdoms, governed by the wicked will be no more! and the scepters of men no longer swayed-crowns will crumble-thrones dissolve-systems vanish-empires sink in ruin-and all pomp and parade of earthly courts will be no longer heard! but universal peace will be established, righteousness will abound, holiness surround the saints, and the knowledge of God will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea!-[Editor of the Star.]
AFFAIRS IN THE WEST.
We copy the following from the MISSOURI ENQUIRER, of the 18th of June, printed at Liberty, Mo. As appears from another article in the same paper, the people of Jackson co. had appointed a Committee of 12 men to make proposals to our friends for the purchase of their possessions in Jackson co. It is said in another part of this same paper, that a public meeting was held in the court house in Clay co. and that several gentlemen addressed their fellow citizens on the subject of the Jackson outrage, advising a compromise. There are several items of importance connected with the proceedings of this meeting, which may be noticed in a future number, as our limits are not sufficient in this.
The first following, exhibits a number of names purporting to be a Committee invested with authority, by the people of Jackson co. to effect a compromise, settled difficulties, and make amends for grievances; which, were the time offered on their part sufficient for our friends to purchase their possessions, we have no doubt, on the whole, but it would be by far the best: or at least, could a fair course be entered upon, giving our friends an equal choice, notwithstanding the unlawful conduct of the mob heretofore, it might prevent the further effusion of blood, which certainly is desirable. Although our friends are entitled to another mode of proceedure [procedure] for the adjustment of their difficulties, which is, by being immediately reinstated upon their former possessions, protected when returned, and rewarded in civil court for injuries of person, and damages of property, yet, if an honorable course can be pursued, and this shocking affair amicably and satisfactorily settled, we shall not only be satisfied, but thankful to God, and presume that every reflecting man will rejoice with us. To say that a part of the citizens of Jackson co. have not openly rebelled against the civil law, and as may be drawn from the first following, are still determined to persist in their own course, is impossible for any candid, unprejudiced man to deny; though their offer to sell and peaceably leave the county, is a great step towards effecting a peace, and shows that they are persuaded to abandon their former unprecedented policy. [Ed. Star.]
PROPOSITIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF JACKSON TO THE 'MORMONS.'
The undersigned Committee, being fully authorized by the people of Jackson county, hereby propose to the Mormons, that they will buy all the land that the said Mormons own in the county of Jackson; and also, all the improvements which the said Mormons had on any public lands in said county of Jackson, as they existed before the first disturbances between the people of Jackson and the Mormons, and for such as they have made since. They further propose that the valuation of said land and improvements shall be ascertained by three disinterested arbitrators, to be chosen and agreed to by both parties. They further propose, that should the parties disagree in the choice of arbitrators, then . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is to choose them. They further propose, that twelve of the Mormons shall be permitted to go along with the arbitrators to show them their land and improvements while valuing the same, and such other of the Mormons as the arbitrators shall wish to do so, to give them information: and the people of Jackson hereby guarantee their entire safety while doing so. They further propose, that when the arbitrators report the value of the land and improvements, as aforesaid the people of Jackson will pay the valuation, WITH ONE HUNDRED PER CENT. ADDED THEREON, to the Mormons, within thirty days thereafter. They further propose, that the Mormons are not to make any effort, ever after, to settle, either collectively or individually, within the limits of Jackson county. The Mormons are to enter into bond to insure the conveyance of their land in Jackson county, according to the above terms, when the payment shall be made; and the committee will enter into a like bond, with such security as may be deemed sufficient, for the payment of the money, according to the above proposition. While the arbitrators are investigating and deciding upon the matters referred to them, the Mormons are not to attempt to enter Jackson county, or to settle there, except such as are by the foregoing propositions permitted to go there.-They further propose, that the people of Jackson will sell all their lands, and improvements on public lands, in Jackson county, to the Mormons-the valuation to be obtained in the same manner-the same per cent. in addition to be paid-and the time the money is to be paid is the same, as above set forth in our prepositions to buy-the Mormons to give good security for the payment of the money, and the undersigned will give security that the land will be conveyed to the Mormons. They further propose, that all parties are to remain as they are till the payment is made, at which time the people of Jackson will give possession.
SAMUEL C. OWENS, THOMAS HAYTON, sen.,
JOHN DAVIS, ROBERT RICKMAN,
THOMAS JEFFREYS, JAMES CAMBELL,
RICHARD FRISTOE, ABRAHAM M. CLELLAN,
SMALLWOOD NOLAND, S. V. NOLAND.
Gentlemen: Your proposition for an adjustment of the difficulties between the citizens of Jackson county and the Mormons, is before us; and as explained to you in the court house this day, we are not authorized to say to you that our brethren will submit to your proposals; but we agree to spread general notice, and call a meeting of our people in all, the present week, and lay before you an answer as soon as Saturday or Monday next. We can say for ourselves, and in behalf of our brethren, that peace is what we desire, and what we are disposed to cultivate with all men; and to effect peace, we feel disposed to use all our influence, as far as would be required at our hands, as free-born citizens of these United States.-And as fears have been expressed that we designed to commence hostilities against the inhabitants of Jackson county, we hereby pledge ourselves to them, and to the hospitable citizens of Clay County, that we will not, and neither have designed, as a people, to commence hostilities against the aforesaid citizens of Jackson county, or any other people.
Our answer shall be handed to Judge Turnham, the chairman of the meeting, even earlier than the time before stated, if possible.
W. W. PHELPS,
WM. E. M'LELIN, A. S. GILBERT,
JOHN CARRILL, ISAAC MORLEY
N. B. As we are informed that a large number of our people are on their way, removing into Jackson county, we agree to use our influence immediately to prevent the said company from entering into Jackson county, until you shall receive an answer to the propositions aforenamed."
It may be said, at first view, that the mob Committee have made a fair proposition to our friends in offering to buy their lands at 100 per cent. in 30 days, and of offering theirs on the same terms to our friends; but when it is understood that the mob hold possession of a large quantity of land more than our friends, and that they only offer 30 days for the payment of the same, it will be seen that they are only making a show to cover their past unlawful conduct. If the mob will give our friends a sufficient time to purchase their lands at a fair and adequate price, and also pay them damages for injuries received upon their persons, and of property, then, and not till then, shall we believe that they are disposed to act on any principle of justice further than they are compelled by law, and that put in force by military movement!-[Ed.]
[From the Missouri Enquirer of June 25.]
Copy of a letter from DANIEL DUNKLIN, Governor of the State of Missouri, to Col. J. THORNTON, dated
CITY OF JEFFERSON, June 6, 1834.
Dear Sir,-I was pleased at the receipt of your letter, concurred in by Messrs. Rees, Atchison and Doniphan, on the subject of the Mormon difficulties. I should be gratified indeed, if the parties could compromise on the terms you suggest, or, indeed upon any other terms satisfactory to themselves. But I should travel out of the line of my strict duty, as chief executive officer of the government, were I to take upon myself the task of effecting a compromise between the parties. Had I not supposed it possible, yes, probable, that I should, as Executive of the State, have to act, I should before now, have interfered individually, in the way you suggest, or in some other way, in order if possible, to effect a compromise. Uncommitted, as I am, to either party, I shall feel no embarrassment in doing my duty; though it may be done with the most extreme regret. My duty in the relation in which I now stand to the parties, is plain and strait forward. By an official interposition, I might embarrass my course, and urge a measure for the purpose of effecting a compromise, and it should fail, and in the end, should I find it my duty to ACT contrary to the ADVICE I had given, it might be said, that I either advised wrong, or acted wrong; or that I was partial to one side or the other, in giving advice that I would not, as an officer, follow. A more clear, and indisputable right does not exist, than that the Mormon people, who were expelled from their homes in Jackson county, to return and live on their lands, and if they cannot be persuaded as a matter of POLICY, to give up that right, or to qualify it, my course, as the chief executive officer of the state, is a plain one.-The constitution of the U. States declares, "That the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states."-Then we cannot interdict any people who have a political franchise in the United States from emigrating to this state, nor from choosing WHAT PART of the state they will settle in, provided they do not trespass on the property or rights of others. Our state constitution declares that the people's "right to bear arms, IN DEFENCE [DEFENSE] OF THEMSELVES, and of the state, cannot be questioned." Then it is their constitutional right to arm themselves. Indeed, our militia law makes it the duty of every man, not exempted by law, between the ages of 18 and 45, to arm himself with a musket, rifle, or some firelock, with a certain quantity of ammunition, &c. And again, our constitution says, "that all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences." I am fully persuaded that the eccentricity of the religious opinions and practices of the Mormons, is at the bottom of the outrages committed against them.
They have the right constitutionally guaranteed to them, and it is indefeasible, to believe and WORSHIP JO SMITH as a MAN, an ANGEL, or even as the only TRUE AND LIVING GOD, and to call their habitation ZION, the HOLY LAND, or even heaven itself. Indeed there is nothing so absurd or ridiculous, that they have not a right to adopt their religion, so that in its exercise, they do not interfere with the rights of others.
It is not long since an impostor assumed the character of Jesus Christ, and attempted to minister as such; but I never heard of any combination to deprive him of his rights.
I consider it the duty of every good citizen of Jackson and the adjoining counties to exert themselves to effect a compromise to these difficulties, and were I assured that I would not have to act in my official capacity in the affair, I would visit the parties in person and exert myself to the utmost to settle it. My first advice would be to the Mormons, to sell out their lands in Jackson county, and to settle some where else, where they could live in peace, if they could get a fair price for them, and reasonable damages for injuries received. If this failed I would try the citizens and advise them to meet and rescind their illegal resolves of last summer; and agree to conform to the laws in every particular, in respect to the Mormons. If both these failed, I would then advise the plan you have suggested, for each party to
take separate territory and confine their members within their respective limits, with the exception of the public right of egress and regress upon the highway. If all these failed, then the simple question of legal right would have to settle it. It is this last that I am afraid I shall have to conform my action to in the end. And hence the necessity of keeping myself in the best situation to do my duty impartially.
Rumor says that each party are preparing themselves with cannon.-That would be illegal. It is not necessary to self defense, as guaranteed by the constitution. And as there are no artillery companies organized in this state, nor field pieces provided by the public, any preparations of that kind will be considered as without right; and, in the present state of things, would be understood to be with a criminal intent. I am told that the people of Jackson county expect assistance from the adjoining counties, to oppose the Mormons in taking or keeping possession of their lands.-I should regret it extremely if any should be so imprudent as to do so; it would give a different aspect to the affair.
The citizens of Jackson county have a right to arm themselves and parade for military duty in their own county, independent of the commander-in-chief; but if citizens march there in arms from other counties, without order from the commander-in-chief, or some one authorized by him, it would produce a very different state of things. Indeed, the Mormons have no right to march to Jackson county in arms, unless by the order or permission of the commander-in-chief.-Men must not "levy war" in taking possession of their rights, any more than others should in opposing them in taking possession.
As you have manifested a deep interest in a peaceable compromise of this important affair, I presume you will not be unwilling to be placed in a situation, in which perhaps, you can be more serviceable to these parties. I have therefore taken the liberty of appointing you an aid to the commander-in-chief, and hope it will be agreeable to you to except. In this situation you can give your propositions all the influence they would have, were they to emanate from the executive without committing yourself or the commander-in-chief in the event of a failure.
I should be glad you, or some of the other gentlemen who joined you in your communication, would keep a close correspondence with these parties, and by each mail write to me.
The character of the state has been injured in consequence of this unfortunate affair: and I sincerely hope it may not be disgraced by it in the end.
With high respect, your ob't servant,
(Signed) "DANIEL DUNKLIN."
-> From the ENQUIRER of July 2, we copy the following communication to the people of Clay co. from Cornelius Gilliam, Esq. with the reply of our friends to his interrogations relative to the cause of their emigrating to that place. Their answer was signed by eleven of their company, whom, we presume, had authority to speak the sentiments of the remainder. With the most of the signers we have a personal acquaintance, and can unhesitatingly say, that it contains the feelings and desires of every individual professing the faith of the everlasting gospel, if he has been instructed therein; and justifies remarks previously made over the proposition of the mob. If the mob or their partisans in this, or any other country have fancied to themselves that we, as a people, are to be trampled upon in this unheard of and unholy manner, without affecting to resist, they will, in the end, find themselves mistaken! We are assured of our own personal rights, as free citizens of this Republic, and these we shall have, or every officer within the same is a perjured man! Our liberty is as dear to us as to any other people, for we have yet fathers living who fought for the purchase and maintainence [maintenance] of the same, and while there is a constitution and laws, they shall protect us, if they possess any virtue! We are aware, as we have frequently had occasion to remark, that this persecution, from the first to the present, has been inflicted upon us in consequence of our religious principles, and that, in the first instance, was put into operation, and is still moved forward by the present priests and others of their obsequious adherents, who suppose that, to raise persecutions and violate the civil law in the destruction of those whose principles are unlike their own, is no sin in the sight of heaven!
The latest intelligence from the west corroborates statements previously received, that a compromise would be effected, and negotiations entered into, which will secure peace and save the loss of any more blood. We are aware that the people of the Upper Missouri have frequently been misinformed concerning our motives and assertions, and that many reports of this shameful description have emanated from persons resident in this vicinity. But so long as we can answer a pure conscience before all men for the conduct of our friends in the west, towards the people of Jackson co. they are at their defiance to make it appear to a candid public, after looking at both sides of the matter, that our friends were the first aggressors, or have, in any instance, acted only on the defensive. We were residing in Jackson co. at the time hostilities first commenced, and the fact, that our friends left that co. in the manner they did, is sufficient to convince every man who has the least desire for the principles of truth and righteousness, that the mob acted the part of abandoned villains, not to say common unwholesome citizens! The beautiful crops of wheat, amounting to some hundreds of acres, the labor of industrious and peaceable citizens will, no doubt, serve to feed the mob and their assistants a considerable length of time, should they enjoy the privilege. We advise some of those wretches who are so anxious that the mob in Missouri should accomplish their purposes, residing in this country, who have been busily employed for the last 6 or 8 months in communicating lies to their coadjutors in Jackson co. to go up and join their friends-they might, possibly, enjoy a large spoil! These items are to be remembered! [Ed.]
"Being a citizen of Clay county, and knowing that there is considerable excitement amongst the people thereof; and also knowing that different reports are arriving almost hourly: and being requested by the Hon. J. F. Ryland, to meet the Mormons under arms, and obtain from the leaders thereof the correctness of the various reports in circulation-the true intent and meaning of their present movements, and their views generally regarding the difficulties existing between them and the citizens of Jackson county-I did, in company with other gentlemen, call upon the said leaders of the Mormons, at their camp, in Clay county; and now give to the people of Clay county their written statement, containing the substance of what passed between us." (Signed) "CORNELIUS GILLIUM."
PROPOSITIONS, &c. OF THE "MORMONS."
"Being called upon by the above named gentlemen, at our camp, in Clay county, to ascertain from the leaders of our men, our intentions, views, and designs, in approaching this county in the manner that we have: we therefore the more cheerfully comply with their request, because we are called upon by gentlemen of good feelings, and who are disposed for peace and an amicable adjustment of the difficulties existing between us and the people of Jackson county. The reports of our intentions are various, and have gone abroad in a light calculated to arouse the feelings of almost every man. For instance, one report is, that we intend to demolish the printing office in Liberty; another report is, that we intend crossing the Missouri River on Sunday next, and falling upon women and children, and slaying them; another is, that our men were employed to perform this expedition, being taken from manufacturing establishments in the East that had closed business; also, that we carried a flag, bearing PEACE on one side and WAR OR BLOOD on the other; and various others too numerous to mention. All of which, a plain declaration of our intentions, from under our own hands, will show are not correct. In the first place, it is not our intention to commit hostilities against any man or body of men. It is not our intention to injure any man's person or property, except in defending ourselves. Our flag has been exhibited to the above gentlemen, who will be able to describe it. Our men were not taken from any manufacturing establishment. It is our intention to go back upon our lands in Jackson county, by order of the Executive of the State, if possible. We have brought our arms with us for the purpose of self-defense, as it is well known to almost every man of the State that we have every reason to put ourselves in an attitude of defense, considering the abuse we have suffered in Jackson county. We are anxious for a settlement of the difficulties existing between us, upon honorable and constitutional principles. We are willing for twelve disinterested men, six to be chosen by each party, and these men shall say what the possessions of those men are worth who cannot live with us in the county; and they shall have their money in one year; and none of the Mormons shall enter that county to reside until the money is paid. The damages that we have sustained in consequence of being driven away, shall also be left to the above twelve men. Or they may all live in the county, if they choose, and we will never molest them if they will let us alone and permit us to enjoy our rights. We want to live in peace with all men, and equal rights is all we ask. We wish to become permanent citizens of this State, and wish to bear our proportion in support of the Government, and to be protected by its laws. If the above proposals are complied with, we are willing to give security on our part; and we shall want the same of the people of Jackson county for the performance of this agreement. We do not wish to settle down in a body, except where we can purchase the lands with money: for to take possession by conquest or the shedding of blood, is entirely foreign to our feelings. The shedding of blood we shall not be guilty of, until all just and honorable means among men prove insufficient to restore peace." [Here follows the signatures.]
-> Afflicting.-It becomes our duty, though painful, to notice the death of 13 of our friends at the west, 12 men and one woman, who died of cholera the last of June, in Clay co. After a compromise was proposed, a part of the company from this place and the east, were preparing to return to their families, when this destructive scourge was sent, and in a few days we were deprived of the society in this life of some of our most worthy and valuable citizens! Up to the last accounts the decease had abated and many who had been severely attacked were recovering. It is said that the pestilence is raging on the western waters to an alarming degree, and in many or most cases proves fatal.
Never, before, were we called to record a mortality so afflicting, which seems to be increased when we reflect upon the great usefulness of some of those who have been taken from us; yet, we are bound to acknowledge, the justice of every providence of our God, and we are not disposed to murmur, knowing that the righteous are often taken from the evil to come. Some have left wives and children with a small proportion of the comforts of this life; but we are assured that Israel's God is a Father of the fatherless, and the widow's friend. We earnestly recommend such as are needy to the benevolent who have abundance, while we assure them that we sensibly feel this providence of God, and sincerely hope that we may also be prepared to meet our own approaching dissolution, knowing that this life is not only filled with innumerable toils, cares, disappointments, and adversities, but is short, and none except such as have an assurance in that which is to come, can take any real enjoyment! The names of those deceased, as furnished us, are John S. Carter, Eber Wilcox, Seth Hitchcock, Erastus Rudd, A. Sidney Gilbert, Alfred Fisk, Edward Ires, Noah Johnson, Jesse B. Lawson, Robert M'Cord, Eliel Strong, Jesse Smith, and Betsey Parish.-[Ed.]
-> Other news from the west being so highly important, we are prohibited from presenting any particular remarks upon the character or personal worth of either of our deceased friends. Some two or three deaths have occurred in this place since our last, but cannot be particularly mentioned in this. The Maine Conference minutes are laid over, as well as some other interesting matter. Expecting intelligence from the west, we delayed this number till the last, to give all we could on the subject of the Jackson affair. [Ed.]