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The Evening and The Morning Star/2/23
|←Number 22|| The Evening and The Morning Star
Volume 2, Number 23
|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. August, 1834||No. 23.|
Millenium. NO. VIII.
[Continued from our last.]
Having seen from the clearest possible evidence, that the world at the time of the Savior's second advent will be in a state of apostasy, if we can credit the testimony of the Savior, of the prophets and apostles, let us compare the people of the apostasy, with the pure saints of God, and the societies of the last days, with the societies which were built by the immediate direction of the inspired men whom God sent into the world for the purpose of building up his kingdom; and in order to get the subject fairly before us, let us take a view of the kingdom of God or of heaven, as established among men. In the 21st chapt. of Matthew and 43rd verse, the Savior says to the Jews, "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." From this declaration of the Savior, we learn two things. First, that the Jews had the kingdom of heaven among them. Second, that they did not at that time bring forth the fruits of that kingdom. God by the mouth of Moses had promised to the Jews that if they would obey his voice and keep his covenant that they should be unto him a kingdom of priests, a peculiar treasure above all people; (see Ex. 19 chapter, 5 and 6 verses;) but notwithstanding this promise, the Jews broke the covenant, and did not obey the voice of the Lord; but corrupted and defiled the kingdom of heaven so exceedingly, that in the days of the Savior, he said it should be taken from them and be given to another people, that the fruits thereof might be brought forth. We are told by the Psalmist David, that so completely did the Jews corrupt the kingdom of God which was among them, that there was none of them doing good, no, not so much as one: they had all gone out of the way and become unprofitable together. See the 14 ps. [Psalms] 2 and 3 verses: also Rom. 3 chapter, from the 10 to the 18 verse. Thus the Jews had corrupted themselves so exceedingly as that all of them had got out of the way, and were considered transgressors before God, and at last became ripe for destruction, and the wrath of God came on them to the very uttermost; the kingdom of God was taken from them, and given to another people, and for the best of all reasons, because they did not bring forth the fruits thereof, and were unworthy to enjoy it.
In order therefore to see from whence the Jews had fallen, let us inquire a little, what are the fruits of the kingdom of heaven, and what was the former condition of the Jews before they had rendered themselves unworthy of the divine favor?
Paul says that the kingdom of God is not meet and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. 14 chapt. 17 verse.-As the kingdom of heaven is a distinct empire of its own, the subjects of it have privileges which belong to none other: this was the case with the Jews before their great apostasy: they were distinguished from all other people. When the Jews were first organized, they were all under the same order of things; their worship the same; the same priest or teacher taught them all; the same prophet prophesied to them all; they worshiped [worshipped] at the same temple; offered sacrifices on the same altar; the same Law-giver directed them all; they all prayed for the same things, with every man's face toward the same temple. At the times for their great feasts, they all met at the same place and enjoyed their festivities together; among them there was one prophet, one priest, one temple, one altar, one Law-giver, one hope of their calling, one God and Father of them all, who was through them all, and over them all, and in them all, and round about them all; whose glory shone in their temple; whose grace enlightened their minds; whose power guarded their persons, and defended their lands, and whose wisdom guided them by night and by day. The order of things which God established among that people, when attended to, would silence every cavil, allay every contention, put an end to all strife, and bring them to be of one heart and of one mind, seeing eye to eye, having but one desire: in a word, it would have made them one. Such was the real tendency of the kingdom of heaven established among the Jews, and as long as they continued in this order, the fruits of the kingdom were manifest-it brought forth prophets and prophetesses, and a host of inspired men and women; they received revelation upon revelation, instruction after instruction-the angels of heaven ministered unto them, and the power of God was exerted in their behalf. Their prophets could tell what their enemies were doing in their bed chambers-all things were revealed unto them that they were willing to receive, and there was nothing withheld from them that they would receive. Such were the fruits of the kingdom, as established among the Jews; and may we not ask where is the kingdom of heaven and take these fruits away? or were not these the fruits of the kingdom of heaven? Surely every person in the least degree acquainted with the kingdom of heaven as revealed in the scriptures, knows that these fruits are found no where else but in the kingdom of heaven? And who does not know, that if these fruits had continued with the Jews, that they would have continued until this day as the people of God? for who could have overthrown them? for if God was for them, who could be against them? Every thinking man must see, that if the Jews had continued to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom of heaven, that it never would (nay could) have been taken from them; for God could not fight against himself; his power was pledged to them while they obeyed his voice and kept his covenant; it was only therefore their ceasing to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, that could overthrow them; for where the power, the wisdom, and the presence of God is, there is safety, there is salvation, & there is deliverance-the kings of the earth may set themselves, and the rulers take counsel, the heathen may rage and the people imagine a vain thing, but it is all unavailing, for where the fruits of the kingdom of heaven are, there no power, nor combination of powers can prevail, for God is there. Had the Jews therefore continued to brought forth the fruits of the kingdom of heaven, it never would have been said to them. "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." But when they ceased to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, God said it should be taken from them.
The apostle Peter in his 2nd epistle, 2nd chapter and 1st verse, traces this apostasy of the Jews to its proper ultimatum, that is, "to deny the Lord that bought them." Let us inquire a little what a people must do, in order to deny the Lord that bought them? No people could deny the Lord that bought them, who continued to receive the messengers that he sent unto them; for if they received them, they received him who sent them, this was the Savior's maxim. See Mat. 10th chapter 40th verse. But whenever they rejected the messengers God sent unto them, they rejected him; when they denied them, they denied him. Hence came the Savior's complaint against the Jews, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickings [chickens] under her wings, and ye would not. Behold your house is left unto you desolate:" see Matthew, 23rd chapter, 37th and 38th verses. Let the reader notice particularly, that the Savior says, if they had not killed the prophets and stoned them that he sent unto them, he would have gathered them as a hen gathereth her chickings [chickens] under her wings; but in consequence of their having rejected them, they could not be gathered, consequently, "their house was left unto them desolate." In the 34th and 35th verses of this same chapter, the Savior says, "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, to the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." Who can read and not see, that in rejecting the messengers whom God sends unto a people, they reject him, and bring upon their own heads the wrath of heaven? for in so doing they refuse the teachings of heaven, and reject his counsel, and thereby deny the Lord that bought them, and bring upon their own heads swift destruction. Second Peter, second chapter, and second verse.
This was the situation of the Jews when the Savior said unto them: "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." Instead of their being of one heart, and of one mind, receiving and rejoicing in the messengers whom God sent unto them for their edification and benefit, they killed some, and stoned others, and refused-utterly refused, to have an inspired man among them! And instead of their being united in one society, they were broken up into parties and sects, or heresies, which is the same thing. They were Pharisees, Sadducees, & Herodians, with a multitude of other parties & sects, or heresies. Instead of prophets and prophetesses, they had lawyers, doctors, and rabbis; & instead of the pure word of God, they had got the traditions of the elders, and of the fathers, tracts, homilies, &c. &c. And in consequence of these things, the power of God had withdrawn from them, and they were left in darkness to grope their way to destruction; fulfilling the declarations of the Psalmist, that there was none doing good no not one: for though they had much religion, and many, yea, very many societies, still there was not one of them organized according to the order of things established among their fathers by the inspiration of heaven: they had many teachers, but they were all of their own making; for a messenger that God sent, they would not have: them they would stone and kill.
If any rational being will only take the pains to compare the state of the Jews, in the days of the Savior, with their state and condition as organized by Moses through the inspiration of heaven, he cannot but see the force of the Savior's declaration, that the kingdom of God should be taken from them, and be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Behold them with their prophets, their prophetesses, their judges, their counsellors [counselors], their seers, their revelators, with their one temple, and their one altar; the harmony of their worship, the regular order of their priests, their lips keeping knowledge, & the people receiving the law at their mouth, & to crown
the whole glory, the ministering of angels, and the power of God with them and round about them, with miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, I say, let any man contemplate these natural fruits of the kingdom of heaven, and behold what the kingdom of heaven is, when it is not corrupted and defiled, and then compare it with the state of the Jews in the days of the Savior, with their Pharisees, their Sadducees, their Herodians, their lawyers their doctors, their rabbis, their strifes, their contentions, their traditions & their heresies; the power of God having fled from them, his glory ceased to over shadow them, and his angels to minister to them! I say, let any rational being but for a moment view it, and he would exclaim with the Psalmist "There are none of them doing good, no, not one."
Having taken a brief view of the kingdom of heaven among the Jews, both in its pure, as well as corrupt state, let us look at it in the hands of the Gentiles, to whom it was given after it was taken from the Jews.
We have previously seen that it was to be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, after it was taken from the Jews. The query is this, did the Gentiles, after they had received the kingdom, bring forth the fruits of that kingdom? and if so, what were the fruits which they brought forth? We have seen that the Jews, before they corrupted the kingdom, brought forth a fruit that was among no other people, even that of inspiration, revelation, miracles, &c. and when that kind of fruit was not found among them, the kingdom was taken from them, and they were condemned to destruction, and this reason assigned, that they did not bring forth the fruit of that kingdom.
Let us follow the apostles, and see the fruit that the Gentiles brought forth, when the kingdom was transferred from among the Jews to them, and we shall see that they brought forth the same kind of fruit the Jews did, before the kingdom was corrupted in their hands, even a host of inspired men and women-prophets & prophetesses, healings, miracles, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost, not only in one church, but in all the churches. The apostle Paul thanked God that the church of Corinth came behind in no gift. 1st Corinthians, 1st chapter, from 4th to 8th verse. "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now, if the church at Corinth came behind in no gift, they must have had all the spiritual gifts ever given to any people, or else they would have come behind in some gift. The same apostle says to the Ephesians, 1st chapter, and 3rd verse, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Notice here, that the apostle says that they were blessed with ALL spiritual blessings, if so, they also came behind in no gift. Peter, in his 2nd epistle, 1st chapter, 2nd and 3rd verses, says, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of him who hath called us to glory and virtue." Mark, that the apostle says here, that ALL things were given unto them that pertain to life and godliness, and if ALL things that pertain to life and godliness were given unto them, they were behind in no gift; for spiritual gifts are among the "ALL things which pertain to life and godliness." But in the 12th chapter, of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians, these spiritual gifts are enumerated and described. The chapter is too lengthy for insertion here, but let the reader peruse it, and he will there see what the apostle meant by the "ALL things which pertain to life and godliness;" the "ALL spiritual blessings" with which the Ephesians were blessed; and the gifts in which the Corinthians had come "behind in none."
If we can credit these testimonies of the apostles, the case is a very clear one, that the Gentiles, when they received the kingdom of heaven, brought forth the fruits thereof; and that the Jews, previous to the time the kingdom was taken from them, had ceased to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom.-We have seen that the Jews, when the kingdom was given to them, at the first, brought forth a fruit which in latter times they did not bring forth, and that the Gentiles, when they received the kingdom, brought forth the same fruit that the Jews did at first, before they transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broke the everlasting covenant: that is, a host of inspired men-apostles, prophets and prophetesses, evangelists, pastors, teachers, healings, gifts, miracles, &c. &c. So it was with the Jews at the first-there were prophets, prophetesses, revelators, seers, healings, gifts, miracles, &c. Who that will look at this subject with any candor, but must see and understand what the fruit of the kingdom of heaven is? for this is fruit which is peculiar to the kingdom of heaven, and to be found no where else but there. Who then will say, that we hazard much in saying, that where these fruits are not found, whether among Jews, or Gentiles, that people are not in favor with God? Let them have what else they may, if they lack these, it is proof direct, that they are in a state of apostasy; for if God (as the Savior testifies) took the kingdom from the Jews because they did not bring forth these fruits, and devoted them to destruction, can he save, redeem and acknowledge another people who are as destitute of these fruits as the Jews were when the kingdom was taken from them? I answer no; unless he is both partial, and a respecter of persons.
We have seen from the most incontrovertible evidence, what the fruits of the kingdom of heaven were, both among the Jews and Gentiles, and what a people must bring forth in order to bring forth the fruits of that kingdom; and as well might a people try to be saved by another gospel, as to palm any thing else upon God for the fruits of his kingdom. In the 11th chapter to the Romans, Paul gives the reason why the Jews did not bring forth these fruits. He says it was because of unbelief, see the 19th and 20th verses "Thou wilt say then, [notice reader that he is speaking to the Gentiles, to whom the kingdom had been given, after it was taken from the Jews] the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded but fear." Notice that the apostle says, that the Jews were cut off because of unbelief. The Savior says that the kingdom was taken from them because they did not bring forth the fruits of it. Now put them both together, and the matter stands thus: If the Jews had not fallen into unbelief but had continued in faith, they would continued to brought forth the fruits of the kingdom; and if they had continued to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, they would not have been cut off; but when they fell into unbelief, and lost their faith, they ceased to bring forth the fruits of the kingdom, and were in consequence thereof cut off. This must put the subject forever at rest, in every candid mind, and we plainly see that without faith, the Jews could not bring forth the fruits of the kingdom of heaven, that if there were prophesyings, healings, and miracles among them, it was done by their faith, and that whenever they lost their faith these things ceased among them, and they were cut off, and the kingdom of heaven taken from them.
TO BE CONTINUED.
FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE LAST DAYS. NO. VI.
[Continued from our last.]
An honest man, who has one correct view of the divine character, must believe, that there will be a consistency in all the proceedings of God in relation to his creatures, that his dealings will be in righteousness, without partiality, or hypocrisy, that when he comes to judge the world, his righteousness will shine as the heavens, and his glory as the noon day, so that every mouth will be stopped, every tongue stilled, and all creation acknowledge in the equity of the divine proceedings. But no sooner does a man admit these facts, than he sees the folly and weakness of the sectarians of this generation, yea, of all of them, for there is no exception, neither is there a difference; for they come short of the glory of God; nor has one of their societies ever reached the point of perfection, which entitles them to the promises of God. If the bible is to be our guide in matters of religion, and if the world is in any way to be judged by it, or if it has any thing to do with the future destinies of men; the question is forever settled, that this generation of sectarians is in a state of apostasy, every one of them, of all sects and parties, in all the world, and are ripening for destruction, both here and hereafter; for there is no rule of judging laid down in the bible which will not condemn them: neither is there any thing said in the bible which does not go to show plainly, that God never approved of them: all the admonitions and instructions given to the saints in all the revelations of God, extant, proves to a demonstration, that the sectarians of the nineteenth century, and the saints of God are so little like each other, that the same system of teaching is in no respect suited to them both: indeed nearly all the use the bible is to the sectarians of this generation is, that they claim to themselves the promises which were in former days given to the saints, entirely regardless of the way the saints obtained them, and also of the principle on which they were given to them. For instance, they (the sectarians) read what is said to the Romans, 8th chapter, 35th verse, and onward, where the apostle says in writing to that church: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (As it is written; for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter?) Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," and when they read, they exult greatly that they cannot be separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, as though the apostle had spoken, or written these things to them; or, as though they had a right to claim them and call them their own. They never seem to consider the great difference there is between them and the saints at Rome; for a small degree of attention must convince the most blind, that there is nothing in the situation of the sectarians of the nineteenth century to entitle them to the promises made, and the assurances given by the apostle to the saints at Rome, in the first century, particularly, if sufferings for Christ's sake have any thing to do with the salvation of men; for if it is through sufferings that the saints approve themselves to God, surely the sufferings of the saints at Rome, in the first century,
and that of the sectarians of the nineteenth century are very different: the former had to suffer all things for Christ's sake, the other suffer nothing for his sake, but are themselves persecutors, like those who made the saints of the first century to suffer for Christ's sake. Where is the man that can, in truth, say to any sectarian society of the nineteenth century as Paul said to the saints at Rome? "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ: shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. Nay for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I say, where is the man who can in truth apply these sayings to any society of sectarians in the nineteenth century? Have they been put to the test, to know whether these things would separate them from the love of Christ? No! Well, how does he know that they would endure sufferings as the saints at Rome, for Christ's sake? There are but two ways by which he could know it, either by seeing them tried, or else by getting a revelation from God, testifying that they would suffer these things for Christ's sake.-But he has no such testimony; for their are none of the sects that have been tried. And all their leaders; yea, and the led too, declare that there are no revelations to be had in these days! And yet, marvelous to relate, they pass decision on men's heads as though they were all apostles and prophets! Let us ask, does any man living know that he can, himself, endure nakedness, famine, peril, sword, persecutions, the opposition of principalities, and of powers, and of angels, and yet remain steadfast and immovable in the love of Christ? I say no man can know that he himself can endure all these things, until he is tried, or else receives a revelation from God, testifying to him that he can and will do it. What Paul here said to the saints at Rome, were founded on the clearest possible evidence, not only their being tried, but his having power to get revelations: he had the testimony of both God and man, and could not be mistaken! what a vast difference between Paul's saying this to the saints at Rome, and a sectarian saying it to the sects of the present day: the former having the testimony of both God and man, but the latter being without testimony, having neither the testimony of God or man! For man is not in a situation to give testimony, being untried; and they all say that God does not, nor will not give any, and yet they act and decide as those who had the testimony of both; yea, as apostles themselves; for no being is able to tell what any man will endure for Christ's sake, but him who knows the thoughts, searches the hearts, and tries the reins of all living: he knows what men will endure for his sake, and what they will not endure; and those know to whom he reveals it, and none others. And because Paul said this to the Romans, it does not follow of course that this would be the case with all who had called themselves after the name of Jesus Christ, or that took upon them the name of saints. And because the saints at Rome had offered themselves unto God, in the before mentioned trials, and afflictions, persecutions, and tribulations, it is no proof that all men, to the end of time, who make profession of the faith of the saints, will approve themselves in like manner to God.-So that the application of these assurances to any sectarian society is, without authority: there being no principle in the divine proceedings which would authorize it-God has given no such license, nor has he authorized any being to make any such application.
Strange as it may appear, yet it is no more so than true, that the sectarians of the nineteenth century, flatter themselves, that they will be accepted of God without their approving themselves to him in any thing, and on this principle they claim to themselves the promises made to a people who commended themselves to God in all things, both in life and in death.-Hear Paul declare to the Corinthians, 2nd epistle, 6th chapter, from the 4th to the 11th verse, how the saints of his day approved themselves to God: "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." So says the apostle we approved ourselves to God, and having done so became heirs of promise.-But when and where have the sectarians thus approved themselves to God? the answer is at no time, and in no place. There is not a sectarian in the world who has approved himself to God. And on what principle then, does he claim the promises made to a people who had approved themselves in all things? more particularly, as these promises were made to them, because they had approved themselves to God in the manner set forth in the scriptures? and had they not thus approved themselves to God, they would not have been the heirs of promise; for instead of receiving promises, they would have received cursings, if they had not approved themselves to God in the manner set forth in the scriptures. So that there is no principle in the economy of God, with men, that entitles the sectarians of this generation to claim to themselves the promises made in the scriptures to the saints; for surely the saints of the new testament, and the sectarians of this generation are very diverse from one another: the closest observer will not be able to trace the least resemblance between them, but a great disparity in every thing-one was persecuted, the other is persecutors; one was reviled, the other reviles; one was evil spoken of, the other evil speakers; one was full of faith, the other without faith; one suffered the loss of all things for Christ's sake, the other suffered the loss of nothing; one took joyfully the spoiling of their goods; the other's goods were never spoiled; one was in necessities, stripes, imprisonments, poverty and want, for Christ's sake; the other have riches, honor, wealth and affluence for their own sake; one received in this world evil things, the other their good things; but notwithstanding all this, they are both to be rewarded alike in the eternal world! and yet, God is to reward every man according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil. So says the sectarian world; but who in the exercise of his reason and common sense can believe it?
In examining the scriptures carefully, it will be found, that those churches which were far superior to any of the modern churches, were called upon to repent, or else to suffer the displeasure of God, instead of their being flattered with the promises of heaven; and they, though far in advance of any of the sectarian churches, were in danger of the wrath of heaven, and would surely feel it unless they repented. There is surely something in the management of the professors of these last ages which is strange beyond comprehension. We are frequently saluted with the voice of a reformer, professing to reform the world, to correct their errors, and to bring them back to pure principles. For instance, the Methodists, profess to be reformers, they feel a great anxiety to reform the errors of Calvinism, calling it a false doctrine, and they even go so far as to say that it came form [from] hell; but notwithstanding they say that Calvinism is a doctrine of devils, still the believers in this doctrine, if they are honest, will be saved, that is, they believe there is purity enough in that system to save men: but we ask, if there is purity enough in the system of Calvinism to save men, why do Armenians feel so mnch [much] zeal to reform them? can they more than save them? if they cannot, the Calvinist is as well off as the Armenian. But says the Armenian, "it hinders a great many from being saved, and therefore we try to put it down." This is marvelously strange, the Calvinist is teaching a doctrine which will send thousands to hell, but will save himself. When any man, or set of men, present themselves before the world in the attitude of reformers, and yet declare to the world, that the people can be saved, without his, or their, reformation, they virtually say to the world, that their pretended mission is a fable; for who does not know, that they cannot do more than save men! The God of heaven never so insulted the common senses of men as to send a reformer into the world, unless the world would have been damned without him; nor would he insult the man by sending him on any less important errand. There never was a messenger sent of the God of heaven to the world, who was not received, without God rejected them. It is worse than folly for a man to pretend to be sent of God to reform the world, when the world can be saved without him; and it is equally nonsense for Methodists to try to reform Presbyterians, & Baptists, when they are equally heirs of eternal life with them, without their assistance.
TO BE CONTINUED.
-> Conference notice.-Our brethren, (the elders,) of the church of the Latter Day Saints, residing in this section, are hereby notified, that a conference will be held in Norton, Medina Co. Ohio, on Monday the 8th of September, next. On Sunday the 7th, public preaching may be expected at such place as the brethren may appoint. It is expected that some of the elders from the church at Kirtland will attend, if providence permit. It is hoped that such of the elders abroad as can arrange their business so as to attend, will. We have expressed our opinion upon the great utility of conferences, heretofore, and would again recommend to all the elders, the propriety of embracing every opportunity to obtain instruction in the great and glorious principles of the religion we profess.
Certainly, there can be nothing more appropriate and requisite for the servants of the Lord Jesus, than to make such disposition of their time as to enlarge upon their information and intelligence, that they may be able to instruct others also; and though a conference is short, yet we may learn of the prosperity of the cause in different parts of the country, from the lips of those whose testimony we can cheerfully receive, and become more familiar with each other, and be preparing our hearts for the great day approaching, when every servant will be called to give an account of his stewardship, and the faithful receive an everlasting crown. The church at New Portage [Norton] is large, and have always manifested a cheerfulness in entertaining their brethren from a distance. We cannot but feel grateful to our Father, on every remembrance of these personal kindnesses received, and are with joy reminded of these precious words of our Lord: "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least you have done it unto me!"-[Ed. Star.]
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, AUGUST, 1834.
THE PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL.
For a length of time, and some of our friends may say too long, other important matter has prevented our saying but little relative to the spread of the truth, and the prosperity of the elders of the church of the Latter Day Saints. But circumstances having prevented, in consequence of the situation of the church, and necessity calling forth much to inform those whose ears were continually saluted with misrepresentations, calculated to create an unfavorable opinion upon a subject which deeply interested every lover of his country and freedom, it has been our duty to record, (and we confess, painful,) scenes which have not disgraced the annals of our history since this government was organized. And yet, at this time, it may be thought to be superfluous in us to speak particularly of the Jackson outrage-of the atrocious deeds committed upon unoffending citizens, and of the distress inflicted upon innocent women and children: we therefore forbear, in this article.
From scenes of distress in the far west, we turn our eyes to that portion of the American society claimed to be the most refined and hospitable, and the heart sickens at the sound of falsehood and calumny, heaped upon the Saints. Ten thousand times ten thousand foolish reports are hatched up by designing individuals, and named upon their credulous followers, and swallowed by these greedy dupes and cherished in their bosoms as truths!-The sound, "False prophets" echoes and re-echoes from the mouths of babel's priests to the meanest worshiper of baal, and creation is convulsed to its center by blasphemies from the ignorant multitude who never knew the reality of the religion of heaven, and yet vainly suppose themselves to be the children of the Most High!
Amid this day of strife we are often reminded of the words of Peter, in his 1st epistle, 4th chapter and 12th verse: "Beloved think not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you;" for if, in the days of this apostle, the saints were compelled to suffer, (which will not be doubted,) it is to be expected in the last days, though most people boast of this wise, virtuous, and righteous age. In the days of this apostle the truth found advocates, and the gospel of Christ converts, after all the opposition of the powers of darkness. Any man making himself acquainted with the history of those days, will find that no scurulous [scurrilous] report, no foolish lie, nor idle tale, could be permitted to sleep; but with the utmost diligence were circulated with an intention to hedge up the way of salvation, and overthrow the work of the Lord! and yet it spread-still it prevailed: and had those professing it, remained faithful, that church would have risen in majesty and covered the earth, while darkness would have disappeared forever.
Another era has rolled on, and God has began to display his marvelous works in the eyes of many, that testimony may be given to this perverse generation, that desolation awaits them; and that with his own voice he is about to call Israel from the four winds. While the way is opening and the great supper preparing, it is to be expected that satan will martial his forces and call his whole power into action. Every heart in which he has place is ready to be barred against the truth, and every uncircumcised ear is closed against the precious sound, which otherwise would be received as tidings from above, and would cause nations to clap their hands, and the universe to join in one glad song of praise. At first thought, the upright in heart might be ready to conclude, that a nation of Gentiles would be born to God in a day, and that a people professing such high attainments in the favor of heaven, would be ready to embrace the truth with a zeal becoming their pretentions. But to view the contrast causes the heart to sorrow!-Is it possible, the question might be asked, that this generation are sunk so low? Alas! they are fallen! are fallen!!
Let the impartial once look; let the honest once search, and his mind will admit-indeed, he cannot but acknowledge, that this is a people in whom is no godliness, and a generation who have corrupted their way before the Lord. They condemn the Jews for persecuting the Savior, and say, "Had we lived in the days of the apostles, those chosen men would have been protected by us;" but wherever the same gospel is now preached, the same opposition is manifested, and the same unhallowed causes resorted to for the purpose of destroying those who embrace it. Surely, then, they are witnesses unto themselves that they are worse than the Jews; for the Jews never pretended to follow the Messiah nor obey his teachings; but from his first appearance among them they sought his destruction, and never rested till it was effected, as they supposed. Here is a people professing that quiet religion, the influence of which softens the vain ambitious thoughts of the heart, and be gets a love for all, and teaches so to regard the well-being of men that even good should be rewarded for evil. One question, and one only will we now ask on this point, are these precious maxims observed?
From the east the sound is heard that numbers are turning to the Lord-and this is no marvel, for there intelligence has stepped in advance of the superstition of other places. With anticipations which are pleasing, we look forward to the time, (& we hope it not long) when thousands shall come from the east, rejoicing in the assurances of the everlasting gospel.
From the south we frequently learn of the progress of truth, though bigotry and fanaticism present a formidable front. We verily believe, that the Lord will yet bring a people from that section, sanctified and meet for his use; and earnestly hope, that he will raise up and send faithful laborers to call his elect from those regions.
From the north we hear glad news, and our ears are frequently saluted with the sound of REFORMATION, and the triumph of the gospel, notwithstanding the adversary has sent his emissaries with loads of printed lies to destroy the good seed; and our prayer to the Father of mercies is, that, like the aurora borealis, it may rise in splendor until this spreading glory shall illuminate the horizon!
We often request our brethren, (the elders,) to communicate the account of their labors; and we cannot close this peace without urging this request once more. We want (for the satisfaction and benefit of the whole church,) them to give, in short, the public feeling as manifest toward the gospel with a general, but brief sketch of the country, &c. which to many, and especially our distant subscribers, will be a source of information worth their attention, and credit. We simply ask for facts. Other publications are made up, principally of communications from their distant or traveling brethren, and no doubt, serve to render them interesting to their readers. We have said, we wished for facts, and we repeat again that this is all we ask. It cannot be doubted, (by the careful searcher of the scriptures,) but that the time is fast approaching when the Lord will arise in his might and come forth out of his PLACE and vex the nations, and as the time draws near, duty calls for the warning voice to be raised by all who are assured of this fact; and from whom could we expect more than from the elders of this church?
It is yet our privilege to receive frequent intelligence concerning the spread of the work, and often from persons whose names we have not before heard. When this is the case it seemingly calls forth renewed gratitude from our hearts, and reminds us of the hand which is set for the redemption of Israel, the second time, and of the glorious day approaching, when this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a testimony unto all people, that the Son of man is coming on the earth.
The following is an extract of a letter dated, "Wendell, Mss. July 17, 1834." Our strange brother has made a reasonable request, in our opinion, and we would hope for his, and the brethren's sake, in that place, that when any of the elders are passing near, they would call. It is certainly our duty to lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble; but when looking over the vast extent of territory, and the great field of labor to be occupied by the elders of this church, and the frequent doors, (and effectual ones too,) which are opening, we can only say to them, as brethren in the Lord, go according to the counsel and direction of the Holy Spirit, and you will please our Master, and step into those places where you will effect the greatest good. The urgent requests are, Do come and visit us, or do send some faithful, humble brother, to communicate to us the word of truth, the gospel of salvation; and, If you were here, great good would undoubtedly result from the same; or, cannot, or will not some of our brethren
come soon? The fact is, we are all men, and cannot be in but one place at a time; and then we are not like Philip (as yet) in faith -we cannot mount up as on eagles' wings, and flit across a desert, a mountain, a country, or prairie-we are compelled to walk as other men.
In truth, it can be said, that the harvest is plentious [plenteous], but the laborers are few. The unlearned fishermen from the sea of Galilee were called to preach the gospel to all the world, and soon after their endowment at Jerusalem, numbers flocked to the standard of truth, and many were commissioned to bear the glad tidings to men: So we trust in these last days that thousands of faithful and able ministers of the New Testament will be raised up, and to the nations lift a standard, and proclaim to the ends of the world, the Lord cometh!-[Editor of the Star.]
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD,-
Although a stranger, yet professing as I do, to be a member of the church of the Latter Day Saints, I take the liberty of addressing a few lines, to let you know of the prosperity of a branch of the church in this place, of its wants and necessities. It is now about one year since I first commenced seeking for an interest in Church, and being then in the wilderness, and not knowing whither I go, I was led along by the precepts of men and their cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive, until, (as I was about to receive the mark of that beast, whose number is the number of a man,) last November, when the Lord, who is rich in mercy, beholding my perulous [perilous] condition, sent his servants to release me, and to declare unto us the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been revealed unto you in these last days.
Brethren, E. M. Greene, and H. Cowan, came here last November, and held many meetings in this place and vicinity, and baptized 6 persons in this town. Although the beast was enraged against them, the seed was sown and has taken root, though rather a baren [barren] soil; and the beast is still enraged against it with all the powers of darkness, yet I hope and trust that it will yet become fruitful. We held our meetings in a school house until we were shut out! There has not been any of our brethren along this season, and I cannot account for it. There are some standing at the door and calling for admitance, but there is no one to open the door to these poor wanderers, or to brake unto us the bread of life.
Three of our number have left town-Brother D. Nelson was ordained a priest by brother Greene; but in consequence of coming under this new covenant, he was thrown out of business and employment, and consequently was under the necessity of leaving town to seek employment. Thus, we are without a preacher, and many say that if this was the work of the Lord, he would not suffer this delay; but this does not weaken my faith-I firmly believe the work to be of the Lord, though I am yet a child. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. I pray, therefore, the Lord of the vineyard that he would send forth laborers that these proud scoffers may be cut down, and made to know the truth of what the Lord is doing in these last days, and that those who are knocking may receive admittance. Perhaps the reason why the brethren do not come here is, that they do not know that there is need of them, or that there is a branch of the church in this place. I would request that you notify, through the medium of the Star, our brethren who are travelling [traveling] through the country, that we have need of their assistance; for we are like sheep among wolves who are howling on every side; and the same spirit is manifest here that was shown toward our brethren in the west; and they have even ventured so far as to trample on the laws of the land. But this is nothing more than we may expect-our sufferings are nothing compared with the sufferings of the saints of old, or our brethren in Zion. And if we are scoffed at, and the finger of scorn pointed at us, it is nothing; for if we be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are we. And we would, like Paul, "rather glory in tribulation; for tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope."
O that the Lord would rend the heavens and come down, and remove the darkness that covers the earth, and the gross darkness of the people. I can truly say, I rejoice that the day of the Lord is near at hand; and I have a secret longing for the day when we can unite our voices with all the heavenly hosts in singing praises to God and the Lamb forever; Amen.
JOHNATHAN [Jonathan] CROSBY JR.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
THE MINUTES OF THE CONFERENCE IN MAINE.
In the last number of the Star, the minutes of the conference held in Maine by the elders of the church of the Latter Day Saints, were omitted. They were regularly forwarded, but intelligence from the west occupied so large a space that it was impossible to insert them. No doubt they will be interesting to those who are anxiously enquiring [inquiring], as they give information of a number of churches, which, perhaps, are unknown abroad. We hope, hereafter, that when our brethren transmit acconnts [accounts] of churches, they will, (if they have the information,) send the number of each, as well as the places where they are located. We would suggest, for the consideration of the churches abroad, the propriety of furnishing their elders with their correct numbers, when going to represent them in conference, and let such representations be noticed on the minutes.
It is said by many, that there are but few who have embraced the gospel, and that those will soon be convinced of the "imposition!" and forsake it. Others say that our numbers are great and daily increasing; and not unfrequently we see complaints in the public prints, that "Mormonism," as the gospel we believe is reproachfully called, has succeeded in drawing in its train many, and some of the most respectable and intelligent. That our numbers are small, (compared to many sects,) we confess, but, that they are ever to forsake a cause so just and heavenly, we cannot believe: some may turn from the truth; (for even Paul said at a certain time, that at his first answer all men forsook him;) but while the saints are humble the Lord will be merciful, and truth so precious as it is in these last days, will not fail of finding adherents; and while a famine for the word of God ensues, so that nations wander from sea to sea to find it, a few, at least, will be found, who will hold forth the word of life and bring forth the fruits of the Redeemer's kingdom.-[Ed. Star.]
Saco, Jun, 15, 1834.
BROTHER O. COWDERY,-
I take this opportunity to forward to you the minutes of the conference held in this place on the 13th day of the present month: it was an interesting scene, and no doubt will prove beneficial, and much good proceed from it. The public meeting commenced at half past 10 o'clock: those that stood in defense of the cause of God, were blessed with the Spirit, and the people gave good attention. At four o'clock, P. M. the elders' conference commenced-the conference came to order, and Jared Carter was chosen Moderator. After prayer the conference made choice of Sylvester B. Stoddard, for Clerk. It was then moved that the elders present proceed to give an account of themselves, and the several churches to which they belonged-They then proceeded, and seventeen branches of the church were represented, and said to be in good standing-two of the branches represented are located in Pennsylvania; three in the State of N. York, and the remaining twelve, east of the State of N. York. We have also heard from twenty three branches in York State, and other places east of Ohio, which are not represented in this conference.
There were many interesting narratives of the travels of the brethren related, which were edifying. Bro. John F. Boynton, then addressed the conference-much instruction was given, and his address very appropriate. The conference then adjourned to 7 o'clock A. M. on the next day, when we again met and after prayer bro. Jared Carter made known his mission concerning the building the house of the Lord in Kirtland. By the voice of the conference it was agreed that there should be a contribution-the conference then adjourned till five o'clock P. M. in order to attend public meeting. After the meeting the conference again met, and after prayer proceeded to business. It was then motioned and seconded that the elders, priests, teachers, and deacons in this conference, abide by the word of wisdom and passed by a unanimous vote. The subject of ordination then came before the conference, and six were ordained-three to the lesser priesthood-one to the office of a teacher, and two to the office of deacon, which was done in the name of the Lord. The conference then voted to appoint a conference in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on the 28th day of the present month, and then closed by prayer. On the following day, being the first day of the week, we again repaired to the meeting house, where a numerous concourse had assembled to hear the word of the Lord, and God manifested himself to his servants and they were enabled to lay before them the great work of the Lord, and the glory of his kingdom which has been revealed in these last days. The people listened in a very becoming manner, and many were heard to say, "we have heard the truth to day;" and according to the appearance much good may proceed from the interview that we have had with the people in this section. There have been several baptized since the commencement of this conference, and some from a distance, who came to investigate the work, have united themselves with the people of God, and have returned with an olive leaf. The Lord has been pleased to manifest himself by accompanying the administration of laying on hands for reception of the Holy Ghost, in a manner convincing to all around, even to those that were not disciples! And as there were many from different parts, it will be likely to make room for the spread of the glorious gospel of Christ, and the upbuilding of his kingdom that he has established in these last days; which may God grant for the Redeemer's sake.
SYLVESTER B. STODDARD. Clerk of conference.
Died in New Rowley, Mss. on the 4th of May last, sister LOUSIA ANN STICKNEY, aged 22 years. Sister L. was baptized into this church in September, 1832, by brother O. Hyde, and has since been a worthy member of the same. During her last illness, which was long and severe, she expressed great confidence in relation to her acceptance in the sight of heaven, and left this world rejoicing in the assurance of a crown of glory. May peace be multiplied upon her bereaved friends, and may God prepare them, with us, to meet our sister in the presence of the Redeemer, in peace.
Since our last we have learned of the death of two or three others of our friends in the west, of cholera, viz: S. B. WILKINSON of Westfield, N. Y. or vicinity, brother BENCRAFT, a resident of Clay co. Mo. and a little child of bro. J. Murdock's. Our late communications also bring the intelligence of the decease (not of cholera) of ISAAC BEEBE. We believe that father BEEBE was a soldier of the Revolution. He has resided in Missouri since 1831, and was driven from Jackson county last fall by the mob, and shared in common with others notwithstanding his age, infirmities, and former worth and patriotism. We never rejoice when any of our fellow men are called from us, but we do rejoice for the assurance, that our aged and worthy brother has gone where the wicked cannot dwell, nor a vile mob overcome! There is a virtue in even dropping a tear over the ashes of the aged who have departed to be with God.-[Ed. Star.]
In Danville, Vt. of consumption, May 17, sister Joanna, wife of brother Rufus Roberts, aged 45. She had been a worthy member of the church of the Latter Day Saints. During the last five weeks of her illness she manifested a perfect resignation to the will of God, and when her spirit was about to take its exit to the mansions of the blessed, she called her family around her, and after taking each by the hand, exhorting them to be faithful in securing their soul's salvation in the kingdom of God, fell asleep in the full assurance of a glorious immortality. "The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance." Comm.
In Pontiac, Me. T. On the eleventh of March, Mrs. BATHIA FORDHAM, wife of Elijah Fordham, late of the city of New York. Sister Fordham was a worthy member in the church of the Latter Day Saints. After a lingering illness of about four months, she, expressing great composure of mind, and a firm reliance on the attributes of Deity, fell asleep in the glorious hope of a happy immortality. As a companion she was dutiful; as a friend, faithful; as a sister worthy, and as a saint, devoted. She has gone home! Comm.
Of the elders of the church of the Latter Day Saints, assembled in Kirtland, August 23, 1834. After the usual form the conference came to order, and was opened by prayer when the following preamble and resolutions were read, and ordered to be printed in The Evening and the Morning Star, and sent as a circular to the churches abroad.
Whereas a report having come to the knowledge of the church in this place censuring the conduct of brother JOSEPH SMITH jr. relative to his proceedings during his late journey to and from Missouri; and whereas said report was calculated to create an unfavorable influence as regards the moral character and honesty of our brother, it becomes necessary for us to investigate the matter and report the same to our brethren abroad: Therefore,
Resolved, that after hearing from the mouths of some, that a suspicion rested upon their minds relative to the conduct of our brother, as regards his honesty and godly walk, we have investigated his whole proceedings by calling upon those who accompanied him to and from Missouri, and are happy to have it in our power to say to our brethren abroad, one and all, that we are satisfied with his conduct, having learned from the clearest evidence, that he has acted in every respect worthy his high and responsible station in this church, and has prudently and cautiously preserved the good of this society at large, and is still worthy our esteem and fellowship; and that those reports could have originated in the minds of none except such as, either from a misunderstanding or natural jealousy, are easily led to conceive of evils where none exist.
Resolved, that we say to our brethren, that while we are surrounded by thousands, eager to grasp at a shadow, if they have a hope of turning it into the semblance of a falsehood for the injury of the gospel, we exhort them to be steadfast and immovable in the truth, resting assured, that while they continue to walk in the holy covenant they have professed to embrace, that nothing can, in the end, operate against their good; and that while wickedness abounds, as in days of old, the characters of those seeking the greatest good for their fellow men will be shamefully traduced, and every act of their lies misrepresented, and a false shade thrown over their worthy deeds, calculated to create an evil prejudice in the minds of community, to prevent, if possible, the increase of light, the better to effect their own purposes and keep men in error.-We say, dear brethren, may peace and the blessings of our Lord Jesus be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of the truth forever.
Resolved, that these minutes be signed by the Moderator and Clerk, and published to the churches in The Evening and the Morning Star.
REYNOLDS CAHOON, MODERATOR.
OLIVER COWDERY, Clerk.
We, the undersigned, members of the above named conference, for the satisfaction of our brethren abroad, feel it to be our duty to say to those with whom we have a personal acquaintance, that we were present during the foregoing investigation and cheerfully concur in the spirit of the above minutes, aud [and] join in saying, that we are perfectly satisfied that, whatever impressions may have gone abroad, or whatever may yet remain with any in this vicinity relative to the conduct of our brother JOSEPH SMITH Jr. we are certain, (from evidence,) that he conducted himself in all respects as set forth in the Resolutions of this conference. We are induced to make these statements that the innocent may not suffer wrongfully, and that the minds of our brethren and friends may be satisfied that every appearance of evil is, in this place, searched out, and that nothing unbecoming a society of people professing godliness, suffered to exist among them.
J. B. BOZWORTH, Benson Vt.
From Norton, Ohio. ASA LYMAN,
JOHN SMITH, Parishville, N. Y.
Do. Pottsdam, N. Y. JOHN RUDD,
ORSON JOHNSON, Springfield, Pa.
Do. Bath, N. H. ISAAC STORY,
ROSWELL EVANS, Warsaw, N. Y.
Do. Waterford, Vt. OLIVER HIGLEY,
WILLIAM BURGEES, Jamestown, N. Y.
Bolton, N. Y. JACOB BUMP,
ALMAN SHERMAN, Silver Creek, N. Y.
Pomfret, N. Y. ISAAC HILL,
JONAS PUTNAM, East Liverpool, Ohio
Bolton, N. Y. LORENZO YOUNG, Do.
We, the undersigned, members of this conference, being personally acquainted with brother J. SMITH Jr. and having accompanied him to Missouri, certify that the foregoing is correct.
HEBER C. KIMBALL.
-> Parley's Magazine, by Lilly, Wait, and company, Boston, Ms. has been regularly received for some time-It is a neat clean half sheet, Super Royal, half monthly, at $1, per an. in advance, and is embellished with cuts of beasts, birds, &c. We think it a well conducted juvenile periodical. Our friends may see it by calling at this office.
The People's Magazine, by Lilly, Wait, & co. Boston, Ms. is also received, with Coleman's Literary Gazette. They are neatly printed, and worth reading.-[Ed. Star.]
-> The "St. Thomas (Upper Canada) Journal" of the 17th has copied some two or three paragraphs of GOV. DUNKLIN'S letter to Col. J. Thornton of Clay co. Mo. on the subject of the Jackson county outrage. In the Editor's comments we notice the following: "In consequence of a treaty of peace being in agitation between these spirited people the inhabitants of Jackson county, and their no less undaunted of, the 'Mormons,' who are returning to the place from whence they were driven, bearing Arms on their way and threats of vengeance on their tongues, to take possession of their lands and property, or fall the victim of the field."
We presume that the Editor of the "Journal" copied the few paragraphs from the July number of the Star; but where he learned that the 'Mormons' were going or did go "armed," with "threats of vengeance on their tongues," we are not able to say. In fact, had he given credit to the accounts published in the Star, (which by the by he could not disprove,) he would never have made those groundless and unprincipled assertions; and we have no doubt, if he would carefully re-examine his former piece, the sentiments therein contained, would find no response in his heart, at least, if he has the feelings of a man of just principles.
After calling the framers of our constitution, "Rebels, Robbers, and murderous Assassins," he goes on to boast of the "proud flag" of England-"at whose wave Monarchs bow and petty republics tremble in due subordination, and reverentially knowledge the greatness of that nation, whose strong hold is the 'church of Christ' on which its Government and Constitution have their base-demagogues and those who would make pack-asses of the ignorant cannot prevail where the very 'gates of hell' have to submit." This is another specimen of his weakness. He speaks as though England ruled the world, and her priests held the keys of the kingdom of God! It would be superfluous to copy his whole article here: we give a few sentences as a specimen of the fellow's puffings, as the principles of our constitution produce a violent fervor upon his shallow brain. It will be remembered, that GOV. DUNKLIN, in his late letter to Col. Thornton, quotes a few words from the constitution of that State, and the "Journal," while commenting upon it, says:
"By it we learn the Beauties of the constitution of the United States of America, and in fact, that it is just such a one as might have been expected were the characters of its framers taken into consideration! men, whose demon like principles induced them to haunt their friends and neighbors from their houses and homes, and gloried in imbruing their hands in the blood of the innocent! because they adhered to their king, their country and their God! Yes! these are the men that gave a constitution to a government called a 'Republic' which declares 'that all men are born free and equal."
Now, we ask, where, in the oracles of God is it to be found, that the Parliament of Great Britain, some two centuries since, received authority to create a church, and call it the "church of Christ," and then claim that their constitution and government were "based" upon the same? It is to be remembered, that there are different religious societies existing under the protection of that government, and good loyal subjects they are, it is presumed-Methodists, Baptists, and others: and still, that church on which the government and constitution are "based" was created by an Act of Parliament! By what authority does the "Journal" call it the "church of Christ?"
But what troubles the "Journal" is, that our constitution allows the liberty of conscience; and yet his own permits the same, or why are other sects permitted to live under its protection? There are many belonging to the communion of the church of England in the United States (we say church of England, because England made it,) and valuable citizens they are too; not "Rebels, Robbers, and Assassinators;" but were they to possess the principles of the Editor of the "Journal" they would raise an immediate rebellion, and distract this government at once! because he denounces it, (on the principles on which it is founded, as well as the framers of those principles,) as being unworthy the support of every honorable man!
We do not make these remarks out of disrespect to the English government, by no means, as we know, that no such principles as advanced by the "Journal" are known in its Archives, of which he makes so great boast. We know that that government allows every man to worship God as he pleases, or let it alone if he pleases; but were it such an one as the ignorant Editor of the "Journal" would be glad to make people believe, the halter and block would be the portion of all who departed from its communion!
We have a number of brethren in Canada, and a great many in the States, and were they of the principles of the Editor of the "Journal," instead of being brethren they would be ENEMIES! One would ridicule the other or its unprincipled Government, and the others, in turn, would reproach them for living under a Government professing to be "based" upon the Rock Christ Jesus, and yet were under the necessity of creating it themselves by an act of their Parliament. But we will not insult the good sense of our brethren in Canada and elsewhere by making any further comparison of the "Journal," but only remind them of the beautiful instructions of Paul to Timothy and Titus: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: for kings, and for ALL that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." First Timothy, 2nd chap. 1st and 2nd verses. "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates to be ready to every good work." Titus, 3rd chap. 1st verse. With these few words from the holy scriptures, we close, leaving our friends to judge, whether the Editor of the "Journal," with ALL his professed sanctity and wonderful zeal for the "church of Christ" has maintained the least principle here advanced by this inspired man!-[Editor of the Star.]
-> From the west we have received nothing new since our last, except the deaths mentioned, and an account of the abuse inflicted upon another of our friends, who went into Jackson Co. to transact some business. When the conduct of this vile mob shall be laid before the public, it cannot fail to excite sympathy in the bosom of every honest feeling man. The mob have already committed the most cruel and unfeeling acts, ever yet committed by any set of men; and when the world, as well as the authorities of our nation, know that they still continue, it cannot be possible that justice will not be rendered against them.-[Ed. Star.]
-> The appeal:-When an individual or a society fail of obtaining redress for abuses, at the hand of the civil law, circumstances often render it necessary for them to appeal directly to the people-This is perfectly right. However laudable, however just, and however pure may be the intentions, and however lawful the pursuits of men, (the better the more enemies,) it never has failed to incur the dissatisfaction of some, and often the disapprobation of the majority. Whenever this is the case JUSTICE, the great rewarder of all men, whispers in the heart of every man of truth, that, before judgment is rendered against let them speak for themselves. If communities would defer their decision until this, often, no doubt, the innocent would escape censure, and the man of upright conduct, the foul calumny of the unprincipled and ungenerous.
We recommend the following APPEAL to the careful perusal of our patrons, and hope, that the actual truths therein attested will be considered in the light a cause involving the welfare of so many thousands merits. It is only necessary for us to add, here, that with each signer we have a personal acquaintance, and can also attest to the most of their statements from actual knowledge, having witnessed the same with our own eyes. To many, and indeed, to many thousands, the calamity and distress of this afflicted and persecuted society is partially known; but to the many millions, who, through the insinuations of men of corrupt hearts and vile principles, have their prejudices excited against an unoffending people, we join our friends in asking them to "hear and then judge."
With the most of individuals and societies who have been traduced, and their characters and designs misrepresented, their last appeal has been made to the world or nation at large; here they rested their claim, and here the matter, with them, was brought to a final close. If community approved their course, they triumphed; if not, they sunk forever; but this is not the last resort of a people whose interest is in heaven, and whose hope is built upon the everlasting word of Omnipotence!-when earthly courts and tribunals fail, and when the voice of the PEOPLE is not given in their favor, and a place on earth denied them and their helpless innocent posterity, their last GREAT REFUGE is JEHOVAH; and if, like the ancients, they are driven from the face of society, that even a lodging place among men is forbidden them, they can wander in obscurity, not "accepting deliverance," till their change come, and they "obtain a better resurrection!"-[Editor of the Star.]
Whereas the church of Christ, recently styled the church of the Latter Day Saints, contumeliously called "Mormons," or "Mormonites," has suffered many privations, afflictions, persecutions and losses on account of the religious belief and faith of its members, which belief and faith are founded in the revealed word of God, as recorded in the holy bible, or the book of Mormon-the revelations and commandments of our Savior, Jesus Christ; and whereas the said church, by revelation, commenced removing to the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, where lands were purchased of the Government, and where it was calculated to purchase of those who were unwilling to reside with the church as a society, all lands that could be bought, for the purpose of building up a holy city unto God, a New Jerusalem, a place which we were desirous to call ZION, as we believe, a place of refuge from the scourges and plagues, which are so often mentioned in the bible, by the prophets and apostles, that should be poured out upon the earth in the last days; and whereas the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, have leagued and combined against the said church, and have driven the saints from their lands, and took their arms from them, and burned down many of their houses, without any provocation; and whereas we have petitioned the Governor of this State, and the President of the United States, for redress of wrongs, (the law being put to defiance in Jackson county,) and for redemption of rights, that we might be legally re-possessed of our lands and property; and whereas the said inhabitants of Jackson county, have not only bound themselves to keep us out of that county, but have armed themselves, "cap a pie," and even with cannon, for war; and whereas our people, residing in the Upper Missouri, have recently armed themselves for military duty and self defence [defense], seeing their arms taken from them by the inhabitants of Jackson county, were purposely kept from them; and whereas a number of the members of the church in the east, have emigrated to this region of country, to settle and join their brethren, with arms to answer the military law; which has created some excitement among the inhabitants of the upper counties of this State: whereupon, to show that our object was only the peaceable possession of our rights and property, and to purchase more land in the regions round about, we met a committee from Jackson county for a compromise; and our emigrating brethren met some gentlemen from Clay and other counties to satisfy them that their motives were good, and their object peace, which they did; and whereas the propositions of the Jackson committee could not be accepted on our part, because they proposed to "buy or sell," and to sell our land would amount to a denial of our faith, as that land is the place where the Zion of God shall stand, according to our faith and belief in the revelations of God, and upon which Israel shall be gathered according to the prophets:-and secondly the propositions were unfair, notwithstanding they offered double price for our lands, in thirty days, or sell theirs at the same rate, for this plain reason, that the whole large county of Jackson would be as thirty to one, or nearly so, in comparison with the matter in question, and, in supposition, for one thousand dollars, two thousand dollars to our people, was asking for three hundred thousand dollars, the exorbitant sum of six hundred thousand dollars, taking the land rich and poor, in thirty days! with the reproachable, vicious, un-american, and unconstitutional proviso, that the committee, on our part, would bind themselves, "that no Mormon should ever settle in Jackson county:" and whereas our committee proposed to the said Jackson committee, (if they would not grant us our rights otherwise,) that our people would buy the land of those that were unwilling to live among our people, in that county, and pay them in one year, they allowing the amount of damage we have sustained, in the loss of a printing office, apparatus, and book work, houses, property, &c. to come out of the purchase money, but no answer returned; and whereas, to show our honest intentions, and awaken the sympathy of the friends of virtue, humanity, and equal rights, it becomes our duty to lay our case before the world, to be weighed in the balances of public opinion:-
Now, THEREFORE, as citizens of the United States, and leading elders in the church of the Latter Day Saints, residing in the State of Missouri, in behalf of the church, we, the undersigned, do make this solemn APPEAL to the people and constituted authorities of this nation, and to the ends of the earth, FOR PEACE: that we may have the privilege of enjoying our religious rights and immunities and worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences, as guaranteed to every citizen by the constitutions of the National and State governments. That, although the laws have been broken, and are defied in Jackson county, we may be enabled to regain and enjoy our rights and property, agreeable to law in this boasted land of liberty.
Since the disgraceful combination of the inhabitants of Jackson county, has set the law at defiance, and put all hopes of criminal prosecution, against them, in that vicinage, beyond the reach of Judge and Jury, and left us but a distant expectation of civil remuneration, for the great amount of damage we have sustained, necessity compels us to complain to the world. And if our case and calamity are not sufficient to excite the commiseration of the humane, and open the hearts of the generous, and fire the spirits of the patriotic, then has sympathy lost herself in the wilderness, and justice fled from power; then has the dignity of the ermine shrunk at the gigantic front of a mob, and the sacred mantle of freedom been caught up to heaven where the weary are at rest, and the wicked cannot come.
To be obedient to the commandments of our Lord and Savior, some of the heads of the church commenced purchasing lands in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, according to the revelation of God, for the city of Zion. In doing which no law was evaded; no rights infringed, nor no principle of religion neglected, but the laudable foundation of a glorious work begun, for the salvation of mankind, in the last days, agreeable to our faith, and according to the promises in the sacred scriptures of God.
We verily believed, knowing that the National and State constitutions, and the statute laws of the land, and the commandments of the Lord, allowed all men to worship as they pleased-that we should be protected, not only by all the law of a free republic, but by every republican throughout the realms of freedom.
The holy prophets had declared, "that it should come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house should be established in the top of the mountains, and should be exalted above the hills, and ALL nations should flow unto it. And many people should go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." And again it was said by Joel, seemingly to strengthen the faith of the Latter Day Saints in the above "That whosoever should call on the name of the Lord should
be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." The book of Mormon, which we hold equally sacred with the bible, says, "that a New Jerusalem should be built up on this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for the which things there has been a type." In fact all the prophets from Moses to John the revelator, have spoken concerning these things, and in all good faith, by direct revelation from the Lord, as in days of old, we commenced the glorious work, that a holy city, a New Jerusalem, even Zion, might be built up and a temple reared in this generation, whereunto, as saith the Lord, all nations should be invited. Firstly the rich and the learned, the wise and noble; and after that cometh the day of his power: but the inhabitants of Jackson county arrayed themselves against us, because of our faith and belief, and destroyed our printing establishment to prevent the spread of the work, and drove men, women, and children from their lands, houses and homes, to perish in the approaching winter; while every blast carried the wailing of women and the shrieks of children, across the wide spread prairies, sufficiently horrible to draw tears from the savage, or melt a heart of stone!
Now, that the world may know, that our faith in the work and word of the Lord, is firm and unshaken, and to show all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, that our object is good, for the good of all, we come before the great family of mankind, for peace, and ask their hospitality and assistance for our comfort, and the preservation of our persons and property, and solicit their charity for the great cause of God. We are well aware, that many slanderous reports, and ridiculous stories, are in circulation, against our religion and society, but as wise men will hear both sides and then judge, we sincerely hope and trust, that the still small voice of truth, will be heard, and our great revelations read and candidly compared with the prophecies of the bible, that the great cause of our Redeemer, may be supported by a liberal share of public opinion, as well as the unseen power of God.
It will be seen by a reference to the book of commandments, page 135, that the Lord has said to the church, and we mean to live by his words, "Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land;" therefore, as the people of God, we come before the world and claim protection, by law, from the common officers of justice, in every neighborhood where our people may be: we claim the same at the hands of the governors of the several States, and of the President of the United States, and of the friends of humanity and justice, in every clime and country on the globe.
By the desperate acts of the inhabitants of Jackson county, many hundreds of American citizens are deprived of their lands and rights; and it is reported that we mean to regain our possessions, and even Jackson county, "by the shedding of blood." But if any man will take the pains to read the 153rd page of the book of commandments, he will find it there said, "Wherefore the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase, or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you. And if by purchase, behold you are blessed: and if by blood, as YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO SHED BLOOD, lo, your enemies are upon you, and you shall be scourged from city to city and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance:" so we declare, that we have ever meant, and now mean, to purchase the land of our inheritance, like all other honest men, of the government, and of those who would rather sell their farms than live in our society. And, as thousands have done before us, we solicit the aid of the children of men, and of government, to help us obtain our rights in Jackson county, and the land whereon the Zion of God, according to our faith, shall stand, in the last days, for the salvation and gathering of Israel.
Let no man be alarmed because our society has commenced gathering to build a city and a house for the Lord, as a refuge from present evils and coming calamities. Our forefathers came to the goodly land of America, to shun persecution and enjoy their religious opinions and rights, as they thought proper; and the Lord, after much tribulation, blessed them, and has said, that we should continue to importune for redress and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers, and are in authority over us, according to the laws and constitution of the people, which he has suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; that every man may act in doctrine and in principle, pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which he has given unto them; that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. And for this purpose he has established the constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom he raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
Now we seek peace, and ask our rights, even "redress and redemption," at the hands of the rulers of this nation; not only our lands and property in Jackson county, but for free trade with all men, and unmolested immigration to any part of the Union, and for our inherent right to worship God as we please. We ask the restoration of these rights because they have been taken from us, or abridged, by the violence and usurpation of the inhabitants of Jackson county. As a people we hold ourselves amenable to the laws of the land, and while the government remains as it is, the right to emigrate from State to State; from teritory [territory] to teritory [territory]; from county to county, and from vicinity to vicinity, is open to all men of whatever trade or creed, without hindrance or molestation; and as long as we are justifiable & honest in the eyes of the law, we claim it, whether we remove by single families, or in bodies of hundreds, with that of carrying the necessary arms and accouterments for military duty. And we believe that all honest men, who love their country and their country's glory, and have a wish to see the law magnified and made honorable, will not only help perpetuate the great legacy of freedom, which came unimpaired from the hands of our venerable fathers, to us, but they will also protect us from insult and injury, and aid the work of God, that they may reap a reward in the regions of bliss, when all men receive according to their works.
In relation to our distress, from the want of our lands in Jackson county, and for the want of the property destroyed by fire and water, rather than do any act contrary to law, we solemnly appeal to the people with whom we tarry, for protection from insult and harm, and for the comforts of life by labor or otherwise, while we seek peace and satisfaction of our enemies through every possible and honorable means which humanity can dictate, or philanthropy urge, or religion require. We are citizens of this republic, and we ask our rights as republicans, not merely in our restoration to our lands and property in Jackson county, Missouri, but in being considered honest in our faith, honest in our deal, and honest before God, till, by due course of law we may be proved otherwise reserving the right of every man's being held amenable to the proper authority for his own crimes and sins.
"Crowns won by blood, by blood must be maintained," and to avoid blood and strife, and more fully satisfy the world, that our object is peace and good will to all mankind, we hereby APPEAL for peace to the ends of the earth, and ask the protection of all people, while we use every fair means in our power to obtain our rights and immunities without force: setting an example for all true believers, that we will not yield our faith and principles for any earthly consideration, whereby a precedent might be established, that a majority may crush any religious sect with impunity; knowing, that if we give up our rights in Jackson county, farewell to society! farewell to region! farewell to right! farewell to property! farewell to life! The fate of our church now might become the fate of the Methodists next week, the Catholics next month, and the overthrow of all societies next year; leaving nation after nation a wide waste where reason and friendship once were!
Another and the great object which we mean to help accomplish, is the salvation of the souls of men. And to bring to pass such a glorious work, like many other religious denominations, in all ages, we shall license elders to preach the everlasting gospel to all nations, according to the great commandment of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as recorded in St. Matthew: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
Thus we shall send laborers into the Lord's vineyard to gather the wheat, and prepare the earth against the day when desolations shall be poured out without measure; and as it now is, and ever has been considered one of the most honorable and glorious employments of men, to carry good tidings to the nations, so we shall expect the clemency of all men, while we go forth, for the last time, to gather Israel for the glory of God, that he may suddenly come to his temple; that all nations may come and worship in his presence, when there shall be none to molest or make afraid, but the earth shall be filled with his knowledge and glory.
We live in an age of fearful imagination. With all the sincerity that common men are endowed with, the saints have labored, without pay, to instruct the people of the United States, that the GATHERING had commenced in the western boundaries of Missouri, to build a holy city, where, as may be seen, in the 18th chapter of Isaiah, "the present should 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 have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts the mount Zion;" and how few have come forth rejoicing that the hour of redemption was near! and some that came have turned away, which may cause thousands to exclaim: amid the general confusion and fright of the times, "Remember Lots wife!"
It would be a matter of supererogation to labor to show the truth of the gathering of the children of Israel in these last days: For the prophet told us long ago, "That it should no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt: but The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them," and so it must be for the honor and glory of God.
The faith and religion of the Latter Day Saints, are founded upon the old scriptures, the book of Mormon, and direct revelation from God, and while every event that transpires around us, is evidence of the truth of them, and an index that the great and terrible day of the Lord is near, we intreat the philanthropist, the moralest [moralist], and the honorable men of all creeds, and sects, to read our publications, to examine the bible, the book of Mormon, and the commandments, and listen to the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, and judge whether we are entitled to the credit of the world, for honest motives, and pure principles.
A cloud of bad omen seems to hang over this generation. Men start up at the impulse of the moment and defy and outstrip all law, while the destroyer is also abroad in the earth wasting flesh without measure, and one can stay his course: In the midst of such portentous times, we feel an anxious desire to prepare, and help others prepare, for coming events; and we candidly believe that no honest man, will put forth his hand to stop the work of the Lord, or persecute the saints. In the name of Jesus we intreat the people of this nation to pause before they reject the words of the Lord, or his servants: These, like all flesh may be imperfect, but God is pure hear ye him!-
While we ask peace and protection for the saints, wherever they may be, we also solicit the charity and benevolence of all the worthy on earth, to purchase the righteous a holy home, a place of rest, and a land of peace, believing that no man who knows he has a soul, will keep back his mite, but cast it in for the benefit of Zion; thus, when time is no longer, he, with all the ransomed of the Lord, may stand, in the fullness of joy, and vew [view] the grand pillar of heaven, which was built by the faith and charity of the saints, beginning at Adam, with this motto in the base: "Repent and live;" surrounded with a beautiful circle sign, supported by a cross, about midway up its lofty column, staring the world in letters of blood: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," and finished with a plain top, towering up in the midst of the celestial world, around which is written, by the finger of Jehovah: "Eternal life is the greatest gift of God."
Although we may fail to show all men the truth of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, yet we hope to be able to convince some, that we are neither deluded, nor fanatics, but, like other men, have a claim on the world for land, and for a living, as good and as great as our venerable fathers had for Independence and liberty: That though the world has been made to believe, by false reports and vague stories, that the saints, (called Mormons,) were meaner than the savages, still God has been our help in time of trouble, and has provided for us in due season; and to use the language of Pope, he has let the work "Spread undivided," and "operate unspent."
For the honor of our beloved country, and the continuation of its free Government, we APPEAL for peace; for an example of forbearance, and the diffusion of the everlasting gospel, we appeal to the humanity of all nations; and for the glory of God, before whom we must all answer for the deeds done in life, and for the hope of holiness hereafter, we mean to remain faithful to the end, continuing to pray to the Lord to spare us, and the people, from whatever is evil, and not calculated to humble us, and prepare us for his presence and glory: at the same time beseeching him, in the name of Jesus, to extend his blessings to whom he will, and his mercy to all, till, by righteousness the kingdoms of this world become fair as the sun and clear as the moon.
W. W. PHELPS, PARLEY P. PRATT,
DAVID WHITMER, LYMAN WIGHT,
JOHN WHITMER, NEWEL KNIGHT,
EDWARD PARTRIDGE, THOMAS B. MARSH,
JOHN CORRILL, SIMEON CARTER,
ISAAC MORLEY, CALVIN BEEBE.
Missouri, (United States.) July, 1834.
The Evening and Morning Star
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