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Times and Seasons/3/15
|←Number 14|| Times and Seasons
3, Number 15
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 3|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume III. No. 15.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JUNE 1, 1842.||[Whole No. 51.|
THE WORD OF WISDOM
We had a very instructive, impressive, and salutary discourse delivered us in the City of Nauvoo, last Sabbath on the above subject, to a large and attentive congregation, by Pres't. Hyrum Smith.
He stated "that there were many of the commands of God that seemed to be overlooked by this generation, and he was fearful that many of the Latter Day Saints in this respect were following their old tradition, and former practices of spiritualizing the word of God, and through a vain philosophy departing from the pure principles of eternal truth which God had given by revelation for the salvation of the human family; but, that every word of God is of importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.' The principles that are taught in the Bible are pure, and ought to be adhered too; and if people adhere to that teaching it will prove their salvation. The principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are also pure, and holy and righteous, and will if followed lead men to God. And the principles that are taught in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, are from God, they are principles of righteousness;-they are given for a blessing to the human family, and the salvation, temporal and spiritual, of his saints; and that man who wantonly departs from any of the revelations of Jehovah, and treats lightly the word of God, whether contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, is void of understanding: he is not wise concerning the doings of the Lord, the plan of salvation, the past dealings, present designs, or future purposes of the Amighty [Almighty]. The God of the armies of Israel is a wise God, he comprehended the end from the beginning, and adapted his plans, his designs and teaching, to the peculiar wants, the local situation, the exigences [exigencies] of mankind; and the present and future good of the human family; and every thing that he has deigned to notice by way of instruction to the children of men, is given by infinite wisdom; by the intelligence of Jehovah; and if obeyed, when his designs shall be fully unravelled [unraveled], it will be seen that there was wisdom in it beyond the comprehension of man in his present state.
When God first made man upon the earth, he was a different being entirely to what he now is; his body was strong; athletic, robust, and healthy; his days were prolonged upon the earth; he lived nearly one thousand years, his mind was vigorous and active, and his intellectual faculties clear and comprehensive, but he has become degenerated; his life has dwindled to a span; disease preys upon his system; his body is enervated and feeble; and his mentle [mental] and intellectual faculties are impaired, and weakened; and man is not now that dignified, noble, majestic, honorable, and mighty being that he was when he first proceeded from the hands of his maker.
The Lord has in his wise designs revealed unto us his will; he has told us as he did his ancient prophets that the 'earth shall be redeemed-that the curse shall be removed from it-that the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together-that the lion shall eat straw like the ox;-and that they shall not hurt nor destroy-that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters covers the sea'-that man's days shall be as the 'days of a tree,' that he shall again live one thousand years on the earth-this is the 'time of the restoration of all things,' and this has got to be brought about by the wisdom and power of God, and the wisdom, obedience and faith of man combined.
Every thing has become degenerated from what it was in its primitive state; 'God made man pure, but he has found out many inventions:' his vices have become innumerable, and his diseases multiplied; his taste had become vitiated, and his judgment impaired; he has fallen-fallen-fallen, from that dignified state that he once occupied on the earth; and it needs a restorative that man has not in his possession-wisdom which is beyond the reach of human intellect;-and power which human philosophy, talent and ingenuity cannot control. God only is acquainted with the fountain of action, and the main springs of human events; he knows where disease is seated, and what is the cause of it;-he is also acquainted with the spring of health; the balm of Gilead-of life; he knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigour [vigor], and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the
beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour [vigor], promote peace between him and the brute creation, and as one of the little wheels in God's designs, to help to regulate the great machinery, which shall eventually revolutionize the earth, and bring about the restoration of all things, and when they are restored he will plant 'the tree of life, whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.'
The Lord has told us what is good for us to eat, and to drink, and what is pernicious; but some of our wise philosophers, and some of our elders too, pay no regard to it; they think it too little, too foolish, for wise men to regard fools! where is their wisdom, philosophy and intelligence? from whence did they obtain their superior light? Their capacity, and their power of reasoning was given them by the great Jehovah: if they have any wisdom they obtained it from his: and have they grown so much wiser than God that they are going to instruct him in the path of duty, and to tell him what is wise, and what is foolish. They think it too small for him to condesend [condescend] to tell men what will be nutritious or what will be unhealthy. Who made the corn, the wheat, the rye, and all the vegetable substances? and who was it that organized man, and constituted him as he is found? who made his stomach, and his digestive organs, and prepared proper nutriment for his system, that the juices of his body might be supplied; and his form be invigorated by that kind of food which the laws of nature, and the laws of God has said would be good for man? And has God made his food, and provided it for the use of man; and shall he be ashamed to speak of the work of his hands: has he become so fantastical, so foolish, so weak and effeminate, that it has become impolitic for him to tell what is the best distribution to make of the work of his hands? Oh shame! let it not be heard among the saints; let that man who inculcates such principles hide his face. We are told by some that circumstances alter the revelations of God-tell me what circumstances would alter the ten commandments? they were given by revelation-given as a law to the children of Israel;-who has a right to alter that law? Some think that they are too small for us to notice, they are not too small for God to notice, and have we got so high, so bloated out, that we cannot condescend to notice things that God has ordained for our benefit? or have we got so weak that we are not fit to be called saints? for the word of wisdom is adapted to the capacity of all that 'are or can be called saints.' Listen not to the teaching of any man, or any elder who says the word of wisdom is of no moment; for such a man will eventually be overthrown. These are principles that I have always acted upon; that I have always practiced; and they are what my family practices; they are what Brother Hyrum has always contended for, and what I now contend for; and I know that nothing but an unwavering, undeviating course can save a man in the kingdom of God.
The Lord has told us that 'Strong drinks are not good,' who is it that will say they are? when the Lord says they are not. That man who says 'I can drink wine or strong drink, and it will not hurt me,' is not wise. But some will say, 'I know it did me good, for I was fatigued, and feeble, on a certain occasion, and it revived me, and I was invigorated thereby, and that is sufficient proof for me:' It may be for you, but it would not be for a wise man, for every spirit of this kind will only produce a greater langor [languor] when its effects cease to operate upon the human body. But you know that you are benefited, yes, so does the man who has mortgaged his property, know that he is relieved from his present embarassments [embarrassments]; but his temporary relief only binds the chords of bondage more severely around him. The Lord has not ordained strong drink for the belly; 'but for the washing of your bodies.' And again 'tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly; and it is not good for man; but as an herb for bruises, and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.' Tobacco is a nauseous, stinking abominable thing, and I am surprised that any human being should think of using it-for an elder especially to eat, or smoke it, is a disgrace to him;-he is not fit for the office, he ought first to learn to keep the word of wisdom, and then to teach others. God will not prosper the man who uses it. And again 'hot drinks are not for the body, or belly;' there are many who wonder what this can mean; whether it refers to tea, or coffee, or not. I say it does refer to tea, and coffee. Why is it that we are frequently so dull and languid? it is because we break the word of wisdom, disease preys upon our system, our understandings are darkened, and we do not comprehend the things of God; the devil takes advantage of us, and we fall into temptation. Not only are they injurious in their tendency, and baneful in their effects, but the importation of foreign products might be the means of thousands of our people being poisened [poisoned] at a future time, through the advantage that an enemy might take of us, if we made
use of these things that are thus spoken of as being evil; and be it remembered-that this instruction is given 'in consequence of evils that do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men.'
'And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof. All these to be used with prudence and thank giving [thanksgiving]. Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I the Lord hath ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving. Nevertheless, they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me, that they should not be used only in times of winter or of cold, or famine. All grain is ordained for the use of man, and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man, but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; and these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine, and excess of hunger.'
Let men attend to these instructions, let them use the things ordained of God; let them be sparing of the life of animals; 'it is pleasing saith the Lord that flesh be used only in times of winter, or of famine'-and why to be used in famine? because all domesticated animals would naturally die, and may as well be made use of by man, as not,
"All grain is good for the food of man, as also the fruit of the vine, that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground Nevertheless wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks; as also other grain. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their naval, and marrow in their bones and shall find wisdom, and great treasures of knowledge even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint: and I the Lord give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.'
Let these things be adhered to; let the saints be wise; let us lay aside our folly and abide by the commandments of God; so shall we be blessed of the great Jehovah in time and in eternity: we shall be healthy, strong and vigorous: we shall be enabled to resist disease; and wisdom will crown our councils, and our bodies will become strong and powerful, our progeny will become mighty, and will rise up and call us blessed; the daughters of Jesus will be beautiful, and her sons the joy of the whole earth; we shall prepare ourselves for the purposes of Jehovah for the kingdom of God for the appearance of Jesus in his glory; "out of Zion the perfection of beauty," God will shine; Zion will be exalted, and become the praise of the whole earth."
Thus spake the man of God, fired with heavenly holy zeal, for the welfare of the saints of the most high, who were assembled around him, in breathless silence, listening to the gracious words that fell from his lips, which we feel ourselves utterly incapable of doing justice to, in this brief sketch; and can only say that with boldness and firmness he expatiated freely and fully upon those principles opposing vice and error in its various forms; we are pursuaded [persuaded] that his instructions will be indelibly engraven on the memories of thousands who listened to his discourse. Firm and unwavering in his principles, he has ever been the advocate of sterling integrity, righteousness and truth, and when we saw him exerting all his energies to impress upon the minds of the audience the importance of the thing that he advocated, it reminded us of the sayings of one of the ancient servants of God. "I will declare thy righteousness in the great congregation.'
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
(Continued) After I had obtained the above revelation, both the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from me again; but in a few days they were returned to me, when I enquired [inquired] of the Lord, and the Lord said thus unto me.
Revelation given to Joseph Smith, jr. May 1829, informing him of the alteration of the Manuscript of the fore part of the Book of Mormon.
1. Now behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them: and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened; nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again, therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun: do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate: but be diligent unto the end: pray always that you may come off conqueror; yea that you may conquer satan and that you may escape the hands of the
servants of satan, that do uphold his work. Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you. And for this cause I said that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold wicked men have taken them from you; therefore you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold satan has put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated and caused to be written, and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
2. Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again: and then behold they say and think in their hearts, we will see if God has given him power to translate, if so he will also give him power again: and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate again, or in other words, behold we have the same with us and we have altered them; therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power: therefore, we will destroy him; and also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
3. Verily, verily I say unto you, that satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good, and their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations, and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil: therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God, but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment, yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work; yea, he saith unto them deceive, and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them, and leading them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
4. Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive, because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
5. Now, behold they altered those words, because satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you: and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
6. Behold I say unto you that you shall not translate again these words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself: and behold they will publish this, and satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. Thus satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I shew [show] unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, shew [show] it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
7. Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the
righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
8. And now, verily I say unto you, that on account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, are engraven upon the plates of Nephi; yea, and you remember, it was said in those writings, that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
9. And now, because of the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi, is more particular concerning the things, which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account; therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained; and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
10. Behold they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi. Behold there are many things engraven on the plates of Nephi, which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me, that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. And behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples desired in their prayers, should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; yea and this was their faith, that my gospel which I gave unto them, that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and also, all had become Lamanites, because of their dissentions.
11. Now this is not all, their faith in their prayers were, that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land: and thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life, yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue or people, they may be.
12. And now, behold according to their faith in their prayers, will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
13. And for this cause have I said, if this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them. Now I do not say this to destroy my church; but I say this to build up my church: therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, but it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments, but buildeth up churches unto themselves, to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly, and buildeth up the kingdom of the devil; yea, verily, verily I say unto you that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the centre [center].
14. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I came unto my own, and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I am he who said other sheep have I which are not of this fold, unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
15. And I will show unto this people, that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob: and I will bring to light their marvellous [marvelous] works, which they did in my name: yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel, which was ministered unto them, and behold they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me; and this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention: yea, satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention, concerning the points of my doctrine: and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures, and do not understand them: therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery, for behold I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts: yea, if
they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
16. Behold this is my doctrine: whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church, whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me: therefore he is not of my church.
17. And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my Rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
18. And now, remember the words of him who is the life and the light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God. Amen.
From the Millenial [Millennial] Star.
HIGHLY INTERESTING FROM JERUSALEM.
We have lately received two lengthy and highly interesting communications from Elder Orson Hyde, dated at Trieste, Jan. 1st. and 18th, containing a sketch of his voyages and Travels in the East, his visit to Jerusalem, a description of ancient Zion, the pool of Siloam, and many other places famous in holy writ, with several illustrations of the manners and customs of the East, as applicable to Scripture texts, and several conversations held between himself and some of the Jews, Missionaries, &c. in Jerusalem, together with a masterly description of a terrible tempest and thunder storms at sea, with a variety of miscellaneous reflections and remarks, all written in an easy, elegant and masterly style, partaking of the eloquent and sublime, and breathing a tone of that deep feeling, tenderness, and affection so characteristic of his mission and the spirit of his holy sacred office.
Elder Hyde has by the grace of God been the first proclaimer of the fulness [fullness] of the Gospel both on the continent of Europe and in far off Asia, among the nations of the East. In Germany, Turkey and (Constantinople), Egypt and Jerusalem, he has reared as it were the ensign of the latter-day glory and sounded the trump of truth, calling upon the people of those regions to awake from their thousand years' slumber, and to make ready for their returning Lord.
In his travels he has suffered much, and has been exposed to toils and dangers, to hunger, pestilence and war. He has been in perils by land and sea, in perils among robbers, in perils among Heathens, Turks, Arabs and Egyptians; but out of all these things the Lord hath delived [delivered] him, and hath restored him in safety to the shores of Europe; where he is tarrying for a little season, for the purpose of publishing the Truth in the German language, having already published it in French and English in the various countries of the East, and we humbly trust that his labors will be a lasting blessing to Jew and Gentile.
We publish the following extract of his communication, and we shall soon issue the whole from the press in pamphlet form. It will not doubt meet with a ready sale; and we purpose devoting the profits to his benefit, to assist him in his mission.
"Summoning up, therefore, what little address I had, I procured a valet d'place, or lackey, and proceeded to the house of Mr. Simmons, a very respectable Jew, who with some of his family had lately been converted and joined the English Church. I entered their dwelling. They had just sat down to enjoy a dish of coffee, but immediately arose from the table to meet me. I spoke to them in German and asked them if they spoke in English: they immediately replied "Yes," which was a very agreeable sound to my ear. They asked me in German if I spoke English; I replied, 'Ya mein Herr.' I then introduced myself to them, and with a little apology it passed off as well as though I had been introduced by the Pacha. With that glow of warmth and familiarity which is a peculiar trait in the German Character, they would have me set down and take a dish with them; and as I began to relate some things relative to my mission, the smiles of joy which sat upon their countenance bespoke hearts not altogether indifferent. There were two ministers of the Church of England there. One was confined to his bed by sickness the other a German, and a Jew by birth, soon came in. After an introduction, I took the liberty to lay open to him some of our principles and gave him a copy of the communication to the Jews of Constantinople to read. After he had read it, he said that my motives were undoubtedly very good, but questioned the propriety of my undertaking from the fact that I claimed God had sent me. If indeed I had gone to Jerusalem under the direction of some missionary board or society, and left God out of the question altogether, I should have been received as a celestial messenger. How truly did our Saviour [Savior] [Savior] speak, when he said, 'I am come in my father's name, and yet receive me not; but if another were to come in his own name, him ye would receive.' I replied, however, that so far as I could know my own heart, my motives were most certainly good; yet, said I no better than the cause which has brought me here. But he like all others who worship a God 'without body or parts,' said that miracles, visions, and prophecy has ceased.
"The course which the popular clergy pursue at this time in relation to the Divine economy looks to me as though they would say, 'O Lord, we will worship thee with all our hearts serve thee with all our souls and be very pious and holy, we will even gather Israel, convert the heathen, and bring in the millenium [millennium], if you will only let us alone that we may do it in our own way, and according to our own will, but if you speak from Heaven to interfere with our plan, or cause any to see visions or dreams, or prophesy, whereby we are disturbed or interrupted in our worship, we will exert all our strength and skill to deny what you say, and charge it home upon the devil or some wild fanatic spirit as being its author."
"That which was looked upon by the ancient Saints as among the greatest favours [favors] and blessings, viz. revelation from God and communion with him by dreams and visions, is now looked upon by the religious world as the height of presumption and folly. The ancient saints considered their condition most deplorable
when Jehovah would not speak to them; but the most orthodox religionists of this age deem it quite heterodox to even admit the probability that he ever will speak again. O my soul! language fails to paint the absurdity and abomination of such heaven-opposing and truth excluding dogmas; and were it possible for those bright seraphs that surround the throne above, and bask in the sun beams of immortality, to weep over the inconsistency and irrationality of mortals, the earth must be bedewed with celestial tears. My humble advice to all such is, that they repent and cast far from them these wicked traditions, and be baptized into the new and everlasting covenant, lest the Lord speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his own sore displeasure.
"After some considerable conversation upon the priesthood and the renewal of the covenant, I called upon him to be baptized for the remission of his sins, that he might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What, said he, I be baptized? Yes, said I, you be baptized. Why, saith he, I have been baptized already. I replied something after the following:-'You have probably been sprinkled, but that has no more to do with baptism than any other ordinance of man's device; and even if you had been immersed, you would not have bettered your condition, for your priesthood is without power. If, indeed, the Catholic Church has power to give you an ordination, and by that ordination confer the priesthood upon you, they certainly had power to nullify that act, and take the priesthood from you; and this power they exercised when you dissented from their communion, by excluding you from their church. But if the Catholic church possessed not the priesthood, of course your claims to it are as groundless as the airy phantoms of heathen mythology. So, view the question on which side you may, there is no possible chance of admitting the validity of your claims to it. Be it known, therefore, that ordinances performed under the administration of such a priesthood, though they may even be correct in form, will be found destitute of the seal of that authority by which heaven will recognise [recognize] his in the day when every man's work shall be tried. Though a priesthood may be clothed with the wealth and honors of a great and powerful nation, and command the respect and veneration of multitudes, whose eyes are blinded by the thick veil of popular opinion, and whose powers of reflection and deep thought are confused and lost in the general cry of 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians,' yet all this does not impart to it the Divine sanction, or animate it with the spirit of life and power from the bosom of the living God; and there is a period in future time when in the smoking ruins of Babel's pride and glory, it must fall and retire to the shades of forgetfulness, to the grief and mortification of its unfortunate votaries.
"In consequence of his great volubility, I was under the disagreeable necessity of turning my voice to a pretty high key, and of spacing short between words, determining that neither his greatness nor learning should shield him from the shafts of a faithful testimony. But there is more hope of those Jews receiving the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, whose mind have never been poisoned by the bane of modern sectarianism, which closes the mouth of Deity and shuts up in heaven all the angels, visions and prophesyings. Mrs. Whiting told me that there had been four Jewish people in Jerusalem converted and baptized by the English minister, and four only; and that a part of the ground for an English church had been purchased there. It was by political power and influence that the Jewish nation was broken down, and her subjects dispersed abroad; and I will here hazard the opinion, that by political power and influence they will be gathered and built up; and further, that England is destined in the wisdom and economy of heaven to stretch forth the arm of political power, and advance in the front ranks of this glorious enterprize [enterprise]. The Lord once raised up a Cyrus to restore the Jews, but that was not evidence that he owned the religion of the Persians. This opinion I submit, however, to your superior wisdom to correct if you shall find it wrong.
"There is an increasing anxiety in Europe for the restoration of that people; and this anxiety is not confined to the pale of any religious community, but it has found its way to the courts of kings. Special ambassadors have been sent, and consuls and consular agents have been appointed. The rigorous policy which has hitherto characterized the course of other nations towards them now begins to be softened by the oil of friendship, and modified by the balm of humanity The sufferings and privations under which they have groaned for so many centuries have at length touched the main springs of Gentile power and sympathy; and may the God of their father's Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, fan the flame by celestial breezes, until Israel's banner, sanctified by the Saviour's [Savior's] blood, shall float on the walls of old Jerusalem, and the mountains and valleys of Judea reverberate with their songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain.
"The imperial consul of Austria, at Galatz, near the mouth of the Danube, to whom I had a letter of introduction from his cousin at Vienna, told me that in consequence of so many of their Jewish subjects been inclined, of late, to remove to Syria and Palestine, his government had established a general consul at Beyroote [Beirut] for their protection. There are many Jews who care nothing about Jerusalem, and have no regard for God. Their money is the God they worship; yet there are many of the most pious and devout among them who look towards Jerusalem as the tender an affectionate mother looks upon the home where she left her lovely little babe"
The Times and Seasons, the Mormon newspaper, published at Nauvoo by Joseph Smith, has commenced the translation of a book written by Abraham, and discovered in the catecombs [catacombs] of Egypt! This people, from a handful of persecuted outcasts, have become a numerous sect, and are able to protect themselves against insult and oppression; in fact, it is said that they have revolutionized the state of Illinois. [New York State Mechanic.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 1842.
It is asserted by several newspapers that Gov. Boggs of the State of Mo. is dead, and that he has been murdered by the hand of an assassin; some would insinuate that it has been done by a Mormon; to such we would say, BAH!!!! we shall not believe that he is dead until we have further testimony; we have seen too many of the intrigues of Mo., to "believe all things."
We suppose that some of the Anti-Mormons belonging to the "Great Mass," (alias small potatoe [potato]) "convention," could assist very well in proposing, if not of being the authors of, a story of that kind, for political effect in the coming contest.
From the Alton Telegraph and Review.
"Addressed the people of this county on the 4th inst. at Edwardsville. He was listened to by one of the largest audiences we have ever seen assembled on a similar occasion, since our residence in the State; and the attention and manifest gratification with which he was listened to, furnished the strongest evidence that the various positions he assumed met with the cordial co-operation of his hearers.
"Much of his time was taken up in refuting the base and grovling [groveling] charges preferred against him by the State Register, of being the founder of both the Internal Improvement and State Bank Systems. And the evidence he furnished, forced from the most prejudiced of his political opponents the reluctant confession, that he had triumphantly vindicated himself, and shown the falsity of the charges.
"His views in regard to the dangerous and alarming powers which were granted to the Mormons, in various charters passed at the last session of our Legislature, and the firm and decided stand he assumed against making them a PRIVILEGED SECT over all other religious denominations and classes of our citizens, met with universal approbation by all who listened to him. Gov. Duncan declared he was for extending to them the same privileges, and none other, that our citizens in common enjoyed under the provisions of the constitution and laws. [This is all the Mormons ask] But all extraordinary anti republican and arbitrary powers, which the corruption of a Legislature granted them solely for the purpose of obtaining their political support, [let the Legislature thank Gov. Duncan for that compliment.] he unhesitatingly proclaimed he was for taking from them, [when he gets the power.] The Governor referred to one of the ordinances of their city, which provided that if any person spoke lightly of, or doubted, their religion, upon conviction thereof the offender was liable to a fine of five hundred dollars and six months imprisonment.
"This disgraceful attempt to form, in a republican government, an established religion by legal enactment, created throughout the audience a great sensation, and opened their eyes to the rapid strides that were being made in their very midst towards an arbitrary and monarchial [monarchical] form of government" [If Gov. Duncan had said that his disgraceful attempt to palm upon his political party, and the good people of the Illinois generally, a list of lies of the blackest kind would certainly fail until the faithful, righteous, and eternal prediction had been fulfilled upon his head, that all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; and he utterly fail of the charge of state, there might have been some good reason to believe that a "sensation" of joy was produced in the audience and that their eyes and ears were open to the voice of truth, and that they were ready to hail the downfall of an aspiring demagogue, with those demonstrations of hallelujah which became a noble and insulted people.]
"He next referred to a correspondence in the Times and Seasons, published at Nauvoo, between Dr. C. V. Dyer, of Chicago, a distinguished Loco Foco, and Joe Smith and Gen. Bennett, the prophet and the military leader of the Mormons. That correspondence divulges the fact, that the Mormons under the solicitation of Dr. Dyer. [who is an Abolitionist] are prepared to act with them. And Gen. Bennett evinces his willingness at any moment to march against the Penitentiary in Missouri with his armed force, established under the auspices, [as Joe Smith says,] of Mr Snyder and Judge Douglass and release the three Quincy Abolitionists now in confinement there. This correspondence we shall publish at length in a few days, that every man may judge of its alarming tendencies for himself"
"It struck us with a good deal of astonishment that Joe Smith and Gen. Bennett should thus publicly avow their abolition principles in the very face of the proclamation of the prophet, as the military leader of the mormons, to all his followers to vote for Mr. Snyder for Governor. WHO IS HIMSELF ONE OF THE LARGEST SLAVE HOLDERS IN THE STATE. To us it displayed an inconsistency irreconcileable [irreconcilable] with common honesty."
The above is from the speech political of Ex-Gov. Duncan, and in perusing it we find that a privileged sect," "charters passed in' the last session of the Legislature"-"anti-republican and arbitrary powers:"-"Joe Smith," and "a corrupt Legislature" trouble the chaste mind of this pure man:-this noble champion of truth; this philanthropist, and friend of equal rights; so intently was his mind bent upon this all-absorbing subject, that he had scarce time to speak upon any other.-It is true that he made a bold stand against "gross and grovelling [groveling] charges made against him by the editor of the State Register," (so says the Telegraph and Review,") but then so small was this in his estimation, (if you may judge of the
conduct of the editors of the Telegraph,) that nine-tenths of his time was taken up in a tirade against Mormonism, as nine-tenths of their remarks on that subject are-it would seem that so conclusive were his arguments in refuting the charges preferred by the editor of that States Register, that it was not necessary for the editor to mention them; while Mormonism, that awful delusion: that growing evil; that monstrous iniquity, must be put down;-leaving then the above named papers to settle their difficulty: we shall notice his remarks on the Mormons.
What does Mr. Duncan mean when speaking of the Mormons, that they are different from other people, and that they have some special law given them to be governed by; or has he made use of those expressions to decoy the unwary and gull the ignorant for political effect? There is no excuse for what he has done, he has done it knowingly, wantonly, wilfully [willfully], and wickedly.
Gov. Duncan knows that the law knows no difference between Mormon citizens and other citizens, and that there is no law in the United States, or in this state to prevent people from worshiping [worshipping] the Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience;" that under the broad flag of American liberty the Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Universalists, Friends, or Latter Day Saints, are all one; their religion is unknown they are all citizens of this great republic, and are governed by the same law; and that they all possess equal privileges without distinction: then why should he try to make that appear to exist which never was in being?
As citizens of Nauvoo we would ask, what greater privileges do we possess than the inhabitants of other cities? we have a city charter, so have other cities; such as Springfield, Alton, Chicago, Galena, and Quincey; we have a charter for a Legion; this may differ some little in form from some of the proceedings of other cities, but certainly is not unconstitutional, it is in strict conformity with the laws of this State, and of the U. States. The Nauvoo Legion is decidedly the best organised [organized], and most efficient military force in the State of Ill., or in the western country; it is well disciplined and officered with the best talent the country affords. If this is a sin we plead guilty, but we could heartily wish that our neighbors would imitate our example, then should we have a more efficient force to defend our country. Are these privileges that are denied other citizens? this "privileged sect"-(don't name it Gov. call them citizens sir,) have no other privileges than the citizens of other cities.
Will Mr. Duncan, or the "editor of the "Telegraph and Review, show us what privileges we enjoy over other citizens, or other denominations? will he be so kind as to point out some of those "anti-republican extraordinary" and "arbitrary powers." that the Mormons possess.
Will the Governor please to tell us where that ordinance can be found referred to by him: when it passed, &c.? The palpable falsehoods that he has uttered; and the gross misrepresentations that he has made use of, remind us of the words of one of the ancients, "their heart is full of cursing and bitterness, the poison of asps is under their tongues, and the way of peace they have not known." We have no such exclusive ordinance as the one referred to by Mr. Duncan; his statements are palpably false; we have no less than three gentlemen in our city council who are not members of our church at all. But we have laws for the suppression of vice: for taking up vagrants or disorderly persons; for defamation of character, &c; and if in our city a Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Latter Day Saint, or Gov. Duncan was found transgressing these laws, they would be judged by the laws, and not by their religion.
This blending of religious with civil affairs, is merely to deceive mankind; as citizens of this republic we have the privilege of using such privileges as other men, and of voting for whom we please. If it is our religion that he wishes to contend with, let him bring his bible, and we will meet him on that ground; but we think that our city charter, political intrigue, and city ordinances, make a curious compound when mixed up with religion.
We suppose that the following is the ordinance referred to by the Governor, let him read it and blush, (vol. 2, page 326, Times and Seasons.
An Ordinance in relation to religious societies.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo. That the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-Day-Saints, Quakers, Episcopalians, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohamedans, and all other religious sects, and denominations, whatever, shall have toleration, and equal privileges in this city, and should any person be guilty of ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise depreciating another, in consequence of his religion, or of disturbing, or interrupting, any religious meeting, within the limits
of this city, he shall, on conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor, or Court.
Sec. 2. It is hereby made the duty of all municipal officers to notice, and report to the Mayor, any breach or violation of this or any other ordinance of this City that may come within their knowledge, or of which they many be advised; and any officer aforesaid is hereby fully authorized to arrest all such violators of rule, law, and order, either with, or without, process.
Sec. 3. This ordinance to take effect and be in force, from and after its passage, Passed. March. 1st. A. D. 1841
JOHN C. BENNETT, Mayor.
JAMES SLOAN, Recorder.
So much for the veracity of this honorable gentleman, this would be Governor.
In regard to the correspondence between Dr. V. Dyer and Gen. Bennett, referred to by Mr. Duncan, his statements are foul perversions of truth; the correspondence does not shew [show] [show] either myself or Gen. Bennett to be abolitionists, but the friends of equal rights and privileges to all men.
If the Gov. had let us alone we might have let him enjoy his notions, but as he has spoken some falsehoods about us, we shall tell a little truth about him; and thus fulfil [fulfill] the scripture in doing "good for evil." As we happened to have the following letter in our possession, we thought that we would publish it for his edification, and thus reminded him of the old adage "those that dwell in glass houses, ought to be careful how they throw stones."
LETTER TO MRS. EMMA SMITH.
EDWARDSVILLE, Madison Co.,
Feb. 14, 1842.
Ever dear friend: I seat myself at this time to address a few lines to you, as it is a long time since I have seen you, or one of the saints; I always loved your company, and I have often thought of you when your affectionate husband was in jail. I wish you to inform me how much he suffered? and how you fared when he was absent, and whether any one administered to your wants or not? Do not be offended at me for intruding on your patience, for I feel as though you were my sister, and I have been in this State four years without friends and brethren until last October.
Now sister Emma, I would tell you some of my trials and difficulties but what are mine to yours? nothing, no nothing! but great will be your reward and eternal your glory." "If light afflictions work out a great and eternal weight of glory?" what will great ones do! I know your mild temper and calm and peaceable disposition: I well recollect your bright eyes, and pleasant countenance. I remember the first visit I ever had with you, but I fear it will be long before I shall have the pleasure of beholding your face again, and of listening to the instructions of your dear husband, the prophet, and of hearing the gracious words of truth and intelligence that flow from his lips; we have nothing to come or gather with the saints with. . . .
They say that Jo Duncan is up for Governor, if he is elected, I say that mobs and destruction await the saints if in his power to accomplish it, unless he is a better man than when I worked for him: I washed and ironed for his family, to the amount of six dollars and seventy five cents, and because we lived in a wretched old house not one cent would he pay me; he gave me the most abusive language that I ever heard a man utter, without the least provocation, I cannot tell you one tenth part; but I will tell you a little of the commencement; "did you see Joe when he dug out his gold bible out of the old hollow stump? I should like to have seen him peeping in, pity the devil had not kicked him so far in, that he could not get out again: but they have got him fast up in Jackson, and I am glad of it for he has deluded and robbed plenty of innocent men, and that's what makes you so poor: I suppose you have given him up all you had. Did he ever give you any thing," he said with a look of contempt. I could bear no longer, I said yes, he gave us a barrel of beef, barrel and all; this so astonished him that he stopped, and I proceeded, but cannot write half of what I said to him in this letter; suffice it to say that I was not at a loss for words; and although they called him governor, governor, he did not appear to me bigger than a skunk, nor of any more importance.
The feelings of my heart I cannot describe when I hear such language about a man that I have never heard teach anything but truth and righteousness, for
seven long years; but I cannot hear him now, this is not my happy lot.
I must now close my letter, give my kind love to mother Smith, tell her I have not forgotten her, and that I sympathise [sympathize] with her in her great loss.
Peace be with you and all that are saints, and preserve you from all your enemies; when you hear of a good sermon, think of a sincere friend and sister, in the new and everlasting covenant.
MATILDA R. BAILEY.
Mrs. Emma Smith.
Such then is the conduct of this great man; we wish that we could say otherwise of him, but we feel convinced that the high minded and patriotic citizens of the State of Illinois will make choice of another man as their head, legal representative, then the one who will cheat his laundress out of her hard earnings merely because she is poor, and then taunt her with her poverty "Oh! shame where is thy blush!!!"
Of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Nauvoo, to the saints scattered abroad, greeting:
Dear Brethren: inasmuch as the Lord hath spoken; and the commandment hath gone forth for the gathering together of his people from Babylon, that they partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues" it seemeth "good unto us, and also to the Holy Ghost" to write somewhat for your instruction, in obeying that commandment. That you have no need that we exhort you to the observance of this commandment, is evident; for yourselves know that this is that which was spoken by the Lord in the parable of the Tares of the field, who promised that in the harvest he would say to the servant, "gather the wheat into my barn" the signs of the times proclaim this; the end of the world; and thus admonish us to the performance of this duty. "Yet notwithstanding the spirit testifieth of these things, and you desire with great anxiety to gather with the saints; yet are many of you hindered even to this day:" so that to will to obey the commandment is present; but how to perform, you find not." Feeling therefore, the responsibility binding on you to observe the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and living in the midst of a generation that are ignorant what the mind of the Lord is concerning his people, and of the things that belong to their peace: we are well aware of the embarrassments under which many of you labor in endeavoring to obey the laws pertaining to your salvation. It is then no marvel that in this day when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness of the times in which they live, should mock at the gathering together of the saints for salvation, as did the anti-diluvian at the mighty work of righteous Noah in building an ark in the midst of the land, for the salvation of his cause by water, seeing then that such blindness hath happened to the gentile world which to them is an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation," and that of God, think it not strange that you should have to pass through the like afflictions which all your brethren then saints in all ages have done before you; to be reviled, persecuted, and hated of all men, for the name of Christ and the gospel's sake, is the portion of which all saints have had to partake who have gone before you. You then can expect no better things than that there be men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth, who will evil entreat you, and unjustly despoil you of your property and embarrass you in pecuniary matters, and render it the more difficult to obey the command to gather with the saints pretending to do God service, "whose judgment now lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
But brethren with all these considerations before you in relation to your afflictions, we think it expedient to admonish you, that you bear and forbear, as becometh saints, and having done all that is lawful and right to obtain you come short of obtaining it, commit the residue to the just judgment of God, and shake off the dust off your feet as a testimony of having so done.
Finally, brethren, as it is reported unto us that there be some who have not done that which is lawful and right, but have designedly done injury to their neighbor, or creditor by fraud, or otherwise thinking to find protection with us in such iniquity: let all such be warned, and certified, that with them we have no fellowship when known to be such, until all
reasonable measures are taken to make just restitution to those unjustly injured.
Now therefore let this epistle be read in all the branches of the church, as testimony, that as representatives thereof, we have taken righteousness for the girdle of our loins, and faithfulness for the girdle of our reins," and that for Zion's sake we will not rest; and for Jerusalem's sake we will not hold our peace, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."
Your brethren and servants in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.
AUSTIN COWLES,} Presidents
CHARLES C. RICH.}
GEORGE W. HARRIS,
WM. HUNTINGDON, SEN.
HENRY G. SHERWOOD,
LEWIS D. WILSON,
Attest, HOSEA STOUT, Clerk.
May 22, 1842.
It will be seen by the following that the Jews are as zealous in the propagation of what they consider to be true principles as any of the sects of modern date; that they try to inculcate attendance on divine worship, and "true piety, real religion, and acts of devotion to God," just as much as any other religionist's of our day.
Dr. Criezenach in the third part of his "Schulchan Aruch," says, that a few things are necessary, in order to maintain and promote the fear of God, in a congregation in Israel.
1. Books, in which all the duties of men, citizens and Israelites are distinctly taught in a language intelligible to all."
2. The congregation in Israel are further in need of spiritual guides, whose endeavours [endeavors] it should be to inculcate a life in unison with the doctrine taught in the books."
3. The Jewish congregations need properly conducted places of worship, for the instruction and edification of the people: and to enkindle the love of the young for the Jewish religion, and nation. Every one knows who is acquainted with the history of the synagogue, that these were the purposes for which it was instituted, and that the next to the divine help we are indebted to the synagogue alone, for the miracle, that the Jewish religion has weathered the fearful storms which it has encountered for 2000 years. In the synagogue the Jews obtained strength to suffer and to withstand the numerous temptations to apostacy [apostasy], through the exhortations and instructions, imparted by the more learned through the prayers which he offered alone or in common with the pious congregation, and through intercourse occasioned by diligent attendance at the place of worship." * * * "and thus the dearest recollections of youth are associated with religion which penetrated the soul and filled it with the utmost abhorrence of falsehood and sin."
"Unhappily in our days the synagogue has ceased to be of this use to Judaism; a great part of most congregations never visit it at all; and another part equally numerous go unwillingly by."
4. It is necessary that the doctrines, and forms of the Jewish religion should extend their sanctifying influence to domestic life. Neither the school, nor the synagogue can give true piety if religion be wanting in domestic life; if the business of every day be not begun and ended by acts of devotion to God:" in speaking of children reading the prayer book (Jewish) in a careless way, he says that children will obey with unwilling hearts if they can spell well enough to do it their thoughts will in the mean time be occupied on some other subject while they are reading, and they will lay it aside without having gained a spark of real religion, like a burden which they are glad to get rid of."
Dr. Criezenach has published the following thesis.
1. The Talmud cannot be reduced to practice without ordained teachers.
2. No authenticated code of the Talmud has ever yet existed.
3. The Talmud has never been completed.
4. The Mishna is an incomplete work.
5. The Gemara is now an incomplete work.
6. The Academy of Jerusalem consisted of opponents of the Talmud.
7. The Talmudists have never agreed in interpreting the Bible.
8. The Talmud contains only a small number of the traditional ordinances:
9. The authors of that part of the Talmud
which is not traditional, do not pretend that their work is anything more than the ordinances of men.
10. There is no ordination of priests among the Israelites.
11. Such an ordination cannot and dare not be introduced.
12. As there is no ordained clergy every one is at liberty to interpret the scriptures.
13. The decrees of the synod were only in force for a time.
14. All these decrees lost their force when ordination ceased.
15. The traditional ordinances have no higher authority than the decrees of the synod.
16. The Talmudists have introduced and abrogated laws.
17. The Talmud does not admit of any exclusion of the Agada.
18. The histories, and interpretation of the Talmud have no mystical sense, and very seldom an allegorical one.
19. The articles of faith of Marmonides are not founded in the Talmud.
20. The Talmud has never been followed in the spirit of it.
21. Moses has not introduced any ordination according to the sense in which that word is usually taken.
22. The laws of Moses are sufficiently intelligible. (Jewish Intelligencer).
From the Millenial Star.
CAN I NOT BE SAVED WITHOUT BAPTISM?
Question.-Can you be saved with baptism?
Answer.-Yes I may be saved if I am baptized; for Jesus Christ has said, that he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
Question.-But can you not be saved without believing?
Answer.-"Without faith it is impossible to please him;" therefore, if I do not please him, how can I expect to be saved by him?
Question.-True, but suppose it were possible for you to exercise faith in Jesus, and yet neglect to do the things which he and his apostles commanded, would he be pleased with that neglect any more than with a want of faith?
Answer.-the commandments of Christ are a law to his children; and if I break his commandments, I break the law of God, and that would sin, for "sin is the transgression of the law" and sin is the thing which God hates.
Question.-And is it reasonable to expect that you can be saved by displeasing God?
Answer.-I discover the force of your question, but I am determined to have the truth; and I know that Jesus says, "he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" but does the scripture any where say, that he that is not baptized shall be lost?
Question.-Has God more than one method of saving sinners?
Answer.-I think not, for that would imply that he was changeable, and had respect to persons if he would save one on one condition, and another on other terms.
Question.-And did not Christ say to Nicodemus, that except a man be born of water, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?
Answer.-Yes, but did he not mean spirit, when he said water?
Question.-Do you believe that the Bible is true?
Answer.-Most assuredly I do.
Question.-Then how can you suppose he meant spirit when he said water,-for he said "of water and of the spirit" putting the water first, and the spirit after; for if he meant spirit when he said water, he should have said of water and of water, which would make the Bible to tell a falsehood as it now stands, and you say you believe the Bible is true?
Answer.-Yes, I do,-and I perceive that there would be an inconsistency in the phrase spirit and spirit, although I had always supposed that the water meant spirit in this place.
Question.-Do you not remember that Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan in a river of water, and that to fulfil [fulfill] all righteousness as Christ himself said.
Question.-And that Peter who hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven, commanded those who enquired [inquired] on the day of Pentecost, what they should do to be saved, to be baptized every one of them for the remission of their sins?
Question.-And that Paul who had a share in the same ministry, required the people to be buried with him (Christ) by baptism for the answer of a good contience [conscience?], as Peter says; and what would
be more likely to produce a good or peaceful conscience than obedience to the requirements of the Saviour [Savior]?
Answer.-True, we read thus, but I had supposed that baptism was done away now, and that sprinkling answered the same purpose.
Question.-If in the days of the Apostles, God required men to be buried in, or born of the water; and now will save them without that inconvenience, or by sprinkling simply, must he not have changed; and is he not a respector of persons?
Answer.-To be honest it does appear so; and I never can believe that God will change the plan of salvation, or respect any man's person, but how is it that Jesus said "these signs shall follow them that believe,-they shall speak with new tongues, cast out devils; heal the sick; take up serpents, &c." and we see none of these things in these days?
Question.-I hope you do not doubt the declaration of Christ, do you?
Answer.-Certainly not, I believe those signs did follow the apostles just as the scriptures state, but we see none of these things now.
Question.-Can it be possible that Christ designated the promise of these signs for his apostles, when he said "them that believe" addresing [addressing] himself self to his disciples, concerning those who should believe on their testimony, and be baptized by them? Or was the promise to be confined to that people only or that age, when Peter said concerning this matter, "this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call?
Answer.-No it cannot.
Question.-Then if you do not doubt the testimony of Jesus and his apostles, must you not conclude that these signs have ceased to follow the children of men? because faith has ceased from among men.
Answer.-These are new ideas to me, I will think of them more; but am I to believe that if men would exercise faith, and attend unto the ordinances of the gospel as in the days of old, these signs would be made visible again on the earth, or would follow the believer as in the days of old?
Question.-Will not the same cause produce the same effects in all ages?
Answer.-Without doubt it will.
Question.-Why then should not these signs follow those who believe, have faith in God, and keep his commandments, just as they did in the days of Christ?
Answer.-What! and receive the Holy Ghost too, by the laying on of hands?
Question.-If God is not changed, nor the ordinances of his house, nor the plan of salvation, how can you hope to receive the Holy Ghost in any other way then they did in those days, when "on whomsoever they laid their hands they received the Holy Ghost?"
Answer.-But why have I not seen and believed these things before!
Question.-How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher; and how shall they preach except they be sent?
Answer.-I have heard a great many preachers before, but they never taught me such doctrine.
Question.-Do you not remember that Paul said that "the day of Christ should not come except there came a falling away first," a falling from the truth, and men should be given unto fables?"
Answer.-Yes, and I begin to suspect it has been so, but do you really think that sins are forgiven when men are baptized?
Question.-Does not the scriptures say so? Did not Peter say, be baptized every one of you for the remission of your sins; and did not Ananias say to Saul, arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins?
Answer.-Yes, the bible says so; but it says also calling upon the name of the Lord: now I have been upon the penitent form, and called upon the name of the Lord, as Ananias commanded, and my sins are forgiven.
Question.-Can there be a transgression where there is no law? and you say you never had this law before, therefore, you could not sin against it; but should you now reject it, how could you get clear of that sin? and where can you find any direction from scripture to erect penitent forms, or to make use of them?
Answer.-I see your propositions appear quite scriptural.
Question.-Inasmuch as you say you see, does not your sin remain?
Answer.-And may I be baptized for the remission of my sins?
Question.-Do you believe with all your heart, and are you willing to repent of all your sins and forsake them;
determined in the strength of the Lord, to keep his commandment to the end? thou mayest.
From the Boston Investigator.
OR LATTER DAY SAINTS.
This increasing but persecuted sect, it seems to us, are the only consistent sect now extant. They are the only sect who act up on strict accordance to the Scripture. They are in fact, the only sect who act as if they believed what they profess. In the last chapter of the Epistle of St. James, it is written: "If there be any illness among you, ye shall call for the elders of the Church, and anoint yourselves with oil in the name of the Lord." Here is a plain prescription for the cure of disease, coming directly from God, according to the professed belief of Christians; coming certainly from God, if the New Testament be a divinely inspired volume, Yet how few Christians there are who would not laugh to scorn the very suggestion to treat their sick in this manner! Instead of the elders of the Church, modern Christians send for a physician, and instead of anointing with oil, they dose the patient with drugs which were unknown to St. James or any of the apostles. Does not this neglect of the plain advice of scripture prove that modern Christians believe themselves wise above what is written, and that they are willing to set at nought [naught] one of the commands of an inspired Apostle, because they believe themselves wiser than he?
Not so with the Latter Day Saints. They act up to their professed faith.-Believing the Bible to be truly the word of God, and not a mere make believe system of religion, they abide by the commands of scripture in relation to their sick, as well as in relation to matters of mere theological faith. They believe that the Bible is just as good authority for one thing as another; that the command of God with respect to the treatment of invalids, is as worthy of obedience as his command with respect to the treatment of sinners; that God's work is as good authority in law and medicine as in theology. Orthodox Christians, on the contrary, despite the authority of the Bible with regard to all matters of science. They seem to consider the omniscent [omniscient] God as ignorant of every thing in the world except morals and theology. Hence, if his word says that all unbelievers are damned, they believe his word on that point, though our own reason declares that we are not accountable for mistakes of opinion. If, on the other hand, God's word declares, that the earth was created in six days, and that the sun and stars are mere lights in the firmament, set there to give light to mankind, Christians reject the idea, because it is contrary to science. They reject also the commands of God in relation to the treatment of the sick, because they are proved to be absurd by medical science and experience.
Not long since, a coroner's inquest was held in London over the body of Elizabeth Morgan, aged 55 years, whose death was alleged to have been caused through improper treatment by unqualified persons. She belonged to the sect of Latter Day Saints, and was treated during her illness, according to the usual custom of her sect, who agreeably to the commands of St. James, "pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord." What was the consequence of this literal obedience to the command of Scripture, in this Christian Land? After Elizabeth Morgan died, her body was taken by the Christian authorities, and inspected, in order to find cause for punishing her friends and attendants for their abiding by the directions of the Apostle, instead of sending for proper medical aid! The jury returned a verdict of "natural death," but took occasion to caution the sect how they acted in such cases for the future.
Now is it not evident from the proceedings in this case and other similar cases, that Christians, who call the Latter Day Saints a foolish sect on account of their literal obedience to the commands of Scripture, believe the commands of Scripture foolish in regard to almost all matters except those which merely concern one's theological faith? Is it not evident that they believe the omniscent [omniscient] God to be perfect ignoramus in all matters of science? O, ye generation of hypocrites! why do ye not throw away your Bible altogether, which commands men to do the very things which ye condemn as foolish and absurd?
From Priest's American Antiquities
If such may have been the fact, that a part of the Ten Tribes came over to America, in the way we have supposed, leaving the cold regions of Assareth behind them
in quest of a milder climate, it would be natural to look for tokens of the presence of Jews of some sort, along countries adjacent to the Atlantic. In order to this, we shall here make an extract from an able work: written exclusively on the subject of the Ten Tribes having come from Asia by the way of Bherings Strait, by the Rev. Ethan Smith, Pultney, Vt., who relates as follows: "Joseph Merrick, Esq., a highly respectable character in the church at Pittsfield, gave the following account: That in 1815, he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood shed, standing on a place of his, situated on Indian Hill.
He ploughed [plowed] and conveyed away old chips and earth to some depth. After the work was done, walking over the place, he discovered, near where the earth had been dug the deepest, a black strap as it appeared, about six inches in length, and one and a half in breadth, and about the thickness of a leather trace to a harness.
He perceived it had at each end a loop of some hard substance, probably for the purpose of carrying it. He conveyed it to his house, and threw it into an old tool box. He afterwards found it thrown out of doors, and he again conveyed it to the box. After some time he thought he would examine it; but in attempting to cut it found it as hard as a bone, he succeeded, however in getting it open, and found it was formed of two pieces of thick raw hide, sewed and made water tight with the sinews of some animal; and in the fold was contained four folded pieces of parchment. They were of a dark yellow hue, and contained some kind of writing. The neighbors coming in to see the strange discovery, tore one of the pieces to atoms, in the true Hun and Vandal style. The other three pieces Mr. Merrick saved, and sent them to Cambridge,-where they where examined, and discovered to have been written with a pen in Hebrew, plain and legible.
The writing on the three remaining pieces of parchment, was quotation from the Old Testament. See Deut. vi. chap. from the 4th to the 9th verse, inclusive-also, xi. chap. 13-21, and Exodus, chap. 13-13-11,-16 inclusive, to which the reader can refer, if he has the curiosity to read this most interesting discovery. These passages as quoted above, were found in the strap of raw hide; which unquestionably had been written on the very pieces of parchment now in the possession of the Antiquarian Society, before Israel left the land of Syria, more than 2,500 years ago.
Dr. West of Stockbridge, relates that an old Indian informed him, that his fathers in this country had not long since, been in the possession of a book, which they had for a long time, carried with them, but having lost the knowledge of reading it, they buried it with an Indian chief-View of the Hebrews, Pg. 223.
It had been handed down from family to family, or from chief to chief as a most precious relic, if not as an amulet, charm, or talisman, for it is not to be supposed, that a distinct knowledge of what was contained in the strap could have long continued among them, in their wandering condition, amid woods and forests.
"It is said by Calmet, that the above texts are the very passages of Scripture, which the Jews used to write on the leaves of their phylacteries. These phylacteries were little rolls of parchment whereon were written certain words of the law. These they wore upon their forehead, and upon the wrist of the left arm."-Smith's view of the Hebrews). Pg. 220.
TO THE EASTERN CHURCHES
Elder Willard Richards, Recorder for the Temple and my private Secretary, (accompanied, perhaps, by some others of the Twelve) will soon leave Nauvoo, for New York and the Eastern States, for the purpose of receiving funds, for the building of the Temple, which are now much needed; and for the transaction of business in general for the church. I hope the brethren will be diligent in preparing their tithings, for remittance by Br. Richards, and speed him on his journey that he may quickly return to his labors in this place. J. SMITH.
Any of the churches in New England that are desirous of being visited by, or transacting business with myself, or brethren, can manifest the same by letter. Post Paid. Directed to Richmond, Birkshire co. Mass. as we may not be conversant with the location of all the branches in that region. W. RICHARDS.
The Times and Seasons, IS EDITED BY Joseph Smith. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOSEPH SMITH.
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