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Times and Seasons: Volume 4
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4, Number 4
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 4.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. Jan. 2, 1843||[Whole No. 64.|
Boston, Oct. 21, 1842
My Dear Sir-On the confidence of an old acquaintance, and kindly intercourse, I have long wished to address a friendly line to you; for I am sure you have not forgotten the pleasant though brief interviews which we enjoyed at Middlefield. Since I saw you there a great change has taken place, as I have been led to believe, in your religious views; and a corresponding one in your relations and circumstances.-Still I trust that you have not forgotten the claims of friendship and acquaintance. I need not tell you how much I became interested in your family, so young and so full of promise, nor of the strong confidence which I reposed in your piety and conscientious regard for the will of God. I would not allow myself to believe that you would profess what you did not sincerely believe, nor that you would believe without good reasons; still the change in your views excited in me not little surprise. I have therefore been desirous to receive from yourself an account of your views, and the reasons of your change. I am also desirous to obtain from one in whom I can confide-one who is acquainted with the facts, and one who is not prejudiced against it at the outset, some account of the faith which you have embraced; of the personal character, doctrines, claims, and influence of him who is called the leader-I mean Joseph Smith. Does he claim to be inspired? Is he a man of prayer? a man of pure life? a man of peace? Where is he now? Does he appear at the head of his troops as a military commander? What is the nature of the worship among you, and wherein does it differ from that of religious people with whom you have been acquainted elsewhere? How many inhabitants has the city of Nauvoo? What is their condition? occupations, and general character? What are the dimensions of the Temple, now in a course of erection? If so, from whom? Are the children instructed in learning and religion? It would give me pleasure to learn, also, how you are employed? whether your family are with you; and also your present views of truth and duty, and in what respects they differ from the views which you formerly entertained.
Excuse the number and minuteness of these inquires. I take an interest in all that affects the welfare of my fellow men, and especially in what is so important as their religious views and hopes. I am aware that the people, and the views which you have adopted as your own, are peculiarly liable to misrepresentation; but from you I may expect something more impartial. Now if you do not find the task too great a tax on your time, I should be much gratified in receiving as full and as speedy an answer to the queries above proposed, with any other information in your possession, as may be convenient to yourself.
It may be gratifying to you to learn that a powerful revival of religion has been enjoyed in Middlefield, within a few weeks past, an account of which Mr. Bestor, the present pastor has sent to me for publication in the Christian Watchman, a copy of which I send you. I visited the town in the summer and found your old friends well. I also attended a minister's meeting at Br. Bestor's, and enjoyed a very pleasant interview. Several of the brethren spoke of you in terms of kindness. My best wishes attend you. Present my regards to Mrs. Spencer, and believe me very truly yours, W- C-.
P. S. You will understand that I ask for information, for my private benefit and satisfaction. I do not ask for any thing to be published unless you see fit to give it for that purpose. I wish you to write as to an old friend.
LETTER OF ORSON SPENCER.
Nauvoo, November 17, 1842.
My Dear Sir:-I received yours of the 21st ultimo about a week since, but many engagements have prevented a more early reply. Your enquiries [inquiries] were very interesting and important, and I only regret that I have not more time and room to answer them as their importance and minuteness demand. I am not at all surprised that my old friends should wonder at my change of views. Even to this day, it is marvellous [marvelous] in my own eyes how I should be separated form my brethren to this (Mormon) faith. I greatly desire to see my Baptist brethren face to face, that I may tell them all things pertaining to my views and this work. But at present the care of my wife and six childreu [children] with the labors of a civil office forbids this privilege. A sheet of paper is a poor conductor of a marvellous [marvelous] and controverted system of theology. But receive this sheet as containing only some broken hints upon which I hope to amplify
in some better manner hereafter. You have expressed confidence in my former conscientious regard for the will of God. I thank you for this, because the virtues of many good men have been disallowed upon some supposed forfeiture of public esteem. I thank God that you and many of the churches where I once labored, are more liberal.
You, more than common men, know that it is in accordance with all past history, that men's true characters suffer imprisonment, scourging, and death, as soon as they become innovators or seceders from long established and venerated systems. Many have suffered martyrdom for literary, and also religious improvements, to whom after ages have done better justice. "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted, and slain them which told before of the coming of the just One?"-It was the misfortune of many of the former prophets that they were raised up at a period of the world when, apostacy [apostasy] and corruption rendered their efforts indispensible [indispensable]: although such efforts proved unacceptable to those who were in fault. Ancient prophets, you know, did not merely reiterate what their predecessors had taught, but often spoke hidden wisdom, even things that had been kept secret for many generations; because the spirit by which they were moved had knowledge of all truth, and could disclose and reveal as it seemed wisdom in God. The spirits that were disobedient while once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, doubtless despised the prophet that taught a universal deluge.
But Noah had a special revelation of a deluge, although the religious people of his day counted him an enthusiast. The revelation given to Moses to gather an opprest [oppressed] to a particular place, was equally one side of and out of the usual course of former revelations.-John came to the literal followers of Abraham and Moses; but he escaped not persecution and death, because he breathed an uncharitable and exclusive spirit towards the existing sects of the day; still he was a revelator and seer approved of God.
And is it a thing incredible with you brother, that before the great Sabbatic era, world's rest or millennium, God should raise up a prophet to prepare the people for that event, and the second coming of Jesus Christ? Would it be disagreeable to those who love the unity of Saints, or improbable or unscriptural to expect such a prophet to be possessed with the key of knowledge or endowed like Peter with the stone of revelation. If the many hundred religious sects of this age should hereafter harmonize into one faith and brotherhood without the aid of special revelations, it would constitute an unparalleled phenomenon. Should they become a bride fit to receive Jesus Christ at his coming, it could not be according to Paul's gospel. For six thousand years, apostles and prophets have constituted an essential part of the spiritual edifice in which God dwells.-Paul says it is by them the church is perfected and brought to unity of faith.
I know that you and I have been taught from our childhood, that the church can be perfected without prophets; but where I ask is the first scripture to support this view.
As you kindly say, I have always been accustomed to offer a reason for my faith. But be assured I was confounded and made dumb when asked why I taught another gospel than what Paul did; why I taught that revelation was ended when Paul did not; or why I taught that prophets were not needed when no inspired teacher ever taught such a doctrine.-Error may become venerable by age, and respectable for the number of its votaries, but neither age nor popularity can ever make it truth. You give me credit for a conscientious regard for the will of God. It was this that gave me the victory where many others I fear are vanquished. The spirit of God wrought mightily in me commending the ancient gospel to my conscience. I contemplated it with peaceful serenity and joy in believing. Visions and dreams began to illuminate occasionally my slumbering moments. But when I allowed my selfish propensities to speak, I cursed Mormonism in my heart, and regretted being in possession of as much light and knowledge as had flowed into my mind from that source.-When I preached or conversed according to my best convictions peace reigned in my heart, and truth enlarged my understanding: conviction and reverence for the truth at such times seemed to reign in the hearts of those that heard me; at times however, some were ready to gnash their teeth, for the truth that they would not receive and could not resist.
I counted the cost to myself and family of embracing snch [such] views, until I could read it like the child his alphabet, either upward or downward. The expense I viewed through unavoidable tears both in public and private, by night and by day: I said however, the Lord He is God, I can, I will embrace the truth.
When I considered the weakness of the human mind and its liability to be deceived, I re-examined and held converse with the most able opposers to Mormonism, in a meek and teachable spirit. But the ease with which may wearing
a high profession of piety, turned aside the force of palpable truth, or leaned on tradition for inextricable difficulties, that they could not solve into harmony with their professions, was very far from dissuading me from my new views. What could I do? Truth had taken possession of my mind; plain, simple, bible truth. It might be asked if I could not expel it from my door: yes I could do it; but how would that harmonize with a sincere profession to preach and practise [practice] the truth by way of example for others? It was a crisis I never shall, I never can forget. I remember it as an exodus from parents, kindred, denomination and temporal support. Has any one ever passed such a crisis, they will say at least be careful of Br. Spencer's character and feelings.
Little as I supposed that I cared about popularity, competence, or the fellowship of those who were sincerely in error; when I came to be stretched upon the altar of sacrifice, and the unsheathed blade that was to exscind from all these hung over me with perpendicular exactness. Then, then, brother I cried unto the Lord to strengthen me to pass through the scene with his approbation.
While I was enquiring [inquiring], to know what the Lord would have me to do, many brethren of different denominations warned and exhorted me faithfully: but their warnings consisted very much in a lively exhibition of evils to be endured if I persisted, or in other words, they appealed to my selfish nature; but I knew too well that truth should not be abandoned through the force of such appeals, however eloquently urged. Some with whom I conversed, gave glowing descriptions of the obnoxious character of Joseph Smith, and of the contradictory and unscriptural jargon of the Book of Mormon, but it was their misfortune usually, to be deplorably ignorant of the true characters of either.
Of the truth of this statement many instances might be furnished, if the limits of my sheet would allow. My own solicitude to know the character of Mr. Smith in order to judge of the doctrines propagated by him, was not so great as that of some others. My aversion to the worship of man is both educational and religious; but I said boldly concerning Mr. Smith, that whoever had arranged and harmonized such a system of irresistible trnth [truth] has borne good fruit. Some suggested that it would be wisdom to make a personal acquaintance with Mr. Smith previous to embracing his doctrines; but to me the obligation to receive the truths of heaven seemed absolute, whatever might be the character of Mr. Smith.
I read diligently the Book of Mormon from beginning to end, in close connection with the comments of Origen Bachelor, Laroy Sunderland, and Dr. Hurlburt, together with newspapers and some private letters obtained from the surviving friends of Mr. Spaulding, the supposed author of that Book. I arose from its perusal with a strong conviction on my mind that its pages were graced with the pen of inspiration. I was surprised that so little fault could be found with a book of such magnitude, treating as it did of such diversified subjects, through a period of so many generations. It appeared to me that no enemy to truth or godliness would ever take the least interest in publishing the contents of such a book; such appeared to me to be its godly bearing, sound morality and harmony with ancient scriptures that the enemy of all righteousness might as well proclaim the dissolution of his own kingdom, as to spread the contents of such a volume among men: and from that time to this, every effort made by its enemies to demolish, has only shown how invincible a fortress defends it. If no greater breach can be made upon it than has hitherto been made by those who have attacked it with the greatest animosity and diligence, its overthrow may be considered a forlorn hope. On this subject I only ask the friends of pure religion to read the Book of Mormon with the same unprejudiced, prayerful and teachable spirit that they would recommend unbelievers in the ancient scriptures to read those sacred records. I have not spoken of the external evidence of the truth of the Book of Mormon, which is now worthy of much consideration; but the internal evidence I think will satisfy every honest mind.
As you enquire [inquire] after the reasons that operated to change my mind to the present faith, I only remark that Stevens' Travels had some influence, as an external evidence of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
My present view after which you also enquire [inquire] is that, the evidence both internal and external have been multiplied-it may have caused surprise and wonder to many of my respected and distinguished friends in New England how I could ever renounce a respectable standing in the churches and in the ministry to adhere to a people so odious in every one's mouth and so revolting to every one's natural liking. The answer in part is this: As soon as I discovered an identity in the doctrines of the Latter-Day Saints and the Ancient Saints, I enquired [inquired] whether the treatment bestowed upon each was also similar: I immediately began to dig deep to find the foundation and cornerstone of the true church, I looked narrowly at
the demeanor and character of those who surrounded the Ancient Saints. The result of my observation seemed to be that even Jesus Christ had many objectionable points of character to those who observed him: those who were reputedly most conversant with Abraham, Moses, and other prophets of the Lord, pronounce him unfit for the respect and confidence of a pious community: and why did such men find so many objectionable points in the character and conduct of Jesus Christ? For substantially the same reasons that men of high intelligence and devotion find fault with Joseph Smith and his doctrines. Those who bore down with heavy opposition to Jesus Christ were honorable men, whose genealogy took in the worthiest ancestry: they were the orthodox expositors of revealed truth. Those who now oppose Joseph Smith, (a person ordained and sent forth by Jesus Christ,) occupy the same high and respectable standing, and manifest a similar bearing towards the reputed impostor of the present day. The ancient worthies were the repositories of learning, and so are the modern worthies. The ancients taught many things according to truth and godliness, and verily believed they were substantially right in faith and practice; this is also true of modern religious teachers.
But in reply to my own question, why the ancient religionists opposed Jesus Christ, I answer, in the first place they mistook his true character and conduct. In the second place they were palpably ignorant of the wisdom and godliness of many things in the character and conduct of Jesus Christ; they considered that there was absolutely a wide difference in the views and conduct of Jesus Christ and themselves. The same is true of many distinguished opposers to Mr. Smith: they consider that there is an irreconcileable [irreconcilable] between themselves and Mr. Smith; and Mr. Smith of course is in the wrong, and they are in the right. Now let us consider first, wherein the ancients mistook the character of Jesus Christ, and modern opposers to Mr. Smith do the same of him. The true character of Jesus Christ was very imperfectly known to those who opposed him in his own time. Many impostors that had preceded, had guarded the public mind against a repetition of further abuse. He was eyed with dark suspicion wherever he went; it may well be supposed that sage precaution against him was vehemently urged, lest through his great subtelty [subtlety] might mislead even some that were respectable.
And what could he do to disabuse the public mind-prejudice and calumny outrun and prepared a thorny reception for him in all places; and so thick and dark was the fog and cloud of misapprehension and falsehood that followed him, that dark suspicions and foul inferences would obtrude upon the minds even of the honest to weaken their convictions in his behalf, and shake their conclusions: the tale of calumny never lost in sharpness and effect by time nor distance. Those who had not the privilege of a personal acquaintance with Jesus, might be supposed to have no interest in favoring a personage, whose pretensions if countenanced would disturb their quietude, and impugn their motives, and threaten the prosperity of a system that they supposed as old as the days of Abraham, and teachings as orthodox as the sayings of Moses. But whatever was said or done by Jesus that could possibly be construed by prejudiced minds to his disadvantage, these things were heeded with readiness and published in the social circle and rivited [riveted] the butt of ridicule upon every mind; and those who loved a laugh at the expense of the innocent, could furnish stock for the purpose by retailing tales about the supposed impostor, that had their origin in misapprehension and falsehood. But they were well received and cheered by those who affected grave reverance [reverence] the Supreme Deity, while they could trample with scorn (unconsciously) upon the brightness of his glory in the person of his Son.
Now let me ask if the character and conduct of Mr. Smith, is not equally misunderstood by modern religionists-Mr. Smith only claims to be a prophet raised up to usher in the last dispensation; while Jesus Christ was more obnoxious in proportion to the superior magnitude of his claims as the Son of God. How difficult it is for persons in the present age, to form a correct estimate of the true character and views of Mr. Smith. The public mind is always forestalled concerning him. It is taken to be sound orthodoxy that there is no more need of prophets or revelations; the canon of scripture is full: consequently the man that will claim to be a prophet or revelator and seer, must be a base impostor and knave. With this educational prejudice sanctioned by the best men for a thousand years past, and riveted by solemn vows to abide in orthodoxy, they see as though they heard not. If excellent things are taught by Mr. Smith, it is considered more detestable and dangerous, because say they, if he did not mix so much good with his system he would not be so dangerous and so likely to deceive. Again can the people of this
country obtain a correct knowledge of the prophet through the religious prints. I apprehend they never will. Those who control the religious prints conceive they know in the premises, that God has not raised up such a prophet; therefore they will not tarnish the columns of their periodicals by publishing any thing favorable to him. While they feel bound to withhold whatever might commend the prophet, to the favorable regards of impartial men, they feel solemnly constrained to advertise the public of all rising heresies. Thus, while our supposed heresies are published from very questionable data, our real virtues are buried in oblivion-We do not murmur: if Jesus the master could not be known in his true character; but said with mingled pity and forgiveness, they know not what they do; we cannot expect better treatment from those who know but little of us while they say much to disadvantage. Paul did the ancient Saints much harm, and wasted them greatly; being ignorant of their true character, and unbelieving as to their doctrines. It is certain that Latter Day Saints have received much harm from those who are ignorant of their character, and unbelieving as to their doctrines. Religious Editors generally know very little of us except what they have learnt [learned] from our enemies. Jesus Christ was entirely stripped of his reputation by his enemies, and was put to death by learned yet ignorant zealots who were too self-wise to be taught by one whom they knew to be an impostor in the start; but those men were mistaken in the character of our Lord; and so are our enemies mistaken in the character and view of the modern prophet. My own personal observation teaches that it is a very difficult matter to instill into the minds of Sectarian Churches a true knowledge of the faith and practice of latter Day Saints. Though one should go among them that was once highly esteemed by them, they are alarmed at his approach; and his virtues are concerned to render him more deserving of a repulse. His influence say they may be formidable, we must not bid him God speed; consequently he is not asked to pray in the family, or public meeting. If he can by great effort get an opportunity to preach, it not thought advisable for any body to go to hear him, lest they should be led away by his errors. Thus, you see Br., how difficult in former and latter days to bring the true faith to the knowledge of men through prejudice. They are prejudged a matter of which they are almost entirely ignorant. This same motion of treating new matters has veiled the Sun in darkness and hung the Prince of Life in agonies. How long shall this treatment of the Saints be persisted in? How long shall prophets be persecuted and slain without being fully known, and the servants of God be excluded from an impartial hearing, when they seek to publish good tidings, even salvation to the inhabitants of the earth? Now let me ask my former friends in the Eastern Churches, with whom I once held sweet intercourse, how it is possible for the latter day Saints to introduce their views among the sectarian churches and the world, with any more favorable reception than the ancient saints had in introducing theirs. Prejudice and persecution faced them down always, and so it is in these days. It is certainly a mistaken idea to suppose that people are much better now than they were anciently when the true gospel was misunderstood and its promoters sincerely account disturbers and heretics worthy of exemplary punishment. But say the wise and great men among the Sectarian Churches, "we do understand the true gospel, and have already embraced it; and it is only error and heresy that we oppose, and the weight of our contempt and ridicule is hurled at impostors and knaves who palm off gross deceptions upon the public and lead captive ignorant zealots by pretended revelations and spurious miracles. But do they not know that substantially the same charge was brought against Jesus Christ and the primitive disciples. But let it be proved that we are what our enemies call us; let us file our respective pleas and come to a speedy and impartial trial; to this our opposers will not consent; they intend to employ all the advantage of education and prejudice to exclude us from a hearing, so did the opposers of the ancient Saints. But I solemnly ask whether it has ever been necessary in any moral enterprize [enterprise] for those who have the truth on their side, especially gospel truth, to defend that truth by foreclosing discussion, and shunning public investigation; and then carry on their depredations by the use of such small arms as ridicules and preconceived objections that need only to be brought to the light, to be dissipated like fog in the meridian Sun.
Do Temperance Lecturers, Bible and Education Agents and other moral reformers find it necessary to carry on their enterprizes [enterprises] by such means? Do they seek to avoid an open and frank discussion with the intemperate portions of community? Do they avoid a manly investigation because the intemperate portions of community confine in their life and conduct beastly sottishness, unprovoked abuse to wives and children a prodigal waste of competence,. and ample fortunes, and the overthrow of intellect, and the dissolution of all moral ties? No, by no means! They seek the broad day light
of public discussion, because they know the truth and power of that side of the cause which they have espoused. They know that intemperance cannot survive the impartial observation of good men. All we ask is that the word of God may have free course. We wish that it may come distinctly to the knowledge of men that they may sit in impartial judgment upon it. By word of God we mean not only what was revealed for the ancients specially, but also what is now revealed for this generation. Oh, says the objector, he wants to have the word of Jo Smith have a free circulation, and this we oppose, because it is blasphemous and preposterous. Yes, we want the word of God by Joseph Smith, to be known and read of all men, because it is written not with ink, but the spirit of the living God. What were Peter, Elijah, or Moses, but earthen vessels by whom God communicated his own knowledge, and power, and glory. Does not the word by Joseph comment itself to every man's conscience where it is heard with due candor. I have never seen that person who had read the Book of Mormon and the Book of doctrine and Covenants entirely through, with an earnest desire to know whether it was of God or not, who could raise any worthy objection against them. A few isolated portions of these Books are often selected out and made to speak some other besides their true meaning, and thereby a dislike for these books is created, consequently some refuse to read them at all, while some others read only to confirm their preposessions [prepossessions] and prejudices. And superficial enquirers [inquirers] hear with credulity that such a minister, Editor or, Professor of some College, has published an expose or refutation of Mormonism that will inflict a fatal wound upon this glaring and blasphemous heresy.-Now it is well known that the novelties of this age are so many and various, that no man has time to examine into them all; and many consider that a hint from a pious Editor or distinguished Reviewer against, Mormonism is sufficient apology for them not to examine it. Now, under these considerations it is easy to divine that the doctrines of Latter-day Saints must travel through obstacles and difficulties of the greatest magnitude. And I am ready dear Br., to mourn over the prospect, because many bad men, and some good men will fight against the faith not knowing what they do. My bosom heaves with the deeper concern, because I know this to be the true gospel, and that it will prevail, even though the foe should be so great and powerful as the Lords enemies were in the days of Noah. Pardon my assurance when I say that those beautiful systems call benevolent operations, must come to nought [naught]; not because they are not honestly designed for some good effect, but because they are a mixture of human devise with the wisdom of God or the gospel perverted. I know too, that these beautiful systems, together with the various orders of sectarianism cannot well be vanquished without a desperate struggle ensues Sectarianism is old and venerable, and having undergone many costly repair without much substantial improvement; it can never be demolished without violent resistance. There is an air of sacredness around it that will stimulate its votaries insensibly. And when they are assailled [assailed] the strong hand of eternal bible truth, rather than to see their fortress taken by the illiterate followers of the despised prophet, will summon to their aid the worst passions and push matters to the greatest extremities. These remarks are amply supported by the history of the past, both in respect to former and Latter Day Saints. See the ancient Jew of our Lord's day-his piety was scrupulously exact. He knew the worth of his religion by the pains and expense it had cost him. Every thing had with great trouble been fashioned into a system of sacredness. They had been striving hard for a beautiful system of perfection that would commend them to God, and mourned that many of Abraham's children should teach that there was no resurection [resurrection] &c. and not harmonize with them in bearing heavy burdens in order to save men's souls; and when an obscure personage spring up, and broke over their rules of piety, and mingled with the profane without ceremoneous [ceremonious], and was seen to drink wine probably, and eat with the boisterous and odious classes of society, without pretending to wash away the contagion that accrued, and to travel on the sabbath day, and to pluck ears of corn without any signs of confession, and to heap harsh soundings and heavy anathemas [anathema's] the most intelligent and devoted men of the age, and claim to be a prophet, while he ignorantly conversed with an adulterous woman:-All this; the scrupulous Jew could not and would not bear; And his anger was heightened to madness when he found that many adhered to the new Teacher, and occasionally a person of wealth and standing was won over to the imposter [impostor] by his artifice and juglery [juggling]. And as the influence of this odious personage spread especially among the common people who had not sufficient sagacity to detect his fraudulent tricks; and as the orthodoxy and piety of the children of Abraham and Moses began to be suspected and even preached in synagogues that were too holy for such pollution, the devoted children of Abraham became exasperated if we
let him alone say they, all men will believe on him; fearful to use the rod and power by reason of the Romans to the utmost rigor; they at first sought to render him obnoxious to Cæsar; but as measures successively failed, they thirsted for his blood until their pious malice was glutted in his expiring agonies. Then thought they, every body may know that his miracles are all a humbug because he could not save himself. Now brother, I ask you to stop and make a full pause by way of reflection. How do devoted sectarians entertain the Latter Day Saints? Not surely by a candid exposure of our errors coupled with a patient effort to reclaim us. By no means. Said a highly respectable Deaconess: "Br. Spencer, I would rather have heard that you were dead." She know in the general that I had embraced Mormonism. But of the true character of mormonism she was grossly ignorant; and she was actually driven into fits when she found I defended the doctrines of Latter Day Saints. Look at the conduct of devoted sectarians towards the Latter Day Saints, and mark the resemblance to that of ancient Jews to former Saints. The same proscriptive spirits reigns now as then. The same spirit that dictated expulsion from the sysnagogue [synagogue] then, now closes the doors of meeting houses against us. The same spirit that closed men's ears against the burning eloquence of Stephen then, counsels men not to hear or go nigh Mormon preachers now.
You ask if the Latter Day Saints are persecuted; if so, by whom are they persecuted? The answer is a painful one; because it inculpates those who were bound by many tender ties. As a people we have been truly persecuted from the beginning. From the moment we embrace this doctrine, in most cases we are virtually banished from friends, and rank, and station, and business. Says the venerated father, "if you have embraced that doctrine my son, I never want to see your face any more." Says the partner in trade, if you are a Mormon, we must dissolve partnership forthwith. If such an one occupying an important office of profit and honor does not give up his Mormonism, we will sue him at the law, and calumniate him and embarrass him until he is ousted and broken up, and obliged to leave our village. We are separated from men's company while the licentious, and profane and intemperate are suffered to dwell in peace.-While our opposers cherish to their bosom the rankest infidels, they repulse us with disdain; though none can point out ought wherein we differ from the ancient apostles and prophets. Almost daily my eyes behold those who have suffered too much to mention. But I would rather refer you to printed documents than to attempt a description of the sufferings of our people in Missouri. From forty to sixty of our brethren suffered death by violent hands, in Missouri, and as many more in consequence of the abuse and privations to which they were exposed by an infuriated, and blood-thirsty mob; and the disappointment, privations and homeless condition of survivers [survivors] was very great. Many widows and orphans knew not what to do, having just begun to live in a comfortable and thriving manner. They had almost forgotten their first sorrow of parting from early friends and possessions, when lo! the hideous mob came upon them; at one blow their homes were made desolate; in some instances father and son were no more: their sufferings in planting themselves anew in this state without means or friends though I have often heard them told, I will not attempt to rehearse. Perhaps some will say we understand the Mormons were in fault in that matter and brought merited sufferings themselves by their misconduct. The same has always been understood to be true of all persecuted Saints. The greater part of people probably thought Stephen deserved the punishment that terminated his life.
The same might be said of John the Baptist, who meddled with the matrimonial concerns of those who did not acknowledge his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The prophet Elijah was designated to death because he troubled Israel. Daniel refused lawful obedience to the established Governor of the realm. In short, persecutors in every age, have always had a plausible pretext for their doings, in the popular estimation of their own day and age. You ask by whom we are persecuted? In reply, I could mention as instigators of mobs, the names of a Baptist missionary, a Methodist and Presbyterian minister. You may also be apprised that ex-gov. Boggs, of Missouri, made affidavit that Joseph Smith was accessary [accessory] to an attempt to murder him; and that Gov. Carlin, of Illinois, in the face of Superabundant testimony, and law, gave a warrant to arrest him, (Joseph Smith) on that affidavit. A heavy reward has been offered for his apprehension. And bold menaces are occasionally hung over our heads, that we as a people shall be driven from the state. These things have a tendency to check our prosperity. In one instance some of our brethren were kidnapped by Missourians, from this state, and put to shame and scourging. The malignant and vexatious lawsuits to which our people have been subject, are exceedingly numerous, and owing to our impoverished condition, rendered sometimes distressing. But none of these things
move us, because we know that if they have hated the Master they will also hate the disciples. Such as are born of the bond woman will persecute them that are born of the free woman. But it seems like a discouraging effort to attempt to convince our opposers that we are persecuted, because editors and other philanthropic men are reluctant to tell to the public our side of the matter. They themselves would thereby become suspected of espousing our cause. Men are so sensitive on the subject of our religion that whoever speaks peaceably of it perils his influence and reputation. But hireling editors and priests will speak and publish against us.
You ask me to give an account of the faith which I have embraced. I believe that Jesus Christ is God, co-eternal with God the Father, and that such as have the knowledge of the gospel and believe upon him will be saved; and such as believe not will be damned. I believe the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God. I believe that every person should be born, not only of the spirit, but also of the water, in order to enter into the kingdom of God. There are three that bear witness on earth, as there are three that bear record in heaven.-The spirit, the water, and the blood, bear concurrent testimony to our obedience on earth; for the want of any one, or all of these witnesses on earth, in our favor, there will be no registry of our perfect acceptance in heaven. Hence the baptism for the dead. The righteous dead have a merciful provision made for them in the testimony of the three witnesses on earth, which secures a record of their perfect acceptance in heaven, without which they cannot attain to the highest glory. I believe in the resurrection of the dead, the righteous to life eternal, and the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt. I believe that repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, are among the elementary and cardinal truths of the gospel.
In some, and indeed many respects do we differ from sectarian denominations. We believe that God is a being that has both body and parts, and also passions. Also in the existance [existence] of the gifts, in the true church, spoken of in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. I believe that every church in gospel order has a priesthood, consisting of Prophets, Apostles, Elders, &c., and that the knowledge and power of a priesthood, ordained of God, as the ancient priesthood was, is indispensibly [indispensably] necessary to the prosperity of the church. I do not believe that the canon of sacred scripture was closed with the revelation of John; but that wherever God has a true church there he makes frequent revelation of his will; and as God takes cognizance of all things, both temporal and spiritual, his revelations will pertain to all things whereby his glory may be promoted, and the temporal and spiritual well being of his people is advanced. Any people that are destitute of the teachings of prophets and apostles, which come by immediate revelation, will soon fall into divisions and strifes, and depart from the truth as it is in Jesus.
You wish to know "what is the personal character and influence, doctrines and claims of him who is called the leader, Joseph Smith.-Joseph Smith, when the great designs of heaven were first made known to him, was not far from the age of seventeen. From that time to this he has had much said about him, both of a favorable and unfavorable nature. I shall only speak of his character as I believe it to be from an intimate acquaintance of more than one year; and from an intimate acquaintance with those who have been with him many years. No man is more narrowly watched by friends and enemies than Joseph Smith; consequently, if he were as as good a man as any prophet that has preceded him, he would have as violent enemies as others have had. But I hasten to give my own opinion. I firmly avow in the presence of God, that I believe Mr. Joseph Smith to be an upright man, that seeks the glory of God, in such a manner as is well pleasing to the Most High God. Naturally, he is kind and obliging, pitiful and courteous; as far from dissimulation as any man; frank and loquacious to all men, friends or foes. He seems to employ no studied effort to guard himself against misrepresentation, but often leaves himself exposed to misconstructions, by those who watch for faults. he is remarkably cheerful for one who has seen well tried friends martyred around him, and felt the inflictions of calumny-the vexation of law suits-the treachery of intimates-and multiplied violent attempts upon his persona and life, together with the cares of much business. His influence, after which you inquire, is very great. His friends are as ardently attached to him as his enemies are violently opposed. Free toleration is given to all opposing religions, but wherever he is accredited as a prophet of the living God, there you will perceive, his influence must be great. That lurking fear and suspicion that he may become a dictator, or despot gradually gives place to confidence and fondness, as believers become acquainted with him.
In doctrine Mr. Smith is eminently scriptural. I have never known him to deny or depreciate a single truth of the Old and New Testaments;
but I have always known him to explain and defend them in a masterly manner.-Being anointed of God, for the purpose of teaching and perfecting the church, it is needful that he should know how to set in order the things that are wanting to bring forth things new and old, as a scribe well instructed. This office and apostleship he appears to magnify; at his touch the ancient prophets spring into life, and the beauty and power of their revelations are made to commend themselves with thrilling interest to all that hear.
You inquire, Does he claim to be inspired? Certainly he does claim to be inspired. He often speaks in the name of the Lord, which would bo [be] rank hypocrisy and mockery, if he were not inspired to do it. It seems very difficult for those who stand at the distance of many generations from the true prophets, to realize what prophets are, and what ought to be expected from them. I do not chide them for their ignorance and folly, however, because I have nothing to boast of previous to embracing the faith of the Latter Day Saints. I understand that prophets may speak as they are moved by the Holy Ghost, at one time, while they may be very far from being moved by the Holy Ghost as they speak at another. They may be endowed with power to perform miracles and mighty deeds at one time, while they have no authority, and there is uo [no] suitableness in doing the same at another time. You ask, Is he a man of prayer? of a pure life? of peace?-Does he appear at the head of his troops as a military commander? These questions I answer according to the best knowledge I have in the affirmative. As a people we perform military duty, as the laws of the State of Illinois enjoin and require. The Legion answers the purpose to keep the lawless and mobocratic at a respectful distance; and the more "earthquake and storm" our enemies raise about the Nauvoo Legion, and a military chieftain, like the ancient Mahomet, the greater fear and dread of us will be conveyed to ths [the] minds of the lawless, who watch for prey, and spoil, and booty. I can assure you that neither Mr. Smith, nor any other intelligent Latter Day Saint, ever intends to make one convert by the sword. Neither are we such teetotal [teetotaler] peace-makers that any savage banditti of lawless depredators could waste our property, violate virtue and shed innocent blood, without experiencing from us a firm defence [defense] of law, of right, and innocence.-We are to this day very sensitive to a repetition of past wrongs, that we still smart under. The Lord our God, who was once called (by a man after his own heart.) a "man of war," we trust will be our defence [defense] and strong tower in the day of battle, if our country should ever call us to scenes of carnage and blood.
You ask, What is the nature of the worship among you, and wherein does it differ from that of religious people with whom you have been acquainted elsewhere? On the Sabbath some person usually preaches a sermon, after prayer and singing, and perhaps reading some scripture. We have also frequent prayer meetings, in which all that are so disposed may join.-The gifts are variously exercised, sometimes in the way of prophecy, or in tongues; sometimes in discerning of spirits, or interpretation of tongues. The ordinance of baptism, together with the imposition of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost is administered as occasion may require. Thus you will perceive that our worship differs from what we both have been accustomed to in time past. Anxious seats, and enquiry [inquiry] &c. are not in use at all with us; although converts to our faith have swelled our numbers greatly in every year that is past, yet we are very far from employing any blustering efforts to convert men. The spirit of God attends the truth with sufficient power to save the upright, while those that hold the truth in unrighteousness, and contend with it, are beyond the legitimate exercise of divine power to save, and are led captive by the devil at his will. Our worship differs from that of other religious people, inasmuch as we have the knowledge of God, and the true doctrine and order of his kingdom beyond all perplexing doubt and diversity of opinion. It is utterly impossible for intelligent and devoted sectarian clergy to lead their hearers into any considerable knowledge of God, for this very potent reason, that they neither know much of him themselves, nor indeed have they the means of knowing him. For this they are not at all culpable,; but the fact is nevertheless incontrovertible. I do not speak now to please men, nor to mortify them; but I know it to be true, my brother, and therefore speak it boldly. Are you offended? will you stop here and throw down my letter with contempt, as though an ignorant upstart had abused you? If I write plainly it is with deep and painful emotions.-While writing I can hardly suppress a flood of tears. I know the dilemma in which many of my religious brethren are placed, and the extreme difficulty of approaching them, but whether thy hear or forbear, I must tell them that it is out of their power to attain to any considerable knowledge of the true and living God. But say they, have we not got the good old bible, which makes men wise unto salvation? You
have indeed those venerable truths which have many ages since made men wise unto salvation; and those truths will teach you, if you take heed to them, that the Gentiles have been broken off from the covenant favor of God, as the Jews were; But those scriptures cannot impart to you the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they cannot ordain and qualify you to teach and preach the gospel, and administer the ordinances; they cannot give you promises and revelations that are expresly [expressly] for you.
When the apostle Paul was in danger of being shipwrecked with his crew, (see acts of Apostles,) it would have been poor consolation to him to read the ancient history of Jonah's shipwreck, and pray over the subject, in order to know how the voyage would result to him; but how much greater his consolation, and how much more certain his knowledge, when God ministers to him by visions and angels, and promises both him & the crew preservation. Philip wanted no better assurance of his duty to go to Gaza, than for an angel of God to tell him to go; but if he had pored [poured] over ancient revelations with prayerful anxiety in order to know the same, it would have been a poor guide. The New Testament saints did not lean upon Old Testament revelations for the knowledge of present duties, or for aid in their present contingencies. They looked directly to God for present, fresh instruction and aid-they obtained what they looked for. The ancient Jews, (cotemporary [contemporary] with Christ,) that leaned on the venerated sayings of Abraham and Moses, and other eld [old] prophets, abode in darkness, and became the prey of foul spirits, while the advocates of present revelations were mighty through God, in signs and wonders, and marvellous [marvelous] deeds. Now let the religious people of this day depend exclusively upon the ancient scriptures, rejecting present revelations and they will be filled with ignorance, and the spirit of unrighteousness will possess them; and they cannot act with that certainty and power that those can who know for themselves, by immediate revelation. But I have said it is impossible for them to know much of the true God. The careful observer knows that what one sect or denomination teaches for doctrine, another will controvert and deny.-There is not that power in the doctrine of any one sect that gives them much ascendancy over any other sect. The doctrines of all sects though adverse to each other, are about equally weighty and plausible; no one gets any considerable ascendancy. If there appears to be light in one sect over another sect, it shows an equal amount of an opposite character.
It is an acknowledged duty of parents, in this church, to teach their children the elementary principles of religion, training them up in the way they should go. You ask if they are instructed in learning. As a people we aim most diligently to give our children learning.-Our persecutions, oppression, and poverty have operated greatly to the disadvantage of our children: still we have a chartered University, that promises much benefit to us; and common schools are extensively multiplying throughout the city.
The present population of the city is from ten to twelve thousand. You ask, What is their condition, occupation, and general character? The condition of the people is as prosperous as circumstances will permit. Many of them, like Jacob of old, have left a good patrimony at home that they are not benefitted [benefited] from, by reason of their being every where spoken against. But though they had nothing but their staff in hand and a little bundle upon their back when they came, they have now in many instances a comfortable cottage, a flourishing garden, and a good cow. There are many instances of families being subject to privations, beyond what they were accustomed to in early days; and there are some instances of deep penury, through sickness, persecution, and other uncontrolable [uncontrollable] causes; and there are also instances of wealth, but be assured, sir, there is not a more contented and cheerful people to be found. Families will consent to let father and brother go out to preaching, when their daily bread is barely supplied for a few months. Believing as we do, that these are the last days, and that signal matters await this generation: and that the harvest must be gathered soon, if at all, you must not marvel if we do not all at once become rich, and build large houses, and enclose productive farms.-If riches were our object, we might readily gratify the most ambitious grasp. We possess every facility for being rich; but we long to behold the beauty of the Lord, and enquire [inquire] in his holy Temple. The place of His sanctuary, which we greatly desire to beautify, is a site of surpassing natural beauty. Upon it stands the incomplete structure of a Temple-in dimension a little over one hundred and twenty-eight feet long, by eighty eight feet wide, to be elevated in height a little under fifty feet; the walls are made of well wrought, handsome stone. The inhabitants are very industrious; being occupied in agriculture and the various mechanic arts. Our people are mostly the working classes of community, from the United States and Great Britain and her Provinces. They are a very intelligent people, especially so far as common sense and a general knowledge of men and things are concerned. Our elders are versed in religious
polemics, from discussions in the pulpit, stage, bar-room, canal and steamboat, of the fireside, and high-way side: and perhaps you are not aware that many, very many, are from the most enlightened portions of New England; men that have been rocked in the cradle of orthodoxy and liberty; accustomed to fatigue, privation and opposition; and knowing that heir religion has more light and truth, and the power of the Holy Ghost to support it, than any other that has existed since the days of the apostles; they are prepared to endure all things with the assurance that their reward is great in heaven. You wish to know the general character of the people. There is probably less profanity, drunkenness, lewdness, theft, fighting, gambling and tavern haunting, than in any other city of the same magnitude.
But I must close my answer to your many and minute inquiries, having already protracted them beyond my original design. Your letter contains many important enquiries [inquiries] similar indeed to what I have received from other distinguished friends from different parts of the Union; and you will accept my apology for not answering at an earlier date; and though I design this epistle to be a general answer to all similar enquries [inquiries], yet shall hereafter readily reciprocate all private communications in the usual method of friendship and affect ion.
Most sincerely and truly yours, ORSON SPENCER.
Brother Spencer is a graduate of Union College, New York, and has for many years had a respectable standing as a minister in the "Baptist Church;" and as he is generaly [generally] known in the New England States, we presume that the above logical and conclusive expose of our principle, will be read with interest, by his numerous friends, and by all the Saints.-ED]
TIMES AND SEASONS,
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MONDAY JANUARY 2, , 1843.
THE RELEASE OF GEN. JOSEPH SMITH.
We are happy to have it in our power to state, that the distinguished individual above named is once more free, and the illegal prosecution, and persecution which has been instituted against him by ex-Gov. Boggs, Gov. Reynolds of Missouri, and ex-Gov. Carlin of this State, has terminated successfully in behalf of the innocent and unoffending; and we have had one striking instance of the dignity and purity of our laws being held inviolate, despite of executive influence and intrigue, and the influence of misrepresentation and bigotry.
Mr. Smith had long been convinced of the illegality of the proceedings which were instituted against him; but he at the same time thought that when public excitement was so great, and popular prejudice so strong, that it would be hazardous for him to place himself in the hands of any of the minions of Ex-Gov. Carlin-judging (very correctly) that if that gentleman had issued a writ illegally, and unconstitutionally for his apprehension, he might use an unwarrantable, executive influence in having him delivered up to the justice (i. e. injustice) of the State of Missouri.
But while on the one hand he feared, and had reason to fear, usurped executive power; he as firmly believed that if he could obtain a fair and impartial hearing before the judiciary that there was sufficient strength, and virtue in the laws, to deliver him from the unjust influence, and mal-administraton [administration] of his enemies.
Feeling fully convinced of the justice of his cause, he repaired to Springfield, about two weeks ago, for the purpose of obtaining a hearing, (and as he believed) receiving and acquittal from the District Court of the United States, for the district of Illinois.
The Secretary of State had been instructed to send for the writ issued by Gov. Carlin, that Mr. Smith might have the privilege of the Habeas Corpus and of having the legality and constitutionality of the writ tested.
But as Ex-Governor Carlin, or the sheriff of Adams county, or both, were either afraid of having their deeds investigated, or wished to set at defiance the law; the writ was not forthcoming; and after the great hue and cry that has been made about Joseph Smith's fleeing from justice, he was absolutely under the necessity of petitioning Governor Ford to issue another writ before he conld [could] obtain a hearing before the court. For the purpose of answering the ends of justice, and that Mr. Smith might be legally and fairly dealt with, Governor Ford issued another writ, which was a copy of the one issued by Gov. Carlin. Mr. Smith then petitioned the United States district court for a writ of Habeas Corpus, which was granted and he appeared before that court on Saturday the 30th of December, 1842, and gave bail for his appearance at court on Monday. Mr. Lansbourn [Lamborn], the Attorney General of the State of Illinois, appeared in behalf of the State, and Mr. Butterfield was counsel for Gen. Smith.
On Monday Mr. Lamborn requested of the court a little time, stating that the subject was new to him, that it was one of great importance,
that he had not had an opportunity of investigating it, and he hoped that the court would indulge him with one or two days; the court granted him that privilege, and the trial was postponed until Wednesday, the 4th of January. Mr. Lamborn objected to the proceedings on the ground that the United States Court had no jurisdiction in this case, and that it belonged to the courts of this State to adjudicate in this matter: he moreover contended that they could not go behind the writ, to try the guilt, or innocence of the accused party: his objections however were overruled by the court.
Mr. Edwards and Butterfield shewed [showed] in a very lucid manner that Mr. Lamborn was in the dark concerning this matter-and Mr. Butterfield contended that in this case, and under the circumstances of the issuing of this writ, the United States district court not only had jurisdiction; but that it had exclusive jurisdiction. He also shewed [showed] very clearly that although they had no right to go behind the writ when judgment was rendered that they had a perfect right where that was not the case; he quoted several authorities in defence [defense] of the position that he took, and very clearly shewed [showed] that the course which he had taken in this affair, was strongly supported by law, that he was sustained by the constitution of the United States, and by a law of Congress based upon the constitution, and by all former precedents. He then exposed in a very able manner the corruption of Governor Reynolds of Missouri, and of Governor Carlin of Illinois, in relation to this matter, proving from their own documents that the steps which they had taken were illegal, that Governor Reynolds had no foundation to issue a writ, or to demand Joseph Smith from Governor Carlin on any thing that there was in the affidavit of Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri, and that he was obliged to add certain clauses in his demand which were not found in the body of the affidavit, before his claims upon this State could have the semblance of law, and that Governor Carlin with these lame documents before him wished to make it a little more plain, and added another addition, by way of codicil to the charge. He clearly shewed [showed] the progress of crime among those governors.-Ex-Governor Boggs' affidavit stated that "he believed, and had good reason to believe that Joseph Smith was accessory before the fact, and that he was a resident of Illinois." Governor Reynolds stated that it had been represented to him that Joseph Smith was accessory before the fact, and had fled from the justice of Missouri; and to make up the thing complete, Governor Carlin stated that he was a fugitive from justice, consequently neither Governor Reynolds nor Governor Carlin had any foundation whereon to base the issuing of a demand, proclamation, or writ.
After showing very clearly, the ignoranec [ignorance] and injustice of those executives-proving to a demonstration that Joseph Smith had not been in Missouri for three years: that he could not be a fugitive from justice, and that if he were guilty of being an accessary [accessory], the thing was not done in Missouri, and he could not be taken there to be tried; he concluded by saying, that all the difference there was between the Mormons and other professions was, that the different sects believed in the ancient prophets only, and the Mormons believed in both ancient and modern prophecy. Another distinction was, that the ancient prophets prophecied [prophesied] in poetry, and the modern ones on prose.
Judge Pope then stated that the court would give its decision the next morning.
On Wednesday morning the Judge in his decision investigated the whole matter, and in a very able manner sustained the views of Mr. Butterfield, and adduced additional testimony and evidence, in favor of the acquittal of Mr. Smith; and after a very learned and able address he concluded by saying, that "the decision of the court is that the prisoner be discharged; and I wish it entered upon the records in such a way, that Mr. Smith be no more troubled about this matter."
We hope to be able to furnish our readers with a corrected copy of the whole proceedings of this interesting trial.
We had the honor of accompanying General Smith to Springfield, together with about fourteen gentlemen from this place, and we were very much pleased with the excursion; we met with a great deal of courtesy and respect on our way to Springfield, and when we arrived there; both from the citizens generally, and also from Honorable members of the Legislature, indeed our presence seemed to dispel those deep prejudices which many had imbibed in consequence of misrepresentation and falsehood; and in our intercourse with them they perceived that the Mormons were affable, courteous, and intelligent; and in looking at our heads and feet they discovered that we had neither horns nor hoofs.
By the politeness of the Hon. Mr. Hackleton, speaker of the House of Representatives, we were favored with the privilege of speaking in the Legislative Hall; Elder Hyde preached in the morning, and myself in the afternoon; a large concourse of people attended, composed
of lawyers, judges, state officers, legislators, and citizens of Springfield, and many of them concluded that Mormonism was as reasonable, as scriptural; and that there was as much sound common sense, and a little more connected with it, than with any other system that they had heard, or investigated.
Upon the whole we had a very interesting visit, and in our short stay formed associations that will not soon be forgotten.
Much praise is due to Governor Ford, Judge Pope, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Edwards, and many other gentlemen, for the bold, independent, and patriotic course that they have pursued in relation to this matter; they have manifested a disposition to maintain inviolate the supremacy of the law; and that the Mormons shall have even handed justice administrated to them in common with all other citizens of the state.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner arrested me than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any thing to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broom county, a distance of about fifteen miles, before he allowed me any kind of food whatever. He took me to a tavern and gathered in a number of men, who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying prophesy, prophesy; and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Saviour [Savior] of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time not far distant from my own house. I wished to be allowed the privilege of spending the night with my wife, at home, offering any wished for security, for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat.-The constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only fare I that night received. At length we retired to bed; the constable made me lie next the wall: He then laid himself down by me, and put his arm around me; and upon my moving in the least would clench me fast, fearing that I intended to escape from him; and in this (not very agreeable) manner did we pass the night. Next day I was brought before the Magistrates court, of Colesville, Broom county, and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends and lawyers were again at my side; my former persecutors were arrayed against me. Many witnesses were again called forward and examined; some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods, and like to the false witnesses which had appeared against me the day previous, they contradicted themselves so plainly that the court would not admit their testimony. Others were called who shewed [showed] buy their zeal that they were willing enough to prove something against me; but all they could do was to tell some things which somebody else had told them. In this "frivolous and vexatious" manner did they proceed for a considerable time, when finally, Newell Knight was called up and examined, by lawyer Seymour, who had been especially sent for on this occasion. One lawyer Burch, also was on the side of the prosecution; but Mr. Seymour seemed to be a more zealous Presbyterian, and appeared very anxious and determined that the people should not be deluded by any one professing the power of Godliness; and not "denying the power thereof."
So soon as Mr. Knight had been sworn, Mr. Seymour proceeded to interrogate him as follows: Q. Did the prisoner, Joseph Shith [Smith], jr. cast the devil out of you? Ans. No sir. Q. Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you? A. Yes sir. Q. And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? A. Yes sir.-Q. And did not he cast him out of you? A. No sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him out of me in the name of Jesus Christ. Q. And are you sure that it was the devil? A. Yes sir. Q. Did you see him, after he was cast out of you? A. Yes sir, I saw him. Q. Pray, what did he look like? (Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer the question). The witness replied, I believe I need not answer your last question, but I will do it provided I be allowed to ask you one question, first, and you answer me, viz: Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things of the spirit! No, (answered Mr. Seymour) I do not pretend to such big things. Well then, (replied Knight,) it would be of no use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight, and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it, were I to tell you of it. The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience proclaimed his discomfiture. Mr. Seymour now addressed the court, and in a long and violent harangue endeavored to blacken my character and bring me in guilty of the charges which had been brought against me. Among others things, he brought up the story of my having been a money digger and in this manner proceeded, in hopes to influence the court and the people against me. Mr. Davidson, and Mr. Reed followed
on my behalf. They held forth in true colors, the nature of the prosecution; the malignancy of intention, and the apparent disposition to persecute their client, rather than to afford him justice. they took up the different arguments which had been brought by the lawyers for the prosecution, and having shewed [showed] their utter futility and misapplicatioa [misapplication] , then proceeded to scrutinize the evidence which had been adduced, and each in his turn, thanked God that he had been engaged in so good a cause as that of defending a man whose character stood so sell the test of such a strict investigation. In fact, these men, although not regular lawyers, were upon this occasion able to put to silence their opponents, and convince the court that I was innocent. they spoke like men inspired of God, whilst those who were arrayed against me trembled under the sound of their voices, and quailed before them like criminals before a bar of justice.
The majority of the assembled multitude had now began to find that nothing could be sustained against me: even the constable who arrested me, and treated me so badly, now came and apologised [apologized] to me, and asked my forgiveness of his behaviour [behavior] towards me; and so far was he changed that he informed me that the mob were determined that if the court acquitted me that they would have me, and rail ride me, and tar and feather me; and further, that he was willing to favor me, and lead me out in safety by a private way.
The court finding the charges against me not sustained, I was accordingly acquitted, to the great satisfaction of my friends, and vexation of my enemies, who were still determined upon molesting me, but through the instrumentality of my new friend, the constable, I was enabled to escape them and make my way in safety to my wife's sister house, where I found my wife awaiting with much anxiety the issue of those ungodly proceedings: and with her in company next day, arrived in safety at my own house.
After a few days however, I again returned to Colesville, in company with Oliver Cowdery, for the purpose of confirming those whom we had thus been forced to abandon for a time.-We had scarcely arrived at Mr. Knight's, when the mob was seen collecting together to oppose us, and we considered it wisdom to leave for home, which we did, without even waiting for any refreshment. Our enemies pursued us, and it was oftentimes as much as we could do to elude them; however, we managed to get home after having travelled [traveled] all night, except a short time, during which we were forced to rest ourselves under a large tree by the way side, sleeping and watching alternately. And thus were we persecuted on account of our religious faith-in a country, the constitution of which, guarantees to every man the indefeasible right , to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and by men too who were professors of religion, and who were not backward to maintain this privilege for themselves; though they thus wantonly could deny it to us. For instance, Cyrus M'Master, a Presbyterian of high standing in his church, was one of the chief instigators of these persecutions; and he at one time told me personally, that he considered me guilty, without judge or jury. The celebrated Doctor Boyington, also a Presbyterian, was another instigator to these deeds of outrage; whilst a young man named Benton, of the same religious faith, swore out the first warrant against me. I could mention many others also, but for brevity's sake will make these suffice for the present.
LETTER FROM JUSTIN BROOKS.
Kirtland, Ohio, Nov. 7, 1842.
BROTHER JOSEPH SMITH: SIR:-I now take the opportunity to inform you, the brethren in Nauvoo, and all that feel interested in this last dispensation of Almighty God, which has been committed to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that since our conference minutes were enclosed, Elders Wight, Green and Badlam have continued their labors in this place, up to this time, with great success; the Lord pouring out his spirit upon them and also upon the people. There have been, since the above stated time, several persons baptized, which have looked on, and have seen the rise and progress of this church from the commencement, and many smart, intelligent young men have also been ordained elders; amongst the number are Austin Babbit and William Wilson. The number ordained since conference is ten; and several persons have been baptized. The prospect now is that a great blessing will result to the inhabitants of this region of country, from the labors of the above named elders. The reformation which has taken place here has taken some of the most prominent members from among the Methodist; and the Presbyterians begin to think that Mormonism, as they call it, is not dead, as they supposed, in consequence of Bennett's apostacy [apostasy]. I am this moment informed that Priest Coe has withdrawn from his ministerial labors in the Presbyterian church, you will discover that it is not positive. Where the reformation that has begun will end, the Lord only knows: such an anxiety to learn the doctrines of this church, has never before
been manifest since the commencement of the church.
The elders are going to leave us this morning with the prayers and fellowship of the brethren in this region of country. Those which have been the most hostile in their feelings are perfectly friendly with Brother Wight, and have all invited him to call upon them.
The labors of the elders seem to have effected a union of all parties; and if I must give my opinion I think upon the right principle.
Twelve persons were baptized yesterday and information has just reached me that Brother Martin Harris has been baptized, and is now on his way home from the water. I would further state that Br. Wight expects to administer baptism to several persons in Painesville, on his way east. He further wishes me to state that he will write in a short time. Give my respects to sister Elvira Cowles and to all enquiring [inquiring] friends. Yours in the bonds of the gospel, and fellow laborer in the new and everlasting covenant, JUSTIN BROOKS.
PROTRACTED MEETING AND CONFERENCE.
Protracted Meeting, and Conference, held in Burk's Garden, Tazewell County, Virginia, by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: commencing Sept. 10th 1842.
Saturday 11 o'clock A. M.-A respectable audience being assembled at Union Grove, the meeting opened by singing; prayer by Elder J. M. Grant.
Elder W. A. Litz briefly addressed the audience on the subject of righteousness.
Elder Joshua Grant jr. then delivered a lengthy address from Matt. iii. 6, followed by Elders R. Kinnamon and Orange Wight.
After a short exhortation by Elder J. M. Grant, the meeting closed by singing.
Second day-Sabbath morning at the Grove, the services commenced by singing; prayer by Elder J. Grant jr.
Br. J. M. Grant then preached to the congregation from 2 Cor. iv . 17.
Br. J. Grant jr. continued the subject that he commenced on Saturday; he was followed by Brs. Kinnamon and Litz.
Br. J. M. Grant then called for candidates for baptism; four came and gave their hands with tears and solemnity; the ordinance of confirmation was then attended to, and the meeting closed by singing.
Third day-The people came together at the waster; 9 o'clock A. M., after which six were immersed. It was unanimously resolved that the meeting remove to the house of Br. Peter Litz, one mile north-west of the Grove-met at 10 o'clock and organized the conference by appointing Elder J. M. Grant president, and Geo M. Tibbs clerk.
The conference opened by singing, and prayer by the president, who addressed the conference from John xiii. 20.
Elder J. Grant jr. then addressed the conference. The official members were then called on, to represent the different branches of the church in this conference.
Br. George M. Tibbs represented the Little Nauvoo branch, in Withe county Virginia, consisting of thirty-one member, one priest, one teacher and one deacon.
Br. J. T. Crow represented the Rich Valley branch, in Smith county, twenty-four members and one priest.
Elder J. M. Grant represented the Burk's Garden branch, consisting of sixty members.
Elder J. Grant jr. represented the branch in Patrick county, consisting of sixteen members and one priest; (eight having moved to the west,) in Grayson county two members and one elder; he represented the church in Surry county, North Carolina, sixteen members and one teacher; in Stokes county, N. C., eleven members and one priest; after which the following persons were chosen and ordained as officer in the Burk's Garden branch.
Br. Adam Ritter to be ordained a priest.
Br. James Spencer, teacher.
Br. James Brunty, deacon.
Silas Eagle, teacher.
The Lord's Supper was then administered.
Br. G. M. Tibbs was chosen clerk for the Little Nauvoo and Rich Valley branches, and Adam Ritter for the Burk's Garden branch.
Br. Richard Kinnamon was chosen to preside over the church in Tazewell county, and Br. W. A. Litz to preside in Withe and Smythe branches; the ordinance of confirmation was then attended to, and a number of children blessed; after which it was unanimously resolved that this conference adjourn until the 6th of April 1843.
JEDEDIAH M. GRANT, Pres't. GEORGE M. TIBBS, Clerk.
P. S. The meeting continued two days after the conference, and it is worthy of remark that during the whole proceedings, for five days, the congregations were large and attentive, the most perfect order prevailed, the elders in all their remarks were warm and spirited; and when Elders J. M. and J. Grant, (at the close of the meeting) came to bid adieu to the saints and friends in Virginia, the scene was truly affecting: they left recommended by the saints, and hundreds of worthy citizens. GEORGE M. TIBBS, Clerk.
For the Times and Seasons
SATURDAY EVENING THOUGHTS.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
"My heart is fix'd"-I know in whom I trust. Of God.-To stand unwav'ring, undismay'd
'Twas not for wealth-'twas not to gather heaps And unseduc'd, when the base hypocrite
Of perishable things-'twas not to twine Whose deed take hold on hell, whose face is garb'd
Around my brow, a transitory wreath, With saintly looks drawn out by sacrilege
A garland deck'd with gems of mortal praise, From a profession, but assum'd and thrown
That I forsook the home of childhood; that Around him for a mantle to enclose
I left the lap of ease-the halo rife The black corruption of a putrid heart.-
With smiling friendship's soft and mellow tones- To stand on virtue's lofty pinnacle
Affection's fond caresses, and the cup Clad in the heav'nly robes of innocence,
O'erflowing with the sweets of social life, Amid that worse than every other blast-
Where high refinement's richest pearls were strew'd. The blast that strikes at moral character
Ah no! A holier purpose fir'd my soul- With floods of falsehood foaming with abuse.-
A nobler object prompted my pursuit: To stand, with nerve and sinew firmly steel'd,
Eternal prospects open'd to my view, When in the trying scale of rapid change,
And hope's celestial torch within me burn'd. Thrown side by side and face to face with that
Foul hearted spirit, blacker than the soul
God, who commanded Abraham to leave Of midnight's darkest shade, the traitor,
His native country, and to offer up The vile wretch that feeds his sordid selfishness
On the lone altar, where no eye beheld Upon the peace and blood of innocence-
But His who never sleeps an only son; The faithless, rottenhearted wretch, whose tongue
Is still the same, and thousands who have made Speaks words of trust and fond fidelity,
A covenant with him by sacrifice, While treach'ry like a viper, coils behind
Are bearing witness to the sacred truth, The smile that dances in his evil eye.-
Jehovah speaking? Yes, as heretofore. To pass the fiery ordeal, and to have
The proclamation sounded in my ear- The heart laid open-all its contents prov'd
It touched my heart-I hearken'd to the sound, Before the bar of strictest scrutiny.-
Counted the cost, and laid my earthly all To have the finest heart-strings stretch'd unto
Upon the altar, and with purpose fixed Their utmost length to try their texture.-To
Unalterably, while the spirit of Abide, with principle unchang'd, the wreck
Elijah's God, within my bosom reigns; Of cruel, tort'ring circumstances, which
Embrac'd the "Everlasting Covenant;" Ride forth on revolution's blust'ring gale.
To be a saint among the faithful ones
Whose race is measur'd by their life-whose prize But yet, altho' to be a saint, requires
Is everlasting, and whose happiness A noble sacrifice-an arduous toil-
Is God's approval, and to whom 'tis more A persevering aim; the great reward
Than meat and drink to do his righteous will. Awaiting the grand consummation, will
It is no trifling thing to be a saint Repay the price however costly; and
In very deed. To stand upright nor bow, The pathway of the saint, the safest path
Nor bend beneath the weighty burthen [burden] of Will prove, tho' perilous: for 'tis foretold,
Oppressiveness.-To stand unscath'd amid All things that can be shaken, God will shake:
The bellowing thunder and the raging storm Kingdoms, and Institutes, and Governments,
Of persecution, when the hostile pow'rs Both Civil and religious must be tried-
Of darkness, stimulate the hearts of men Tried to the core and sounded to the depth.
To warfare: to besiege, assault, aim
To overthrow the kingdom God has rear'd- Then let me be a saint, and be prepar'd
To stand unmov'd beneath the with'ring rock For the approaching day, which like a snare
Of vile apostacy [apostasy], when men depart Will soon surprise the hypocrite-expose
From the pure principles of righteousness- The rottenness of human schemes-shake off
Those principles requiring man to live Oppressive fetters-break the gorgeous reins
By ev'ry word proceeding from the mouth Usurpers hold, and lay the pride of man,
And glory of the nations low in dust!
Several thousands of Israelites of Poland Russia have, says a letter form Berlin, in the German Journal of Frankfort, entered into an engagement to proceed on the first favorable opportunity, to Jerusalem, there to wait in prayer and fasting, the coming of the Messiah.
There has been a very severe storm on the Lakes, which has occasioned many shipwrecks and much loss of property and life.
The Times and Seasons, is edited by John Taylor. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by John Taylor & Wilford Woodruff.
Terms.-Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any persons procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, Post Paid, or they will not receive attention.
|←Number 11|| [[../../]]
4, Number 12
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 12.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. MAY 1, 1843||[Whole No. 72.|
History of Joseph Smith
Sidney S. Rigdon was born in Saint Clair township, Alleghany [Allegheny] county, State of Pennsylvania, on the 19th of February, A. D. 1793, and was the youngest son of William Rigdon, his father, was a native of Hartford county, State of Maryland, was born A. D. 1743, and died May 26th A. D. 1810, in the 62d year of his age. William Rigdon was the son of Thomas Baker, and Ann Lucy Rigdon. Thomas Baker Rigdon was a native of the State of Maryland, who came from Great Britain.
Ann Lucy Rigdon, grandmother of Sidney S. Rigdon, was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and was there married to Thomas Baker Rigdon. Nancy Rigdon's mother was a native of Freehold, Monmouth county, New Jersey, was born March 16th, 1759, and died October 3d, 1839, and was the eldest daughter of Bryant Gallaher, who was a native of Ireland. Elizabeth Gallaher, mother to the said Nancy Rigden [Rigdon], was the second wife of the said Bryant Gallaher, and whose maiden name was Reed, and who was a native of Monmouth county, New Jersey. Their parents were natives of Scotland.
In giving an account of his parents, Elder Rigdon is of the opinion that he is of Norman extraction, and thinks that the name of Rigdon was derived from the French word Rig-o-dan, which signifies a dance, which language was spoken by the Normans, and that his ancestors came over to England with William the Conquerer. His father, William Rigdon, was a farmer, and he removed from the State of Maryland some time prior to his marriage; to the State of Pennsylvania; and his mother had removed some time prior to that, from the State of New Jersey to the same State; where they were married, and continued to follow agricultural pursuits. They had four children, viz: three sons, and one daughter. The eldest, sons, were called Carvil, Loami, and Sidney S., the subject of this brief history. The fourth, a daughter, named Lucy.
Nothing very remarkable took place in the youthful days of Elder Rigdon, suffice it to say, that he continued at home with his parents, following the occupation of a farmer until he was seventeen years of age, when his father died; after which event, he continued on the same farm with his mother, until he was twenty-six years of age. In his twenty-fifth year, he connected himself with a society which in that country was called Regular Baptists. The Church he united with, was at that time under the charge of the Rev. David Phillips, a clergyman from Wales. The year following, he left the farm and went to reside with the Rev. Andrew Clark, a minister of the same order. During his continuance with him, he received a license to preach in that society, and commenced from that time to preach, and returned to farming occupations no more. This was in March 1819.
In the month of May of the same year, he left the State of Pennsylvania and went to Trumball county, State of Ohio, and took up his residence at the house of Adamson Bentley, a preacher of the same faith. This was in July of the same year. While there, he became acquainted with Phebe Brook, to whom he was married on the 12th of June, A. D. 1820. She was a native of the State of New Jersey, Bridgetown, Cumberland county, and had previously removed to Trumball county, Ohio.-After his marriage he continued to preach in that district of country until November, 1821, when he was requested by the First Baptist Church of the city of Pittsburgh, to take the pastorial [pastoral] charge of said Church, which invitation he accepted, and in February, A. D. 1822, he left Warren, Trumball county, and removed to that city and entered immediately upon his pastorial [pastoral] duties, and contined [continued] to preach to that Church with considerable success. At the time he commenced his labors in that Church, and for some time before, the Church was in a very low state and much confusion existed in consequence of the conduct of their former pastor.-However, soon after Elder Rigdon commenced his labors, there was a pleasing change effected, for buy his incessant labors and his peculiar style of preaching, the Church was crowded with anxious listeners. The number of members rapidly increased, and it soon became one of the most respectable Churches in that city.-He was now a popular minister, and was much respected in that city, and all classes and persuasions sought his society. After he had been in that place some time, his mind was troubled and much perplexed, with the idea that the doctrines maintained by that society were not altogether in accordance with the
scriptures. This thing continued to agitate his mind, more and more, and his reflections open these occasions were peculiarly trying; for according to his views of the word of God, no other church that he was acquainted with was right, or with whom he could associate; consequently, if he was to disavow the doctrine of the church with whom he was then associated, he knew of no other way of obtaining a livelihood except by mental labor, and at that time had a wife and three children to support.
From the Courier de la Martinique, of Feb. 14, 1843.
More Particulars of the Earth-quake at Gaudalope [Guadeloupe].
There was in Saint Pierre but one cry of desolution [desolation]. Terror and consternation were depicted on all faces. All those who had an acquaintance, a friend, a relation, in the unhappy city, inquired after him. Such a one? Dead! Such a one? Dead! such a one wounded, and such a one wounded also. Oh, God! oh, God! what a great crimes had there been committed by this unfortunate city to be so cruelly visited?-When Jerusalem sold our Divine Lord and shed his blood, your anger did not fall so heavily upon that devoted city. The voice of your Prophet had announced her last hour, and she could not save herself from her impending fate. Your vengeance, though slow, was tremendous. You had charged men with the execution of your unalteralabe justice, and the city who had disavowed her God, and had caused the blood of the just man to flow, could redeem herself by her submission; but here, of God! neither submission nor repentance could save her; her hour was marked on the clock of eternity, and her doom must be accomplished.
Immediately zeal redoubles; persons run from door to door to ask for clothing; the daily labors are abandoned; the chest of the rich, the trunks of the poor, are emptied; and each one hurries to give all the linen he can spare. This is not all; in every house you may see the women and the children occupied in preparing lint. The exchange soon presents the same spectacle. Every where activity and labor prevails. They fear to lose time. They would say that for each moment lost it is a wounded man that utters his last groan,
However, the Mouche had only confirmed the news; the principal details were wanted. Her mission called her to Fort Royal. But some vessels arrived to-day from those places of desolation have told us all! We know but too much!! Our pen refuses to trace the picture of that destruction of a city, in which not a house is standing, not one! * * * * and which the fire continues to consume. The few wooden houses which the scourge had spared are a prey to the flames, which have made as many or more victims than the earthquake itself. Unfortunately people, who found themselves buried under the ruins, not being able to extricate themselves from the vast heaps of rubbish, reached by the fire, saw every chance of rescue vanished. The young girls, old men, women, half bruised between blocks of walls, demanded succors which were impossible; for the fire, advancing like a raging sea, rapidly emgulphed [engulfed] them. The violence of the elements frightened those whose courage and devotedness prompted them to brave all to snatch there unfortunates from their horrible death.
Saturday evening the city was still but a burning furnace!!! Finally, to terminate their sad recitals, here is a letter written upon the ruins of Point a Petre, to Mr. Baffin, a merchant of our city. It says more than we can express, all possible narrations.
"I have received your letter. Thanks for this remembrance. I am well. All ruined or lost; all! all!! This evening we employ the artillery to finish throwing down the walls in order to save the laborers from their probable crumbling.-Since last night we can no longer take the dead bodies away. There are too many. Yours, Berthmet.
February 11th, 1842.
P. S. Write to my wife."
Three things alone are peering over this vast necropolis. The front of the crumbling church is there standing, with the face of its clock still uninjured, the hands of which point out thirty-five minutes past ten, the hour in which was accomplished the ruin of a city, the annihilation of a whole population. The hour of eternity had struck, and in a shorter time than had been necessary perhaps for the hammer to rise and fall, the work of destruction was accomplished. The silence of death had succeeded the tumultuous noise of life. The poor and the rich, the free and the slave, were lying in the same shroud of stone, and the reddish glare of the fire was lighting the funeral pyre of that annihilated people. As a pendant to this sad spectacle, upon a part of a wall of a house half fallen, a picture was preserved, as by a miracle a picture of the ruins of Babylon. A singular coincidence-the traditions of the past, with the reality of the present; the picture of human devastation, presence in of the divine destruction. And farther along, looking on this scene of desolation, the portrait of the king alone, preserved by a strange fatality, seemed to promise protection and succor to those who
have had the good fortune to escape the disaster. Yes, sire! you will come to the aid of that population without an asylum-rich yesterday, and to-day ruined, without bread, without clothing. Sire, God has preserved your image here, as he has preserved your days elsewhere, so that you may send succor to a whole people, as you have brought a remedy to the evils of our country; for God, in his terrible justice, has wished to leave to you the noble mission to relieve so great a misfortune, and your picture, preserved in the midst of this frightful catastrophe, was there to warn the unfortunates that they had not lost their all-that they still had a father.
Here I stop. It is still under the deep impression of all those dreadful recitals of calcined bodies, drawn from under the ruins, still smoking, three days after the event; of unfortunate people whose voices are begging for succor that no human power could bring to them, that I write these lines. Pressed to give these details, I do not know how my pen ruus [runs]. Here is no pretensions to the elegance of style; there are still so many things to be said. Must we speak of the admirable conduct of Mr. Barmont, in the midst of this population, without an asylum, and dying with starvation; must we show you some wretch sucking a piece of sugar can to allay his thirst! Shall I retrace the picture of that deputation of Point a Petre, coming to meet that of St. Pierre, the Mayor covered with a sailor's jacket, and in the middle of all this, the Governor in tears, trying to impart to every body a resignation which he himself probably had not; so much he felt the enormity of the evil, and the impossibility of repairing so great a disaster. I shall say nothing either of Rear Admiral De Moges, whose destiny seems to be to carry help to great misfortunes. A singular casuality [casualty]! This same man, who, four years ago, was present at the destruction of the capital of the island of which he was the governor, annihilated by an earthquake, is called on to-day to bring help to another city, overthrown likewise by the same scourge! I cannot describe such scenes. These are only the principal facts that I give you here. Time presses. Another may write a longer article. L. B.
Proclamation of the Governor of Martinique.
Citizens of Martinique,-
The earthquake of the 8th of February has laid Point a Petre in ruins, and such as remain of her unfortunate inhabitants, are without bread and without shelter. We thank Providence that we are permitted to send them help in this awful calamity. On the receipt of the news of this distressing event, the inhabitants of Part Royal and other villages, repaired to the spot with food and clothing. The nights of the 9th and 10th were passed in loading the steam frigate Gomer with provisions and other necessaries belonging to the government, and she was immediately dispatched in aid of the distressed. A subscription is now opened for the sufferers, and all receipts will be placed in the hands M. Liot, Treasurer.
Governor of Martinique,
(Correspondent of the Richmond Palladium.)
Eight miles below this place, on the other side of the river, is Nauvoo, the city of the Prophet. It is beautifully situated, on a point formed by a broad and sweeping bend of the river. The ground rises in successive benches of several feet in height, each bench extending back some distance, forming a level piece of table land to the next bench. On the last and highest bench, which is level with the surrouding [surrounding] country, stands the Temple, which is to be a magnificent building. The basement only is raised. The town site is six miles long and two or three wide, being a circular strip following the curve of the river. Nothing can be more beautiful than the situation of the city of saints. It contains at least 10,000 inhabitants, and as motley a crowd as you can imagine.
There is but little of the prophet or saint in Joe's exterior. He is a large, powerfully built man, and I believe is reckoned to be a social, good natured, good hearted, clever fellow, with a nerve of iron, an eye of fire, a heart of stone, and a head full of all sorts of things. Let him alone and he is your friend, but it is dangerous to trifle with him. Much has been said about the Mormons, but after all they are like other men, and their prophet is a man like unto us all. There is nothing in their belief that is incredible, except it be the inspiration of their prophet, and that I must be permitted to doubt. The greatest difference between them and the Methodists is , that they have more of the spirit than the followers of Wesley. When a Methodist would shout, a Mormon would prophesy, when the former would cry "glory," the latter would speak in unknown tongues. When one would pray over a sick brother, the other would lay on his hands and heal him-if he could.
[When the Methodist faith fails him respecting some parts of the Bible, and he has recourse to the spiritualizing system to get along, the Mormon swallows all down, just as it stands, like the whale swallowed Jonah, hat and shoes; the former worships a God without body, parts or passions, while the latter worships the same being
that Moses speaks of seeing his back parts, beholding his face, and being angry with the wicked every day. The Mormon is always prepared to give you some reason for every thing connected with his religion, whilst the other worships he knows not what.] You have doubtless heard of the thievish propensities of the Mormons. They are not such great rascals as they are represented. Much stealing is done on their credit, of which they are not guilty. They have been charged in this world with much of which there will be no record against them in the next. My sheet is drawing to a close, and I must pull in my horns. I could discourse of many matters to you had I room. You have heard of the late treaty, by which a new purchase has been made of the Indians;-that is all the rage here now, and all the world is bound for the "New Purchase." Thousands, I verily believe, are ready to start for that untried region, as soon as the gates are opened which will be on the 12th of May next. The river has been frozen over solid for more than three months, so that teams have crossed on it constantly. We have had good sleighing most of that time. We have cold dry winters here, but no changes from wet to dry.
Yours, &c. D
To the Editor of the Boston Weekly Bee:
Sir-The progress of Mormonism or the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints in Boston; the closing of Elder Adam's official labors in the east; preparations making for his immediate departure for the west; the great Mormon tea party at Boylston Hall, that came off in high glee; and your liberality in giving to the readers of your 'busy Bee' the latest news in every subject;-has induced me to give you a short sketch of the closing up of the labors of this great apostle of Mormonism in Boston. On Thursday evening, March 23d, agreeable to appointment, he addressed an immensely large concourse of people, on the character and mission of Joseph Smith, the prophet. In speaking of him, he bears a positive and direct testimony to the divinity of his mission. He does this without hesitation; just as if he meant what he said, and said what he meant. He does not say he hopes Joseph Smith is a true prophet, but says he is positive that such is the fact.-On Sabbath, March 26th, during the day, he introduced Elder E. P. Maginn, and gave him a high recommendation as an able minister of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, who is to take his place in Boston for the present. He also spoke of Elder Orson Hyde, one of the twelve apostles, that would probably visit them this spring-and according to Adams' account of him, he must be a perfect Apollo in learning and eloquence. As usual, the Boylston Hall was a perfect jam during the day and evening. On Tuesday evening, he gave his farewell lecture. That was a rich treat indeed, embodying the outline of the faith and doctrine of Latter Day Saints.-But on Wednesday evening, at the great tea party, was the time it was clearly manifested that kindest feelings existed in this city towards the Mormons. There was present on that occasion over 500 people: 350 sat down at the first table. After supper, Elder Adams delivered a very appropriate and eloquent address. It was listened to with profound attention, during which time we saw the tear start in many an eye-plainly indicating that they deeply regretted that Elder Adams was about to leave them. During his remarks, he spoke very beautifully of the 'marriage supper of the Lamb,' that was to wind up this last dispensation-cause creation to cease to groan-and usher in the long looked for period, when universal religion, liberty and toleration shall be proclaimed from 'mountain top to mountain top, and every man in every place, shall meet a brother and a friend.' It seems strange to many that Elder Adams should be called away at this time, as his very name is a tower of strength to the Mormon cause in the east. Thousands are looking for the day when he shall return; petitions are getting up here and elsewhere for this return. This is as it should be, and we sincerely hope that the authorities of the Church at the west, will see it their duty to send him to us again as soon as possible. He left with the prayers and blessings of the saints and friends, and I have no hesitation in saying, that thousands will hail with joy the day of his return.
Yours truly, (not a Mormon, but) one of the many friends to that much abused people. D. W. R.
Boston, April 1, 1843.
Thursday Morning, April 6, 1893.
11 o'clock, A. M.
A special Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was convened on the platform of the Temple. There were present, Hyrum Smith, Patriarch: Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Geo A. Smith, and W. Richards, of the Quorum, of the Twelve; and a very large assembly of the elders and saints.
Elder Brigham Young announced that President Joseph Smith was detained on business,
but would be present soon. He called upon the choir to sing an Hymn. Elder Amasa Lyman opened by prayer, and another Hymn was sung. Elder Orson Pratt then read the 3d chapter of the 2d epistle of Peter, and spoke upon the subject of the resurrection. At ten minutes before 12 o'clock President Joseph Smith, Elder Sidney Rigdon, and Elder Orson Hyde arrived.
At 12 o'clock Elder Pratt gave way for the business of the Conference.
President Joseph Smith commenced by saying, We all ought to be thankful for the privilege we enjoy this day, of meeting so many of the Saints, and for the warmth and brightness of the heavens over our heads,-and it truly makes the countenances of this great multitude to look cheerly [cheerily], and gladdens the hearts of all present.
He next stated the object of the meeting, which was,
First, to ascertain the standing of the first presidency, which he should do by presenting himself before the conference for trial.
Second, to take into consideration the expediency of sending out the Twelve, or some of them, or somebody else, amongst the branches of the church, to obtain stock to build the Nauvoo House, for the time has come to build it.
Third, the elders will have the privilege of appeals from the different conferences, to this, if any such cases exist. These, said the president, are the principle items of business which I have at present to lay before you. This is not a general, but an annual conference.
It is necessary that this conference give importance to the Nauvoo House. A prejudice exists against building the Nauvoo House, in favor of the Lord's House, and the conference are required to give stress to the building of the Nauvoo House. This is the most important matter for the time being, for there is no place in this city, where men of wealth, and character, and influence, from abroad, can go to repose themselves, and it is necessary we should have such a place. The church must build it or abide the result of not fulfilling the commandment.
President Joseph then asked the conference if they were satisfied with the First Presidency, so far as he was concerned, as an individual, to preside over the whole church; or would they have another? If, said he, I have done anything that ought to injure my character, reputation, or standing; or have dishonored our religion by any means in the sight of men, or angels, or in the sight of men and women, I am sorry for it, and if you will forgive me, I will endeavor to do so no more. I do not know that I have done anything of the kind; but if I have, come forward and tell me of it. If any one has any objection to me, I want you to come boldly and frankly, and tell of it; and if not, ever after hold your peace.
Motion was made and seconded that President Joseph Smith continue president of the whole church. After a few minutes silence, the motion was put by President Young, when one vast sea of hands was presented, and the motion was carried unanimously.
President Joseph returned his thanks to the assembly for the manifestation of their confidence, and said he would serve them according to the best ability God should give him.
The first presidency being disposed of, President Joseph said he did not know any thing against the Twelve if he did he would present them for trial. It is not right that all the burden of the Nauvoo House, should rest on a few individuals; and we will now consider the propriety of sending the Twelve to collect means for the Nauvoo House. There has been to great a solicitude, in individuals, for the building of the temple, to the exclusion of the Nauvoo House. The agents have had too great latitude to practice fraud, by receiving donations and never making report. The church has suffered loss, and I am opposed to that system of collecting funds when any elder may receive moneys.
I am opposed to any man's handling the public funds of the church who is not duly authorzed [authorized].
I advise that some means be devised for transacting business on a sure foundation. The Twelve are the most suitable persons to perform this business; and I want the conference to devise some means to bind them as firm as the pillars of heaven, if possible. The Twelve were always honest, and it will do them no hurt to bind them.
It has been reported that they receive wages at two dollars per day for their services. I have never heard this till recently, and I do not believe it. I know the Twelve have never had any wages at all. They have fulfilled their duty-they have always gone where they were sent, and have labored with their hands for their support, when at home. If we send them into the world to collect funds, we want them to return those funds to this place, that they may be appropriated to the very purpose for which they were designed. I go in for binding up the Twelve, solid, putting them under bonds; and let this conference institute an order to this end, and that the travelling [traveling] expenses of the agent shall not be borne out of the funds collected for building these houses, and let no man pay money or stock into the hands of the Twelve, except he transmit
an account of the same immediately to the Trustee in trust; and let no man but the Twelve have authority to act as agent for the temple and Nauvoo House.
I would suggest the propriety of your saying that no money should ever be sent by any man except it be some one whom you have appointed as agent, and stop every other man from receiving moneys. It has been customary for any elder to receive moneys for the Temple when he is travelling [traveling], but this system of things opens a wide field for every kind of imposition, an any man can assume the name of a Mormon elder, and gather his pockets full of money and go to Texas. Many complaints have come to me of money being sent that I have never received. I will mention one case. He is a good man; his name is Russell, from Akron, New York. His brother had been east on business for him, and there received twenty or twenty-five dollars, as a donation to the Temple, which he put in Russel's [Russell's] bag, with his money, and forgot to take it out before he returned the bag. Two or three days after his return, he called on his brother for the money belonging to the church; but Russell thought his brother had paid out too much of his money, and he would keep the church's money to make good his own. I called to see Russell about the money, and he treated me very politely, but did not give me to understand he ever meant to pay it. He said he did not know at the time, that there was any church money in the bag; that he paid it out, and he had none now.
[The brother who brought the money from the east, stated to the conference, that he did not think it was because his brother was short of funds, that he kept it, for he had money enough. He had told him that he should not be out of funds again; that his brother had twenty dollars of the church funds, and some dried fruit for the president.]
President Joseph resumed I give this as a sample of a thousand instances. We cannot give an account to satisfy the people, on the church books, unless something is done. I propose that you send your moneys for the Temple by the Twelve, some one, or all; or some agent of your own choosing, and if you send by others, and the money is lost, 'tis lost to yourselves; I cannot be responsible for it.-Every thing that falls into my hands shall be appropriated to the very thing it was designed for.
Next, it is wrong for the church to make a bridge of my nose, in appropriating church funds. The incorporation required of me securities, which were lodged in the proper hands as the law directs; and I am responsible for all that comes into my hands.
Next, the Temple Committee are bound to me in the sum of $2000, with good securities. If they appropriate any property where they ought not, they are liable to me for it; and the church are running to them, with funds every day, and thus make a bridge over my nose. I am not responsible for it. If you put it into the hands of the Temple Committee, I, nor my clerk, know nothing of it.
So long as you consider me worthy to hold this office, it is your duty to attend to the legal forms belonging to the business; and if not, put some other one in my place. My desire is that the conference minutes may go forth in such form, as those abroad may learn the order of doing business; and that the Twelve be appointed to this special mission, of collecting funds for the Nauvoo House; so that all may know how to send their funds safe, or bring them themselves, and deliver them to the Trustee in Trust, or my clerk, who can always be be found in my office. Who are the Temple Committee that they should receive the funds? They are nobody.
When I went to the White House, at Washington, and presented letters of introduction, from Thomas Carlin, Governor of Illinois, to Martin Van Buren, he looked at it very insignificantly and said, 'Governor Carlin! Governor Carlin!! who's Governor Carlin? Governor Carlin's nobody." I erred in spirit, I confess my mistake; and I here make my apology to all the world, and let it be recorded on earth and in heaven, that I am clear of the sin of being angry with Martin Van Buren for saying that "Governor Carlin's nobody." I have been sorry for it ever since. All property ought to go through the hands of the Trustee in Trust.
There have been complaints against the Temple Committee for appropriating church funds more freely for the benefit of their own children, than to others, who need assistance more than they do; and the parties may have till Saturday to prepare for trial.
It was then voted unanimously that the Twelve be appointed a committee to collect funds to build the Nauvoo House, and receive moneys for the Temple, with this proviso:
That the Twelve give bonds for the safe delivery of all funds, coming into their hands, belonging to the Nauvoo House and Temple, to the Trustee in Trust, and that the payor [payer], also, make immediate report to the Trustee in Trust, of all moneys paid by him to the Twelve; and that the instructions of President Joseph Smith, to the conference, be carried into execution.
Elder W. W. Phelps proposed that the Twelve sign triplicate receipts, for moneys received, for the benefit of the parties concerned.
Elder Brigham Young objected, and said he should never give receipts for cash, except such as he put into his own pocket, for his own use; for it was calculated to make trouble hereafter, and there were better methods of transacting the business; and more safe for the parties concerned; that he wished this speculation to stop, and would do all in his power to put it down: To which the Twelve responded, amen. Elder Young asked if any one knew any thing against any one of the Twelve, any dishonesty; if they did, he wanted it exposed; he said he knew of one who was not dishonest. He also referred to muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn, &c.
President Joseph said, I will answer Brother Brigham. The Twelve need not spend all their time abroad, they can spend the time belonging to the Temple, for to collect funds; and the remainder of the time they may labor for their support; and they may call on the public to supply their wants. It is no more for the Twelve to go abroad and earn their living in this way than it is for others. The idea of not muzzling the ox, is a good old Quaker song, but we will make the ox tread out the corn first and then feed him. I am bold to declare that I have never taken the first farthing of church funds for my own use, till I have first consulted the proper authorities. When there was no quorum of the Twelve or high priests for me to consult, I have asked the Temple Committee, who had no particular business with it, but did it for the sake of peace. [Elder Cutler said it was so.] Let the conference stop all agents from collecting funds, except the Twelve.-When a man is sent to preach the first principles of the gospel, he should preach that and let the rest alone.
The choir sung a hymn, and elder O. Hyde prayed, and Twelve minutes before 2 o'clock P. M., conference adjourned for one hour.
3 o'clock, P. M.
Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, commenced by saying that he had some communications to make to the conference, on stealing, and he would do it while waiting for Joseph; and referred to the article in the last number of the 'Wasp.' Said he, I have had an interview with a man who formerly belonged to the church, and he revealed to me that there is a band of men, and some who pretend to be strong in the faith of the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints, but they are hypocrites, and some who do not belong to the church, who are bound together by secret oaths, and obligations and penalties, to keep the secret; and they hold that it is right to steal from any one who does not belong to the church provided they consecrate two-thirds of it to the building of the temple. They are also making bogus money.
This man says he has become convinced of the error of his ways, and has come away from them to escape their fury. I wish to warn you all not be duped by such men, for they are the Gadianters of the last days.
He then read from the Wasp as re-published from the Times and Seasons, his own affidavit and the proceedings of the authorities of the church generally, dated Nov. 26, 1841. The man who told me said, "this secret band refer to the bible, book of Doctrine and Covenants, and book of Mormon to substantiate their doctrine:" but no such doctrines are taught there.
They say it has been taught from this stand, that they are the little foxes that spoil the vines, and the first Presidency are the big foxes: and the big foxes wanted the little foxes to get out of the city and spread abroad, so that the big foxes might have a chance; which every body knows is false: all these things are used to decoy the foolish and unwary.
I will mention two names, David Holman and James Dunn, they were living in my house I went to them and asked them if they were stealing for a livelihood? Holman confessed that he had stolen from the world, not from the brethren. I told them to get out of my house. David asked me to forgive him, and he lifted his hands towards heaven and swore if I would forgive him he would never do so again. Soon after he went to Montrose, where he was found stealing salt, as is currently reported; he then stole a skiff and came across the river, stole a barrel of flour that had just been landed from a steamer, rowed down the river to Keokuk and sold the flower for $2.00, saying he had picked it up in the river, and was likely a little damaged, got his pay, and went his way. Dunn would not promise to quit stealing, but said he would go to St. Louis. I tell you to-day, the man that steals shall not long after be brought to the Penitentiary. They will soon be brought to condign punishment. I demand in the presence of God that you will exert your wit and your power to bring such characters to justice, if you do not the curse of God will rest upon you, such things would ruin any people. Should I catch a latter day saint stealing, he is the last man to whom I would shew [show] mercy.
President Joseph Smith said, I think it best to continue this subject. I want the elders to make honorable proclamation abroad concerning what the feelings of the first presidency is, for stealing has never been tolerated by them. I
despise a thief above ground. He would betray me if he could get the opportunity. I would know that he would be a detriment to my cause., and if I were the biggest rogue in the world, he would steal my horse when I wanted to run away.
It has been said that some were afraid to disclose what they know of these secret combinations, consequently I issued a proclamation which you may read in the Wasp, No, 48, which the president read
To the Citizens of Nauvoo.
Whereas it appears by the re-publication of the foregoing proceedings and delaration, that I have not altered my views on the subject of stealing: And whereas it is reported that there now exists a band of desperadoes, bound by oaths of secrecy, under severe penalties in case any member of the combination divulges their plans of stealing and conveying properties from station to station, up and down the Mississippi and others routes: And whereas it is reported that the fear of the execution of the pains and penalties of their secret oaths, on their persons, prevents some of the members of said secret association, (who have, through falsehood and deceit, been drawn into their snares,) from divulging the same to the legally Constituted authorities of the land:
Know ye, therefore, That I, Joseph Smith, Mayor, of the city of Nauvoo, will grant and ensure protection against all personal mob violence, to each and every citizen of this city, who will freely and voluntarily come before me, and truly make known the names of all such abominable characters as are engaged in said secret combination for stealing, or are accessary [accessory] thereto in any manner; and I would respectfully solicit the co-operation of all ministers of Justice, in this and the neighboring states, to ferret out a band of thievish outlaws from our midst.
Given under my hand at Nauvoo City, this 25th day of March, A. D. 1843.
Mayor of said City.
If any man is afraid to disclose what he knows about this gang of thieves let him come to me, and tell me the truth, and I will protect him from violence. Thieving must be stopped.
Opportunity was then offered to the elders to bring forward their appeals from other conferences, but no case was presented.
President Joseph continued his remarks and said; it is necessary that I make a proclamation, concerning Keokuk; and also in relation to the economy of the church on that side of the river.
It has been supposed that I made a great bargain with a certain great man at Keokuk. He came to my house about the 1st of August 1842, a stranger, and put on a long face, and said he was a "stranger in the place, and he was in distress; and having understood that I was very benevolent, he had come to me for help. He said that he was about to loose [lose] $1400 at Sheriff's sale for $300 cash. I have money in St. Louis, which I expect in two or three days; but the sale takes place to-morrow, and I want to hire money for two or three days." I thought of this subject over night. I did not like the looks of the man, but thought I, he is a stranger. I have been a stranger in a strange land, an whenever I have asked for assistance I have obtained it. It may be he is an honest, man, and if I turn him away I shall be guilty of the sin of ingratitude, and I had better loose $200 in good faith, than be guilty of ingratitude. So I let him have the money and he gave me his note payable on demand, saying "whenever you call on me you shall have the money."
When I was taken with Carlin's writ, I asked him for the money. "You ought to have it," said he, "but I have not got my money from St. Louis, I shall have it in a few days." He then stated, "I have a curious plan in my mind which I think may be profitable both for you and me. It is this, "I will give you a quit claim deed of all the land you bought of Galland; which is 20,000 acres: you paid Galland the notes, and ought to have them; they are in my hands as his agent, and I will give them up." I also propose deeding to you one half of my right to all my land in the Iowa Territory; and all I ask in return, is for you to give your influence to help to build up Keokuk."
I replied I have not asked for your property, and do not want it. I would not give a snap of my finger for it; but I will receive the papers, and if I find things as you say I will use my influence to build up Keokuk; but I will give you nothing for the land, and I want the $200 which is due me. He made out the deeds and gave them to me, and I got them recorded. He also gave up the most of the notes. I then said to Uncle John, if you will go there, with the brethren, I will give you the property; but he would not accept it.
This man called for some more favors, and I let him have some cloth, &c. to the amount of six or seven hundred dollars. I have offered this land to many if they would go and settle there; but nobody will go. He began soon after to say to the brethren what obligations I was under to him. I wrote him a letter on the subject, but I have since found he is swindling,
and there is no prospect of getting any thing from him.
He is owing me about $1100, and I thought it my duty to publish his rascality, that the elders might do the same in that Territory, and prevent the brethren from being imposed upon.-He has got a writing to this effect, that if he owned as much as he pretended, and would do as he said, I would give my influence to build up Keokuk, and on other terms.
His name is J. G. Remick, he took this plan to swindle me out of money, cloth, boards, &c. I want all the congregation to know it. I was not going to use any influence to have the brethren to go to be swindled. My advise is, if they choose, that they come away from Keokuk and not go there more; it is not a good location.
I am not so much a christian as many suppose I am, when a man undertakes to ride me for a horse, I feel disposed to kick up and throw him off, and ride him. David did so, and so did Joshua. My only weapon is my tongue. I would not buy property in the Iowa Territory: I considered it stooping to accept it as a gift.
(To be Continued)
Elder Joseph Mecham is requested to return home, as the wants of his family require his immediate assistance. Elder Appleton Harmon to continue his labors in the vineyard.
Nauvoo, May 8, 1843.
The hand of fellowship is withdrawn from elder Wm. Hewit, by the quorum of the seventies, until he make satisfaction before said quorum. Josiah Butterfield, pres't.
A. P. Rockwood, clerk.
Nauvoo, March 26, 1843.
Times and Seasons.
City of Nauvoo,
Wednesday May 1, 1843.
Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. A few years ago, although supported by indubitable, unimpeachable testimony, it was looked upon in the same light by the world in general, and by the religious world in particular, as the expedition of Columbus to this continent was by the different courts that he visited, and laid his project before. The literati looked upon his expedition as wild and visionary, they suspected very much the integrity of his pretensions, and looked upon him-to say the least-as a fool, for entertaining such wild and visionary views. The Royal courts, aided by geographers, thought it was impossible that another continent should, or could exist; and they were assisted in their views by the learned clergy, who to put the matter beyond all doubt, stated that it was contrary to Scripture; that the apostles preached to all the world, and that as they did not come to America, it was impossible that there would be any such place. Thus at variance with the opinions of the great, in opposition to science and religion, he set sail, and actually came to America; it was no dream, no fiction; but a solid reality; and however unphilosophical, and infidel the notion might be, men had to believe it; and it was soon found out, that it would agree both with religion and philosophy.
So when the Book of Mormon first made its appearance among men, it was looked upon by many as a wild speculation, and that it was dangerous to the interest and happiness of the religious world; but when it was found to teach virtue, honesty, integrity, and pure religion, this objection was laid aside, as being untenable. We were then told that the inhabitants of this continent were, and always had been, a rude barbarous race, uncouth, unlettered, and without civilization. But when they were told of the various relics that have been found indicative of civilization, intelligence and learning; when they were told of the wealth, architecture and splendor of ancient Mexico; when recent developements [developments] proved beyond a doubt, that there was ancient ruins in Central America, which, in point of magnificence, beauty, strength and architectural design, would vie with any of the most splendid ruins on the Asiatic continent; when they could trace the fine delineations of the sculptor's chisel, on the beautiful statue, the mysterious hieroglyphic, and the unknown character, they begun to believe that a wise, powerful, intelligent and scientific race had inhabited this continent; but still it was improbable, nay, almost impossible-notwithstanding the testimony of history to the contrary, that anything like plates could have been used anciently; particularly among this people. The following letter and certificate, will, perhaps have a tendency to convince the sceptical [skeptical], that such things have been used, and that even the obnoxious Book o f Mormon, may be true; and as the people of Columbus' day were obliged to believe that there was such a place as America; so will the people in this day be obliged to believe, however reluctantly, that there may have
been such plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Mr. Smith has had those plates, what his opinion concerning them is, we have not yet ascertained. The gentleman that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a fac similie [facsimile] of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed however, that he purposes returning with them for translation; if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it.
It will be seen by the annexed statement of the Quincy Whig, that there are more dreamers and money diggers, than Joseph Smith, in the world, and the worthy editor is obliged to acknowledge that this circumstance will go a good way to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He further states that, "if Joseph Smith can decypher [decipher] the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent than any man living." We think that he has done that already, in translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, and would advise the gentleman and all interested, to read for themselves, and understand. We have no doubt however, but Mr. Smith will be able to translate them.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
On the 16th of April last a respectable merchant by the name of Robert Wiley, commenced digging in a large mound near this place: he excavated to the depth of 10 feet and came to rock; about that time the rain began to fall, and he abandoned the work. On the 23d he and quite a number of the citizens with myself, repaired to the mound, and after making ample opening, we found plenty of rock, the most of which appeared as though it had been strongly burned; and after removing full two feet of said rock, we found plenty of charcoal and ashes; also human bones that appeared as though they had been burned; and near the eciphalon a bundle was found that consisted of six plates of brass, of a bell shape, each having a hole near the small end, and a ring through them all, and clasped with two clasps, the ring and claps [clasps] appeared to be of iron very much oxidated [oxidized], the plates appeared first to be copper, and had the appearance of being covered with characters. It was agreed by the company that I should cleanse the plates: accordingly I took them to my house, washed them with soap and water, and a woolen cloth; but finding them not yet cleansed I treated them with dilute sulphuric [sulfuric] acid which made them perfectly clean, on which it appeared that they were completely covered with hieroglyphics that none as yet have been able to read. Wishing that the world might know the hidden things as fast as they come to light, I was induced to state the facts, hoping that you would give it an insertion in your excellent, paper for we all feel anxious to know the true meaning of the plates, and publishing, the facts might lead to the true translation. They were found, I judged, more than twelve feet below the surface of the top of the mound.
The following certificate was forwarded for publication, at the same time.
We the citizens of Kinderhook, whose names are annexed do certify and declare that on the 23d April, 1843, while excavating a large mound, in this vicinity, Mr. R. Wiley took from said mound, six brass plates of a bell shape, covered with ancient characters. Said plates were very much oxidated [oxidized]--the bands and rings on said plates mouldered into dust on a slight pressure. The above described plates we have handed to Mr. Sharp for the purpose of taking them to Nauvoo.
Rob't Wiley, W. P. Harris,
G. W. F. Ward, W. Longnecker,
Fayette Grubb, Ira S. Curtis,
Geo. Deckenson, W. Fugate.
J. R. Sharp.
(From the Quincy Whig.)
Singular Discover-Material for Another Mormon Book.
A Mr. J. Roberts, from Pike county, called upon us last Monday, with a written description of a discovery which was recently made near Kinderhook, in that county. We have not room for his communication at length, and will give so much of a summary of it, as will enable the reader to form a pretty correct opinion of the discovery made.
It appeared that a young man by the name of Wiley, a resident in Kinderhook, dreamed three nights in succession, that in a certain mound in the vicinity, there was treasures concealed.-Impressed with the strange occurrence of dreaming the same dream three nights in succession, he came to the conclusion, to satisfy his mind by digging into the mound. For fear of being laughed at, if he made others acquainted with his design, he went by himself, and labored diligently one day in pursuit of the supposed treasure, by sinking a hole in the centre of the mound. Finding it quite laborous, he invited others to assist him. Finally, a company of ten or twelve repaired to the mound, and assisted in digging out the shaft commenced by Wiley. After penetrating the mound about 11 feet, they came to a bed of limestone, that had apparently been subjected to the action of fire, they
removed the stone, which were small and easy to handle, to the depth of two feet more, when they found Six Brass Plates, secured and fastened together by two iron wires, but which were so decayed, that they readily crumbled to dust upon being handled. The plates were so completely covered with rust as almost to obliterate the characters inscribed upon them; but after undergoing a chemical process, the incriptions [inscriptions?] were brought out plain and distinct. There were six plates-four inches in length, one inch and three quarters wide at the top, and two inches and three quarters wide at the bottom, flaring out to points. There are four lines of characters or hieroglyphics on each; on one side of the plates are parallel lines running lengthwise. A few of the characters resemble, in their form, the Roman capitals of our alphabet-for instance the capital B and X appear very distinct. In addition, there are rude representations of three human heads on one of the plates, the largest in the middle; from this head proceeds marks or rays, resembling those which usually surround the head of Christ, in the pictoral [pictorial] representations of his person. There is also figures of two trees with branches, one under each of the two small heads, both leaning a little to the right. One of the plates, has on it the figure of a large head by itself, with two + pointing directly to it.
By whom these palates were deposited there must ever remain a secret, unless some one skilled in deciphering hieroglyphics, may be found to unravel the mystery. Some pretend to say, that Smith the Mormon leader, has the ability to read them. If he has, he will confer a great favor on the public by removing the mystery which hangs over them. We learn there was a Mormon present when the plates were found, who it is said, leaped for joy at the discovery, and remarked that it would go to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon-which it undoubtedly will.
In the place where these plates were deposited, were also found human bones in the last stage of decomposition; also some braid, which was at first supposed to be human hair, but on a closer examination proved to be grass; probably used as a covering for the bodies deposited there; this was also in the last stage of decay. There were but few bones found in the mound; and it is believed, that it was but the burial place of a small number, perhaps of a person, or a family of distinction, in ages long gone by, and that these plates contain the history of the times, or of a people, that existed far-far beyond the memory of the present race. But we will not conjecture any thing about this wonderful dicovery [discovery], as it is one which the plates alone can reveal.
On each side of this mound in which this discovery was made, was a mound, on one of which is a tree growing that measures two feet and a half in diameter, near the ground. Showing the great antiquity of the mounds, and of course, all that is buried within them. These mounds like others, that are found scattered all over the Mississippi valley, are in the form of a sugar loaf.
The plates above alluded to, were exhibited in this city last week, and are now, we understand, in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The public curiosity is greatly excited, and if Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent, than any man now living.
To the Presidency, and Ladies of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.
Beloved sisters and friends-As I shall necessarily be absent from your pleasant society, for a season, my husband not having succeeded in business in Nauvoo as he anticipated, I could not take my leave without soliciting your kind wishes and prayers for the time being, that we find it necessary to locate ourselves elsewhere, until a more favorable door is opened, for our residence with the church.
I wish also to acknowledge my grateful sense, of the much kindness, and good feelings, which has been manifested toward me, during my visit amongst you; and in return you have my sincere prayers, that the best of heaven's blessing may rest upon you: and may the cause of humanity, benevolence, and mercy, flourish in your midst, under the benign auspices of an approving heaven, and the smiles of the Holy one of Israel. And may the heart of the widow, the fatherless, the poor, and the destitute, for whose benefit the society was organized, be made to rejoice through the means of your benevolent exertions. And feel assured, that while this is made the grand rallying point, for the active energies of your minds, no power, however desirous it may be to vilify, and call in question your good name, will be able to tarnish the luster of your good deeds, or pluck from your standard, the laurels which will be woven by the hand of gratitude as a shining trophy to your name, to all eternity.
With respect and affection, I am yours in the bands of the gospel,
Sarah M. Cleveland.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons,
Dear Sir:-I am requested by Sister Burnham
to inform you, that her husband, Elder James Burnham, is dead; and as you are acquinted [acquainted] with his history, she desires you would notice his death in your paper. I have this moment returned from a visit to see her, and found that deep affliction is her present lot. She gave me a letter from Brother Phineas Richards, (I think he is a brother to Dr. Richards of Nauvoo) which states, that Elder Burnham after leaving Illinois, visited his mother in the east part of the State of New York; thence traveling east, he visited some branches of the church, and built up new ones in Massachusetts, where his labors were very abundant which brought on indisposition that terminated in a quick consumption. He died after being confined six weeks and five days, without a struggle or a groan, at Richmond Massachusetts, 22nd of last March, in the 46th year of his age. The next day, he was removed to West Stockbridge in the same state, where he was intered [interred]. The letter goes on to state, that Brother Burnham had his right mind to the moment of his death, excepting a short time, about four days before, he was a little wandering; in which time, he clearly manifested what was foremost in his mind, for he was constantly preaching, and praying, or in some kind of devotion. He was perfectly resigned, during his illness, and longed for the time, (as he knew it must shortly be) when he should be present with the Lord.
Yours, Benjamin Andrews.
Macedonia, April, 23d 1843.
The above painful intelligence will be read with sorrow by a large circle of the deceased's friends. We have been personally acquainted with Brother Burnham upwards of three years. He went over to England about three years ago, and started from thence on a mission to Wales, where he was very successful in bringing many to the knowledge of the glorious principles of eternal truth. About twelve months ago he returned to this land rejoicing, bringing many of "his sheaves with him." We were not aware until we received this letter that after having been gone from his friends and home so long, that he had again forsook the bosom of his friends, entered the field, and performed so great a work as we are here informed of. We know that he shrunk not from toil, but hardly expected that he would have renewed his labors so soon; his form however could not sustain so great labor, and he has sunk under the burthen [burden]; he has died in the cause of God; and dying proclaimed the truth of the gospel, which he preached while living. He has left a faithful wife, and several amiable children to mourn his loss with whom we deeply sympathise [sympathize]. In this afflictive dispensation we must submit to the wise behest of Jehovah, and in taking leave of him until the resurrectisn [resurrection] morn, as a tribute of respect we must say, he slumbers with the dead, "peace be to his ashes."-ED.
March 27th, 1843.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Beloved Brother Taylor:-I write to inform you that we held a conference at Johnson's Creek, Hartland, Niagara county, New York yesterday, the 26th inst., at the house of Brother Brown, according to previous notice.
After the conference convened, Elder A Montgomery arose and stated the object of the meeting. On motion, Elder Montgomery was chosen to preside over the meeting, and John Bell chosen clerk.
Conference was opened by singing and prayer, by Elder Montgomery, and the fifeenth [fifteenth] chapter of John was read by the president.
After proper instructions had been given by the president, relative to the different ordinances, viz: confirmation, ordination, the sacrament of the Lord's supper, the blessing of children, the gathering, &c.; the president proceeded to confirm five members, which had previously been baptized.
Motioned by A. Montgomery, and seconded by Brother Brecken, that Brother Bell, Brother Stars, and Brother Brown, be ordained elders.
Motioned by A. Montgomery, and seconded by Brother Bell, that Brother Brecken be ordained priest.
Elder Montgomery then proceeded to ordain the above named persons.
Motioned by Elder Montgomery and seconded by Brother Bell, that this branch of the Church be called the 'Johnson Creek Branch,' of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
On a motion made by Elder Montgomery and seconded by Brother Bell, it was
Resolved, That minutes and proceedings of this conference be sent to Nauvoo, with a request that it be published in the Times and Seasons.
It gives me joy and pleasure to be able to inform you through the medium of this sheet, that there is a great door open in this section of country. The majority of the people are very anxious to hear. Most part of the time that Elder Montgomery has been laboring here, he has spoken every night, to crowded audiences, and we believe that a great work will be done in this place. We earnestly solicit travelling [traveling] elders to visit us.
A. Montgomery, Prest.
J. W. Bell, Cl'k.
Venice, Butler county, Ohio, }
January 18th, 1843 }
Conference convened agreeable to previous appointment at the school-house, and proceeded to appoint brother Geo. Mory president, and Willard Snow clerk. Opened by singing and prayer by the president.
Elder Lamoreaux represented the Newtrenton branch, as numbering 25 in good standing. Invitations for preaching on all sides, as well as at Lawrenceburg Miami town, and the prospect flattering in other places.
Brother Mory represented the present prospect as good in the region where he had been laboring for a few weeks in opening a field of labor in the regions north.
Elder Mattindale represented the branch at Washington, Wayne county, called the Greenfork branch, in good standing, consisting of 15 members-doors open for preaching in the north.
Elder Pettegrew gave an account of his and W. Snow's labors, which had been principally confined to Fayette county, when the Alquina branch was organized, as also Franklin county, in the region of the Newtrenton branch, and Derbon county, among his old neighbors and friends. In all these places there were doors open for preaching.
Elder Lumoreaux [Lamoreaux] then requested a letter of recommendation from the conference to the church at Nauvoo, as he was under the necessity of returning home. Voted that as he is in good standing and fellowship, that his request be granted.
Voted also that we suggest the propriety of sending three or four efficient elders to this region to take the place of those who are under necessity of returning home in the spring.
Moved that we adjourn this conference to Newtrenton, until the first day of April next.
Geo. Mory, Pres't.
Willard Snow, Clerk.
(From the Millennial Star.)
The Influence of the Principles of Truth.
In the third number of the second volume of the Star, we find the following extract taken from the Baptist Register (an American paper) in reference to the influence of the principles taught by the Church of Christ in the last days:-"We have looked upon it as a mere delusion, containing the seeds of its own disrolution [dissolution] . But there is order in this fanaticism, there is system in this imposture, and it carries with it an invisible spirit by which the learned and the unlearned are strangely overcome."-We also extract from Mr. Alexander Campbell's recommendation of "Mormonism Unveiled," published by E. D. Howe, the following:-"The water of Lethe, in their fabled powers of stupefaction, were not half so efficient as the infatuations of Mormonism, for once the delusion is tasted, there is little or no hope,"
We like the opposers of the principles of truth to make such acknowledgments, illustrating the sentiment conveyed by Tertullian of old, when he said, "who ever looked well into our holy religion that did not embrace it?" So will it be, for who can approach the contemplation of the principles of eternal truth, calmly and rationally, without being interested? who can investigate the scheme of salvation-the manifestion [manifestation] of the benevolence of Deity, without being entranced with divine goodness?
What, then, are the principles which are so influential, even according to the testimony of our enemies? We go forth amongst the multitude, who instead of being one "harmonious whole" through the influence of religion, are torn asunder and distracted by the multitude of conflicting opinions that obtain amongst them. We bear testimony that angels have again ministered unto the sons of men, that the curtain which hides from our view the eternal world has been withdrawn, and that mortals have held converse with the resurrected dead, in order to learn the will of God, and to enable them to become instruments in his hands for the accomplishment of his great purposes in terminating the present condition of men, and bringing to pass the millennial reign of his glorified and exalted Son.
And through what instrumentality do we profess that this great work has begun? We answer through the coming forth of a record of a branch of the house of Israel, of the seed of Joseph, upon the western continent, in answer to the prayer of faith in the righteous dead, and in fulfilment [fulfillment] of the prophecies of the ancient fathers, in reference to the house of Joseph being the instrument in the hands of God, in bringing to pass his great purposes, and pushing the nations together from the ends of the earth.
The Book comes forth through the instrumentality of one ordained to stand as a prophet unto the people of the Lord, and inspired to translate its contents and usher them forth to the world. But what is its reception? It is handled and glanced at by the learned and the wise of this generation, for a glance is generally sufficient to satisfy such with regard to its contents, and is cast aside and condemned as a puerile and absurd production-as bearing the stamp of imposture, because it violates the grammatical rules of the English language, and is not sent forth garnished and adorned with learned tropes
and rounded periods, like the divinity of the schools, which is so well calculated to charm a people most faithfully described as having itching ears.
But where does the absurdity lie? Surely not in supposing that if the Lord gave revelation through the mouth of one brought up to agricultural pursuits, and as our enemies testify, "not much given to study," it would be given in the language of the individual, such as he was in the habit of using to communicate his ideas, and certainly not in the diction of the schools. But a ridiculous notion is frequently expressed, that the dictates of the spirit, through whatsoever channel they may flow, must necassarily [necessarily] be correctly constructed and perfectly grammatical. We grant at once, that if the Lord had chosen for his instrument the learned and the wise, we might expect what they gave forth as the teachings of the spirit, to be sufficiently correct to please the most fastidious,-But, certainly, we should have left ourselves justified in being sceptical [skeptical] as to the truth of the Book of Mormon, had we found it written in the style of modern divinity, knowing at the same time, that the individual who sent it forth had not had the advantage requisite to give a polished education. But we perceive by the word of God, that our beloved brother, Joseph Smith, is not the only agent who has been employed as a servant of the Lord from amongst (comparative speaking) the uneducated class. In the 4th chapter of Acts and the 13th verse, we read thus: "now, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled [marveled]; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." We ask, by what did they perceive that the apostles were unlearned and ignorant? Was it by their speaking the Hebrew language in its purity and perfection? We trow [trust] not; for had the apostles been speaking a purely grammatical language, where could the evidence have been that they were unlearned? But the truth is this, and we repeat what we have before said, every instrument which the Lord employs will be at any rate gifted with simplicity and sincerity, and whatever the Lord shall be pleased to give unto his people, by them shall be given naturally and without hypocrisy.
But what are these strange and influential principles which have come forth with the Book of Mormon? Truly, our enemies have for once borne [born] testimony to what is true, when they have written as before quoted on the influence of these things. Yes; we have often looked around us with admiration and wonder to see the effect of the teaching of the Lord; we have beheld the aged tottering on the brink of the grave as it were awakened by the principles of truth to the liveliness and vivacity, of youth, their hearts overflowing with gratitude like Simeon of old, when his eyes had seen the Lord's Christ; and again, we have seen youth humbling itself to the requirements of truth, and exercising a power of faith in the unsophisticated spring of life, that has given unto them the wisdom of years, and enabled many of them to arise and gather with the people, and the youngest and most feeble, perhaps, of the family, have become the pioneers of their tribe. In many cases we have seen, as it were, natural and constitutional, fear annihilated by obedience to the principles of truth, and the reception of that spirit which is imparted to them that from the heart obey.
Let us, then, now briefly state what the principles are which the enemies of truth, as well as the servants of the Lord acknowledge to be so powerful. We say at once, that the doctrine of the Church of Christ opens to man, in the first place, a fountain for sin and uncleanness, proposes to him means by which he may be forgiven, and not forgiven only but restored into the favor of God, to become an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ; yes, even as it is written,-"he came unto his own but his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name." And again, as Paul writes in the 2nd Thessalonians, 2nd chapter and 14th verse, "whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." And is this the portion of them that receive the testimony of Jesus and endure to the end? Is it, indeed, true that redeemed man is destined for so high a glory? Let us examine this subject a little. We find in the prayer of the Saviour [Savior] this declaration, "and the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them that they may be one, even as we are one."
And again, 'from the declarations of the Savior to his servant John in his apocalyptic vision, we learn that to him that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule with a rod of iron; as the vessels of the potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father, and I will give unto him the morning star.' Again, to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.' And, 'he that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.' And these are the glories of the redeemed, and this is the distinction to which he that is faithful
shall be exalted. Shall we wonder, then, at the influence of the principles of truth? can we any longer be surprised at the fortitude with which the ancient saints endured tribulation and braved death in its most terrific forms? or can we be surprised that the influence of the same glorious principles should produce the same effect in the present age of the world?-No wonder, then, as Mr. Campbell says, 'if the delusion be once tasted, there is little or no hope.' Here is the secret spring of action in those who have entered into covenant with God; here is the hope that elevates the saints above the things that surround them; here is the source of their energy which enables them to calmly bear the finger of scorn-the contempt of one devoted friendship-the loss of friends, of kindred, of natural affection, and to press onward in the service of God, with an eye single to his glory, and a heart prepared to serve him with all diligence in the rolling onward of the gospel of the kingdom as a witness unto all nations that the end may come. Yes the people of God are looking forward to the recompense of reward; their minds are expanding, and their hearts are enlarging through the glorious truths that are opened unto them by the revelations of the Spirit. What, then, is the faith and the obedience necessary to give us claim to these high honors, to these glorious distinctions? We answer they are the same today as yesterday-the same at this hour in the Island of Britain, as they were on the day of Pentecost; even faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the anointed of the Father the Messiah, the Savior of the world; and baptism in his name for the remission of sins, in order that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by which witness they shall know of a surety what is truth, and realize to a certainty whether the doctrines they have embraced be of God of not. And if it was necessary on the day of Pentecost to recognize him whom the Father had sent, it is necessary now; and if there was a power in his name on that memorable day to cancel the sins of the transgressor, it has the same power to-day as then, and is as necessary to be invoked upon us as upon them. And was the promise faithful in that day, that they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is faithful still, it is needed still; and, let the heart of every Saint respond with gratitude, it is realized still; and it has been our inestimable privilege to prove for ourselves the God of truth, and to know by a happy experience that his promises fail not.
Then, let the Saints rejoice to hear such exclamations as the foregoing with regard to the principles of truth, when we see our enemies acknowledging that, in connexion [connection] with the work of the Lord, 'there is an invisible spirit by which the learned and the unlearned are strangely overcome.' It was said in our hearing the other day, that there was nothing in the work of the Lord to attract a superior mind. Be it allowed for a moment, and what is the reason? Did the world by wisdom ever find out God, or will they ever do so? We answer, no. The purposes of the Almighty were ever ordained so as to bring to nought [naught] the wisdom of the wise, and to cause the understanding of the prudent to be hid; and shall the great work of the latter days be conducted on a system at variance with all his former preceedings [proceeding's]? nay, verily, he will not give his glory to another.
But what is the reason that multitudes of the wise and the learned turn away with scorn from the work of the Lord, as almost beneath their contempt; we say at once it is because the plan of salvation is so God-like; and by being so simple, recognizing all men as involved in one like calamity, as equally helpless and undone, and as requiring alike the same means to deliver them from the consequences of sin, and introduce them to the favor of God. The human mind finds itself much more flattered by laboring among the mists and the clouds of human wisdom; it is then conscious of its strength and energy, and rejoices in its own right; but the gospel which he that runs may read, is by far too simple and is comprehended by the honest hearted without calling forth the energy which the human mind is so proud of exercising.-But though we allow that there is not that in the gospel which attracts the self-opinionated and the proud, yet it is not true that superior minds do not become subject to the principles of truth; but rather is the quotation at the head of this article more correct, when it is said that it is accompanied by an invisible spirit by which the learned and the unlearned are strangely overcome. Yes, my hearers, the servants of the Lord are sent forth to preach the 'gospel of the kiogdom [kingdom].' the gathering together in the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times of a people and a nation to meet the Lord at his coming, that his will may be done on the earth even as it is in heaven. Let us, then, rejoice and be glad, knowing that we are called by a holy calling, and that we have not followed a cunningly devised fable, but the truth at it is in Jesus; and let us be desirous to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. With such sublime prospects before us, we can allow the world to cry delusion, and can take the scoffs and the sneers of it with patience, looking upon the recompense of reward, and hasting unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when he shall be revealed from heaven, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of his Son.
May the Lord preserve the saints in righteousness and in all faithfulness until that day; and when called to pass through the deep waters of tribulation, may they be sustained by his spirit, that they may come forth purified, having their garments washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.
For the Times and Seasons.
Response to My "Epitaph," by Miss Eliza R. Snow.
"I feel the low responses roll, Thy talents ne'er will be restor'd!
Like the far echo of the night, That loss to us will leave a blank;
And whisper, softly through my soul, The flood from which thy genius drank,
"I would not be forgotten quite." Will ever move unruffled on,
In brightness sparkling 'neath the sun
- * * * And, Oh, when other vainly think
To near the limpid water's brink,
Forgotten!-No; thy pen for thee And quaff its wave, with skill, like thee,
Hath carv'd a name destined to be 'Twill stop its course-'twill backward flee,-
A monument, in future years; Or if they dip in it the Quill,
And tho' no stone thy signet bears, 'Twill shrink its tide into a rill.
Or tells thy name, 'twill matter not- Thy friends need but to speak thy name
Thy fame fill never be forgot. To tell the stranger of thy fame;
More lasting than a sculptur'd tomb And at the sound will leap to life,
Of "cold grey [gray] stone," or swelling dome, Mid worldly din, with business rife-
Will be the name thy pen hath won Like spectres [scepters] from a fun'ral pile,
For thee, to bloom when thou art gone, Or pilgrims from a long exile-
Thy poundrous [ponderous] pile of learned lore Thy sentiments of purity,
On us its flood of beauties pour; Found in thy matchless poetry.
It lifts the darken'd drapery Those friends with whom thou daily art
Of years, with musty panoply, Thy deeds are written on each heart,
From off your minds; and brightly, then, Within whose faithful, silent urn,
All gladness springs to life again. Deep gratitude, for thee, shall burn
The woes and sorrows of the saints- When thou art gone, far from our shore,
Begirt around with men's constraints- To be distress'd, on earth, no more.
Are often chronicled by thee, Unnumber'd voices now unite:-
With promptness and fidelity. Thou shalt not be "forgotten quite!"
Oh, then thy loss will be deplor'd-
The Three Witnesses.
The glorious plan which God has given, Buried beneath the liquid grave,
To bring a ruined world to heaven, To know the Spirit's power to save,
Was framed in Christ by the new birth, And feel the virtue of his blood,
Was seal'd in heaven, was seal'd on earth. Are witnesses ordained of God.
As in the heavens they all agree, In heaven they all agree in one,
The record's given there by Three, The Father, Spirit, and the Son.
On earth three witnesses are given, On earth these witnesses agree,
To lead the sons of earth to heaven. The water, blood, and Spirit, three.
Jehovah, God the Father, 'sone; One great connecting link is given
Another, God's eternal Son; Between the sons of earth and heaven
The Spirit does with them agree- The Spirit seals us here on earth,
The witnesses in heaven are three. In heaven records our second birth.
Nor are we, in the second birth, If we, on earth, possess those three,
Left without witnesses one earth, Mysterious saving unity,
To grope, as in eternal night, The Book of Life will record bear,
About the way to endless light. Our names are surely written there. T.
The Times and Seasons, is edited by John Taylor.
Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.
|←Number 20|| [[../../]]
4, Number 21
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4|
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 21.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. September 15, 1843.||[Whole No. 81.|
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
(Continued.}} It was in December that elder Sidney Rigdon, a sketch of whose history I have before mentioned, came to enquire [inquire] of the Lord, and with him came that man, (of whom I will hereafter speak more fully,) named Edward Partridge: he was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord's great men, known by his steadfastness, and patient endurance to the end,-Shortly after the arrival of these two brethren, thus spake the Lord:-
A Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jun'r., and Sidney Rigdon, December 1830.
Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same to-day as yesterday and forever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crusified [crucified] for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a great work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John-to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah, which should come, and thou knew it not. Thou didst baptise [baptize] by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; but now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptise [baptize] by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.
And it shall come to pass, that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles; for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people: for I am God, and mine arm is not shortened, and I will show miracles, signs and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name. And whoso shall ask it in my name, in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick, they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk: and the time speedily cometh, that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men: but without faith, shall not any thing be shown forth, except desolations upon Babylon-the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And there are none that doeth good, except those who are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth to this generation:
Wherefore, I have called upon the weak things of the world-those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit: and their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler, and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me: and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf; and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them. And the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand: and they shall learn the parable of the fig-tree: for even now already summer is nigh, and I have sent forth the fulness [fullness] of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph: and in weakness have I blessed him, and I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.
Wherefore watch over him, that his faith fail not; and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things: and a commandment I give unto thee, that thou shalt write for him: and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect: for they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming, for they shall be purified, even as I am pure. And now I say unto you, tarry with him, and he shall journey with you;-forsake him not, and surely these things shall be fulfilled. And inasmuch as ye do not write, behold it shall be given unto him to prophesy: and thou shalt preach my gospel, and call upon the holy prophets to prove his words, as they shall be given him.
Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound, and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good: and satan shall tremble; and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills, and flourish; and Israel shall be saved in mine own due time. And by the keys which I have given, shall they be led, and no more be confounded
at all. Lift up your heads and be glad: your redemption draweth nigh. Fear not, little flock-the kingdom is yours, until I come.-Behold I come quickly; even so. Amen.
And the voice of the Lord to Edward Partridge, was:-
Revelation to Edward Partridge, given December, 1830.
Thus saith the Lord God, the mighty One of Israel, behold I say unto you, my servant Edward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel was with the voice of a trumpet; and I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom: and you shall declare it with a loud voice, saying, Hosanna, blessed be the name of the most high God.
And now this calling and commandment give I unto you concerning all men, that as many as shall come before my servants Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, jr., embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations, crying repentance, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.
And this commandment shall be given unto the elders of my church, that every man which will embrace it with singleness of heart, may be ordained and sent forth, even as I have spoken. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God: wherefore gird up your loins, and I will suddenly come to my temple; even so. Amen.
(To be Continued.)
[For the Times and Seasons.]
BAPTISM-THE MODE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION-ITS EFFICACY-DR. MOSHIEM--STATE OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD-THE APOSTACY, [APOSTASY] &c., &c. BROTHER TAYLOR:-
(Continued.}} BROTHER TAYLOR:-
We have now clearly shown there is but one true mode of baptism, and we have shown pretty clearly that that is by immersion. But more of this hereafter. Then, if the apostles tell of but one way of baptising [baptizing], the sectarian world are thrown into a very singular dilemma! We would advise them to look into the matter, and if they cannot compromise with the apostles, by entering into some friendly treaty, they must, of necessity build their churches upon sandy foundations, which when the 'floods come,' and the 'storms beat' against them will be in danger of being washed away. Our Savior has marked out the way, and made it so plain, 'that a man though a fool need not err therein,' yet disorganization characterises [characterizes] the whole christian world; creeds clash with creeds-systems with system-confusion, tumult and contention invade the whole ecclesiastical ranks-from one of christendom to the other. Verily, 'man hath sought out many inventions;' but the apostles knew but one legitimate way. It is important that man should ascertain what that way is, for Christ says, St. John, X: 1;-'Verily, verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door, into the sheep fold, but climbeth up some other way is a thief and a robber.' But we must hasten.
John, III: 23; 'And John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came and were baptized.' Wherever we read of John s baptizing the people, he is generally in some place where there is much water. A half gill is an abundance for some of the enlightened clergy in the nineteenth century. Verily there is nothing under the sun that the march of science and humbug-those great twin-brothers of the age-have not modified and changed from their pristine beauty! Acts, VIII: 36, 37, 38; 'And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?-And Philip said, if thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.' Went both 'down into the water!' If you could have lived a little longer upon earth, a more easy and genteel way would have been worked out for you, through the great inventions of man. Enlightened and refined society are not so vulgar as to go down into the water to be baptized. How ridiculously absurd it would be to lead one of the elite of the popular world, muffled in silks and satins, down into the dark waters of the great Mississippi, for the non-essential purpose of being baptized. It is thought much more appropriate, and our learned divines (nice men) lay it down as a correct mode, to be baptized upon dry land, by receiving a drop or two of holy water upon the forehead, conveyed there upon the very tip of the priest's attenuated finger. But, perhaps the magnanimity of men have adopted this system because of its greater refinement, and therefore we ought not to say that it is not scriptural! We beg pardon, gentlemen. Romans, VI: 3, 4, 5, 6; 'Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?-Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death; that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be distroyed [destroyed], that henceforth we should not serve him.' It appears from the context, that the ordinance of baptism was instituted as a type, or figure, to represent the burial and resurrection of our Savior. Immersion is certainly a correct figure, and represents his burial and resurrection exactly. It is a better symbol of it, at all events, than the symbol of sprinkling.-For we ask all common sense, how a man can be 'baptized into Jesus Christ,' 'baptized into his death,' be 'buried with him by baptism into death,' in a single drop or even a bucket of water. It is an impossibility. In order to represent this matter as the apostles intended, according to the language and fair construction of the context, the officer who administers, together with the candidate, must go 'down both into the water,' as did Philip and the eunuch and the body of the candidate must be immersed, or buried in the water. The body must be covered or overwhelmed by the liquid wave. To illustrate; if you place a corpse upon the brink of a grave, above the surface of the earth, and throw a shovel of dirt upon the coffin, will it bury him? Again, if you place a candidate for baptism upon the margin of a stream, above the surface of the water, and sprinkle a gill of water in his face, will he be 'buried with him,' in the 'likeness of his death?' The answer must be emphatically in the negative. And then the act of raising the body of the candidate from the bowels of the limpid tide, is an exact and sublime representation, or 'likeness of his resurrection.' O, wisdom!-how has your understanding become darkened, that you cannot understand the simple things of the kingdom of God! 'Blind leaders of the blind!' Instead of walking up before the great mirror of heavenly intelligence, (the Bible) and letting the full blaze of truth, of light, and gospel beauty, reflect upon your souls, you grope your way through a vast domain of darkness and error, and your understanding becomes lost in the sable labyrinths of your own folly and ignorance. In the language of the scripture, you 'look through a glass darkly.' Again, the apostle says, Col., II: 12; 'Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.' This passage renders it so plain that comment is not necessary. 1st Col., X: 1, 2; Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the sea.' We conclude there would not have been much necessity for sprinkling, in the case cited here. As a matter of course they were not sprinkled, for the apostle says they were all baptized in the sea. When men learn the force and meaning of the English language, they will learn that they cannot be IN the sea without being beneath the surface of it. How can a man be in a house without being within its walls and beneath its roof? But some will contend that a person can be in the sea without being entirely buried from sight by its water. We conclude that when the apostle talks of a man, he means the whole body of a man, and not a particular limb or member of the body. It takes all the members of the body to form the man, therefore, if you cover the hand or foot in water, the man is still above the surface, consequently, he has not been in the water at all. So, if you baptize the forehead, or hand of an individual, his forehead or hand alone has been 'buried in baptism,' and all other members of the body remain unburied; consequently the individual has not been baptized, because the burial was not complete. The similitude of the death and resurrection of the Savior is imperfect. As the whole body of Christ was buried in the tomb of and resurrected therefrom, so must the whole body of the candidate be buried in the waters of baptism and raised therefrom. Otherwise there is an imperfect representation. These arguments, we anticipate will be conceded to by all. Why? Because they are just such common sense arguments as reason will suggest to the mind of every reasonable man. Heb., X: 22; 'Let us draw near with a true heart, in assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.' The apostle mentions sprinkling here, but his meaning is clearly defined. It only extends to the sprinkling of the heart, and when he comes to speak of the way the body is to be regenerated, he washes it with 'pure water.' AS to sprinkling the heart with water, every person of sense, who understands the formation of the human system, knows this would be an impossibility; consequently we infer that the apostle alluded to the heart's being sprinkled in some other way. How it is, we do not pretend to say. No doubt the apostle understood himself, and whenever he expresses himself in a manner at all ambiguous, we are disposed to leave the spiritualizing machine of the sectarian world, to root out the mystery. At all events there is no authority here for sprinkling the body for the body is to be washed with pure water.
After this array of incontestible [incontestable] proofs, we
believe the reader cannot be in any doubt of the way in which the ordinance of baptism was administered in the primitive church. We will therefore leave the subject of its proper administration, and pass on to the examination of other points.
'You have shown that baptism by immersion is correct,' says one, 'but I am not entirely convinced that it is really essential.' Very well, sir. We will see what the Bible says about it. Acts, II: 37, 38; 'Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' Peter tells his interrogators to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Well, then, if it is necessary for sins to be remitted, it is of paramount importance that you should be baptized. But one will say, 'Peter's instructions was confined to the people present on the day of Pentecost; therefore they are not binding upon us.' You are under a mistake. After Peter had told them what to do, he says in the following verse, 'For the 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.'-Then this promise extends to the latest period of time, to 'all that are afar off;' and as all mankind are called to repentance, of course it is necessary that every son and daughter of Adam should be baptized. One may wish to know what this promise is that extended to all that are afar off. We answer, it is the promise of redemption by repentance and baptism, for the remission of sins. Again, John, I: 11, 12, 13; 'He came unto his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' Being born of God, is to show forth the death and resurrection of God, by immersion, as we have before shown. 'But as many as received him, (that is by baptism) to them gave he power to become the sons of God.' If this great blessing was conferred upon those who were baptized, and withheld from those who were not, then we contend that it is a very essential ordinance, and is necessary to be attended to. But the following passage puts the question beyond the reach of controversy. We look upon it as positive. John III: 3, 4, 5; 'Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'-Why? Because the Savior has made that the only entrance into the kingdom.
The Savior s doctrine upon this point may seem rather hard to some, but we cannot help that. How often have we heard people say that if a man walks according to the best light he has, they believed he would be saved. We believe so to. But the light which they have is the Bible. Then all men have the same light. The Bible lays down but one rule for mankind to walk by-points out but one road to heaven-teaches but one set of principles-contains but one code of laws-but one kind of ordinances-and these are laid down so plain, and are made so clear to the understanding of every rational man, that 'he that runneth may read' and understand. God is no respector of persons. He has but one way of dealing with man, in all ages of the world. He requires the same things of people in the nineteenth century that he did of these of the first. When he organized his church, he made laws for the government of it, and we have no Bible testimony that they have ever been repealed. Now every person knows that any particular law is held good and continues in full force and effect until it is repealed, and it cannot be repealed by an improper tribunal. Before a repeal can be legal, that repeal must be made by such a court as the constitution recognizes as having jurisdiction in the case.-We cheerfully acknowledge that the laws and regulations that are now implanted in the different churches are not the same as governed the apostolic church. But this is the work of man, not God. The prophet Isaiah clearly foresaw this when he said, (Isaiah, XXIV: 5;) 'The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.' But one will say that this passage alludes to something that had already transpired, when the prophet spoke it, because it is written in the past tense. We conclude that this certainly cannot be the case, from the reading of the verse that immediately follows it. 'Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.' This shows that the prophet alludes to something that was to transpire long after his day, for in consequence of this changing the ordinance, &c, the inhabitants were burned, and few men left. This we
know, has never yet taken place. But the changing of the ordinance, we have shown, has already been accomplished. But more of this hereafter. Therefore we may look for the time yet to come when this burning is to be consummated. Hence we argue the disappearance of the priesthood. Paul says: Heb., VII: 12; 'For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.'-A good rule will work both ways.' Hence we say that a change of law will accomplish a change of priesthood. This is a fair conclusion to come to. But in order to show more clearly that the ordinance of baptism has been changed and corrupted, we will make a few extracts from Dr. Moshiem's Church History. This point we have clearly proven already by the Bible, (which is the best evidence,) but as men place such great confidence in the statements of commentators and historians, we feel disposed to gratify them. Dr. Moshiem is an unquestionable authority. On page 27, first paragraph, it reads as follows: 'The rites instituted by Christ himself, were only two in number and these were intended to continue to the end of the church here below, without any variation. These rites were baptism and the holy supper, which are not to be considered as mere ceremonies, nor yet as symbolic representations only, but also as ordinances with a sanctifying influence upon the heart, and the affections of true christians.' This goes to strengthen our argument, that baptism is essential to salvation, and that the ordinance must not be treated as a non-essential. It also goes to establish our assertion, that God has but one way of dealing with men, and that the ordinances which he instituted were to continue in the church through all ages wherever a true church should exist. We disagree, however, with the learned author in his statement that Christ placed in his church no ordinances but those mentioned. He certainly created the ordinance of laying on of hands, anointing with oil, &c. St Luke, XII: 11, 12, 13; 'And behold there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her: Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid he hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.' Again: St. Mark, VIII: 22, 23, 24, 25; 'And he came to Bethsadia, and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw aught [ought]. And he looked up and said, I see men as trees walking. After that, he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored and saw every man clearly.' See St. Mark, VI: 5; 'And he [Jesus] could there do no mighty works, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. St. Mark, IV: 40; 'Now, when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick, with diverse diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.' St. Mark, V; 'And besought him greatly, saying, my little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands upon her, and she shall live.' St. Mark, XVI: 18; 'They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.' St. Mark, X: 16; 'And he took them up in his arms and blessed them.' The following proves the ordinance of anointing with oil. St. Mark VI: 13; 'And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.'-Let him that readeth understand. When the Savior appeared unto the Eleven, after his resurrection from the tomb, he gave the following instructions. St. Mark, XVI: 15, 16, 17, 18; And he said unto them, 'go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.' This quotation shows the necessity of baptism, and that the ordinance of laying on of hands should continue in his church. These were the last instructions that were given the apostles by the Savior, previous to his asscention [ascension] into heaven, and taking his seat at the right hand of the Father, as will be seen from the verse that follows in the Bible. Then, upon what authority do men say that these things are done away?-Surely not upon the authority of the Bible.-We find further instructions in first Peter, V: 14; 'Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.' These evidences we deem conclusive; and however much a wicked and corrupt generation may laugh and sneer at the idea of these ordinances, gifts and blessings being continued in the church, we care not. It is the doctrine of the Bible, and that will bear down all the artful subterfuges, scoffs and baseless dogmas of the nineteenth century.
(To be Continued.)
(For the Times and Seasons.}}
PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.
A notice appeared, not long since, in the public prints, that PHINEAS CAMP, a Revolutionary Patriot, was dead, aged ninety-nine years and six months. The writer of this exit says: "Temperance in eating and drinking, and avoiding medicine &c., left him in the enjoyment of his faculties, in full energy, during a long life." He took no medicine until after he was eighty years old. From this fact alone, it is possible that if he had taken no medicine at all, he might have lived to be as old as Moses, one hundred and twenty years.
Another case: Elder Cole of this city, says his grand-father, Jacob Cole, now living in Lebanon, New York, is about one hundred and fourteen years of age; and he has never taken any medicine whatever, and he is in the full possession of his mental powers, as far as can be expected at so great an age. Such cases of longevity speak volumes against the common practice of medicine; and brings many to the conclusion, that medicine destroys as many lives, prematurely, as war.
The disciples of Jesus Christ, says Mark in the 6th chapter and 13th verse of his gospel, "anointed many that were sick, with oil, and healed them." And James says: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick." What heavenly advice; and how consoling to any one that ever thought God knew best what is best for our infirmities!
What greater sign of death, and less of faith, can be supposed, than to see a physician's horse hitched before a sick one's door? Although the Savior did not apply the caption of this article, to the doctors or physicians, yet it is evident from his using it as a proverb, and his disciples anointing with oil in all cases of sickness, that the church, and the good shepherd, then, had no faith in doctors, nor lawyers, or hypocrites!
If, in any age, when the church of God had power and authority on the earth, a command had been received that the doctors had power over diseases, and they shall heal the sick, then the trade might have flourished under a sacred sanction; and all the world could have branded Jeremiah as a false prophet, for saying, "Thus saith the Lord: CURSED BE THE MAN THAT TRUSTETH IN MAN, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." O saints, saints! the just shall live by faith! No doubt but cases may occur, where medical operations may be requisite; but generally speaking, "herbs and mild food," with good nursing, would be better for the patients person and pocket, than all the nostrums of materia medica.
There is a good deal of sound common sense in the above remarks. We believe that if we only had faith, "all things are possible to them that believe" and we would not plead our want of faith. As christians, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves: as believers in the Bible, and as Latter Day Saint, our faith ought to be firm and unshaken. But if we have not faith to be healed, as many of us have not, then we think our course is clearly defined in the following words:
"And again it shall come to pass, that he that has faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed: he who has faith to see, shall see: he who has faith to hear, shall hear: the lame who have faith to leap, shall leap: and those who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons; and inasmuch as they break not my laws, THOU SHALT BEAR THEIR INFIRMITIES."-And again: "And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy." "And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for, and lay their hands upon them in my name, and if they die, they shall die unto me, and if they live, they shall live unto me."-Doctrine and Covenants, Section XIII.
From these testimonies, it is very evident that the Lord expected that all men would not have faith to be healed; that if they had not faith to be healed, we must not condemn them; but "bear with their infirmities," inasmuch as they break not his laws. Again: if persons have not faith to be healed, but believe, they are to be "nourished with all tenderness, with herbs, and mild food."
The next question which necessarily arises, is, who is to administer those herbs? The book of Doctrine and Covenants says, they are not to be administered by the hands of an enemy. Who, then, is to administer? Are all heads of families? We should presume that all are not competent. We presume that nine-tenths of the human family, neither understand the physiology of the human system, the nature and effects of disease, nor the medicinal properties of herbs; and under such circumstances would not be competent to administer at all. Herbs are to be used, and mild food; but those herbs are to be used by skillful hands, if we are to judge by the following: "And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly; and is not good for man; but is an herb for bruises
and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill." We would ask here, does God take care of cattle? Is it necessary that they should be administered unto with judgment and skill? and we would again ask, is not the health of man of more value than many cattle? or are we to be more reckless of human life, than we are commanded to be of the beasts of the field? The answer to these questions, is obvious to every reflecting mind.
We should judge, then, from the above, that a person who is acquainted with the physiology of the human system, and the nature and medicinal properties of herbs, is more competent to judge of those things, and to administer with judgment and skill, than the one who is ignorant, both of the organization of the human system, of the medicinal properties of herbs, and of the nature and effects of disease.
It is also evident that, if there is any danger, or wrong, in the administration of herbs, it is from their being in the hands of unskillful men, and particularly in the hands of an enemy.
On reviewing the whole subject, we cannot but regret that, as saints, we have not all faith, either to be healed, or to cast ourselves into the hands of God, and "whether we live, live unto God, or whether we die, die unto the Lord."-But inasmuch as all have not faith, those that are strong ought not to condemn the weak, inasmuch as they make a judicious means of those things which the Lord, in his mercy, has been pleased to provide, and appoint for the infirmities and diseases of human nature.
We are aware that this community have been a good deal imposed upon by quacks; that nostrums of all kinds have been administered by injudicious hands, producing the most deleterious effects; and that many have slept in the dust, who, if they had been let alone, would still have been in the land of the living; but that is no reason why those who have not faith should not be aided by herbs, administered with care and skill by judicious hands. If the heads of families are themselves acquainted with the nature of diseases, the medicinal properties of herbs, and the mode of compounding, preparing and applying them, so much the better. If they are not, the advice and counsel of those better informed, we think could not be injurious.
We have made these remarks, not so much with a view to instruct, or give counsel in those matters which we consider to be of a delicate nature, as to lay before our brethren and sisters the testimony of the word of the Lord on the subject, that they may read and judge for themselves.-ED.
SINGULAR EFFECT OF THE COMET.-
GERMAN TRAVELER IN ASIA.-The Augsburg Gazette of July 31, contains the following letter from Tiffis, of June 4th:
The Comet, which has been so often spoken of in the journals, was seen at Erivan on the 24th of February. Thus it was discovered in a provincial town in Russia sooner than in the southern countries of Europe, while in the capitol of our colossal empire the astronomers have not seen it, thought they were provided with an excellent refractor. The appearance of this celestial body has had a singular influence on the separatists in the German colonies of Georgia. These colonists, who quitted twenty-seven years since, their country, Wurtemburg, to go to Jerusalem, believing that the end of the world was approaching, allowed themselves to be prevailed upon by reasonable representations to remain in Georgia-joined to other German emigrants, who did not share their religious enthusiasm, they peopled the new settlements of Alexandereorf, New Tiffis, Marienfeld, Elizbethal, Katherinmenfeld and Helenendorf.-They lived in these villages, and gave themselves up peaceably to their labors.-Their wealth increased every day, and they seemed to have forgotten entirely their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, though they still remained separate from the Church.
For the last year or two, their ancient religious desires was revived. Young and old men all felt themselves seized with a pious ardor to see the Holy Sepulchre [Sepulcher]. The prophecies of a distinguished family of Katherinenfield supported their zeal and enthusiasm, and finally, when the comet appeared, they regarded it as a guide sent from heaven, and sold all their estates and refunded to the Crown the advances they received from it. The rich paid for the poor, the residue of their property was given to any individuals who presented themselves, and thus form three to four hundred persons, among whom were old men, women and children, set out without money, and on foot, to Jerusalem, in the firm persuasion that God would help them through all the dangers which threatened them, in such a long journey in the minds of barbarous countries.
Well disposed people sought to divert them from this disastrous resolution. In their religious enthusiasm the separatists disdained all advice. The governor general of the TransCaucasin [Transcaucasian] provinces, M. de Meidhart, a man of generous mind, who joins to a vigorous justice the most distinguished affability, used efforts to make the colonists understand the folly of this rash expedition. Having found them immovable in their resolution, he endeavored to
facilitate their passage across Kurcistan by his interest with the Paciras of Bajazid and Elzeroum. As the religious fanaticism of these colonists reacted on other colonists, and as the number of proselytes continued to increase, their departure was considered an advantage to the settlements, as families to the peasants who arrived from Germany wanted good land to cultivate. The places left vacant by the pilgrims were soon filled up by the new arrivals. Boston Advertiser.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1843.
MYSTERY OF GODLINESS.
(Continued from page 314.}} If we turn attention to ceremonial law-the divers washings, anointings, sprinklings, sacrifices, feasts and ordinances, that were performed under the Mosaic economy, we find as much difficulty in accounting for it, philosophically; or in other words, according to the limited philosophy of men. If we could comprehend that philosophy which controls the elements, regulates the universe, that organized and sustains the spheres-if we could commune with angels, unravel the secrets of eternity, and comprehend the intelligence that dwells in the bosom of God, the mystery would be solved, the difficulty would pass away, and our skepticism, and ignorance, would be buried in everlasting oblivion.
We here might refer to the atonement of Jesus Christ-his appearing in human nature-his death and resurrection, ascension and glorification, as being necessary for the salvation of the human family-who can comprehend it? Paul exclaims, "great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on by the world, received up to glory." In fact, the whole plan of salvation, from the first to last, is of that nature which demands our faith in the word, works, and revelations of God-and without which it would, to us, be entirely incomprehensible.
We have been lead to make these remarks on account of the many queries that we frequently hear expressed, both by the world and by the church, concerning the things of God, particularly when anything is advanced with which we are not familiar, which is contrary to our prepossessed opinions, or our long established usages. We try to reconcile everything to our reason; and if we should fail this, we think if we only had a precedent for it in the scriptures, we should have some faith in it.
Concerning the first of these, we are positively told that, "no man knows the things of God, but by the spirit of God." Now, if we do not, or cannot, by our own understanding, comprehend the things of God, and if the productions of our most enlarged capacities; our refined ideas, and the greatest stretch of human wisdom is called folly by God: and if the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of men, how consummate is that folly which would reject the counsel of God, because we cannot comprehend it? And relative to their being no precedent, if any circumstances should transpire, for which there is no precedent, would that alter the course of God? or do away with a correct principle? Verily no. What precedent had Noah for building an Ark? or what scripture testimony? Where was it written in the scriptures that Sodom and Gomorrah should be destroyed? and that Lot and his friends were to leave it? or where could Moses find it written in the scriptures that he was to lead the children of Israel form Egypt to Palestine? If these men had waited until they had some scriptural proof, they never would have accomplished the work which they did. It was by faith that men waxed valiant in fight, escaped the edged of the sword, put to flight the armies of the aliens, received their dead to life, were translated, overcome the world, resisted the fiery flames, and obtained a celestial inheritance; and not by blind unbelief, or the false reasoning of men.
Under these circumstances, what consummate folly it is for men, who profess to believe in the Bible, to reject everything which they cannot comprehend. We had like to have said that this reasoning might become an Infidel-but could not in anywise comport with the professed faith of a Christian. But even here we should fail. The Infidel philosopher could not make his more ignorant brother understand many philosophical truisms that he would be capable of demonstrating. Would this unlearned man be justified in rejecting everything he could not comprehend? Certainly not.
Let us carry the thing further, and we shall find that the most wise comprehend but little. Who can tell us how a blade of grass, or an ear of corn grows? or yet less, how a grain of sand i sformed [is formed]? Who can inform us how this world is organized? point out the chambers of light and heat; or tell us how the body and spirit of man is united? Yet, however inexplicable to us, those things do exist; and if we
could comprehend them, are governed by certain powers, are under the direction of given laws, and are organized, limited, governed, constrained and directed according to the strictest principles of true philosophy.
We are told frequently by unbelievers, that they do not understand certain principles, and consequently cannot receive them. The scriptures, however, which those persons profess to believe, say that "no man knoweth the things of God, but by the spirit of God." If, therefore, they have not obeyed the gospel, and obtained the spirit of God through obedience, they are not, and cannot be competent judges, according to their own acknowledged rule.-With more plausibility will many of our brethren come forward and say, we cannot understand, and yet we have obeyed the form of doctrine delivered unto us-we have been baptised [baptized], have had hands laid on us, have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and perhaps have had the gift of tongues, the gift of healing, and many other gifts, and yet there are many things which we do not understand. How are we to reconcile this? Paul says, "to one is given the gift of faith; to another the gift of tongues; to another the gift of prophesy; to another the gift of wisdom," &c., and then further asks, "do all prophesy? do all speak in tongues? do all interpret?" If they do not, then of course, one cannot understand another's gift. And why? Because it is not his gift, and he cannot understand it. The body is not one member, but many, and all these members make the one body. The hand is not the head, nor the foot the ear-each member performs its proper office in the body. The foot cannot hear, nor the hand see, yet are they members of the body, and perform their proper functions-and if this is the situation of the natural body, so it is in regard to the spiritual. All do not prophesy; all do not speak in, or interpret tongues; all do not possess the gift of wisdom and knowledge; all are not acquainted with the mysteries of the kingdom-and consequently cannot comprehend them.-But we fear that there is a greater difficulty than this in the way, and one that is of our own making. We are plainly told that "every good and perfect gift proceeds from the father of lights, in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." The question very naturally arises, how are we to get in possession of these gifts, graces and blessings?
Peter in his second epistle, after speaking of the precious faith which the church had obtained, to whom he wrote, 'through the righteousness of God, and our Savior Jesus Christ,' gives us some very useful instruction on this point, in the following words:
2d Peter, I; 4-9 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.-For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
From this it would seem that however pure our faith may have been, and however glorious our privileges, yet if we ourselves do not add to our faith virtue, temperance, knowledge, patience, brotherly kindness, charity and godliness, we shall yet be ignorant; we shall yet be 'blind and cannot see afar off,' and we shall in all probability forget that we were once purged from our sins. If, therefore, we were to show more anxiety after virtue, patience, brotherly kindness, charity and those cardinal virtues mentioned by the apostle, we should exhibit a more christian-like conduct, be of more benefit to society, and be a greater blessing to the Church of Jesus Christ, to our families and to the world, than by puzzling ourselves with obstruce questions; things which are beyond our reach, and striving to unravel mysteries that we cannot comprehend. If we know things, it must be through the channel ordained of God, and not prematurely, or by a prying, captious or quarrelsome disposition.-And if we should be ever so pure, virtuous and sincere in our intention, it takes time and experience to put us in possession of a knowledge of the things of God. There must be a progression, 'first the blade then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear,' children, young men, and fathers. John says, 'I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you, for his names' sake. I write unto you young men, because ye are strong and have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.'
Here then are the various gradations, and we cannot expect a child to act like, nor possess the knowledge of a man; and if we see a man acting like a child, we say he ought to 'put away childish things.'
But independent of all these things, godliness is said to be a mystery, a great mystery; there are lengths and breadths, and heights, and principalities, and powers, visions and revelations, the ministering of angels, and of the spirits of just men made perfect; and gifts and ordinances,
and blessings, and things concerning ourselves in eternity, which we cannot conceive of, unless revealed to us. We have made very little proficiency in some of these things, compared with what the Hebrew church had. Paul says, Heb. XII: 22, 24; "But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."-"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Those saints by faith, diligence, and perseverance, had come into the presence of angels, the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to God the judge of all. They had witnessed his glory, seen his power, associated with his angels, beheld the spirits of just men made perfect, and had the heavens opened to their view. These were men of like passions with us, encompassed about with infirmities and weakness, but by faith, virtue, perseverance, had attained those blessings, and have left us a pattern that we should treat in their steps.
We repeat it again, it would be more wise for us to seek God in his own appointed way, than to puzzle ourselves about questions that we cannot understand. How do we know, but that men, in this day, may be similarly situated with Paul, in his day? He said that he was 'caught up into the third heavens, and saw things which were not lawful for man to utter.' But it may be said they were heavenly pure, glorious, and why not lawful? We must leave Paul to answer that question, and content ourselves with knowing that he has said it;-and if God was to reveal himself in these days to persons, as he did to Paul, there might be something too great, incomprehensible and mysterious for man in general to understand, and for society to be acquainted with; it might be as unlawful to utter now, as in Paul's day; and might, by coming in contact with their prejudices, prepossessions and habits, prove a stumbling-block, even to the Latter Day Saints. But if we act wisely, prudently and judiciously, and walk in the steps of Paul, we may obtain the same intelligence, in the same way, and then instead of stumbling at others, or being ourselves a stumbling-block, 'our path will be that of the just which shineth brighter and brighter, unto the perfect day;' and after warring a good warfare, by patient continuance in well doing, we 'shall be crowned with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life.'
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
Know all men by these presents, before whom this may come, that elder GEORGE J. ADAMS, is fully authorized and required from this time forth to travel from place to place, to raise money by donations, contributions, or collections, both from the Saints, and all honorable men of the earth, to assist in building the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo: and he is empowered to give a receipt for the same; and our prayer is, that the God of Israel will open the hearts of the people, that they may give liberally to assist in rolling forth the purposes of God in the last days: and all those who give, shall receive the blessings of god, and be rewarded in this world, and the world to come.
We subscribe ourselves your brethren in the bonds of the gospel
Presidents of the
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints
Nauvoo, October 14th, 1843.
It will be seen that the date of the Conference minutes, and that of the paper, disagree. We thought that our readers would be wishful to have them in this number, and have, therefore, published them. As our hands are now all well, we hope, in a few weeks, to have all the numbers complete.
MINUTES OF A SPECIAL CONFERENCE.
Of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in the City of Nauvoo, commencing on the 6th of October, 1843.
Friday, October 6th, 10 o'clock A. M.
The weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the conference was postponed until the next day at 10 o'clock, A. M.
Saturday, 10 'clock A. M.
Conference assembled and proceeded to business.
President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills chosen clerk.
Opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by elder Almon Babbitt.
The president stated the items of business to be brought before the Conference, to be,
1st. The case and standing of elder Sidney Rigdon, counsellor [counselor] to the First Presidency.
2d. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.
Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the saints.
President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the Conference had to make. He sated his dissatisfaction with elder Sidney Rigdon as a counsellor [counselor], not having received any material benefit from his labors or counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the Post Office; a supposed correspondence in connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the
Missourians, of a treacherous character: also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.
President Joseph Smith related to the Conference the detention of documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., which were designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage. Also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smiths' visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that in consequence of those, and other circumstances, and his unprofitableness to him as a counsellor [counselor], he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the saints.
Elder Almon Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last Conference.
President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.
Elder Sidney Rigdon plead, concerning the documents from J. Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he had transmitted to him-that he received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it-did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith-that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one, but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith-that he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.
The weather becoming inclement, Conference adjourned until Sunday 10 o'clock A. M.
Sunday, 8th inst., 10 o'clock, A. M.
Conference assembled agreeably to the adjournment and opened with singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder William W. Phelps.
Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defence [defense]. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of Quincy, after his escape from Missouri-the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed-and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith concerning their former friendship, associations and sufferings, and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.
Elder Almon Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esq. Johnson, in which he exonerated elder Sidney Rigdon from the charge or suspicion of having had treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin.
President Joseph Smith arose and satisfactorily explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with Ex-Governor Carlin, which wholly removed suspicion from elder Sidney Rigdon, and from every other person. He expressed entire willingness to have elder Sidney Rigdon retain his station, provided he would magnify his office, and walk and conduct himself in all honesty, righteousness, and integrity; but signified his lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.
President Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and expressive remarks on the attribute of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls, and conquers-and the propriety and importance of the saint's exercising the same attribute towards their fellows; and especially towards their aged companion and fellow servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.
Elder Almon Babbitt and pres't. Wm. Law followed with remarks in defence [defense] of elder Sidney Rigdon.
On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted that elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as Counsellor [Counselor] to the First Presidency.
Singing by the choir-prayer by pres't. Wm. Law.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Sunday Three o'clock P. M.
Conference assembled, but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday 10 o'clock A. M.
Monday 10 o'clock, A. M.
Conference assembled, and resumed business.
Singing by the choir prayer by elder A. Cutler.
The business pertaining to the Temple was then announced by the President as next in order
Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the Temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions; also of iron, steel, powder and clothing-giving as his opinion that the walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.
Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the Temple-earnestly exhorting the saints, here and abroad, to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the Committee, that the work may advance with rapidity.
President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work-the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion-that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the Temple, or elsewhere.
On motion by elder William Law, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, Conference voted, That we, as conference, and individuals, will use all the means, exertions, and influence in our power, to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the Temple.
President Joseph Smith presented and read to the Conference, a communication from Col. Francis M. Higbee, whose conduct had been called into question, in connection with elder Sidney Rigdon, and expressed himself satisfied that Col. Frances M. Higbee was free, even of reproach or suspicion, in that matter.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Monday, 2 o'clock, P. M.
Conference reassembled, and listened with profound attention, to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of James Adams, Esq., late of this city, and an honorable, worthy, useful, and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He spoke of the importance of our understanding the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life, and of death; and the designs and purposes of God, in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence-that it is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter-the ignorance of the world in reference to their true condition, and relation. Reading the experience of others, or the revelations given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things, can only be obtained by experience in these things, through the ordinance of God set forth for that purpose. He remarked that the disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection, would be indescribably dreadful. That the organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings was agreeably to the most perfect order and harmony-that their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to by themselves-subscribed to upon the earth-hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth. He assured the saints that truth in reference to these matters, can, and may be known, through the revelations of God in the way of his ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew church "came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant" but what they learned, has not been, and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just, &c.? It was the established order of the kingdom of God-the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the saints-hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just, and angels. Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire, or glory. Angels have advanced further-their light and glory being tabernacled, and hence appear in bodily shape.
Concerning brother James Adams, he remarked, that it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was, wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil, cannot be reconciled. Judge Adams had been a most intimate friend. He had anointed him to the Patriarchial [Patriarchal] power-to receive the keys of knowledge, and power, by revelation to himself. He had had revelations concerning his departure, and had gone to a more important work-of opening up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work-hence they are blessed in departing hence. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far form us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings and motions, and are often pained therewith.
President Smith concluded with exhortations to the church to renew their exertions to
forward the work of the Temple, and in walking before the Lord in soberness and righteousness.
Such is a faint outline of the discourse of President Joseph Smith, which was delivered with his usual feeling and pathos; and was listened to with the most profound and eager attention by the multitude, who hung upon his instructions, anxious to learn and pursue the path of eternal life.
After singing by the choir, and prayer by the President, Conference adjourned sine die, with the benediction of the President.
JOSEPH SMITH, President.
GUSTAVUS HILLS, Clerk.
MINUTES OF THE LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE, HELD IN ENGLAND.
SUNDAY, June, 4th.
This conference was held in the New Corn Exchange, Manchester, on Whit-Sunday, June 4th, 1843, and by adjournment, the two following days, in the large room connected with Hayward's Hotel, Bridge Street.
From the unsettled state of the weather, we were led to expect that our numbers would not be very great, but, to our astonishment, never before had we seen so many Saints assembled together.
The meeting being called to order, Elder Thomas Ward was unanimously chosen to preside; brother William Walker being then appointed to act as the clerk of the conference.
The meeting was then opened by singing "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c. President Ward engaged in prayer. After the second hymn, the president addressed the conference at considerable length on the multitude before him, and the object that brought them together. He enlarged on the high purposes of God in the salvation of the human family, stating what the church of Jesus Christ understood by salvation, which was this, that intelligence, or the light of truth being connected with elementary matter, which constituted our existence, had become, through the fall as Gods, knowing good and evil; that in this condition, and retaining this knowledge, we, by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the ordinances of his kingdom, had become sons and daughters of the highest, and by a faithful endurance unto the end, we should attain to the fulness [fullness] of God, fitting us to enter into his presence to become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He exhorted the Saints to cherish a spirit of love and charity, and suffering injury, even from their brethren, to be ready to forgive, and to maintain a continued purpose of heart, and whatever may arise, still to serve the Lord; by which means they would soon find the evils that affected them would disappear, and by the light of the spirit of God, they would see clearly their true position, and the clouds of darkness arising on their path, would soon be dissipated by the illuminating radiance of the light of heaven.
Elders Clark and Fielding followed, and gave some excellent teachings, in which the saints did greatly rejoice.
The number of officers present was then called for: high priests six; elders, 58; priests, 64; teachers, 40; deacons, 10. The representation of the churches being next called for, the following statements were made:
Manchester Conference-Represented by elder Charles Miller, containing 1481 members, including 38 elders, 75 priests, 54 teachers, and 17 deacons, and comprising 30 branches.
Liverpool Conference-Represented by elder Ward, containing 558 members, 31 elders, 30 priests, 14 teachers, and 10 deacons, comprising four branches.
Preston Conference-Represented by elder William Snalem, containg [containing] 655 members, 1 high priest, 18 elders, 18 priests, 18 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 15 branches.
London Conference-Represented by elder William Major, the West End containing 58 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers; the East End, Clerkenwell 156 members, 3 elders, 9 priests, 2 teachers, 2 deacons. Newbery, 22 members, 1 elder, 2 priest. Woolwich, 30 members, 1 elder.
The meeting being opened by singing the 144th hymn, elder Clark engaged in prayer.-After the second hymn, a blessing was asked upon the bread by elder Banks.
President Ward then rose and gave some suitable instructions to the officers and members respecting the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. He wished them to have a clear view of its nature and design. The ordinance of baptism was a sign between the sincere believer and God, a sign of power by which we legally claimed remission of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the ordination of heaven. So also the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was a sign between God and us, to which we attended for a distinct and certain purpose, which was, that we might have the continued influence of the spirit of God to be with us. Hence the teachings in the revelations given to direct us in the administration of this ordinance, viz:, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of they Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments, which he has given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them: Amen. So likewise in blessing the wine, the idea is given us that we attend to this ordinance as a sign by which we witness these things before God, and keep his commandments, in order that we may always have his spirit to be with us. Here,
then, we see the necessity of coming with clean hands to this ordinance, that we may eat and drink worthily, and not unto condemnation.-And again, we see the necessity of the exhortation, 'Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is;' and, my dear brethren, as time rolls on, and the events that shall characterize the last days thicken around us, we shall feel the necessity of a continual influence of the spirit of the Lord God to enable us to endure all the things that shall come to pass; therefore let us comprehend the true nature of the ordinance, and seek, as Jesus exhorted, to 'do this until he come.'
The representation of the branches was then resumed.
Macclesfield Conference-Represented by elder James Galley, consisting of 250 members, 11 elders, 28 priests, 15 teachers, 9 deacons, comprising 6 branches.
Birmingham Conference-Represented by elder Cooper Royle, consisting of 509 members, 32 elders, 32 priests, 18 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 16 branches.
Staffordshire Conference-Consisting of 377 members, 38 elders, 59 priests, 14 teachers, 10 deacons, comprising 12 branches.
Edinburgh Conference-Represented by elder Henry M'Ewan, consisting of 302 members, 10 elders, 10 priests, 8 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising four branches.
Garway Conference-Represented by elder Charles Taysom, consisting of 176 members, 4 elders, 5 priests, 7 teachers, 2 deacons, comprising 5 branches.
Glasgow Conference-Represented by priest Peter M'Cue, consisting of 721 members, 24 elders, 32 priests, 28 teachers, 16 deacons, comprising 14 branches.
Froome's Hill Conference-Consisting of 784 members, 1 high priest, 21 elders 47 priests, 21 teachers, 9 deacons, comprising about 36 branches.
The meeting being called to order by elder Clark, was opened by singing 'Earth is the place where Christ will reign.' Elder Major engaged in prayer, when the representation of the various branches was resumed.
Carlisle Conference-Represented by elder John Barker, consisting of 154 members, 8 elders, 19 priests, 8 teachers and 3 deacons, comprising 4 branches.
Sheffield Conference-Represented by elder James Carrigan, consisting of 128 members, 4 elders, 9 priests, 3 teachers, and 3 deacons.
Bradford Conference-Represented by elder Robert Parker, consisting of 240 members, 8 elders, 15 priests, 11 teachers, and 6 deacons, comprising 7 branches.
Bedford Conference-Represented by elder Thomas Margetts, consisting of 242 members, 14 elders, 20 priests, 8 teachers, and 4 deacons, comprising 10 branches.
Ireland Conference-Consisting of Hillsborough, 55 members, 3 elders, 2 priests, 2 teachers and one deacon.
Lincolnshire-Louth, 14 members, 1 elder, 2 priests, 1 teacher.
Worcestershire-Represented by elder Smith, Earl's Common, 61 members, 3 elders, 4 priests and one teacher. Penvin, 19 members, 1 elder, 2 priests and one teacher. Broomsgrove, 36 members, 1 elder, 3 priests.
MONDAY, June 5.
The adjourned meeting, held at Hayward Hotel, Bridge Street, being opened with singing, prayer was offered up by elder Charles Miller.
President Ward then called upon all those whose circumstances would allow them to devote themselves entirely to the work of the ministry, to manifest their willingness to volunteer in the service of God by standing up, when the following names were taken, viz: Osmond Shaw, Thomas Shaw, elder Speakman, elder George Eyres, and Samuel Downes.
Elder Clark then rose and gave a general invitation to all who had a sincere desire to enter into the priesthood in order to glorify God, to come forth to be ordained. He said it was in accordance with the mind and will of the Father, that they who had a sincere desire to servo [serve] God, should be called unto the priesthood, that they might go forth and proclaim the pure principles of eternal truth, even the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The following then stood up as candidates, viz: John Williams, Joseph Smith and Thomas Jackson.
The subjoined nominations were then presented to the meeting, and were carried unanimously:-That R. Cowen be ordained elder; T. Pratt, elder; J. Flint, priest; S. Downes, elder; J. Williams, elder; J. Smith, priest J. Nightingale, priest; Peter M'Cue, elder; J. Lee, priest; Thomas Jackson, priest; Samuel Wells, priest; Joseph Walker, elder; Charles Turner, priest; Christopher Riding, priest; Levi Rigg, elder; George Robinson, priest; Geo. Hewitt, teacher; Thomas Jennings, teacher.-The above were then ordained to their respective offices under the hands of elder Ward, Clark Fielding, Miller, Major, Crook and Albiston.
The following appointments were then made: Elder Birradale was appointed to take the presidency
of the Cheltenham branch; elder Rudd to preside over the Nottingham circuit; elder Pritchard to labor in Derbyshire; and it was ordered that the conferences of Birmingham and Macclesfield give every assistance to elder Pritchard in their respective neighborhoods.-Elder Speakman was appointed to labor in conjunction with elder Parker in the Bradford conference; Osmond Shaw to labor at Addingham in Yorkshire; elder George Eyres in Lincolnshire and Hull, in connexion [connection] with elder Henry Cuerden; elder Samuel Downes was appointed to labor in Derbyshire in connexion [connection] with elder Hibbert. Other appointments not decided up on, being more immediately in connexion [connection] with the Manchester conference, were left in the hands of elder Charles Miller.
We must confess that the teachings from president Ward, elders Clark and Fielding were rich indeed; they certainly appeared in excellent spirits at the prospect before them; the spirit of love and union was manifested in every countenance, while joy and gladness filled every heart at the varied testimonies borne by the servants of God.
Thus passed the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in England; revealing the progress of this great work of the Lord in the last days, which has come forth in the exact time predicted by the prophets, and which must roll onward until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ; Even so: Amen.
WILLIAM WALKER, Clerk.
MINUTES OF A CONFERENCE HELD IN BUFFALO, N. Y.
Conference convened according to previous appointment, on September 1, 1843. The conference was called to order by Elder William Newland. J. P. Green was called to the chair, and William H. Folsom was chosen secretary of said conference. Brother Green then arose and retured [returned] his sincere thanks to the conference, for the confidence reposed in him, and was aware of the responsibility attending his situation as a presiding officer of the conference, and also of every member comprising the same. He stated that Kings and Potentates were accustomed to call councils to regulate the affairs of state, as all governments have been in the habit of meeting in councils from time immemorial. Therefore according to the usages of nations, we have a perfect right to meet in council, and God requires it at our hands, and while we contemplate the importance of such councils to regulate the affairs of nations, we are led to the conclusion that the business devolving upon us, as loyal subjects of the King of Heaven, is of infinitely greater moment than the kings of the earth, and urged with great zeal the importance of this conference, calling upon God to direct us in wisdom. He then called upon the Lord in prayer.
Measures were then entered into to examine the characters and progress of all members of said conference.
The following high priests were present, and received by the conference, viz: Elders John P. Green, Noah Packard, Alexander Williams, Phineas Young and Joel McQuithey.
The following elders were then examined, and unanimously received, viz: William Coray, Henry B. Jacobs, Michael Jacobs, Henry Jacobs, Edwin S. Little, George Thompson, Enoch Rees, Judson L. Stoddard, Julius J. Guimand, Calvin R. Clark, William H. Folsom and Bragford W. Elliott.
It was moved that the conference adjourn until to-morrow morning, 9 o'clock.
Conference convened agreeable to adjournment, and was called to order by singing and prayer.
Report of Branches-Alexander branch, represented by A. Sheffield, clerk of the branch, consists of 36 members, 12 elders, one deacon, and three by letter since last conference, all in good standing.
Alabama branch, represented by L. Whiteing, 11 members.
Ackron branch, represented by J. P. Green, 26 members, 10 elders.
Atica branch, represented by Joel McQuithey, 13 members, 3 elders.
Brant branch, represented by Henry B. Jacobs, 15 members, one elder, one teacher.
Buffalo branch, represented by William H. Fulsom [Folsom], 5 members, four elders, one teacher.
Bennington branch, represented by Joel McQuithey, 19 members, one high priest, one elder.
Batavia branch, represented by George Thompson, 18 members, eight elders.
East Bloomfield branch, represented by William Coray, consists of eight scattering members.
Cambria Branch, represented by Walter Hard, 22 members, six elders.
Hartland branch, represented by Henry Jacobs, 37 members, nine elders.
Charlotte and Salem branches, not represented.
Newfain branch, represented by Walter Hurd, nine members, one elder.
Centreville branch, represented by Charles Thompson, 11 members, one elder.
Weathersfield branch, represented by Geo Thompson,
eight members, two elders.
Eight members on Grand Island, represented by Counrod Staley.
Eleven scattering members, represented by Henry Jacobs.
Conference adjourned for one hour.
Called to order at two o'clock.
It was moved that Joseph Shamp, Ralph Young and Josiah Tyler, cease from their labors in the ministry, until they go to Nauvoo and receive instructions. Brother Shamp for teaching false doctrine, and circulating false statements concerning conference.
Brother Young for making false statements concerning conference and time of holding the same.
Brother Tyler for immoral and unchristian like conduct.
It was moved that brothers George Thompson and Lynus Whiteing go and labor with Philip Winegar.
It was moved that Lyman Stoddard, and Judson L. Stoddard go to Ligrange branch and labor.
It was moved that Michael Jacobs, Edwin S. Little, Julius J. Guinand enter into labors together, in Cataraugus county, and in the surrounding country.
It was moved that Bradford W. Elliott, and Ralph G. Coats go to Canada, Niagara District and Niagara county, N. Y.
It was moved that brother Counrod Staley, Samuel Liscom, and George Hartman, be ordained elders.
It was moved that this conference adjourn to Alexandria, until the first Saturday in December next.
It was moved that the minutes of this conference be published in the Times and Seasons.
JOHN P. GREEN, Chairman.
WILLIAM FOLSOM, Sec'ry.
For the Times and Seasons.
Come listen to a prophet's voice, The Savior to his people said,
And hear the word of God; "Let ALL my words obey,
And in the ways of truth rejoice, And signs shall follow you on earth,
And sing for joy aloud. Down to the latest day."
We've found the way the prophets went, The sick, on whom the oil is pour'd,
Who lived in days before; And hands in meekness laid,
Another prophet now is sent Are, by the power of God, restor'd
This knowledge to restore. Thro faith, as Jesus said.
The gloom of sullen darkness, spread No more in slavish fear we mourn;
Through earth's extended space, No yoke of bondage wear;
Is banished by our living head, No more beneath delusion groan;
And God has shown his face. Nor superstitious fear.
Through erring schemes in days that past Of every dispensation past;
The world has gone astray, Of every promise made;
Yet saints of God have found at last The fist be last, the last be first-
The straight and narrow way. The living and the dead.
Tis not in man they put their trust, Saviors shall to Mount Zion come-
Or on his arm rely; Their thousands bring to rest
Full well assured, all are accursed Throughout the great Millennium-
Whom Jesus Christ deny. They Eternally be bles't.
The Times and Seasons, is edited by JOHN TAYLOR. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR AND WILFORD WOODRUFF.
TERMS.-TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
|←Number 21|| [[../../]]
4, Number 22
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 22.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. October 1, 1843.||[Whole No. 82.|
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
It may be well to observe here, that the Lord greatly encouraged and strengthened the faith of his little flock, which had embraced the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel, as revealed to them in the Book of Mormon, by giving some more extended information upon the scriptures, a translation of which had already commenced.
Much conjecture and conversation frequently occurred among the saints, concerning the books mentioned, and referred to in various places in the Old and New Testaments, which were now no where to be found. The common remark was, they were lost books; but it seems the apostolic churches had some of these writings, as Jude mentions or quotes the prophesy of Enoch, the seventh from Adam. To the joy of the flock, which in all, from Colesville to Canandaigua, N. York, numbered about seventy members, did the Lord reveal the following doings of olden times, from the prophesy [prophecy] of Enoch.
Extract from the Prophesy of Enoch.
And it came to pass that Enoch continued his speech saying, Behold our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed and become the sons of God, and many have believed not and perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them. And from that time forth Enoch began to prophesy, saying unto the people that, as I was journeying and stood upon the place Manhujah, I cried unto the Lord, and there came a voice out of heaven, saying Turn ye and get ye upon the mount Simeon.-And it came to pass that I turned and went upon the mount, and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open and I was clothed upon with glory, and I saw the Lord; he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talks one to another face to face; and he said unto me, Look, and I will show unto you the world for the space of many generations. And it came to pass that I beheld the valley Shum, and lo, a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum. And again the Lord said unto me, Look, and I looked towards the north, and I beheld the people of Canaan, which dwelt in tents. And the Lord said unto me, Prophesy, and I prophesied saying, Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan; for behold the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever: And there was blackness come upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me, Look, and I looked and beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof: and the Lord said unto me, Go to this people and say unto them, Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they did. And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father and the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and the Holy Spirit, which bears record of the Father and the Son.
And it came to pass, that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent: and so great was the faith of Enoch, that he lead the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them, and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled; and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lion was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of language, which God had given him. There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea; and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off, and went upon the land which came up out of the depths of the sea. And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all the people which fought against God: and from that time forth there were wars and bloodsheds among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish. And the Lord called his people Zion,
because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them; and Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in those days, that he built a city that was called the city of holiness, even ZION. And it came to pass, that Enoch talked with the Lord, and he said unto the Lord, surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch, Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.-And it came to pass, that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven! And the Lord said unto Enoch, behold my abode forever: and Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam, and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam, save it were the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them. And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld and lo all the nations of the earth were before him, and there came generation upon generation, and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and the Son of Man; and behold the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth! And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice, saying, Wo, wo, be unto the inhabitants of the earth! And he beheld Satan, and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness, and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced. And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son: and the Holy Spirit fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion. And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept, and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it the heavens weep and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the Lord, how is it that you can weep, seeing you are holy and from all eternity to all eternity? and were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, and millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of your creations; and your curtains are stretched out still; and yet you are there, and your bosom is there; and also, you are just; you are merciful and kind forever; you have taken Zion to your own bosom from all your creations, from all eternity to all eternity, and nought [naught] but peace, justice and truth is the habitation of your throne; and mercy shall go before your face and have no end: how is it that you can weep?
The Lord said unto Enoch, behold these your brethren: they are the workmanship of my own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto your brethren have I said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one another; and that they should choose me, their Father, but behold they are without affection; and they hate their own blood; and the fire of my indignation is kindled against them: and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.-Behold I am God; Man of holiness is my name; Man of council is my name, and Endless and Eternal is my name, also. Wherefore, I can stretch forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and my eye can pierce them, also; and among all the workmanship of my hand, there has not been so great wickedness, as among your brethren; but behold their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers:-Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of my hands: wherefore, should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? But behold, these, which your eyes are upon, shall perish in the floods; and behold I will shut them up: a prison have I prepared for them. And that which I have chosen has plead before my face: Wherefore he suffers for their sins, inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my chosen shall return unto me; and until that day, they shall be in torment: wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep; yea, and all the workmanship of my hands.
And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Enoch and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men: wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned, and all eternity shook. And Enoch saw Noah, also, and his family, that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation: wherefore he saw that Noah built an ark; and the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his hand; but upon the residue of the wicked came the floods and swallowed them up. And as Enoch saw thus, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens, I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch, Lift up your heart and be glad, and look. And it came to pass that Enoch looked, and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying, When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may
be sanctified, and have eternal life? And the Lord said, It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying, the righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father: and behold Zion is with me! And it came to pass, that Enoch looked upon the earth, and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying, Wo, wo is me the mother of men! I am pained: I am weary because of the wickedness of my children! When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which has gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness, for a season, abide upon my face? And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, will you not have compassion upon the earth? Will you not bless the children of Noah? And it came to pass that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying, I ask you, O Lord, in the name of your only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that you will have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods? And the Lord could not withhold: and he covenanted with Enoch, and swore unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah: and he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand: and the Lord said, Blessed is him through whose seed the Messiah shall come: for he says, I am Messiah, the King of Zion; the Rock of heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso comes in at the gate and climbs up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.
And it came to pass, that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying, When the Son of man comes in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray you show me these things. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of man lifted upon the cross, after the manner of men; and he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creation of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent: and the saints arose and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of man, with crowns of glory; and as many of the spirits as were in prison, came forth and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. And again, Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying, When shall the earth rest? And Enoch beheld the Son of man ascend up unto the Father: and he called unto the Lord, saying, Will you not come again upon the earth, for inasmuch as you are God, and I know you, and you have sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of your Only Begotten, you have made me, and given unto me a right to your throne, and not of myself, but through your own grace: wherefore, I ask you if you will not come again on the earth? And the Lord said unto Enoch, as I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil [fulfill] the oath which I have made unto you, concerning the children of Noah: and the day shall come that the earth shall rest-but before that day, shall the heavens be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve: and righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of my Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men: and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out my own elect from the four quarters of the earth unto a place which I shall prepare; a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called ZION, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, then shall you and all your city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other, and there shall be my abode, and it shall be Zion which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest. And it came to pass that Enoch saw the days of the coming of the Son of man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness, for the space of a thousand years: but before that day he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men's hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgments of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked. And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness [fullness] of joy: and all the days of Zion in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years: and Enoch and all his people walked with God and he dwelt in the midst of Zion: and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up
into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled.
(To be Continued.)
[For the Times and Seasons.]
BAPTISM-THE MODE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION-ITS EFFICACY-DR. MOSHIEM-STATE OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD-THE APOSTASY [APOSTASY], &c., &c
The people of this enlightened age profess to believe the Bible, but when we lay before them the glorious principles and truths it contains, they are ready to take our lives, persecute us with mobs, tar, feathers, stripes, stones, and heap all manner of reproach, abuse and indignities upon us. St. John XV: 18-21; 'If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the word, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my names' sake, because they know not him that sent me.' For preaching the truths of the Bible, and worshipping God according to its teachings, the 'Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints,' has been driven four times from their peaceful homes. Many of them have died martyrs for the cause of Jesus, bearing testimony of the truth of the great latter-day work, which is to gather the house of Israel from their long dispersion, restore the Jews to the land of their fathers, gather out the honest in heart from among the wicked, and prepare the way for the second advent of the Messiah, when he shall appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to take vengeance on the wicked and they that know not God. The work of extermination has been carried to the very seat of domestic retirement, and the blood of mothers and children has flowed for the gospel which we preach, and declare to be the gospel of Jesus Christ. We preach the doctrine of baptism, for the remission of sins-so did Christ and the apostles. We believe in laying on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and for the healing of the sick, &c: the apostles believed in, and practiced the same ordinances. Acts-VIII: 14-17; 'Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto him Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he had fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.') Why had they not received the Holy Ghost? They had been baptized but the Holy Ghost had 'fallen upon none of them.' The reason is very obvious. They had not received the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. They had got just where the sectarian world stop with the ordinance. They could not receive the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands, yet the religionists of the present day profess to have received the Holy Ghost, when hands has not been laid on for its reception, and some of them have not even so much as been baptized.-They are surely going to heaven upon 'flowry beds of ease.' But we shall see whether those who had been baptized at Samaria received the Holy Ghost, and what kind of an operation they had to go through to obtain it. Read the verse that follows, in the Bible, those we last quoted. It reads thus: 'Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.' This explains the whole matter and agrees precisely with the doctrine we have been advocating; that baptism is for the remission of sins, but before they can receive the Holy Ghost, they must attend to the imposition of hands. This is so plain that a school-boy, not yet out of 'baker' can see into it; yet our great men of science, biblical research and literati accuminis, cannot fathom this simple mystery. They are sending embassadors [ambassadors] to the islands of the sea, and missionaries to the heathen, with the sacred volume in their hand, and they are as ignorant of its principles, and the glorious gospel it contains, as the various savage to whom they are sent. They boast of the rapid spread of the gospel, and the great light of heaven, which is daily augmenting, and spreading its radiance over the world, but when we find out the truth of the matter, the world has not been saluted with the sound of the true gospel for several of the last centuries. Verily the great light of which men boast, has dazzled their eyes, so that they cannot see the first rudiments of the gospel of Christ. O, that the people of this enlightened age-who have been
--"By the glare of false science betrayed,
That leads to bewilder and dazzles to blind,--"
would read the Bible and learn doctrine. We have already proven by the Bible, that there was but one mode of baptism, and that was immersion. However, we will make another extract from Dr. Moshiem upon this subject. On page 28, paragraph 8, it reads thus: 'The sacrament of baptism was administered in this
[the first] century, without the public assemblies, in places appointed and prepared for that purpose, and was performed by an IMMERSION OF THE WHOLE BODY, in the baptismal font. What do you say to this, ye priests of the sprinkling order? The testimony of Dr. Moshiem must be a rather use-up argument against you. However it must be taken as good testimony, until his character as a competent witness, and veracity as a man of truth can be destroyed. Can our modern gentlemen of the sacred desk, impeach Dr. Moshiem, and render him an incompetent witness to the facts now in controversy? His celebrated work has stood the test and scrutiny of many years, and his name for a correct historian stands unrivalled [unrivaled] in the bright constellation of illustrious men. Then let the herd of modern wiseacres relapse into silence when they hear the testimony of this great man, who has a better right to state facts than they have to oppose them. We only disagree with him when he disagrees with the scriptures; but with many of the sectarian world it is visa versa:-They disagree with him when he agrees with the scriptures.
This testimony of Dr. Moshiem reflects great credit upon his head and heart, and it will give it a greater weight of truth when we consider that he had adopted another mode of baptism for himself. Under these circumstances, no other than a candid and honest historian would have made the acknowledgement [acknowledgment] . Mr. Gahan a Catholic priest, also bears evidence that immersion was the manner of administering the ordinance in primitive times. But the world have gone into an awful apostacy [apostasy], and fallen away from those sacred rites and ordinances which were implanted in the Apostolic church. Paul undoubtedly alluded to the great havoc which men have made of the word and ordinances of God when he said: Acts, XX: 29, 30; 'For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.' The quotation clearly shows that Paul foresaw the calamity that would inevitably befall the church at some subsequent period. In the verse that follows the above, in the Bible, he says: 'Therefore, watch and remember, that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one, night and day with tears.' These quotations clearly tell the foreknowledge of Paul as to the dissensions that would arise and the apostacy [apostasy] that would ensue. He foretells also, that this great work of apostacy [apostasy] would commence even in their days; 'Also of your own selves shall men arise,' &c. Again, 'The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way.' In his letter to the Thessalonians he says: Thes. I: 1, 2, 3; 'Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.' This shows that the seeds of discord began already to spring up in the church, notwithstanding they were blessed with the daily ministry of the apostles, and many holy men. 'Let no man deceive you by any means.' Here he warns them of the deception of men, which had already began to show itself. 'For that day shall not come except there come a falling away first.' Here is a falling away plainly predicted, and that falling away is to take place previous to the second coming of Christ, for this was said after his resurrection; so it alludes to his second advent. But to trace the degeneracy of the church we make other extracts from Dr. Moshiem's history. On page 49, paragraph 13, it reads: 'The persons that were to be baptized, after they had repeated the creed, confessed and renounced their sins, and particularly the devil and his pompous allurements, were immersed under water, and received under Christ's kingdom by a solemn invocation of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to the express command of our Blessed Lord. After baptism they received the sign of the cross, were anointed, and by prayers and imposition of hands, were solemnly recommended to the mercy of God and dedicated to his service; in consequence of which, they received milk and honey, which concluded the ceremony. The reason of this particular ritual coincide with what we have said in general concerning the origin and causes of the multiplied ceremonies that crept from time to time into the church.' This extract alludes to the second century, as will be seen by reference to the book, and shadows forth the horrors of Catholicism with appalling force. No such ceremonies are found in the Bible, with the exception of that of 'imposition of hands,' which undoubtedly was preserved sacred until that time, and performed for the reception of the Holy Ghost, after baptism, as we have before shown. Another extract, from the same author: this refers to the third century. On page 70 paragraph 4: 'There were twice a year, stated times when baptism was administered to such as, after a long
course of trial and preparation, offered themselves as candidates for the profession of christianity. * * * * We have already mentioned the principle rites that were used in the administration of baptism; and we have only to and, that no persons were admitted to this solemn ordinance, until by the menacing and formidable shouts, and declamation of the exorcist, they had been delivered from the dominion of the prince of darkness, and consecrated to the service of God. The origin of this superstitious ceremony may be easily traced, when we consider the prevailing opinions of the times. * * * * The expulsion of this demon was now considered as an essential preparation for baptism, after the administration of which, the candidate returned home, adorned with crowns and arrayed in white garments, as sacred emblems; the former, of their victory over sin and the world, the latter their inward purity and innocence.' Thus we trace the gradual inroads which the theories of men have made upon the institutions of the church of Christ. The Bible tells us nothing of these 'stated times' for baptism, this 'long course of trial and preparation,' the 'menacing and formidable shouts and declamation of the exorcist,' this adorning with 'crowns,' and 'array in white garments as sacred emblems.' Of thess [these], the apostles are completely silent; yet, as early as the third century, such disgusting ceremony and show, accompanied the sacred ordinance of God. O, shame! where hast thou hid thyself? Acts, XVI; 29-33; 'Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas; and brought them out, and said: Sirs, what must I do to be saved?-And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.' We learn from this that all the preparation for baptism in early times, was for people to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing in this like the sectarian system of six months trial, mourner's benches, &c. Paul and Silas spake unto the jailor [jailer] and his household the word of the Lord, and the same hour that they believed, they were baptized. So in case of Philip and the eunuch, as may be seen from the 8th chapter of Acts. As soon as the eunuch believed with all his heart, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, Philip commanded the chariot to stand still, 'and they both went into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.' This is the way they done up business in early times. O, that the world would learn wisdom by the examples that are set them! But to trace this ordinance into the fourth century, from the same author: On page 99, 7th paragraph: 'Baptism was administered during the vigils of Easter and Whit-Suntide, with lighted tapers, by the bishop and the presbyters, commissioned by him for that purpose. * * * * In some places salt was employed as a symbol of purity and wisdom, and was thrown with this view into the mouth of the person baptized, and a double unction was every where used in celebration of this ordinance, one preceding its administration, and the other following it.-The persons who were admitted into the church by baptism, were obliged after the celebration of that holy ordinance to go clothed in white garments during the space of seven days.'-Thus we see the pure and legitimate ordinances, which were placed in the Apostolic church, degenerating into all the senseless and hypocritical mummery so prevalent in the churches of the nineteenth century. These mock ceremonies and monkish rituals must be considered as the mere coungerings [conjuring] of man, hatched up in his own brain and sanctioned by his own darkened understanding. The idea of these lighted tapers, is a novel one. They are now used in the churches, and over dead bodies, at the full hour of mid-day. What this is practiced for we are not able to conceive, unless it be for the lighting of the holy spirit. It is probably thought that the eyes of the Almighty are so very dim that he cannot see even by day, without the pale sickly blaze of a taper. We would take it as a great favor if some Catholic friend could make us see the utility of this idolatrous practice. This salt using too, is to us a mystery, and probably will remain so until some one skilled in Royal Priesthood Legerdemain, has the magnanimity to unravel the secret. We have thought some times, whether or no, it was not used by the Priests in consequence of its saving properties. This is the only rational conclusion we can come to, considering the little prospect there is of these pontifical dignitaries being saved by the rules which God has laid down. We see also, from the above extract that the order of the kingdom of God was beginning to be reverse, or transposed by man. We see the bishop, who, in the primitive church, merely officiated in some ministerial office to the sick, in a temporal capacity, whereas they have now ascended the step-stones of ambition, seized the crown of ecclesiastical royalty, seated themselves upon the throne of power, and assumed a universal dictatorship over the religious faculties of the church.
This is derogatory to that great constitution
of which we spoke in prefacing our subject. Then they, as a matter of course, have no license to act. With great propriety we can exclaim with the prophet, whom we have previously quoted: 'They have changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.' We see in these 'formidable shouts' and 'declamations' spoken of by Dr. Moshiem, the infant germs form whence sprang the boisterous clamor of Methodism. Whoever has been in the habit of attending the meetings of this sect, in the palmy days of their 'great revivals,' can see their forms of worship mirrored forth in the church of the third and fourth century; but they cannot see them reflected by the customs of the apostles, or the teachings of the Bible. In these meetings we see the mourner's bench paraded in front of the stand, and the preacher from the pulpit deals so liberally in the articles of 'hell fire,' 'brimstone,' 'eternal damnation,' &c., that he soon frightens his hearers into submission, and the bench at length is filled with hopeless mourners. Then the priest, in the fire of his discourse, descends from his box, convulsed with excitement, with upraised and extended hands; he increases the fervor of his declamation, by heavy stampings on the floor, until at last his eloquence fans the flame of enthusiasm in the bosoms of the mourners, and they are readily seized with what is termed by them the 'power.' Then the groans, shouts, screams, and clapping of hands, stun the whole sense of hearing, and one continued scene of indecorous motions and tumultuous uproar ensues. The work of falling commences, and young ladies and gentlemen, and old ladies and gentlemen, lay in confused and disgustful disorder over the floor.
"Immodest acts admit of no defence [defense],
For want of decency is want of sense."
This is one of the species of religion of this refined and enlightened age! Scene of depravity! how art thy devotees so lowly sunk amid the moldering rubbish of bigotry and superstitious idolatry! The priest and his flowing robe, are worshipped as something more than mortal by these blind enthusiasts. Instead of worshipping at the shrine of Bible religion, they bow to the footstool of arrogance, within the pales of popular churches, where wealth and aristocracy sit robed in silks and satins. While they impregnate the trembling atmosphere with the deafening cries of 'Hallelujahs' &c., we very much question whether their heart and affections reach beyond the circle of the Priest and the gorgously [gorgeously] clad elite that surrounds him. The fine, black, well fitting coat of the Parson; his buff vest and starched dickey; his rich-textured cravat, tied with a knot of latest fashion, and the delicate softness of his tender hands, rivit [rivet] upon them the vain gaze of his auditors, while their hearts virtually proclaim him some immaculate personage or celestial God.
We have seen more worldly arrogance, pride of dress, and band-box frippery exhibited in these sectarian churches than in all the world besides. The congregation of each sabbath is but a panorama of fashion, exhibiting the external beauty of and gloss created by virtue of cologne waters, full-length mirrors, and all the various paraphernalia of the toilett [toilet]; but no where is traceable the religion of the Bible.-The man of the greatest wealth, most costly dress, who rides in a fine carriage, with a train of attendants, is most generally the bosom friend and associate of his 'humble servant,' the parson; while the honest poor are merely received and continued in fellowship to swell the number of the flock, and increase the revenue of the priest. Wherever the priest can get the largest salary, that is the identical place where the Lord calls him to preach. In the language of the Bible, they 'make merchandise of the word of God, and divine for money.'
(To be Continued.)
Minutes of a conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at Preston, Halifax County, Province of Nova Scotia, Sept. 18, 1843.
Conference convened pursuant to previous appointment, at 2 o'clock, P. M.
Elder Robert Dickson then presented before the meeting the object of the conference. The solemnities of the occasion were then opened by singing and prayer.
The conference was organized by unanimously electing Elder Robert Dickson, president, and Elder James Jermen, clerk.
Resolved, That this branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, be called the Preston Branch.
It was moved by Elder R. Dickson, and seconded by T. J. Miller, that Edward Cooke be ordained to the office of elder, to preside over the Preston branch; carried unanimously.
Resolved, That Thomas Hamilton be ordained to the office of teacher of this branch.
Resolved, That Tobias Immanuel Miller, be ordained to the office of deacon of this branch.
The above brethren were then ordained to their respective offices, under the hands of Elders Dickson and Jermen.
Representation of Branches.-Preston branch, represented by James Jermen, consists of five members, one elder, one teacher and one deacon, all in good standing.
In the city of Halifax, there are four members, represented by elder Dickson.
In Onslow, Calchester county, Nova Scotia, there are five members, represented by elder Dickson.
Notice was given that Elder Dickson would preach in the evening, at 7 o'clock, from Mark's Gospel, 16th c. 16th v. The people turned out well to hear, and there was much solemnity, as well as great attention paid. There was an old gentleman from several miles distant, baptized immediately before conference commenced; and another man was baptized the next morning, after meeting, about 1 o'clock, A. M.
Resolved, That the saints uphold the First Presidency by their prayers.
A vote was then passed to transmit a copy of the proceedings of this conference to Nauvoo, for publication in the Times and Seasons.
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was then administered. Afterwards the minutes of this conference were read and accepted.
The conference adjourned at 5 o'clock, to convene again at the house of T. J. Miller, on the 18th of December next, at 10 o'clock, A. M.
R. DICKSON, Prest.
J. JERMEN, Clerk.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1843.
Several companies of emigrants have lately arrived in this place by steam boats, all apparently in good health and spirits.
Elder Erastus Snow, arrived with a company from Massachusetts, on Monday last.
The Twelve who have lately been on a mission to the east, have all returned, and enjoy good health.
A number of emigrants from England are expected soon.
WHO SHALL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT?-This question we frequently hear asked, and it is a question of no small importance to the Latter Day Saints.
We as a people have labored, and are still laboring under great injustice from the hand of a neighboring state. The Latter Day Saints have had their property destroyed and their houses made desolate by the hands of the Missourians; murders have been committed with impunity, and many in consequence of oppression, barbarism and cruelty, have slept the sleep of death. They have been obliged to flee from their possessions into a distant land, in the chilling frost of December; robbed, spoiled, desolate, houseless, and homeless; without any just pretext of shadow of law; without having violated the laws of that state, or of the United States, and have had to wander as exiles in a strange land, without as yet, being able to obtain any redress for their grievances. We have hitherto adopted every legal measure; first, we petitioned to the state of Missouri, but in vain. We have memorialized Congress, but they have turned a deaf ear to our supplication and referred us again to the state and justice (!!!) of Missouri. Doubtless many of the members of that honorable body were not sufficiently informed of the enormity and extent of the crimes of our persecutors, nor of the indelible stain which our national escutcheon has received through their inhuman daring. They have been allowed to revel in blood ,and luxuriate in the miseries of the oppressed, and no man has laid it to heart. The fact is, that gentlemen of respectability and refinement, who live in a civilized society, find it difficult to believe that such enormities could be practiced in a republican government; but our wrong cannot slumber; such tyranny and oppression must not be passed over in silence; our injuries though past, are not forgotten by us, they still rankle in our bosoms, and the blood of the innocent yet cries for justice; and as American citizens, we have appealed, and shall still continue to appeal to the legally constituted authorities of the land for redress, in the hopes that justice which has long slumbered, may be aroused in our defence [defense]; that the spirit which burned in the bosoms of the patriots of seventy-six, may fire the souls of their decendants [descendants], and though slow, that their indignation may yet be aroused at the injustice of the oppressor, and that they may yet meet out justice to our adversaries, and step forward in the defence [defense] of the innocent.
We shall ask no one to commit themselves on our account; we want no steps taken but what are legal, constitutional, and honorable-but we are American citizens, and as American citizens, we have rights in common with all that live under the folds of the "star spangled banner." Our rights have been trampled upon by lawless miscreants, we have been robbed of our liberties by mobocratic influence, and all those honorable ties that ought to govern and characterize Columbia's sons have been trampled in the dust.-Still we are American citizens, and as American citizens we claim the privilege of being heard in the councils of our nation. We have been wronged, abused, robbed, and banished, and we seek redress. Such crimes cannot slumber in Republican America. The cause of common
humanity would revolt at it, and Republicanism would hide its head in disgust.
We make these remarks for the purpose of drawing the attention of our brethren to this subject, both at home and abroad; that we may fix upon the man who will be the most likely to render us assistance in obtaining redress for our grievances-and not only give our own votes, but use our influence to obtain others, and if the voice of suffering innocence will not sufficiently arouse the rulers of our nation to investigate our case, perhaps a vote from fifty to one hundred thousand may rouse them from their lethargy.
We shall fix upon the man of our choice, and notify our friends duly.
MASSACRE OF THE NESTORIAN CHRISTIANS.
The massacre of a great number of the Nestorians, as reported by a former arrival, is unhappily confirmed by the papers brought by the last steamer. This interesting people, who have latterly been visited and instructed by American and other missionaries, were found to have retained the religion of the Bible in a great degree of purity, although surrounded by Mahometan tribes. It seems that the hostility of their enemies was excited towards them by the too zealous labors of the rival Christian missionaries. Nat. Intelligencer.
A Constantinople correspondent of the London Morning Chronicle, under the date of August 17, states the particulars as follows:
'You have been informed of the combination between the Pasha of Mosul and several powerful Kurdish chiefs for the extermination of Nestorian Christians, or Chaldeans. Letters received the day before yesterday contain a deplorable account of the results of the attacks of the united troops. They had penetrated into the centre [center] of the Tiyaree district, burnt the villages and churches, destroyed the crops, and put the inhabitants of both sexes to the sword. Three, or according to other accounts, five brothers of the Patriarch have been slain, his mother was cut in half, and his sister horribly mutilated. The Patriarch himself had fled to Mosul, and taken refuge in the British vice consulate. Thus a sect which had preserved its independence during centuries, and had resisted the persecuting sword of Islam when wielded by the most powerful and most intolerant of the followers of Mohammed-which, in its simplicity and isolation, had maintained the doctrines and forms of a primitive church for above fourteen centuries, and which had escaped the corruption of religion, of morals, and of character so conspicuous in all other Christian sects of the East; has now, in the weakness of Mohammedanism and the strenght [strength] of European Christianity, been delivered over to destruction.
Although the Turkish authorities merit the strongest condemnation for the part they have taken in this massacre, yet there are others concernened [concerned] who are almost equally responsible for the results. The history of the fall of the Nestorians is a new example of the consequences of a system pursued by foreigners in the East which we cannot contemplate without the utmost indignation. All those who have been the direct or indirect instruments of their intrigues, and although they may now shelter themselves under the cloak of religion, have been guilty of a great crime against humanity.
In their mountain fastnesses the Nestorians had retained their independence for centuries. The first western traveller [traveler] who succeeded in penetrating into them was Dr. Grant, an American missionary. His object in visiting them was the establishment of schools and other means of instruction. No sooner had Dr. Grant met with some success in the mountains than the Roman Catholic missionaries at Mosul, supported by the French political agents, endeavored to counteract it. The English High Church was also jealous of American encroachments in the midst of a sect still venerating Episcopacy; and an additional firebrand was thrown into the country last autumn, in the presence of the Rev. Mr. Badger. During last winter the three parties-the American, the Puseyite, and the Roman Catholic-have waged an open warfare among themselves.-The Americans, who had been first in the field, only acted on the defensive; the influence they had already acquired among the Nestorians enabled them, without much difficulty, to retain their position. The object of the two remaining parties was to eject the Americans, and to establish their own influence. They did not act in concert, for their mutual enmity equalled [equaled] their hostility to the Americans.-No means were left untried to effect their object. A report began to prevail that the Americans were assisting the Nestorians to build forts in their mountains. The ignorant inhabitants of the surrounding country and their Governor, the Pasha of Mosul, readily believed the assertion; his suspicions were excited; from both parties he received accusations against their respective adversaries tending to sirease [increase] his alarm. Mr. Badger pointed out the danger of Roman Catholicism and French influence in the mountains; the French, in return, the danger
of English influence. At length the combination we have described was formed, and those alone who were innocent have fallen victims to the intrigues of men who announced themselves to them as the ministers of Christ and the teachers of civilization. Strict justice compels us to state that the Americans are in this instance without blame. They established themselves first in the mountains, and their efforts were successfully directed to the improvement of the inhabitants, without any ulterior political design. But, as it is, one of the most ancient and most interesting sects in the world-interesting from its origin, from its language, and from the purity of its Christianity-has been sacrificed to the religious quarrels of American Independents, English Puseyites, and French Roman Catholics.
Letters received in Boston state that it is probable the mother and only one brother of Mar Shimon, the Nestorian Patriarch, have been slain; that three other brothers have been taken prisoners, and two have fled to Persia. Dr. Grant, whose life has been considered in danger, is safe at Mosul.'
In the above statements we see the deplorable effects of christian diplomacy, christian intrigue, and christian proselyting [proselytizing]. This much injured, and according to every christian testimony, this good, and virtuous people have been made the dupes of those fiery bigots who, when they could not accomplish their designs, in causing them to submit to their faith, have excited the jealousies of government, and offered them up as a sacrifice to their malice.-For the information of our readers, relative to this people, we publish the following from Buck's Theological Dictionary.
"The followers of Nestorius, the bishop of Constantinople, who lived in the fifth century. They believed that in Christ were not only two natures, but two persons, of which the one was divine, even the eternal word; and the other, which was human, was the man Jesus: that these two persons had only one aspect: that the union between the Son of God and the son of man was formed in the moment of the virgin's conception, and was never to be dissolved: that it was not, however, an union of nature or of person, but only of will and affection. (Nestorius, however, it is said, denied the last position;) that Christ was therefore to be carefully distinguished from God, who dwelt in him as in his temple; and that Mary was to be called the mother of Christ, and not the mother of God.
One of the chief promoters of the Nestorian cause, was Barsumas, created bishop of Nisibis, A. D. 435. Such was his zeal and success that the Nestorians who still remain in Chaldea, Persia, Assyria, and the adjacent countries, consider him alone as their parent and founder. By him Pherozes, the Persian monarch, was persuaded to expel those Christians who adopted the operations of the Greeks, and to admit the Nestorians in their place, putting them in possession of the principal seat of ecclesiastical authority in Persia, the see of Seleucia, which the patriarch of the Nestorians had always filled, even down to our time. Barsumas also erected a school at Nisibis, from which proceeded those Nestorian doctors who, in the fifth and sixth centuries, spread abroad their tenets through Egypt, Syria, Arabia, India, Tartary, and China.
In the tenth century, the Nestorians in Chaldea, whence they are sometimes called Chaldeans, extended their spiritual conquests beyond Mount Imaus, and introduced the Christian religion into Tartary properly so called, and especially into that country called Karit, bordering on the northern part of China. The prince of that country, whom the Nestorians converted to the Christian faith, assumed, according to the vulgar tradition, the name of John after his baptism, to which he added the surname of Presbyter, from a principle of modesty; whence it is said, his successors were each of them called Presbyter John, until the time of Gengis Khan. But Mosheim observes, that the famous Prester John did not begin to reign in that part of Asia before the conclusion of the eleventh century. The Nestorians formed so considerable a body of Christians, that the missionaries of Rome were industrious in their endeavors to reduce them under the papal yoke. Innocent IV. in 1246, and Nicholas IV. in 1278, used their utmost efforts for this purpose, but without success. Till the time of pope Julius III. the Nestorians acknowledged but one patriarch, who resided first at Bagdad [Baghdad], and afterwards at Mousul; but a division arising among them, in 1551, the patriarchate became divided, at least for a time, and a new patriarch was consecrated by that pope, whose successors fixed their residence in the city of Ormus, in the mountainous parts of Persia, where they still continue, distinguished by the name of Simeon; and so far down as the seventeenth century, these patriarchs preserved their communion with the church of Rome, but seem at present to have withdrawn themselves from it. The great Nestorian pontiffs, who form the opposite party, and look with a hostile eye on this little patriarch, have, since the year 1559, been distinguished by the general denomination of Elias, and reside constantly in the city of Mousul.-
Their spiritual dominion is very extensive, taking in a great part of Asia, and comprehends also within its circuit the Arabian Nestorians, and also the Christians of St. Thomas, who dwell along the coast of Malabar. It is observed, to the lasting honor of the Nestorians, that of all the Christian societies established in the East, they have been the most careful and successful in avoiding a multitude of superstitious opinions and practices that have infected the Greek and Latin churches. About the middle of the seventeenth century, the Romish missionaries gained over to their communion a small number of Nestorians, whom they formed into a congregation or church; the patriarchs or bishops of which resided in the city of Amida, or Darbeker, and all assume the denomination of Joseph. Nevertheless, the Nestorians in general preserve to our own times in their refusal to enter into the communion of the Romish church, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and alluring offers that have been made by the people's legate to conquer their inflexible constancy."
STEPHEN'S WORKS ON CENTRAL AMERICA.
We have lately perused with great interest, Stephen's works on Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan.
Mr. Stephens published about two years ago, a very interesting work entitled 'Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,' in which he details very many interesting circumstances; discovered the ruins of magnificent cities, and from hieroglyphical representations, sculpture and rich specimens of architecture, proved one important fact, which had been disputed by many of our sages; that America had once been peopled by a highly polished, civilized and scientific race, with whom the present aborigines could not compare.
This work has been read with great interest throughout this continent, and tens of thousands of copies have been sent to, and sold in Europe, where it has been investigated with the greatest scrutiny and interest. It has already passed through twelve editions; it is published in two volumes, 8 vo.
Since the publication of this work, Mr. Stephens has again visited Central America, in company with Mr. Catherwood, and other scientific gentlemen, for the purpose of making further explorations among those already interesting ruins. They took with them the Daguerreotype, and other apparatus, for the purpose of giving views and drawings of those mysterious relics of antiquity. His late travels and discoveries, have also been published in two volumes of the same size, entitled 'Incidents of travel in Central America.'
It is a work of great interest, written with precision and accuracy. The plates are elegantly executed, and its history unfolds the ruins of grandeur, civilization and intelligence. It is published by Harper & Brothers, N. Y.
This is a work that ought to be in the hands of every Latter Day Saint; corroborating, as it does the history of the Book of Mormon. There is no stronger circumstantial evidence of the authenticity of the latter book, can be given, than that contained in Mr. Stephens' works.
Mr. Stephens gives an account of ancient cities he has visited, where once dwelt the powerful, the wise, the scientific, and to use his own words; 'architecture, sculpture and painting, all the arts which embellished life had flourished in this overgrown city; orators, warriors, and statesmen, beauty, ambition, and glory, had lived and passed away, and none knew that such things had been, or could tell of their past existence.' In the last clause, Mr. Catherwood is mistaken. It has fallen to his lot to explore the ruins of this once mighty people, but the 'Book of Mormon' unfolds their history; and published as it was, years before these discoveries were made, and giving as it does, accounts of a people, and of cities that bear a striking resemblance to those mentioned by Mr. Stephens, both in regard to magnificence and location, it affords the most indubitable testimony of the historical truth of that book, which has been treated so lightly by the literati and would be philosophers of the present age.
For the information of our friends who do not possess this work, we may at a convenient time collect and compare many of the important items in this work, and in the Book of Mormon, and publish them. To give some idea of the nature of the last work, we publish the following from the preface:
"In his 'Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,' the author intimates his intention to make a thorough exploration of the ruins of the latter country. That intention has been carried into effect, and the following pages are the result. They discribe [describe], as the author has reason to believe, the most extensive journeying ever made by a stranger in that penensula [peninsula], and contain the account of visits to forty-four ruined cities or palaces, in which the remains or vestiges of ancient population, were found. The existence of most of these ruins was entirely unknown to the residents of the capital-but few had ever been visited by white inhabitants-they were desolate and overgrown with trees. For a brief space, the stillness that reigned about them was broken
and they were again left to solitude and silence. Time and the elements are hastening them to utter destruction. In a few generations, great edifices, their facades covered with sculptured ornaments, already croaking and yawning, must fall, and become mere shapeless mounds. It has been the fortune of the author to step between them and the destruction to which they are destined, and it is his hope to snatch from oblivion these perishing, but still gigantic memorials of a mysterious people."
To all the saints and honorable men of the earth, to whom the Lord has given liberally of this worlds' goods:....... GREETING.
Our worthy brother, Elder George J. Adams, has been appointed by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Nauvoo, to present to them the importance, as well as the things connected with his mission to Russia, to introduce the fulness [fullness] of the gospel to the people of that vast empire, and also to which is attached some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the kingdom of God, in the last days; which cannot be explained at this time; but as the mission is attended with much expense, all those who feel disposed to bestow, according as God has blessed them, shall receive the blessings of Israel's God; and ten fold shall be added unto them, as well as the prayers of the saints of God.
With sentiments of high esteem, we subscribe ourselves your friends and brethren in the new and everlasting covenant.
Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS.
It would seem from the following, that there is a very material difference between Catholicism in Italy, and in the United States: and that while its advocates in this country cry aloud for equal rights, and equal privileges, and profess great reverence for republican institutions, that in Italy, where they possess the power, thy are most fierce and intolerant in their proscriptions and persecutions; and whatever may be said concerning the more liberal views of Catholics in this and the mother country, it is evident, from the following, that they want only the power to reinstate in England, and put in force in this, or any other country, all the damning horrors of the "Holy Inquisition" which has been lately revived in Italy, in their base persecutions of the Jews.
"At the very moment when a spirit of toleration seemed to influence the feelings of society throughout the civilized world, we regret to perceive that the tribunals of the Popo [Pope] are, in June, 1843, reviving at Rome and Ancona the very worst proscriptions of that fell and sanguinary institute, the Inquisition, as will be seen by a perusal of the following document-
"We, Fra Vicenzo [Vincenzo] Salina, of the Order of Predicatori, Master in Theology, General Inquisitor in Ancona, Sinigaglia, Jesi, Osinio, Cingoli, Macerata, Tolentino, Loreto, Recanati, and other towns and districts, &c.
"It being deemed necessary to revive the full observance of the disciplinary laws relative to the Israelites residing within our jurisdiction, and having hitherto without effect employed prayers and exhortations to obtain obedience to those laws in the Ghetti (Jewries) of Ancona and Sinigaglia, authorized by the despatch of the Sacred and Supreme Inquisition of Rome, dated June 10th, 1843, expressly enjoining and commanding the observance of the decrees and pontifical constitutions, especially in respect to Christian nurses and domestic servants, or to the sale of property either in town or country districts, purchased and possessed previously to 1827, as well as subsequently, to that period, we decree as follows:-
"1. From the interval of two months after the date of this day, all gipsy [gypsy] and Christian domestics, male and female, whether employed by day or by night, must be dismissed from service in the two Ghetti; and all Jews residing within our jurisdiction are expressly prohibited from employing any Christian nurse, or availing themselves of the service of any Christian in any domestic occupation whatever, under pain of being immediately punished according to the pontifical decrees and constitutions.
"2. That all Jews, who may possess property, either in town or country, permanent or moveable, or rents or interests, or any right involving shares in funded property, or leased landed property, must within the term of three months from this day dispose of it by a positive and real, and not by any pretended or fictitious contract, Should this not be done within the time specified, the Holy office is to sell the same by public auction, on proof of the annual harvest being got in.
"3. That no Hebrew nurses, and still less, any Hebrew family, shall inhabit the city, or reside in, or remove their property into, any town or district where there is no Ghetto (place of residence for Jews;) and that such as may actually be there in conformacy to the laws must return to their respective Ghetto within
the peremptory period of six months, otherwise they will be proceeded against according to the tenor of the law.
"4. That, especially in any city where there is a Ghetto, no Hebrew must presume to associate at table with Christians, either in public houses or ordinaries, out of the Ghetto.
"5. That in a city which has a Ghetto, no Hebrew shall sleep out of the Israelite quarter, nor make free to enter into familiar conversation in Christian a house.
"6. That no Hebrew shall take the liberty, under any pretext whatever, to induce male Christians, and still less female Christians, to sleep within the boundaries of the Ghetto.
"7. That no Hebrew shall hire Christians, even only by the day, to work in their houses in the Ghetto.
"8. That no Hebrew, either male or female, shall frequent the houses of Christians, or maintain friendly relations with Christian men or women.
"9. That the laws shall remain in force respecting the decorum to be observed by the Hebrews who may absent themselves from their Ghetto, to travel in other parts of the State."
"After laying down these monstrous rescripts [prescripts], which we had hoped even the Romish church would not have attempted to revive and still less to re-clothe with authority, and arm with tremendous pains and penalties. The savage order is issued that these intolerant laws shall be read in each of the Jewish synagogues. It is added:-
"They who violate the above articles, will incur some or all of the penalties prescribed in the edicts of the Holy Inquisition."
Why the Jews have been thus selected as the victims of their hellish wrath, is difficult for us to determine. We cannot account for it upon any other principle than that of legalized plunder-such as has been too frequently practiced upon them by most of the courts of Europe.-It is thus that their property, in the second section, is not ostensibly confiscated; but it is virtually so, as it places them in the power of their enemies, if they cannot find purchasers for their property, which is very unlikely, when they are placed under these severe, inhuman restrictions. "The property must be disposed of within three months, whether in town or country, permanent or moveable, or rents, or interest or any rights involving shares in funded property." And if there are no buyers, what then? "The Holy office (rather say holy devils) is to sell the same by public auction."
We are led to ask, is this Christianity? Are these the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus? Is this the conduct of a church which professes to be the only true church? purely apostolic? Oh shame! where is thy blush?-The heart sickens at the contemplation. Only think of the thousands of men, women and children, being dispossessed of their inheritance-robbed of their property-rendered houseless and homeless, and destined to wander about as vagrants and exiles, through the tyranny, rapacity and thirst for plunder, which is evidently manifest by these infernals of the Holy order. We had hoped that those days of horrid barbarity were gone by, and that even the Roman church would not have attempted to revive them: and still less did we imagine that the edicts of the Holy Inquisition would ever have disgraced the footstool of God. What if the governments of America, England, Russia, Prussia, Norway, Sweden, and other powers, were to exercise the same spirit of intolerance towards the professors of the Catholic religion? Would they like to have meted to them the same measure which they give to others? We know that there was great dissatisfaction manifested by the Catholics of England and Ireland during the existence of the Test Act. They made long and loud complaints against the injustice, tyranny and oppression of that instrument; and no one felt more indignant than ourselves at such illiberal proceedings-but we must confess that in this instance they have "out-Heroded Herod" a thousand times.-What would the Irish Catholics have thought had the British government dealt with them as their great Pontificate has dealt with the poor Jews? How much misery, how much distress would not such a step create among them?
We cannot but feel indignant at such proceedings; and as the conductors of public journals, feel ourselves in duty bound to express our feelings. We heartily despise oppression in every shape; and if the European courts do not take sufficient notice of such proceedings as to frown down, indignantly, upon the perpetrators of those inhuman deeds, and awe them into a respect sufficient to ameliorate the condition of their victims, we shall, at least, have had the satisfaction of entering our protest against the proceedings of those heartless wretches, who would make a pretext of religion in order to plunder the inoffensive, and put in force these inhuman, savage edicts, merely because they have them in their power.
We had thought that the cup of misery of the Jews had been sufficiently wrung out, and that they had drank it to the very dregs. They have been persecuted by almost every nation in its turn. They have been plundered, driven and banished, and their lives have continually hung in doubt. We had hoped that the recently
expressed opinion, concerning their persecutions in Damascus, by the European powers, and the revolutions in Spain, would have greatly ameliorated their condition, and have operated well for them, even in Italy; and we are yet in hopes that some steps will be taken to cause the power who oppresses them to mitigate their sufferings; and if not by power, out of respect to courtly influence, which may be used to remove the heavy load under which they groan.
The Rothschild's possess great influence in many European courts. Can it not used at the present time, in behalf of their oppressed brethren?
From the Millennial Star.
The doctrine of 'the gathering' is one peculiarly belonging to the people of God, and one which should claim the attention of all who are desirous of glorifying God by keeping his commandments. It is one in its practical operations which excites the attention of the world, and seems to arouse their indignation much. How often do we hear the question -'can we not serve God in this country as well as any where else?' and 'it is the devotion of the heart that the Lord wants, and that is all that is required.' That we can serve God in one country as well as another we doubt not, it if be the will of the Lord that we should do so; but if a commandment be given, as to the Israelites of old, to gather away from bondage and oppression, to give heed to the teachings of his servants, then we would ask, who can serve the Lord yet disobey his commandments?
It was ever the purpose of the Lord in every age, to classify his people by themselves-to separate them from the wicked of the earth-and so to organize and establish them, that he might be able to bestow upon them the blessings of his spirit. And is there no necessity for this separation? Most assuredly there is. We look upon the world as alienated from God by sin-as entirely cut off from the enjoyment of those privileges of which the Saints partake. The Lord has, in his infinite mercy, devised a plan by which a fallen race can be reconciled to himself; and that is effected by the gift of the spirit of God, bestowed upon the faithful in the exercise of obedience to the ordinances of his house. Let us then contemplate for a moment the relative circumstances and conditions of the people of God and of the world: the one is in darkness, and under condemnation in consequence of sin; the other is adopted into the family of heaven, and has received of the spirit of the Lord, filling his whole body with light, opening to his understanding the glories of eternity, and elevating him in dignity according to this faithfulness as a son of God; while his future prospects are sublimely developed to his understanding the full glories of the beatific vision.
What affinity, then, we would ask, has light with darkness? what amalgamation can take place between elements so diverse in their nature? or will not spirit seek its kindred spirit? He that hath the spirit is no longer debtor to the flesh, but would rather be seeking the society of those who can multiply his happiness, who are so many individual reflections of the moral loveliness implanted by the spirit of God.
On these reflections then, do we arrive at the rationality of the doctrine of 'the gathering,' and see the necessity of the servants of God, who are destined to become partakers of his own glory, being associated together in order that they may be preparing for that high elevation, and growing in that wisdom and knowledge without which they cannot be prepared for his presence.
But, again, the last days are the days of vengeauce [vengeance] and judgment upon the wicked. Let us then examine the conduct of God towards man when he was about to pour out his judgments upon them.
When he had determined, in consequence of the iniquity of our antediluvian forefathers, to destroy the race form the face of the earth, he did not do it without a warning unto the people, and without preparation for the safety of all who would give heed not the testimony of the servant, they rejected the offers of mercy and therefore perished. So also in the days of Lot, when he had determined a destruction upon the inhabitants of the cities of the plain, it was neither without a warning to them nor a place of safety for those that would hearken and flee.
We read that in the last days there will be in existence a Babylon, of which the Chaldean city (the lady of kingdoms) was a lively type, in which the pollution of the holy things of the Lord's house showed forth that pollution of the last days, when men should sit in judgment as God, calling upon the people to recognize their authority, and render obedience to their precepts as they would unto the God of heaven. And we read also, that the Babylon of the last days shall fall, shall be utterly destroyed; and the people of the Lord are commanded to come out of her, lest they be partakers of her sins and receive her plagues. Now, we feel no hesitancy in speaking freely of this Babylon, which we affirm to be neither more nor less than that Babel, that confusion of systems which
man has devised in the room of the kingdom of God; for verily as little understood of each other are the builders of the modern Babylon, as were those of antiquity when the Lord confounded their language and scattered them over all the face of the earth. In contemplating the modern buildings of religious systems, we find some declaring one thing necessary as a foundation, others another; and instead of laboring conjointly to build a tower to heaven, each individual party are raising paltry mounds of their own, with the most anxious ambition to look over their neighbor, until all has become confusion and weakness, and by and by all the wrath of heaven shall sweep away every vistige [vestige] of their folly from the face of the earth, for the mouth of the Lord God hath spoken it. And this judgment shall take place in the last days, and it shall be a judgment the like of which hath not been before. And will not the Lord act like himself in providing a place of safety for his people? or when he has commanded them to come out of her, will he not prepare a place of refuge for them-a Goshen in which they may be protected while his fury is poured out upon the nations.
We read, then, in the 24th chapter of Isaiah, that when his fury shall be poured out, when the inhabitants of the earth shall be burned up and few men be left, that there shall be in the midst of the earth a remnant among the people as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the grapes when the vintage is ended. And let us mark the location of those who are preserved: it will be in the midst of the earth, in the very place where Israel of old declared that the children of Joseph should become a multitude of nations, and in that place shall deliverance be. We rejoice, therefore, in the revelations made known in the last days, of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, and of the land of Joseph, and of the place appointed for the gathering of his people. We read also, in the 4th chapter of Micah, that in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow unto it: and that the law shall go forth from Zion, and also the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And also in the 8th verse of the same we read, that the tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, that unto her shall come the FIRST dominion; and that the kingdom shall also come unto Jerusalem.
And as we read in the old translation that from the seed of Joseph should the feder be appointed by the stone of Israel; even so as Joseph the patriarch (though various means were adopted in order to destroy him) through the providence of God, became the savior of his family, so shall his seed become a feder or shepherd unto the people of God and their land, into which the Lord has led them, as he did Joseph into Egypt, become a place of deliverance from the judgments that shall come upon the earth, for all that will hearken unto the tidings of salvation and become obedient unto them.
It is written in the first chapter of Ephesians and the 10th verse, 'that in the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.'
We also read in the second chapter of Daniel, of the setting up of a kingdom by the God of heaven, that should never come to an end; and, as we have before quoted, of the law going forth from mount Zion and also from Jerusalem.-Now the place from whence proceeds a law must be the seat of government, and the seat of government will be attended by subjects acknowledging its authority; and that kingdom which shall never come to an end, cannot be set up unless the people are gathered together in the fulness [fullness] of times, in order to be prepared, instructed, and sanctified that they may be fitted to meet the glorified saints whom the Lord will bring with him at his coming, who are looking forward to the time when they shall reign as kings and priests on the earth, knowing that without us they cannot be perfected, and are longing for the hour when the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and when his glory shall be before them.
Having made these reflections upon the great doctrine of 'the gathering,' we now bear testimony of what the Lord has commanded in the last days. We bear testimony that the Lord God hath sent the angel beheld by John in his apocalyptic vision, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto all people; that he hath appeared unto some, and shall hereafter appear unto many, that he hath committed a dispensation of that gospel unto men, and commissioned his servants to go forth bearing testimony of these things, and to make proclamation that the hour of his judgment is come; also to proclaim that the hour of his judgment is come; also to proclaim unto the people the gospel in its fulness [fullness], the glorious law of adoption into the kingdom of God, and warning them of the judgments speedily approaching to exhort them to flee out from Babylon, that they be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues; and that the western continent is the place appointed of the Lord for the assembling of his people, that
they may learn his will, receive blessings at his hands, and escape the consequences of the fury that shall be poured out upon the nations.
And while we bear this testimony, how many who may read these reflections will find the spirit within them bearing witness to the truth of these things, and feel its prompting influence bidding them arise and flee while the path is open, and hasten to assist in the building up of Zion, and in the establishment of that kingdom which shall never come to an end; but which, arising on earth, shall continue under the blessing of God to increase in glory and power, until clothed upon by the radiance of heaven, its citizens shall be fitted to blend in harmony with the sons of light, in that glorious gathering of all things both in heaven and on earth, that shall be realized in the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times.
Then away to the west, the glorious west,
The land which the Lord hath greatly blest;
Where the soil hath rested for ages past,
To make a rich home for the Saints at last.
Milford, Iroquois County, Indiana,}
September 22, 1843.}
Dear Sir-We started on our mission to the State of New York, according to appointment, on the 30th day of May. We arrived in this place on the 15th day of June, and preached once.
The people wishing to hear farther, we stopped and commenced laboring here and in the vicinity, until the Lord, through our instrumentality, caused a few individuals to see the error of their ways, and embrace the truth.
Thus we succeeded, with the assistance of brothers Tate and Monroe, for a short time, in organizing a small branch of the church, in this place, called the Milford Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, consisting of twelve members, one elder, and one priest.
Travelling elders are requested to call and instruct them farther in the things of the kingdom.
Yours, in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,
NORMAN B. SHEARER.
MARCELLUS L. BATES.
THE JEWS IN THE UNITED STATES.-The Saint Louis Organ says: 'As the number of Jews is greatly increasing in our midst, it may not be altogether uninteresting to learn something concerning their number. The greatest concentration of Jews exists in the Russian dominions, where, according to the latest estimate, they amount to 1,700,000, about one fourth of the Jewish population of the whole world; in France there are 115,000; in Great Britain 30,000, two thirds of which are found in London. The number of Jews in the Holy Land amounts to 40,000. The Jews in this country are estimated at 50,000, the great mass of which may be found in the Atlantic cities. There are six synagogues in New York, three in Philadelphia, and others in Charlestown, Baltimore and Savannah. In Cincinnati the Jewish population is very numerous, so also in Cleveland, where there are two synagogues. Germany and Poland are the countries which exercise the influence over the development of the religious views of the Jews of the present day.
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
(FROM THE WARDER.)
The days of old were days of might, A blight hath pass'd upon the church,
In forms of greatness moulded; Her summer hath departed;
And flowers of heaven grew on the earth, The chill of age is on her sons,
Within the church unfolded. The cold and fearful-hearted.
For grace fell fast as summer's dew, And sad amid neglect and scorn,
And Saints to giant's stature grew. Our mother sits and weeps forlorn.
But one by one the gifts are gone, Narrow and narrower still, each year
That in the church resided; The holy circle groweth;
And gone the spirits living light, And what the end of all shall be,
That on her walls abided: Nor man nor angel knoweth.
When by our shrines he came to dwell And so we wait and watch in fear,
In power and presence visible. It may be that the Lord is near.
The Times and Seasons, is edited by JOHN TAYLOR. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR AND WILFORD WOODRUFF.
TERMS.-TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.