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Times and Seasons/4/13
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 13
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4
|Number 12||Number 14|
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 13
Jump to Subtopic:
- History of Joseph Smith
- A Visit to Nauvoo.
- To the Public.
- To the Saints Among all Nations.
- The Ancient of Days.
- A Beautiful Speech.
- SPEECH OF COL. COBB,
- REMARKABLE PHENOMENON.
- The Whirlwind.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Vol. IV. No. 13.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. MAY 15, 1843||[Whole No. 73.|
History of Joseph Smith
On the one hand was wealth, popularity and honor, on the other, appeared nothing but poverty and hard labor. But, notwithstanding his great ministerial success, and the prospect of ease and affluence, (which frequently swerve the mind, and have an undue influence on too many who wear the sacred garb of religion, who for the sake of popularity and of wealth, can calm and lull to rest their conscientious scruples, and succomb [succumb] to the popular church,) yet his mind rose superior to all these considerations.-Truth was his pursuit, and for truth he was prepared to make every sacrifice in his power. After mature deliberation, deep reflection, and solemn prayer to his Heavenly Father, the resolve was made, and the important step was taken; and in the month of August, A. D. 1824, after laboring among that people two years and six months, he made known his determination, to withdraw from the church, as he could no longer uphold the doctrines taught and maintained by it. This announcement was like a clap of thunder-amazement seized the congregation, which was then collected, which at last gave way in a flood of tears. It would be in vain to attempt to describe the feelings of the church on that occasion, who were zealously attached to their beloved pastor-of the feelings of their minister. On his part it was indeed a struggle of principle over affection and kindness.
There was at the time of his separation from that church, a gentleman of the name of Alexander Campbell, who was formerly from Ireland, and who has since obtained considerable notoriety in the religious world, who was then a member of the same association, and who afterwards separated from it. There was also another gentleman, by the name of Walter Scott, a Scotchman by birth, who was a member of the Scandinavian Church, in that city, and who separated from the same about that time.
Prior to these separations, Mr. Campbell resided in Bethany, Brook county, Virginia, where he published a monthly periodical, called the "Christian Baptist." After they had separated from the different churches, these gentlemen were on terms of the greatest friendship, and frequently met together to discuss the subject of religion; being yet undetermined respecting the principles of the doctrine of Christ, or what course to pursue. However, from this connexion [connection] sprung up a new church in the world, known by the name of "Campbellites," they call themselve [themselves] "Disciples." The reason why they were called Campbellites, was, in consequence of Mr. Campbells' publishing the periodical above mentioned, and it being the means through which they communicated their sentiments to the world; other than this, Mr. Campbell was no more the originator of that sect than Elder Rigdon.
Having now retired from the ministry, and having no way by which to sustain his family, besides his own industry, he was necessiated [necessitated] to find other employment in order to provide for his maintenance, and for this purpose he engaged in the humble capacity of a journeyman tanner, in that city, and followed his new employment ,without murmuring, for two years-during which time he both saw and experienced, that, by resigning his pastorial [pastoral] vocations in that city, and engaging in the humble occupation of a tanner, he had lost many who once professed the greatest friendship, and who manifested the greatest love for his society-that when he was seen by them in the garb suited to the employment of a tanner, there was no longer that freedom, courtesy and friendship manifested-that many of his former friends became estranged and looked upon him with coolness and indifference-too obvious to admit of deception. To a well regulated and enlightened mind-to one who soars above the arbitrary and vain lines of distinction which pride or envy may draw, such conduct appears ridiculous-while at the same time it cannot but cause feelings of a peculiar nature, in those who, for their honesty and integrity of heart, have brought themselves into situations to be made the subjects of it.
After laboring for two years as a tanner, he removed to Bainbridge, Geauga, county, Ohio, where it was known that he had been a preacher, and had gained considerable distinction as a public speaker, and the people soliciting him to preach, he complied with their request. From this time forward, he devoted himself to the work of the ministry, confining himself to no
creed, but held up the Bible as the rule of faith, and advocating those doctrines which had been the subject of his, and Mr. Campbell's investigations, viz: Repentance and baptism, for the remission of sins.
He continued to labor in that vicinity one year, and during that time, his former success attended his labors. Large numbers invariably attended his meetings. While he labored in that neighborhood, he was instrumental in building up a large and respectable church, in the town of Mantua, Portage county, Ohio. The doctrines which he advanced being new, public attention was awakened, and great excitement pervaded throughout that whole section of country, and frequently the congregations which he addressed, were so large that it was impossible to make himself audible to all. The subjects he proposed were presented in such an impressive manner to the congregations, that those who were unbiased by bigotry and prejudice, had to exclaim, "we never heard it in this manner before." There were some, however, that opposed the doctrines which he advanced, but not with that opposition which ever ought to characterize the noble and ingenious. Those by whom he was opposed, well knew that an honorable and public investigation, would inevitably discover the weakness and fatality of their doctrines; consequently they shunned it, and endeavored, by ridiculing the doctrines which he promulgated, to suppress them.
This, however, did not turn him from the path which he felt to be his duty; for he continued to set forth the doctrines of repentance, and baptism for remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, according to the teachings of Peter, on the day of Pentecost, exhorting his hearers in the mean time, to throw away their creeds of faith-to take the Bible as their standard, and search its sacred pages-to learn to live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of the Lord, and to rise above every sectarian sentiment, and the traditions of the age, and explore the wide and glorious fields of truth which the scriptures holds out to them.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Sir:-Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretentions [pretensions] of the self-wise. The error I speak of, is the definition of the word "Mormon." It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word mormo. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God. translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. In the 523d page, of the fourth edition, it reads: "And now behold we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech; and if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew: but the Hebrew hath been altered by us, also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold ye would have had no imperfection in our record, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he that prepared means for the interpretation thereof."
Here then the subject is put to silence, for "none other people knoweth our language," therefore the Lord, and not man, had to interpret, after the people were all dead. And, as Paul said, "the world by wisdom know not God," so the world by speculation are destitute of revelation; and as God in his superior wisdom, has always given his saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit, is John says, is the true spirit of prophesy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I may safely say that the word Mormon stands independent of the learning and wisdom of this generation.-Before I give a definition, however, to the word, let me say that the Savior says according to the gospel of John, I" am the good shepherd;" and it will not be beyond the common use of terms, to say that good is among the most important in use, and though known by various names in different languages, still its meaning is the same, and is ever in opposition to bad. We say from the Saxon, good; the Dane, god,; the Goth, goda; the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition of more, of the contraction, mor, we have the word Mormon; which means, literally, more good.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Peradventure a short sketch of our travels and labors will be interesting to the readers of your paper, if you think so, they are at your disposal. Agreeable to counsel, we started on a mission the 12th day of September last, and travelled [traveled] directly to Gilead Branch, county, Michigan; where we made a stand, and lifted
our voices in the case of truth, to those who were willing to hear. But few came out at first, being cautioned by their priests, to beware of us, as we were impostors, &c. But we confined ourselves to a small section of country of about thirty miles, travelling [traveling] back and forth, improving every opportunity where we thought we could bring the engines of truth to bear, until mountains of prejudice began to fall, and the people began to come out and investigate the subject for themselves, and we had as many calls for preaching as we could attend to. A few presented themselves for baptism, others acknowledged we preached the truth, and if we would work a miracle they would believe it was of God. We baptised [baptized] fourteen, organized a branch and ordained two elders, and left the work in a very prosperous condition, and returned home the 20th day of February.
Yours in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant. Rufus Fisher.
Thos. R. King.
To the Editors of the Times and Seasons.
City of Nauvoo. May 19th, 1843.
Dear Sir:-With feelings of high consideration and due respect, do I this evening take my pen in hand to address a letter to you, containing a short sketch of my travels in one year past. One year since, I visited a settlement of Norwegians, in La Salle county, Illinois; where, after laboring some time among them I succeeded in baptising [baptizing] five, and ordained one elder, when I left them for about one month; and then returned and organized the branch, and called it the La Salle branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and ordained Brother Goodman Hougus, Elder, a man of a strong mind, and well skilled in the scriptures; he can preach in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, having an understanding of their languages. From thence I returned to Nauvoo, where I found the whole country deluged with falsehood, from the pen of J. C. Bennet [Bennett], and I immediately returned to La Salle, but the people there, looked upon him as a wicked designing man; his lies continued but a short time, when eternal disgrace fell upon his own head. I soon returned to Nauvoo, and in a few days I was appointed by the special conference, in August, to travel through Illinois, to correct the misstatements of Bennett, in which journey I travelled [traveled] through eighteen different counties. I was generally successful in convincing the people that Bennett maliciously slandered the innocent. I baptized six in Perry count, Illinois; and returned home in December. In January I left again, and went into St. Clair county, where I was joined by a worthy brother, by the name of Henry B. Jacobs, who baptized twelve, and I baptized a German after he left. I preached in Chester, Sparta and Bellville [Belleville]; from thence, I returned home, and again visited Ottowa La Salle county; spent two weeks, and baptized seven. I found the church there, in good spirits, and in the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts. The La Salle branch now numbers fifty-eight, in good standing. Elder Oley Hayer, was chosen to preside over them, who is well worthy the office. Elder Goodman Hougus, and Brother J. R. Anderson, visited the Norwegian settlement, in Lee county, Iowa, in January last; spent three weeks; baptized ten, ordained one priest, and left them and went home to La Salle county. From thence Brothers Hougus and Hayer visited a large body from Norway, in Wisconsin territory, and have laid the foundation of a great work, to all appearance. There is now fifty-seven members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Norway, and the time is not far distant, when the saying of Micah, 4:ii, will be fulfilled.
In haste I subscribe myself your fellow laborer, in the new and everlasting covenant. Geo. P. Dykes.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Dear Sir:-As time softly passes along, without respect to place or person, depriving the monarch of his diadem, and liberating the slave from his chains; events occur which bring to our mind joys departed, but the remembrance is still dear, and thus we have pleasure in the thought of past joys. It is now three years since I requested the ordinance of baptism at your hands, in a far distant land, the land of my early days, the land that I was then calculating to live and die in, for I had then no idea of crossing the Atlantic, and from that time I consider a new era was formed in my life; for previous to that, it seems as though I had no knowledge of any thing, but just as though it had been a dream, and every thing unnatural. Not that there were no men of parts, but a sort of lunacy seemed to be engendered with the brain. Though perhaps the vapor might be thicker in the atmosphere I was breathing, than that of many of my neighbors, being a member of the Methodist society from my early youth, but it seems to me that it was a sort of Egyptian darkness that could be felt. After being baptised [baptized] it appeared as though the thick fog had passed away, and I could use my reason and I did so, and declare that some of my old friends appeared-not like trees walking, but-like sleep-walkers, and it would try the patience of a saint to have any thing to say to them. I would not attempt to describe the malady, for
all those who have been afflicted with it, understand, and those who are its victims fancy themselves the most free. Oh! Sir, that is the most awful of all calamities, and ought to be evaded like hell itself; for the man who is labering [laboring] under its influence has not got as much rationality as Balaam's charger. An ancient poet endeavors to explain it, and says,
"All men are mad, in spite of all finesse,
Madness differs but in more or less."
Indeed, Sir, I think there is no way of shaking off the complaint but by being buried, for the whole frame is affected. That it is a species of lunacy, none can doubt, for I would ask if any man of a sane mind could make use of the following, and fancy he is addressing Deity. Oh Lord save the Mormons, save the Mormons, shake the Mormons; awaken the Mormons! Oh Lord, draw up the flood-gates of hell and let the Mormons see their future habitations! Oh Lord, let the Mormons be cut off, and never come into thy kingdom;' and so on, too absurd to mention. He first begins by asking the Lord to save us, and then to cut us off.: I suppose they never expect their prayers to be answered, but, however if the Lord had gone and raised the flood-gates, at his request, I did not know where to find the flood-gates, so I should have been as much in the dark as ever. The Rev. Mr. Martindale afterwards sent me a polite request, to spend an hour with him, and told the messenger that he would make me ashamed of myself. I complied and paid his revenence [reverence] a visit. I saw that he had the above named malady, to more than an ordinary degree, and he was fully equipped for the fight; and his friends ready to take me out when he had made me so ashamed that I could not go myself. He had got Elder Pratt's "Voice of Warning," and the "Book of Mormon," respecting which he had wrote down eleven questions and had a table full of books with the leaves ready doubled down, and all was in good order. The first question brought on the tapis was-"Do you believe the Voice of Warning to be inspiration?" To which I replied that I was of opinion that it contained as much truth as most books of its size. He then wished to know positively, if we believed that the angel spoken of by John, had come in these modern times to reveal the gospel? I answered in the affirmative, at which he pitied me very much, and really thought I had been better informed. I told him that I was altogether unlettered, and admitted his superior talent, he coming from Oxford college, or some other emporium of learning. I told him that none of my brethren were very much skilled in literary lore, and therefore would thank him to enlighten me on this subject, to which he agreed, provided I would acknowledge before that august assembly, that I knew no better; which I frankly did. He then gravely opened a large family Bible, and there read to me, that this event took place a long time before the creation, for which I thanked him, though I told him, that I could not exactly see how it could be, for John lived after the creation, and he said that he was shown things that must shortly come to pass. This, his reverence said was figuratively. I then told him I had but one difficulty more, and then we could proceed to the next question, which was, that God made the heavens and the earth, and all things in them, in six days; how did the angel fly (before he was created) through the midst of heaven, (when there was no heaven) crying to the inhabitants of the earth, (when there was no earth) that the hour of God's ;judgement [judgment] had come, when man was not yet made? Mr Martindale then acknowledged that none could understand the passage, and observed that I was calculated to deceive the very elect. He then remarked, he did not wish to have much to say to me, and therefore would only ask me one more question, which was, if the Book o f Mormon was the stick of Joseph ? After I had given him my opinion on the subject; I then asked him to enlighten me, which he did, by telling me that the stick of Joseph was a nation or tribe. Here again we got into difficulty, for I could not see how the prophet could write on a nation. He then brought a charge against me of annointing [anointing] the sick with oil; this he said was Popery. That was the first time I had ever heard James charged with Popery. We soon got into close quarters, and he wished to tell me what he thought of me, and did so, by saying that he really believed that I was one of the false prophets that Paul said should come in the last days. I then asked leave to express my opinion of his reverence, and on obtaining permission, I told him that I believed him to be one of those hireling teachers that Paul said there should be heaps of, to lead the people from the truth to fables, and he had succeeded in a great measure. He seemed a good deal surprised at this, and told me his religion was Luther's; this I believed, and left him, after telling him that mine was Christ's.
Almost endless are the instances that might be adduced to prove that a great portion of the world of mankind is tinctured with lunacy, but I have no doubt but you know all about it, and have no need that I should tell you. I will therefore come to the subject I first intended, as a number of people desired to hear from me respecting Nauvoo, and I have not as yet fulfilled my promise to them. It is now three
years since I obeyed the requirements of the gospel, and since that time, I have often had to bear my testimony to the truth of it; I do so still, and declare, that to this time, I have seen nothing to shake my confidence. Whether on water or on land, in a storm or in calm, in England or America, in the world or in Nauvoo, I have neither seen nor heard, anything to cause me to have a doubt, respecting the doctrines taught by the Latter Day Saints. The elders, in general, I have found to be men who fear God and work righteousness. Nauvoo must, in every respect, exceed the expectations of any man who has any knowledge of things at all. Joseph, Smith is the wisest, and most charitably disposed man I ever heard of, and I believe, that God ever made; and that he is a prophet of God, I have no manner of doubt on my mind. And I solemnly declare before God, that I believe in my heart, that all the tales derogatory to his character, or the saints in general, are as false as those invented in the days of the Savior, "his disciples came and stole him away while we slept." Therefore, let all my friends look on this as my solemn testimony.-I rejoice in the gospel being revealed-I rejoice in the work of the Lord, and pray that the truth may go forth as the morning; the honest in heart be gathered out, and a people prepared to meet the Lord at his coming.
I subscribe myself your affectionate brother,
For the Times & Seasons.
A Visit to Nauvoo.
By Samuel A. Prior, a Methodist Minister.
Mr. Editor:--I feel somewhat unwilling to go from this city, until I have returned my sincere thanks for the kind treatment I have received from all with whom I have had any intercourse, since I first came into this place. I must confess that I left home with no very favorable opinions of the Latter Day Saints.--I have had the misfortune to live always among that class of people who look upon a Mormon as being of quite another race, from the rest of mankind, and holding no affinity to the human family. My ears had been so often assailed by the tales of their vice and immorality, that I could not but reflect, in spite of my determination to remain unprejudiced, that I should witness many scenes detrimental to the christian character, if not offensive to society. My friends crowded around me, giving me many cautions against the art and duplicity of that deluded sect, as they called them and intreated me to observe them closely, and learn the true state of their community. I set out on foot, making my arrangements to continue there until I was satisfied what kind of beings the Mormons were. It was something over sixty miles, and on the road I often had time to reflect upon the errand of my journey,. and fancy to myself the condition in which I expected to find them.
On my arriving at Carthage, I accidentally met an old, and much beloved friend, who was himself, a member of the church. Having been apprised of my design in visiting the church of Latter Day Saints, he very kindly offered to accompany me to Nauvoo, the city of the prophet, but stated that he would be compelled to visit a little town called Macedonia, before he could go up, and wanted me to go with him, as it was only eight miles distant. I kept up a lively discourse upon the subject of Mormonism, and the ready and appropriate answers he gave to the numerous questions I put to him, convinced me that their doctrine was not as bad as I had anticipated. At Macedonia I was kindly received by Mr. Andrews who, being informed by my friend, who and what I was, cordially received me, bidding me welcome to his humble abode, with all the feelings of a long absent, though respected brother. This reception, so vastly different from what I had expected, totally enamoured [enamored] me, and put to blush all my former anticipations of cold, harsh, and morose expressions, which I expected to meet from all who became acquainted with my calling and station in life. I found Mr. Andrews a man of general intelligence, of good moral notions, and correct religious ideas. Although I could not agree with him in all points, yet I found him liberal and open hearted, far beyond my fondest expectations. The next day at 11 o'clock, I had the honor for the first time in my life, to hear the prophet preach; a notice of which had been circulated the evening before. I will not attempt to describe the various feelings of my bosom as I took my seat in a conspicuous place in the congregation, who were waiting in breathless silence for his appearance. While he tarried, I had plenty of time to revolve in my mind, the character and common report of that truly singular personage. I fancied that I should behold a countenance sad and sorrowful, yet containing the fiery marks of rage and exasperation-I supposed that I should be enabled to discover in him some of those thoughtful and reserve features, those mystic and sarcastic glances which I had fancied the ancient sages to possess. I expected to see that fearful faltering look of conscious shame, which, from what I had heard of him, he might be expected to evince. He appeared at last-but how was I disappointed, when, instead of the heads and horns of the beast, and false prophet, I beheld
only the appearance of a common man, of tolerable large proportions. I was sadly disappointed, and thought that although his appearance could not be wrested to indicate any thing against him, yet he would manifest all I had heard of him, when he began to preach. I sat uneasy and watched him closely. He commenced preaching, not from, the Book of Mormon, however, but from the Bible; the first chapter of the first of Peter, was his text He commenced calmly and continued dispassionately to pursue his subject, while I sat in breathless silence, waiting to hear that foul aspersion of the other sects, that diabolical disposition of revenge, and to hear that rancorous denunciation of every individual but a Mormon. I waited in vain-I listened with surprise-I sat uneasy in my seat, and could hardly persuade myself but that he had been apprised of my presence, and so ordered his discourse on my account; that I might not be able to find fault with it, for instead of a jumbled jargon of half connected sentences, and a volley of imprecations, and diabolical and malignat [malignant] denunciations heaped upon the heads of all who differed from him, and the dreadful twisting and wresting of the scriptures, to suit his own peculiar views, and attempt to weave a web of dark and mystic sophistry around the gospel truths, which I had anticipated, he glided along through a very interesting and elaborate discourse, with all the care and happy facility of one who was well aware of his important station, and his duty to God and man, and evidencing to me, that he was well worthy to be styled "a workman rightly dividing the word of truth," and giving without reserve, "saint and sinner his portion in due season"-and I was compelled to go away with a very different opinion from what I had entertained when I first took my seat to hear him preach. In the evening I was invited to preach, and did so.-The congregation was large and respectable-they paid the utmost attention. This surprised me a little, as I did not expect to find any such thing as a religious toleration among them.-After I had closed, Elder Smith, who had attended, arose and begged leave to differ from me in some few points of doctrine, and this he did mildly, politely, and affectingly; like one who was more desirous to disseminate truth and expose error, than to love the malicious triumph of debate over me. I was truly edified with his remarks, and felt less prejudiced against the Mormons than ever. He invited me to call upon him, and I promised to do so. The next morning I started for Nauvoo; but my feelings were begining [beginning] strangely to alter. I found one stay after another, fast giving away, and a solemn and awful reflection was awakened in my mind.
But there was one thing yet remaining,-I had not yet seen Nauvoo, and so often having heard that it was the most degraded place in the world, the very sink of iniquity, and that all who lived there were liars, thieves, and villains, who were the refuse of society, and the filth of the world, that in spite of my better judgment, expected to see some traces at least, of that low prostitution which I had so often heard charged upon them.
At length the city burst upon my sight, and how sadly was I disappointed. Instead of seeing a few miserable log cabins and mud hovels, which I had expected to find, I was surprised to see one of the most romantic places that I had visited in the west. The buildings, though many of them were small and of wood, yet bore the marks of neatness which I have not seen equalled [equaled] in this country. The far-spread plain at the botom [bottom] of the hill was dotted over with the habitations of men with such majestic profusion, that I was almost willing to believe myself mistaken; and instead of being in Nauvoo of Illinois, among Mormons, that I was in Italy at the city of Leghorn, (which the location of Nauvoo resembles very much,) and among the eccentric Italians. I gazed for some time with fond admiration upon the plain below. Here and there arose a tall majestic brick house, speaking loudly of the genius and untiring labor of the inhabitants, who have snatched the place from the clutches of obscurity, and wrested it from the bonds of disease; and in two or three short years rescued it from a dreary waste to transform it into one of the first cities in the west.
The hill upon which I stood was covered over with the dwellings of men, and amid them was seen to rise the hewn stone and already accomplished work of the Temple, which is now raised fifteen or twenty feet above the ground. The few trees that were permitted to stand, are now in full foliage, and are scattered with a sort of fantastic irregularity over the slope of the hill.
But there was one object which was far more noble to behold, and far more majestic than any other yet presented to my sight-and that was the wide-spread and unrivalled [unrivaled] father of waters, the Mississippi river, whose mitro-bedded waters lay in majestic extension before the city, and in one general carve, seemed to sweep gallantly by the devoted place. On the farther side was seen the dark green woodland, bending under its deep foliage, with here and there an insterstice [interstice] bearing the marks of cultivation. A few houses could be seen through the trees
on the other side of the river directly opposite of which is spread a fairy isle, covered with beautiful timber. The isle and the romantic swell of the river soon brought my mind back to days of yore, and to the bright emerald isles of the far famed fairy land. The bold and prominent rise of the hill, fitting to the plain with an exact regularity, and the plain pushing itself into the river, forcing it to bend around its obstacle with becoming grandeur, and fondly to cling around it to add to the heightened and refined lustre [luster] to this sequestered land.
I passed on into the more active parts of the city, looking into every street and lane to observe all that was passing. I found all the people engaged in some useful and healthy employment. The place was alive with business-much more son than any place I have visited since the hard times commenced. I sought in vain for any thing that bore the marks of immorality; but was both astonished and highly pleased at my ill success. I could see no loungers about the streets, nor any drunkards about the taverns. I did not meet with those distorted features of ruffians, or with the ill-bred or impudent. I heard not an oath in the place, I saw not a gloomy countenance; all were cheerful, polite and industrious.
I conversed with many leading men-found them social and well informed, hospitable and generous. I saw nothing but order and regulation in the society. Where then, I exclaimed, is all this startling proof of the utter profligacy of Nauvoo? Where, in the name of God, is the immorality charged upon the citizens of it; and what dreadful outbreaking crimes have given men the licence [license] to deprecate this place so much as they do? Where is the gang of marauders, horse thieves and ruffians, the drunkards and vicious men of Nauvoo? Where are the horrid forms of human beings distorted with hellish rage and maddened ire? Where are the dark diabolical superstitions? Where are those specimens of credulity and ignorance? Where are those damning doctrines of demons? Where, in fine, is this slough, this sink of iniquity of which I have heard so much? Surely not in Nauvoo. They must have got; the wrong place, or wilfully [willfully] lied about it. I could but bluish with disappointed shame for my friends who had so misinformed me, and very soon made up my mind, like the Queen of Sheba, not to believe any reports of enemies, but to always, like her, go and see for myself. Reader, go thou and do likewise; and if you have heard the place praised, go up and see, and lo and behold, you will find the half has not been told you.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Nauvoo, Illinois, May 22, 1843
Dear Brother,-In answer to your's of May 4th concerning the Latter Day Saints forming a Temperance Society, we would say as Paul said:-Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers," but contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and, as Peter advises, so say we:-add to your knowledge temperance. As Paul said he had to become all things to all men, that he might thereby save some, so must the elders of the last days do, and, being sent out to preach the gospel, and warn the world of the judgments to come, we are sure, when they teach as directed by the Spirit, according to the revelations of Jesus Christ, that they will preach the truth, and prosper, without complaint. Thus we have no new commandment to give, but admonish elders and members to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, lest they come short of the glory that is reserved for the faithful.
W. Richards Clerk
(From the Boston Bee.)
Nauvoo, Ill., March 14th, 1843.
To the Editor: Sir,-In gone-by years, and long before I had heard of the prophet "Joseph Smith," and, indeed, before he had existence, I had formed some very curious ideas about the ancient prophets. From reading their history in the Bible, I supposed they must have been men of no ordinary proportions; or, if so, that there was something about them different from other men, by which they might be distinguished at sight. As a matter of course, I thought they must have had grey [gray] hairs for a covering to make them appear very dignified, and beard as long as a Jew; for if they shaved, it would shew [show] that they were men; and could I have had the privilege of looking at one, I should have expected to have seen him clad in sheep, goat, bear or wolf skin, wandering about on the mountains, like the beasts he had robbed of their garments; lodging in the caves and dens of the earth, and subsisting on the fruits and nuts of the forests. A being too holy, too sanctified, too exhalted [exalted] , by his high calling, to appear in the habitations or among the society of men, unless he had some important message to communicate direct from Heaven; some revelation or commandment to promulge to his fellows, and then he would just come forth, and cry out, like the beasts in the wilderness, with so much sacred sanctity that every body would know he was a prophet; and if, by nothing else when they saw his nails like bird's claws, and his hairs like eagles feathers, and his face and
hands as filthy as a baboon; for it never occurred to me that clean hands, in administering before the Lord, as mentioned in the Scripture, meant any thing more than a good conscience, and I had never supposed but that a man could worship God just as acceptably, all covered with dirt, and filth and slime, as though he had bathed in Siloam every hour, until I heard the Mormon prophet lecturing his people on the subject of neatness and cleanliness, teaching them that all was clean in Heaven, and that Jesus was going to make the place of his feet glorious, and if the Mormons did not keep their feet out of the ashes, they could not stand with him on Mount Zion.
I had no thought before but that dirty people could get to Heaven, as well as clean ones; and if the priests offered sacrifice with polluted hands, the fire would cleanse both the offering and the hands that offered it. I cannot say how much there may be in Scripture to contradict my views, neither can I vouch for it that the churches of the day believe any such doctrine, for I never belonged to any of them, but have rather been called an infidel. As to that I have not altered much. I like consistency, find it where I may.
With all these curious notions, I fell into the Mormon settlement, and saw the prophet, but having never heard a Mormon preach, you can imagine me not quite ready to receive all the impressions incident to an interview with such a distinguished personage, but I will give it as I find it, hit or miss the faith or feeling of any one.
I have had an interview since my last, and found any thing but the truth of current reports. "The prophet Joseph," (as he is called among his people,) said in a conversation with a gentleman present, that he no more professed to be a prophet, than every man must, who professes to be a preacher of righteousness, or a minister of the New Testament. To be a minister of Jesus, a man must testify of Jesus; and to testify of Jesus, a man must have the spirit of prophecy; for, according to John, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.-If a man professes to be a minister of Jesus, and has not the spirit of prophecy, he must be a false witness, for he is not in possession of that gift which qualifies him for his office; and the difference between himself and the clergy of this generation is, he claims to be in possession of that spirit of prophecy which qualifies him to testify of Jesus and the gospel of salvation; while the clergy deny that spirit, even the spirit of prophecy, which alone would constitute them true witnesses or testators of the Lord Jesus, and yet claim to be the true ministers of salvation.
In this, said he, I am honest, and they are dishonest, and that is the difference between us. Were they true and honest witnesses of Jesus Christ, they would acknowledge they have the testimony of him, and that is the spirit of prophecy, and every man who possesses that spirit is a prophet. I, said he, claim no more than what every servant of Christ must possess, to qualify him for his office; while the clergy of the 19th century deny that which alone could constitute them what they profess to be. He said he did not profess to be a very good man, but acknowledged himself a sinner like other men, or as all men are, imperfect; and it is necessary for all men to grow into the stature of manhood in the gospel.
I could not help noticing that he dressed, talked, and acted like other men, and in every respect the perfect counterpart of what I had conjured up in my imagination for a prophet.
The Mormons have not yet completed their great Temple, and have no commodious place of worship, but the apostles and elders preach in private houses on the Sabbath, and at other times, though I seldom attend these latter meetings; but when the weather will admit, they meet in the grove, or on the rough floor of the basement of the Temple, and then the prophet frequently preaches. On one of these occasions I heard him preach concerning the prodigal son.
After naming his text, the prophet remarked, that some one had asked him the meaning of the expression of Jesus, "among those born of woman there has not arisen a greater than John," and said he had promised to answer it in public, and he would do it then. "It could not have been on account of the miracles John performed, for he did no miracles; but it was,
First, Because he was trusted with a divine mission, of preparing the way before the face of the Lord. Who was trusted with such a mission, before or since? No man.
Second, He was trusted, and it was required at his hand, to baptise [baptize] the Son of Man. Who ever did that? Who ever had so great a privilege or glory? Who ever led the Son of God into the waters of baptism, beholding the Holy Ghost descend upon him in the sign of the Dove? No man.
Third, John, at that time, was the only legal administrator, holding the keys of power there was on earth. The keys, the kingdom, the power, the glory, had departed from the Jews; and John, the son of Zachariah, by the holy anointing, and decree of heaven, held the keys of power at that time."
To the Public.
I am informed that Henry Jackson is palming himself on some of the branches of the church, in Iowa, and soliciting donations as an elder of said church, whereas he has been excluded from the church and is not a member.
John Smith, Elder.
Times and Seasons,
City of Nauvoo,
Wednesday, May 15, 1843.
To the Saints Among all Nations.
According to a Revelation, received not long since, it appears to be the duty of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to bring to Nauvoo, their precious things, such as antiquities, and we may say, curiosities, whether animal, vegetable or metalic [metallic] : yea, petrifactions as well as inscriptions and hieroglyphics, for the purpose of establishing a Museum of the great things of God, and the inventions of man, at Nauvoo. We have just received the first donations at the office of President Joseph Smith. Who will come and do likewise?
We have just had the above handed to us, by one of President Smiths' clerks, and feel very much interested in the establishment of a Museum, which would be a receptacle of every thing new and old, ancient and modern, antique, fanciful and substantial-indeed any thing and every thing that has a tendency to throw light upon ancient nations, their manners, customs, implements of husbandry and of war, their costume, ancient records, manuscripts, paintings, hieroglyphics, models of any new invention in the arts and sciences, any thing that has a tendency to throw light upon Geology, Mineralogy, Anatomy, Philosophy, Mechanics or any thing that is calculated to enlighten the mind, enlarge the understanding, gratify the curiosity, and give general information.
Situated as we are, as a people, sending men of intelligence to every nation under Heaven, and to every clime, and having a society that will be composed of all nations, that will gather here from all parts of the world, there is no people that possess such facilities as the Latter Day Saints, for gathering together a collection of this kind.
We would recommend to the Elder that are travelling [traveling], either on this continent or any other, to pay especial attention to this subject. We have not conferred with President Smith on this subject, but would respectfully recommend to the Elders to forward every thing of that kind to Mr. Smith, that he may have the disposal of it.
For the purpose of throwing some light on this subject, we here append a very imperfect description of a collection of this kind which we saw when last in England during an exhibition of the Mechanics Institute in Liverpool.
The following are some notes that we took at the time, July 19th, 1840:
I visited the Mechanics Institute in Liverpool, and such a display of objects illustrative of the Fine Arts, Natural History, Philosophy, Machinery, Manufactures, Antiquities, and of every thing that is grand, noble, interesting, instructing and beautiful, I never before witnessed.
The building, which is large and commodous [commodious], and built at an enormous expense, is in the form of the letter L, and has a stone front Its size I have not ascertained, and can only give a description by saying that, there are seventeen rooms in all, five of which are seventy feet long. It is built on sloping ground, and is three stories high-owing to its location, hover, you go in at the second story, up a few steps. There is a large portico at the entrance, supported by large stone colums [columns]. There are six rooms in each story, beside a large lecture room that is on the second and third stories, with a gallery on three sides. This room is as large as a common sized church. On the top of most of the upper-most rooms in the Picture and Sculpture galleries are placed lantern lights, for a better display of the numerous pictures and sculpture, with which these rooms are studded.
As soon as you enter the door, you come into a spacious Hall, in which are stuffed animals, such as a Lioness and her Cubs, Paintings, specimens of Sculpture, and the Costume of Ancient Warriors, clad in armor; one in a suit of chain armor, another in plate, another armed cap-a-pie, and another in a suit of scale armor. Landscapes, Historical pieces, &c., &c. Two staircases prevent them both of which, as well ass ;the corridor, are studded with sculpture, paintings, statuary, &c., which present a beautiful appearace [appearance]. You ascend the left hand staircase and descend on the right; when you reach the top you turn to the left, on a lobby that extends the whole length of the building, with the exception of the rooms at each end; after going some distance you then turn to the left, on another lobby, which takes you into a large oblong room, at the back part of the building, in the picture gallery. There are above 250 pictures in these rooms, varying in size from 14 or 15 feet square to one foot, the works
of both ancient and modern artists; specimens of scripture pieces, natural history, buildings, view of cities, moonlight scenes, wars, misers, philanthropists, kings, angels with wings, dead and dying men, youth and buoyancy, and decripit [decrepit] old age; views of water spouts, castles, heathen gods, and other things too numerous to mention. On many of these pictures there are groups of full grown people, all as natural as life: others of horses, dogs, and men; one of this kind is beautiful beyond description, and as natural as life. There are also many beautiful specimens of pictorial needlework-one of which, a large ancient piece, about 8 or 9 feet square, is a representation of Belshazzar's feast, with the several personages present, full grown, a table of viands and fruits before thom [them], the hand and writing seen upon the wall, and consternation upon the face of the king and others. The letters in which it is written are Hebrew, but instead of going from right to left they go from the top to the bottom-every part but this is very natural. You then go into a Sculpture gallery which is filled with statues of every form, grade, shape, and age. There are upwards of one hundred and fifty figures, containing grace, beauty, symmetry, all but the life; by ancient and modern artists; in Parian, Pentelicum, and other marbles; alabaster, ivory, china, plaster of paris, wax, terra-cotta, bronze, bisque, and other compositions. Here are statues of warriors, heroes, poets, historians, farmers, kings, queens, lords, gentlemen, ladies, brigands, saints, contending parties, dying gladiators, Brahmin priests, in their costume, heathen gods, and a great variety of beasts, of various descriptions.
You next are shown every variety of antiquities and curiosities-Indian dresses, from India, as well as North America, and New Zealand. There is also, Chinese tress boxes, tables, turned work, painting, carving, books, &c., &c.-I must say that these specimens show the greatest ingenuity, and represent anything but ignorance, awkwardness, and barbarism, with which they are generally charged. Coins, both ancient and modern, of all nations; American shin-plasters, gold and silver ore, antique carvings, deities, from Hindoostan and other places, ancient armour [armor] of all kinds, and missiles of every description, and from all parts: specimens of ancient newspapers, boxes, watches, match-lock, and other ancient guns-pistols, swords, scimeters [scimitars], bows and arrows of different kinds, shoes, slippers, Gods and Goddesses, tables, chairs, needlework, petrefaction [petrifaction] of fishes, snakes, shells, &c., some of them divided and polished with the bones, and inside as natural as life. Skins, feathers, caps, &c. &c., manuscripts of different kinds, and ancient books of every description-two MSS, in Hebrew, one rolled after the form of Jeremiah's or Ezekiel's roll, or two sticks-MSS of the Koran in Arabic. Egyptian, with hieroglyphics that resembles very much the "Egyptian record," they were taken from a stone engraving-records and books, in Sancrit [Sanskrit?], Hindoo [Hindu]; Samaritan, Persians, Chinese, Gavanese, Taetian, Burmese, Telenga, written the talipot polmina leaf, in India; and old Bible written in Latin, on parchment, specimens of ancient Bibles, and other MSS; and every thing that is curious, beautiful, antique, and interesting.
You are next shown all kinds of birds of every species, beasts and fishes of every kind and size, and of every tint and hue, stuffed as natural as life, from all parts of the earth; there are thousands of the feathered tribe, of all kinds, from the eagle and ostrich, down to the smallest humming bird. Snakes from the great boa, to the least of the reptile kind, crocodiles, alligators, &c. &c. Some thousands of shells, of every shape, shade and tint, one I should think would weigh two hundred pounds-Then there is every genus of the butterfly, caterpillar, beetle, and every kind of insect; you are shown every variety of minerals, from every mine in the earth, and from every cave of the sea; you are then shown every kind of anatomy, bones and fossils, two skeletons of the human system, and representations of the different parts of the human body, laid open, as natural as life; with the bones, ligaments, arteries, veins, muscles, nerves, brain, &c., laid open; the hands, the head, the neck, the legs, the ear and eye unfolded, and their mysteries and secret operations made manifest; and all their connecting parts developed. There is a specimen of a mummie [mummy], but not so perfect as we have; it has the linen around it, and is enclosed in a box which is covered with hieroglyphics, and Egyptian characters; another standing up, not to be opened, enclosed in a case which rudely represents a human being, there is also a great many hieroglyphics on this. There are busts, and heads of every shape, which would be very interesting no doubt to phrenologists; there are bones and fossils, part of the head bone of the mammoth, two feet wide, I should think or upwards; two and a half feet high, solid where it seems to be broken; the teeth that are in it, are grinders, and are about eight inches apart, and will measure two inches through. I think it must have had outer teeth, besides those, as these are so close to each other and so differently situated in the head, to any that I have seen before. I should think that with those, it would have power to bite iron in
two. There are also bones of elephants, and other animals, from different places. Another room is full of speciments [specimens] of autography of all kinds, and of every data; the writings of princes, potentates, statesmen, sages, the ambitious and powerful philanthrophist [philanthropists], tyrants, historians, kings, queens, concubines, poets, divines, of wise men and fools. You go into a room again, where different speciments [specimens] of work are going on, such as paper staining, glass blowing &c. Many philosophical experiments were exhibited in the last named science. Common printing, lithograph and other printing presses were at work.
You then see every kind of Philosophical Apparatus; all sorts of models, complete, of steam engines, of every description, some of them at work; mills, and machines, of all kinds; railway carriages, going, and others still; cabinet ware, from Germany, Spain, China France, Italy, &c.; screws, levers, pulleys; ox-hydrogen and compound microscopes, kallaiedescopes [kaleidoscopes], magic lanterns, camera obscura, clock, watches, quadrants, circumferentors, zinc reflectors, thermometers, barometers, magnetic interrupters, electrical batteries, telescopes, windmill, pedomatic chondrometer, models of water wheels, lathes, electrifying machines, of all kinds, galvanic batteries, air pumps, and a thousand other things. I think if Solomon had been here he would have thought there was something new under the sun.
You are then introduced into a room where a man is cutting likenesses with scissors. He does them very quick and perfect. You are next shewn [shown] a Medal Press, with which they strike Medals of every kind. : It is a large machine from Birmingham, and the Medals are neatly executed. You see Fringe and Tassel making, and every kind of Carpets exhibited, different kinds of Tapestry, and Lace weaving, Pot making, and in short, you have the privilege of hearing a Lecture on some department of Science by gentlemen of talent, in the Lecture Room.-In fact, such a collection of every thing rare, ancient, useful instructive, beautiful and interesting, I never before saw. I cannot described the whole, but shall have to say, as the Queen of Sheba, the half has not been told. I would observe that those things are not all owned by the Institution, but that many of; them have been deposited there during the mid-summer hollidays [holidays], (for there are schools taught in many of the rooms at other times;) by noblemen and gentlemen, captains, antiquarians, connoisseurs, linguists, philosophers, anatomists, ladies, mechanics, tradesmen, &c. They admit visitors from ten o'clock in the forenoon to four in the afternoon, and from four in afternoon till ten at night. In the morning the charge is 1s, and the evening 6d. I am told they have taken upwards of [pounds] 700 a day during the exhibition.
When I saw some of those heroes, and specimens of antiquity, it reminded me of the rise and fall of nations. I was led to reflect on the glory of Babylon, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, the Roman and other mighty powers, who in their turn have risen to glory, and mouldered to decay-whose fame was once known to the ends of the earth-who laid desolate kingdoms, and caused nations to tremble-whose cities and walls, and towers, and fortifications, and armies defied the powers of earth; but who in turn have mouldered to decay, have died, and nothing is now left of them but a name and a few broken pillars, and scattered fragments of ancient greatness, to tell to this and other generations, the folly of human wisdom, and the imbecility and weakness of human power; and to point us to the fulfilment [fulfillment] of those prophesies where nations shall again crumble, and empires again be shaken; when thrones shall be cast down, and kingdoms again be destroyed; when that which has visited ancient nations; shall sweep like a torrent over all nations; when there shall be a crash of nations and a wreck of matter; when God's work shall be accomplished, the wicked be burned up, and nothing left to represent their former dignity or ancient glory.
We have mentioned these things for the purpose of shewing [showing] what it is our privilege to aspire to; and as we expect that ere long Nauvoo will be the great emporium of the west, and take the lead in the arts, sciences, and literature, as well as in religion, it would be well for us to keep our eye upon this in our various journeyings, and our intercourse with mankind; and possessing the facilities that we do, it only requires a little exertion on our part, to make a museum or repository of this kind, to exceed any thing on the western continent, and in the world: and while nations are tottering, and kingdoms crumbling to pieces, it is for the Saints to snatch from the ruins of ancient greatness every thing that is interesting, great, valuable and good-whether in religion, morality, arts and sciences, and bring them to the city of the Saints, that intelligence may dwell in our midst, that we may have a knowledge of the policy, the strength and weakness of empires and nations, of their wisdom and folly, their virtues and vices-that we may have a knowledge of the world, and all things in it, comely, great and good. That our old men may be honored and revered for their wisdom, and our young men sit at their feet and learn knowledge-that intelligence may flow from our lips, and "all nations call us blessed;"-that we may indeed be the "blessed of the Lord,"-"The Zion of the Holy one of Israel."
The following is part of a discourse, delivered by Elder Orson Pratt, at the conference:-
The Ancient of Days.
Who is the Ancient of Days? This is a question frequently asked by the biblical student, especially those who have studied the prophecies of Daniel with any degree of attention. The most careless reader will have observed that the Ancient of Days is one of the most prominent personages introduced before Daniel, while he was wrapped in his prophetic visions. Daniel had previously become extensively acquainted with the future history of the world. He had seen the rise, progress, and downfall of nations and kingdoms. Four great and powerful monarchies, which should bear rule over all the earth, and hold universal empire, had successively passed before him. In a former vision he had seen the last of these monarchies divided and subdivided into smaller kingdoms; and finally, after having viewed earthly governments in their various forms from his own day down for many generations, and having seen their corruptions and great wickedness, his mind was carried onward to a time when another or fifth kingdom should be established, bearing rule in righteousness over all the earth. He saw that this last kingdom, instead of originating from those which had formerly held dominion, through the vain aspiring ambition of man, was established by the God of heaven, before which all other kingdoms wasted away till no place was found for them.-These grand events of future time which opened to his astonished vision, were calculated, no doubt, to excite an intense desire to become more extensively informed in relation to futurity, especially concerning the organization and establishment of the kingdom of God, which he saw was eventually to sway a universal sceptre [scepter] over all the earth. The great God who is ever willing to satisfy the desires of those who honestly serve him, was pleased to unfold to him more of the particulars concerning the introduction of that glorious era when the saints were to bear rule. The prophet was again enwrapt [enwrapped] in a vision of the Almighty, and saw the same things which he had formerly seen, and being more prepared by experience, and more enlightened by the spirit of truth, his views were greatly enlarged. In this wonderful vision he saw the ANCIENT OF DAYS SIT, clothed in great power and majesty; he was attended by unnumbered millions from the heavenly worlds-a grand council was organized upon the earth, over which he presided-the books were opened, and among the most important business which came before them, was the condemnation and judgment of some of the corrupt powers of the earth, and also the confirming of more power upon the saints, that they might be prepared for the reception of their Great King-the Son of Man who was to come and take the kingdom, and reign in the greatness of his splendor, in the midst of his people forever. The Great King, having sent forth the Ancient of Days, with the grand council of heaven, as messengers to set all things in their most perfect order, at length, appears in the clouds of heaven. He comes in royal splendor, and in the greatness of his strength, to the Ancient of Days who delivers up the kingdom into his hands, and henceforth all people, nations, and languages serve and obey him. O glorious period! O happy time!! How these glorious visions must have cheered the heart of Daniel in his long captivity! And how blessed, and how inexpressibly happy will that people be who inherit the earth in that day!
But who is this Ancient of Days, that is to act this glorious and conspicuous part in the grand councils of the last days, and finally deliver up the kingdom organized and prepared, into the hands of the Great King? It cannot be the Son of God, for he afterwards comes to the Ancient of Days. It cannot be the Father, for if ;the Saints were prepared to meet the Father and set in council with him, they would also be prepared to meet the Son, for the glory of the Father is equal to that of the Son. Who then can it be? Let us reflect for a moment.-THE ANCIENT OF DAYS!-It must be some very ancient personage, and probably the most ancient personage that ever lived in days, and hence is called by that name, in distinction from all others that lived after. But thanks be given to the Most High God, for he has not left his saints in uncertainty about this matter, but has raised a prophet, through whom he has revealed this mystery; thus the saints will not be left in the dark in regard to the great purposes and events of the last days. The Ancient of Days then, is ADAM-the great progenitor of the human race. He has a mission to perform for the benefit of his children, in the last times. As he performed the first mission on the earth in the beginning of the first dispensation, so he will perform a mission in the ending of the last dispensation. In the first he presided over a few; in the last he will preside over unnumbered millions.
From the National Intelligencer.
A Beautiful Speech.
The Natchez Free Trader contains a report of the speech of Col. Cobb, the celebrated half-breed chief of the Choctaws, made in reply to J. J. McRae, Esq., the agent for enrolling and emigrating the Indians to the West of the Mississippi, who had made a speech to the Indians,
about one thousand in number, assembled at Hopahka, informing them that "their council fire scould [should?] no more be kindled there;" that "their warriors can have no field for their glory, and that their spirits will decay within them;" and that if they should "take the hand of their great father, the President, which is now offered to them to lead them to their western homes, then will their hopes be higher, their destinies higher."
The Natchez Courier appropriately says of this bit of eloquence that, for comprehensivness and brevity, for beauty of diction and force, for affecting sublimity and propriety of sentiment, we have never seen any production to exceed it. We publish it as a composition worthy to be preserved.
SPEECH OF COL. COBB,
Head Mingo of the Choctaws, East of the Mississippi, in reply to the Agent of the U. S.
Brother: We have heard you talk as from the lips of our Father, the great White Chief at Washington, and my people have called upon me to speak to you. The red man has no books, and when he wishes to make known his views, like his fathers before him, he speaks from his mouth. He is afraid of writing.-When he speaks, he knows what he says; the Great Spirit hears him. Writing is the invention of the pale faces; it gives birth to error and to feuds. The Great Spirit talks-we hear him in the thunder-in the rushing winds and the mighty waters-but he never writes.
Brother: When you were young we were strong; we fought by your side; but our arms are now broken. You have grown large. My people have become small.
Brother: My voice is weak; you can scarcely hear me; it is not the shout of a warrior, but the bewail of an infant. I have lost it in mourning for the misfortunes of my people.-These are their graves, and in those aged pines you hear the ghosts of the departed. Their ashes are here, and we have been left to protect them. Our warriors are nearly all gone to the far country West; but here are our dead. Shall we go too, and give their bones to the wolves?
Brother: Our hearts are full. Twelve winters ago our chiefs sold our country. Every warrior that you see here was opposed to the treaty. If the dead could have been counted, it could never have been made; but, alas! tho' they stood around, they could not be seen or heard. Their tears came in the rain drops, and their voices in the wailing wind, but the pale faces know it not, and our land was taken away.
Brother: We do not now complain. The Choctaw suffers, but he never weeps. You have the strong arm, and we cannot resist.-But the pale face worships the Great Spirit.-So does the red man. The Great Spirit loves truth. When you took our country you promised us land. There is your promise in the book. Twelve times have the trees dropped their leaves, and yet we have received no land. Our houses have been taken from us. The white man's plough [plow] turns up the bones of our fathers. We dare not kindle up our fire; and yet you said we might remain and you would give us land.
Brother: Is this truth? But we believe, now our Great Father knows our condition, he will listen to us. We are as mourning orphans in our country; but our father will take us by the hand. When he fulfils [fulfills] his promise, we will answer his talk. He means well. We know it But we cannot think now. Grief has made children of us. When our business is settled we shall be men again, and talk to our Great Father about what he has promised.
Brother: You stand in the moccasins of a great chief; you speak the words of a mighty nation, and your talk was long. My people are small; their shadow scarcely reaches to your knee; they are scattered and gone; when I shout, I hear my voice in the depths of the woods, but no answering shouts come back.-My words, therefore, are few. I have nothing more to say, but to tell what I have said to the tall chief of the pale faces, whose brother* stands by your side.
- William Tyler, of Virginia, brother to the President of the United States, recently appointed one of the Choctaw Commissioners.
To the Editor of the Boston Weekly Bee.
Dear Sir-I have for some time past, been a regular attendant at the meeting of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, held at the Boylston Hall-and have thought I would give you some account of how those people are getting along. When Elder Adams left here, some weeks since, for the City of the Saints, where he had been called by the heads of the church, it was supposed that no one could be found competent to fill his place-that the meetings would decline-Mormonism die away, and finally sink into its original nothingness. Not so, however-no sooner had this lion, as he was called, left
the field, than his place was supplied in the person of Elder Maginn. Before proceeding, let me give you a description of this man. He is 24 years of age, though his appearance is that of a man farther advanced in years, caused probably by the many hardships, privations, persecutions and mobbings, which he has passed through for the gospel's sake. He is six feet in height, and of rather a commanding appearance; and honest, happy smile plays over countenance, which, (if I am any judge of the "human face divine") indicates that all is right within; and if a thorough knowledge of the scriptures, talent, tact, sound reasoning, and powerful argument, are qualifications, then Elder Maginn is fully qualified for the duties of his office, and must pass as truly a master workman. He seems perfectly intimate with all the old apostles and prophets, and it is truly astonishing with what facility he quotes the scriptures from memory, giving chapter and verse, with the greatest ease, and correctness. On Sunday last, he delivered a most able discourse on the subject of prophesies already fulfilled, from 2d Peter, 1st chapter, 20th and 21st verses: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but by holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost:" And went on to prove that from the days of the first prediction to the present time, every prophesy has had a literal fulfilment [fulfillment]. He commenced with the days of Noah, Genesis vi: 17, and showed that had Noah understood this spiritualizing system, and supposed the flood of water was to have been a spiritual one, the ark a spirual [spiritual] ark, &c. &c., Noah and his family must have perished with the rest of the inhabitants of the world. But no-he believed-when God said "And behold I, even I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life from under Heaven, and every thing that is in the earth shall die." He meant to do just what he said he would do, and nothing else; and the sequel proved that Noah was right in thus believing. He next referred to Genesis, xv: 13 to 16th verses-and also to Lot's leaving Sodom, Genesis xix: 12th verse. He next quoted the prophecy of Joseph, Genesis 41st chapter , 29th verse, and showed that misery, sorrow, suffering, death and mourning, would have followed had they believed there was to have been seven years of spiritual plenty and seven years of spiritual famine, only. He then carried us forward to the history of the principal nations, vide Jeremiah 25th chapter, 2th [20th] verse. It is out of my power to follow him through, or give even a faint outline of this most noble address. Passage after passage, plain and positive, from Holy writ, were brought forward in rapid succession to prove that all prophecies that have been fulfilled were fulfilled literally, and that those yet in the future must also have a literal fulfilment [fulfillment]. His reasoning was plain, logical and conclusive to the mind of every candid hearer; and I much regret that I am not better able to portray his most convincing and able lecture. He remarked that the days of those prophets, are by the sectarian world called the "Dark Age;" whereas men were in fact far more enlightened than even the great divines of the present day, with all their boasted wisdom, knowledge, and pretended piety. Those men were as familiar with the designs of God, and the future destiny of nations, as we are with the history of past events. Instead of darkness, God revealed himself to man, conversed with him, told him what should come to pass in future ages-where, we are now told that God has ceased to give revelation to man-that prophecying [prophesying] is done away-that the only guide necessary is a brief history of certain events which transpired centuries ago, and certain prophecies which they contend mean any thing but what they profess. Enlightened indeed! when the church is cut up into some hundreds of sects and parties, each differing from the other; the blind leading the blind, and all under the dominion of bigotry, superstition and priestcraft; the mind of man shrouded in worse than Egyptian darkness. Could we look down through the dark vista of time and foresee future events as did the prophets of old, then could we boast of living in an enlightened age; but whilst we deny revelation, we are, and must continue to remain in darkness and error.
In the evening, he took up the subject of God's promise to Abraham, that he would give to him and his seed the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession-see Genesis, 13th chap, 15th v.; 15th. 18th v.; 17th chap. 8th v.-Exodus, 6th chap. 4th v. He then showed that Abraham had long since died, and that God's promise to him had never been fulfilled, as he proved by Acts, 7th chap. 5th v.; as well as by an abundance of other testimony. He then showed that according to most of the doctrines of the present day God's promise never could be fulfilled, inasmuch as they denied a literal resurrection of the body, and a reign of rest during the millenium [millennium], but professed to believe that when the spirit left the body, it soared away to some fairy region "beyond the bounds of time and space," or, (as he ingeniously transposed it) beyond the bounds of common sense; and could never return to possess the earth;-
that he had never given Abraham any inheritance in that land, no, not so much as to set his foot on, although he had promised it to him and to his seed. That he was long since dead, and that consequently God's promise must fail. He then on the other hand proceeded to show that Abraham (although long since dead) and his seed would yet possess the land of Canaan according to God's promise. He then produced a flood of scriptures to prove the literal resurrection of the righteous at Christ's second coming, and that they should possess the earth, and live and reign with Christ during the millenium [millennium]. He quoted Ezekiel's prophecy in the valley of dry bones, 37th chapter, and contended that this prophecy meant just what it said-vide 11, 12, 13 and 14th verses, and fully and plainly proved, that notwithstanding the opinions of the learned and wise revelation denyers [deniers] of the present generation, God would keep his promise to Abraham, and that he and his seed should possess the land of Canaan for an everlasting inheritance. He concluded, by giving notice that on Sunday next he would be again with them, "in the power and demonstration of the spirit," and preach on the subject of the great army of Gog and Magog, which shall gather together against the saints in the last days. I shall not fail to be present and would respectfully ask you, Mr. Bee, knowing you to be a man of a candid and unprejudiced mind, to go and hear him. Prove all things and hold fast that which is good
A SEEKER AFTER TRUTH.
A letter from an officer in the U. S. Army, dated Fort Leavenworth, Missouri, March 20th, states, that on the 14th of February, at 3 o'clock, A. M. 'the moon, which had been obscured by a cloud of some hours, burst forth in a deep blood-red color, with a black cross of oqual [equal] proportions over the face, extending beyond the rim; while on the two sides small pieces of rainbow were visible. After continuing in this way for about an hour, the color of the moon changed to its ordinary hue, and the cross became a silvery white, with the edges extending beyond the rim, and touching the rainbows. It continued so for half an hour and heavy clouds then intervening, obscured the moon, which set unseen. This phenomenon was seen by the hospital attendants, who were up at that hour, some of them very intelligent men, by the guard and sentinels on post, and by several citizens of Weston, a little town five miles off. The next morning the sun rose, accompanied by two sun dogs, as they are commonly called, nearly equal in brilliance to the sun, and resembling two other suns. This latter scene was witnessed by numbers. In addition, for about two weeks past, every night at seven o'clock, a bright streak of light has appeared in the heavens, coming from the west, and bearing about E. S. E., and resembling very much what is believed to be the tail of a comet. I have thought it my duty to state these things, even at the expense of being discredited, in the hope of eliciting a comparison of observations elsewhere.'
Although the phenomenon of the apparent cross on the moon can no doubt be explained from natural causes, yet it will probably be seized upon by some persons as confirmatory of the prophesy of father Miller; and be viewed by others with superstitious dread.
Minutes of the Genesee conference of the church in Batavia, April 6th, 1843.
Convened pursuant to adjournment in Batavia, April 6th, 1843.
Brother J. P. Greene was chosen president, and brothers Ezra Thayer an Charles Thompson his councillors [councilors] , and R. J. Coats Secretary.
Prayer by brother C. Thompson. The president then arose and addressed the conference as follows:
Brethren-when I take into consideration the memorable events that have transpired in this church since it was first organized, on the 6th of April 1830, I am thrilled with admiration when I contemplate the glorious scenes that have transpired even upon this day of the year since that time, when the Saints have assembled together in order to celebrate the anniversary of the rise of the church in this last dispensation, it gives me joy and consolation. Brethren-this conference is convened for the purpose of deliberating upon the things which pertain to the building up of Zion, and the spread of the gospel. Brother Joseph Smith stated on the stand at Nauvoo but a short time since, that the salvation of the Saints depended upon the speedy gathering of the saints, and their united efforts in building the temple-that unless the saints put forth their strength and finish the temple speedily, the Lord would cast them off with their dead. The president then set forth the necessity of the union of the brethren, and their co-operation, as laborers in the Lord's vineyard, being necessary in order to bring about these glorious events; the building up of Zion, &c.
Official members present; there were two high priests, five of the seventies and eighteon [eighteen] elders
To be Continued.
For the Times and Seasons.
Ode to Spring.
By Miss Eliza R. Snow
Joyous spring! with Joy I greet thee- With unnumber'd speeches ringing-
In thy smiles, I smile to meet thee, There the sportive tribes are singing
Now stern winter's frown is gone; Tender sonnets to their loves.
Nature welcomes thy retiring-
Laying off her garb of mourning, There the city's heart rejoices-
Puts her bridal tresses on. Business with her thousand voices,
With improvement steps apace:
Insects round my feet are humming- Architecture is unfolding,
Music on each gale is coming Specimens of richest moulding,
With a soft, melodious sound: Rising up with lofty grace.
Beauty wakens from its slumbers,
And in countless, flowing numbers Welcome spring! estranged from sadness-
Pleasure's streams are eddying round. Paragon of nature's gladness!
Welcome to a heart like mine:
Mingled flowrets gaily blooming, Other seasons have their pleasures-
With the twilight breeze perfuming, Autumn has its dropping trasures [treasures]-
Glade and glen: the woodland grow; Hope's fair prospect, spring is thine.
For the Times and Seasons.
By S. A. Prior.
There was a furious whirlwind felt in the town of Newbury, Schuyler county Illinois, on the 21st of April 1843, which tore up the trees by the roots, blew down several houses, and killed some cattle.
Deep sable curtains vail [veil] the sky, The yielding thickets groan and bend,
Dead stillness reigns in air, Their boughs are toss'd and twirl'd;
A dreadful gloom shrowds [shrouds] all on high, The wind, the sturdy oaks do rend,
And rides triumphant there. Which to the earth are hurl'd.
The winds are hushed, and silent rest, The winds now hurry on amain,
Nature has sunk to sleep, The house its cover yields;
The zephyr breathes not o er the breast Dire desolation strews the plain,
Of the unconscious deep. And fragments strew the fields.
The leaf scarce trembles in the grove, The bleeding cattle groan and die
Nor flag on yonder tower; Beneath this awful stroke;
And looing [lowing] stands the loving drove, Their horrid, mangled bodies lie
Aw'd by the threat'ning hour. Beneath the prostrate oak.
Yet still mid natures' calm profound, The winds have spent their awful force,
Which darkness fain would keep, Their dreadful conquest won;
We hear a burst of awful sound And devastation marks their course,
Fall on creations sleep. And now their work is done.
Now hurled amid the darken'd air, A house or two by it destroyed-
The whirlwind in the sky The men with terror filled;
Plunges the lofty trees afar, And many animals annoyed,
In grandeur borne [born] on high. And two or three were killed.
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 Ban Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.