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Times and Seasons/4/7
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 7
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4
|Number 6||Number 8|
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 7
Jump to Subtopic:
- To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
- The Mormoms or Latter Day Saints, with their Persecutions.
- Dialogue, No. 4.
- History of Joseph Smith.
- Shake the Sinner.
- Apostolic Religion.
- Conference Minutes.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 7.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. FEB. 15, 1843||[Whole No. 67.|
Mr. Editor,-Sir, ever since I gave up the editorial department of the "Times and Seasons," I have thought of writing a piece for publication, by way of valedictory, as is usual when editors resign the chair editorial. My principal remarks I intended to apply to the gentlemen of the quill, or, if you please, that numerous body of respectable gentlemen who profess to regulate the tone of the public mind, in regard to politics, morality, religion, literature, the arts and sciences, &c. &c. viz. the editors of the public journals; or, if you please, I will disignate [designate] them, the lions of the forest. This latter cognomen sir, I consider to be more appropriate, because of the dignity of their office, their lofty bearing and mein [mien], their ascendancy and influence over all others, and because of the tremendous noise that they make when they utter their voice.
It came to pass that as I went forth like a young fawn, one day, to feed upon the green grass in my pasture, an ass saw me, and brayed, and made a great noise; which a neighboring lion hearing roared, even as a lion roareth when he beholds his prey: at the sound of his voice the beasts of the field were alarmed, and the lions in the adjoining jungles pricked their ears and roared in their turn; and behold all the lions of the forest, alarmed by the noise, opened their mouths and uttered forth their voice which was as the roaring of a cataract, or as the voice of thunder; so tremendous was their roaring that the trees of the forest shook, as if they were shaken by a mighty wind; and all the beasts of the forest trembled, as if a whirlwind were passing. I lifted up mine eyes with astonishment when I heard the voice of the lions, and saw the fury of their rage. I asked, is it possible that so many lords of the forest, such noble beasts, should condescend to notice one solitary fawn, that is feeding alone upon his pasture; without attempting to excite either their jealousy or anger? I have not strayed from the fold, nor injured the trees of the forest, nor hurt the beasts of the field, nor trampled upon their pasture, nor drunk of their streams; why then their rage against me? When lo! and behold! they again uttered their voices, as the voice of great thunderings, and there was given unto them the voice of men; but it was difficult for me to distinguish what was said, among so many voices; but ever and anon I heard a few broken, incoherent sentences, like the following:-Murder! Desolation!! Bloodshed!!! Arson!!! Treason!!! Joe Smith and the Mormons!!! Our nation will be overturned!!! The impostor should be drove from the State!!! The fawn will be metamorphased [metamorphosed] into a lion; will devour all the beasts of the field, destroy all the trees of the forest, and tread underfoot all the rest of the lions. I then lifted up my voice and said, hear me, ye beasts of the forest! and all ye great lions pay attention! I am innocent of the things whereof ye accuse me. I have not been guilty of violating your laws, nor of trespassing upon your rights. My hands are clean from the blood of all men, and I am at the defiance of the world to substantiate the crimes whereof I am accused; wherefore, then, should animals of your noble mein [mien] stoop to such little jealousies, such vulgar language, and lay such unfounded charges at the door of the innocent? It is true that I once suffered an ass to feed in my pasture: he ate at my crib and drank at my waters, but possessing the true nature of an ass, he began to foul the water with his feet, and to trample under foot the green grass, and destroy it. I therefore put him out of my pasture, and he began to bray. Many of the lions in the adjoining jungles mistaking his braying for the roaring of a lion, commenced roaring. When I proclaimed this abroad many of the lions began to enquire [inquire] into the matter; a few possessing a more noble nature than many of their fellows, drew near, and viewing the animal found that he was nothing more than a decriped [decrepit], broken-down, worn-out ass that had scarcely anything left but his ears and his voice. Whereupon many of the lions of Quincy; the lion of Sangamo; the lion of Alton, and several other lions, for giving a false alarm, for dishonouring [dishonoring] their race, and for responding to the voice of so base an animal as an ass. And they felt ashamed of themselves for being decoyed into such base ribaldry, and foul-mouthed slander. But there were many that lost sight of their dignity, and continued to roar, although they knew full well that they were following the braying of so dispicable [despicable] a creature. Among these was a great lion, whose den was on the borders of the eastern sea; he had waxed great in strength; he had terrible teeth, and his eyes were like balls of fire; his head was large and terrific, and his shaggy
mane rolled with majestic grandeur over his terrible neck; his claws were like the claws of the dragon; and his ribs were like those of the leviathan; when he lifted himself up all the beasts of the field bowed with respectful deference; and when he spake the whole universe listened, and the cinders of his power cover creation. His might, his influence were felt to the ends of the earth; when he lashed his tail the beasts of the forest trembled; and when he roared all the great lions and the young lions crouched down at his feet.
This great lion lifting up himself and beholding the fawn afar off, he opened his mouth, and joining in the common roar, uttered the following great swelling yelp:-
Joe Smith In Trouble.-By a letter which we published on Sunday, from Springfield, Illinois, it appears that Joe Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has at last given himself up to the authorities of Illinois. He is charged with fomenting or conspiring to assassinate Governor Boggs, of Missouri, and is demanded by the functionary of that State, of the Governor of Illinois. He has taken out a writ of habeas corpus, denying the fact, and is now waiting the decision of the court at Springfield. This will bring Joe's troubles to a crisis.
In the mean time, why does not Joe try his power at working a miracle or two? Now's the time to prove his mission-besides being very convenient for himself."
When I heard it, I said poor fellow! How has thy dignity fallen! and how has thy glory departed! Thou that once ranked amongst the foremost of the beasts of the field, as the lord of the forest! Even thou hast condescended to degrade thyself by uniting with the basest of animals, and to join ion with the braying of an ass.
And now, friend B. allow me to whisper a word in thine ear. Dost thou not know that there is a God in the heavens that judgeth? that setteth up one and putteth down another according to the counsel of his own will? That if thou possessest any influence, wisdom, dominion, or power, it comes from God, and to him thou art indebted for it? That he holds the destinies of men in his power, and can as easily put down as he has raised up? Tell me when hast thou treated a subject of religious and eternal truth with that seriousness and candor that the importance of the subject demands from a man in thy standing, possessing thy calling and influence? As you seem to be quite a theologist, allow me to ask a few questions, why did not God deliver Micaiah [Micah] from the hands of his persecutors? Why did not Jeremiah "work a miracle or two," to help him out of the dungeon? It would have been "very convenient." Why did not Zacheriah [Zechariah], by a miracle prevent the people from slaying him? Why did not our Saviour [Savior] come down from the cross? The people asked him to do it; and besides he had "saved others," and could not save himself, so said the people. Why did he not prove his mission by working a miracle and coming down? Why did not Paul by a miracle prevent the people from stoning and whipping him? It would have been "very convenient." Or why did the saints of God, in every age, have to wander about in sheep skins and goat skins? Being tempted, tried, and sawn asunder; of whom the world was not worthy. I would here advise my worthy friend, before he talks of 'proving missions," "working miracles," or any "convenience" of that kind, to read his Bible a little more, and the garbled stories of political demagogues less.
I listened, and lo! I heard a voice, and it was the voice of my shepherd, saying, listen all ye lions of the forest; and all the beasts of the field give ear; ye have sought to injure the innocent; and your hands have been lifted against the weak, the injured and the oppressed. Ye have pampered the libertine, the calumniator, and the base. Ye have winked at vice, and trodden under foot the virtuous and the pure. Therefore hear, all ye lions of the forest. The Lord God will take from you your teeth, so that you shall no longer devour. He will pluck out your claws, so that you can no longer seize upon you prey. Your strength will fail you in the day of trouble, and your voice will fail, and not be heard afar off; but mine elect will I uphold with mine arm, and my chosen shall be supported by my power. And when mine annointed [anointed] shall be exalted, and all the lions of the forest shall have lost their strength, then shall they remember that the Lord he is God. Joseph Smith.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
Sir,-The distressing vicissitudes to which man is subject, in these days when Jehovah is putting forth his hand to vex the nations of the earth, and they are fast filling up the measure of their iniquity, is calculated to draw forth the voice of sorrow from the humane breast. At the present time, and previous to my leaving England, the hand of oppression and misery was very heavy upon the working classes, and lan hunger had visibly marked the countenances of thousands with woe and despair. The factories were mostly (in fact on my last visit to the manufacturing districts, entirely) stopped. And vast numbers were parading the streets or collecting
together in groups, and in their desperation pulling down prisons, breaking up machinery, and otherwise destroying property. In Nottingham, and other places, as many as two thousand walking in a body begging, and drawing a cart before them to receive whatever the charitably-disposed might be inclined to give. But, Sir, the heart sickens at the scenes of wretchedness and woe which I myself have witnessed-women fainting in our streets from actual want, and again and again has the coroner's verdict been-Died from want of the necessaries of life. But I will leave this part of the subject after stating two FACTS.-One of our elders travelling [traveling] in the north of England, and calling at a house to make some inquiry as to his road, when a haggard, pale, and death-like female came to the door, with an infant at the breast, which, on hearing the voice of a stranger it turned round, when he made the sad discovery that it was actually SUCKING THE BLOOD of its wretched parent, in which he made the inquiry if she had plenty to eat, and was told that that was the third day since she had tasted food. The following occurred in Scotland:-A young man, about 27, was observed, on passing a green-grocers store, to steal a potatoe [potato], and the day following he again made his appearance, and took three, and so the third and fourth day, but on the fifth the store keeper had provided himself with the assistance of a constable, and when he paid his usual visit they followed him at a distance to the cellar in which he resided, and on entering they beheld two half naked females, the mother and sister to the young man, sitting over a few dead ashes, where a fire had once been, and over which hung a pan; on examining the contents of the pan it was found to contain part of a dog, which had been gathered from a neighbouring [neighboring] pond. On seeing her visitors the mother exclaimed-"Oh, forgive him, for I was afraid to ask him where he got the potatoes, lest he had not come honestly by them!"
These reflections arise from meeting a number of my English brethren at Nauvoo, who were struggling hard with poverty and ruin, and by the united assistance of their brethren were enabled to emigrate to this place; there they are in the midst of plenty, and in a state of comparative independence. This has been a source of not small joy to me. And gladly do I listen to their accounts when they expect to get their houses finished. The change of circumstances from despair to hope has nerved them with new vigour [vigor], and they seem determined to be independent. I hope, as occasion may require, when their brethren shall arrive here, who, like themselves, have made a mighty effort to break off the shackles of oppression, and escape to the place where the tyrants vex not and the weary rest, that then they will not forget the pit from whence they were dug. If peace and happiness is to be found in the world, it is at Nauvoo.
I remain your affectionate brother, in the covenant of hope.
The Mormoms or Latter Day Saints, with their Persecutions.
Mr. Taylor, Sir:
Since Mr. Smith has retired from the Editorial department, and the responsibilities are now placed upon you; I feel disposed to write the following communication for insertion in your valuable paper, upon the subject of your persecutions; as I have been an eye witness to many of them, since the organization of your Church, I cannot any longer remain in silence, and do justice to my own feelings. Notwithstanding I am not particularly partial or prejudiced either for, or against any sect, still I am in favor of all parties enjoying equal rights, under a free and independent government. This right seems to be torn from you as a people, and for what? the only answer that is, or can be given, is because of your religion, and nothing else. This nation has long boasted of her free independent, and religious institutions; but she can no longer boast of her glory and true Republicanism for those laws, and those constitutions, made by her ancestors, are now trampled upon, and trodden by their children; and in place of peace, tranquility [tranquillity] and repose; tyranny and oppression reigns. This Republic has justly been termed the mart of nations, attended with peace, equity, justice, and every blessing and fortune of life; but when the wicked rule the honest, and virtuous mourn, and I am fully persuaded that could the fathers of this nation rule, as they once ruled, the scene would be changed-your rights and liberties would be restored-and persecution cease; but, as it is, persecution has followed your church from the beginning; particularly Mr. Smith, your Presiding Officer: he has borne more and greater contradictions, than any man since the despensation [dispensation] of the Saviour [Savior]. Notwithstanding his life has been sought, and his enemies have gathered around him like thick clouds of darkness, ready to cut him off at one single blow; yet he has always had some warm-hearted friends, who have plead his cause, under the broad folds of the constitution; and I conclude will, so long as they have influence and power to act. The course that was pursued against him
and your church, by the executive, and people of the State of Missouri, recently renewed by Gov. Reynolds, and ex-Governor Carlin, is an open violation to their own oaths: not only so, but is in direct opposition to the constitution of either of the States, as well as of the U. States, and is derogatory to the character, genius, or policy of any people, nation, or government. This same course which has been pursued against you, as free born citizens of these United States, is the same which has, in many respects, proven the downfall of other nations, which were once great and mighty, but have dwindled away, and their original character can only be traced by searching the pages of Ancient history. The Jew crucified the Savior-killed the apostles and prophets, because of their religion; but the result which immediately followed, was severely felt, and is to this day.-Now if the Jews were scourged for their iniquities, we may expect this nation to be scourged also. Although neither they nor their rulers have personally crucified the Savior; yet they have suffered the same acts of violence, and regardless of all consequences, and without the least particle of Law, have injudicially, and contrary to all laws, forced your church by the edge of the sword, point of the bayonet, and mouth of the cannon, to flee from one state to another, to seek safety among strangers; without a place to lay their heads, while others were slain, and their bones left to bleach upon the plains, a scene which is almost without paralell [parallel] in the history of Nations. Never have I seen or read of such tyranny, and oppression in modern times, as I witnessed during a short stay of a few weeks, while in Far West; where your troubles arose like mountains, and descended upon you like torrents. Surrounded with the most wicked and savage, whose very looks and unconstiutional [unconstitutional] acts surpassed in malignity and cruelty the acts of the demons of darkness; his darkest deeds would sink into insignificance before them and his satanic majesty would blush by reason of being out-generald by his liege subjects the inhabitants of Missouri. One of your last public persecutors of any note, seems to be that great (little) man General Bennett, of whom Lucifer can boast, because he executeth his will far beyond his expectations, while the balance of his servants fear and tremble, as they see the day approaching.
Bennett will be called home to receive his reward, then the last struggle will be made and "gathering hosts will be seen around Nauvoo," or some other place, (this is the same time I suppose Bennett refers to in the N. Y. Herald, whom Mr. Smith together with his associates will tremble at the sight of such an innumerable company all arrayed in martial order;) then Bennett will no doubt expect to gain the victory, and exalt his kingdom above the stars, and bear universal sway; but alas his imaginary happiness is already blasted! his influence gone! his heart is sick! his soul is faint! and he is nigh unto cursing and burning when he like Jonah's goard [gourd] will wither away-his name be forgotten and blotted out from the generations to come, together with his associates who have been accessory to the shedding of blood.
In conclusion, I can safely say I never have seen anything derogatory to the Character or conduct of Mr. Smith, as a christian, or prophet; but he has every where proclaimed against wickedness and abominations, for which his life has been sought; but I think he will at last come off victorious, together with his afflicted people, (if you are what you profess to be,) and your enemies will call for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.
I am your friend, sir, in your rights and liberties, in honesty and virtue,
J. C. S.
Nauvoo, Ill. Feb. 19, 1843.
Mr. Alfred Ed. Stokes-
Dear Sir,-In obedience to your request, I send you one number of each of the papers published in this place. I am well aware, that designing men, for sinister purposes, have put in circulation reports concerning the people here, which are so monstrous, that it is a matter of surprise how any rational being could profess to believe them at all. If I were to even profess to believe such incredible and ridiculous nonsense about any people, I should consider the public would have sufficient cause to scorn me, as the mere tool of corrupt and foul slanderers; but any thing to stop the progress of that, which cannot be done by fact and scripture truth. That man must have a large stock of moral courage, who dare, in any wise profess belief in such outlandish representations as are made in the public papers concerning the people of Nauvoo, and circulated orally by wicked and designing men. The old stale story about common stock, in defiance of fact and truth, it would appear by your letter, and that of your friend Evans, is professedly believed by the people in the vicinity of Waynesville, Ohio. This falsehood was invented by an ignorant blockhead, by the name of Matthew Clapp, who for want of any other means to stop the progress of truth, in its more incipient states,
invented this falsehood, and finding it took with persons of his own stamp, circulated it with untiring perseverance, in direct opposition to the testimony of his senses; knowing at the time he commenced circulating it, that it was false.-He was a preacher of the Campbellite faith.-It would require the ignorance of barbarians, and the credulity of savages to attempt a belief in the falsehoods which are circulated against the saints with great zeal, by many. I have never supposed that the authors of these defamatory tales ever expected the public would believe them; but they expected that men of corrupt minds, like themselves would profess to believe them: neither do I now believe that those who profess to believe them do actually believe one word of them; but they profess to do it thinking that by so doing they can make some headway against us; but it is a vain attempt; for every attempt of the kind has only excited enquiry [inquiry], awakened curiosity, and caused investigation, which have in every instance resulted in an increase of members to the church, so that we grant full licence [license] to all defamers to do their utmost.
Our city is a great thoroughfare; people of all classes are crowding into it; multitudes who do not belong to the church of "Latter Day Saints" are seeking locations, where they can prosecute their respective callings. If you wish the papers you can put the money into a letter, and the Postmaster at your place will sent it without expense.
Yours, with respect,
Sidney Rigdon, P. M.
Messrs. Stokes, and Evans.
From the North Western Baptist.
Dialogue, No. 4.
Between L. and W. on the Apostolical Office and Succession.
W. Well, friend L., I have frequently called upon you, and by some means our conversation hitherto has been of a literary cast, and interesting to me; but since I last saw you, I have thought it might not be unprofitable to ascertain what are the chief points of difference in our faith and practice.
L. This would be very pleasing to me, and doubtless profitable, if the inquiry be conducted in the meekness of that religion of which we profess to be its ministers.
W. I have no doubt this well be the case.-I would therefore suggest that the most of the difficulty may be traced to the difference of our views of the apostolic office.
L. Probably; and to come at once to the subject, please state your views on that point.
W. Episcopalians believe that Christ designed to continue the apostolic office till he should come again. Not surely in the line of Peter alone, as the Romanists hold, but of all the Apostles, who were equally authorized to ordain others as their successors. We consider that the commission given by Jesus, at the close of Matthew's gospel, and the promise of being with them to the end of the world, applied to the twelve and their successors in that office, and to them only.
L. I have so understood your belief, though I have never before thought much upon it, less perhaps than its importance demands. I perceive, however, at once a difficulty in your succession.
L. The want of qualifications for such an office.
W. What qualifications do you deem requisite?
L. For an apostle it was indispensably necessary that he should be able to testify as an eye witness to all the important facts in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Savior. So that when the vacancy of the apostleship, occasioned by the defection of Judas, was to be filled, none could be allowed as candidates for that office but such as had "companied with them all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from them, must one be ordained to a witness with them of his resurrection."-Acts 1:21, 22. This is the first qualification, and for this they were evidently chosen, "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." John 15:27.
W. But you would exclude St. Paul from the number of the apostles, though he claims to be one. He asks, "Am I not an apostle?" 1 Cor. 9:1.
L. In the same verse he says, "Have I not seen the Lord?" and of such importance does he view this personal knowledge of Jesus, that he pleads a miracle to support his claims, which if he had not made good, he would have renounced his pretensions to the apostolic office. 2 Cor. 12:4.
W. You will not pretend that St. Paul was a witness of the above facts?
L. Certainly I will, for I have his word for it. Acts 22:15, "For thou shalt be a witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard."
W. This qualification I grant their successor have not.
L. A very serious admission! But have you bishops the power of working miracles?
W. They do not pretend to that at the presant [present] day.
L. But this was essential to the apostleship. Jesus often foretold what they should do in miracles; he commissioned them to work miracles. They often wrought miracles in confirmation of their apostleship. Mark 16:20. It was by them deemed a sign of apostleship.-2 Cor. 12:12.
W. I never supposed that miracles were to be continued, as there is no demand for them.
L. Consequently, I infer there is no demand for that office, for which they were a sign. But there is yet another peculiar apostolic qualification, which I think your bishops have not-the power of conferring the "Holy Spirit on whomsover they laid their hands."
W. In the office of confirmation in our church we observe that rite.
L. I know you do-but is the Holy Spirit conferred in that ceremony?
W. It is prayed for, and some are of the opinion that it is actually done; but I cannot say that more should be intended than setting apart by prayer.
L. There is where your apostles and the old apostles differ again. There was no doubt on this point among them. Acts 8:18. But I will add no more till those are cleared out of the way.
W. Well, I admit that it is not expected that our bishops should possess all these primitive miraculous qualifications for which the twelve were distinguished, and yet be their successors in predating the word and ruling the church.
L. Then say at once that they shall have successors in the church in the office of teaching what Christ had prescribed for them, and that the church, as in Acts 1st chap., shall have the power to designate them, and we will agree. But to have a long line of apostles, or bishops, with all their authority and a very different salary, without one qualification to raise them above the simple teacher, is dangerous to the church, and has abundantly proved so. Indeed it is too bad.
Sir,-On reading the above dialogue between the Episcopalian, and the Baptist, I had the following reflections, which, if you think proper to publish they are at your disposal. These two brethren, of different denominations, in setting forth their respective views, seem both of them to be laboring under a misconception of the doctrine they respectively wish to support; or rather of the doctrine of scripture. The Episcopalian thinks that it is absolutely necessary that they should have apostles in their church; and that although their apostles are not like the ancient apostles, either in calling, power, faith, or practice, yet that they are the legitimate successors of the old; and that their's is the true apostolic church. While the Baptist on the other hand, thinks that because they see not the power of the ancient apostles; and because God does not call them now as anciently; that therefore God did not design that these offices, and gifts, should continue in the church. Never once supposing that the church may have fallen, and forfeited these blessings.
The Episcopalian thinks very correctly that the promise in Matthew extended to the end of time; he might have made his position a little stronger by quoting from the Ephesians, iv. c. "And Christ ascended into heaven, and gave gifts to men; and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some pastors, and teachers, and evangelists; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, unto a perfect man; unto the fulness [fullness] of the measure of the stature of Christ."-And as it appears from the dispute between the Episcopalian and the Baptist, that we have not yet arrived at that unity, it is necessary that opostles [apostles] be in the church to bring them to that unity. But on the other hand, as the Baptist justly remarks, we expect to see the same power connected with apostles now as formerly; and as "the Lord confirmed their" (the ancient apostles,) "words, with signs following," so we should expect that he would confirm the modern apostle's, (not bishop's,) words of the Episcopal church with signs following; and if he did not we should not think that they were Christ's apostles. And when we saw their conduct in sprinkling little children, an ordinance that God never instituted, we should apply the rule that John gives us, "He that transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God." Consequently, as they have derived their priesthood, by their own acknowledgement [acknowledgment], from a corrupt fountain, viz. the church of Rome, and sprinkle infants, and attend to other ordinances that God never instituted; that they "have not God," are not the church of God, nor their members the followers of Jesus Christ.
But on the other hand, for the Baptist to say that we have no need of apostles is superlatively ridiculous. One reason assigned is, that an apostle should be one who had been with the Lord from the beginning, which Paul, according
to his own acknowledgement [acknowledgment] evidently had not; but then we are told that he (Paul) had seen the Lord, and was thus qualified for the office of an apostle; which the Baptist seems to think is an insuperable objection to their being apostles in these days. We have no objections to apostles seeing the Lord at all, and think that if, after Christ's resurrection and ascension, he could shew [show] himself to Paul, he could as easily shew [show] himself to a person the sixteenth, seventeenth, or eighteenth century. We have some testimony of that kind upon record, which is as follows: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony last of all, which we give of him, that he lives; for we saw him even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the only begotten of the Father." Sec. xci, D. C.
The Episcopalian "never supposed that miracles were to be continued, as there is no demand for them." And the Baptist infers from that that there is therefore no need of apostles; and thus in twisting round to suit both their creeds, they push the christian church out of existence.
Who said that there was no need of miracles? or who said there was no need of apostles? surely not the word of God: The same promise which says, "Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the word," says, "These signs shall follow those that believe." Now I ask, where was the gospel to be preached? The answer is, Go ye into all the world; and preach the gospel unto every creature, and these signs shall follow those that believe. Q. Where was the gospel to be preached? A. To all the world. Q. Where shall these signs follow? A. The preaching, and believing the gospel. Hence it is said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned; and these signs shall follow them that believe," &c.-Consequently I should be led to believe, from the above, that both the apostles and the members, or believers should have these gifts, and that if they have not they are not the church of Christ. I should expect the Episcopal apostles to be clothed with power, and have these signs follow a believer in their words, or I should say they are not the apostles of Jesus Christ. And if I went into a Baptist church, I should expect to see those signs follow the believers, or I should believe that they had not the gospel of Christ. And if I could not see those signs any where, I should believe that there was neither apostles, nor gospel, in the world: for our Savior said, wherever, in all the world, the gospel was preached and believed, these signs should follow them that believed. An Observer.
We publish the following, not with the view of persecuting Mr. Miller, or any of his followers, but for the sake of shewing [showing] the folly and inconsistency of that system which he is propagating as truth. We consider that Mr. Miller has a perfect right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience and however foolish, ridiculous and fanatical we may consider his religion; we wish him to enjoy it, (if he can find any comfort in it) untrammeled and free; and to rest secure from persecution under the broad folds of the American Constitution: but at the same time we claim that free privilege of investigation, which republicanism, and the gospel, alike guarantee unto us, (and which we are always willing to be tested by ourselves,) of trying all principles by the standard of truth; of "proving all things, and holding fast that which is good."
"Jan. 1843. We have now entered upon the year so anxiously looked for by many, and the year for the commencement of the Millennium. Mr. Miller's numbers are now complete; and men's hearts are failing them for fear, ( in many places) in looking for those things they expect to come on the earth. The 2d of April will soon arrive, but Millerism will find that "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation:" "But of that day, and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." There is a manifest folly in counting prophetic numbers, although a theory from them may appear plausible. If the prophetic numbers as used by numberers, are definite, though they agree as to the interpretation of the numbers, there is a wide difference as to their fulfilment [fulfillment]. They agree that the 2300 days, when the sanctuary should be cleansed, Dan. 8:14, mean years: that the time, times and a half time, Dan. 7:15, and 12:7, and Rev. 12:14, each mean three and a half years, thus a time, one year, times, two years, and half a time, half a year, which reduced to days at 30 prophetic days to the month, give 1260 prophetic days, which are symbols of years; the 1290 and 1335 days, Dan. 12:11, 12, the 1260 days, Rev. 11:3, and 12:6: and the 42 months, Rev. 11:2, reduced to 1260 days, are all symbols of years, and have their fulfilment [fulfillment] at the commencement of the millenium [millennium], the second advent of Messiah, &c. Here is a wonderful agreement and combination
of numbers; when will they be fulfilled? Ah! here is the jar. Miller says in 1843. Faber 1866, Priest 2000, Woodworth 2100, &c. Miller dates his 1260 years A. D. 583, Faber 606 Priest, 770 & Woodworth 840. Now let the fearful take courage, for one of these scientific numberers is as likely to make correct calculations as another of them, and further, scripture and history condemns the whole art. It is wholly assumption to assert that the above numbers express years, because there are a few special instances where days were symbolical of years, as Eze. 4:5, 6, &c. But says the numberers, it will demonstrate, for the 70 weeks, Daniel 9:2, multiplied by 7, give 490 days, each a symbol of a year, which was the exact time from the commandment issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus to rebuild Jerusalem, to the day of Pentecost; the last week commencing with John's ministry, and Messiah being cut off in the midst of it, &c. This is a nailing argument, and especially as we have been taught to receive this interpretation (as the index of our bibles will show) almost as a part of inspiration. If the reader is not too much shocked at the idea of criticising [criticizing] upon this interpretation, let him proceed with me. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to annoint [anoint] the Most Holy. Now it is as obvious from the above, that all the events mentioned, must transpire within the 70 weeks, as that any one of them will be accomplished within that time. Then the time of the people to be rejected for transgression, und [and] the holy city destroyed by reason of its pollutions, are as plainly pointed out, as that Messiah should be anointed, bring in everlasting righteousness, and make reconciliation for iniquity: and to this agree the following verses, and carry the 70 weeks down to the destruction of Jerusalem. I supply the words included in brackets. 26th verse, "And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people [the Romans] of the prince [Titus, son of Vespasian the Emperor] that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary:" 27th verse, "And he [Titus the Prince] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: [a covenant of peace to such as would flee out of Jerusalem] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he [Titus] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, [Titus] shall make it [Jerusalem] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate," [desolators] i. e. Jerusalem shall be desolated by the Gentiles, who lifted up their horn over Judah and Israel to scatter, tread down. &c. until that which is determined shall be poured upon the desolators, [the Gentiles] the horns of the Gentiles be cast out, the Jews return, and Jerusalem be rebuilt. Thus we find the 70 weeks do not demonstrate.
We will now examine the 2300 days found in Dan. 8:14, and show their fulfilment [fulfillment]. "And he said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." This number is allowed to extend to the second coming of Messiah, to cleanse the christian church, or sanctuary, &c. I will now ask three questions: 1st. What is meant by the sanctuary, referred to? 2d. Who defiled it? and 3d. When and by whom is or was it cleansed? 1. The sanctuary was the first inner court of the Temple, Heb. 9:2. "For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called sanctuary." 2. Antiochus defiled it. 1 Mac. 1:20, 21, "And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem, with a great multitude, and entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden alter, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof," &c. Verse 54, "Now the fifteenth day of the month Caslen, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Judah on every side. 59th. Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God." We have now found who defiled the sanctuary, and took away the daily sacrifice, according with Daniel's vision. 3d. "So he [Judas Maccabees] chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law: Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones unto an unclean place," &c. 1 Mac. 4:42, 43.-Let the reader turn and read to verse 52d.-"Now on the five and twentienth [twentieth] day of the ninth month, which is called the month Caslen in the hundred forty and eight year, they rose up betimes in the morning, and offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made," &c. The sanctuary lay desolate just three years.-the length of time of the vision, from the third year of Belshazzar to the cleansing of the sanctuary was 387 years, and the 2300 days end B. C. 165, and consequently are not symbols of
years, for Daniel was shewn [shown] nothing in this vision which was to transpire later than the Grecian empire: the angel Gabriel expounded this vision, and brought the time no farther down than the death of Antiochus, B. C. 164, which was in the 149th year of the Grecian empire.
We will notice but two numbers more, found in Dan. 12th chapter. In this vision he is shewn [shown] certain events which are to transpire in the Persian, Grecian and Roman empires. The angel closes the events of the Grecian empire, with the death of Antiochus, which bring us to the close of the 11th chapter, and then relates some events to transpire among the Jews, while the Romans should sway universal empire: as 12:1,-as time of trouble, &c. the same predicted by Jesus, Mat. 24:21, 22. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," as fulfilled, Mat. 27:52, 53.-Verse 6th, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders." Verse 7th. "It shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." When was the power of the holy people scattered? In the A. D. 70, and here ended this time, times, and half time: but Daniel did not at that time understand it, and says, verse 8th, "And I heard but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord what shall be the end of these things?" Verse 11th. "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (to set up the desolation of abomination) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." Then this 1290 days marks the time from the taking away of the daily sacrifice by Antiochus, to the setting up of the abomination in the holy place by the Romans, as spoken of by Jesus in reference to Daniel's vision: which time was about 235 years, by our common chronology, and the 1290 days do not represent years. We might notice some other numbers, but deem these amply sufficient, to show the total failure of days being symbols of years, in all cases in the scriptures. Some of the saints on earth may find that these numbers do not refer to the rise of the true church, in 1830, or the first endowment in 1836, any nearer than they refer to the second advent of Messiah. We are to watch for the coming of Messiah in faith, meekness, humility and prayer; observing the signs of the times instead of mystical numbers, and the wise will understand. S. P."
We do not agree in every particular with the above; but we consider that the false foundation upon which Mr. Miller rests his fabric is fully developed and exposed in all its naked deformity.
Concerning there being no certainty in numbers, however our wise men may have differed in relation to this matter, we believe that there is a certainty in them when they are understood; (or why did the prophets give them?) but we do not think that either Mr. Miller or his followers understand them. Language has become confounded, corrupted, changed, mixed and adulterated, so that words are very unintelligible signs of ideas, in the most perfect languages now extant. But numbers have not become so altered; fo [so] far as we have any knowledge, numbers are the same in all languages; they may have different names, but are the same in arithmetical calculations. Two and two make four, and four and four make eight in the English, French, German, Hebrew, Caldaic, Arabic, and, we believe, in all the different languages. But, while this uniformity exists, there is a difference in the times spoken of in the scriptures; not a discord, but different rules of calculation. We are told that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Now, as we know what the Lord's time is, and what men's time is, if Mr. Miller will importune God, and get the spirit of prophecy, which will teach him a little more than his philosophy, he may, perhaps, get to know what a prophet's time is, and then if he can obtain the ministering of angels, as Daniel did; they may perhaps inform him what an angel's time is, and thus, becoming acquainted with God's, angel's, prophet's and man's time, and having the spirit of prophecy to know the circumstances under which the numbers were given, and their application, he will be able to arrive at more just conclusions than to believe that the end of the world will be this year, or next.
Some of his fanatical preachers have made the following statement.-
"Several Millerites have lately been in our city, and they pronounce Mormonism one of the greatest humbugs of the age; and aver that Joseph Smith is the great he goat spoken of in the scriptural prophesies."-Chicago Democrat.
We do not profess to be such great prophets, nor such profound philosophers as Mr. Miller and some of his associates; but we prophecy that the world will not come to an end on the 28th of April next, nor next year. And when it comes to pass we shall know which is the greatest humbug; Millerism or Mormonism, and probably we may then found out who wears the beard.-Ed.
- Notice is hereby given, that Elder Curtis Hodges, jr. is requested by his family to return immediately to them, for they stand in great need of his assistance. Truman Wait.
Times and Seasons.
City of Nauvoo,
Wednesday, February 15, 1843.
"He that doeth righteousness, is righteous." is the solemn declaration of an ancient servant of God, and if we examine the sacred oracles of divine truth, we shall find that although it is "not for works of righteousness which we have done; but by grace are we saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God," yet every man of God has performed works of righteousness; he has been moral, virtuous, upright and consistent in his deportment, and that he was saved by works, as well as by faith.
It is true, that our Saviour [Savior] reprobates the self-righteousness of the Jews, he condemns their practices, and disapproves of their conduct, and some men laboring under a mistake, think it was for their good works that they stood reproved by the Savior of the world; a greater error than which, could not be entertained by the human family. Our Savior reproved the Pharisees, not for their virtue, but for their hypocracy [hypocrisy], deceit, and abomination. They fasted, they prayed, they gave alms, they paid tythes [tithes] of all they possessed, all of which of themselves, abstractly, were good, and they were not condemned for these deeds, but for turning the temple of God into a den of thieves, for oppressing the widow, the orphan and the destitute, for rejecting the testimony of God, and persecuting his servants; and for neglecting judgment, mercy and the love of God.-Hence they were called "whited walls and painted sepulchres [sepulchers,"] they made long prayers; but it was "for a pretence [pretense]." They also disfigured, or made long faces, and appeared outwardly fair to men; but like whited walls and painted sepulchers, they were fair on the outside, while "within they were nothing but rottenness and dead men's bones. It was then for their corruptions, their abominations and their hypocray [hypocrisy] that they stood condemned, and not for their good works, or their righteousness.
Some have supposed that Paul did away with the necessity of good works, by telling us that It is 'not through works of righteousness that we have done, but by grace that we are saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.' We shall find however, that this reasoning is very fallacious. Paul understood himself perfectly. He might indeed be an "Hebrew of Hebrews;" and after the strictest manner of his sect, lived a Pharisee; but if his Pharisaism taught him to be a persecutor and murderer of the saints, and a shedder of innocent blood, his proceedings were not very righteous, he stood culpable before the Most High, and he needed to be cleansed in the atoning blood of Christ; to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins, before he could receive the approbation of heaven. The young Pharisee might say 'all these things have I observed from my youth up, what lack I yet?' A new dispensation was then ushered in, the gospel of eternal trnth [truth] was unfolded; the kingdom of heaven was being preached, and all men rushed unto it; and it was necessary that he should sell what he had and give to the poor; follow our Savior; obey the gospel; be governed by his teachings, and obey his precepts.
There were many in those days who thought that if they fulfilled the moral law, that they were pursuing the right course, doing the will of God, and would be saved. Paul tells them something else; that in the fulness [fullness] of time God sent forth his Son into the world to redeem those that were under the law; hence if redemption was needed, they were not in a salvable state without redemption, and he thus speaks emphatically of the necessity of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as being the great foundation of a sinner's hope; for if Christ was not the Messiah, then indeed was their faith vain, as was also the preaching of the apostles and elders.-This was the doctrine that was taught by our Savior, and by all the apostles. 'He that believeth and is baptised [baptized] shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.' So that it was no matter how often a man prayed, how much alms he gave, how often he fasted, or how punctual he was in paying his tithes, if he believed not he would be damned. James contends very strenuously for works, especially in the following extract from the second chapter:
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, an have not works?-Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be thou warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone; yea, a
man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew [show] thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also, believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the alter [altar]? seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
The thing is here very clearly and pointedly set forth, and although Paul speaks so much about faith, he contends as strenuously for works; he complains that some had turned the grace of God into laciviousness [lasciviousness], and positively says, that "If any man defile the Temple of God him will God destroy." And farther remarks, "know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaterers, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. vi:9, 10.
Many of the ancients pleaded before God their righteousness and good deeds, as even being meritorious; hence Job says, "my righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go." Job xxvii:6. David says, in speaking on the same subject, "O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that I was at peace with; (yea I have delivered him that is without cause mine enemy:) let the enemy persecute my soul and take it; yea let him tread down my life in the earth, and lay mine honor in the dust, selah." . . . . . ."The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me." Psa. vii. And Nehemiah, after testifying concerning Tobiah, and casting his goods out of the Temple, and contending with the nobles for not bringing their tithes into the treasury, says, "Remember me O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof;" and after contending with the nobles for breaking the Sabbath, he says unto some strangers that came into among them to try to lead the Jews astray. "Then I testified against them and said unto them, "why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again I will lay hands on you," and because some of the Jews had married strange wives, he chased one of them away from him, and says. "I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, ye shall not give your daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves." For these and other things he says, "remember me O my God concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy." The righteousness of Nehemiah seems indeed to be of a very singular cast, yet as a prophet of the Lord he pleads his deeds before God, as being meritoririous [meritorious]. Nor were the apostles forgetful of these things. Peter in speaking to Cornelius says "I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted of him." Acts x:34, 35. John says, "Every one that doeth righteousness is born of God." And again, "whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God." 1 John. And we are told in Rev. xix:8, that "the fine linen, is the righteousness of the saints." We know that "Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness:" but then James tells us that his "faith was made perfect by his works." So that we shall find after all, that it is not the hearer, nor the believer, alone, but the doer of the word, that is justified; and that whatever virtue there is in faith, that without works it is dead; even as the body without the spirit is: and that faith is of no use unless it works by love, and purifies the heart." And hence Paul speaks about the saints, in his day, "having on the breastplate of righteousness;' and being "filled with the fruits of righteousness."
The gospel indeed makes us freee [free]: but let us be careful how we use our freedom, and not turn the grace of God into laciviousness [lasciviousness]; as says Peter, "As free and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."
The Lord has done great things for us, he has revealed unto us "the abundance of peace and truth;" he has made manifest his will, and unfolded his purposes; he has put us in possession of great blessings, even the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant, and has planted in our bosoms a hope that blooms with immortality
and eternal life. Let us then walk worthy of the high vocation to which we are called, and as free servants of God be governed by his law, keep his commandments, and do his will; for man shall "not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God." Paul has very clearly elucidated this subject in the following words, the which, if we observe we shall do well.
"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil [fulfill] the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led by the spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one anther, envying one another."
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil [fulfill] the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself, alone, and not in another."
History of Joseph Smith.
Revelation to Joseph Smith, jr. Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer. Given at Harmony, Penn. July, 1830.
Behold I say unto you, that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the church at Colesville; and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required, until after you shall go to the west, to hold the next conference and then it shall be made known what you shall do. And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith; for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.
Shortly after we had received the above revelations, Oliver Cowdery returned to Mr. Whitmer's, and I began to arrange and copy the revelations which we had received from time to time; in which I was assisted by John Whitmer, who now resided with me. Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me, by my heavenly father, I received a letter from Oliver Cowdery, the contents of which gave me both sorrow and uneasiness. Not having that letter now in my possession, I cannot, of course, give it here in full, but merely an extract of the most prominent parts, which I can yet, and expect long to remember. He wrote to inform me that he had discovered an error in one of the commandments: Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Sect. 2d, page 7th-"And truly manifested by their works that they have received of the spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins." The above quotation, he said, was erroneous, and added, I command you in the name of God to erase these words, that no priestcraft be amongst us!! I immediately wrote to him in reply, in which I asked him by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from Almighty God. In a few days afterwards I visited him and Mr. Whitmer's family, were [where] I found the family, in general, of his opinion concerning the words above quoted; and it was not without both labor and perseverence [perseverance] that I could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject. However Christian Whitmer at length got convinced that it was reasonable, and according to Scripture, and, finally, with his assistance, I succeeded in bringing, not only the Whitmer family, but also Oliver Cowdery, to acknowledge they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance with the rest of the commandments. And thus was their error rooted out, which having its rise in presumption and rash judgment, was the more particularly calculated (when once fairly understood) to teach each and all of the necessity of humility and meekness before the Lord, that he might teach us of his ways, that we might walk in his paths, and live by every word that proceedeth forth from his mouth.
Shake the Sinner.
One of our little boys who is about eight years of age having read one of Mr. Millers Hymns in which there is such a frequent repetition of
"Shake the sinner, shake the sinner,
Shake the sinner, just now,"
commenced singing it; but not being acquainted with spiritualizing, he thought he must make his actions comport with his words, and having obtained the help of his sister they seized their little brother by the shoulders, and shook him tremendeously [tremendously] while they continued singing "shake the sinner just now" &c. It is well for poor sinners that the God of the Millerites does not answer their prayers in the way that our boy understood them, viz: for what they say, or the sinners would be in an awful predicament before the world ends.
The statistics of the Jewish population are among the most singular circumstances of this most singular of all people. Under all their calamities and dispersions, they seem to have remained at nearly the same amount as in the days of David and Solomon-never much more in prosperity, never much less after ages of suffering. Nothing like this has occurred in the history of any other race; Europe in general having doubled its population during the last hundred years, and England having tripled her's within the last half century, the proportion of America being still more rapid, and the world crowding in a constantly increasing ratio.-Yet the Jews seem to stand still in this general movement. The population of Judea, in its most palmy days, probably did not exceed, if it reached four millions. The number who entered Palestine from the wilderness were evidently not much more than three; and the census, according to the German statistics, which were generally considered to be exact, is now nearly the same as that of the people under Moses-about three millions. They are thus distributed.
In Europe, 1,916,000, of which about 658,000 are in Poland and Russia, and 453,000 are in Austria.
In Asia, 738,000, of which 300,000 are in Asiatic Turkey.
In Africa, 504,000, of which 300,00 are in Morocco.
In America, North and South, 15,000.
If we add to these about 15,000 Samaritans, the calculation in round numbers will be about 3,180,000.
This was the report in 1825-the number, probably, remains the same. This extraordinary fixedness in the midst of almost universal increase, is doubtless not without a reason-if we are even to look for it among the mysterious operations which have preserved Israel a separate race through eighteen hundred years.-May we not naturally conceive that a people thus preserved without advance or recession; dispersed, yet combined; broken, yet firm; without a country, yet dwellers in all, every where insulted, yet every where influential, without a nation, yet united as no nation, ever before or since; has not been appointed to offer this extraordinary contradiction to the common laws of society, and even the common laws of society, and even the common progress of nature, without a cause, and that cause one of final benevolence, universal good, and divine grandeur?
From the American Baptist Magazine.
The Rev. William Ward, A. M. fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, a clergyman of the Church of England, and who officiated as curate in the county of Norfolk, received a presentation of a living in the north of England, of considerable importance. At the time when the French revolutionists were following the clergy of the nation with imprisonment and death, which occasioned a great number of them to seek refuge in England, Mr. Ward first visited his living in the north. Stepping into the Edinburgh mail, he observed an elderly gentleman of venerable appearance in the dress of an ecclesiastic. He soon perceived that he was a foreigner, and was explicitly informed that he was a French emigrant Bishop. The conversation turned upon the politics, literature, and arts, and sciences, &c. Mr. Ward perceiving he was a man of profound learning, general knowledge, and liberal sentiments, began the following conversation:
Mr. Ward. I am much surprised sir, that a gentleman of your liberality and knowledge can be content to continue in communication with the corrupt church of Rome.
Bishop. I presume sir, you are a clergyman of the church of England.
Mr. W. I am sir.
B. May I not retort?
Mr. W. No. Our church is reformed from corruption.
B. I deny the assertion. Your prayer book is nothing but the Roman Missel translated into English, with a few trifling alterations, and the psalms you read are not from your translation, but from ours, of the corruption of which you are perpetually complaining.
Mr. W. These are trifling things sir, we are
satisfied that we are following the Apostles and primitive church.
B. This is assumption, and assumption is no proof. We must fix upon some point, and abide by it, for instance, pray where do you receive your authority for infant sprinkling?
Mr. W. I am surprised at your question, sir, pray do not your church practice the same as we do upon that point?
B. Yes sir.
Mr. W. Why then ask the question?
B. Because I presume you cannot defend yourself upon your own principles.
Mr. W. If I cannot, as you practice the same, you of course must lie in the same difficulty.
B. That does not follow. But pray, sir, shew [show] me your authority for infant sprinkling.
Mr. W. We refer to the New Testament, (taking one from his pocket,) here is one let us examine it.
Is it the English version, if it is, I shall not abide its decision, for it is not a fair translation.
Mr. W. You surprise me, sir; were not the translators learned men, and men of probity?
B. I grant this part. But sir, who is not sensible how far party zeal influences views, sentiments and practice. Look for instance at the wild notions of the learned Dr. Lightfoot, that proselyte baptism is as old as the fall of man; and that christian baptism is analagous [analogous] to it. Now many learned men have been duped by the authority of this individual and taken for granted what he asserted and have never examined the point. Yet I challenge the whole world to produce one instance of baptism before John. You must know, sir, that every learned man, who has examined for himself, both in your communion and in every other, has been forced to accede the point to the ana-baptists.
Mr. W. I can by no means admit the imperfection of our version, sir, nor can I see the consistency of your reasoning. It appears that you expose your own practice as much as any.
B. I will produce an instance or two where the object of your translators must have been to deceive the public, and to make the evangelist appear to support their sentiments of sprinkling where the opposite is apparent in the original, Matt. 3:11. Your version says, "I indeed baptise [baptize] you with water, &c. he shall baptise [baptize] you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."-Notice this translation sir, now in the 6th verse where they perceive that the same rendering would appear ludicrous, they have translated the preposition en by the English preposition "in Jordan." Will you assist me sir, to account for this conduct upon any principle than that of intentional deception and determination, right or wrong, to support hypothesis. I will not dispute about the signification of the preposition en. You must allow that we are more honest than protestant writers. We render it "in aqua," "in spiritu sancto." If the whole did not amount to the signification of dipping or plunging in water, I would ask you why the evangelist used in the application to baptise [baptize], the verb anabaino which cannot admit of any other explanation, but to arise, or emerge or ascend, see verse 16, also Acts 8:39. It cannot be admitted, sir, either that this arose from inadvertance[inadvertence], or from want of knowledge; for your translators knew how to render the word, when the controversy was out of sight: see for instance John 13:26. "When I have dipped bapsas it, and when he had dipped embapsas, the sop, &c. Why sir, did they not render this baptised [baptized]? You will not charge me sir, with inconsistency between my sentiments and practice. In our communion we never refer to the scriptures for authority for infant sprinkling, you know sir, that the Greek and Armenian churches which controvert our supremacy, practice dipping to the present period. The church has authority to decree rights and ceremonies and her orders are infallible. Here we depend for this and many other points, of sentiments and practice, which you hold in common with us; but referring to scriptures for your authority, cannot support your practice. There is sir, in fact no ground upon which you can stand, or any other protestant with consistency, between the two extremes, you must either return to the bosom of the Holy Church, or join the wicked, heretical anabaptists, who reject the authority of the church.
Mr. W. I have not I confess examined these subjects, but I consider it right to be honest and follow the dictates of truth.
The minutes of a conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at the court house in the city of Utica, N. Y. on the 28th day of January, 1843, at 10 o'clock, A. M.
The conference met agreeubly [agreeably] to previous appointment, and was called to order by priest Boice. Elder George Montague was chosen president, and elder Samuel Tibbles clerk.-The conference was opened by singing, and prayer by the president. The president them laid before them the object of the conference.
The president then called for a representation of the different branches.
Priest Boyce represented the Utica branch, consisting of thirty one members, two priests, two teachers, and one deacon, all in good standing. Elder M. Higley represented the West Booneville branch, consisting of twenty four members, three elders, one priest, two teachers, all in good standing. Elder Wilsey represented the East Hamilton Branch, consisting of forty members, three elders, and one teacher. The remaining members of the Delhi branch, and also those of the Elm Plats branch sent a request to the conference by elder M. Higley that they might be attached to some branch.
Motioned and carried, that the remaining members of the Elm Flats branch be united to the West Booneville branch.
Motioned and carried, that priest Boyce be sent to visit the scattering members of the Delhi branch, and ascertain their standing, &c.
Motioned and seconded, that priest Boice be ordained an elder, to preside over the Utica branch.
Motioned and carried, that this conference adjourn till the last Saturday and Sunday in July next.
George Montague, Pres't.
Samuel Tibbals, Clerk.
Minutes of Conference held at P. W. Cownover's, Hancock Connty [County] Illinois, September the 4th, 1842.
Pursuant to previous appointment, a Conference met, as above, to organize a branch of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: at Goldens Point.
Present, 8 elders, 2 priest, and one teacher.
At 10 o'clock A. M. the meeting was called to order by elder Alexander Williams; whereupon elder L. W. Brandon was unanimously chosen President, and Brother A. H. Golden Clerk.
After which the following officers were proposed and unanimously chosen.
Br. T. Parsons, to be ordained a teacher, Joseph Hammond Teacher, Jonathan L. Harvey teacher.
The officers chosen, as above, were then ordained by the laying on of hands; by G. W. Brandon, A. Williams, and M. B. Welton.
After which it was resolved that the minutes of this Conference be sent with a request to have them published in the Times and Seasons.
Closed with prayer by elder M. B. Welton.
A. H. Golden, Clerk.
Lapeer, Michigan, Jan. 20, 1843.
The Lapeer County Seat Conference, met according to appointment, in the Court-House in presence of 12 elders. M. Sirrine called to the chair, and Increase Van Deusen appointed clerk.
Conference opened with singing and prayer by the President; after which he stated the object of the meeting, which was to do the church business, and to get more charity. He then gave a short, but comprehensive explanation of true charity. The several branches were then represented, and are as follows:
Atica branch, represented by elder Jerman Elsworth, 2 elders, 1, priest, 17 members. Lapeer branch, represented by elder Newton Goodale, 2 elders 1 priest, 1 teacher 1 deacon, 16 members. Redford branch, represented by elder Hulbert, 1 elder, 1 priest, 1 teacher, 1 deacon, 23 members. Levona branch, represented by E. D. Wood, 1 elder, 1 priest, 1 teacher, 1 deacon, 24 members. Brownston branch, represented by elder M. Sirrine, 1 priest, 20 members. Superior branch represented by elder Jefferts, 1 elder, 18 members. Royaloak branch, represented by deacon Hoagerlin, 1 teacher 1 deacon, 18 members: 50 scattered members not represented in the above branches. The branch represented all in peace and good standing.
The president then made some remarks on his early labors in Michigan, which was followed by the church in general, with considerable liberty and interest. An old gentleman, not a member, then sprung up and said that he had been forced upon his feet for the first time in a meeting, being about 60 years old. He made several interesting remarks, and said that he believed the mormon religion to be true, and said he meant to obey the gospel the first opportunity.
Conference adjourned to 10 o'clock next day.
Met according to adjournment, opened with prayer by the president, which was followed with a sermon by Elder Jefforts [Jefferts], then followed with a short, but interesting application by elder M. Sirrine; and several other elders. Conference adjourned until 2 o'clock.
Met according to adjournment, opened with prayer by elder Jefferts; a discourse by elder Gribble, and followed by elder M. Sirrine on the same subject. Conference adjouured [adjourned] until 8 o'clock, next morning.
Met according to adjournment, opened with prayer by elder Jefferts, several prayers with intervals of singing. Order of the meeting changed to speaking. The exercise then closed
with some satisfactory remarks by the president, on the false reportsoncerning [reports concerning] Joseph the Prophet. Conference adjourned until 1 o'clock. During intermission, a discourse was given by a little champiou [champion] of the M. Episcopal order, who exposed himself very much, strained over back a part of the time with his arms folded, speaking not great, but small swelling words of vanity. He spake of Mahomet's system of religion, and the Roman Catholicks [Catholic], and believed them both to be false. He then spake of the Mormon system, and from what he had heard, condemned them also-warned his brethren against the delusion-said they where like the Locusts coming in swarms, or droves, devouring every green thing. After the performance the president asked the privilege of correcting his mistakes, when the gentleman asked, "What is your name sir?" "My same is Sirrine sir." He then answered, "No you can't have the privilege. I have heard of you sir, and I want nothing to do with you." After he dismissed his congregation, they were requested by the president to stop a few minutes; which they did, and heard the mistakes corrected with apparent satisfaction. The president then proceeded moderately to knock off some of the scales, as he expressed it, of the Methodist disipline [discipline], and adjourned for half an hour.
The sacrament was administered; 1 elder, and 1 priest ordained; 2 confirmed, which had been baptized during intermission. On the whole we had a very interesting and profitable Conference.
Motioned and carried that the conference be adjourned uhtil [until] the last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in April next, at Franklin, 10 miles south of Pontiac O. County, Mich.
Motioned and carried that the minutes of the conference be sent to the Editor of the "Times and seasons" for publication.
M. Sirrine Pres't.
I. Van Deusem, Clerk.
The following lines were written sometime since, by Gen, Wilson Law and handed to us; but in consequence of a press of matter they have unavoidably been delayed.
All hail to our Chief! who has come back with honor- Thou goddess of Freedom! O, grant thy attendance
With glory's bright halo encircling around; On th' brave who're defending fair liberty's cause;
From the highest tribunal in this great republic, May such judges as Pope still be found to befriend us-
Where falsehood and slander caused him to be bound: To administer justice and honor the laws:
And his vile persecutors in their base designing, Then our country's broad flag will wave on in its glory,
His life to destroy and to tarnish his fame: With but one star eclips'd on her ensign of fame,
Have failed; like the ancients in trials refining, E'en the foul persecuting-the bloody Missouri!
He's gained to himself a more excellent name. Our lov'd country's disgrace, and humanity's shame!
The baseness of Reynolds, of Boggs and of Carlin, Then hail! to the Chief, who has come home in glory,
Were shown forth as clear as the sun at noonday, As free and exulting as angels that fly
By the Fed'ral Attorney, in plea the most sterling O'er the high Rocky Mountains or plains of Missouri,
In which he portray'd where the villain lay: Where the bones of our dear murder'd brethren now lie.
The progress of error he set forth most clearly, Now let us unite with heartfelt exultation.
From bloody Missouri in this, our own land; And with ten thousand voices our accente [accent] renew,
And with just indignation, exclaimed most sincerely For the spirit of Freedom is still in our nation,
That Carlin, his dog, would have screen'd that demand. And has giv'n our lov'd Gener'l, safe back to Nauvoo.
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