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Times and Seasons/4/9
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 9
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4
|Number 8||Number 10|
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 9
Jump to Subtopic:
- Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper, called The Nauvoo Neighbor.
- History of Joseph Smith,
- Correspondence of the New England Puritan.
- Terrible Earthquake in the West Indies-10,000 Lives Lost.
- Singular Phenomenon.
- THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENTS.
- TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES & SEASONS.
- What Do The Mormons Believe.
- From the Boston (Mass.) Bee.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume IV. No. 9.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. March 15, 1843||[Whole No. 69.|
Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper, called The Nauvoo Neighbor.
We feel pleasure in announcing to our readers and to the public generally, that we have determined to enlarge the Wasp to double its size; as soon as the present volume shall be completed, which will be on the 19th of April.
It made its appearance in the world near twelve months ago; small in stature, dressed in a very humble garb, and under very inauspicious circumstances. It was then thought by man that its days would not be long in the land, and that at any rate it would not survive the sickly season. Many of its elder brethren who thought that they had attained to the size of manhood sneered contemptuously at the idea of their smaller, and younger brother taking the field, and like David's brethren they thought that he was but a stripling, and that he would certainly fall by the hand of some of the great Goliah's [Goliath's]; but on the contrary while some of advanced years, noble mein [mien], and possessing a more formidable appearance have given up the ghost, the little Wasp has held on the even tenor of his way the untiring, unflinching supporter of integrity, righteousness and truth; neither courting the smiles, nor fearing the frowns of political demagogues, angry partizans [partisans], nor fawning sycophants. Partaking so much of the nature of the industrious bee, it has gathered honey from every flower, and its pages are now read with interest by a large, and respectable number of subscribers.
As the young gentleman is now nearly a year old, we propose on this birth day to put him on a new dress, and to make him double the size, that he may begin to look up in the world, and not be ashamed of associating with his older brethren; and as he has acted the part of a good samaritan, we propose giving him a new name.-Therefore his name shall no longer be called THE WASP, but the NEIGHBOR.
The "Nauvoo Neighbor" will be published on a large imperial sheet, got up in good style, and with care, and taste. It will be edited by JOHN TAYLOR, and will be devoted to the dissemination of useful knowledge of every description;-The Arts, Science, Religion, Literature, Agriculture, Manufactures, Trade, Commerce and the general news of the day.
We propose publishing from the best authorities a Bank Note Table corrected weekly; and also a list of the prices current, in the principle Eastern and Western cities, as well as in our own city,
We shall publish a weekly record of deaths in our city, and all ordinances passed by the City Council; the proceedings of Courts Martial, Military Parades, the principal transactions of the Mayor's and the Municipal Court, and every thing of interest that transpires in, and about our city.
Articles on agriculture will be furnished from the best sources, which will make the Neighbor a welcome visitor to our farmers and gardeners.
Concerning Politics we shall not be silent; but reserve to ourselves the right of judging of all measures, parties, and men; and without respect to party, award to all individuals of whom we may have occasion to speak, the true reward of merit or demerit, without prejudice or restraint.
We have sent to Europe to effect an exchange with some of the principal newspapers, in London, Edinburg, Dublin, and Liverpool, from which we shall be able to
furnish to our European friends, as well as American, news that will be interesting, And as we do now exchange with most of the principal papers in the United States, both east, west, north and south, we flatter ourselves, that with the facilities of obtaining information that we possess, and a little care and attention on our part, that the "Nauvoo Neighbor," will be second to none in the west.
The "Neighbor" will be published every Wednesday, by TAYLOR & WOODRUFF, at the corner of Water and Bain streets, Nauvoo, Hancock county, Ill. and its price will be two dollars payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five now subscribers and forwarding us ten dollars current money, shall be entitled to one volume gratis.
It must be obvious to all business men, that from the character of the Nauvoo Neighbor, and on account of its extensive circulation, it will afford a first rate medium of advertizing [advertising]. ADVERTISEMENTS conspicuously inserted on reasonable terms,
History of Joseph Smith,
Revelation given in the presence of six elders, in Fayette, New York, September, 1830.
Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice, and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things: but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you.
Verily I say unto you, that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump: lift up your hearts and be glad for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; and ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts: wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father, that they shall be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things, against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked: for the hour is nigh, and the day soon at hand, when the earth is ripe: and all the proud and they that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth: for the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass; for I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.
And again, verily, verily I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in the pillar of fire, being clothed with the robe of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else; for a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon mount Sinai, and all the earth, shall quake, and they shall come forth:-yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.
But behold, I say unto you, that before this great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and there shall be greater signs in heaven above, and in the earth beneath; and there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men; and there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth; and it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent: for the cup of mine indignation is full; for behold, my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not.
Wherefore I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them, and their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me, and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets: and it shall come to pass, that the beasts of the forest, and the fowls of the air, shall devour them up: and that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of
Ezekiel the prophet, which spoke of these things, which have not come to pass, but surely must, as I live, for abomination shall not reign.
And again, verily, verily I say unto you, that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; and the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed, and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; for all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness [fullness] thereof, both men and beasts: the fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea, and not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand.
But behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth; yea, even all; and the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father: wherefore I will say unto them, depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
And now behold I say unto you, never at any time, have I declared from mine own mouth, that they should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power; but remember, that all my judgments are not given unto men: and as the words have gone forth out of my mouth, even so shall they be fulfilled, that the first shall be last, and that the last shall be first in all things, whatsoever I have created by the word of my power, which is the power of my Spirit; for by the power of my Spirit, created I them: yea, all things both spiritual and temporal: firstly spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work: and again, firstly temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work: speaking unto you, that you may naturally understand, but unto myself my works have no end, neither beginning; but it is given unto you, that ye may understand, because ye have asked if of me and are agreed.
Wherefore, verily I say unto you, that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal, neither any man nor the children of men; neither Adam your father, whom I created: behold I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him; for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural, nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.
And it came to pass, that Adam being tempted of the devil, for behold the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power: and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency: and they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels; and behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell; and it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.
Wherefore, it came to pass, that the devil tempted Adam and he partook the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation.-Wherefore I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out from the garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression: wherein he became spiritually dead: which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say, Depart ye cursed.
But behold I say unto you, that I the Lord God gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I the Lord God should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine only begotten Son: and thus did I the Lord God appoint unto man the days of his probation; that by his natural death, he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as man as would believe, and they that believe not unto eternal damnation, for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not, for they will love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil, and they receive their wages of whom they list to obey.
But behold I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world, through mine Only begotten: Wherefore they cannot sin, for power is not given unto satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me; for it is given unto them even as I will, according to mine own pleasure, that great things may be required at the hand of their fathers.
And again I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent? and he that hath no understanding, it remaineth in me to do according as it is written. And now, I declare no more unto you at this time; Amen.
Correspondence of the New England Puritan.
Letters from Europe.
Genoa, November 5, 1842.
Messrs: Editors,-In my last letter, I said I had finished my description of Genoa, and would try to carry you over it with me in detail. I had thought of taking you through the churches; but I find it quite impossible. It is one thing to stand in the Nave of a Church, with the lofty arches above you, resting on massive columns of the richest marble-the long colonnades before you going up to the main altar, and paintings and statutes and marble of every description and form, scattered all around you, ;while far in the distance ascends the solemn chant of priests and the smoke of incense-and quite another thing to say here was a fine painting, and there another beautiful column, &c., &c. It is impossible for one to stand in one of these churches, filled with a "a dim religious gloom," the prostrate multitude around him, and the universal chant echoing away amid the distant arches, without a feeling of awe. He cannot escape it, except by fixing his attention on some particular part of the great farce, when the imposing deception vanishes away, and the sounds around him become only the senseless mummeries of deluded men. It was so with me yesterday,-It was some festival day for the dead. A large coffin, covered with a pall, was elevated on one side of the church, surrounded by immense wax candles and the kneeling forms of men. In front before the great altar, with his back to the multitude, stood a priest, gorgeously robed-while farther on arose the chant of many priests. I glided on through the throng, my feelings subdued by the solemn pageantry around me, until passing near the main alter [altar], a sort of box, I saw a fat priest sitting within, wrapped in his robe, and apparently asleep. On passing round the other side, however, I observed a female kneeling with her mouth close to a piece of tin that was punched full of holes, like a strainer, to give a free passage of the voice, while against the inside lay, close and snug, the ear of the priest. It might have been imaginary, but there seemed to be in his very attitude a quiet scorn of the ridiculous farce in which he was playing a part. In a moment my awe was changed into contempt, and I left the gorgeous church with pity and scorn both in my heart‚-pity for the ignorant, sincere, yet misguided people, and scorn for the heartless, licentious priesthood. The remark is often made in our country, that the Protestants do not render to the Catholics what charity demands, To the people we may not-to the priests we render too much. The testimony of Scipio de Bicci, Bishop of Prato and Pistoria in Tuscany, is sufficient to damn the clergy forever. Throughout Tuscany it was proved, by the prioresses of convents themselves, that "the monks were on more intimate terms with the nuns, than if they were married to them"-that universally "the priests are the husbands of the nuns, and lay brothers of the lay sisters" For his faithfulness, the learned bishop was persecuted and imprisoned, and the corruptions left untouched. But the progress of civilization and freedom of thought sends its influence even here. People scan more closely the actions of the clergy, and the Vatican no longer holds kings in such awe of its thunder as formerly. The Austrian Emperor has prohibited convents in his possessions; and the burden that the overstocked and thriftless priesthood imposes, is deeply felt by all. The reverence for signs and symbols is fast passing from the earth. Man begins to assert his individual right and personal worth. But here it is infinitely less so than with us. Men are held by outward forms, and a star or a ribbon is worn with ostentatious pride, to catch the wonder of the gaping multitude. The church, especially, has times of great display, that dazzles and bewilders the ignorant. Yesterday I stepped into a magnificient [magnificent] church, decorated in honor of its patron Saint. Each church has its own Saint, as its peculiar patron. Each Saint has its peculiar day, or festival, in honor of itself, on which services are performed, chimes rung, &c., &c. This was the day of the patron Saint of the church; and if richness and magnificence could propitiate his favor, it was most certainly secured. As I entered through the gloomy portals, I was almost struck blind by the blaze of light that burst upon me. From the marble floor to the high-arched and richly wrought roof, it was one pile of wealth, and splendor. Wax tapers, 8 or 10 feet long, were burning on every side of the building, and before the altars-while chandelier rising above chandelier, made of solid silver, and loaded with lustres [luster's] hung by silken scarfs between the massive columns, which, in their turn, were wrapped from the plinth to the capital in crimson damask, laced with gold. Silk festoons were stretched between them, sparkling with diamonds; while amid and under all was the dark, dense crowed, bowing in silent worship. Two of the lamps were of solid gold. As I stood dazzled and silent amid this splendor, and heard the slow, deep chant begin and swell out over the throng, I could almost forgive them their credulity. It is by such outward desplay [display], and not by its internal worth, that the Catholic Church holds its sway over the people. The churches of Genoa are not so magnificient [magnificent] as some in the South of Italy; but they have less
tinsel work, and are distinguished above all, for the richness and real value of their ornaments.
Their is but one place of Protestant worship in the city, and that is a small room hired by the English; and the services, of course, are those of the Established Church of England. Our squadron has just arrived from Mahon, to winter here, and they have two chaplains aboard, who will have Protestant service in their respective vessels every Sabbath, Mahon has long been our Naval depot in the Mediterranean, and furnishes one of the best harbors in the South of Europe for vessels of war. But the inhabitants are a lawless set; and assassinations of our men have become so frequent, while the police is so remiss, that Commodore Morgan told me he would stay no longer. He had just lost an officer by the knife of an assassin; and he deemed it wrong to expose the lives of his men and officers where the government could neither furnish security, nor grant redress. His lady informed me that this lawlessness was owing to the disbanding of a Spanish regiment on the island, which lived only by crime. Our fleet has never wintered here, on account of the harbor; but it must be perfectly safe. The 74 gun ship Columbus is moored, where, as the captain told me, if she can be driven ashore, she may go.-The purser said he hoped our Government would remove the Naval depot from Mahon, as the society and customs of the place were almost sure to ruin the young officers of the vessels.
The Genoese took it as a great compliment to have one of our largest vessels of the line, bearing the name of their great Navigator, enter the harbor. Genoa has the strictest police regulations; and the allurements to vice are less than in any other city of Italy, or perhaps of Southern Europe. Hence its moral influence on our Navy would be far preferable to that it has hitherto been exposed to in the Mediterranean. It was extremely gratifying to my feelings, as an American, to see so gallant a ship enter the harbor and send her salute echoing amid these old time-worn palaces. The Congress and Fairfield will be here soon, and then we shall have more naval force in the harbor than the whole Sardinian Government can muster.
The United States Consul and myself had visited Italy together, for our health; and finding Genoa too damp and cold, took a palace six miles out of the city, so exposed to the sun, and so sheltered from the tramoutane, that flowers bloom in the garden the winter through. The Vice Consul, on the arrival of our squadron, immediately despatched [dispatched] a messenger to the Consul. We rode to town together, expecting to go aboard that afternoon; but finding it too late, and that the boat which had been waiting with the officer on shore two hours, had returned, it was deferred till next day. I left the Consul in town, and returned to our palace.-The next day I had fixed to ascend Mount Gazza, on which, it was said, there was a large cavern filled with the most beautiful stalactites, almost equal in beauty, to agate. Our valet was sent to town, and so I took a Genoese guide, with basket and hammer in his hand and started off. At the outset I found I had made a great mistake, for he could talk nothing but Genoese; and for the first two or three miles, I could not make him understand even what 'ca verna' meant. I soon, however, as the Yankees say, 'got the hang of his lingo,' and could understand him very well. For six weary miles we trudged on over a path where a mule would have broke his neck, till at length we reached a lofty summit, that seemed to overlook creation; when to my astonishment, my guide had called a grotto a cave, while the grotto was simply a chapel erected to the Madonna on that far up desolote [desolate] peak, by the people of Sestri, to protect their village. In the front, under an archway, stood the Madonna herself, about 20 feet high, I should judge-at least her little finger was as big as my arm-with her hands spread out over the distant village that lay sleeping quietly in the sunshine below. In the valley it was so warm, that I had sought the shade for shelter; but the ice was round where I stood. Below me was Genoa, Nervi, Sempeerniraniso, Cœneliania, Pegli, Voltri-palaces, orange groves, vineyards, and the broad gulf dotted with white sails, till the eye wearied with expanding prospect. On my right, ridge on ridge, peak above peak, towered away the Mountain of Piedmont, with their snow summits white as piles of silver, against the clear blue sky. Behind me were rolled along the heavens, mountains as black and barren as the top of Horeb, stretching on to Turin, with nothing to relieve the dismal prospect but two fortresses, perched on the very top of two sharp peaks, and the spire of a church, faintly pencilled [penciled] against the heavens-one created to protect the road in the interior by cannon, and the other to the Madonna, who, from that immense height, was supposed to protect the passage by divine aid. Disappointed in my cavern, I was, however, repaid by the prospect I had enjoyed. The mountain furnishes some of the finest specimens of Asbestos. As I sat mid-way down it, gathering some very beautiful ones, I heard the thunder of cannon as the echo rolled over the bay, and slowly passed up the deep ravines around me, and soon after saw the smoke spreading itself upon the atmosphere. It was the salute of the ship of war to our Consul, as
he boarded her. The Commodore, as a mark of particular respect, ordered a larger salute than is usually granted to officers of Consular rank.
We live in a very beautiful palace, hung with rich paintings; the walls painted in frescoe [fresco], and the whole building surrounded by delightful grounds: In approaching it you first enter an iron gate and pass up between two rows of trees and two green hedges to another huge gate, that opens into the area in front of the palace. At one side of the gate is a marble lion, standing with one foot on the world. A little farther, on the opposite side, stands one of the ancient Senators of Genoa. At the foot of the first flight of steps is another lion. Ascending these you enter the main court, supported by two immense columns;-and passing up the second flight, come into the main hall a very large room, hung with ancient pictures. The other rooms correspond with these-all furnished in rich style, with every thing except linen and table service; and yet the whole cost but I45  Francs a month. The yard in front, which is lined with marble statutes, is now yellow with the ripening orange.
Palaces are abundant in Genoa. Some of them are most superb. Built of the richest marble, on their interior is lavished almost exhaustless wealth. The palace of the Marquis of Palaiseino is close beside us; and in repairing the grounds alone, the Marquis has spent $100,000. I have been over the Royal Palace, even to the bed rooms of the ladies, but find it impossible to describe it with any correctness. The Serra Palace has two remarkable rooms, one of which has been called the 'Palace of the Sun.' In the richness of its tapestry, the splendor of its chandeliers, and other furniture, it cannot be surpassed. It cost alone about $200,000. The marques [marquis] di Negro has a most picturesque situation on one of the eminences of the Appenines [Apennines], with grottoes and cascades, and furnishing an extensive view of the city and bay. In passing by one statue, that stood in a niche of the building, I was struck with surprise by the inscription: 'Alla Memoria del Washington.' Affectionately yours, Y.
Terrible Earthquake in the West Indies-10,000 Lives Lost.
The Big Francis Jane, Thompson, arrived this morning from St. Johns, Porto [Puerto] Rico, brings to the Exchange Reading Room advices [advises] of the effects of a severe shock of an earthquake, on the 8th of February.
Extracts of a letter received by the owners of the Francis Jane, dated St. Johns February 14th and 15th, state:
'We have just received advices [advises] from the Windward. The effects of the earthquake on the 8 inst., have been awful, indeed. Point Petre, Gaudalope is totally destroyed, and t 5  thousand persons supposed to have been killed.-The loss of property is immense. At Antiqua, also, there has been a great loss of property, but only five lives lost. All the mills and sugar works are more or less injured, and the greater part of the crop will be lost. Nevis, Montserrat, Barbadoes, &c., are said to have suffered much, but to what extent is not yet known.
Here, and at St. Thomas, the shock was also severe, and lasted at this place two minutes; but there was no material damage done at either place.'
On Friday morning last week, between the hours of four and five, a most remarkable phenomenon was observed by all carriers approaching Perth by the north and west roads. The phenomenon was that of the whole surrounding country in the districts of Dunkeld, Crieff, Blairgowria, &c., being suddenly illuminated by a blaze of light, which rendered objects for several miles around more distinctly visible than the clearest noon-day. Sheep, cattle trees and bushes, were beheld with an accuracy, at six and seven miles distance, equal to what would be produced by the finest telescope, so vivid and intensely brilliant was the light.-This curious phenomenon lasted nearly a minute, and, as is described by those who witnessed it, had a kind of unsteady motion, resembling in the impression it created on their minds, the roll of waves of the sea after the subsidence of a storm. The light was dazzling white, and , from what we learn, appeared like the white light, displayed by pyrotechnists, but of course, on a much grander and more extensive scale. Robert M'Donald, the Dunkeld carrier, alleges that he felt distinctly a heat produced by it, similar to what would be experienced in passing the door of premises in which there was a powerful furnace blast working.-He was in the neighborhood of Brinam at the time, and distinctly saw the color and plumage of several chiffinches [chaffinces] perched upon a tree at the road side. From his account, compared with the accounts of the other carriers he appears to have been in the very focus of the meteoric phenomenon, as while they felt no heat, they concur in stating that the centre [center] of its brilliancy seemed to be a little below Dunkeld. The morning was otherwise very dark, with a thick, raw, rhymy atmosphere.-Edingburgh Evening Post.
We beg leave respectfully to state to our city subscribers, that in consequence of people calling frequently for their neighbors papers, without authority, and then not forwarding them to the owners, that they are often called for a second time, by the owners; which makes it unpleasant both to us and them. To prevent this difficulty, we shall not in future permit any person to take another's papers, without an order from the owner.
TIMES AND SEASONS,
CITY OF NAUVOO,
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 1842.
It will be seen by the prospectus on the first page that we are proposing to enlarge the "WASP" to double its present size, which will make it a large and respectable paper, and interesting to our friends abroad as well as at home. As the enlargement of this paper will increase the amount of our expenses, we respectfully solicit the patronage and assistance of our elders, brethren and friends, in our arduous undertaking.
There are scores of neighborhoods abroad, where from five to fifty subscribers might be obtained if exertions were made for that purpose; and we think that a little exertion on the part of our friends would cause our paper to have as extensive a circulation, and raise it to as respectable a standing, as any in the Union.
By using our efforts in spreading our paper, we shall be instrumental in advancing the cause of truth, spreading the principles of intelligence and removing a large amount of prejudice, arising from misrepresentation, and ignorance, of our principles. Both our civil and religious policy, is more rational, more consistent, and more in accordance with the principles of common sense, than others, and needs only to be seen to be admired. Ignorance of our doctrines, principles and policy, is the great evil that we have to cope with, and the more generally we can spread our information, the more will the community appreciate our principles, and be attracted by our doctrines. And as we are commanded, "where we cannot go, to send," if we can make use of the press as a medium, through which to disseminate our principles and doctrines, we shall be forwarding the work of God and putting the people in possession of the principles of intelligence.
Let not any of our brethren think, that because this is not exclusively a religious paper it will therefore not promote the cause of truth; it will in part be religious, as will be seen by a perusal of the prospectus; but temporal and spiritual things are one with the saints; they are also one with God. The same God that made our spirits, and gave us intelligence, made our bodies also. Zion will be built up literally; and those who wish to be "hewers of wood, and drawers of water," will have to handle the axe [ax] and the pail litterally [literally]. If brethren would take our papers themselves, send them to their friends, and circulate them in their neighborhoods, they would do incalculable good to community, and remove a vast amount of prejudice.
We hope therefore, that all our brethren will assist us in our laudable undertaking and thus facilitate the advance of truth. We do not often mention these things, on account of delicacy; but we would remind our brethren however, of one of the sayings of old, "for lack of knowledge the people perish." Let the branches of the church unite and send us on their five, ten, twenty-five and one hundred subscribers, and they will assist us in our work, benefit themselves, be a blessing to their neighbors, and advance the cause of truth.
THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENTS.
It has been supposed, by many of our modern theologians, that the ancients knew very little about religion; that if they possessed any information of a God, it was only in dark similitudes; in forms and ceremonies, in uncertainties and shadows; that the antediluvians lived in a day of darkness, or rather in the gloom of night; that the Patriarchs lived in the dawn of day, before the sun had made its appearance above the horizon; that the Mosaic dispensation might be compared to the sun's first rising on the world; that the time when our Savior made his appearance among men, and the gospel was preached by the apostles, was like the sun rising in majesty, dispelling the mist that brooded over the earth, and causing creation to rejoice; but that we are living in a day when sol has reached the meridian of his glory; in "the blaze of gospel day." These views are by no means uncommon, and yet it always has appeared singular to us, that men in this day and age of the world, when sectarianism has torn to pieces the religious world, and men's views on this subject are split up into ten thousand pieces, that they should arrogate more to themselves than what our Savior and his apostles enjoyed, when the church was in its primitive glory; whilst they were under the teaching of our Lord, and inspired apostles; before corruption, or false doctrine had obtained power in the christian church: and we can only account
for it upon the principle, that "ignorance is the mother of superstition;" and that in them the words of the apostle are fulfilled: "professing to be wise, they became fools."
True religion is of divine origin, it emanates from God: it teaches us what is his will-what our priviledges [privileges] are, and what our duty is towards him, and to each other. It teaches us to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength; and our neighbor as ourselves." If we possess any knowledge of God, we must have received it from God; for, according to the words of the Savior, "no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son does reveal him." Since religion is of divine origin, we can only obtain from God a true knowledge of his mind, his purposes, and designs; and what mode of worship will be acceptable to him. And if we have no means of coming to God ourselves we can receive no knowledge of God, but what is conveyed either by tradition, or writing; and since priestcraft has prevailed in different ages, and errors in translation and transposition are likely to ensue, it must follow as a natural consequence, that those who nearest the fountain, will be the most likely to partake of the purest streams.-And it must be obvious to every understanding mind, that all correct intelligence proceeds from God, and that the more frequent intercourse a man has with the Lord, the more communications he has from the Almighty, and the more frequent God's revelations are to him, the more he will know the purposes and designs of his Heavenly Father, and consequently of true religion. This being the case, it will not be necessary for us to inquire whether a man lived in the Adamic dispensation, the dispensation of Noah, of the Patriarchs, of Moses, of our Savior, or in the present dispensation, to know who had the most light, possessed the greatest privileges, or had the most religion; but to enquire [inquire] who drew the nearest to God; who received the most frequent communications from him, and to whom did he most abundantly reveal his will: whether in this generation or any other. If these questions can be satisfactorily answered, we shall not find much difficulty in ascertaining who possesses the most knowledge of God, and godliness, and who has the most religion.
If we turn our attention to the present religious world, what do we see? men holding communion with God, and receiving revelations from God, verily nay! the heavens to them have become brass, and God's mouth is closed; nay worse; the idea of revelation is scouted by them, and those who would believe in it are branded as impostors; and they virtually cut themselves off from all communication with, or from, God, and can know nothing of or about God, "but what they know naturally, as brute beasts," as saith the apostle. What sort of a spectacle does the christian church present at the present? Torn, and split up, divided, and disjointed by the fiery zeal of religious bigots, and hypocritical partizans [partisans], it presents a picture of ruin and desolation; like a forest torn by a mighty tempest, or uprooted by a furious whirlwind, that once stood in grandeur and majesty, and its beautiful foliage was admired by every observer; but now its withered leaves, its broken boughs, and shattered limbs, are the sad memorials of its overthrow and destruction. Or like some ancient palace that stood proudly aloof from other inferior buildings, magnificently adorned with all the beauty of ancient architecture; its towers, and columns, and statuary, and beauty, was the pride of princes, and its strength and fortresses bid defiance to the hand of the desolator; but the revolution of ages have despoiled the noble edifice; the corroding hand of time has destroyed its beauty, and all that is left of its former magnificence is here and there a few broken fragments, that very imperfectly shew [show] to the enquiring [inquiring] traveler the ruins of its former splendour [splendor], and ancient glory. So stood the church, once indeed beautiful, pure and intelligent;-clothed with the power and spirit of God; endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost; possessed of prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, helps, governments, tongues, interpretations, gifts, visions, and the ministering of angels; having the heavens opened, the purposes of God unfolded, the future destiny of man made known, and "life and immortality brought to light." Basking in the beams of eternal truth, and holding communications with God and angels, it stood proudly erect, in the strength of Israel's God; it was sustained by the mighty hand of Jehovah, and was indeed "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;" but ah! alas! a change has come over the dream; the flower has been nipt [nipped] in the bud; its glory has departed; the deadly influence of heresy has penetrated to its very vitals. The withering power of priestcraft has disrobed it of its beauty; and disjointed by sectarian strife, and schismatic influence, it lays in broken fragments scattered, rent, and disjointed; with nothing to point out its original, but he shattered remnants of its ancient glory, on which are scarcely traceable any of the marks of its former magnificence, or original grandeur. And how can it be otherwise? when men are destitute of revelations from God, and absolutely deny the principle.
Perhaps some may think that the above is an overstrained picture, but we think not; and let those who think differently examine the subject, and they will find that none of the above mentioned things, which constituted the beauty and glory of the christian church, are now to be found: no apostles, no prophets, no pastors, teachers, or evangelists, that even profess to be inspired; no gifts of healing, no tongues, or interpretations; no visions, no revelations, or ministering of angels; but all they now possess, as a substitute, is, the dogmas of men, the wild theories of theologians, and the opinion of divines; all doubt, and uncertainty; without the least particle of a knowledge of God, the order of his church, or his will concerning them.
If we turn our attention from the religious world to that of the infidel, we shall find a body of men vainly striving to find happiness in created good, in morality and in social society; but without a knowledge of God. Turn we our attention for a moment to Fourierism, which however laudable in its attempts to ameliorate the condition of man, and out of the broken chaotic, disorered [disordered] mass of societiy [society] that now exists, bring about a social order which shall promote universal peace and happiness; it must fail in its attempts; it has no other religion than that which is above described; it has not the materials to construct such an edifice as it contemplates; and science without God will never make men permanently happy.
What a deplorable aspect the world of mankind presents at the present time, especially on our continent, torn to pieces with dissensions about religion and politics, tossed on the billows of uncertainty, both religiously and politically, men scarcely know which way to steer to shun the various rocks that threaten destruction on every hand.
With several hundred different religions, all clashing and in commotion, the speculative theories of Miller, with his wild enthusiasm;-the deceptive pretensions of Mesmerism; the poison of Infidelity; the plans of Fourier, and the ten thousand other notions that are deluging the earth, and cracking the human brain, render it indeed necessary that God should again speak and point out the way of salvation and happiness with certainty, to the human family and bid 'dire commotion cease.'
With this state of things, shall we glory in our religion, and say that we are living in the 'blaze of gospel day?' Vain pretension! Idle boast! Let us rather hide our heads in shame, and 'stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein;' then should we indeed find rest to our souls. Jer., vi. 17.
If we turn our attention to the ancients, we shall find that their religion was founded upon a very different basis. If they worshipped God, it was because they were instructed by him to do so-if they kept any law, or observed an ordinances, it was because the Lord commanded them to do it; their religion was taught them by the Lord, and if they possessed any knowledge of God, any wisdom or intelligence, if they were made acquainted with his purposes and designs, it was through revelation; and if God had not unveiled himself to them, they must have remained eternally in the dark, and ignorant of the principles of truth. Under the tuition of Jehovah, they were taught the truths of heaven, unadulterated by the foolish dogmas of men, or the corrupting influences of priestcraft. Thus being taught of God, and amenable to him for their conduct; and their teaching being the teaching of heaven and proceeding from God, their adherence to his precepts was their eternal salvation. They knew no other guide, and following his directions, they were safe.
What a contrast there is between ancient and modern religion. Men boast of their religion, of their intelligence, of their knowledge of God, and of his will and purposes, and he has never spoken to them, nor given a revelation for eighteen hundred years, and they believe he never will do again. While Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets, walked with God, had the ministering of angels, the visions of heaven unfolded, and the purposes of God developed; saw and conversed with Jehovah, gazed on the glories of the eternal world, and wrote the prophesied of events that should transpire through all succeeding ages. If this generation possess any knowledge of God, they obtained it through what the ancients have written and spoken; and yet our modern religionists profess to be wise, enlightened and intelligent; and think that the ancients were in the dark. O consistency, whither hast thou fled!
We must necessarily conclude from the above that 'every good and perfect gift proceeds from the Father of Lights,' through the medium of revelation, and if we cannot obtain revelations from him, we must remain eternally in the dark, in regard to true religion, God, angles, heaven, hell, the purposes of Jehovah, or any thing connected with salvation; and instead of obtaining true intelligence from God, shall be obliged to wander in the uncertain mazes of sectarianism, and of false religion and philosophy; ignorant of God, and of the plan of salvation,
groping in mid-night gloom, and when we leave this world, be obliged to 'take a leap in the dark.'
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES & SEASONS.
Sir,-As many of our very pious folks of the present day have rediculed [ridiculed] the idea of establishing a church by revelation, and loudly proclaimed against the principle, as being no longer needed, alleging that the canon of Scripture was full, and proving that God can never speak again to man without annihilating all pure religion from the face of the earth, but they have merly [merely] exposed their own folly, for it must be well known to every man, who has not spent all his time in herding his father's hogs, that the church had become corrupt and abominable, that their spurious systems were staggering and confusion prevailed among them. Well did the prophet exclaim-They are drunk, but not with wine! they stagger, but not with strong drink!
I purpose, by your permission, to show the gradual decline of truth and Godliness, and the rise and progress of anti-Christ, in a short sketch of the church, from the time of the apostles to the present time, showing the absolute necessity of the gospel being revealed from heaven again in the last days. It is very difficult, it is true, to come at any thing in the shape of church history, that can be relied on, as it has been mostly handed down to us by religious bigots, who have sacrificed truth for party purposes.-But by comparing all in our reach, we may then cast a line and come at something near the truth.
It would be needless for me to say any thing of the church in the days of the Lord, for no one will doubt but he established a perfect order-nothing superfluous, nor lacking ought.-And as soon as this system became changed or modified it was no longer the church of Jesus Christ, else he had not established a perfect order: for if it was perfect it could not be improved, if any thing taken from it it could not be perfect, and therefore could not accomplish the object intended.
Through the instrumentality of the apostles the gospel made rapid strides; till persecutions broke out on every hand. The first general persecution commenced in the year 64, by Nero, in which multitudes suffered the most cruel deaths that men, fitted out as demons, could invent. A second general persecution broke out about the year 74, under Domitian. Forty thousand christians were put to death, and the church almost extirpated, and John banished to the Isle of Patmos. Even at this early age the most abominable doctrines were propagated, which called forth the threat of the Almighty upon them, except they repented. And the church, in those days was divided into two parties, viz: the Docetæ and the Ebionites. The former denied the supreme divinity of Christ, and also that the Son of God had any proper humanity, and asserted that he died on the cross in appearance only. The latter asserted that Jesus Christ was a mere man, though of a most excellent character. They both denied atonement by his blood, and expected salvation by their own works. Among the former were the Nicolaitans, whom Christ mentioned to John with utter abhorrence. They had many disgusting peculiarities; allowed a community of wives, and indulged their sensual appetites without restraint. The Ebionites considered that salvation came by observing the law of Moses, and thus called forth Paul's strong appeal, whether salvation was of works, or of grace.
The history of the church from this time to the end of the fourth century, is one of gradual and deep declension, though vast numbers were added to them, and they passed through serious persecutions. In the second century Montanus made his appearance, who pretended that he was the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, whom Jesus promised to send. He had many followers in Asia and Africa, and added new precepts, requiring seclusion from the world. Numbers of rites and ceremonies were introduced into the church: and they began to modify their religion so as to please the Jews and heathens; and adopted forms and ceremonies from their religions, temples, altars, and days of fasting.-Peculiarities of dress, and splendid ceremonies were multiplied in abundance; and military rites and phrases were introduced into the church in this century.
In the third century Origen introduced a new mode of explaining the scriptures, (now known as the spiritualizing system) the mystical sense which he put on the word of God was wild and enthusiastic. He made a great division in the church, became very popular with philosophers and men of wild and visionary notions, and was honored by the courts. He introduced the practice of selecting a single text as the subject of a discourse. Though he suffered martyrdom, few men brought in more corruptions than Origen.
The church of Christ sustained its high and
holy character but a little period after the age of the apostles. It, however, was comparatively tolerable till after the middle of the third century; from which period scarcely a vestige of christianity could be found. Cyprian says, that even before the Decian persecution, "long peace had corrupted the discipline. Each had been bent on improving his patrimony, and had forgotten what believers had done under the apostles, and what they ought always to do.-They were brooding over the arts of amassing wealth. The pastors and deacons each forgot their duty. Works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at its lowest ebb. Luxury and effeminacy prevailed. Meretricious arts in dress were cultivated. Fraud and deceit were practiced among brethren. Christians could unite themselves in matrimony with unbelievers; could swear, not only without reverence but without veracity. Even bishops deserted their places of residence and their flocks. They travelled [traveled] through distant provinces in quest of pleasure and gain, gave no assistance to the needy brethren at home, but were insatiable in their thirst for money. They possessed estates by fraud, and multiplied usury. What have we not deserved to suffer for such conduct?"-An awful persecution followed by Dioclesian, and his successor Maximin Galerius, insomuch [inasmuch] that during the reign of the former, medals were struck off with this inscription, "Nomine Christianorum Deleto." "The name of Christians being extinguished." When suddenly an unexpected and mighty arm was extended towards them in the person of Constantine, who publicly embraced Christianity. He abolished the ancient religion of the Romans, and established the sort of Christianity that then existed. The heathen gods were drawn by cords through the streets for public ridicule and contempt. Their priests were cast out, dispersed and banished. Immense and splendid temples were every where erected, and richly endowed, and the greatest honor put on the professors of christianity. But for all this Constantine was a cruel tyrant and a monstrous villian [villain]. The most of those who were exalted to places of power and trust were engaged in pompous rites and ceremonies, and knew little of the doctrines taught by Christ and his apostles. Their elevation to wealth and power was followed by an amazing increase of luxury and vice. Bishops contending with bishops run to sad extents of debauchery, and the whole mass of people were exceedingly corrupt. Shoals of profligate men, allured by gain or driven by fear pressed into the church, discipline ceased, and superstition reigned without control. The gentile converts to this christianity introduced a round of prayers and procession, by which they had been accustomed to appease their gods; hastily transferred the virtues which had been supposed to christian temples and christian ordinances.-These new converts were easily subjected to the most abominable impositions. Prodigies and miracles, therefore, without number were multiplied. The bones and relics of dead saints performed wonders. Dust and earth brought from Palestine was viewed as a certain and powerful remedy against the violence of wicked spirits; and before the close of the century, the great business of the priests was to impose in ten thousand ways, in the vilest manner, upon the credulity of the ignorant multitude.-Arius now made a great stir, denying the divinity of Christ, and drew vast numbers over to his opinions, and was assisted by Constantine, but suddenly died in the year 336; but his doctrines continued to spread far and wide.
In the sixth century the world was at ease; and superstition had made rapid strides. The ministers were excessively ignorant, and led away themselves by the strangest phantasies [fantasies], deluded and destroyed the people. Strange rites were performed; miracles without number believed, and the most superstitious services rendered to departed souls; images were worshipped. Tombs and grave yards were places to meet departed spirits in multitudes. The doctrine of purgatory had gained strong hold upon the minds of the people. Some starved themselves with a frantic obstinacy; and others erected high pillars and stood on them for years. Simeon, a Syrian, who was one of their leaders, spent thirty seven years of his life upon five pillars, with the idea of getting as near heaven as he could, attracting the admiration of a superstitious world.
The finest monastic order was instituted about the beginning of the fourth century, by a person of the name of Anthony, who sold his possessions and lived a life of the most rigid self-denial, in the wilderness, and such vast numbers followed his example, that if the wilderness was not glad for them, it literally abounded with them. His monastic ragulations [regulations] rapidly spread into Palestine and Syria, and were soon established throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some followed Anthony's instructions, and lived in monasteries, whilst others followed his example, and dwelt alone in the wildest parts of the wilderness.
In the seventh century, two immense powers, the Mohammedan and the Papal, arose, which laid the east and the west in desolation, and finally swallowed up every fragment of the church, if any was yet remaining, for Monachism
had prevailed for two centuries in all parts of the known earth. The monks had increased to an almost incredible number, and their whole business was to defraud and cheat the public. We are told that at the death of St. Martin, 2000 monks accompanied his remains to the grave.
In the thirteenth century, Gregory reduced the monks to four societies; but the Mendicants (established by Innocent III) were the most popular, insomuch [inasmuch], that we are informed it was very common for the laity to request in their last wills, that their bodies might be wrapped in the rags of some monk, and buried among the Mendicants.
Marsh says, in his Ecclesiastical History, "To give a full account of all the operations, corruptions, superstitions, frauds, and enormities of the monks; their bitter animosities and contentions, would require volumes. Their history sickens the heart. To see men under pretence [pretense] of great devotedness to God, leading the most loathsome, filthy lives, sometimes casting off all clothing, and going on all fours, like beasts * * * Their bodies covered with vermin; eating, of choice, the most nauceous [nauseous] food; wearing heavy chains; fastening grates upon their breasts, and backs; * * * flogging themselves with thorn sticks, and otherwise mutilating themselves, till they frequently expired; and these men commanding reverence and homage as the saints-holy ones. What can be more revolting and distressing to a rational mind? Is this the church which Christ redeemed to himself, and renewed by his spirit, that he might present it a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing? Oh no. But we will see worse things than these."
From the seventh century, the whole christian world was divided between the Pope and Mohammed, and vain has been the search to find out any branch of the church which had not fallen into one or the other of these heresies. It is true that ingenious men have endeavored to find a loop-hole, and prove a regular descent from the apostles; but the rent has only been made worse; for the only straw they had to catch at was the Albigenses or Waldenses; and I have never heard that any one could trace them further than the tenth century, when they were founded by Claudius but took the name of Waldenses from Peter Waldo, who joined them and became their leader in the year 1160; and greatly improved their discipline, and introduced a more rational system. But it is the easiest matter in the world to prove that they had become corrupt, for Wall says, there was division among them about the year 1150. One sect declared against the baptism of infants, but the main body rejected their opinions, and they were soon silenced.-The prophet has said, if any man thinks that infants need baptism, he is in the gall of bitterness. Besides, sir, I contend that had they been the church of Christ they would have needed no reform by Waldo, for it must have been a perfect system. And now I ask the question, Was there a pure church on the face of the earth, in the twelfth century? I answer, No. Then, sir, shall we begin to mend this old garment? Why, the rent will but be worse. Seeing that the fountain is corrupt, shall we begin to purify the stream? or shall we make good the tree first, before we look for good fruit? Job asks the question, Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? and then he gives the answer-No one.
Seeing that the church has been disorganized and altogether overcome, and the church of Rome (from whence they all sprang,) is acknowledged to be the mother of harlots, we might be able to find out her daughters without much trouble. I was a little amused some months since, by two discussionists, one of the church of Rome, and the other the church of England, when the latter told him that his church (the Romans) was the mother of harlots. It seemed to me something like a female coming home after having played the harlot, and branding her mother with her own infamy: it was too bad.
In the church, as established by Christ and his apostles, men received the Holy Ghost, which caused them to dream dreams, see visions, and prophecy; and they could not be carried about with every wind of doctrine; and the gift of the Holy Ghost was as essential to the church as breath to the body, for that alone was to lead them into all truth; and I contend that this blessing was lost in the very earliest ages; for that iniquity abounded in every branch of the church, I presume no one will have the hardihood to deny; and the Holy Ghost could not abide in the midst of sin and corruption. If this blessing was lost, (as it was) could any man who saw the need of it, take upon himself to restore it? surely not. Can any man, or all men, bring back or restore that which has been taken from the world? As well might they endeavor to cast a cord around Orion and drag him to the earth. Their arms are too feeble, till God himself shall arise, and again confer that power on man, and covenant that the Holy Ghost shall descend on whomsoever they lay their hands; and then, sir, we
shall again have dreams, and visions, and healings, and the blessings of the gospel, and our glad hearts shall dance for joy, though the world may say all manner of evil against us. This part of the subject makes the blood flow quickly through my veins, for I know that God has restored what man could not, namely, the holy priesthood, according to his word.
Your affectionate brother,
From the Boston (Mass.) Bee.
What Do The Mormons Believe.
This is a question often asked, and the following sketch from the pen of Elder Adams, the big gun of Mormonism in these parts, will throw some light upon the subject:-
A sketch of the Rise, Progress and Faith, of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was first organized in the state of New York, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, on the sixth day of April. At its organization, it consisted of six members. The first instruments of its organization were Joseph Smith, Jun. and Oliver Cowdery, who received their authority and priesthood, or apostleship, by direct revelation from God-by the voice of God-by the ministering of angels-and by the Holy Ghost.-They claim no authority whatever from antiquity, they never received baptism nor ordination from any religious system which had previously existed; but being commissioned from on high, they first baptized each other, and then commenced to minister its ordinances to others. The first principle of Theology as held by this church, is faith in God the Eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who verily was crucified for the sins of the world, and who rose from the dead on the third day, and is now seated on the right hand of God as a mediator, and in the Holy Ghost who bears record of them the same to-day as yesterday, and forever. The second principle is Repentance towards God; that is, all men who believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, are required to turn away from their sins, to cease from their Evil Deeds, and to come humble before the throne of grace with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The third principle is Baptism by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for the remission of sins with the promise of the Holy Ghost, to all who believe and obey the gospel. The fourth principle is the laying on of the hands in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This ordinance is to be administered by the apostles or elders of the church, upon all those who are baptized into the church. Through these several steps of faith and obedience, man is made partaker of the Holy Ghost, and numbered with the children of God. Through this process man is adopted into the church and kingdom of God, as one of his saints; his name is then enrolled in the book of the names of the righteous, and it then becomes his duty to watch, to pray, to deal justly, and to meet together with the saints as oft as circumstances will admit of it; and with them to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the broken body, and shed blood of Jesus Christ; and in short, to continue faithful unto the end, in all the duties which are enjoined by the law of Christ. Fifth, it is the duty and privilege of the saints thus organized upon the everlasting gospel, to believe in, and enjoy all the gifts, powers and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit. Such for instance, as the gifts of revelation, prophesy, visions, the ministry of angels, healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, the working of miracles, and in short all the gifts as mentioned in scripture, or as enjoyed by the ancient saints.
This is a brief outline of the doctrine of this church, and we believe that it is the only system of doctrine which God ever revealed to man in a gospel dispensation, and the only system which can be maintained by the New Testament.
Now as far as all other modern religious systems differ from the foregoing principles, so far we disfellowship them. We neither recognize their priesthood, nor ordinances as divine. But at the same time we wish well to the individuals of all societies; we believe that many of them are sincere, and that they have the right to enjoy their religious opinions in peace. We do not wish to persecute any people for their religion. But we wish to instruct them in those principles which we consider to be right, as far as they are willing to receive instruction, but no farther. We also believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are true; and that they are designed for our profit and learning, and that all mystical and private interpretation of them ought to be done away;-that the prophecies, and doctrine, the covenants and promises contained in them have a literal application, according to the most plain, easy and simple meaning of the language in which they are written. We believe that the scriptures now extant to not contain all the sacred writings which God ever gave to man, for it is easily demonstrated, that they contain but a small portion indeed of the things which God has made known to our race, for it is evident that a communication has been kept open between
God and man from the days of Adam to the present day, among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people; except such communication has been withheld by reason of transgression. Thousands of communications were received during the progress of these writings, besides those which are written in it, and thousands of communications have been received since the Bible was completed. Thousands of communications, and in other countries remote from the scenes where the Bible was written. And in short the Holy Ghost is a spirit of revelation and prophecy, and wherever it has been enjoyed by mankind, there communications from God have been received.
We therefore believe in the Book of Mormon, which is an ancient American record lately discovered, containing a sketch of the history, prophecies, and doctrine of the ancient nations who inhabited this country. And we also believe in many communications which God has been pleased to make us in the rise and progress of this church, as he has often revealed his word to us, by visions, by dreams, by angels, by his own voice and by the Holy Spirit of prophecy and revelation; and lastly, we believe that God will continue to reveal himself to us until all things are revealed concerning the past, present, and future; until we have come in possession of all knowledge, intelligence or truth, which is in existence. We believe that the Jews and all the house of Israel will soon be gathered home to their own lands, from all the countries where they have been dispersed, and that they will become one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, never more to be divided or overcome, and that they will all be brought to the knowledge of God, and will become a holy nation. We also believe that Jesus Christ will come in person, in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and all the saints with him to reign on the earth a thousand years, and that he will destroy the wicked from the earth by terrible judgments at the time of his coming. We also believe that the saints will rise from the dead at this second coming, and that they will live and reign on the earth one thousand years. We do not believe that the wicked will rise from the dead until the thousand years are ended, but that their resurrection is after the millenium [millennium] and connected with the last judgment. We further believe that the restoration of Israel and Judah, and the second advent of Messiah are near at hand, and that the generation now lives who will witness the fulfilment [fulfillment] of these great events, and that the Lord has raised up the Church of Latter Days Saints, and has set the truth in order among them as a commencement of the great restoration. For further particulars as to our doctrine and principles, I refer the reader to a work entitled The Voice of Warning, which is particularly designed as an introduction to our faith and doctrine. I must, however, before leaving the subject, contradict certain reports which are in circulation concerning our principles in regard to property. It is a current report, and often credited by those who have no acquaintance with our society, that we hold our property in common. This is a base falsehood without a shadow of truth.-The members of this church have ever held their property individually, the same as other societies, with the exception of that which they freely give for the use of the society, to minister to the wants of the poor, and for the building of houses of worship, &c. The property thus given is managed by proper officers, who render a strict account for all their incomes and expenditures, and who have no right to apply one shilling for any other purpose than that for which it is given.
Having given this brief sketch of our religious principles, we will now proceed to our account of the rise and progress of the church until this present time. After the church was organized as stated in the foregoing, they gradually increased in numbers from that time until June, 1831; the whole church numbered near two thousand. A general conference was then held in Kirtland, Ohio; and was attended by something like sixty of our preachers. From this time until 1835 it rapidly spread throughout all the United States of North America, insomuch [inasmuch] that in 1836 branches of the church and general conferences had been organized throughout this vast republic, and at the present time the number amounts to over 50,000. In the latter part of the same year it was introduced into Toronto, Upper Canada, when it soon spread through that province; and in 1837, several of the elders sailed to England, under the direction of O. Hyde and H. C. Kimball, where they soon baptized between one and two thousand; from that time the work of the Lord has rapidly spread through England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and we have now flourishing societies in the principle towns and cities of Great Britain; numbering over twenty thousand*. This glorious message has also spread into Germany, a part of France, and reached even Constantinople, Jerusalem, the East Indies, and islands of the seas.-It is still spreading in every country where it is known, and we anticipate a time not far distant, when a knowledge of the great work which the Lord has set his hand to do in these
- About ten thousand.-ED. Times and Seasons
last days will be enjoyed by all the nations of the earth, for to this end was it sent into the world. The apostles and elders of this church have a special mission to fulfil [fulfill] to every nation, kindred, tongue and people under heaven, and this is the gospel of the kingdom which was to be preached for a testimony unto all nations, and then shall the son of man come. If the people oppose this great mission, it will only injure themselves; it will not hinder the rolling forth of the work of God, or the fulfilment [fulfillment] of this purposes, for he has set his had [hand] a second time to bring about the restoration of Israel, with the fulnes [fullness] of the Gentiles.
From the Boston (Mass.) Bee.
Mr. Editor, Sir-As you have (in justice) given the Mormons a chance to defend their principles from the attacts [attacks] of those who are ignorant of its true tendency, and some who from self interest, or what is worse, join in the cry of the hounds and huntsmen against the flying and defenceless [defenseless] stag-for no other reason under heaven than because they see others do it. I think if they reflect for an instant on the unmanly, despotic and unjust principle of persecuting the innocent, without knowing the 'why and wherefore'-I say if our calumniators reflect, they will say you have done what justice and honor requires of man-given us a weapon to defend (what is dearer to us than life) 'the immortal part of man,' our reputation.
I thought myself (three weeks ago) an unchangeable infidel, and lived with a family that some of its members were of the Mormon faith. I had an opportunity of witnessing their private meetings, and every thing connected with them. I have heard General Bennett's lectures, and left not a stone unturned to find its character. I have argued with their elders on the truth of the Bible, and ridiculed their belief with every argument of science, philosophy and convictions of common sense, and accounted for their revelations and miracles as common effect, from a common cause-the works of 'a mind diseased.' Yet I have always given them credit for honesty, from the very fact of their suffering for principle's sake. Show me a christian denomination in existence that are so liberal in their principles as the 'poor deluded Mormons.' They believe that every honest man, who acts up to the principle of reflection, and obeys those dictates of conscience that show him wrong from right, will be saved, no matter what his belief-whether Turk, Jew or Heathen. And surely if God is just, he will not condemn a man for his belief, when he thinks from his heart he acts right.
The Mormons do not want persons to believe all that they do, as is falsely affirmed-they do not want to ram Joe Smith or revelation down people's throats, without their knowing for themselves: all they want is to obey the words of Christ for the remission of sin. They want to terrify no man into belief. They do not say it is sinful to read Shakspeare [Shakespeare] or Byron or any book that you get an exalted idea from, as your judgment (if you have any) will point out the good from the bad. Let those who contend that the writings of these giants of genius have an immortal tendency, remember there never yet was a general good without a partial evil.
We are charged with advocating a plurality of wives, and common property. Now this is as false as the many other ridiculous charges which are brought against us. No sect have a greater reverence for the laws of matrimony, or the rights of private property, and we do what others do not, practice what we preach.
A conversation I had with a friend, soon after joining the Mormons, will strongly illustrate public opinion, and show in what light men ought to be held, who condemn without knowing for what, and have only the same reason to offer as Bardolph had for running away-'faith I ran when I saw others run.'
'Mr. R-, why did you join the Mormons?'
'Because I thought they were right.'
'Well, I never thought you were a fool until now.'
'And why do you think I am a fool now?'
'Because you joined the Mormons.'
'How does that prove me a fool?'
'Because none but fools would join them.
'Why do you think so?'
'Because every one says so.'
'Do you know any of their principles?'
'No-but I know they cannot be good.'
'How do you know?'
'Because every one says so.'
'Do you think I am dishonest?'
'I know you are not.'
'Well, before I was a Mormon, I did not believe in God or devil; yet I was considered an upright man-and now as I believe as you do, in Christ and the remission of sins, you call me a fool; do you not think I can judge for myself?'
'I know you can.'
'Why then do you blame me for using my judgment.'
'Because every one says they are humbugs, and they are scouted out of every place.'
'Then your reason is this: because you see a dog running down the street, with an appendage
to his tail, and people shouting and pelting him with stones, you pick up a stone also and pelt and shout after the poor animal; and you call me a fool, because I know the master of the ill-treated dog, and strive to remove the appendage, and protect the poor brute from such treatment.'
It is thus we are condemned without a hearing, and persecuted without a cause.
As a parting word, I would suggest a sentence which no sophistry can refute; and let our calumniators remember they are the words of Christ. 'Judge not, lest ye be judged.'
I remain, sir, your obliged servant, H. R.
For the Times and Seasons.
The views of a lady between the hours of baptism and confirmation, on reading the 66 page of the Book of Mormon, 2d chap. 2d book. The first song given her in Zion.
How lustre shone on every line; The holy priesthood to unfold,
How deep the council, how divine And lead me forth to Israel's fold.
The Spirit testified in me,
Of Joseph's bow, and Judah's tree. To worship God's anointed Son
With whom the priesthood first begun;
Mine eyes have open'd to behold, The "Book of Covenants" to reveal,
The wonders I have never told; The secret of the seven seals.
My nat'ral sight he quickly gave
When rising from the liquid grave. The "Book of Mormon" greater still,
The Jewish records to fulfill;
My useful specks were laid aside Their hidden treasures to unlock,
When I became a wedded bride; And lead forth Joseph like a flock.
For long espoused I have been,
And called Messiah Lord and King, With Moses' rod, and Aaron's too,
To preach the Covenants old and new;
But O! alas, I little knew And in Aaronic grandeur clad
Of the great promise to the Jew; Like Israels Elders though a lad.
And less of Joseph's fruitful bough,
Or of Manassah's horns or how The mighty kingdom to restore
As in the ancient days of yore;
With Ephraims thousands God could bring In vain may babels harlots try
This silly dove to sit and sing- There doctrines false to magnify.
Full twenty five long trying years
I met the tide with all my fears, The prophet and the Spokesman join
To prove the records, both divine;
And would not yield to any priest, The "Book of Mormon" every line
In all the regions of the East; With Judah's record dot h combine.
Nor set my name to creed or form,
But stood the fury of their storm The book of Covenants crowns them all
And loudly doth the angels call,
Under a broken Covenant's woe To order all my loyal sons;
Long had I grappled with the foe; My sanctified my chosen ones.
Tost [tossed] like a lonely Autumn leaf
And knew not where to find relief. And like a Grecian Phalanx stand
Until they reach the promis'd land,
Joy to the day-peace to the hour, Who bravely fought and bravely fell
When Zion's Herald came with power; As "old Thermop'læ's" story tells.
January 21, 1838.
The Times and Season, is edited by John Taylor. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, by John Taylor & Wilford Woodruff
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