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Times and Seasons/6/8
Times and Seasons: Volume 6, Number 8
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 6
|Number 7||Number 9|
Times and Seasons: Volume 6, Number 8
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume VI. No. 8.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. May 1, 1845||[Whole No. 116.|
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
About this date the brethren in Zion received the following communication from Governor Dunklin, in reply to their petition of September 28th.
City of Jefferson, Executive }
Department, Oct. 19, 1833. }
To Edward Partridge, W. W. Phelps, Isaac Morley, John Corrill, A. S. Gilbert, John Whitmer, and others:-
Your memorial soliciting my interposition against violence threatened you, and redress for injuries received by a portion of the citizens of Jackson county, has been received, and its contents duly considered. I should think myself unworthy the confidence with which I have been honored by my fellow citizens, did I not promptly employ all the means which the Constitution and laws have placed at my disposal, to avert the calamities with which you are threatened.
Ours is a Government of laws, to them we all owe obedience, and their faithful administration is the best guarantee for the enjoyment of our rights.
No citizen, nor number of citizens, have a right to take the redress of their grievances, whether real or imaginary, into their own hands: Such conduct strikes at the very existence of society, and subverts the foundation on which it is based. Not being willing to persuade myself that any portion of the citizens of the State of Missouri are so lost to a sense of these truths as to require the exercise of force, in order to ensure a respect for them.
After advising with the Attorney General, and exercising my best judgment, I would advise you to make a trial of the efficacy of the laws; the Judge of your circuit is a conservator of the peace. If an affidavit is made before him by any of you, that your lives are threatened and you believe them in danger, it would be his duty to have the offenders apprehended and bind them to keep the peace. Justices of the peace in their respective counties have the same authority, and it is made their duty to exercise it. Take, then, this course: obtain a warrant, let it be placed in the hands of the proper officer, and the experiment will be tested whether the laws can be peaceably executed or not, In the event they cannot be, and that fact is officially notified to me, my duty will require me to take such steps as will enforce a faithful execution of them.
With regard to the injuries you have sustained by destruction of property, &c., the law is open to redress, I cannot permit myself to doubt that the courts will be open to you, nor that you will find difficulty in procuring legal advocates to sue for damages therein.
Your ob't servant,
W. W. PHELPS, ESQ., Independence, Mo."
Immediately on receipt of the Governor's letter, the members of the church generally, (though they had lain idle since the outrage in July,) began to labor as usual and build and set in order their houses, gardens, &c.
Tuesday the 29th of October, we took our departure from Mount Pleasant, on our return to Kirtland and arrived at Buffalo, New York, on the 31st.
While we were thus pursuing our journey the brethren in Zion were busily engaged in devising means of redress for their grievances, and having consulted with four lawyers from Clay county, then attending court in Independence, they received from them the following letter on the day written; which I will copy entire, that the principle by which the lawyers of this generation are actuated may be recorded, as well as the difficulties the Saints had to encounter, in executing the Governor's letter.
"Independence, Oct. 30, 1833.
Gentlemen;-The first thing necessary to be done, under circumstances like ours, is to ascertain and fix upon the amount of fee to be paid, and to secure the payment thereof by the necessary papers; and then the responsibility of advising rests upon us. We are now laboring under all the disadvantages of an engagement, without any of its advantages; it therefore becomes us to know whether we can agree as to the fee, or not; and that we should be paid, too, according to the situation in which we place ourselves. We have been doing a practice here, among these people, to a considerable extent, and by the engagement, we must expect to lose the greatest part of it, which will be to all of us a considerable loss; besides that the amount involved must be very considerable, and the amount involved must be generally the criterion of the fee. Taking all these matters into consideration, we propose
to you to bring all the suits you may want brought, and attend to them jointly throughout, for the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars each, making for all four of us the sum of one thousand dollars.
This may seem to be a large sum for a fee for lawyers in this country, but the circumstances here involved make it necessary . This matter must be attended to in the first place, and then such advice, for the present, as may seem to be dictated by wisdom, and be necessary, we will give you; and in the proper time we will bring the suits. If this proposal suits, you will please execute notes, and send them to us: and if not agreed to apprise us by letter immediately, for we can be engaged on the opposite side in all probability. We prefer to bring your suits, as we have been threatened by the mob, we wish to show them we disregard their empty bravadoes.
DONIPHAN, & ATCHISON.
As a dernier resort, the brethren accepted the foregoing proposition, and Brothers Phelps and Partridge gave their note, of one thousand dollars, endorsed by Gilbert and Whitney. No sooner had the news spread among the mob, than they began to congregate and prepare for battle.
Friday, November 1st 1833, left Buffalo, New York, at eight o'clock A. M., and arrived at my house in Kirtland on Monday the 4th ten A. M., and found my family well according to the promise of the Lord in the revelation of Oct. 12th, for which I felt to thank my heavenly Father.
Thursday night the 31st of October gave the Saints in Zion abundant proof, that no pledge, written or verbal, was longer to be regarded; for on that night, between forty and fifty in number, many of whom were armed with guns, proceeded against a branch of the church west of Big-Blue, and unroofed, and partly demolished, ten dwelling houses; and in the midst of the shrieks and screams of women and children, whipped and beat in a savage and brutal manner, several of the men; and with their horrid threats, frightened women and children into the wilderness. Such of the men as could iescape [escape], fled for their lives; for very few of them had arms, neither were they embodied; and they were threatened with death if they made any resistance; such therefore as could not escape by flight, received a pelting by rocks, and a beating with guns, sticks, &c.
On Friday the 1st of November, women and children sallied forth from their gloomy retreat, to contemplate with heart rending anguish, the ravages of a ruthless mob, in the mangled bodies of their husbands, and in the destruction of their houses, and some of their furniture.-Houseless and unprotected by the arm of the civil law in Jackson County, the dreary month of November staring them in the face, and loudly proclaiming an inclement season, at hand; the continual threats of the mob, that they would drive out every Mormon from the county; and the inability of many to remove, because of their poverty, caused an anguish of heart indescribable.
On Friday night, the 1st of November, a party of the mob, proceeded to attack a branch of the church at the prairie, about twelve or fourteen miles from the village. Two of their numbers were sent in advance, as spies, viz. Robert Johnson, and one Harris, armed with two guns, and three pistols. They were discovered by some of the Saints, and without the least injury being done to them, said (mob) Johnson, struck Parley P. Pratt with the breech of his gun, over the head; after which they were taken and detained till morning; which it was believed, prevented a general attack of the mob that night. In the morning, they were liberated without receiving the least injury.
The same night (Friday,) another party in Independence, commenced stoning houses, breaking down doors and windows, destroying furniture, &c. This night, the brick part, attached to the dwelling house of A. S. Gilbert, was partly pulled down, and the windows of his dwelling broken in with brick-bats, and rocks; while a gentleman stranger lay sick with a fever in his house.
The same night, three doors of the store of Messrs. Gilbert and Whitney, were split open: and after midnight, the goods lay scattered in the streets, such as calicoes, handkerchiefs, shawls, cambricks, &c. An express came from the village after midnight to a party of their men, who had embodied about half a mile from the village, for the safety of their lives; stating that the mob were tearing down houses and scattering the goods of the store in the streets. The main body of the mob fled, at the approach of this company. One Richard McCarty was caught in the act of throwing rocks and brick-bats into the doors, while the goods lay strung around him in the streets and was immediately taken before Samuel Weston Esq.; and a complaint was then made to said Weston, and a warrant requested, that said McCarty might be secured; but said Weston refused to do any thing in the case at that time. Said McCarty was then liberated.
The same night, some of their houses in the village, had long poles thrust through the shutters and sash into the rooms of defenceless [defenseless] women
and children, from whence their husbands and fathers had been driven by the dastardly attacks of the mob, which were made by ten, fifteen or twenty men upon a house at a time.
Saturday, the second of November, all the families of the Saints, in the village, moved about half a mile out, with most of their goods; and embodied to the number of thirty, for the preservation of life and personal effects. This night, a party from the village, met a party from the west of the Blue, and made an attack upon a branch of the church, located at the Blue, about six miles from the village; here they tore the roof from one dwelling, and broke open another house, found the owner David Bennet, sick in bed, whom they beat most inhumanly [inhumanely], swearing they would blow out his brains, and discharged a pistol, the ball of which cut a deep gash across the top of his head. In this skirmish, a young man of the mob, was shot in the thigh; but, by which party remains yet to be determined.
The next day, Sunday Nov. 3d, four of the church, viz: Joshua Lewis, Hiram Page, and two others, were despatched [dispatched] for Lexington, to see the circuit judge, and obtain a peace warrant. Two called on Esq. Silvers, who refused to issue one, on account, as he has declared of his fears of the mob. This day many of the citizens, professing friendship, advised the Saints to clear from the county, as speedily as possible; for the Saturday night affray had enraged the whole county, and they were determined to come out on Monday, and massacre indiscriminately; and in short it was proverbial among the mob, that "Monday would be a bloody day."
Monday came, and a large party of the mob gathered at the Blue, took the ferry boat, belonging to the church, threatened lives, &c. But they soon abandoned the ferry, and went to Wilson's store, about one mile west of the Blue. Word had previously gone to a branch of the church, several miles west of the Blue, that the mob were destroying property, on the east side of the Blue, and the sufferers there wanted help, to preserve their lives and property. Nineteen men volunteered, and started for their assistance; but discovering, that fifty or sixty of the mob, had gathered at said Wilson's, they turned back.
At this time two small boys passed on their way to Wilson's, who gave information to the mob, that the Mormons were on the road west of them. Between forty and fifty of the mob immediately started with guns in pursuit; after riding about two or two and a half miles, they discovered them, when the said company of nineteen, immediately dispersed, and fled in different directions. The mob hunted them, turning their horses into a corn field, belonging to the Saints, searching their corn fields and houses, threatening women and children that they would pull down their houses and kill them if they did not tell where the men had fled.
Thus, they were employed hunting the men, and threatening the women, until a company of thirty of the Saints, from the prairie, armed with seventeen guns, made their appearance.
The former company of nineteen had dispersed, and fled, and but one or two of them had returned to take part in the subsequent battle. On the approach of the latter company of thirty men, some of the mob cried, "fire, God damn ye, fire." Two or three guns were then fired by the mob, which were returned by the other party without loss of time. This company is the same, that is represented by the mob, as having gone forth in the evening of the battle bearing the olive branch of peace. The mob retreated early after the first fire, leaving some of their horses in Whitmer's corn field; and two of their number, Hugh L. Brazeale and Thomas Linvill, dead on the ground. Thus fell H. L. Brazeale, one who had been heard to say, "with ten fellows, I will wade to my knees in blood, but that I will drive the Mormons from Jackson County." The next morning the corpse of said Brazeale was discovered on the battle ground with a gun by his side. Several were wounded on both sides, but none mortally, except one Barber, on the part of the Saints, who expired the next day.-This battle was fought about sun-set, Monday Nov. the 4th; and the same night, runners were despatched [dispatched] in every direction under pretence [pretense] of calling out the militia; spreading as they went, every rumor calculated to alarm and excite the unwary; such as, that the Mormons had taken Independence, and the Indians had surrounded it, being colleagued together, &c.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM THE ISLAND OF TOOBOUI, SOCIETY GROUP, DATED,
September 17th, 1844.
My Dear Wife:
I doubt not but you will say "now my husband has got the desire of his heart," when I tell you the six first persons I have adopted into the kingdom by baptism are sailors, and perhaps you will ask, did you hammer the rust off them any? I will answer, could you see them on their knees, and hear their humble petitions, and the sincerity with which they thank the Lord for so ordering events, that I have been so casually thrown on
this Island, and have been instrumental in his hands of showing them the way of life and salvation, I doubt not but you would say, "there has been a great change wrought some how."
I told you in my last, dated July 6th, I had baptized one; on the 22nd July I baptized nine more, four Americans, one Scotchman, four Natives; two of them are the man and wife with whom I live. On the 29th July, I proceeded to organize a branch of the church, which we call the Tooboui branch of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints; (take particular notice) consisting of eleven members, all in good standing.
On the 5th of August, I administered the sacrament: for wine I substituted cocoa nut milk, that was a pure beverage, which never had come to the open air, till we broke the nut for that purpose. On the 8th of August, I baptized another. The inhabitants have recently held a meeting to regulate Government affairs, among other things, they resolved to build me a house; they seem determined on my staying here, notwithstanding I say much about the gathering.
Were I to take up my residence any where out of the body of the church, I could not find I believe, a more delightful spot than this;-the climate is beautiful: never so cold as to have frost though in July and August it is as cold as it can be, and not freeze-January and February are the warmest months, though the heat is never so scorching as some days we have at home.
There are only two objections to the Island; in summer the mosquitos [mosquitoes] are innumerable;-in winter the fleas are equally plenty: but we have means to guard against them.
Before I came here King Tommatooah, buried his wife; on the 14th July I married him, to Toupah, his Queen; he has been very friendly with me ever since I came here. Perhaps you will ask, how do you enjoy yourself so far from former friends and home? I answer, sometimes when I get to thinking about home I feel that I could leave all and return as quick as possible: a few evenings since I fell into such a train of thoughts, and told my brethren I went to bed, fell asleep and dreamed, I had deserted my post and got to Nauvoo; the people all knew I had left without counsel, and they treated me with coolness and neglect;-this mortified my feelings so much that I never thought of my family; I saw Br. Young, he was busily employed in sending a company of elders to Europe; I felt an anxiety to go with them; but I had deserted one station, and they never intended to send me to another. I then thought I would go back to the one I had left, but I had no means to get back, or to help myself with; I thought my shame was greater than I could bear, and with these reflections I awoke.
I was sometime before I could make out where I was; at length I found myself in bed on Tooboui, and felt quite happy, I have been perfectly contented since. I have lived at Mattaoora since I came here, till the 23d of August. I then removed to this place called Mahoo; this is the place where we first landed.
The second Sabbath after I came, the church came over to visit me, and I baptized seven more, all natives and heads of families. I administered the sacrament and me [we] felt that we were greatly blest.
Last Saturday a vessel came on the other side of the Island, and Br. Hill sent me word she was from Tahita. I started to see her, in hopes to get letters from my two brethren there; but when I found they had none, I was sorely disappointed, and vexed; I have never received but two letters from them since they left me here; there has been no less than eight vessels here going to Tahita, and I have sent letters by them all, and Br. Hill near a half dozen; and we get no answers; why it is we do not know, if they are not in the fault, we wish them to clear themselves.
It is now a year, since I have heard a syllable from home, and three months since I have heard from the brethren at Tahita. The last mentioned vessel brought word that there were missionaries coming here from Tahita and would "play hell" with me for breaking into their sheepfold. I returned to my place, told Br. Hill if any thing of importance transpired, to send me word.
There came a runner before my morning discourse was ended, informing me that the missionaries had arrived. In the evening came a letter that they had been on shore and given the poor Mormons a tremendous thrashing;-christened some infants, told all the lies they knew about Br. Joseph and the church, and had gone on board again; that they were to be on shore the next day, and I must meet them.
The next morning I went over, and found them in the house I had kept school in learning the natives to sing. Br. Bowen was acquainted with them. I went in with my church, and was introduced to them, I reached out my hand they said, no; we do not give you the hand till we are better acquainted. I sat down where I could look them full in the face, which I did, as if they had been the first specimens
of the human family I had ever seen. I had heard so much of their iniquity, I wanted to see how they looked; to me they looked guilty indeed! The fourth, by the name of More, is a hot headed fellow against the Mormons; he got so enraged the day before, he fairly danced about it. Howe at length turned to me and very sanctimoniously remarked, I understand you have come among these Islands in the capacity of a preacher. I answered in the affirmative; and what do you preach? The sacred truths of the Bible, I replied. Said he I suppose you are aware that so many years ago the London Missionary Society established a mission here at a very vast expense; the whole stress was on the vast expense; the cost of translating the bible, &c. Well said I, and now are you opposed to having the bible preached after you have accomplished the translation? He said no; he had understood I had another book I preached from. I told him it was a mistake, and went on to tell him what it was; a long dialogue ensued in which they all questioned me on the fundamental principles of the gospel, and they had to drop several points they introduced for fear of trapping themselves; at length they told me they found no fault with me as far as the bible was concerned, but the Book of Mormon they had read, and said it was a bad book. I told them to show me some specimens of bad doctrine in it; they turned to the place where it says, "Adam fell that man might be," they flounced greatly that; I soon succeeded in proving it was not contrary to bible doctrine. Well, they said they could find a worse place then that; so they turned to where it says, "Adam had to know misery before he knew happiness.' This they spouted upon me in a great rage.-I referred them to the temptations of the Savior, his sufferings that he might be perfected; what, said they, do you suppose all the angels in heaven, knew sin before they knew happiness? as for all of them I could not say, but if the bible is true we know some of them did; for John tells of one he saw who would not let him worship him because he was of his fellow servants the prophets. They did not know what to make of me; but I suppose they thought I was a dry bone to pick a dinner off any how.
I then began to question them about their belief in the bible, and the coming of the Son of God the second time: contrasted this with the dispensation of Noah, told them the world was now being warned, and the consequences that would ensue, if men did not give heed.-I then raised my right hand towards heaven and called on, all the heavenly hosts to witness the testimony I bore; that I knew Br. Joseph Smith to be a good man and a prophet of the Lord: and I roared on them like a lion-I believe my eyes flashed, for I felt as if I could swallow them all at one mouthful. The spirit of the Lord rested upon me; it threw them into confusion, they knew not what to say. They finally told me as long as I preached the truth they would pray that I might be upheld, but if I preached error they should pray it might fall to the ground. Then I said, our prayers will be united.
I let them have a Book of Mormon, a Voice of Warning, and O. Pratt's pamphlet on finding the plates. I told them I was happy to see them manifest a better spirit; and reminded them how they had abused me and my cause the day before. This they attempted to deny but I was able to prove it. They said Brother Joseph was in jail for adultery. Br. Hill knew too many of their tricks to be fooled; he replied, if imprisonment was the penalty for adultery here, there are not many of you who would be at liberty to-day to my certain knowledge. They did not deny it, but one said there were many things they had cause to regret.
We separated-they shook me by the hand with the cordiality of old friends. The natives felt hurt for me when they saw them at first refuse to shake hands with me. King Tommatooah told me not to lay it to heart, for they were going home to England, and would not return; and now is our time to supply them with missionaries.
The natives took my part, and defended the cause with great boldness when I was not present. Br. Hill I have adopted in Br. Hanks, stead: he is one of the honorable men of the earth-intelligent and kind. I have great reason to esteem him:-my American brethren are all extremely kind and willing to divide to the last with me.
The native family with whom I live are much attached to me; where I go, they go, and where I stay, they stay; they consider all they have is mine.
The woman was once married to a Boston ship carpenter; he died, and this native man is her second husband; they are good people:-while she lived with her first husband, she learned to make and mend shirts, wash, starch and iron. She is naturally ingenious, They all talk much of coming to America, and often ask where is the ship to go in? It is a spiritual feast to me to meet them in prayer meetings, and hear them pray for Br. Joseph and the church, and with all simplicity thank the Lord for sending me among them.
When the brethren get their vessel done,
which will be a year from this time, if we should not hear from you, we think of going to Columbia river, and so cross the Rocky Mountains to Nauvoo. If you wish to know when I am coming home, you must ask Br. Young.-
I see nothing in the way of sending a host of elders-the islands all want teachers.
Our long imprisonment on the Timmoleon, (for I can never call it any thing else,) served to form attachments among the passengers, which will be long remembered. Dr. Winslow and his wife treated me with great respect; made me several presents-likewise the captain made me some presents-and told the young king if he did not use me well, he would come back there and take me away.-Dr. Winslow told me if I wished to leave the island, and had not means, I might draw on him at Tahita, for any amount I wanted, and he would meet the demand: and if I could never conveniently refund it, he would give it to me. Mrs. Winslow is a superior woman-We parted with much friendship, and from Tahita they sent me a long letter; that the wars there had thwarted their plans, that their goods where reshipped for the Sandwich Islands, and urged me to visit them there before I returned to America.
Mr. Lincoln, I understand, is baptized at Tahita; he was one of our passengers, and a fine man too.
And now, my dear family, I must bid you adieu: could I get a letter from you, it would do me more good than all the letters I ever had in my life. Often at the dusk of evening when all is still and silent, but the distant roar of breakers upon the coral reef, do I take a long and lonely walk upon the beautiful sand beach that skirts the island; and as I gaze upon the broad ocean that separates us, my mind is wafted to Nauvoo, to my home and fireside; and as I gaze upon the happy circle, I ask-has grim death made any inroads there? I am lead to say there are none gone; for I committed you to the care of my heavenly Father when I left you, and when I have done so, I have never been disappointed.
Give my love to all the Saints, and enlist their prayers, that when I have faithfully discharged the trust committed to me, I may return with the laurels of an approving conscience. That we may be preserved till we all meet again to praise the name of the Lord together, is the prayer of your affectionate husband and father,
TO MRS. LOUISA PRATT, NAUVOO.
Princes Grove, Peoria county, Illinois, April 26, 1845.
A conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was held at the house of P. Brunson, pursuant to previous appointment. Elder John Sigler was called to the chair and John T. Guthrie was appointed clerk. Conference was opened by singing;-prayer by Elder Hitchcock. Elder Sigler then arose and returned his sincere thanks to the conference for the confidence reposed in him, and was aware of the responsibility attending his situation as presiding officer of the conference, and also every member composing the same, Elder Sigler preached upon the subject of the kingdom of God and was followed by Elder P. Brunson who made some very appropriate remarks upon the subject of the gospel. On motion conference adjourned until to-morrow morning 11 o'clock.
Conference convened agreeable to adjournment, and was called to order by singing and prayer. After which Elder Sigler arose and preached upon the subject of the kingdom again, in continuation of his subject the day before and was followed by Augustus Richards, who very highly approbated the course which Elder Sigler had taken in explaning [explaining] to the auditory [audience?] the consequences which must follow unbelief. A representation of the several branches composing said conference was then called for.
The Toulon branch Stark county, returned eighteen members all in good standing, three elders, two priests, and one teacher. John Sigler their presiding elder.
Princes Grove branch, Peoria county, returned twelve members. Three elders all in good standing represented by P. Brunson their presiding elder.
On motion resolved that the editor of the Time and Seasons be requested to publish the minutes of this conference.
On motion conference adjourned.
JOHN SIGLER, Pres.
JOHN T. GUTHRIE, Clerk.
Among the many societies, who have recently met in various parts of our country, to celebrate anniversaries, and carry out means for future operations, was the "American Society" which seek to help the Jews. From a New York paper, we select the following:-
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MELIORATING THE CONDITION OF THE JEWS.
The Anniversary was held last evening in
the Broome-street Church. The meeting was opened by prayer, after which the President, Rev. Mr. Milledoller, proceeded to give an interesting account of the history of the Jewish nation, their claims upon the Christian world, and their prospects in the future. From the time of the destruction of the temple in the year 70, they have been without a country, without a ruler, and constantly visited by retributive justice-the fulfilled promises of God It was stated that the Jews have however suffered more than the merciless treatment of man, than they have deserved from any acts they have committed. The prophecies of Scripture were alluded to in stating that the Jews cannot consistently account for rejecting those portions which related to the coming of the Messiah, and which have been so plainly fulfilled.
It is difficult from the scattered state of the Jews to ascertain their actual number, but it is believed to exceed 3,000,000, most of whom still retain and observe the customs and many of the laws of their forefathers. The present condition of the nation is believed to be improving, although their long political subserviency [subservience] has not greatly changed. In England and on the Continent of Europe many of the disabilities are being gradually removed, and in this country they have never existed. In all their persecutions the Jews have ever been comforted with the hope of a restoration to their ancient and promised heritage. Various stated periods have been fixed for this important event. Dr. Priestly of England, fixes for the year 1850, and 1866 has been calculated on by many as the "appointed time."-These calculations are of course founded on certain explanations of the prophecies. The claims of the Jew to sympathy and aid, were strongly adverted to. They are the descendants of the "Father of the Faithful" From them have sprung most illustrious men of the world. They have preserved the Old Testament in its purity, and have always revered its precepts-to them we are indebted for its faithful preservation, which has been ever kept as the most sacred treasure. The Jews were alluded to as living witnesses of the truth of Scripture, and as a constant miracle of the providence of God. The signs of the times show a greatly increased interest in the cause of the Jews. The Christians have in many ways exhibited a desire for their conversion, and the Jew himself has shown a ready appreciation of the efforts in his behalf. The actual success of the Society in making converts does not appear to be very great. The receipts of the Society of the past year were $3716, of which $477 were received by legacies. The receipts show an increase of nearly double from those of the previous year. The Society publication, the Jewish Chronicle, has increased in circulation from 800 to 1300. The number of Auxiliary Societies formed during the year has been very encouraging, and much benefit is expected from their efforts.
Several distinguished scholars were present, and addresses were made by Rev. Dr. De Witt, Rev. Mr. Johns of Baltimore, and Rev. Dr. Herschell of England, who has just arrived in this country to prosecute his labors. The plan proposed by the Society to accomplish this object, is in the words of inspiration, "to preach Christ crucified" and it is believed that the showing the simple history of the claims and evidences of its truth, and the zealous efforts of the various Christian churches, will accomplish the object of the Society-the conviction, and consequent melioration of the present Jewish nation."
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
As all men are not equally learned, we take a small extract from the "Book of Denominations," to show how the now prevailing church of England, first came into existence. We live in a day of investigation and trouble, and, to be right, needs investigation, care, and even revelation. The extract reads thus.
"Perhaps there is no church upon earth whose doctrines and constitution are so little understood by the majority of its members as the united church of England and Ireland.-The leading facts in its history are indeed generally known, but what it really believes and teaches, how far it is ecclesiastical and how far secular, and how the one interferes with the other, and how strangely they are frequently amalgamated, to the deterioration of religion and the best interests of the community, very few indeed are competent to determine. The antiquity claimed for the church by a few of its more zealous advocates, on account of some fancied and mysterious connexion [connection] which they pretend to discover subsisting between it and a church more ancient than that of Rome, and purely apostolic in its character, is perfectly ludicrous. Every vestige of such a church vanished before the missionaries of the pope at a very early period of our ecclesiastical history, and at the Reformation there was no church in Christendom that was more entirely popish, tyrannical, and corrupt, than the church of England.
It is said there is no royal road to geometry-but Henry VII, soon convinced the pope and the nation, that he had discovered a truly royal
method of effecting the reformation of religion. It was not by a slow process of instruction, not even by writing a treatise in its favor, as he had once done in opposition to its mightiest champion; his own sovereign dictum achieved in an hour what Wickliffe, and Ridley, and Cranmer might have attempted in vain for a century. Not that there was anything resembling a true and scriptural reformation, effecting by the violent and arbitrary changes which Henry introduced into the Anglican church. Those changes were favorable to the diffusion of evangelical light, and the reformers availed themselves of the opportunity thus afforded them, to imbue the mind of the nation with protestant principles; but Henry was as much a papist as a protestant, persecuted both with equal severity, and had nothing at heart in the zeal which he affected for religion, but humbling the pontiff, and gratifying his own avarice and ambition by seizing the ecclesiastical revenues, and constituting himself instead of his Holiness the Supreme Head of the Church. The clergy was alarmed, and whispered the curses they did not dare to formulate. Henry laughed at their terrors;-despised their combinations, and with an atrocious gaiety, perfectly harmonizing with the general brutality of his character cooly [coolly] said, "I will betake me to their temporalities." He was as good as his word; and it would have been well had he confined himself to the spoilation of monastic and other ecclesiastical revenues. What she lost in wealth, the church might have gained in virtue; and if her mitres and her thrones had been trampled in the dust, her bishops would probably have been wiser and better men, and the successors of the fishermen of Galilee, in emulating the poverty, might have attained to the spirituality of apostolic times. But Henry was resolved to continue the hierarchy in all the wealth and splendor which was compatible with its subserviency [subservience] to his own authority; but to prove to the whole world that, as "Defender of the Faith," he could construct a creed as well as depose the pope, he proceeded to fabricate with all his royal diligence and skill, a summary of Christian doctrine, the most essential article of which, however, seems to have been his own supremacy; for whoever denied this, whether protestant or papist, was sure to suffer in its most appalling form. History may record Henry as the first layman, who took to himself in the ecclesiastical sense of the expression, the title of "Supreme Head of the Church," and which he was not long in realizing; for he forthwith enjoined all preachers to instruct the people to believe the whole Bible, the three creeds, the Apostle's the Nicene and Athanasian, and to interpret all things according to them!"
We shall endeavor to continue these extracts, as far the way of truth may need to show the "old paths," and when and where "the ordinances were changed."
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MAY 1, 1845.
(->) This number of the Times and Seasons has been unavoidably delayed beyond the time of publication, and perhaps one or two numbers more may have to be, but we crave the indulgence of friends and patrons. We are not perfect, and unforeseen difficulties frequently hinder us from performing our intended duties. But grace, patience, and honest intentions, mingled with a little charity, make out what the world calls "popularity"-and so in the end "every man receives his penny."
THE SIGNS FOR MAY.
The world shows evident signs of wo.-Fires, murders, storms, earthquakes, and many other distressing calamities, have become but common or every day occurrencies [occurrences]. Millions of dollars worth of property have been consumed in the last few weeks, and what renders these distressing events more terrific to the watchful mind is, that, in most cases, the fires have commenced accidentally.
We feel truly thankful to our heavenly Father for the "appearances" of his kingdom and coming, and for the "tokens" of the dawning of that happy day, when his will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We are not prepared in this number, to give a brief summary of the "mighty acts of God" among the nations of the earth, as they are enacting before the eyes of man, but, hereafter, we shall do so, in order that the Times and Seasons may contain a faithful history of the last days. The poet said,
"Coming events cast their shadows before," and a discerning man has only to look, to behold!-and so "he that runs may read."
WHO ARE THE CHRISTIAN ISRAELITES?
Joseph H. Moss, one of the Sect thus answers the question in the Boston Transcript:
They are not the unbelieving, or unconverted Israelites, or Jews; neither are they all descendants
of Judah and Benjamin, which two tribes constitute the visible, or known Jews.
But they are descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel which have been lost in the race of the Gentiles for more than 1800 years, and thus have become amalgamated with them.
The Christian Israelites differ from the Jews, by a full and hearty reception of the New Testament, and a firm belief in the divinity of the Mission and Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.-They differ from the Gentiles or Christian, by their observance of the ancient laws, with exception of those parts which stood typical of the offering of the body of Jesus which were bloody sacrifices. These all having been fulfilled in the antitype, they have nothing to do with them. But, the law of circumcision, as given to Abraham 400 years before that given on Sainai [Sinai], they do most sacredly hold and observe, as well as certain other parts of the law, such as wearing the beard, and refrain from meats, &c.-not that they believe the observance of these necessary to the "common salvation," or the salvation of the soul; but as a distinguishing proof between the seed of Israel, and the descendants of the Gentile nations.-And also as a mark or proof of their obedience, that they may be found worthy to come into a full realization of the great promises made to their ancestors, the time for which they believe to be very near.
The church of Christian Israelites has been organized about 25 years. The greatest portion of its members are in different parts of Europe, though there are branches of it in Asia and America. New additions are constantly being made to the church, though as yet it can only be said to be in its infancy.
They have a beautiful sanctuary at Aston, in England, the interior of which is built of polished mahogany. Their singing at the sanctuary is accompanied with a fine band of instrumental music, including a fine organ.-They have a Public Service at the above place every Sunday afternoon, as well as at all other places where there is a branch of the church established.
(->) Who can read the above without bringing to mind that scripture which says-'they that lead my people cause them to err," "Christian Israelites!" we may as well have religious heathens; and what is the use of multiplying divisions, and creating distinctions? There is but one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is but one Savior, leaving for practice one gospel, one faith, one baptism, and one church, and so if ye are not "one" ye are not his.
As to "Israel" we think the prophet Isaiah told the truth, when he said, "for Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect"-I will make thee the head and not the tail. And Ezekiel and John told the truth too, for "Israel" as its true meaning is, will prevail.
For once let us say, that Cain, who went to Nod and taught the doctrine of a "plurality of wives" and the giants who practiced the same iniquity; and Nimrod, who practiced the common stock system, and the Jews, who commenced crossing sea and land to make proselytes without revelation; and the christian sects, who have went all lengths in building up churches and multiplying systems without authority from God,-are all co-workers on the same plan:-when the reward for every man's work is given-this will be the everlasting answer to all sects, sorts, and conditions, from Cain down to Christian Israelites, I NEVER KNEW YOU!
PROPHECY.-The very name of such a thing is a surrender of all pretence [pretense] to evidence; it is the language of insanity! The fetor [fetter] of the charnel-house is not more charged with its admonition to our bodily health, to withdraw from the proximities [proximity] of death, than the cracky sound of the thing is, with warning to our reason, that we are out of the regions of sobriety, wherever it is so much as seriously spoken of: no rational man ever pretended to it.-[Taylor.
(->) The Boston Investigator treated his readers to the above, probably to lessen the idea of revealed religion. But what a lean, lonely touch at the God of revelation! The bare voice of the Jews against themselves,-when Jesus was crucified, was enough; "HIS BLOOD BE ON US!" The destruction of Jerusalem, which followed, their dispersion, and mourning among the nations ever since, carries a proof with it, that he that runs may read.-Next the ruins recently discovered, open the mouths of witnesses that cannot lie. Pompeii, Nineveh and Egypt, hold remains that speak like thunder-the prophets are true.
Why, my dear sir, the beasts and birds can foretell, and they know future events. The hog before a storm will squeal and prepare himself a nest. The wild geese the birds of passage always leave the north and go to the south before winter: the squirrels provide food for the days to come, when their labor must cease; and the "little people," the bees, prophetically lay up treasure for a future day:-And the worm, knoweth more of God than the infidel; he, like a man, takes all he can get, comes out with his caterpillar coat, and then assumes his chrysalis,-which finally bursts into that beautiful state of his ressurrection [resurrection],
called a butterfly. O foolish man, that is afraid to venture as much faith and foretelling as a worm!
Without prophecy the world is a wilderness and mankind like wild beasts. Without revelation the world is a "charnel house," and men and women only subject to the "cracky sound" of death. O vain man! the snake, that crawls into his den in September, possesses more wisdom for the future than thou! Learn from animals what thou lackest from God. Thou canst not be too wise, nor too good. A wise man keeps his heart, but the fool hath said in his heart there is no God. The infidels might be the "salt of the earth," while the sects of the day, are preparing to devour one another, if they would: suppose they read the 1 Kings xix:11, 12 and 13 and then reflect that eating is better than talking, to strengthen the body, temporally and spiritually.
"THE PLAGUE IN INDIA.-A letter to a gentleman in Baltimore, dated Hoogly, Dec. 22, 1844, states that the plague was making fearful ravages at Caubool, where it had never appeared before, and fears were entertained of its spreading through Bengal."
(->) It will be recollected that the great plague of fifteen or twenty years ago, which destroyed so many millions of human beings, commenced at Jessore, in the same quarter of the globe.
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.-The Anniversary was held yesterday morning at the Tabernacle. The audience was not so numerous as at the other meetings during the week. Rev. Dr. Beecher opened the meeting with a prayer. The annual report states the operations of the board during the past year to have been generally successful, particularly at the stations in Western Africa. The mission to the Nestorians has been discontinued on account of the unsettled condition of that people. The situation at Jerusalem has also been discontinued and the mission is now concentrated at Beireut [Beirut], in the region of Lebanon. The work of spiritual reform has been steadily advancing among the Armenians in Turkey and encouraging accounts have lately come from the missionaries at Gabroon, in Africa. It was stated that accounts received during the year from the mission among the Mahratta people of Southern India are of the most favorable character, and Hindooism [Hinduism] is fast losing its ascendancy over them. The Board are desirous to extend their influence in that section and propose sending twenty additional laborers into Ceylon and Southern India generally. The success in China has exceeded the most sanguine expectations, and ready access has been had to the inhabitants of the vast empire and with the best results.-N. Y. Sun.
(->) Several important questions present themselves upon reading the foregoing summary of missionary labors. 1. Have the common propensities of the heathen to do evil been lessened by the labors of the clergy, in as great a proportion as drunkenness and debauchery have increased by civilized intercourse under the board of foreign mission? 2. Do the heathen, as they are called exhibit any more prominent signs of barbarity among themselves than the Americans do in a land of liberty and gospel light? 3. As the evangelizing the nations cost money now-a-days what is the use of that prophesy and scripture, that forbids it?
But we may as well stop asking questions, for should we go on, we might inquire where they get the authority to go as God has said he that scattered Israel, will gather him. The idea we have in making these remarks upon the missionary labors, is this: and our humble opinions, as Christ said by the hypocrite, the beam is in their own eye. Look at the mobs and riots throughout the length and breadth of our land. Pennsylvania riots, Missouri mobbers, Illinois assassins, and ten thousand other crimes, call louder for the voice of humanity to say, peace be still, in the United States, than the ignorance of simple nature, abroad can ever plead for spiritual guides.
Should God speak from the heaven of heavens, now, to ameliorate the condition of men, throughout the world, the first sentence to the sectarian portion would be; -pluck out the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou canst see clearly to pull the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Religion, rightly understood, is the charter of the soul;-and if that contains the only rules by which we can be saved, we shall have to follow the rules, or else lose the reward. Then if God commands his servants, clothed without "purse or scrip," and the sectarian missionaries, go well supplied with cash and coats, where will their reward come from, and of what use is the revelations? The old prophet said:-"Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams! The present missionary array of men and means to better the heathen would be better applied to better matteas [matters] at home. There is a lion in the path.
SLAVERY AMONG THE PRESBYTERIANS.
As the Methodists and Baptists are about to
divide the North against the South on the subject of slavery, we have thought it advisable to give the following proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterians in the United States upon the subject, viz:-
The unfinished business of the morning was taken up, viz: a motion to appoint a committee to draw up a minute expressive of the views of the house in deciding against the validity of baptism of Catholic Priests.
The motion prevailed.
The marriage question was postponed, and made the third order of the day for to-morrow afternoon.
The committee to whom was referred the memorials on the subject of slavery, beg leave to submit the following report:
The memorials may be divided into three classes, viz:
1. Those which represent the system of slavery as it exists in these United States as a great evil, and pray this General Assembly to adopt measures of the amelioration of the condition of the slaves.
2. Those which ask the Assembly to receive memorials on the subject of slavery, to allow a full discussion of it, and to enjoin upon members of our church, residing in States, whose laws forbid the slaves being taught to read, to seek by all lawful means the repeal of those laws.
3. Those which represent slavery as a moral evil, a heinous sin in the sight of God, calculated to bring upon the church the curse of God, and calling for the exercise of discipline in the case of those who persist in maintaining or justifying the relation of master to slaves.
The question which is now unhappily agitating and dividing other branches of the church, and which is pressed upon the attention of the Assembly by the three classes of memorialists just named, is, whether the holding of slaves, is under all circumstances a heinous sin, calling for the discipline of the church.
The church of Christ is a spiritual body, whose jurisdiction extends only to the religious faith, and moral conduct of her members. She cannot legislate where Christ has not legislated, nor make terms of membership which he has not made. The question, therefore, which this Assembly is called upon to decide, is this Do the Scriptures teach that the holding of slaves, without renunciation of which should be made a condition of membership in the church of Christ.
It is impossible to answer this question in the affirmative, without contradicting some of the plainest declarations of the word of God.-That slavery existed in the days of Christ and his apostles is an admitted fact. That they did not denounce the relation itself as sinful, as inconsistent with Christianity; that slaveholders were admitted to membership in the churches organized by the apostles; that while they were required to treat their slaves with kindness, and as rational, accountable, immortal beings, and if Christians, as brethren in the Lord, they were not commanded to emancipate them; that slaves were required to be "obedient to their masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, with singleness of heart as unto Christ," are facts which meet the eye of every reader of the New Testament. This Assembly cannot, therefore, denounce the holding of slaves as necessarily a heinous and scandalous sin, calculated to bring upon the church the curse of God, without charging the apostles of Christ with conniving at such sin, introducing into the church such sinners, and thus bringing upon them the curse of the Almighty.
In so saying, however, the Assembly are not to be understood as denying that there is evil connected with slavery. Much less do they approve those defective and oppressive laws, by which, in some States, it is regulated.-Nor would they, by any means, countenance the traffic of slaves for the sake of gain: the separation of husbands and wives, parents and children, for the sake of "filthy lucre," or for the convenience of the master, or cruel treatment of slaves in any respect. Every Christian and philanthropist certainly should seek, by all peaceable and lawful means, the repeal of unjust and oppressive laws, and the amendment of such as are defective, so as to protect the slaves from cruel treatment by wicked men, and secure to them the right to receive religious instruction.
Nor is this Assembly to be understood as countenancing the idea that masters may regard their servants as mere property, not as human beings, rational, accountable, immortal. The scriptures prescribe not only the duties of servants, but of masters also, warning the latter to discharge those duties, "knowing that their master is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him."
The Assembly intend simply to say, that since Christ and his inspired apostles did not make the holding of slaves a bar to communion, we, as a court of Christ, have no authority to do so; since they did not attempt to remove it from the church by legislation, we have no authority to legislate on the subject. We feel constrained further to say that however desirable
it may be to ameliorate the condition of the slaves in the southern and south-western States, or to remove slavery from our country, these objects we are fully persuaded can never be secured by ecclesiastical legislation. Much less can they be attained by those indiscriminate denunciations against slaveholders, without regard to their character or circumstances which have, to so great an extent, characterized the movements of modern abolitionists, which, so far from removing the evils complained of, tend only to perpetuate and aggravate them.
The Apostles of Christ sought to ameliorate the condition of slaves, not by denouncing and excommunicating their masters, but by teaching both masters and slaves, the glorious doctrines of the Gospel, and enjoining upon such the discharge of their relative duties. Thus only can the church of Christ, as such, now improve the condition of the slaves in our country.
As to the extent of the evils involved in slavery and the best methods of removing them various opinions prevail, and neither the scriptures nor our constitution authorize this body to present any particular course to be pursued by the churches under our care. The Assembly cannot but rejoice, however, to learn that the ministers and churches in the slaveholding States are awaking to a deeper sense of their obligation, to extend to the slave population generally, the means of grace and many slaveholders not professedly religious favor this object. We earnestly exhort them to abound more and more in this good work. We would exhort every believing master to remember that his master is also in heaven, and in view of all the circumstances in which he is placed, to act in the spirit of the golden rule. "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even the same to them."
In view of the above stated principles and facts,
Resolved, That the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States was originally organized, and has since continued the bond of nnoin [union] in the church, upon the conceded principle that the existence of domestic slavery under the circumstances in which it is found in the southern portion of the country to no bar to Christian communion.
Resolved, That the petitions that ask the Assembly to make the holding of slaves in itself a matter of discipline, do virtually require this judicatory to dissolve itself and abandon the organization under which, by the Divine blessing, it has so long prospered. The tendoacy [tendency] is evidently to separate the northern from the southern portion of the church; a result which every good citizen must deplore as leading to the dissolution of the union of our beloved country, and which every enlightened Christian will oppose as bringing about a ruinous and unnecessary schism between brethren who maintain a common faith.
The resolutions were passed by an almost unanimous vote. The report and resolutions were then adopted-yeas 164, nays 12. The Assembly then adjourned.
MR. EDITOR-If you think the following sketch of the "Paracletes" worthy of a place, in the Times and Seasons, use it.
Once upon a time, the most honorable men of the creations or universes, met together to promote the best interest of the great whole.-The "head" said to his oldest son, you are the rightful heir to all, but you know I have many kingdoms and many mansions, and of course it will need many kings and many priests, to govern them, come you with me in solemn council, and let us and some of the "best" men we have had born in the regions of light, to rule in those kingdoms and set them in order by exhibiting good that evil may be manifest.
It was said and done, for every thing there, was adopted from the "head" by common consent. As free agency gave the sons of the "head" a fair chance to choose for themselves, the most noble of the hosts, came forward and selected a world or kingdom, and a time or a season, when he would take his chance, at winning the hearts of the multitude, a kingdom, crown, and never ending glory.
The innumerable multiplicity of kingdoms, or spheres for action, with beings and animals in proportion, and time, times, eternity and eternities [eternity's], for a full development of the qualities and powers of each, would so far exceed the common comprehension of mortals, that I can only say eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor hath a natural heart yet been able to calculate either. I then shall content myself, for this time to sketch but one. Idumia is the one as interesting as any, and being situated at an immense distance from the center or "head's" residence, and many eternities [eternity's] from the birth of the "Son of the morning" or even the great holy day when the "morning stars sang together," because so many worlds had been wrought out and left "empty and desolate," as places for "all the sons" of God to multiply and replenish the earth, I select that.
Time being divided into seven parts, the following
men agreed to leave the mansions of bliss, and spiritually help organize every thing necessary to fill a kingdom for the space of many of the Lord's days, viz: Milauleph, Milbeth, Milgimal, Mildauleth, Milhah, Milvah and Milzah. Now after they had organized the kingdom of Idumia spiritually, then one at a time, was to come temporally and open the door of communication with the spiritual kingdom, that all that would, might return to their former estate; for, for this reason, all the regions created and to be created, were filled with a variety of beings: agents to themselves but accountable to the "head" for promises, made, when they agreed "to go" and be born of the flesh as they had been of the spirit; that they might know the evil, and choose the good: and then be born again of the spirit and the water," and enter into the mansions prepared for them before the foundations of the worlds.
Milauleph being the eldest and first chosen for Idumia, came on when 'there was not a man to till the ground," that is, there was not a "man of flesh" to labor temporally; and his elder brethren who had wrought out their salvation, upon worlds or realms, or kingdoms, ages, yea even eternities [eternity's] before, formed him a temporal body like unto their spiritual bodies, and put the life of his spiritual body into it, and gave him the power of endless lives.
Now the acts of his spiritual body, while he was a child with his father and mother in heaven; and his acts while he was in the spiritual councils of the Gods for millions of years;-and his acts upon Idumia, while he named, arranged and prepared every thing upon it to fulfil [fulfill] the end and aim of their creation, behold they are written in 'the books' of the 'head,'-which are to be opened when the judgment comes for just men to enter into the joys of a 'third existence' which is spiritual.
Milauleph had one thousand years to account for, as well as to be 'arch angel' of Idumia, after he laid down his temporal body. Behold here is wisdom, he that hath ears to hear let him hear, for Milauleph, as yet had not been tempted with evil that he might know the good. He had not exercised the power of endless lives that he might do the works that his father had done: and he had not 'fell that men might be.' Although he had seen his eldest brother create worlds, and people them; and had witnessed the course and conduct of that world and people, as free agents, 'sinning and being sinned against,' while 'death' who held a commission from the 'Son of the morning,' to end the first partnership between the spirit and the body, yet, with all this knowledge, and a liberal education in the great college of the nobles of heaven, wherein all perfection was taught, all science explained from first to last, and all that was, is, or will be, was exhibited on the great map of perpetual systems, and eternal lives, Milauleph had to take his wife or one of the 'Queens of heaven,' and come upon Idumia, and be tempted, overcome, and driven from the presence of his Father, because it had been agreed by the Gods and grand council of heaven, that all the family of the 'head' that would do as he or his eldest son did, should be exalted to the same glory.
This was to be accomplished by the power of 'perpetual succession' in eternal lives, wherein there was no 'remission of sin without the shedding of blood;' no forgiveness without repentance; and no glory without perfect submission to the 'head.' The foundation was truth: and the continuation, perpetual succession by revelation. Milauleph, then, knew that he and his wife would sin, and be troubled; but as the eternal spirit in him was the candle of the Lord, he knew also that the light thereof upon the eyes of his understanding, would show some of the way marks to the original 'truth,' whereby he might work out his salvation with fear and trembling. That none of the work of the hands of the 'Son' might be lost or any souls which his father had given him, might be left in prison, angels were commissioned to watch over Idumia, and act as spiritual guides to every soul, 'lest they should fall and dash their feet against a stone.' They were denominated 'the angels of our presence.
But I must stop, Mr. Editor: my story of the whole seven who managed the seven dispensations of Idumia, will be too long for one communication. And let me say that I have began this story of the 'Paracletes,' or Holy Ones to counterbalance the foolish novel reading of the present generation. My story is not revelation, but the innuendoes relate to holy transactions, which may lead good people to search after truth and find it. If this meets the approbation of virtuous minds, I shall write more.
JOSEPH'S SPECKLED BIRD.
MR. EDITOR: Having returned from a short mission to the east, and having rested myself, I thought I would give a sketch of what I saw and heard, which, if worthy, you may publish.
I left Nauvoo on the 28th of last January, in company with Elder Willard Snow, for the southeast part of Indiana. When we arrived we found great trouble in the branches which we had built up three years before. There were men among them of another spirit-of
the doctrine of Rigdon, and it was marvelous to witness the "wicked spirit" of those who had turned away from the faith. I never realized before the abomination and wickedness of dissenters. They drew after them a multitude of the baser sort, who stood and delighted to hear them ridicule and slander the prophet and people of God; by which "the way of truth was evil spoken of."
The place was strewed [strewn] with Rigdon's papers and pamphlets, which, however, had a good effect upon many, for they could see the spirit by which they were written, and shun the contagion.
I had but little understanding of the wickedness, rotten heartedness, and baseness of Sidney Rigdon, till I went to the region of country, and found some of his elders, sent out to seek whom they might devour.
I am constrained to believe, that the statement made upon the stand was true:-"that Rigdon did write letters to the mob in Missouri" (as stated by Mrs. Rockwell.) and that he sought opportunity-or laid plans to destroy Br. Joseph. The wicked spirit in Rigdon's elders, and those that receive their spirit, are plain manifestations of their situation. The honest in heart need not, and cannot be deceived.
After reading the minutes of the Pittsburgh conference, to hear them talk of "righteousness," and how they will stand by each other in all righteousness, gives me peculiar feelings, and solemn sensations; especially when I reflect on the scenes past, and the experience I have had in the last thirteen years. The many that have risen up against the man of God, the servant to prune the vineyard for the last time, or more properly, the "seer that the Lord said he would bless," whom he upheld until the time appointed to finish his work: He that never turned aside after the flatteries of hypocrites, nor rejected the commands of God when the heathen raged; or when mobs assembled, whined; or when Hinkle and McLellin or others betrayed him into the hands of others for slaughter,-sianed [signed] he with his lips: no: he was true always. I was there and saw the works of those two men at Far West:-and now to hear them talk of righteousness-that McLellin will stand by Rigdon in all righteousness-it's marvellous [marvelous]!
It brings to mind what I witnessed in Jackson county, in 1833, a few months before we were driven from that place. The power of God was manifest on that land in our meetings, held by the elders. I remember in one of those meetings it was made known by prophecy and revelation, through T. B. Marsh, as the spirit gave utterance, "that McLellin would carry the things the Lord was revealing to his people, to the world, and would use his influence against the church to destroy it."
McLellin wondered why T. B. Marsh uttered words against him:-Then another arose and bore testimony to what Marsh had foretold, by the same spirit; and a third arose and testified also, and we marveled! we sorrowed! we wondered! I shall never forget the scene. It was true, and when I read the Pittsburgh papers, and saw McLellin in with Rigdon, it brought the prophetic language of 1833, to my mind, and confirmed it. McLellin goes against the church to destroy it!
The scenes I have passed through since 1832, for my candid belief in sacred things, are wonderful. I and my family, and brethren, are exiles in our own nation because we believe that God, according to the predictions of the holy scriptures by sundry prophets, has raised up a prophet and seer: that through him we have received the Book of Mormon, containing the history of a fallen people who inhabited this land before our progenitors discovered it; and also, containing the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel for the salvation of the whole world.
For this belief, I have been robbed, plundered and driven from houses, goods, possessions and all, and have lost one son whose bones are now "bleaching on the plains of Quincy," together with other Saints who fell victims to the iron hand of Missouri vengeance.
We have importuned, according to the commandment, at the feet of the judge, at the feet of the governor, and at the feet of the president, yet no helping hand has been raised in our behalf to save us from such fury, but rather the rulers take counsel together to destroy us. As in the days of the Savior, we find false brethren seek to betray us unto death. But our thanks are due to God who hath so far preserved us to carry on his work, so devoutly begun by that great servant of God and man, Joseph Smith.
In the hope of the bliss that cometh after much tribulation, and through patience, I remain in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant, Your brother and friend,
From the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette.
Dear Sir:-To condemn unheard, any man or set of men or their principles, on the strength of popular rumor, or the testimony of enemies, would be gross injustice. An impartial investigation should always precede condemnation
The Latter-day Saints are charged by their enemies, with the blackest crimes. Treason, murder, theft, polygamy, and adultery, are among the many crimes laid to their charge.-The press reiterates and gives publicity to these charges. Under these circumstances, it is but right, that they should be heard in their defence [defense]. I shall, therefore, in this communication, briefly examine and refute a few of the charges, for it would need a legion of writers to answer all the lies told about us.
Most of the stories against the Mormons have been propagated by apostates and traitors, (who have generally been cut off from the church for their crimes.) They publish their lies, and straightway they are believed, and hawked about as awful disclosures, and received by community with trembling and holy horror. Sidney Rigdon, I see by the papers, has made an exposition of Mormonism, charging Joseph Smith and the Mormons with polygamy, &c. It does not require a very sagacious mind to fathom Mr. Rigdon's motive for so doing. Soon after the murder of the Smiths, he declared in a pvblic [public] address in Nauvoo that Joseph Smith died approved of God-that the Latter-day Saints were a blessed people, &c. His tone is now changed, and why? Because he sought to be presiding elder, and on account of his corruption, was rejected. On the 10th of September, last, he was tried before the church and excommunicated as a schismatic. If he knew such enormities to exist among the Mormons, why did he call them a blessed people, and endeavor to place himself at the head of their church? Mr. Rigdon's spiritual wife system was never known till it was hatched by John C. Bennett who was cut off from the church for seduction.
As to the charge of polygamy, I will quote from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which is the subscribed faith of the church and is strictly enforced. Article Marriage, sec. 91, par. 4, says, "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have BUT ONE WIFE, and one woman but one husband except in case of death when either is at liberty to marry again." Sec. 13, par. 7. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart and shall cleave unto her and NONE ELSE." In ancient days the church was troubled with traitors, and always will be till God cleanses the earth, and restores the government of his Son. Paul says he was in perils among false brethren; again he says, "know this that, in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be TRAITORS, FALSE ACCUSERS, INCONTINENT, fierce despiser of those that are good." No wonder then that apostates rage, or that the fnlness [fullness] of truth revealed again should bring a storm of persecution.
The charge that the Mormons have disregarded the laws of Illinois, in electing officers under their charter, when the same had been repealed, is thus explained in the Nauvoo Neighbor: "The time for our election as pointed out by law, occurred just about or before the time that the report of the repeal reached us. It was not thought advisable, however, to omit our election upon a mere rumor, but to proceed and elect our officers, and in the event that the rumor proved true, to yield, whatever might be our opinion as to the legal right to repeal an act with perpetual succession."
There is nothing in Mormonism that teaches vice and immorality; but it requires man to have faith in God, to repent of and forsake sin to be baptised [baptized] for the remission of the same, then receive the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, according to the ancient pattern, to live virtuous and holy lives, to believe in and seek to enjoy all the gifts and blessings enjoyed by the children of the Most High in days of old. It forbids every species of crime, and its influence is to make men better. Yet its followers have been persecuted, murdered and driven from their possessions; and its slanderers are, unceasing in endeavoring to bring down still greater calamities upon them. Defenceless [defenseless] prisoners have been massacred in cold blood while under the plighted faith of their country, while our murderers and those who have plundered, robbed and driven us, still go unpunished and can boast of their heroic deeds through the length and breadth of the land. For instance, Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, is now indicted for the murder of the Smiths, yet he stands at the head of a weekly paper from whence issues most of the vile trash about Mormon outrages, &c., Jacob C. Davis, also, a Senator, stands indicted for the same murder, and is only kept from the demands of justice, by mob violence: yet, when a requisition was made for him by the Sheriff of Hancock county, the Senate refused to give him up for fear they would not have strength enough to repeal the Nauvoo charter. O tempora! O mores! a MURDERER making laws for a free and enlightened people. Is it just that the Mormons should receive such treatment? O! ye Americans, the glory of freedom has departed-the rich boon transmitted to us by our fathers has gone from us, if such things are to be tolerated with impunity. Our fathers fought for the liberties of which we are deprived . But says one, how are you deprived
of them? We have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the treasury of the United States for lands which we are not allowed to possess; our chartered rights have been taken from us; fifteen thousand of our people are now exiles in Illinois and dare not return to their lands in Missouri, for the penalty is death. O, ye Americans you boast of liberty! of religious freedom! of protection of life and property! Gracefully your proud flag floats in the breeze of every clime saying, to the menials of other lands, "I overshadow a land which is an asylum for the oppressed of all nations," yet your own citizens, (the poor Mormons,) are robbed, mobbed, and plundered with impunity. Your prairies have drank our blood: your dungeons have heard our groans-your gloomy prisons have witnessed the cold blooded assassination of their leaders. O tell it not to the tyrants of oriental lands: let not the crowned heads of Europe know of the oppression which has been wrought in a free republic, lest they scoff at you in derision and say you boas [boast] of liberty, yet you cannot protect your own citizens.
Mr. Editor, it does seem to me that the press and all lovers of their country, should speak in tones of thunder in condemnation of the oppression, persecution and abuse the Mormons have received, instead of giving publicity to the statements of such renegadoes [renegades], and such a lawless banditti, as all acquainted with the facts, must know our traducers to be; for if such things are suffered now, and do not receive their merited rebuke, and punishment, because the sufferers are unpopular, and be marked out to receive the vengeance of their traducers and then farewell to American freedom.
E. M. WEBB.
For the Times and Seasons.
BY W. W. PHELPS.
"The sky the sky-the clear blue sky"- The roomy space where clouds appear,
O how I love to gaze upon it! And terrify with awful thunder;
The upper deep of realms on high- And then to give our hearts good cheer,
I wonder when the Lord begun it? We see the rain-bow arch'd up yonder.
There systems roll in endless light, The universe of worlds, en masse,
(Aphelion or a perihelion;) So charmingly spread out, all over,
A noiseless round of day and night, The everlasting looking-glass,
Jehovah's beautified pavilion. The molten mirror of Jehovah!
The trackless way, where spirits go, The sky the sky-so bland and fair,-
From this cold world of stinging pleasure; O how I love to stand and view it!
To where they see, and taste and know, And when it "falls," may I be there,
Eternal life, the "heavenly treasure." To see the "King of Kings" renew it.
The Times and Seasons, Is 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, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
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