Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
J3 JONES, Dan. Atebydd y gwrthddadleuon a ddygir yn fwyaf cyff-redinol drwy y wlad yn erbyn Saint y Dyddiau Diweddaf, a’r athrawiaeth a broffesant; mewn ffurf o ymddyddan, er symud y rhwystrau oddiar ffordd y Cymry ymofyngar, heb “anmhwyllo ynghylch cwestiynau, ac ymryson ynghylch geiriau, o’r rhai y mae cenfigen, ymryson, cableddau, a drwg dybiau yn dyfod; ac na ddaliont ar CHWEDLAU ac achau anorphen, y rhai sydd yn peri cwestiynau, yn hytrach nag adeiladaeth dduwiol, yr hon sydd trwy ffydd: gwnaed [PAWB] felly.” (Reply to the objections which are most commonly brought throughout the country against the Latter-day Saints, and the doctrine which they profess; in the form of a dialogue to remove the obstacles from the path of the inquisitive Welsh without “doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, and evil surmisings; and neither giving heed to FABLES and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do [EVERYONE].”) Merthyr Tydfil: Published and for sale by the author. Printed by John Jones, Rhydybont, .
24 pp. Printed wrapper. 19 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 3.
The first quarter of Reply is essentially a slightly modified translation of Orson Pratt’s “Dialogue between tradition, reason, and scriptus,” which had appeared in his Prophetic Almanac for 1845. Dan Jones changes “reason” to “Saint” and “scriptus” to “sectarian” but uses the same points of discussion and interchange among the three participants for the first six pages. In Pratt’s presentation, as Mr. Tradition leaves in defeat, the dialogue is concluded with a 2-column “Comparison of evidence.” At this juncture in the Welsh, however, the “Comparison of evidence” is omitted and the dialogue continues between the Saint and the sectarian to the eventual convincing of the latter. Many topics previously discussed in Jones’s The dead raised to life! (J1) are again presented, such as the necessity of baptism, the necessity of proper authority, and the four things required to establish a kingdom. Also discussed are the apostasy, the fate of Luther and Calvin, the angel in Revelation 14:6, and the restoration of the gospel. Answers are given by the Saint to several questions posed by the sectarian, such as “Why do people have to be baptized in the nude?” (Latter-day Saints were shocked at this accusation), “Does baptism literally wash away all one’s sins?” and “What is the fate of all who died without a knowledge of the gospel?”
TO THE OBJECTIONS WHICH ARE MOST COMMONLY BROUGHT THROUGH THE COUNTRY AGAINST THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS,
And the Doctrine which they profess;
IN THE FORM OF A
Remove the Obstacles from the path of the Inquisitive Welsh, without “doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, and evil surmisings; and neither giving heed to FABLES and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than a godly edifying which is faith: so do [EVERYONE].”
BY CAPT. D. JONES.
PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE BY THE AUTHOR
PRICE 3 C.
AND “MENE TEKEL” OF THE LATTER ON HIS ACCUSERS.
Mr. Tradition. Good morning to you my neighbor. I am sorry to hear that you have been deceived by “The Latter-Day Saints.” I never thought that those hotheads could entice such a wise man as you to their false doctrine.
Saint. I do not know that they have enticed me to any false doctrine; and if you know that, please show me the deceit: and i shall be, not only extremely grateful, but i shall abandon that deceit at once; what good is it for a man to live in deceit?
Tra. What! having joined the “Saints,” and you do not know they are deceivers! Do you not hear everyone saying that? and how can you say you do not know?
Saint. It is not deceit, just because everyone says it is; and the testimony of the enemies of any religious group is not sufficient to prove it heretical; “for he that answereth a matter before he heareth it (from both sides), it is folly and shame unto him,” says the wisest of men; but, if you can prove our deceit, please do so, and the sooner the better.
Tra. I most certainly can this very minute. Do not these Saints claim to have the same kind of religion as the apostles had? namely, that they receive revelation from heaven, gifts of the Holy Ghost to prophesy, speaking in tongues, the gift of healing and miracles as the Son of Man promised in Mark xvi, 17. “And these signs shall follow them that believe.” You also say you enjoy those gifts mentioned by Paul in 1 Cor. xii, 10, which should be in the true church of Christ; yes, you claim much more; and is not the claim, in itself, sufficient to prove you are foolish deceivers, for claiming such things in this enlightened age, as if you wish for us to revert with religion to the dark age of the apostles; and for our Reverends to preach the gospel without receiving a wage, except for the food and clothes as you do? who of all the theologians of the age would not say that such a religion is deceit? therefore, all those, and their followers, testify against you and your religion; and everyone says that all the knowledge we need from heaven has already been revealed to the apostles and that the holy volume has been complete since that time: there is no need for additions, and no additions will be received.
Saint. True, sir, if you will but prove first that the volume is complete as we have it, and there is no need for additional revelations; then the religion of the saints will be proved heretical, and I shall leave it immediately. But to prove there is no need for any more additions is a more difficult task than you can imagine. Who can say that? Do we not need everything that God sees fit to reveal to the children of men? Is not the more the better? Put forth your strongest reasons now, Mr Tradition: the traditional claims of your forefathers will not prove that the religion I depend on for eternal life, is heresy.
TRA. If everyone who joins the Saints is as open to be convinced as you, I do not know why they say that the Religion has some charm to beguile people, so that there is no hope they will ever return from it. That is what our Preachers give as an excuse when they warn their listeners not to listen to you: but now to prove the deceit. I am anxious to see you change your mind. The first proof is, the unanimous testimony of the famous Reformers, namely the pious fathers of every religious sect of this age; second, thousands of theologians and wise men of the Christian world say the same things; yes, in a word, everyone from the days of Luther to the present day (except your people), says that the volume was completed and sealed up at the end of the apostolic age. There is sufficient proof for you, Sir—the whole world: what more do you want? Now, admit your error.
Saint. I hope you will not be angry with me, sir, when I tell you that, so far, you have not offered any kind of proof for your assertion. Do you expect a reasonable man to depend on the assertions of excommunicated men, for something so important? If your protest was false, when it came from the mouth of the first to utter it, it will not become any truer, even if the entire human race were to assert for thousands of years, that it is true. Neither time, popularity, nor anything else, will change a falsehood of one age, into a truth of another. The truth, in and of itself, like its author, is unchangeable; and so, I am not any closer to knowing that the statement is heresy, despite your “world full of witnesses.” How shall I know whether what they assert is true or not, if they do not base it on the scriptures? Isaiah says, “Woe unto the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”
TRA. Well, well! I am disappointed in you: you are not as close to leaving, as I had imagined. What shall I say next? Anyway Sir, I am surprised at you; do you dare think that all those illustrious men are wrong, and that you Saints here know better than they? Oh fie, deliver us from this!
Saint. If they say that on other bases only, they can be wrong, just as millions of pagans can be wrong, by taking for granted that the traditions of their fathers are true: where is the difference?
TRA. If you will not accept such proofs as these, I have no others better; I shall have to give up the debate; and confess that you are after all more difficult to satisfy with proof, than any of all the religionists of the age: but,—wait,—Oh, there comes my old friend, Mr. Sectarian: well done; never has he come anywhere where he was needed so much; there is his faultfinder under his arm as usual. He has been, for nearly forty years, a renowned preacher. Now for you, Sir, between the two of us we shall prove the statement, I think.
Good morning to you, Mr. Sectarian; I am glad you came past just now; allow me to introduce you to my unfortunate friend, Mr. S.: he has of late, I am sorry to say, been persuaded somehow, by the “LATTER-DAY SAINTS:” but he is such an honest man of principle, so likeable, and reasonable, that I wish to convince him of his false ideas. Will you be so good, Mr. Sectarian, as to prove from the Bible, that there are not supposed to be miracles in this age; that the holy volume is complete, and was sealed up in the time of the apostles, and show where it says that? I know but little about the Scripture; I shall pay you for doing that for me; take your Bible, Sir, and turn to the places where it says that, so we can save our dear friend from the deceit of these people.
Sectarian. It is sad to think that anyone in this enlightened age; yes, despite all the preaching and the teaching, can be deceived to such an extent, as to believe such things. I am almost afraid to speak with such men. But, how do you expect me to prove that from the Bible, when these people deny our bible, and have a new Bible of their own?
Saint. What, sir, did you say now!! Who denies the Bible? The saints? Take things slowly; that is just as difficult to prove as the assertion of Mr. Tradition under consideration. No one believes in, or respects, the Holy Bible more than the saints. We have no other Bible in its place, and the Welsh would be blessed to believe the Bible as thoroughly as we do. That story is a false accusation of our enemies, to get the prejudice of the welsh sufficiently strong against us, so they will believe the other lies they tell about us.
Sec. Do you not believe in that “Book of Mormon?”
Saint. We do. But not instead of the Bible in any way. That is a book that gives the history of the ancestors of the American Indians, showing their origin, and the dispensations of god in their midst, and what will happen to them in the future: and there is nothing in it contrary to our Bible. Oh they do, sir; the “Saints” believe the sacred Bible, every word, and my biggest concern is that we cannot get but a few in the country to believe it enough, and what it says, although most everyone believes what the Doctors and Sectarian Rabbis of the age say, instead of what the Bible says. This is the difference between us and you as regards the Bible, but every proof you bring from it will be totally acceptable to me, and to all the “Saints:” I am glad to hear a man offering the holy Bible as a standard for determining religion; therefore, bring your strongest proof, to show that the Bible is complete.
Tra. Oh yes, Mr. Sectarian, the “Saints” believe our Bible, for it has been on the tip of his tongue as long as he has spoken with me.
Sec. Well, I must confess, you have been misjudged by the country, then; this is what I have heard from everyone: but since you believe our Bible, I think better of you; and it will be easier to prove you wrong, with your additional revelations. And in the first place, I shall read the words of Paul, to prove that there is no need for any additional Scripture. See 2 Tim. iii, 15. 16, 17. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof; for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Here it is seen clearly, that Timothy had enough Scripture to make him wise unto salvation, when he was a child; thus he had no need for any more, and why do you claim that more is needed now? Are you not in a trap now, Mr. Saint?
Saint. That trap will not hold me any longer than it will take you to answer one question, namely, what Scriptures did Timothy have as a child?
Sec. Oh, of course! I see your logic straight away. I must confess, that Timothy had nothing but the Scriptures of the Old Testament; for we know that the New Testament had not been written when he was a child.
Saint. And so: the New Testament is just as unnecessary as the revelations we claim, according to your reasoning; since the Old Testament was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation. It is a pity that the Lord and his angels did not know that the world had enough Scripture, to spare the great trouble they gave to the apostles to write, and us to believe the New Testament, since it is, as you claim, so unnecessary. When, Sir, did you make this amazing discovery, that all scripture given since the time when Timothy was a child, is deceit, and unnecessary? I need not ask, whether it is the Sectarians or the Saints who deny the Scriptures. No wonder you call us deceivers; for if this is the deceit to which you refer, then I willingly admit to it, while you prove yourself to be a Jew, devoid of the Christian religion, for this is what you deny in your great zeal to prove that what Sectarian tradition says is true!
Sec. Oh, no; it is better to agree with your argument, than this. Though the first verse does not prove my objection, do not the other two prove that we have sufficient to “perfect the man of God?”
Saint. They are so far from doing that, that they prove the complete opposite. Paul does not say that enough Scripture has been given, so that no more is needed to make the man of God perfect: but, “as the Saints claim,” the man of God is to be perfected through all the scriptures God gave, or saw fit to give, any time, in any place, or to anyone, as he saw best. “The whole Scripture,” he said, but not how much that constituted.
Sec. I must confess that you have a new and skillful way of refuting my arguments, in such a clear way, that I am astounded at the weakness of my arguments. Well, I shall leave you with Paul on your side, in this matter; but I have one greater than Paul—John is on my side, and he proves quite clearly that he was sealing up the volume, when on the Isle of Patmos. Rev. xxii, 18, 19. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,” &c. This is sufficient, Sir, to end the debate; yes, he proclaims a plague on anyone who dares to add a word to this book, namely, the Bible, or to take a word from it.
Saint. If so, the men who compiled it as it is now, have brought countless curses on themselves; for I can show you that the Bible acknowledges the truthfulness of over twenty books which are not contained in it. I remember some of the references; Num. xxi, 14; Josh. x, 13; 2 Sam. i, 17, 18; 1 Kings xi, 41; 1 Chron. xxix, 29; 2 Chron. ix, 29, xii, 15, xiii, 22, xx, 34, xxiv, 27, xxvi, 22, xxxiii, 18, 19, and xxxv, 25; Jer. xxvi, 20; 1 Cor. v, 9; Judas 14; Luke i, 1, 2; these references, and several others prove that our Bible is far from being complete now; otherwise should not all of them be in it? Yet, we should be extremely grateful to its Author, for what we have, and make proper use of it. But, since you have fled to your strongest refuge, be patient; the Saints will put a lever, stronger than that of Archimedes, under your foundation, and pull down that Castle also; yes, even though it is defended by all the people of the world. Is the restriction in the foregoing verses on God or on men? It is obvious that it is on men. Then God could give additional revelations every day, despite that, without coming under the curse of John. I wonder, Sir, if you think so poorly of John (whom you boast of now, despite denying him previously,) as to have him dare to seal up God’s lips, and close the heavens so that he could not utter one more word to his creatures? If he did, he contradicts himself; for just before stating the above verse, he says the angel told him, “he would have to prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings;” Rev. x, 11. Was John to prophesy so much as that after this, without any of it being written? that would be, after writing it, additional scripture. Where are they, I wonder? just because they are not in our Bible, is not proof that no one could have them. The whole world is not in Wales, Sir; nor do its people know everything. Furthermore, if John completed the Bible at that time, he came under his own condemnation, by writing his Gospel, and his three Epistles, three years after returning from Patmos to Ephesus. And if John refers to the Bible, when he says, “this book,” farewell to him; for God, according to his wish, cursed him with those plagues. But, how could he refer to the Bible, knowing that parts of the Volume at that time were all across the world. It is difficult to imagine that John had as much as one part of the Bible when he uttered these words, for he had been exiled to a deserted island because of his religion. You see that you cannot, in any way, prove that John closed the heavens, or referred to the Holy Volume, in these verses.
Sec. I do not know what to think, now; for I see that I cannot prove the statement; and now I wish to understand what John means by “the words of the prophecy of this book?”
Saint. Does he not say what he means, as clearly as language can, “this book,” namely that book he had in hand at that time? namely the book that contains “the words of this prophecy;” namely, the one he received on the isle of Patmos only; namely, this book which is called the “Book of Revelation” in our Bibles. That was the “this book”—the one John forbade taking away from, or adding a word to; but he does not refer to any other book. The same meaning is given by him to a similar sentence in the same chapter. You see that there is nothing in your argument that militates against having additional revelations, from the time of John until the present.
Sec. Is there not a reference in the words, that God will not give additional revelations after that?
Saint. From the manner of a similar sentence by Moses, in Deut. iv, 2: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it,” one can ask, Did Moses mean that God would not give any additional revelations after that time? If Moses, in these words, closed up the Bible, then all the prophets who came after him were deceivers; yes, he even condemns the Son of God and his apostles, the majority of the Old Testament, and all of the New. If you admit that Moses did not mean to do so, you cannot maintain that John said that God would not give additional revelations after his time. Though it would be foolish to claim the first, it would not be any more so, than are the Sectarians of this age in claiming the last.
Sec. I must admit now, that you have totally disproved my strongest argument, and I can do nothing less than admit that my neighbor, Mr. Tradition, has had too much influence on me. I shall put my reason to work from now on, and I freely admit that you have proved yourself innocent of the deceit I thought you were under, and I would be glad to understand more of your principles.
[Tra., who had been listening attentively until now, expected the battle to be won by the Sectarian; when he heard that his character was so ill thought of by him, he went away indignant, complaining to himself, “What shall I do? My subjects have been apostatizing every day since the “Saints” came to the country. They will open everyone’s eyes to see my foolishness before long, I fear. Alas! what shall I do to them? But, so what if I cannot use reason as they do; I can take comfort, for the multitude is on my side; I shall shout more loudly than ever—deceivers,—false prophets,—wicked, all of them wicked, and then the common people will not listen to them: yes, that is the best way, and the only way now. I have good examples before me, of all the zealous family of my Grandmother, Mrs. Catholic, yes, and my own dear Mother, Mrs. Protestant; people who are devoted to the same religion as myself; what they believe, I shall believe, despite it all: I shall set them all against these “Saints,” for these do harm to my kingdom, more than anyone else; yes, they have nearly turned the world upside down. I shall deal with them just as I dealt with their deceitful brethren long ago in Judea; remember how I conquered Paul in Ephesus also; and if the periodicals, especially the religious ones, will but persecute them, it will turn out well. Do your duty, my shepherds; shout from the pulpits, and say that they are the false prophets the scriptures mention, and who were to come in the last days; repeat, yes, repeat all the stories the others publish, for those who do not believe the newspapers will believe you when you say these things. Just put Rev. at the end of the story; then the last half, at least, is true; hurry, otherwise it will be too late; your subjects will have believed and will follow these “Saints.” Warn everyone not to listen to them. If they go the second time after the warning, expel them from the synagogues, as an example to the others. That is what they do in the Works, &c. Say whatever you like, for no one will ever come to ask you for proof. They do not have one Press in the country on their side, or hardly anyone that will publish anything for them; even if they do, everybody will believe you before they believe them; you have every advantage over them; take courage, remember that all of us, including our great Goddess, is interested in the failure of these wicked people.”]—Exit Mr. Tradition to his favorite task.
Sec. I am amazed! All the time I have been in the service of Mr. Tradition, I have never before seen him in his true colors. Neither would I have thought that he had such influence in Wales; but, it is pointless to deny it any longer; Mr. Tradition is leading thousands of our brothers and our sisters of the same blood, to captivity and darkness; I shall do my best from now on to free them; but now that he is gone, tell me what you think necessary for a man to do to be saved. I prefer to begin properly. There are so many different answers to this important question to be obtained from the teachers of this age. I fail to comprehend how this can be so either, with all of them claiming to be going to the same heaven. They also claim that there is but one Gospel, as the plan to get there, and everyone approaches it, they say, along their own paths. Is it possible for some of them to arrive there sometime, do you think?
Saint. There you are now, at the stage I would wish to see all Welshmen; and Oh, if only our gentle nation could see what an influence Tradition has over them, so they could tear away his mask, and shout in unison, What shall we do to be saved? This is a very important question, and it should be answered emphatically and clearly; for if after understanding it you neglect to obey it, you are under condemnation. Answering this question is an important matter, because in so doing I become responsible for your soul, while you continue to obey the conditions I state. He who is not certain of the way to life, should not dare to lead anyone else; and he who knows the way, should not hesitate to lead. Your question contains two important acknowledgements, namely, (1.) That Salvation is possible on some conditions. (2.) That one must do some thing or things before being saved. It will not benefit us to do anything other than what the Author of that plan commanded; nothing more or less, otherwise that would be making another plan, and refusing His plan. And by now, the question is slightly altered, and it is now, What does He himself say I must do? And what say his servants whom he has sent? One must first, Believe that Christ has been divinely sent, that he has lived and died, and was resurrected in order to satisfy justice; or in a word, believe that He says the truth about himself; which, if we but consider it, shows our own sinfulness until we come to repent of our sins, and forsake them; and that is not all either, although that is everyone’s duty; yet, they do not, through that, receive forgiveness of their previous sins; otherwise it would have been unnecessary for Christ in Mark xvi, 16, to say, “He that believeth,—and;” this little word connects something besides “believing” to salvation—”And” what, then? he that believeth and gives all his wealth to the poor? No. And gives his body to be burned? Oh no, “And” has nothing to do with anything, except what he was commanded to do. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” and then, they alone will be saved, says Christ; it is not reasonable for him to promise salvation on such conditions, for some, if others receive that blessing without obeying the same conditions; that would make him a respecter of persons, and his promise powerless.
Sec. Are you saying that Baptism is as indispensable for forgiveness as are faith and repentance?
Saint. It is not what I say that substantiates the proof, but what I said is what the Son of God himself said: and I cannot understand how anyone can be saved without the last, any more than without the first two. There are many different opinions about this verse, I admit; some take the first part, “he who believes shall be saved;” others come a step further, “he who is baptized and believes;” but, “he who believes and is baptized,” says Christ. That’s what Peter also said, on the day of Pentecost, was the plan to obtain forgiveness of sins, and that is what I say today; there is no reason to debate about something so clear; if anyone denies Baptism for forgiveness, let them argue with the Son of God, and with Peter; Acts ii, 38; viii, x, xxii, &c.
Sec. I fear that you are almost a Baptist, since you advocate baptism for believers only. In which way do you baptize?
Saint. If you call me a Baptist because of this, then I think that Christ and his apostles were Baptists; therefore you see I am in good company; but before long you shall understand that there is a great difference between us and the “Baptists;” yes, as much difference as there is between the “Baptists” and the Saints in the days of the Apostles. And, regarding the manner of baptizing, I do not consider that as being very important for the one being baptized to know, nor is it worth arguing about.
Sec. I’m glad to hear you say that, for I myself do not think that the manner anyone is baptized is very important.
Saint. You have greatly misunderstood me: I did not say that the manner of baptizing was not important, rather that it is not so important for the one being baptized to know; regardless of the manner, it is as important as anything else the Son of God commanded, or about which he gave his example. Did he not expect us to follow his example, when he gave the example to us? Since he gave the example, it is important for us to follow; and following the example of someone else in this is for us to be baptized with another baptism, and acknowledge another Author. Yes, the manner is important, but to the administrator it is most important; he should know best the manner of baptism, and surely, that all the people sent by God be sure of the correct manner, before they proceed to baptize anyone; and if they were to baptize someone at his request, using some other manner, that would be putting the cart before the horse, or the Student teaching the Master; but the Saints will not baptize anyone, except in the way their Lord did, and their elder brothers before them; namely through immersion: which is proved in their story; but that would be out of place here.
Sec. Are you saying that those who are baptized always receive forgiveness?
Saint. Yes; if he is baptized lawfully, having believed and truly repented.
Sec. What do you mean when you say “lawful?”
Saint. Two parties are required, when baptism is mentioned; for the act shows that there is an administrator, and a recipient; and not only does the latter obey the required principle, but the first also possesses the required qualifications. It is just as indispensable for the official to have the privileged right to administer the ordinance in the kingdom of God, as it is for a civil official to be placed lawfully in his office; and heaven will not accept the baptism of anyone, except for its authorized servants, any more than the British government will accept a covenant made by one of its subjects with the government of America without sending him for that purpose. Before Baptism can be for the forgiveness of sins, it must be administered by one who has been lawfully baptized, and who has been received as a member, first, of the Kingdom of God: and afterwards ordained to that office. Through that is divine authority obtained; then, on the unchangeableness of the King who made the promise, forgiveness of sins is obtained.
Sec. That is different from everything I have ever heard before; and if it is true, it is an easy and sure way of gaining forgiveness for sins; anyway I would like to know more about it; but you mentioned the kingdom of God; what is meant by that? Is it not his Spirit that reigns over his people? It says somewhere, “the kingdom of God is within you;” i.e., the popular interpretation is that you are God’s children, and have the Spirit of God in you.
Saint. We do not see eye to eye on that point, Sir; and I do not think those words prove anything like that interpretation; because, they were spoken by Christ, in answer to a question of the Pharisees. [See Luke xvii, 21.] Thus the word you refers to the persons he was addressing. [See the previous verse.] And, is it likely that Christ would tell those wicked scribes and Pharisees that they had His Spirit? I believe that what he had in mind was his church or his kingdom that had been established on the earth; not in the hearts of those wicked Pharisees, or anyone else, neither beyond the horizon of the firmament, and the morning star: rather, in their midst, the Jewish Pharisees. The King and his officials were from among them; they had established the heavenly kingdom within their country, although they did not know that; and so, Sir, you must acknowledge that the special government of God among his children is his kingdom, and that it is on the earth.
Sec. I see that now, but what is contained in a kingdom of God on the earth?
Saint. There are four indispensable things before a kingdom can be established, namely—
1. A king to govern the kingdom.
2. Laws of divine nature, in order to rule that kingdom.
3. Officials who have been divinely chosen, placed, or sent, to administer those divine laws.
4. Subjects to be governed by them; and each one of these things must be in its proper place, by divine placement, and done correctly according to the divine plan, before they fulfill the objectives of God’s kingdom; and as I said, baptism will be of no use to anyone, unless it is administered by one of the officials of the kingdom; no one would have dared to do that in the time of the apostles either. No one could make himself an official in the kingdom, unless he was called of God as was Aaron, (as Paul says) that is, by revelation; and it was very appropriate for Paul to ask on another occasion, “how shall they preach, except they be sent?” It was always God who sent people to do his work, and then he would approve their work, and bind in heaven whatever they bound on earth, in his name; and through administering those laws he gave them. It is true that there is in the persons nothing that merits the blessing, rather everything is by grace, promised them on these conditions, through obedience to these ordinances. It is logical that God will prepare and send servants to administer the proper ordinances, for no one would expect him to allow strangers and foreigners to administer his laws; although it is everyone’s duty to exhort others to be good and moral. It is a virtue in man to urge his neighbor to keep the laws of the land, and live morally; but it would be treason for a man to take the right of administering the laws of the land, or to do anything in the name of the government, without permission. If anyone used your name without permission; if a man began to preach, and administer, amongst some religious Denomination, without their permission, would he not be sent away with contempt? But those who condemn this, in every civil, domestic, commercial, and religious context, do the same thing throughout their lives, without considering the danger.
Sec. How is this so? Do you think that the ministers who belong to the religious Denominations in this country, have no lawful authority from God to baptize, &c., in his name?
Saint. I do not judge them. Ask them directly, “For their own mouths condemneth them, and not I; and their own lips testify against them.”—Job.
Ask them if God sent them. Oh, most certainly, they all say, and perhaps in good conscience; although they teach, preach, and baptize in completely different ways one from the other. One must admit that it is a rather strange God who would send so many servants, to accomplish the same task, and yet are so dissimilar to each other!! He must have changed considerably from what he was eighteen hundred years ago, and he must be easier to please, and to serve. He said at that time, “teach them to obey all things I have commanded you:” some of the things is what they say. Like this, says the one; no, like that, says the other. “You need only believe, and rely on that which Christ did for you,” says one of his servants; “Oh, no, you must be baptized,” says the other. “It doesn’t matter which one,” says another; and thus everyone to his own way; all going along different paths to heaven, and all servants to the same unchangeable God, namely, he who said that there is but one way to heaven! How can anyone believe them, or rely on their teaching, while they are at such odds with each other? No reasonable person can, I suppose.
Sec. But how can we know which one of them is right? for I see clearly that only one of them was sent by God; and how shall I know that you yourself are not one of those people you speak of?
Saint. Ask yourself, in what way did God send them to do his work: did they somehow receive a revelation from him through the ministering of an angel, the spirit of prophecy, or some other means? and unless you see a certain kind in their midst that I have not yet seen, they deny the necessity of all these things, they assert they are no longer needed, that the volume is complete; and all who profess differently they call deceivers; and yet, they assert they have somehow been sent by God. This is saying too much. They claim two things as true, which are completely contrary to each other:—God sent them, without giving one revelation to them! Telling them to go, and yet without saying anything to them!! Servants to the God who has never uttered a word to them in their lives! Some strange servants, are they not, whose master has not said a word to them ever. How did he send them, then?!!
Oh, they have some excuse, to be sure, and surprising what it can be. Well, they have found the original itself, that was given eighteen hundred years ago, to some eleven select persons, when in a room with their King; and they have swallowed the idea that the same commission continues to this day! Will this do for servants of the God of heaven, concerning matters of the eternal life of men! But if someone acted so foolishly in civil matters, and took upon himself the commission pertaining to a dead man, he would be jailed immediately; either for being a madman, or for being an enemy to the government. It is quite easy, Sir, if we but put reason to work, to distinguish between servants sent by God, and the self-appointed. Those of one group receive their mission from God, and enjoy his association and his blessings; and those of another receive their mission from what was given long ago to the dead; and they never receive a word from their Master, or the blessings promised to his servants. If that commission, “Go ye into all the world,” &c., gives the right to everyone who chooses to go, why was that not sufficient at that time? if it was, why did “they ordain them elders in every church?” Did not the apostles call, and ordain each one of the officials after giving them that authority? They acted unnecessarily, if the authorities of the religions of this age are valid; but I prefer to believe that it was necessary for the apostles to ordain each one of them; and thus it ought to be until the present, if it is recognized they knew their duty at that time. “Oh, no, there is no need for that in this enlightened age,” they say. Then, there is no need for such blessings either; or, at least, their need will continue until their Giver changes them, or until such people again receive such authority. I know many will fight against this, but every word is true; and it is difficult to kick against the pricks of an unchangeable God, and his beloved Son. But let these people decide the debate amongst themselves as to which of them are God’s servants; and I shall show clear proof of my authority. I do not expect you to depend on my witness only, as other people expect you to do.
Sec. Did not the early Churches have the right to call and ordain Officials?
Saint. I acknowledge that; but it must be proved that all the different churches in the country, or at least some of them, are God’s churches, before they can send out servants for God. What if another church claimed the right to send out ministers for you; or if some minister were to send his servant to conduct your business without your permission? That is no more foolish than for a congregation of people to come together, and authorize whoever they choose, to minister in the things they command, and then to think that would be a Church unto God; and so they carry on, content with some Church of man’s making, without God’s having anything to do with it. It would be rather absurd for a man in Britain to gather supporters, and then make laws, without any royal authority; and then to call that organization the British kingdom. Yet, the latter is no more absurd than the former.
Sec. Did not the Apostolic Churches send out their officials? then why cannot we?
Saint. If you can prove that you are an Apostolic Church, perhaps you have a right to do that; but if you are such, you must have Apostolic succession, and men who have the right to ordain others to different offices; for if an office of the church falls vacant, all the people of the world cannot ordain anyone to the office again, without first obtaining the right directly from the King. Now, ask all the Churches if they have that right through Apostolic succession. That is not needed, say some: yes it is, and we have it, say others; and the two parties say they tell the truth, and are God’s Churches. Instead, are they not Churches of men, to say as they please? If they claim the succession, then they must contradict all the numerous scriptures that prove that there would be a total and absolute apostasy from the Apostolic Church. See Isaiah xxiv; Dan. vii, 25; 1 Tim. iv, 1—3; 2 Tim. iii, 1—9, and iv, 1—4; 2 Thes. ii, 1—12, &c. It was prophesied that the beast would war against the Saints, until he overcame them. Paul said that the mystery of iniquity was already at work in his day, and John in Rev. xii, sees it under the name of a dragon, succeeding in driving the Woman, or the Apostolic Church, into the wilderness; that is, from the presence of men, out of the world, by killing its officials. Every kingdom that has reached this state, of necessity has been shattered and annihilated. No kingdom or Church, heavenly or earthly, can exist without officials who have been lawfully placed; and in the next chapter, John sees the dragon persecute all the subjects of the Church, “which have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 7th verse: “And it was given unto him (the beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him!!” 16: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” &c. You see, Mr. Sec. that the Apostolic Church must be uprooted from the world, before these prophecies can be fulfilled; and so, where is the Church of God after that? The historians in the centuries following the apostles say that this took place, and that the Roman Church has killed the Saints, claiming that she was the true Church despite that: and all Churches in this age must either acknowledge her as the Mother Church, or admit that they have no forebears; for it can be proved that every one I have heard of, originates from her in some way; through the Reformers, or from the Church of Henry VIII, namely, the daughter of the old woman, and therefore are her grandchildren; and it is strange how nearly all of them acknowledge that Mrs. Catholic is the “Mother of harlots of the world,” and they do not realize that by so doing, they are admitting to be her children, or grandchildren, despite how clearly John shows that in Rev. xiii, 11. I believe that her family is nearly accounted for by now; and would it not be more reasonable for them to admit to their lineage, than deny that they have a Mother, or forebearers, or a need for them?
Sec. We have pedigrees, and we know our origins, every one of us. All of our churches have been established by the famous Reformers, namely, Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Peter Waldo, Menno, Zwingli; after that Wesley, Whitfield, Knox, &c., &c. Everyone says they were good men.
Saint. I do not doubt that they were all good, wise, God-fearing, and gifted men, and that they served him the best they could; and it is possible that their followers were as good as they; and despite that, they were not subjects of the kingdom of God after all, any more than was Cornelius. Where had those famous Reformers originated? Did they not break away from the Church of Rome, during the time of Pope Leo, because he was selling indulgences through Tetzel, in the fifteenth century? Thus they admit she is the Mother church, although corrupt. They tried to reform her for a long time, admitting that she was the true Church, until they failed in their attempts and were excommunicated. They did not intend to establish another Church to God; but since they exceeded their expectations in gaining followers, they taught them the best they could, without professing to be God’s chosen servants. So it was with the last ones to leave the Church of England, who either admitted that she had no authority, or that they had none when they separated themselves from her: and no doubt both factions have caused much good, and moral deeds. We cannot fault them: but I cannot comprehend how wise men can think that those congregations, in this age, are so many churches of God, claiming the right to send out servants, who say that God sent them; admitting, at the same time that they do not receive revelation from him, that they have no Apostolic succession, “and that no man taketh this honour unto himself; but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” God has never sent anyone, neither can he, without revealing it to him in some way, any more than you could send your servant out, without revealing it to him in some way. And when you send him, should he not do as you wish; so it is with the servants of God also; when he sends them, they are to do his work constantly as he commands them; not for one to say one thing, and the other to say something else. It is a contradiction, for any church in the world to claim to be a church of God, and then to deny any direct revelation from him; there is no account in the Bible that such a church has ever existed.
Sec. The authority continues in the Bible, as much as is necessary now.
Saint. Worse yet, Sir; if so, why do you need to receive a calling from the church, and the ordination of men, to place you in your offices? If your ancestors received authority from the Bible, why can the others not receive the same authority from the same book now? Those two things contradict each other; do they not, Sir?
Sec. The Bible shows that men need to be ordained to offices, for the apostles did that.
Saint. I agree that that must be so, before anyone can administer an ordinance. The apostles did that, but what right does that give you to do the same thing? They had been ordained lawfully by their Lord, who sent them. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain;” that is through succession, from age to age, if people obeyed them. But we have proved that he foresaw that the ages after that would not obey; and therefore, he said clearly through his prophets, as proved, that the wicked would kill his servants, until his Church would be destroyed from the world. This is what I would like to know: who gave the right to your people to ordain anyone? Was it those who preceded them? Then, who ordained them? and who before that? We see that the first ones either had no right to ordain, or they received the right from Rome, or they received the right the second time from heaven, through the ministering of an angel, or from Christ himself. It has to be one way or the other. Which one do you choose? If the latter, then all those Reformers confess that never did an angel come to them. If the Bible gives you the right to baptize, then the book that we have, namely the book containing the law of the land, gives the same right to anyone who wishes to make himself a civil servant, and he may take upon himself any office he wishes, as long as he carries the book under his arm at all times. If the book has authority for anyone, I ask as did Paul of old, “How shall they preach, except they be sent?” Does he mean they were sent by the book? if so, God has changed his manner of sending: how can that statement be proved? If there is that much authority in the book, then the book should be put on their heads to ordain them, instead of men’s hands; for it appears that the first one must have ordained himself, by putting the book on his own head! How foolish it would be to do that: yet, those who claim their authority through the book must admit this, or have worse confusion, namely the Papist succession. Oh, no; it is neither reasonable, nor possible, for even the Book of books, regardless of how good it is, to send servants for God, or to give anyone the right to go. It cannot save anyone, and God did not intend for any of his children to believe that the Bible alone could save them; but the Bible clearly states the way in which others were saved, and the way that we ourselves can obtain the same blessings as they, if we obey the same commandments as they did. The same cause will bring the same effect again. God is no respecter of persons; therefore, we must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, as were they, and by one of the servants sent by God who has received the lawful authority for that, before we can receive the blessing, or enter into God’s kingdom.
Sec. Well, you have surprised me now. What will become of the thousands of Christians who have died in past ages, yes, since the church went into apostasy? Have they all gone to hell, do you suppose?
Saint. I said nothing of the kind, nor will I ever; they have all gone to the presence of a just judge, to receive their reward for every good thing they did here; and, according to the light given them, they will be judged. Every one of them will receive according to their deeds in the flesh, whether good or bad. If god did not send a message to them, by sending his servants, then they will not be punished for refusing them, namely, for refusing that which they were never offered. That would not be just; and if they lived according to the law they were given, unable to have a better one, they will be judged according to that law; But if they refused a better one, then they will be condemned according to that one; “for this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.” then their previous work, despite how good at that time, is unacceptable after that; “for he that knew his Lord’s will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes:” but, “those who do not have law, shall also perish without law.” So, sir, they are not necessarily in hell, because their forebears killed the servants of God, and deprived them of the opportunity of obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is enough that they were deprived of the glory and the blessings, through the sins of their fathers; but the soul that sins, will die because of his own sins; so it is with them, to the opposite degree of the lawless pagans. My Bible does not teach me that all go either “to the lowest depths of the bottomless pit,” or “to the midst of Jehovah’s brightest glory” when they die, no, each will receive according to his deeds. There will be various degrees, and places for all the different people to receive complete justice. Tradition is opposite to this.
Sec. I wonder if the justice of the merciful and gracious God left the whole world to lie for hundreds of years in darkness, without one church unto Him in it?
Saint. I ask you, was it just for him to leave all the nations in darkness, for over a thousand years, before the coming of Christ? Is it just for him to leave over six hundred million in pagan darkness, to worship sticks and stones, now? That situation in fact exists; and yet God’s justice is just as bright as it was for the 1260 years after his true apostolic church went into the wilderness. If God errs in the one case, he also errs in the other.
Sec. But I have been meaning to ask you for some time, where did you get that authority that is so indispensable for the proper administration of the ordinances, since you have shown so clearly that all the other denominations are deprived of it?
Saint. That is a very important question, and the answer appears, at first glance, incredible, and too good to be true for some, because tradition has bound this age with its iron cords, until they deny that which in another age they believed to be the greatest glory. I must be brief this time, hoping that I can elaborate next time. But the beginning of our church is, that the merciful god, out of pity, has looked down from the heavens on the sons of men, to see whether any just person was seeking after god; but they were all defiled—none wished to do good, not one. Because the fathers had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant—because of this, he sent one of his holy angels, from the land of light, on an errand to the earth below: his mission was to bring the everlasting Gospel to us, in fulfillment of many prophecies, especially that which John saw (Rev. xiv, 6)—”An angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, to preach to every kindred, tongue, people, and nation;” saying that the time of his judgment was coming; and this is to take place, you see, only just before the day of his judgment. From this, one must acknowledge either that every kindred, tongue, people, and nation was deprived of the everlasting Gospel in its fulness and its purity, or else that that angel brought an unnecessary message. But as I said, in the foregoing chapter, John saw the church going into the wilderness; and that “male child” was the priesthood, or the right, the authority after the order of Melchizedek, which was given to the Apostles by Jesus, who was a priest eternally after the order of Melchizedek. When the officials who possessed this authority to administer the ordinances of the house of God lawfully, were killed, it was taken to God, and to his throne; and in that place, John saw it being restored, when the angel brought it from God, and his throne, after being there 1260 years, during which time the Church was in the wilderness. And this angel came in the fulness of time, and gave a commandment to men to go out and preach the everlasting Gospel which the Son of God and his apostles had preached, saying as Christ himself said—”And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils, &c.” (See Mark xvi, 17,, 18.) And they shall obey the heavenly call; and those who believe, and are baptized by them, will receive the Holy Ghost, according to the promise of God, by the laying on of their hands; and God will work with them, through the powers and the wonders that follow, and even the sick will be healed, by being anointed with oil in the name of the Lord, through the prayer of faith, and the laying on of hands by the elders. And this angel gave to them a commandment to establish a kingdom to God, with apostles, prophets, evangelists, gifts of miracles, gifts of healings, &c., the same as in the Apostolic Church. (See 1 Cor. xii; Eph. iv; Rom. xii.) But you have a detailed description of our church in that treatise that was published lately, which is called “The Dead Raised to Life, or the Ancient Religion Anew.” Obtain a copy of it; it is the first printed, in Welsh, about this heavenly religion; and I shall proceed with the story. After those men began to preach, Satan began to snarl, and the Pharisaic preachers became agitated, upon seeing those of their flock who were honest in heart believing, and receiving the gifts of the Spirit, and testifying to the truth of those things. And despite all their persecution from that time to the present, the cause goes forward, until in a few years, it carries in its bosom over three hundred thousand disciples, in the four corners of the earth, who have received a testimony from God for themselves, so that they do not rely on the testimony of men; but as Christ said, “If any man wishes to do the will of my Father, who is in heaven, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” You see, sir, that it is not possible to deceive anyone, and no one can be deceived with the gospel of Christ, for it proves itself, and so it continues with us; but which of the religionists of this age will bring you to this knowledge of their beliefs, or will give you an infallible key to prove their religion? Do not the best of them ask you to live waiting and hoping until your grave, and then perhaps you will be saved? and if you are not, then do the best you can, for you shall not have a second chance! But it is not so with the religion of Christ. And the ministering of angels, visions, revelations, and the gifts the Saints received, have been shown to us, and verified through the testimonies of thousands who are still living, and others who have died with their testimony on their lips, and others who have sealed the truth of what they saw, and heard, and felt, with their blood, in many different ways. I heard and saw several such witnesses myself. Despite how heretical this appears to this prejudiced age, it is amply true that in our age the God of heaven has sent angels to our earth, who have begun the most wondrous work in its ordinances, glorious in its deeds, and beneficial in its effects, of any work ever done on this earth. Behold, the great and dreadful day of the Lord is coming quickly; who is able to stand? No one but those who obey the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sec. This seems new and strange to me, but you must believe it before you would bear testimony of its truthfulness so strongly, that an Angel really has come to our earth! Are you sure you were not deceived?
Saint. If so, I am not alone; hundreds of thousands have been deceived, and some gave their lives for the deceit, if it is deceit. It is easy to say, You have been deceived; but it is just as difficult to prove that we have been deceived, as it is to prove that the saints in the primitive ages were deceived, by the same things. Upon proving our deceit, you are forced, just reasoning by analogy, to become a Deist, and condemn the apostles as deceivers, because they claimed to see angels, and have the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is better to believe us or the early saints, for our profession is similar to theirs. This is not deceit, rather the miracles of God.
Sec. When did that angel appear?
Saint. You yourself can answer that from the Bible, when he was to come, and everything is sure to come in its own time from God. You know that the Church was to stay in the wilderness, according to John, for 1260 years; and then, one need only determine the time it went there, and put the two together, and that will prove for sure when it will come from there, and it will be the same kind of church exactly, having apostles, prophets, and miraculous gifts, as it had before going into the wilderness; otherwise, it would not be the same, but some other one. Our Bible does not give the account of when it went to the wilderness, for John ended his account on the isle of Patmos, 96 A.D.; and there were at that time, he says, seven churches in Asia. So, there is nothing to do, but to take the most correct historians we have from the following ages, and we do not know of a better author than Mosheim, he who says that the churches of the saints were in existence performing miracles, and following the apostles, until the year 570, when the persecution became so harsh, that they were killed and dispersed by the government of Rome, so they would no longer exist: and then, when the two foregoing numbers are put together, they show the year (not the time the end of the world was to come, as the Millerites say, though it is rumored that we ourselves say it), that the angel would come to give men the right to establish a kingdom to God on the earth, that is in 1830, A.D. A remarkable time, about which thousands with their golden vials on this earth will sing songs; and they shall begin very soon. Hail to them.
Sec. That date passed fifteen years ago. Was that when the angel came? It is strange that we did not hear before now of such a wondrous thing.
Saint. Yes, sir, in the year 1830, according to the prophecy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established, through divine power, and the gates of hell shall not destroy her; rather she will succeed, and shall fill the whole earth before very long. Come to her. The sooner the better; and you shall never regret it. What! Was it not you who were surprised that you had not heard about it earlier, and yet I have come too soon for you now! What kind of excuse is that?
Sec. But to whom did that angel appear? What kind of men were they? Very learned men, probably; were they some Rev., or D.D., with some popular religion, or who then?
Saint. Think of whom you would choose; do you suppose the world could agree on the choice of a person to receive this great privilege, so they could believe his testimony? It is useless to expect that, for one faction would not believe, unless the angel were to appear to one of their leaders; and if he came in that manner, the others would reject him for it, and thus every faction but one would be disappointed for his neglecting them. But, should we not let god choose his instruments? He knows best whom to send for him, for that is what he did, in any event. He did not ask permission from any faction; and he moved this obstacle from their way, by coming to someone who did not belong to one religious denomination any more than to the other, but who had his religion between him and God, while he prayed in the woods at night; and as usual God chose the lowly and unlearned, so that the splendor of the power would be from God, and not from us. And this is not the first time he has sent angels to shepherds, and the tenders of animals, in their youth.
Sec. How can I receive the Holy Ghost?
Saint. I know of no promise in the holy scriptures, that anyone can receive the Holy Ghost, except by the laying on of hands by God’s servants, who have received divine authority to administer this important ordinance, and after, but not before, being lawfully baptized, he can receive forgiveness of all his sins through that ordinance, because of his faith and his repentance. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as Cornelius of old, who received the Holy Ghost before being baptized; but that was a miracle to prove to the unbelieving Jews who were there, that those believing gentiles had a right to the gospel. There was no promise that they, or any others of them, would receive it in that manner, after that. We could note one or two exceptions, showing that God gave the Spirit in ways that differed from the established rules of the gospel; but only God has the right to make exceptions. Men mock him when they seek any promised blessing, except through obedience to the order that he set up for such purposes: they refuse to receive anything from him except in the way they themselves chose. No wonder that there is so little receiving in this age. They seek wrongly: and God will have to change, before they can receive his Spirit without the laying on of hands. There are several purposes for this ordinance, besides that of receiving the Holy Ghost, which are too numerous to list here. But, to answer your question, if I can prove that the apostles administer this ordinance, and that people receive the Spirit as a result, that will prove either that this is the way for us to obtain it, or that there is more than one ordinance for administering the Holy Ghost. One or the other method must be defective and unnecessary; and, consequently, its author must be culpable of blasphemy. So, the perfect God has but one ordinance to administer for obtaining his Spirit; and if he were to give that Spirit without following that ordinance, he would in that way depreciate it, and he would oppose himself. You see that one needs only prove from the Bible that they received the Spirit by the laying on of hands; and that, with the considerations I noted, is the only way to obtain it: and since you are a scriptorian, I shall refer you to the places where this is proved. You have in Acts viii, 17, “Then laid they (the apostles) their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” One sees from v. 12, that it was after they were baptized, but not before that, that they received the Spirit: “But when they believed Philip preaching (not giving signs) the things concerning the kingdom of God (that is the law of adoption), and the name of Jesus Christ (faith in his name), they were baptized, both men and women.” Here we see how far men are from receiving the Holy Ghost before believing and converting, as were these Samaritans, who after not just believing but also being baptized received forgiveness of their sins and had “great joy in the whole city” where the incident took place; and yet it is proved in v. 16, “that he (the Holy Ghost) was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” There you have the Bible proving the foregoing statement; and after that, two of the chief apostles of the church, those who had received the keys of the kingdom, knelt with these people to pray in the name of the one who a short time before had told them—”Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” &c.; and here is the subject of their prayer, “that they might receive the Holy Ghost!” Why did they do that, if they had received the Holy Ghost to lead them to believe? and there they were rising after the prayer, deprived of the Holy Ghost; and had they continued praying until today, he would not have come upon them, despite all their prayers; to have received it would have altered God’s plan. Why so? Because prayer alone is not the established order for receiving the Holy Ghost. Peter and John were not praying for him to come down on them while they were praying, (they knew better than that), rather for God to accept their way of ministering his word, and to give the Holy Ghost to them when they laid their hands on them, which is what God did according to the account. Here is divine proof, then, that this is the only way to obtain it. “Then [after the praying and everything], they laid their hands on them [to what purpose, if he came through prayer?]; then [at that time, and not before] they (the believing Samaritans) received the Holy Ghost.” See v. 18, “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given.” He saw it, that that was the way it was done; and it is so clear, that I cannot comprehend why everyone cannot see that. This clear example is sufficient to prove this to you, is it not?
Sec. It is; it is very clear that it was through the laying on of hands that those in Samaria received it, but that is not how those on the day of Pentecost received it. Peter does not say a word to them about the laying on of hands at that time. How do you reconcile these things?
Saint. I wonder if Peter would promise the Holy Ghost to those without the ordinance, which he makes so indispensable for the Samaritans to have? Oh no; he is no respecter of persons in this, between Jew and Greek, slave and free man; there is no difference; God is the same to everyone, and to everyone who obeys his established ordinances; and so, the one and the other alike must receive the same Spirit through the laying on of hands. Although Peter did not state the way, on the day of Pentecost, yet, it is obvious that he gave them other lessons first, and after they had obeyed these, “repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins;” and following that, or after that, “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” not through that baptism with water, but as he showed them at the time. Peter and the apostles had the right to lay on hands, although Philip, who was able to preach and baptize with water regularly, did not have that right. So it is proved, that those Samaritans could not receive the Holy Ghost before the coming of Peter and John there, since there was no one with the right to administer the ordinance. How carefully does God respect the ordinances established by his Son; and should not his servants obey them? But, I have the witness of Paul, that proves that it was through the laying on of hands those Hebrews received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. (See the 6th chap. of his letter to them.) He refers to the ordinances for those who had embarked on their spiritual course; first, “faith, and second repentance, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands,” &c. One must admit that those were the ordinances in the church, or they would contradict the apostle when he referred to them—and that is to admit that the apostles had laid hands on those to whom he refers on the day of Pentecost; and I do not know why anyone expects to receive the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands, any more than they could expect to receive forgiveness, without obeying the other ordinance established for that purpose, namely baptism. But to be brief, when you go home read Acts xix. 1—6, and you shall see clearly that people believed, &c., and yet had not received the Holy Ghost through that; otherwise, why would Paul ask those people (after admitting they were disciples, and had believed), “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” You see, from his example in baptizing them, that they had not been baptized properly, since he who baptized them did not have the right to do so, although they thought that it was unto John’s baptism they had been baptized; but Paul shows them the error in that, and after that he laid his hands on them. Then (but not before that), “when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” Why does not the Spirit that people of this age receive cause the same things? Because they do not receive the same Spirit, rather some other spirit; and how will they receive the Holy Ghost now without that laying on of hands that was so indispensable at that time? The gospel is the same, and its ordinances are as unchangeable as their Author, and his Spirit bears the same fruits in every age of the world. There is a great need to prove the spirits in this age. I could bring forth even more proofs, that it is by the laying on of hands that the Holy Ghost is given, but that is sufficient for now.
Sec. I do not know what can be in hands to give the Holy Ghost to anyone now. It must be admitted that the apostles, and they alone, did that; but that ordinance is not needed now. That is similar to Papism, is it not?
Saint. It is not of great importance to what it is similar, while it is so similar to the apostolic order. If it is Papism, then the apostles were Papists; and if this makes me a Papist, I am in good company, namely Paul of old, Peter, and the other apostles. But I deny that anyone but the apostles could lay on hands for receiving the Holy Ghost; because I have solid proof that the elders had the right to administer this ordinance. See Acts ix, 17, “And Ananias entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” It was through the laying on of his hands, and he was not an apostle. But I must hurry along, since my time is about up. Ask the most explanatory questions, as briefly as you can; I shall endeavor to answer them as briefly as I can.
Sec. If baptism is so important, why are the Scriptures so silent about the baptism of the apostles themselves?
Saint. The Scriptures clearly show that the apostles were baptized. Christ says in Math. x, 38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” The apostles were worthy of him; therefore, they had taken upon them this cross. With reference to the same thing, he says in Math. xix, 28, “Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” He is not referring to the regeneration of the Spirit, because the Spirit had not been given at this time. It was some time after this that he gave the promise of the Holy Ghost to them, to be with them always (see John xvi, 7); therefore, by that regeneration he must have meant nothing less than baptism by water for forgiveness. This is reasonable also, considering how unreasonable it would have been for them not to follow the example of their Teacher regarding baptism; or in baptizing others, while neglecting their own baptism.
Sec. You have proved that point clearly; but now for something that is more contrary to my feelings than anything else I have mentioned; why do those who are to be baptized have to take off their clothes, and go into the water naked? This is odious.
Saint. That is a false accusation, without one word of truth in it. It is one of a thousand lies created by our enemies, and proclaimed on the wings of the wind. I challenge anyone to prove one incident of that.
Sec. I am more amazed than ever before. I wonder, Sir, would such a thing be said and believed against you so widely, unless there were some cause for that? I read that also in some religious publication from Cardiff, by the name of the True Baptist, pertaining to the Baptists. In it there were many other very bad things said about you, about which I would like to know. There is no reason to inquire concerning the stories of those sick women, for everyone sees that it is impossible for those things to be as they are described. The author of them, in his zeal to sufficiently denigrate you, said too much, until he contradicted himself.
Saint. I too have read in several consecutive numbers of that periodical, about these people. I have truthful eyewitnesses to prove that the accusations are lies and without foundation. I intended to publish them, but I was persuaded by many that there was no need—that sane men would never believe such contradictory assertions from any publication, much less from that corrupt and slanderous publication. But I have come to understand more about it, and those correspondents who sent those lies to it; and if you notice, you will see that T. ab Ieuan and Tobit near the Bridge are the pseudonyms attached to nearly all of them. You can recognize their style and their expressions, word for word, for entire sentences, one after the other. They must have considerable influence on the publisher, who can only be trying to ruin his monthly and his character, by putting such things in it; and I have decided to publish the proofs I have to show to the country these people in their true color. It is said that D—l—s is where T. ab Ieuan and Tobit live; and I was thinking, as I traced their work through the numbers of the Baptist, that the only one who would satisfy them was the Rev. W. R. Davies, and strange how they boast about him. There is something good about him in nearly every issue—if only a funeral sermon, “an extremely splendid one by the Rev. W. R. Davies;” and something good about every noteworthy thing that takes place in Dowlais, especially at Caersalem chapel, which is “remarkable,” says T. ab Ieuan. “How eminent he was!” as if he were their chief writer, using all his imagination to glorify that Davies, Dowlais. What is the secret between them? I wonder if the two are often in each other’s company? Perhaps these two are together in the pulpit also.
Sec. You should publish the refutations to those lies; because not only your character as an organization, together with your religion, but also the public, are being done a great injury by those lies. Hardly anyone thinks, if those accusations are true, that you are worth being listened to; and I did not think that any publication in Wales, especially one that professes to be a religious publication, would publish such slander against other people. Indeed, I must believe that all I have heard and read about you and your religion are lies, according to what I am hearing about your principles from you; you should defend yourself publicly, the way I see it. They are more scriptural than those of any other denomination; but why do you baptize people at night?
Saint. I have mentioned the cause for some having been baptized at night, namely because some people have stirred up such persecution against us, so that we were not permitted, in their areas, to baptize during the day, if they knew about it. And who but they condemn us publicly, for doing that, after they have forced us, by their lies, to baptize in that manner those who ask for baptism from us almost daily; we have no specific time to baptize, rather whenever it is convenient, be it at night or day, Sundays, holidays, or weekdays. Only a few are baptized at night.
Sec. Do you believe, as is said, “that the water washes away all your sins!”
Saint. This is yet another story of the Baptist, and it is all lies. We do not believe there is sufficient virtue in all the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to wash away one sin, nor in the hands of anyone to confer the Holy Ghost, any more than there was in the rams’ horns to bring down the walls of Jericho; but the blessing derives entirely from grace, and depends on one’s faithfulness to Him who promised it, which is shown by obedience to the proper administration of the procedures, or the ordinances established for such purposes. By obedience; but not because of, or without the procedures—through faith and a saintly life in Jesus Christ, on the path of duty, like Naaman the Syrian, by bathing seven times in the Jordan.
Sec. It is a great pity you have suffered so much injustice. If the country knew the truth about you, they would no doubt be happy to hear you. One other thing I read in the Publications, was that you preached that the end of the world was to come last year, and that you caused many to give up their businesses, and give their money to you, and that some had gone mad. What gave rise to this story?
Saint. I will tell you. A few years ago, a man by the name of William Miller, a preacher of the Baptists, in Long Island, America, started a faction, by saying that Christ would come to burn the world on the 23rd of April, 1843; and great was the commotion and noise he caused. I attended their meetings there, and other places; and this Miller himself was in Nauvoo when I was there, but his doctrine was opposed, and it was proved heretical. The Saints never had anything to do with that doctrine, for it is contrary to their basic beliefs.—Now, Sir, for your own good, I wish for you to think on these things, “searching the Scriptures daily, whether these things be so.” I have answered all your objections to the everlasting Gospel, as it is preached by the Saints; and have shown you some of the lies being spread by Satan and his servants about our character, in order to keep you and others from listening to us; for they know, by and large, that honest men would believe our religion, if they were to hear us. I hope that you will be more noble, after leaving, than to do as many do with me, that is to falsely portray in my absence that which I have said; and I know that the recording angel has heard what has been said by me, and that a detailed accounting will have to be given also. If what I have said is true, then you see the danger of your delaying and neglecting the commandments of our Lord and our Judge, and thus refusing salvation, and glory, that is to rule with our Lord Jesus Christ on this planet which gave you life, when it has been perfected; for through the Gospel he will bring life and purity to light; and that you, and thousands of others of my fellow countrymen, will enjoy the Gospel of peace, is my sincere prayer for Christ’s sake.—But one more thing before you go, and that perhaps for the last time in this life, and I shall say the same thing when we meet before the judgment bar. It seems, if you mention to anyone, especially to some of the Pharisees of this age, about the Saints’ religion, that the first thing you will hear from them will be the pack of stories that are flooding the world through the newspapers, against the character of those men who received the privilege of being instruments in the hand of God, to establish his kingdom on the earth in the last days: but remember that this is how God’s people have been treated in every age, and do not believe them. They are lies, indeed; I know this for myself. I was personally acquainted with Joseph Smith, in private and in public for years; I observed closely and without bias his conduct and his teachings; and I say boldly that he was an honest man, a truthful man, a chaste, devout, and moral man, yes, a man who possessed virtues and godliness beyond those of any man I have ever seen. I followed him even to the jail, when he was thrown there on the accusation of treason against the government. I heard the witness who caused that he should be send to jail, swear before a court, that he had heard Joseph Smith preaching from Dan. ii, 44. Read, and you will see “that the God of heaven promised to set up a kingdom.” The above witness swore that Joseph Smith said that that had been fulfilled at that time, and that he (J. S.) was the King. That is why the warrant was given, and why he was thrown into jail, where his drunk and ungodly enemies, their faces blackened and yellowed, rushed on him, killing him and his brother in the most bloody way. I heard their testimony in the jail. They preached the Gospel, through the windows, to those who were trying to kill them; and they prayed for them while they were there. I was with them until the final hour; and I am sure that Joseph Smith and his brother have sealed, in death, their previous testimony with their blood, yes, and died innocent of every one of the stories that are flying throughout Wales about them. There is no doubt that they have gone to their God. They were wise men, and the greatest sent by their God during their era; and may my end be like their end. May God forgive the authors of the lies and the cruelties about his Saints; and may they repent and rescind them, and be baptized by those whom they persecute for the remission of sins, so that they may have the gift of the Holy Ghost and everlasting life, is my sincere prayer, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
To be published in June, 1846, and to come out Monthly,
UNDER THE EDITORSHIP OF CAPT. D. JONES,
PROPHET OF THE JUBILEE,
WHICH WILL CONTAIN—
I. BRIEF Treatises on a Variety of Topics of the LATTER-DAY SAINTS; such as Faith—Repentance—Baptism for Forgiveness—the Laying on of Hands, to receive the Holy Ghost—the Spiritual Gifts—the Return of the Jews to their Country—the First Resurrection—the Reign of Christ on the Earth—the Day of Judgment—Heaven and the New Earth—the Eternal Destiny of the Universe and its Inhabitants.
II. QUOTATIONS FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON, and Proofs of its Truthfulness, together with the Affairs of the Church, and its Growth—the Martyrdom of many of the Saints, and their leaders, in America, by an eye-witness; and the most remarkable things that have happened among them, in Wales and Other Countries.
III. DEFENSES OF THE CHARACTER OF THE SAINTS, against attacks from their enemies, through the baseless stories that are spreading through the country.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS, containing an account of the affairs, battles, afflictions, revolutions, and judgments of God in the dispensation of these latter days.
We shall strive to make the Publication worthy of its name, by fulfilling its office, and by bringing new truths and old to light, for the comfort and benefit of all who read it.
Its Price will be Three Pence each Number to those who subscribe to it for Six Months, and who pay 2s 6c in advance. Whoever gathers Ten Names, and sends the money, will have one Number for his trouble.
*All letters (prepaid) are to be directed to Capt. D. Jones, 45, Cyfartha Row, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil.