Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
J4 JONES, Dan. Y glorian, yn yr hon y gwelir David yn pwyso Williams, a Williams yn pwyso David; neu David Williams, o Abercanaid, yn gwrthddweyd ei hun, wedi ei ddal yn ei dwyll, a’i brofi yn ddeistaidd. (The scales, in which are seen David weighing Williams, and Williams weighing David; or David Williams, from Abercanaid, contradicting himself, caught in his deceit, and proved deistic.) Merthyr Tydfil: Published and for sale by the author. J. Jones, Printer, Rhydybont, 1846.
16 pp. 19 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 4.
Dan Jones’s first pamphlet, The dead raised to life! (J1), caused such a stir in Wales that a group of Baptist ministers joined forces with a group of Independent ministers and commissioned David Williams, a lay preacher, to write a rebuttal. The result was a 32-page pamphlet entitled Twyll y Seintiau Diweddaf yn cael ei ddynoethi (The fraud of the Latter Saints exposed) published in December of 1845. The scales is Dan Jones’s answer to Williams’s pamphlet.
As indicated by the title and the scriptures quoted from the book of Job, Dan Jones takes a scornful attitude toward David Williams as he puts him on the scales—David on the one side and Williams on the other—and proceeds to point out his contradictions. Throughout the entire 16 pages, full of satire and derision, Jones merely follows the standard, mid-nineteenth-century techniques of the polemic. The bulk of his defense centers around the signs that were to follow the believers, as mentioned in Mark 16:17–18. Williams had challenged Jones to prove that he was sent of God by healing all the sick of Merthyr Tydfil and by drinking something deadly without suffering any harmful effect. Jones counters with scriptural quotations concerning sign-seekers. He also counters Williams’s attack on Latter-day Saint views concerning additional scripture, the necessity of baptism, and Williams’s vitriolic observations about Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles (J2).
Instead of answering Dan Jones’s The scales with yet another pamphlet, David Williams simply issued a second printing of The fraud of the Latter Saints exposed and then went to Y Bedyddiwr (The Baptist), a monthly periodical of the Baptists, in an effort to scandalize the Church. For ammunition he used Thomas Jones, an apostate Mormon, and his series of reasons for no longer believing in Church teachings (see J6 for more on the Thomas Jones controversy).
IN WHICH ARE SEEN
DAVID WEIGHING WILLIAMS, AND WILLIAM WEIGHING DAVID;
DAVID WILLIAMS, FROM ABERCANAID,
CONTRADICTING HIMSELF, CAUGHT IN HIS DECEIT, AND PROVED DEISTIC.
“Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.”—Job xv, 6.
“Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?”—Job xi, 3.
“Despite the depth of the dirt and dust
Upon Mormonism’s majesty thrust;
Our plea is good, our God is nearby,
In spite of all the wolves’ savage cry.”
BY CAPT. D. JONES.
PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE BY THE AUTHOR.
To The Reader.
I appeal to the reader in this treatise, for it would be foolishness to appeal to Mr. Williams, for reason or scripture, when his work proves him devoid of the one and the other, he being chained so closely to his prejudiced traditions, that one might think that he would lose his life before he lost them. He resembles that poor man who had sunk down into a bog on the bank of a great river in America, after heavy floods. When a traveler came past that way, after the surface had hardened, he saw a hat in front of him. He picked it up; and, to his great surprise, he beheld a head underneath it! After staring at it until he could believe his own eyes, he grasped it with all his might, thinking to pull it to the bank by its hair; but, with the first pull, the poor man shouted loudly, “Don’t, don’t take me to the bank, for I have a good horse beneath me, and a new pair of boots on my feet; I would rather sink with them, than lose them!!!”
Perhaps some will say that this trouble is unnecessary—that this little man, and his pamphlet, are beneath notice. I admit, from experience, that that is the first, and quite reasonable thought of every principled man: but, on second thought, I remembered the second advice of the wise man, namely, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” When I understood that this scribe is a mouthpiece for some conference of rail workers, and a bell hammer for their belfry, I thought that if I did not defend myself and the truth, in the face of such frightful false accusations, and show the foolishness, deceit, and idiocy of this clique, there would be no peace for the Saints, at their work, on the streets, or indeed even in their meeting houses either, from being upset in public by the “nation of brawlers;” and since silent contempt, after long trial, did nothing but make them worse still, one must “shut up their mouths” with the truth. Read unbiasedly, reader, and give fair play to the SCALES so they may turn properly.
It would be interesting to the reader to know the pedigree of this little essay which is called “The Fraud of the Latter Saints.” We are informed that at its beginning there was a great “meeting of the minds” concerning it, before it was born—”before setting pen to paper,” they say. And strange was the council which was held in Pentrebach, on the occasion of the issue of this little lad into the world! Lately another little lad has come into our midst, quite similar by nature, with this difference, namely that the first does not know who sent him. His sire is ashamed of owning him, because he knows that he is an untruthful one. But, to compensate for that fault, this one has so many fathers that it is difficult to know who owns him; but from all the “rail workers of Pentrebach, it was decided in the council,” namely, the great sanhedrin itself, that the general, the bravest of the council, namely David Williams, was to be sire, and two Baptists (namely Edward James and Evan Lewis), and two Independents (by the name of Stephen Williams and John Powel), were to be his godfathers;—these signing “for ALL their friends,” they say that he would be a pleasant and a good lad, yea, before ever seeing him, according to their admission. “This pamphlet will contain notes to be made,” they say, namely, in the future tense, of course! Well does Solomon say—”He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him:” so those who offer such rubbish as this to their compatriots, shall be shamed, if there is shame in them. But it would be sweet enough for their taste, since it would be something against the “Saints.” This is their disease, I see; and he who could deliver the greatest blackguardism, the least truth about them, should have the highest place in this Pharisaic sanhedrin. Quite similar to that conference of former days, is it not, at which lies were made up against gentle Jesus, and at which it was decided who should steal the body. It is but a short time that this clan was counseling together as to how to betray and slander one another, on streets too narrow for them to pass, without the fist of the one meeting the nose of the other, all in the name of religion; but when others maintain the right to think for themselves, in their midst, they agree like town dogs to bark at the stranger who comes past—the first starting for fear that he would lose a bone, and the others raising their tails, and growling, after hearing the first bark. After counseling and inventing in this wise and varied sanhedrin, and after arranging their rules, and setting up their chief captain, alias their cat’s paw, on his throne, let the reader imagine seeing him swagger and laugh loudly, calling for pen and paper. Humph, down to work! Now for revenge on those old Saints; “I must turn their white lime into soot, and make my soot white.” “Well, what shall I say first? Oh, yes, his Foreword; I must find fault from the beginning to the end of his treatise,” namely the Ancient Religion Anew. Let not the reader laugh at this wise, wise—great, great man asking the first question. “I ask, in order to clarify [darken] the matter, is it absolutely necessary for a man to know the worth of a gift, before being a receiver of it?” Now I ask, who said that it was? Not I: but this is what I said, that an independent mind is one of the most remarkable gifts of Heaven to men—that few, in comparison, keep it from being made a slave by traditions, such as those he and his kind have, and that because they do not know its worth after receiving it. If he had taken more care about the tense, he would have had to pass the beginning without finding fault; but as he starts to set his pen on paper, his dishonesty and his false reasoning become obvious, and continue as false accusations while his pamphlet continues. Next he says—“The manner of his words signifies that he alone had received the gift of heaven, of those he had seen.” (Forgive his grammar.) Who says that? Williams, I think; for David, in the previous two lines, says the complete opposite to that in this admission. He says that I am the only one I have seen of my nation (that is, at that time) who maintains my right—(to that gift? no, rather) to believe and reveal the DOCTRINE which is set out in that TREATISE. Which one do you believe? David or Williams? I believe David now; but in going on, one may see how truthful he continues. His work in finding fault with the printing press in putting before in place of after, only shows his desire to find fault and his failure to do so: we could note dozens of worse faults in his pamphlet. Great is the fuss he makes concerning some false prophets—yes, false prophets are on the tip of his pen and his tongue, without offering any proof as to their identity; but from hatred towards prophecy, he condemns everyone who prophesies; and in the same instant becomes a prophet himself. Let every Welshman taken note of the great prophet, namely the cat’s paw and scribe of the Pentrebach sanhedrin prophesying!! “It shall be written before long, that he originated at night, and at night he ended.” I wonder that he has not put on a “hairshirt,” and called all his council to hear this, yes, and that he has not gone to the top of that pulpit which was offered to be set up for him in the tavern, in order to scold the Saints. It was likely that there was in that place a great shout of amen when he gave out this great prophecy! Well, he has come into the trap; one may see whether he is a false or a true prophet: but “as he judges, so he shall be judged.” At the beginning of his treatise, he gathers together his strongest reasons, to belittle and malign the definite commandment of the Son of God, aiming his “reed arrows” at it, from enmity “to the saintly people of the Almighty;” and he succeeds as well as many a Deist also. “Great is his rush, blowing a challenge towards the gates of heaven.” If his reasoning is true, it proves that the pagans, and everyone who has not ever heard mention of Christ, can enjoy the same contentment and glory as those who kept his commandments! He says that multitudes of the race of Adam have never heard about this commandment. That is true; but does that prove that such are saved? The Bible says “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” but Jesus Christ. After reasoning that the ignorance of such people does not reduce their contentment, he immediately brings a verse which blows his Deism from its base— “And how shall they believe in what they have not heard of?” How shall they be saved through him, without hearing about him, and believing in him, then? and so he admits that their contentment and their glory are inextricably connected with their obeying the commandments of Christ. I wonder whether language like this would go down well in their Missionary Society, in order to have a great collection to send missionaries to do to the pagans that which does not add to their glory? To prove that the pagans are independent of Christ, and without sin until they hear about him, he uses the words of Christ—“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin!” He did not say they would be free from all sin, “for there is none righteous and none who does not sin, no, not one.” But they would not be guilty of the sin of refusing him; and so one could say to my friend, if God had not sent his servants this time, the evil spirit would not be tempting him to oppose us so terribly and without cause. If he were to look in the previous line to the one he quotes, instead of cutting up my statement, he would see these words:—“According to their behavior to it [the commandment] all those who HEAR IT shall be judged;” and until now nothing but foolish contradictions have been offered to “the superstructure,” and he has not touched one stone of its base, although he becomes a Deist to that end, and reasons deceitfully as well. “The author urges us,” says he, “to give our minds and our reasons to him to search for the kingdom.” Not as he sought and obtained that his great sanhedrin place their senses, their votes, and four of their Jacks, to sign their names to a treatise which he intended to write after that, rather I sought that they might put their minds and senses to work without prejudice. What, do all his followers give their minds and senses to him before every pamphlet he makes; then they should be rebuked for destroying their characters; but let them be excused this time, for they knew not to what sort of pamphlet they would put their names “for all their friends.” I do not think they will give permission to do so again, if they manage to come out of this scrape, any more than the cat allowed that quaint monkey to use her paws a second time to pull the apples from the fire. Take note of David contradicting Williams again. On p. 13 he says—“God has some who had the doctrine of the New Testament in its PURITY, before you were born, and who were observing its ordinances, and who possessed its spirit.” But, what does Williams say? Does he possess that spirit which leads to every truth, I wonder? Oh no; on the previous page Williams says that he does not dare to be so presumptuous and foolish as to “think that all the different sects across the world have the gospel doctrine in its PURITY, nor have all the traditions according to the plan of the early churches; and easily do I admit [says Williams] that the best of us is open to faults.” Well done, Williams; although he lost before, he wins now, and is closer to the truth than David. A very gentle man now: and yet he immediately takes a jump, like a grasshopper, from principles to persons, reasoning that a system cannot be perfect in its establishment, except that every person in it be perfect! If so, the plan which the Heavenly King himself gave of his kingdom, was not perfect, because the subjects were not perfect. This is an example of the logic of this wise man. I wonder, does he know the difference between persons and laws? According to his reasoning, everyone should take care for their lives, lest they travel along the rails which are made by men so imperfect as this sanhedrin of Pentrebach! His sarcastic questions in the two pages above are not worthy of our note. Let the argument between David and Williams end; and then I shall show to the winner that his forefathers did not have the eternal gospel in its purity, nor the kingdom of God for hundreds of years, and that it is not possible for them to have had it according to the truthfulness of the Scriptures; the prophecies must be fulfilled, namely that the “beast shall make war with the Saints until he OVERCOMES them.” (See the “Reply.”) He shows his ignorance of the Scriptures by referring to them to establish his traditional proposition, namely—“Was it not, and is it not, necessary for him to rule, until his enemies are made into a footstool for his feet?” Yet he says,—“It is true that these shall make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them. The reader sees, according to John in Rev. xvii, 14, that after the fall of that great Babylon this will be fulfilled, after Christ comes to rule over his kingdom in his power, as the King of Kings. There is nothing in them referring to the past time, rather after he comes on Mount Zion. (See Rev. xiv, 1) There is here terrible distortion! it is useless to go into detail. But, since Williams admits that he does not have the gospel plan or the doctrine, who gave him any right to change them, I wonder? Oh, his pious fathers: as his fathers did, so does he. Because there were some heresies in the early churches, according to his reasoning, he can change the plan, the offices, the ordinances, &c., and it will be the kingdom of God after that! Strange how foolish some people are! As for the early churches—they were true churches, planted by servants sent by God. Was it those who planted the church in Abercanaid, &c.? if not, why does he claim that they are like unto them? Is it because he asserts they are, that they must therefore be? and yet he admits they are different! But, in order to see that it is not possible for the different churches in this age to be a kingdom unto God, but have been established by men, see the Ancient Religion Anew and the Reply, where the greater part of the remarks of Mr. W. are answered, and where it is proven that he has no authority from God. But, hush! Next, I hear the sound of great thunder, and the tumult of war! I imagine hearing the roar of cannons, until the earth almost shakes around about me! What! is it an earthquake? oh no, it is the roar of the brave general’s trump shouting before him,—“Captain, I am coming out as an opponent to you; for your way is heretical in my sight.” Let every mouse take fright, let the snail pull its two horns back into its shell; let the dogs of Pentrebach not turn a tongue in their heads; for behold this great, great Goliath from Abercanaid, comes out to battle! Dear women, snatch your children from the streets, lest they be trampled under his iron soles into the dust; yes, there are all his sanhedrin leaving their rails and all, and following his tail. Flee, you Saints, otherwise the end of the world will be on your heads now! Oh, woe is me, poor man! there he raises his great lance into the air, and opens his mouth wide to swallow me! Oh no; thanks be to him, he gives me one chance for my life! Who would expect such a great giant, to spare the life of one so small in his sight, or to notice those things which he calls “reed arrows?” Let the reader not laugh about his conditions; for it is better to have life like this, than to be struck into nothingness by his presence. 1. I must “heal all the sick of Merthyr and its surroundings.” 2. “Note when there has been, or shall be, divided tongues as if of fire, sitting on the head of everyone, or some one of those whom you yourselves call Latter Saints.” Two quite difficult conditions, are they not? But hear the next and you shall say that I am done for, surely. 3. “Drink something deadly, without any injury following.” Would he be satisfied then, I wonder? He does not say whether arsenic, prussic acid, or henbane, or his own favorite drink; and he leaves us our freedom, like his, to choose how great shall be the dose. But the fourth thing is more difficult yet. He asks me to persuade him, that the Holy Spirit is leading me completely contrary to the Scriptures!!! Regardless of what I do with the first ones, I shall not venture on the last; and it is too great a task for him also, despite his size, to show that I am contrary to one scripture within the Bible. This again is one of his unfounded assertions. But, who is this giant who is so anxious to have a sign? Does he call himself a preacher? Yes! Does he believe the Bible? Yes, says he!! And yet he asks a sign to believe the teaching which is in the Bible? Yes! And does he assert that he believes it already? Yes; with this difference—it is David who asks for a sign, and Williams who believes it already. Then, David is the Deist this time! Well, it is fair to alternate. Oh, poor David—wants a sign, does he? before he will believe what he says he already preaches! What if he were blind, it would not be possible to get him to believe. Wants a sign! Well did Christ say that “a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” Here is the verdict of the just Judge on him. I cannot but think of the beginning of this ancient craft of asking for a sign long ago, when the old general of hell came out to meet the Captain of our salvation in the desert. He had about him the same “sackcloth,” the same lance, blowing as raucously through the same trumpet, as the giant of Abercanaid; and indeed, his speech also accuses him of the close relationship which is between father and son. “It is difficult to separate a man from his family.” All the wisdom of his sanhedrin has failed to comprehend my pedigree—the brother of whom I am—whether man or angel. One says that I am a “little devil;” but Mr. W. says that I am a man possessed of devils, and the way that he knows this is that I have the “scent of hell” about me. How well he knows that scent, does he not? How is a beloved preacher so acquainted with such a thing? But one does not have to imagine, or search for his pedigree, for his own mouth condemneth him. What need of any more testimony, but that the junior is a harder taskmaster than the other. This one requests four signs, whereas the other asks but one small one, and much more easily done than to “heal all the sick of Merthyr and its surroundings.” He was not so inimical as to wish to poison him. How wretched they are, the children of darkness! Well did Christ say,—”If they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead to them.” Not one of the servants of God ever gave a sign to anyone for them to believe the gospel, regardless of how much they were requested to do so; and if one of them had done so, he would have proved through that that he was a servant of the devil, by obeying his old request, namely, “Command this stone that it be made bread.” “The truth is [says this disbeliever] that it is a common custom of deceivers, in every age, to pretend to work miracles; and thus [i.e., pretending] do these people.” How does he know this, I wonder? Has he been with all of them, in every corner of the world, each time? or then, does he claim that he is omnipotent and omniscient? He must be so before anyone can believe that claim. Well, here the Deist has made himself God at last, or nothing! Is it not in this manner that such people reasoned against the apostles? In his desire to condemn us, he denies their truthfulness. But, to all his false accusations, he adds—“They wish us to believe that they work miracles.” This is a falsehood; for we do not wish him, or anyone else, to think that WE work miracles; we have never said that. There is more difference than Mr. W. thinks, perhaps, between men professing that they can work miracles, and their saying that the church or the people of God enjoy the spiritual gifts and the blessings which were enjoyed by his children in every previous age (according to the holy story), which were promised by Christ to his church, and to everyone who would believe his gospel without discrimination, but not to those who would believe the traditions of men. If Mr. W. were somewhat of a grammarian, he would perceive as much difference between his assertion and our profession, as there is between a verb and a strong noun. I wonder whether he knows the difference between an agent and an action; but to be sure, he can know more between himself and the rails he makes. Well, there it is: his asking a sign from the servants of God is the same as his asking the ax to hew down the tree, without taking hold of it. I wonder, is he not ashamed by now? “But when they are asked to show the proof:” Yes, there it is again. “Give a sign;” “work a miracle,” says he. Be silent, Satan; did my Master not say, “Get thee behind me?” Show proof of what, I wonder? yes, proof of what we do not profess! We could ask him the same thing. If he asks a sign to prove our religion, I give him the best of all signs for that, namely the Holy Bible. But he denies that; what sign is that to him? And yet, a sign he wishes—yes, a sign as proof that we are servants unto God. Yes, there it is—exactly like his father previously. “Prove that thou art the Son of God,” said he. He believed in God, to be sure, previously. But the sign-seeker sinks more deeply into the bog with every thrust he makes to come out. Now, only his head is out, and it is wide open, shouting at the top of his voice, If you do not work a miracle to prove your mission, I had rather sink here than believe you! But, “to answer the fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit,” we ask does he profess to be a servant of God? “Oh, yes; and he preaches (says he) something to his fellow creatures which hastens on to strict judgment! Should he not work a miracle, to prove his mission and his right to that? Do so, Davy, if it were only one little sign, (as if his disciples were speaking) otherwise we shall not believe your testimony, any more than you believe the testimony of the Saints; and then there is the fox’s tail fast in his own trap! oh, how pitiful he is—he needs a miracle in order to prove the mission of the servants of God, does he? Yes, indeed. If anyone did a miracle for him, would that be proof to him of such a thing, I wonder? If it were, he admits that he himself can be a servant of the devil, and that he does not know which one, until he sees that sign performed. Then, says he, I shall know whether I or they are servants of God. Do you see what sort of proof he has of his mission! Here he sells himself to any enchanter or deceiver who comes by, for a miracle. Oh, his soul is to be pitied, is it not? He could sell himself and his entire sanhedrin, to satan, by having his Jacks sign “for all their friends;” for the Scripture says (in Matt. xxiv, 24)—”For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders,” &c. Also, John says in Rev. xiii, 13, 14—”And he [i.e., the beast] doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those MIRACLES which he had power to do,” &c. The reader sees how easy it would be for satan and his servants to deceive these people, and have a full net between Pentrebach and Abercanaid; yes, he could have all the railworkers, one would think, for one little miracle! But what would he win then? Nothing. Satan knows that he would only be in the same hole then. His net would be no fuller than it is. I wonder whether Mr. W. could judge who I am, after receiving a miracle, better than before, when he asserts that he knows already, “that I am some sort of man who has been possessed by devils.” Yes, it is Dave who says this; but Williams asks me for proof contrary to Dave! and if he can just receive a miracle, he will admit that Dave is a liar. Thus everything is the wrong way with him—Christ and his servants refuse to give signs at any time to wicked people, and this one begging as eagerly for a sign, as the wild ass when he drinks fiery-mist (samiels) in his desire for water, until he burns his insides. The Bible says that the servants of the devil give signs. No, says this one. You are proved servants of the devil, unless you work a miracle. Do the Scriptures say anywhere, If you lack wisdom, to know the difference between a servant of God and a servant of the devil, ask of a man, and he shall give you a sign to prove his mission? If there is no such commandment, or any example in the New Testament that anyone has done that, why then does he expect me to do more than they? But this is what Christ says—”If any man will do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” &c. When shall he know? after obeying the doctrine, and not before that; and not after obeying some other doctrine. There are hundreds of our brothers and sisters of the same blood; yes, wise, responsible, truthful, and honest people, now in Merthyr and its surroundings, who have obeyed this gospel, and have found gifts which were promised in the name of our Lord, and are certain that they are in the church of Christ now, after some of them have been for 30 or 40 years with the denominations of the age, some preachers, some deacons, and other members. I wonder whether one might think that every one of these bore false witness, in order to deceive others, without any object in sight, nor any way of deceiving them in things which they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and feel the powerful workings of the Spirit of God in their midst? This would be very strange, would it not? But in truth I say, dear reader, that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. This name is persecuted and maligned by all his enemies, and time will show this to the grief, I fear, of many of my dear compatriots. Christ and his servants, poor things, were plagued constantly to give a sign. This is what Paul says, as do we, “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness,” despite all their shouting for a sign. Why that, Paul, instead of giving them a sign? Because God “saw fit, through the foolishness of preaching [but not through signs], to save those who believe”—not believing through seeing signs, but believing that which was preached, namely Christ crucified. Here it is seen clearly that testimony is the basis of faith; preaching is what brings men to believe. Paul says that faith comes through hearing the word of God. Another time he says, “We do not walk by sight, but by faith.” If a sign is necessary before believing, who gave a sign in order to get Mr. Williams to believe, I wonder? If it is not necessary, why does he bleat for a sign then? Take care, dear reader, that the devil not tempt you to ask for a sign, lest God give too costly a sign to you. After David was so earnest for a sign, on p. 19, Williams asserts that miracles have died out, that there is no need for them; that the story is complete in the word, that the Spirit of God leads the children of light to every truth. If so, why do they claim things so contrary to one another? The facts testify against them in this. It is difficult to know whether David or Williams is the more popular in this, but it is obvious that David Williams opposes Scripture and reason, when he asserts that God did miracles to establish the Christian faith, in the days of the Apostles. If so, he should prove his divinity in the same way to the pagans of this age; otherwise he would be a respecter of persons. How can the one be expected to believe the word of missionaries concerning something so new and strange, without having proof, that is, a sign, any more than the others were expected to believe the same thing in the beginning? According to his own reasoning, Mr. Williams should either admit that miracles are needed now to establish the gospel in their midst, or deny his first assertion;—it is not possible for the two to be true, without making God a liar! Oh! foolishness, the cart is before the horse here again. It would be better for him to read more carefully the treatise which he abuses, namely the Ancient Religion Anew; there he may see that Paul says completely contrary to him about God’s purpose in working miracles. See Eph. iv, 12,13. “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith [Are all the sects throughout the world in unity now?], and of the knowledge of the Son of God [has he arrived there yet, I wonder?], unto a perfect man;” not so perfect yet, is he? but to judge him by his work? It is clear that Paul is a liar here, if what Mr. Williams says is true! Let the two be questioned thus:—To what end were the spiritual gifts given, Mr. W.? He answers, “to prove the divinity and truths of the Christian faith.” Now you answer, Paul,—“to perfect the saints!” How long were they needed, Mr. W.? “They are not needed after the apostolic age.” Paul,— “Until he who is perfect comes!” Completely contrary to one another, are they not? Which of the two do you believe, reader? Did he not know this? If he tells the truth, that he has read my treatise, or his Bible, he must have read these things also, in the one and in the other: and if it would not make this treatise too long, we would show that his entire pamphlet practically, is contrary to reason, to himself, and to the Scriptures! It is difficult to believe, then, that he has shrouded himself to such an extent in utter darkness, that he is doing all this consciously. But, on p. 20 this man is seen in his proper color; and in blasphemous language, he mocks the definite promises of the Son of God, and us for believing them. “Great is the fuss of the Captain and his brethren, concerning the signs that were to follow those who believed in the apostolic age,” says he. And what is it that he mocks like this? See in Mark xvi, 17, 18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues [not in that age alone, nor to establish the gospel he says, but those who would believe the gospel in every age]; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing [that is, if they drink in their ignorance, not if they drink poison when the devil or his servants ask of them, tempting God], it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” Yes, reader, these are the important words which this reverend mocks us for believing! I wonder whether Paine, Voltaire, or any of the professed atheists would be more presumptuous and impious than this person: or malign so much the words of the unchangeable God, who says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” But, Oh, the extremes of hypocrisy! Listen to the man shouting at the top of his voice, yes, in the same instant almost,—“But, we say with all our heart, Jesus Christ is everything and in everything!!!” Oh, fie! Who will believe his assertion of love for Christ, when his devious tongue blasphemes his words? “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” says Christ. Not everyone who shouts, “Lord, Lord [and denies his words] shall enter into the kingdom of God, but he who doeth his will.” The reverend must deny his Lord, or leave his “boots and his steed” in the bog. And, like that poor man whom I noted at the beginning, so does he here! The example of that man possessed by a devil, to which he refers, proves too much. He proves himself a liar, by claiming that he has faith. If as much as a grain of mustard seed is enough to move mountains, who knows how much he has until he does that, i.e., according to his reasoning. But this example of Mr. W.’s logic is too good to pass up. “According to the foregoing statement [namely the lack of faith] there must be faith in the sea.” Here is an excellent comparison, is it not? Does such a reasonable man who has a duty to believe, possess faculties suitable for that, for the “sea, the Jordan, forests, mountains, and the dead,” &c.? Does he not know the difference between the one and the other? Is it fair to compare the elements which are ruled by completely different laws, to men who possess reason and will? The least little boy in his district, would not reason more stupidly than this. But he thinks he has a complete victory here. “The reader sees,” says he; yes, sees his foolishness to the point of loathing him. Then he takes a jump to try to escape from the trap; but deeper and deeper he sinks into the bog with every jump. There is nothing but his mouth out now, and with his last breath he shouts raucously, “We call on them to prove their assertions, by showing the signs.” He is very stout to his subject, is he not? what he says first he says last, despite everyone. He is almost as stout as that tailor’s wife, who called her husband a lousy tailor, which caused him to proceed to drown her; but that was what she continued to shout while her mouth was above water, and after he had pushed her head under, she stretched her hand to the top, snapping her fingers, to show that she was of the same mind still. Thus does this one shout constantly for a sign. The apostles went out, and they preached (not giving signs to get people to believe); “the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” One sees that the signs followed, not preceded the word, rather to confirm those who had already believed the word that had been preached. God’s purpose in giving signs was not to bring them to believe, otherwise he was disappointed; for scarcely one out of a thousand of that nation believed, but they believed the word, not the miracle. “Those who believe on me, through your word,” says Christ. Not through their miracles; their testimony concerning him, was the basis of their belief. The spiritual gifts are the facts, or the blessings which followed; and thus he has the cart before the horse again. The exceptions of some who believed by seeing, do not prove contrary to the definite rule of God. On p. 20, there is a hodgepodge of contrary reasoning. Having been twice a Deist, having proven himself a deceiver, and then asking for a sign! Then he brings Paul (says he) to prove that miracles have ceased! Why does he ask so much about them, then? Oh, perhaps he did not see this verse at that time. His proof is seen in 1 Cor. xiii. 8—“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Now, this is his strong refuge, and his proof that the above things have ceased; and if I can cut off the head of this giant with his own sword, there shall be an end to the shouting for a sign, I think. One sees first, that three things are named in this verse, things which were to cease. If Mr. W. claims that the first two, namely prophecies and tongues have already ceased, he admits also that the last, namely knowledge, vanished at the same time; for the three are synonymous in the construction, and that would prove the whole world to be ignoramuses, fools, with no knowledge. Despite all his boasting of charity, this would be rather uncharitable. What would his sanhedrin think of him—what would the learned theologians of the age say to Mr. W., yes, everyone, when he proves them all fools? Yet, this is what he does, and he admits it to be so, if his logic is correct; but he prefers to explain a little to get out of this trap, I think, that knowledge is not meant by the last. Then, not prophecies, or tongues, are meant by the first two; if so, that verse does not prove his premise. No matter which path he takes, he is in a bind now. Well, what will he do next, I wonder? If he holds to his subject, that is that Paul proves here that prophecies were to fail, and that tongues were to cease, in that age, then he surely brings Paul to confusion, yes, contradicting God, and contradicting himself; for throughout the previous chapter, namely the xii, Paul reasons strongly that all these things are necessary in the church, or the body of Christ, while it was in the world; and in v. 28, he says on his oath that God has set some in the church to be apostles, prophets, teachers, then miracles, and after that spiritual gifts, diversities of tongues. Who can think that Paul does away with these things, after saying on his oath that God has set them in the church? If that is Paul’s meaning in the above verse, he contradicts himself before half a dozen verses further on, namely chap. xiv. 1,—“And desire spiritual gifts; but rather that ye may prophesy.” Ver. 5, “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied.” Ver. 39, “Covet to prophesy [cease to prophesy, says Mr. W.]; and forbid not to speak with tongues,” says Paul. Forbid, says Mr. W. Which one are you to believe? they are completely contradictory. The reader sees Paul’s meaning in the following verses. He admits that they knew and prophesied in part; “but when that which is perfect is come, then (and not before then) that which is in part shall be done away.” So, Paul proves my statement in the above verse beyond every argument, namely that there is need for prophecy, and all the gifts, in the church to perfect the saints (while there are saints on this earth to perfect), until we see the one who is perfect, namely Christ, face to face. Thus, one sees that Paul is consistent with himself, with God, and with Mormonism; and all are contrary to what Mr. W. says. Here Mr. W. is completely contrary to what he was on the previous page (see p. 19)—”And we do not doubt the possibility of working miracles!!!” Why does he condemn us for that, then? why does he say that Paul shows they have ceased? why does he say “there is no need for them?” But, in the following statement, Mr. David or Mr. Williams is a Mormon again, that is—“If he who is Almighty were to see that as necessary,” says he. This is what we ourselves say, and here he admits the subject he has opposed all along. We shall see how long before he denies it again. On p. 21, he says—”The Captain, on p. 24 of his Treatise, asserts an absolute lie about eighty-two preachers,” &c.; and this is the lie, that is that the apostles did not go out to preach, after Christ commanded them not to, in his conversation with them after his resurrection, until they received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost; and the way that he proves this is a lie, to prove that they and the Seventy had been preaching years BEFORE RECEIVING THIS INTERDICTION. What a waste of language and logic! Was it not for that particular time, when Christ gave them a mission to go to the whole world (and not to the lost sheep of the house of Israel), that I was talking of? Of course; and either David or Williams admits that as follows—”And seeing his miracles before, and AFTER his death.” Who is the liar? Not I; for this sentence, “AFTER HIS DEATH,” proves that I did not refer to the time before that. This is too clear for us to be able to think that it was in ignorance that he did this. See Acts i, 4—”And he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father,” &c. Also, Luke xxiv, 47—”Beginning in Jerusalem,” &c. Ver. 49—”But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” If I said a lie in this, then I said it on the basis of that which Christ said; and so they remained, as I myself said. “And he who wishes evil to his neighbor, upon himself shall it come.” Let Christ and his apostles be truthful, and let Messers. David and Williams be liars. “Thou art the man.” He has gone mad, surely, when he asserts “there are no conditions of adoption pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Is he a teacher in Abercanaid, and does not know the conditions of adoption!! What can he teach to anyone, then? “We heard of receiving the adoption,” he says, “and the Spirit of adoption.” What, shall sinners receive adoption unconditionally? If so, that is a higher degree than the highest of Calvinism that has ever been, I think. If not, then they must receive it on some terms, and those would be the conditions—a man professing to teach people the way to the kingdom of God, and himself not knowing the conditions of adoption! I thought some time ago that he did not know anything about the kingdom, otherwise he would not have contradicted my treatise, and with nothing to say either but assertions and deceptive reasonings. But there is no need to doubt any longer; his speech accuses him of his complete ignorance about the kingdom, as will be seen. “The door of the kingdom is baptism, says the Captain; I say (says he) that Christ is the door to the sheep pen.” Most certainly he is the door, for without him no one can go there. But in the meaning of Mr. W., one must go through the body or the person of Christ there. This is his construction; if that is not so, one must go there in the way he commanded; and that would be the door, “not in his place,” but by obedience to him. Let Mr. W. call these things whatever he wishes—he must make them a door, or go through the body of Christ. But what does Christ say is the door? See John iii, 5,—“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” This is the way to go in, says Christ; and since it is through a door that one goes in, what is baptism but a door? Quite a blind teacher, is it not, who does not know this? On p. 24, David says—“Forgiveness of sins is no doubt connected with true faith, and repentance, and obedience” (that is baptism, &c, of course). Then, those are the conditions of which he earlier claimed ignorance! His memory is very short. “Men can be baptized and be damned,” he says. Who said otherwise? Not I. “For he that endures to the end shall be saved,” says Christ, although Simon Magus is no proof of the assertion. But hear what Williams says about baptism, to David’s face, yes, in the next line! “Baptism is not absolutely essential for salvation!!” What can a man mean in wrangling with himself like this? Yea and nay; yes and no, all the time—you say a lie, David, and you also say a lie, Williams—is practically all he says. He should conclude the debate with himself, before he comes out against someone else. You see that I have two to debate in almost every page, and those are contrary to one another constantly. But I believe David in this thing, for he says word for word according to my Treatise; and Williams has a very poor excuse for his subject, if there is no more than the “thief on the cross.” He has not yet proved that the thief was saved, neither can he. It is true that Christ said to the thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise;” but that does not prove that he has gone to heaven; for Christ said to Mary the third day after that—“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father” (John xx, 17). If it is admitted that his Father was in heaven—if it is also admitted that Christ told the truth that he had not gone to heaven that day that he was crucified, and since he said that the thief would be with him, then it cannot be said that the thief went to heaven either. Well, where did he go, I wonder? That’s a job for Mr. W. to search that out. But he did not go to heaven, says Christ; and here David, and myself, and Christ, break down the objection of Williams completely. There is not one danger that we will place baptism, or anything else, in place of the blood of Christ. And now, hear David and Williams laughing loudly—“AHA! my good man, give me your ear for a moment; and I shall tell you that the ministers of the BAPTISTS have baptized them once.” Listen, Independents! here is your Champion selling you out now. What, is this your bully, whom you agreed to follow at his tail “for all your friends?” This is a worse man than Judas! What, your ministers baptized? No, says he, not you, nor anyone else throughout the whole world, except the BAPTISTS; for he says, as proof of that, there is but “one God, one faith, and one baptism,” and that, of course, is the baptism of the Baptists. So, friends all, let us make the best of our condition. “We can rest assured,” says he. This is a man of a narrow and merciless mind, is he not? All of our pious old fathers, from every denomination, except the Baptists, heretics!!! What will you do with this great Goliath who challenges all your armies? Shall he not be called Ishmael now, since his hand is against everyone? You paid rather dearly for your whistle this time; but for my part, I was not disappointed, for I did not expect otherwise. I heard of a jack-o-lantern leading people to the bog, and leaving them there; but I have never before seen it done as neatly as this. No wonder he guffaws “AHA” so mockingly; seeing that you were in his net. The reader sees the deceit of Mr. W. claiming apostolic succession, in the “Reply.” He talks a lot about changing the Gospel; but this is what I say, as did Paul of old, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The apostolic plan is what we have completely, with the same Spirit bringing the same fruits. After contradicting the Scriptures so much, he shouts raucously, “For I did not judge that I knew anything in your midst, but Christ Jesus, and him crucified,”—nor that either. It is true that satan plucks an occasional scripture from the tip of his tongue, and takes on the appearance of an angel of light. He shouts, “Do not add to his word,” when he distorts himself terribly. There is nothing in the verse to which he refers us, in Rev. xxii, 18, to prove his foolish statement, that is “adding to the Bible.” That is not what John says, but to the “words of prophecy of THIS book,” that is the prophecy he received on the isle of Patmos, contained in “THIS BOOK,” namely the one which was under his hand at that time, and which is now called the Book of Revelation—not the holy volume: but concerning this see the “Reply.” The blasphemous names given to us by his friends on page 30 do nothing more than prove that “where the carcass is, there the eagles gather.” “Birds of a feather flock together.” It would be good for them to spend less of their time carousing, and more with their Bibles. I cannot finish without calling your attention to his criticism of the “Proclamation.” He condemns it because of lack of sufficient proof, while he admits that the testimony of twelve men who say they know it is true. What better proof can anyone have? The testimony of one such man would be enough for the life of a man in every civil court; but the twelve are of no worth to him (he says). He wants a sign again, I think!! “But who shall believe them on their word?” he says. Here is his heart laid bare now. Who ever saw a lying man believe anyone on his word? Oh no, he measures everyone according to his own yardstick! An example of this is in his own admission. Again—“In vain, therefore, do they say, Behold Christ here, or behold him there,” he says. This is a literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Peter, which is seen in 2 Peter iii, 3, 4, and in 2 Tim. iii, and iv. He shows his complete ignorance of “priesthood and apostleship.” Since the latter never was, nor is it now possible, without the former; there never was, nor shall there ever be, a servant of God, who does not have some share of the first also. Before finishing, the reader will have considerable amusement if he will come with me to notice his greeting to me personally; but remember to take care that your passions not be aroused, otherwise you will be as bad as Mr. W. himself, and lose all the pleasure as well. Hear him talking to me. “NOT IN ANGER,” he says: remember, reader. “Man, I call you an empty boaster [not in anger], a deceiver of weak minds [not in anger], like unto a false prophet.” He is not angry. “Drink deadly things.” Is he a bit angry with me now, I wonder? “Impious and foolish scoundrel.” He is beginning to get angry, surely. “Some assert that you are neither an angel nor a man, but that you are a little devil.” Is he angry with me yet, I wonder? “I judge that you are some kind of man, but that you have been possessed by devils to such an extent, that a hellish smell rises up from your impious and deceitful assertions.” What do you think now, reader? Is he not doing well without beginning to get angry? Then he shows his love for me, in a bit of counsel that suits him far better. But, if all his gentle words from his pure lips were quoted, nearly his entire treatise would be rewritten. Every principled man will see, as he perceives him aiming his “reed arrows” at me, and using language like this, that he is finished—that he has nothing against my doctrine; and I care not what men may do to me, if they believe the gospel which I preach, that they may be saved, and that the name of my Master may be glorified: he suffered far more for me, than I can suffer for his name’s sake. But, these titles which they give us are too good to miss out on also. One calls us “old Magus, and Simon his son” (but not in anger); another, that we are “Sceva and his sons” (he is not angry either); another, that we are “Mohammed” (but quite good temperedly, remember); and the other, that we are “Joanna” (so difficult to get them angry!). But it is Mr. Williams who gives the finishing stroke to the whole thing—“And that one so presumptuous (he says), as if he had written it with the fingers of a devil [he is angry as he says that, to be sure], and dipped his pen in the venom of dragons [more and more angry], or in the fiery furnace itself [he is quite hot by now], and printed it in the gates of hell!!!” Well, well! If he is not angry by now, goodness gracious, what will happen when he does get angry? If this is a specimen of the gentle speech of this noble preacher, who constantly tinkles his bells so much for love, the whole nation would be annihilated before his anger. Let everyone do what he can to keep him from getting angry, otherwise who knows what may come: the end of the world, perhaps! Well, dear reader, do not be angry with him, rather number him amongst those others to whom you wish gracious God to be merciful, for they, poor things, do not know what they do. Is this not one proof that we are good people, having the true religion, in that people like this persecute us. The evil word of these people constitutes great praise to our doctrine; if they were to approve it, there would not be much goodness in it. “Blessed are ye when all men speak evil of you,” says our Master. “But woe unto you when the world shall speak well of you;” another time, “when they shall say all manner of evil against you;” and our list is close to full by now: thus, we shall be the first to have the “blessedness.” Is it not better for them to leave us alone, lest they find themselves fighting against God? If we are of men, we shall come to naught, like every other human system, but not through persecuting us. But he shows himself even worse toward the end. It is fortunate that he drew to a close when he did, for he had finished some time ago. He says—“But if his next writing is not far better than what has already appeared, I shall not consider it worth notice.” What little boy could not say that? Who asked him to take so much notice of what he calls so poor? He could have refrained, without loss to anyone. This makes me think of some little corgi that barked at the moon until his voice cracked, and then he turned away, with his little tail curling up in pride, as if to say, “If you do not shine more brightly tomorrow night, it will not be worth my while coming out to bark at you!!” After showing the reader that Mr. Williams’s treatise is a tissue of false accusations and foolishness, I would be unkind if I did not thank him for every good advice he gave me; and I wish every goodness to him in this world, and the world to come, hoping that he will come to see his mistaken ideas. The greatest truth seen in any part of his book, on the whole, is at the end of his Foreword, as follows:—”I am the least of the nation [I believe him], the most unworthy of my brethren [there is no cause to doubt him in this either], and less than the LEAST of the true Saints of God.” He does not say how much less he is; and judging from the treatise he produced, it is difficult to say how much less than one of the Saints he is. I am glad that he sees the lowliness of his condition and his wretchedness, and he shall have a greater “amen” with this admission than anything else he says.
*** We suggest that our friends, who wish to obtain the ANCIENT RELIGION ANEW, hasten to do so, since there but few of them on hand; and judging by the great call there is for them now, they will all be sold soon.