“1846,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 141–164.
“THERE is one body, and one Spirit,” says the scripture; and there belong to this body, as to the human body, various members, all set in it and joined together as the Spirit wills it. As there is need in the human body for all the members, so there is need in the body or church of Christ for all the different members which belong to it. The human body cannot do without the eyes; it needs those to lead and guide it. The ears are just as useful in their function: the feet, the arms, and all the members, are essential and useful in their place. The ear does not say to the eye, I have no need of you. The foot does not say that the arm is not necessary; nor does the arm say that the foot is not necessary. All compose and serve the same body. They all need to continue in their appropriate work; the eye to watch, the ears to hear, the arms to defend, and the feet to make their way. The eyes dare not leave the body when young, and say that they have fulfilled enough in its youth to satisfy it in its old age. The same can be said of the other members. They are all to be in unity, and to continue in unity.
The body of Christ is composed in this way. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” All these things are “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ;” and all these things are to serve in their various capacities while the need of the body remains—yes, “till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
Dear reader, have you been baptized through the Spirit into this glorious body, and your thirst quenched by it? It is essential that you know. You have seen that the aims of the body of Christ are very clear. All the members are regulated in it, for it is God who has joined them together. Let no man say that some of the members can be dispensed with; the Lord arranged them, and therefore let man be silent. The will of God, reader, is for you to come into unity with this body, if you are not, and have the knowledge that you are in it. But, if you do belong to it, your privilege is great!
THERE is scarcely any person who is mentioned in the scriptures, as well known as this one. After all the interpretation and talk of him, we too are often asked, Who is that Elias! As we have not been satisfied with any answer we have seen yet, we shall venture to offer the following as an answer to the question; and if we can only show clearly the difference that exists between the person and the office or the character that belongs to him, that will provide a key to the mystery of understanding that strange office the Elias was to sustain, according to the prophecy of Malachi, in chap. iv, 5, 6:—“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
The great point at issue is, Is John the Baptist meant by this Elias? We admit that there is some difficulty in understanding the scriptures that refer to these persons, that they seem to be contradictory, and that they are, like some other places, used by atheists as sweet morsels to disprove the divinity of the prophecies, when, in fact, the facts are completely the opposite, as we shall endeavor to explain. The angel Gabriel said to Zacharias, Luke i, 13–17:—“Fear not Zacharias; for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name John, and thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth, for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” It was thought that this angel showed, beyond any doubt, that it is to this John that Malachi refers above. But, says the arguer, If so, why does John deny that so fearlessly to the priests and the Levites, in John i, 21?—“And they asked him, what then? Art thou Elias? and he [John] answered, No.” Which of the two do I believe? I reply that I believe both completely, and I believe Jesus Christ too, when he says in Matt. xi, 13,14,—“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this [John] is Elias, which was for to come.” Well, says the reader, you are making the subject more complex now than before, through some strange co-mixture of prophecies and assertions at complete variance with each other; and, to judge by the number of witnesses, John must be lying about the truthfulness of Gabriel and the Son of God, for they say yes, and he denies it, and says “No.” What will you do? Explain his meaning differently from what he says? No, never. Will you admit that John is lying, or blame the translation? Oh no, that is not necessary either; and if we cannot reconcile the scriptures without that, we shall freely admit our ignorance, and say as Paul once did—”Let God be true and every man a liar.” We do not here admit the infallibility of lawyers either. And before we evade this dilemma, we shall venture an assertion about it, however anomalous it may appear, and we give the freedom and the encouragement to anyone who wishes to improve it; i.e., That John was the Elias. We say also, That John was not the Elias! Bear with us, reader, for by making counter-claims like this, we are only repeating the previous scriptures. And now to the task of proving this to be reasonable, scriptural, and, of course, divine truths.
The scriptures speak of the Elias, that is the spirit, power, or office of the Elias, frequently, rather than of a person by this name. They refer to the success of that great work to which the first person by that name received the keys, namely restoration, which Christ proves in Mark ix, 12, when he says—“Elias verily cometh and restoreth all things,” &c. So John the Baptist must have been the Elias Christ refers to in what follows, ver. 13, “But I say unto you that Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.”
But although one can see more clearly the distinction made between the various persons, and the connection seen between the same offices in the complete and wondrous restoration which the wise God planned in the early council, to be fulfilled by degrees, from age to age, until it is completed, stand back to take a look at the magnificent and skillful picture that was planned before it was needed, to bring forth the restoration of all things, yes, before the deterioration of one thing. When this earth was chaos, formless and empty, covered with water, and the elements not regulated in their proportionate correspondence, to work together for the glory of its Architect, and for the benefit and enjoyment of its descendants; and before God said “Let there be light;” yes, before the morning stars sang, or the sons of God leapt for joy, the piteous fate, and complete corruption of all the elements which made up this little football, and all its inhabitants, were foreseen. And not only was all this foreseen, but a perfect plan was arranged to bring not only men, but everything that was corrupted, back to perfection. Yes, the plan was arranged, or the machinery if you wish, that is the manner in which all this would be done, in that marvellous council which the Gods held on the morning of the day they began the work of setting their garden in order, and creating servants to keep it so. The main spring of this machine, or the self-motivating axis on which turned all of its wheels is that Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The plan of Jehovah was as perfect, and the outlines and axes of the picture appeared to them as clearly as they do now; and the interstices are being filled up, from age to age, with the skill of a master craftsman; and he will go on until this world and its fulness is a facsimile of the picture drawn of it that strange morning. Nothing in it can be different from the pattern, without the patternmaker being disappointed. The restoration cannot be an improvement on the pattern, without proving the imperfection of the pattern, and consequently, without proving the imperfection of him who made it. But it will soon be seen that everything is going on according to the rule, and that nothing is an accident to the omniscient God. He sets a bridle in the mouth of the usurper, and sets a limit to the chain of the prince of this world. The same finger guides this globe in its orbits, and overrules the scepters of its emperors, as started it on its icy poles in the beginning; yes, one day in the future the only imperial scepter will be seen in the hand where it belongs; and it will turn into a rod of iron to one part, and a golden scepter to the other part, when it is held out above our world, and comes to possess the world, to bind the devilish traitor, to restore the earth and its fulness, and to make the kingdoms of the world the property of our Lord and his Christ.
This complete restoration of the earth and its fulness will be brought about through the power of God, through the agency of that divine staff given by God to all his servants, namely the priesthood which is according to the strength of everlasting life, which binds in heaven that which is done by its possessors on earth. And since the days of the first transgressors, through the ages, those men who have been clothed with the authority of the priesthood, and with the spirit of prophecy, to the extent that the curtain was torn, and the doors of the eternal world opened before their eyes, have been rejoicing in the hope for, and showing in their turn this strange and glorious restoration. The pious muse struck sweet songs of praise to this day. This was the favorite subject of the prophets. The pencil of the portaitist hastened to capture it, the tongue of the learned took pleasure in its praise, and the writer’s pen kept to this godly loadstone almost without wavering. The Spirit of God did not fill the souls of the prophets and the godly saints with more joy when dealing with hardly any subject than when he showed them the glorious restoration,—when the mountains should drop down sweet wine, and the wilderness should blossom as the rose; when the lion cub and the lamb should lie down together; when there should be nothing to do damage or harm in all the mountain of his holiness, that is the earth; when the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; when Zion should be established in glory, and all nations flock to her standard; when the temple of God should be reared, and rivers of the waters of life flow from it; when the inhabitants of Zion should dwell in peace; when none should say, I am sick, but each should sit under his own fig tree, and Jerusalem be the throne of the Lord forever.
In the hope of fulfilling this restoration, the prophets and saints of God agreed and endeavored, through their faith and their acts, to fulfill the office and task of Elias, namely restoring. Enoch did what he could in his day to restore the earth. He walked with God for three hundred years. He had great faith. He established an excellent church, and taught his people the principles of righteousness; but nevertheless, the earth was too corrupt, unbelieving, and disobedient, for him to be able to restore it; therefore, God took him and his church to himself; hence the saying, “Zion is fled.” Once the salt was removed, there was not enough goodness left to save the earth; but its face was overthrown by God with the flood.
Moses also strove greatly to accomplish some part of this revolution. He drew nigh unto God by faith, and obtained great promises from God on behalf of his people, such as—”Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation,” &c. Through this he shows that they could be a peculiar treasure, or instruments, as a nation, in establishing the government of peace in general, and that knowledge of God, and the principles of peace, would flow through these channels from the source, bringing about restoration; but all this, like every other promise, depended on their obeying the conditions, namely, “If they keep my laws.” Instead of that, they broke his laws, and continued as a troubled and obstinate nation; then he took the greatest honor, the most powerful scepter, for bringing this about, namely the Melchizedek priesthood, away from them; and instead of being a kingdom of priests together as a nation, they had only one high priest who could go into the holy of holies into the presence of God, and that only once a year, instead of the whole nation being able to withstand the presence of the one who is a searing fire, and eternal flames to the imperfect. Then, because of their imperfection, they could not bear such blazing glory, and that because of disobeying the law which was given in order to perfect them. And so they were justly deprived of the promised blessing, namely that of being a kingdom of priests. Thus Moses failed to achieve his aim in the restoration, and God took him away too, to wait until someone else accomplished what he had failed to do, and then he too would have his part according to what he did. That perverse nation was placed under a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ.
That Elijah of whom John was a shadow, was a great and wonderful prophet. The Spirit of Heaven rested upon him in a most marvellous manner. But what did he bring about, poor thing? What could he do with such a perverse and rebellious nation? God did not send his servants to force men to keep his laws, but to persuade them; and if they did not obey willingly out of principle, they left them in the hand of a just God, warning them that they were clean of everyone’s blood. Thus godly Elijah, having failed to bring it about, because of the disobedience of the age to his message, we hear him wailing from the depths of his hiding-place in the rock—“They have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone and they seek my life.” He knew no different, but he was quite unlikely to accomplish that complete restoration at that time, was he not? God knew that well enough. But that attempt would be testimony against them; and he sent the chariot of Israel and his riders to fetch the godly old prophet from their midst, because they did not know his worth, and kept him until the time he would be sent with a loan of some of his keys to another to fill his circle as he did, and to bear witness to incriminate some future generation.
John the Baptist also came in his day as an Elias, or a restorer. The angel Gabriel said he would come in the “spirit and power of Elias;” and if the people had submitted to his teaching, and to what Jesus commanded them, the prohecies about him would have been fulfilled then, and their children would have been gathered together as the hen gathers her chicks under her wing; but, says the Savior, you were not willing; thus did he see their refusal of the Elias, or this restorer, namely John, too. “If ye will receive it, this is the Elias which was for to come,” says Christ. Yes, if they would receive it; but at the same time he clearly tells them that they would not receive it, and that he would not fill this character, or succeed in fulfilling the office of Elias, by restoring them. He compares this generation to children sitting in the marketplace—neither his speech and teaching nor those of John were to their taste, and they did not wish them as teachers. “John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.” Thus they rejected John the Baptist completely, “and did with him what they listed,” namely cutting off his head. And although he was indeed the Elias, yet, because of their rejection of him, he could not be so to them; and this is why, when they asked him, “Art thou the Elias?” he answered, “I am not.” But if their conduct towards him had been as it should have been, they would have received a completely different reply to their question. This is the mystery which appears contradictory, namely that he was referring to the fact of his office, and they to the man. John knew they were forfeiting their right to the restoration, and refusing to become “a kingdom of priests, and a nation or peculiar treasure unto the Lord,” this time again as before, by scorning his message, together with him who sent him, and the kingdom of God was taken away from them, as Jesus Christ foretold.
We do not hereby attach blame to the old prophets, as they did the best they could; even so they failed to bring about this complete restoration, because of the unbelief and the rebelliousness of their contemporaries, although each had made some contribution towards bringing it about in its own time. And as the time appointed by Jehovah had not come, they could not be made perfect without us also, or us without them as well. And as has been noted previously, the eternal priesthood, in heaven and on earth, must work together to achieve this restoration. And insofar as the Latter-day Saints have had the great honor of receiving the fulness of the gospel at the “dispensation of the fulness of times” which Paul talks about, when “he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” Inasmuch as they have been presented with all the previous provisions of the restorers of former times, with the faith and deeds of those and these latter servants, as well as the keys to this restored dispensation, we can say to this nation as they said to their contemporaries, “If they wish to receive them, and submit to their message, that the Latter-day Saints are the Elias which was to come before the coming of the Lord’s great and dreadful day.” Yes, they, if the teaching they preach is obeyed, are the Elias of this age, and they will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers.” If they do not receive them, then they cannot be an Elias or a restorer for them; but the Lord will come, and will strike the whole earth with judgment, because they refused to be restored. But although different from the previous dispensations in this, yet, if only the Saints are faithful, and make proper use of their valuable talents, by warning their contemporaries, they will be found innocent of the blood of all; they shall enjoy their portion and their inheritance which they won among all the restorers of the past, when they will be rewarded according to the deeds they performed in the flesh; they shall inherit the resting-place which still remains for God’s people, to be restored to them; for we too are seeking, as Paul once did, an eternal city, whose architect and builder is God. Blessed are those who seek a better country than this, where they can all unite in singing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb, when everyone therein will be an Elias, filled with the spirit and power of the God of Elijah. The times of the restoration of all things are a fine time, are they not? Who will not say, Hail to it, let it hasten to its completion!
DEAR READER,—The following defense was written with the expectation that it would be allowed to appear in the Baptist. We took it to the office in Cardiff for that purpose and offered it to that same Editor who was sufficiently liberal to publish the terrible false accusations and every other scornful thing about us as a denomination, that is, he who boasts that his Baptist is a publication free to all to defend their character. We implored earnestly and humbly for the opportunity to clear ourselves from the villainous filth with which we were plastered without provocation; but, as usual, the answer we received from him was a shameless refusal! Yes, poor thing, he was terrified; he turned blue, red, black and pale; he fumed and raged without a single cause except the malicious agitations of a guilty conscience until his knees and his whole body trembled worse than those of Belshazzar of long ago. And in the face of all earnestness, logic and justice—it was no use no matter how much he gnashed his teeth and foamed at the mouth, and made additional, baseless accusations and called us bad names, yes, even to our face! He accused the Saints of having said that the William Hughes who broke his leg did not receive assistance from the parish of Merthyr, and that through that they had lost their credibility; and, as a result, they could not defend themselves in the Baptist. We said that even the most godly men who ever lived on the earth could be proved liars according to that reasoning, that is, to believe the false accusations of professed enemies who refused to listen to the other side. We challenged him to prove those shameful accusations against us as a denomination, or even to prove that as much as one Saint has ever said such a thing as that. Oh, the fact that one Edward Lewis from Blackwood had written that to the Baptist was sufficient proof to him, he said. We said that that man had not proven his credibility sufficient for us to believe him. And if that man can prove that W. Hughes did not receive assistance from the parish of Merthyr, let him proclaim their names to the world as witnesses of that; then we shall call such to give an accounting, for we have questioned many and have failed to find one who said that. And what if one, two or three were to say this in their ignorance? Would this prove nearly a thousand people to be liars? Do we, by proving your persecuting correspondent a liar so clearly, prove through this that all Welsh Baptists are liars? We do, according to your own reasoning!
We said that the testimony of Wm. Hughes about that matter has been written, and that his credibility has been attested by many eyewitnesses, that he himself sent his testimony to the Baptist with receipt acknowledged, and it has been refused publication until this very day!—that his testimony was published to the world at that time, a testimony in which Wm. Hughes himself claimed to have received assistance from the parish of Merthyr, all of which proves clearly that the Saints did not ever say that he did not receive assistance from the parish.
The treachery and guile of this crooked invention can be seen clearly. The aim of the enemies of the truth in forming that accusation is to try to prove the Saints liars in one thing, so that it will not be believed that Wm. Hughes even broke his leg or was healed! It is a wonder how they succeed in their slanderous invention. Notice their proof and their constructed sophistry! Some Edward Lewis says [some one, two, or three, I suppose, did not see fit to say, but] that the Saints in Blackwood said that Wm. Hughes did not receive assistance from the parish of Merthyr, and that lying “Quick in Water” got the relieving officer to say that Hughes had received assistance. And here is proof, says the editor of the Baptist, that the man did not break his leg and that he was not healed! What proof is that? How does that relieving officer know whether the man broke his leg? Which one was it—he or “Quick in Water” who wrote that? The two are of the same speech, taste and purpose. The mad tricksters ought to be ashamed of such malicious deceptive reasoning! But this is the best they can come up with against the Saints; and they prefer this to admitting the truth and acknowledging the power of God in this thing. If one of the Saints said that he had not received anything from the parish, how in the name of reason would this prove the entire denomination of people liars? And why would this prejudiced editor refuse them space to defend their mistake? I answer that it is because he foresaw himself in his proper color through that, that is, as a cruel persecutor and a constant slanderer. He meant to keep his readers under his paws, and keep the Saints in the dirt which he daubed on them. What else could he do? What else could we ourselves do? We offered him plenty of proofs of their innocence, and in face of it all he pranced around like a wild man, shouting, “Poo! poo! poo!—deceit, all deceit.” He did not wish to hear anything from us, nor to look at our writing. “I shall have nothing to do with you,” said he; and away he went to his hole in a bad temper, slamming the door after him! Yes, Welshmen, this is the behavior of the editor of this religious Baptist, in spite of all his boasting of “freedom.” This is very one-sided freedom—yes, freedom for him to make false accusations as he wishes, and freedom for us to suffer it all, defenseless, as far as he was concerned. We are thankful for the freedom of the press and the truth to defend us, and we shall make the proper use of them also, in spite of him and his slanderous party. We are sorry that we have nothing to do with him; that is his fault. But so much like this has been done by him—that it is too late for him now to shout, “I shall have nothing to do with you” after slandering us and publishing every kind of calumny about us for years. As soon as we begin to cleanse ourselves he throws the basin down and full of envy shouts, “I shall have nothing to do with you.” And as soon as some of his sycophants have fashioned some story sufficiently bad and lying to suit his taste, out it comes in the Baptist like a shooting star, and perhaps the name of some respected person is attached to it, so that it will be more easily believed by the people; and immediately upon our beginning to defend ourselves, he escapes like the fox to his hole, his posterior first, gnashing his teeth from there, shouting, “I shall have nothing to do with you!” What is that except to say he will continue with our head under his armpit as long as he can, and that he will invite every Rev. Mr. Davies from Dowlais, Rev. Mr. Tobit by the Bridge, Rev. T. ab Ieuan, Rev. D. Williams from Abercanaid, Thomas Jones from Merthyr, lying Quick in Water, illogical Meiriadog, and every other barking mad dog and coward throughout the principality, to hit us on the forehead and to help himself to his rush arrows every opportunity that he gets. It is loathsome to us to have to soil our hands to treat such a stinking fox, nor would we bother except that his readers ought to get to see him by his tail in front of their faces, so that they can see what kind he is, and understand how to believe him and his slanderous Baptist from now on. Let them read the following to start with, and they will have even more odors from his lair so that everyone can form his own opinion of the color and shape of his heart.
[Copy of the letter to the Editor of the BAPTIST.]
MR. EDITOR,—We owe it to you, to the public, to our own characters, and especially to the religion which we rely on for eternal life, to defend ourselves against the shameful false accusations which are brought against us by a man by the name of Thomas Jones, Merthyr, and which appear in the October issue of the Baptist.
1. He accuses us of using the names of some “Ahiram and Joseph Smith upon blessing,” which is totally baseless, in fact.
2. “They can own their places in Nauvoo,” &c. This is not so either; but that which we believe with respect to the “emigration to America,” is that which is in the holy scriptures; and the above man knows that no ownership was promised to us, nor to him, in Nauvoo, nor in any other specified place on the continent.
3. “We claim (says he) to have seen Jesus Christ in red whiskers,” &c. This accusation is not true in any way, shape, or form, in fact, as far as the Saints have anything to do with it. What he could be after by asserting such a thing, we do not know, and we are not answering for him.
4. With respect to the frightful invention which he accuses us of, that is, our pretending to receive revelation, accusing the first president of misconduct with another man’s wife, so that the other man could have his office, &c. His own lips condemn him, as follows—“We judged that the latter would do better,” says he. And in the next breath he says, “The latter was considered the first president” already! Needless to elaborate, because this lie is sufficiently obvious. But we state soberly that this accusation, yes, every word of it, has been proved entirely false in a detailed inquiry which was held here on the matter in front of hundreds, to which they will testify also. It was proved that such a presumptuous and ungodly invention never existed except in his own jealous heart. He asserts that others agreed with him in this. Never before did he say that there was but one; and in spite of getting every exhortation from us to prove this in the same thorough inquiry which was held about it, he failed to prove that even one of us knew anything about such an atrocious calumny. And strange, if the accusation were true, that Thomas Jones uttered not a word about such a thing for many months after the time he says it took place!
Such an invention was not necessary, nor any other invention to meet the purpose which he mentions, because the coming of the latter president to this country had no effect in any way on the one who was residing here before. And—“No object in view, no design.” If this man were to tell the truth, he knows full well that he did not see an accusation received against any of us except by eyewitnesses. As for his work of asserting that he heard one of us claiming to have received revelations, which decency does not allow him to put before the public—may you, Sir, or anyone else, not believe it. And we suppose that if you were to know this man, as he is known here in his home, that not one of his claims would be allowed to appear in your columns, that is, if you have any respect for your publication. We do not wish to blacken the character of this man in any way, but we would very much like to leave it in the hand of a just God. To remain silent about them in the face of such accusations would be to suffer like a murderer or a thief. But it is he who has obliged us to come out like this, to show him in his proper color, so that you and your readers can understand the character of the only witness who stands up against the testimony of hundreds of Welshmen, to degrade them beneath humanity and all which is worth living for (if his assertions were true). But in fact, Sir, his accusations against us are no different from the poisonous effects of his own vindictive heart, accusations which were made after he was excommunicated from our church and after he was proven guilty of many sins more atrocious than we wish to name. He tried to come back several times; yes, even after his first letter appeared in the Baptist, he said that he would be glad to come back to our church. There are hundreds who testify that they heard him say, after being cut off, that “no one else has the true religion except our church.” Despite that, his immoral and unrepentant behavior continued as such, so that when he stood up before our church to request his place in our midst, not so much as one of nearly three hundred members raised his hand in his favor! He asserted at that time that he had not made the above accusations to the Baptists, when we knew that he had already done so. When he saw that he would not be accepted, he had such an emotional outburst that he made public threats, saying that he wished revenge against us somehow, and that he would publish everything he could against us in the Baptist, &c, which proved to everyone that he was not truly repentant for his previous sins; and as a result, our church rules did not allow him, or anyone else like him, membership in our midst. This man became so unruly that the officers were obliged to turn him out of one meeting before the end. After being refused by us, he offered himself to the Baptists again; but we heard that they themselves refused him in more than one church, and that their members threatened to leave rather than associate with such a man. And last of all, he was sanctified with the holy water of the Papists. He baptized his children with them, and he claims now that only they have the true religion! Why does your correspondent consider the contradictions of a professed and excommunicated enemy like this as being worthy of space in a religious publication, rather than the more accurate testimony of hundreds of neighbors, the direct opposite of him? He knew perfectly well that this vindictive witness was considered by his brethren as being too bad to be allowed to come into their midst; and yet, he considered him sufficiently righteous to condemn the denomination of other men. Would not such a witness be sufficient against his denomination or against some other church besides the Saints, perhaps? Most certainly not, any more than the testimony of Judas Iscariot was sufficient against the denomination to which he belonged. What reasonable man would expect to hear much truth from an excommunicated man, sufficiently bad to admit that he had battled voluntarily for over three years against God and conscience?
If the assertions of this man or any like him were true about our religion, would over half a million reasonable people of this enlightened age cling to it under every scorn and persecution, the greater part of them having been with other denominations previously? If deception were what we have, do you seriously suppose that these deceivers would persecute us so severely? Once again we testify, in truth, that the great profession which this man makes about his conscientiousness to “expose deceit,” &c, is nothing more than shameless hypocrisy, to get others to believe him; and his only purpose is revenge against those who can no longer put up with his evils. From the first time he came to us we had a lot of trouble trying to get him to walk in the paths of righteousness; but at last we had to cut him off, and here he has shown who he is, and that “an accuser of brothers” has turned into “an angel of light.” True is the maxim that says: “A bad man with a bad treasure in his heart will bring forth bad things.”
Since your publication is sufficiently free for these shameful accusations, we are very confident that it will be sufficiently free to likewise receive this letter in our defense. We could give to you many additional names of reputable men, but we hope these which follow will suffice for now in the face of ONE witness:—Samuel Morris, John Phillips, David John, William Morgan, Daniel Williams, David Rees, Thomas Rees, Thomas Smith, Morgan Morgans, Howell Williams, David Jones, Jenkin Hughes, Joseph Davies, Edward Edwards, William Hughes, Hugh Jones, Jenkyn Thomas, John Griffiths, Timothy Wosley.
In addition to that which has been said, here is the testimony of William Henshaw, himself:—“Since I myself am that first president to whom Thomas Jones refers, I must state that what he says is entirely untrue. Never did Capt. D. Jones seek my office. His office has no effect whatsoever on my duties; and furthermore, there was not one of the Saints guilty of inventing the terrible calumny that Thomas Jones mentions, except he himself. Even to think of such presumption fills us with fear and terror.”
The reader will see further that the testimony of this excommunicated Thomas Jones is not worthy of his trust, because he states too much to be true and contradicts himself. In the previous issue of the Baptist, this man calls the Saints deceivers, &c. He claims that the spiritual gifts that they profess are fake, and gives an example of speaking in strange tongues, and the interpretation, &c, “to prove the deceit of the Saints.” And after all, does he not prove our truthfulness irrefutably to every reasonable man? Certainly; for this our professed enemy admits that we speak in tongues, interpret, &c, and as a result, that we imitate the apostolic church in our profession at least. They said, “Desire spiritual gifts;” here is the admission that we do so. “Covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues,” says Paul; Thomas Jones admits that we do that. Furthermore—“Let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret,” was the apostolic commandment; and behold our chief enemy testifying that the Saints do so. Is this perhaps not a sufficiently unbiased witness for even the Editor of the Baptist to believe? We preach to the world, and profess ourselves that we enjoy these gifts of the spirit in our churches. The world doubts, our enemies deny; but at last here is a strong enough witness for them, we would suppose, that we believe that we enjoy the gifts; and who knows better than those who profess the heavenly gifts by the hundreds? Had Thomas Jones been so clever as to deny that we claim to enjoy the gifts in the church, then, as far as his word can be believed, he would have succeeded in his ungodly purpose. But it is too late for that now, for he has already admitted that we practice them. It is true that Thomas Jones asserts that the gifts are fake, but it is also as true that he does not offer any kind of proof of that; no indeed, in any way, except his own word alone: and what is his assertion in the face of hundreds who know better? Can anyone reasonable believe that hundreds of those who were gifted preachers, faithful deacons, and respected members with the various other sects, would continue to pretend to have spiritual gifts for years, in unity and love, without getting one bit of benefit, pay or profit by so doing? Oh no, such a thing is impossible; and anyone who asserts this, asserts in the same breath that the practice of the same gifts in the same kind of causes by the saints of the early days was fake. Professed deism is the one denial as well as the other.
Here is that man who published the fruit of his mixed-up brain and his dirty slander against the Saints in a small treatise lately. And here is the man who was weighed so fairly in his own scales and found wanting with respect to logic, scripture and truth; and he was proven a libelous deist through his little booklet. And after that, instead of proceeding in a fair battle through the press after beginning, he got revenge in every way he could from behind the bush. We do not claim that it was he who persuaded one of his members to turn all the Saints from their work and from their homes, on the assertion that only because of their religion was that done. But this we shall say, If he was not the instigator of this shameless persecution and incomparable cruelty, this David Williams did not prevent one of his flock from doing it. Does he not profess to be a pastor over a flock of gentle Jesus? But this is more like the madness of a wolf. The Bible tells us that “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Also, he who proclaims God freely to anyone who does such a thing is an associate in his evil doings. It is said also, “Do not seek vengeance;” but revenge is sweet to this one. And after all that, he is heard in the pubs on Saturday nights scolding the Saints, among drunks, swearers and profaners. We are reminded of the saying “birds of a feather flock together.” We heard of some persecuting preacher who failed to keep his feet under him, and where do you suppose he found himself, rather, where he was found by others, upon returning from preaching on Sunday night, but in a duck pond! We shall not give the identity of that unfortunate wretch. But we do know that David Williams, from Abercanaid, is the correspondent who fashioned, who inquired, who wrote, and who sent the answers of that Thomas Jones to the Baptist, and who wished for its readers to believe his individual testimony against all the Saints and their religion. But hear the opinion of David Williams himself about the truthfulness and character of that Thomas Jones. There are witnesses who happened to hear him say that that witness was a bad and lying man and that his word was worth nothing in his sight, and that all his members refused to accept Thomas Jones as a member of their church; and yet, he expects the country to believe his testimony against the Saints. Readers of the Baptist, what do you think of this? Let it be between you and him. Next, we shall show the false perplexity which these two partners have woven and how they hang themselves with the same rope. In the preface to his catechism in the October issue of the Baptist, David Williams says to the editor: “The conversation [with T. Jones] did not end with that [namely that which had come out in an earlier issue], rather we continued on.” Did they “continue on” with the account that is in the October issue? What else could it refer to? And if so, why does the same D. Williams ask T. Jones in that conversation: “Are you staying with the same decision at the present time [notice, with what tense?] as you were when we were conversing about this matter before?” What! Did he not say the minute before that the conversation had not ended at that time? Does he not say that he has four religious witnesses, that the whole conversation, i.e., that which was in the previous issue, and the one being considered, had taken place on the same “work afternoon” in the same Chapel of the Baptists? Yes, that is what David Williams says. But let it be noticed how Thomas Jones affirms the complete opposite of that! He says that it was some other time that this last conversation took place, and that he continued in the same brave decision, namely to malign the children of God, that he had stated the previous time. Which of the two is to be believed? It is impossible to believe both of them. No reasonable person can believe either of them, say I. It is better for him to have so few witnesses like this, is it not, because they turn out to be witnesses against him. Who would be so foolish as to expect to hear the truth from such genial friends as these? The lie is a lame man. Once again, as for this David Williams, he says that he did not think the Saints were worth any further notice, until that “Meiriadog” asked Thomas Jones, by way of the Baptist, if he had admitted to Robert Evans that what he had written about the Saints was lies and if he was repentant. And then, who do we see jump into the gap, because he could not get Thomas Jones to deny this now, but David Williams, like a tiger seeing his chance to get his prey in his claws; and the way that he arranged the previous answers of Thomas Jones to do the trick now, and to prove Robert Evans a liar, and to keep the first impressions in the mind of the country, is to change his first question to make it appear that he had asked it after Meiriadog had come to the field, and so the answer would seem to answer Meiriadog also. That’s a bit of clumsy work, is it not? We have already proved that he hanged himself in his own net by admitting in his preface that the later answers were given before T. Jones reneged. It is obvious that his preface was intended to be private to his dear partner, namely the editor, and that he, either in his haste or by some other unfortunate mix-up, allowed it to slip out.
It is a pity, for the benefit of their cause that the two traitors did not understand each other better. Let the Goliath of the rail workers take care next time to send his poisonous secrets separately, for shame. But how could his correspondence be the answer of Thomas Jones to Meiriadog, except that he be a prophet, and answer questions before they are asked? But in order to see more of the shameful business which this preacher carried on with his salaried Judas, as sly, so they supposed, as sheep-killing dogs, read the following, and the new member of this sanhedrin, namely Meiriadog, will be pulled through the mill again on his own, and he will see that he has begun a worse job than that treachery of stealing the body of Christ from the tomb, and that he is in worse company than those liars.
“We testify to having heard Thomas Jones say to Robert Evans these statements which Meiriadog sent to the Baptist, and we heard Thomas Jones say a lot more at the time, and for the same purpose. Robert Evans asked Thomas Jones three times over, in the presence of over twenty men, of the world, for the most part, these questions and others, and he received these answers. Thomas Jones admitted that those accusations that were published in the Baptist against the Saints are untrue. Question by Robert Evans—‘Do you, Thomas Jones, admit in the presence of this crowd that you are repentant for causing those things to go to the Baptist?’ Answer from Thomas Jones—‘I am repentant, and I did not think that they would appear there.’ Question by Robert Evans—‘Do you give me permission to use your name to retract them?’ Answer by Thomas Jones—‘I do, and say that I state that they are untrue.’ We saw Robert Evans write some of Thomas Jones’s answers in his journal on the spot in the presence of us all; and so we know to be true that which Robert Evans said to Meiriadog about this matter.”
HOWEL PHILIPS, JOHN ROBERTS
EDWARD OWENS, HOPKIN MATHEWS,
BENJAMIN JONES DANIEL WILLIAMS,
THOMAS JOHN, JENKYN THOMAS.
SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON ON THE MIRACLES, in order to enlighten Everyman, and show the Deceit of the Creatures who call themselves “Latter-day Saints.” By W. R. DAVIES, Dowlais.
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 131.]
MR. DA V I E S says again—“To claim the continuation of miracles deposes faith, since it is the will of God that we live by faith.” When shall the idiocy of this man cease? not before the end of his essay, at least. The cart is before the horse again, for he gives the cause to kill the effect. “If one needs miracles, one does not need faith,” says he. But the Bible teaches us, yes, the Son of God teaches everyone, that if they want miracles, they must have faith: “If you had faith as great as a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this mountain, Remove hence.” “If you believe, it is possible,” said he, “everything is possible to him who believes.” Enough has been shown to prove that it was not possible for them to receive one blessing except according to their faith. And does not Paul, yes, in the chapter which Mr. Davies takes as a text, urge the saints—”But seek the best gifts.” Oh, no, says Davisism, do nothing of the sort, lest you depose faith! But let us hear Paul, despite that, sticking to his subject, opposing Davies to his face—“Seek spiritual gifts, but rather that you might prophesy.” Oh, no, says Mr. Davies, I bid you not to seek any of the spiritual gifts for there is scarcely anyone who professes them but Satanists; and it is the will of God for you to live by faith, that is, the cause; but deny its effects lest you imitate apostleship. However, says another witness, do you not know, Mr. D., “that faith without works is dead.” It matters not what you say, says he; I do not wish to hear of God’s power; I prefer the illusion of piety, and deny its power. And then, says Paul to him, Go and remember the sentence which is upon you. Gal. i, 7, 8. And turning to others, he puts an end to the discussion, 1 Cor. xiv, 39: “Therefore, brothers, be anxious to prophesy [despite Mr. Davies], and do not forbid speaking in strange tongues,” as he does. If miracles depose faith in this age, why did they not do so in that age, I wonder? But it is vain to ask him anything further about this.
“To claim the continuation of miracles is the chief mark of an anti- Christ, and evil men,” says he again. But vice-versa says the Bible. To deny miracles is the chief mark of unbelievers. Miracles were the chief mark of God’s people in every age of the world. This is the sign or mark by which they shall be known, says Christ himself, as has already been proved and as Mr. Davies admitted once. Is not your object, in asserting that to claim miracles is the chief mark of an anti-Christ, to keep man in the darkness by hiding your deceit; and, to use your own language, “to defraud ignorant and weak-headed men of their money?” Not urging them to live piously, but teaching them to revile and persecute people better than you; promising to your beguiled people some imaginary and Davisistic heaven, about which you say that they can have no certainty here, only live on your imaginings until death, and then they may do what they will for all you care; and you shall remain behind to lead others to that place, feeding them, for their money, with rubbish, below common sense.” But men, poor things, shall not be kept in darkness much longer, by vehemently shouting your old lying stories against those who preach the gospel freely, yes, not seeking a penny from anyone, but out of love for men’s souls; and that is why you too have the disease of Demetrius, because the hope of profit of the great goddess of Dowlais Davisism is in danger.
Next, after challenging us about miracles continuously and condemning us as “a foul, devilish, hellish mob,” &c, &c, because we do no miracles for him, he says—“God never performs miracles where there be sufficient reasons for belief without them.” That is what we too say; and do we not offer you enough reasons for our religion? We prove it scriptural in every proposition. Do you not admit the apostolic plan to be reasonable? Well, that is what we preach. But as for Davisism, you should do many miracles, according to your own admission, to prove it, and show its origin; for a bad spring cannot give good streams. But in order to see the mixed-up streams of your brain, read the sentence next to the one that was quoted. Do you, I wonder, think so poorly of the Son of God, that he would make himself a servant to servants of the devil, by coming down off the cross at their request? Did he not come to do the will of his Father? There is not one example of Christ giving a sign to any evil man who asked him; and Mr. Davies knows this, for behold him jumping into the breach to try to shut himself up, lest anyone bring Christ’s words against him. Oh no, it is useless for anyone to say that it is an evil generation, &c, that seeks a sign; but that is not true, says he, in fact now. Does he not remember that Jesus Christ refused to obey the devil every time he requested that of him? And where is the difference between throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple at Satan’s request, and throwing himself from the cross at the request of Satan’s servants?
Dear reader, think not as poorly as that of the Son of God, until some example is found of him or his apostles giving signs at the request of evil men. He did not raise the dead, nor blacken the sun, nor did he do anything else at the request of his enemies. But on the next page Mr. Davies comes to his senses for a moment again, destroying the whole web which he wove through his essay. He says,—“If the godly dead arose, and were sent from heaven to address you and had permission to inform you of the wonderful scenes of the country up above—and if the spirits of evil men came from the flames and told of the horrors of the worm that does not die, &c, it would all be too little and feeble to convince one sinner.” We thank him for admitting that. If so, why does he claim that the purpose of the miracles was to convince sinners of someone’s mission, and ask for miracles to convince the inhabitants of the truth of our religion? Not only is that their purpose but “they have answered their purpose in every place,” he says. If so, why did Christ himself in the middle of a shower of stones, shout: “For which of the great works that I have done do you stone me?” Did they answer that purpose somewhere, Mr. Davies? If so, why did they not believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God, instead of persecuting him and crucifying him and scourging his servants when they did miracles in his name? Were they not scourged and imprisoned, the more miracles they did? Do not miracles in every age of the world, mostly harden and stir up evil men? So it is in this age also, as you well know through experience. You admit that in Christ’s words—”if they believe not Moses and the prophets [concerning Christ], neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” That is our belief also. Now follow your own reasoning, and you must admit that you would not believe now that those whom you call “Satanists” are servants of God, nor that what you call a “heap of lies,” &c, is the gospel of Christ, if one, yes, a thousand, rose from the dead, if they drank poison, if “the hip of Little Maggie were healed,” yes, you confess yourself beyond convincing, if you are not convinced through the scriptures and the incontrovertible reasons we preach. And then, see and admit your folly and blasphemy in the previous lines, yes, which you wrote with the same pen, dipped in the same ink, and in the same breath; for before the one dried, you condemn us for not giving eyes to the blind, hips to the crippled, ears to the deaf, and raising up the dead, &c, in your presence. Would you believe even then? No, you would not, says Christ; no, you would not, say we too: no, you would not, you say yourself! How, then, can miracles be to convince men? And since you have already admitted that God does not perform miracles without worthy purposes, what is your purpose in begging for them all the time? What is your purpose in all these contrary assertions? How shall you be made consistent with yourself, never mind making you consistent with the scriptures? This is too much of a task for you or us, or anyone else either. From what sort of spring do these waters come forth? You judge—and let your friends and the world judge you. We are not concerned with judging you; but we are concerned with defending our religion, and our characters against your terrible false accusations; and the world expects this of us. You show an incomparable impudence, telling such obvious and incredible lies about us; such as asserting that the “Address of the Twelve Apostles” maintains our ability to do miracles. There are thousands of those essays in the hands of the public now, throughout Wales, and we challenge you to show that there is in it such a thing as maintaining our ability to accomplish one miracle; if there is, note it in public, the page and the sentence if you can, and we shall immediately recant it as an error; if not, your sins shall be printed like the mene, tekel, upharsim, on your forehead from now on. You also accuse us of saying that Jesus Christ appears to us personally, in the rooms and our special meetings, &c. We deny that also and do not believe that you have heard any one of us saying such a thing. Prove this again, if you can, and we shall be answerable for the result. For the third time, you refer to the story which you published about some “woman in Penydarren.” How did you not know at the time that that story was a lie? Had you not come next door to her when you formed the foul tissue of lies? But you and the country shall see an example of yourself in that story also, from eyewitnesses, to your shame. But as if you had sold yourself to evil, you accuse some “Little Maggie” and others, of saying that we can do miracles. You know better than this too by reading our books, &c, and the people of Dowlais know better than to believe your shameless false accusations from now on. Yes, Mr. Davies, we have many old scores to settle with you. We are ready to start that now; you knew that we could not at that time; and we wish you to prepare to defend your accusations against us. You have had too much rope by far, and you shall be seen from now on in the scales of truth. Enough, yes, far too many years have gone past for you to persecute us so cruelly and without cause. Do not be too ungodly lest the great God against whom you fight, cut you down, before you have time to repent, like Herod of old who “was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
But having searched carefully through what you see fit to call “The Substance of a Sermon,” we have failed to find any substance in it; and if this is an example of your sermons one need not ask who sent you to preach them, for by your sermons shall ye be recognized. Did you not promise to “enlighten the common folk, and show the deceit of the creatures who call themselves Latter-day Saints?” But have you done that? No! You gave no shaft of light. You grope in the darkness and darken counsel with words, with neither reason nor scripture. You fight against yourself continuously, making bogeys and tearing them to shreds, such as are found nowhere but in the mind which is agitated by the horrors. You have surely forgotten your promise, and you had better try again, or everyone will think that you have no reason or scripture to enlighten them concerning our deceit. Alas, Mr. Davies, not to offer as much as one proof against us, in an essay for that purpose, containing twenty pages. Only to condemn us continuously for presumption, because we venture to profess the apostolic faith, which, you yourself say sometimes, was the only rule. Making up false stories about us, with neither shape nor form to them in truth and then pouring out your anathemas on us. This is a strange way of showing our deceit, is it not? You show your own deceit, Sir! We do not claim perfection; but we claim, and also prove ourselves to be, guiltless of the presumption and villainous faults of which you accuse us, to the satisfaction of every man who is satisfied by facts. But would it be fair to your brothers if their doctrine were condemned because of and according to the number and wickedness of your sins, and the wretchedness of your character? If not, why do you take so much trouble to try to kill off our doctrine, by trying to blacken our characters? If you have as much as one reason or scripture against our principles, bring it forward now, because we have waited long to hear you proclaiming some of your proofs, and we, and the public shall thank you for the good deed, for thus would you do us good; but do not expect to blind reasonable people with a heap of contrary assertions and by giving us bad names, &c. Thus, you pile up fiery brands on your own head, and praise us and our doctrine. The country has long since had a surfeit of your assertions; and they ask you proofs of them now; and it is high time for you, as much as any other fallible man, to give them proofs, or recant; otherwise, they shall blacken your face in time to come. We shall yet note his “speaking with tongues,” his “prophesying,” and his conversation with “Wm. Henshaw,” with witnesses of them.
ON Sunday, the 15th of November, the first Conference was held by the Saints in Nantyglo. Ten branches were represented, including 157 members; 7 elders; 12 priests; 8 teachers; and 3 deacons. 21 had been baptized in the last three months. Two elders, three priests, four teachers, and two deacons were ordained. It was decided that Nantyglo was a branch of this conference, and that Thomas Giles was to preside over it; also, Blaenafon, and brother Henish to preside; and Newport, and brother White to preside.
There was a large crowd of well-disposed listeners all day, and throngs of the Saints gathered from the Merthyr conference. The whole thing was listened to attentively, despite the previous threats to disrupt and prevent our worship, apart from some Pharisee who was shouting for a miracle. Between four and five hundred Saints were communing in the afternoon meeting, all in unity and brotherly love. Several testified strongly to the hope they have, and to their determination to go on with this excellent work. Brother Morris described the whole conference, almost, as being in a beautiful and successful condition, and the hope that multitudes would obey the gospel soon. President D. Jones proposed that brother William Henshaw should take charge of the Garway conference, which is under his supervision, and joined to Wales, and that Abergavenny and Newport be part of that conference. This was unanimously approved; brother Henshaw indicated his willingness, and his determination to do what he could in order to build the kingdom of Emmanuel. Brother Henish’s child was blessed; and there was no doubt but what the Spirit of the Lord God of Elijah was in our midst, the spirit of love and joy. In the evening meeting at six o’clock, the hall was overflowing, although it was so full in the morning that props had to be put under the floor, in case it broke under them. The crowd was given a fervent and gifted address by elders William Pugh, Merthyr, Thomas Pugh, Cwmbach, and Capt D. Jones, Merthyr; and one could have thought that the eternal gospel they preached under the guidance of the divine Spirit, was being engraved, as though with an iron pen, on the hearts of the listeners; that it existed, not in word alone, but in great power and certainty in the Holy Ghost; and our fervent prayer is, that everyone who heard it may experience it as the power of God for salvation. Fifteen of the pure in heart were baptized, from among the various denominations, despite their opposition; and thanks be to God that they are enjoying great happiness in the Holy Ghost. Nine more were baptized there the following week, and there are many more at the door. The gratitude of the conference was expressed to Mr. Evans of the Cokers Arms for the hall, and for his kindness throughout the day to the Saints, at the cost of Nero’s frequent favor. May the great God repay him an hundredfold.
Pembrokeshire.—Brothers G. Davies and J. Price have baptized three recently, and have a numerous and attentive audience usually, and several promising to submit to the gospel soon.
Carmarthenshire.—Brother T. Jeremy writes an encouraging letter about the Llanybydder branch, saying that all the Saints are determined and united in the faith, and that they are enjoying the gifts of the Holy Ghost in their midst. He baptized two women in Pencarreg, and he and brothers Harris and Evans are preaching in nine or ten places in their area. There are some Saints in Brechfa, and several at the door. Elder Thos. Harris baptized three more in the town of Carmarthen, on the 15th of November, who received testimony through the Spirit of God of their acceptance with him. This branch is strong and flourishing, despite their disadvantages and their lack of the privileges of a house of God. Elder J. Morris was sent to visit them on his way to Pembrokeshire, and we hope they will soon have a good pastor. Brother Abel Evans baptized three more there soon after this.
Cardiganshire.—Elder Alfred Clark has returned from his journey through this county, and he has high hopes of an abundant harvest of the pure in heart. There is a great call for preaching, and the people are surprised how different our principles are from what they had heard about the Saints, and they are searching the scriptures themselves.
Montgomeryshire.—Several were baptized in Machynlleth recently. The number of Saints here now is about forty, all in just a few months! The gifts of the Holy Ghost are enjoyed in their midst too, according to the promise of Christ to those who believe his gospel, and who live in a godly manner. The unity of Spirit and love reigns here too in the bond of peace, as in all the churches of the Saints.
Merionethshire.—Brother Wm. Jones writes that the Saints in Harlech, Ffestiniog, &c, continue fervently in that faith which was once given to the Saints, and that their heavenly Father blesses them with heavenly blessings through his Holy Ghost, and the sick receive health through the exercise of the means set down through faith. Some were baptized there recently by Abel Evans, and some in Maentwrog. More are expected daily.
Caernarvonshire.—Elder Eleazer Edwards has preached the gospel almost every night, from Nefyn to Lleyn; from Pwllheli, Cricieth, to Portmadoc, with throngs believing the gospel. He has baptized some in Cricieth, and he was given an attentive hearing generally, and people liked him and the gospel he preaches. In Pwllheli, in the Calvinists’ Quarterly Meeting, one of their preachers, by the name of Evan Harris, tried as hard as he could to arouse persecution against the Saints, and numb the ears of his listeners, by misrepresenting their principles, &c. The mayor of this town (under the influence of the Calvinist temperament which burned Servetus and others) refused to allow Brother Edwards to preach on the street, although the meeting houses were closed to him. The police drove him from one corner to the next, yes, he could not borrow the seashore which was lent so easily to the Calvinists to hold their Meeting. Thanks be to God for keeping the bridle of the “red stallion” in his own hand, otherwise its rush would be terrible. But through the kindness of a gentleman by the name of Mr. Evans, the brother and the large crowd were given permission to go into his lumber yard, to hear that divine gospel which closed the other zealots out of their bounds. Elder Jonah Richards has baptized some (we are not sure of the number) in Caernarvon, and the gospel is prospering in other parts of the County, despite its enemies.
Anglesey.—Elders Jonah Richards, Abel Evans, and others, have been preaching throughout the main towns of this county after us, to large crowds, and have received every kindness, and an invitation to continue to preach in their midst. There is here a general demand for the truth as it is in Jesus. We heard some were baptized there recently by J. Richards.
Denbighshire.—Abel Evans baptized two in addition to those who were already in Llandudno, and one in Dwygyfylchi. Elders William Evans, Richard Griffiths, and others, have been working successfully in Rhosllanerchrugog, and have baptized several there. They preached in Cefnmawr and Llangollen until the Rev. Mr. Prichard, the Baptist minister, endangered the people who opened their houses to them, and excluded them. I wonder if this gentle man will ask God to bless his behavior towards the servants he sent, towards his gospel, and towards the souls of his fellow-travelers in the day of judgment?
Flintshire.—Elder R. Evans is laboring in the main towns of this county, and has baptized some in several places, such as Newmarket, Rhuddlan, &c. Elder A. Evans also baptized two at Newmarket about the middle of this month, and three others promised to submit to the gospel the next time he came there, or someone else who had the necessary authority from God to baptize “for the forgiveness of sins.”
It gives us great pleasure to announce also that the divine gospel is having great success with our fellow-countrymen in Cheshire and Liverpool. No doubt it will cause the Saints great happiness to hear that Mr. John Parry (formerly of Newmarket), his three sons, and his wife, like the family of that Lydia of old, have become subjects of the kingdom of the living God. Mr. Parry’s name is respected, and is quite well known throughout the principality, especially in Gwynedd, as a fervent revivalist, as a lover of the truth wherever he might find it, regardless of prejudice and party. God loves honesty and courage in every man, and he arranges some way for such ones to be offered the truth; and it is pleasing to see these people prepared to examine it when it is offered to them, as Mr. Parry did, and without prejudice. There is no doubt that there are hundreds still who, as he did, believe they are closer to the truth than others. But by now Mr. Parry sees (as everyone sees who comes through the same door into the same divine kingdom) the difference between doing the best they can and believing they are right, and the certainty he receives from God through the Spirit of adoption of his acceptance in his sight. Mr. Parry was one of the main founders and a pillar of Campbellism in Wales, and many of the churches he planted accepted his advice as a father, and followed him from darkness to degrees of light through frowns and scorn; we hope they will follow him again into the middle of the blazing light of the eternal gospel. Mr. Parry and his eldest son have been ordained elders, and we hope their former brethren will have the honor of hearing them, and complying with their heavenly call, before next summer. Several have been baptized in Liverpool recently.
ALL the news we receive constantly from these places proves that God has awakened as it were from the slumber of ages to do his great and wondrous work in these latter days. The kingdom of Emmanuel is succeeding and spreading strangely, and people of every station and denomination are flooding into it, and are able to feast on its heavenly delicacies as in the days of the Lord. The missionaries who came over from America recently are turning the counties of England on their heads, we should think, almost, and are baptizing more than ever. In some areas gentlemen who own large estates, justices, and some who hold high offices under the government, as well as the common people, are complying. In Scotland and the Isle of Man they are baptizing daily in some parts. Soon this kingdom will become like the prophet Daniel foresaw it, as a “stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and changed until it filled the whole earth” with light and knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea.
IT is scarcely more than two years since an elder took the mustard seed to these remote parts of the world; and how wonderfully that climate agrees with it, so that it is already quite a tree with numerous strong branches, and the delightful breezes of Paradise breathing sweetly on its magnificent flowers. In a letter the brother there sent recently, he said that he was often called from his bed at night to baptize, and that they came some scores of miles purposely to fetch him to baptize those who believed the gospel there!
ELDERS Pratt, Richards, and others, continue to be very successful in these islands, and have baptized hundreds recently, especially since God in his providence, through the French, caused the sectarian missionaries (who persecuted the Saints so mercilessly, told the old unfounded stories about Joseph Smith, &c, and strived to incite jealousy against them in the natives) to have to withdraw from there for the most part. Those poor pagans, after being adopted as children of God through this gospel, receive the “bread of the children,” the promised inheritance of his people, in abundance, and receive sufficient proofs that he is no respecter of persons, but that he and his word are unchanging, and that he who said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe,” &c, also said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Let us thank him for his valuable promises.
WELL blessed are those that slumber in Jesus in the grave, For they will be yet risen as those in glory saved; When the archangel trumpets his resurrecting chord, These dear ones will all gather to meet their mighty Lord.
A bounteous host of firstfruits our God has gleaned of earth—Those who were not corrupted ascend to share new birth; And those on earth remaining that Jesus know and love, Will be transformed one moment and join the throng above.
But woe betide those others who linger long below,
Such sorrow’ll come upon them, such grief within them grow;
The Lord above with escort they’ll see approach so fleet,
With flames about his person for those who chose deceit.