“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 181–196.
MR . ED.,—Some questions were directed at me in the September Star, by one Independent Reverend from the North, and I wrote an answer for them, being sure in my mind that I would receive the same fair play that the inquirer received; but to my disappointment, I was told that it was too poor, that there was none of the “cleverness” in this article that I had shown on other occasions, and that the aforementioned Reverend would take no notice of it. The only thing I shall say is, that I did my best. Now, I set my cause before you, and begging the fair play that was denied me in the place where it should have been received.
[Copy of the Article sent to the Editor of the STAR OF GOMER, under the
MR . GOMER,—About last February when I sent you an article on “Speaking with Tongues,” which appeared in the STAR for June, little did I think that anyone would be so perceptive as to see that it was defending Mormonism; for it was nothing more than an investigation into the New Testament to know what is to be understood by “speaking with tongues.” But within two months, here is H. Tegai (see page 258) writing as follows:—
“I saw in the June STAR , an article of one J. D., on ‘Speaking with Tongues’ If J. D. wishes to come forth to defend Mormonism, let him come to the root of the argument at once, by answering, 1. Did Christ and his apostles work public miracles? If they did, 2. Do the Mormons do so in the same way? Let J. D. answer as he may, and then I shall have a word to say to him.”
Now, I would wish the reader to take the trouble to reread the article on “Speaking with Tongues,” in case he may have forgotten it. It is trying to prove there not that which H. Tegai and his friend from Porthyrhyd think is the “speaking” in question; but that it was a gift from God to the church, to edify it, and that it was to be imparted as the spirit willed. H. Tegai does not indicate that I have erred in that; but he says, “If J. D. wishes to come forth to defend Mormonism (!), let him come to the root of the argument at once.” What is that? Was “speaking with tongues” Mormonism in the days of old? That was the subject I dealt with, remember. If Mormonism was the “speaking with tongues” then, and if it can be shown that the “speaking” continues to this day, no wonder that such a sect as the Mormons exists. Now, it would not be a foolish trick to try to set Paul to prove that the “speaking” was to continue until these days, and perhaps further. He says— “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. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1 Cor. 13, 8—10). Are the speaking and the prophesying things in part? Yes, say all. Well, is that which is in part to be done away before that which is perfect comes? No. When is that which is perfect to come, then? Yes, that is the question. And not when we shall “see face to face;” for it is not likely that they (namely the early Christians) will be made perfect without us. It is seen, by now, is it not, that the speaking and the prophesying are to continue until the last ones on earth are perfected, but not longer, for then that which is “in part” will be swallowed by “that which is perfect.” Now, Mr. Tegai, is that Mormonism, again? If so, the Mormons will be glad to hear it.
Next, since I have come forward to defend the “speaking with tongues” of the New Testament, that which H. Tegai calls Mormonism, he calls me “to the root of the argument at once.” What constitutes coming to the root of the argument? Oh, “by answering, 1. Did Christ and his apostles work public miracles? If they did, 2. Do Mormons do so in the same way?” I wonder whether we would not come to the root of the argument just as well, by answering, 1. Did the apostles speak with tongues? If they did, 2. Do the Mormons do the same? What if we, through searching into those two subjects, were to find ourselves convinced that the speaking with tongues of the Mormons is true and their miracles are deceitful? The Mormons profess the one and the other; consequently, to say that the “root of the argument” that pertains to both (and to others that can be noted) is in one of them, is quite inconsistent. What of that? Paul, a man approved by everyone, sets down a rule far more excellent than “coming to the root of the argument”—i.e., to judge whether it is a false religion and deceit that the Saints have, or not. He says—”But 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,” (Gal. 1, 8.) By finding out that the Mormons do not preach or profess that which Paul and his brethren did, is the best procedure to prove them deceivers. If they deny anything, or profess anything differently, about that which Paul had, they are sure to be preaching something else, and worthy to receive the anathema. But at present I shall not go to look into whether the Saints are following Paul, for H. Tegai does not consider that to be the “root of the argument;” and consequently, I shall now answer his two questions the best I can.
“1. Did Christ and his apostles work public miracles?” It may be asked also, and many do that, did they work miracles at all? We have a history, namely the New Testament, that contains mention of some strange things being fulfilled many years ago; but it has all been written by biased men, and one must believe it all, or not, without having one proof of its truthfulness. If the fact that the “Mormons,” who are alive in our own times, claim miracles in their midst is not a proof that they occur, then it stands to reason that the fact that Jesus’s disciples, in the earlier ages, claimed also that miracles occurred in their midst, is no proof to us in this age that they did. Indeed, except that men receive supernatural knowledge, it seems to me quite natural to doubt that Christ and his apostles worked miracles; and that because Christ said that signs would follow the believers, which is as good as saying they would do so in our age. He has said also, that whatsoever thing we asked in his name, we should receive. Well, it has been so many times, among the Independents, at least, for those are the ones with whom I was most familiar, as they sought in his name to heal some sick person; and after asking, no answer came. Many times also they have imitated Elijah of old, asking in the name of Christ for God to forestall the rain at harvest time, and at other times for him to give rain; but no notice was taken of them by the One who promised to give if they would ask. But, said one Independent, We have received our answer many times. Well, well! Where is H. Tegai now? There are “public miracles” in our age and our country at last, yes, by the Independents, not the Mormons! The old “false-prophets,” are they not? But wait! I am straying from the subject; the questioner wants to know whether Christ and his apostles worked miracles in public? A glimpse can be had at the public nature of Christ’s miracles then from what his brethren said to him. “Depart hence,” they said, “and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest, for there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly; if thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.” We can also conclude that the miracles of Christ were not very public, otherwise, learned men such as the scribes and the Pharisees would not have been ignorant of them; for, perhaps, if responsible men such as those had had the least proof of his miracles, they would have believed. We note that which they said to him while he was on the cross—”Let Christ, the King of the Jews, descend from the cross, that we may see, and believe.” If he normally worked miracles in public, why did he not do so at that time, when men of such influence, were present,—yes, men who had they believed would have turned the world after them. There are also men in our days who are so honest, that they would believe the Mormons at once, if they could miraculously feed the five thousand, &c. It is not likely that the Mormons can do such a thing, or they would not be so stupid as to refrain from convincing men like that; and it was not likely that the apostles were able to work miracles in public, or they would not have been so unwise as to refrain from showing their power to men at that time. But despite that, it is said in the New Testament, that miracles had been performed by Christ in public (and in secret); but it is given to understand that he performed them among “his own,” and only among the believers of such also. Likewise it is said of a few of the apostles also. It is quite obvious that many of the miracles that are mentioned were performed in public, without any intention that they would be thus; and very often their performers tried to hide them. Now, after all the foregoing reasoning, I cannot come to a sure decision as to whether Christ and his apostles performed public miracles, but I shall just say that the New Testament mentions their performing such things. After giving an answer like that, the other question comes to my attention, namely,—
“2. Do Mormons do the same?” In this, I suppose, is the “root of the argument.” Although, by answering the first question, I have become quite unbelieving about the miracles of old; if I find out that there are similar things among the Mormons now, it is logical for me to believe the truthfulness of the Bible about the works of Christ and his apostles. Neither do I consider that the miracles of the Mormons have to be as big, or as public, as the miracles of Christ and his apostles, before they can be miracles, and true miracles; for there are none among the Mormons who profess so much faith as Christ had, and there are none in Wales who hold offices as high as the apostles held. If it can be proved that some sick person has received health miraculously, by the laying on of hands, the principle of miraculous power will be proved; and consequently, according to how the Mormons are able to operate by the rule, “All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” by that shall they be empowered, not to work miracles as great as those of Christ and his apostles, but much greater, such as even being able to move mountains! Now, among many such circumstances, we can note one that happened in Merthyr Tydfil, to a man by the name of William Hughes, who was working in a coal mine. One day, he happened to break his leg in two places: and he was carried home by his fellow workers, when the doctor set the bones in their place, and bound them up. That night the man called for one of the elders of the church to come to him, and he administered in his office, at which time the injured man received a complete relief from the pain. The third day after that, he called for another elder, and he administered again; and the result was that the injured man jumped down from his bed in the presence of several impartial witnesses, and walked around in their presence! Mr. Tegai can have the complete story in the publication of the Mormons, called Prophet of the Jubilee, for July, 1846, together with the witnesses. They are now alive; and the man who was healed is in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, and he is willing to come to face everyone to prove the truthfulness of the matter. This was all public, but not everyone believes, especially the learned; and thus it was in the days of old. Several healings are happening among hundreds of observers, but the Mormons cannot help it if they are made up of Christ’s “own,” any more than the apostles could. The greatest testimony I could give to H. Tegai would be to assure him that I myself received healing miraculously more than once; and I testify that that has happened. But, now, I imagine that Mr. Tegai is ready to say, if he himself were to see such things take place, it would be no time before he would join with the Mormons. That would, however, be difficult to believe of him; for if he is one of the “elect,” it would not be possible, even if he were to receive a clear sign from those he considers to be “false-prophets,”—it would not be possible, I say, to bring him to believe in a doctrine different from that which he now believes, namely Congregationalism, I mean. But in case he is not one of the “elect” that will not be deceived, those who have a testimony of Jesus, I am of the opinion that a testimony for himself would be the most acceptable to him, and the most convincing also. How to get that, I wonder? Like this:—”If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” (John 7, 17). To know is the main point. Our friend could be a witness of a miracle, and not know, despite that, whether it was a miracle from God, or from the “false-prophets.” Now, the Saints, like Christ, offer that knowledge to every one who does that which they teach; and H. Tegai has the opportunity to take them at their word, and test them. That is all I shall say at present about the second question. Next, and last, our friend says this:—“Let J. D. answer as he may, and then I shall have a word to say to him.” This thing looks like a trap or a net; and if the words are taken “spiritually,” they mean, in my opinion, that Mr. Tegai has determined beforehand what he will say; yes, even if I were to convince him of the complete opposite. But that makes no difference: for I hope, that when our friend lifts his net, that a miracle will take place (as in the time of Christ), and instead of capturing me, he will have captured the truth, and that as it is in Christ. Amen. J. D.
THE “Reverend” Editor of this paper greatly imitates the miller of the American corn crackers, for the latter carries nothing in his hopper but “corn,” which is nothing more than food for swine in comparison to wheat. So the former will drop nothing into the hopper of the Times with respect to the Saints but swinish lies; and sufficient facts have been had before this to prove that not one of those is too hard, slanderous, or harmful for him to publish; and immediately when the truth is offered him in defense, down closes his hopper every time; and as soon as some sufficiently hideous false accusation comes along, in it goes then! Who has ever heard of the Editor of the Times having permitted any of the Saints ever to defend themselves against his lies? Who has ever heard of his getting any story against them that he found too disgraceful to publish? What is this but an invitation to all the slanderous liars of our country to bring their full sacks forward and pour them into his hopper! Read the following. From the Times, Nov. 4:—
“NEWMARKET.—The Mormons pay frequent visits to this place. It shows that the disciples of Joe Smith have a great liking for the place, and more of a desire to get the inhabitants of Newmarket from the reach of the destruction of the world to safe California, than to get the inhabitants of any other neighborhood in these parts. A woman was jabbering some nonsense here on Monday night. The application of soap and water on her skin and clothes would not have been out of place, as she had great need of it. The following Tuesday night this woman’s husband attacked a young girl, in an isolated spot about a mile-and-a-half from the village. Very fortunately for the girl, someone happened to come past in the meantime, and so she was spared. He was followed, and caught in a tavern. It is said that he had on him several sharp weapons and plasters. He tried to put plaster on the girl’s mouth to keep her from screaming, and in the struggle he missed the mark, and he put it on her cheek. He is now in the Flint jail “suffering persecution.” It will be seen whether the family of miracles succeed in getting an angel to open the doors of the jail, and to lead this ‘saint’ out.”
Now, with respect to all this “jabbering,” we say that there is not one syllable of truth in it in connection with the “Mormons” (as they are called); and we challenge the Editor and his correspondent to prove that any kind of connection or anything similar between the aforementioned woman or her husband exists with the “Latter-day Saints,” or has ever existed. Can you deny this Mr. Editor? Perhaps you will again escape to your old vulpine hiding place as you have done before, and shout from there, that you cannot be held responsible for the lies of the correspondence that is sent to you. But this will not do, for read your refusal of the defense, hard-faced as before:—
“No space can be given in the Times for the long letter of Mr. J. P. in defense of the Mormons, or the “Latter-day Saints;” for there would never be an end to the debate on such a subject. Our correspondent can have his article, if he calls at our office.”
“Before speaking ill of anyone, we should ask ourselves three questions: first, Is it true? Second, Is it kind? Third, Is it necessary?”
This J. P. was present when the aforementioned woman delivered that “jabbering.” He and another preacher of the Saints declared publicly after she finished “that there was no connection between her and the Saints.” But perhaps your storyteller was not there at that time you say. Whatever of that, we can prove that the accusation is a known lie, for it is true enough that the woman herself declared publicly more than once, and as understandably as anything she said, “that she had no connection with any denomination or party.” Your storyteller must have been there, else how could he have known that there was great need for water and soap on her skin and her clothes? If his eyes were there to see her filthiness, why were his ears not there to hear her confession, which is completely opposite to his story? Does not this, together with every other sentence of his report, reveal that heartfelt enmity toward the religion he falsely accuses is the cause of it all? This was a sweet pause for revenge, especially since he knew that your hopper is open for such rubbish, and not open for any defense. Will you allow this, your slanderous and dangerous little servant to hide himself secretly from the public longer? Why did you not publish his name to the world, so we can see who is this mad dog?” Whoever gives someone freedom to say what he likes is an accomplice to his evil deeds, remember; and perhaps it would not be unprofitable to give you a dose of your own pills since you are the sickest one that we know. The dose is just a small one! only three of your own pills; yes, in the same issue, and only the thickness of the paper between them and the root of your illness. Here they are, Sir,— “Before speaking ill of anyone, we should ask ourselves three questions. 1. Is it true? 2. Is it kind? 3. Is it necessary?” Very good counsel! A pity that you did not remember to do one of them yourself, for if so you would not have published the above tale. Since it is not true, and if it were true, it is not kind, much less necessary. The saying “physician heal thyself is equally appropriate to you.
Oh, how you laughed derisively, I am sure, when you saw in your columns “that a Saint was in jail suffering persecution.” We thank the God of the Saints that his angels keep the Saints from going to jail except for their religion, and that is not too much for them to suffer, however much your blasphemous scorn is like that of the children of perdition earlier under similar circumstances. Did you not know, Sir, that our church rules do not permit a woman to preach? You ought to know that before attacking to battle against us, for it has been proclaimed more than once in your language, “that we do not acknowledge a female priesthood.” But what we say is not worthy of your notice, for it is as much as you can do to search for accusations and lies against us, to be sure. Yes, you are an entirely one-sided man, and your fondest work is to “accuse the brethren.” Well, you poor thing, go on as you please, but remember, if you were as free as the wild donkey, the “season” will come when you yourself will be tamed, and your shackle will be as short as that of any other donkey. Yes, the day will come before long that will blow away the shelters of falsehood—when all shall have the truth.
While writing the foregoing defense the following issue of the Times, namely the November 18th issue, was thrown before us, and the first thing practically that attracted our attention, in place of the defense of the previous accusation, was the following:—
“William Smith, the Mormon prophet or patriarch, is now about to be tried for odious immorality.”
Now, Mr. Slanderer, is it “kind” to publish this even if it is true? Is it “necessary” to devour the dear religion of our fellowmen by ransacking the world for the faults of people? Would it be kind for us or another to publish the atrocious lies and the wantonness of the Congregational preachers, and raise to the wind how many have been imprisoned, and executed, and exiled out of the boundaries of a Christian land; not to mention those who have not yet received their due! If this were to be done according to your own logic, the Congregational religion would stink in the nostrils of the public seven times worse than does Mormonism in yours.
With respect to the “William Smith” you mention, did you yourself not tell us through the Times that he had left the Mormons about two years ago? Yes, yes! and that he was about to reveal to the world some monstrous hobgoblins about it, &c. You did not mention a word about his joining with them afterwards, until you get something bad—worse, worst:—shameful, most shameful, yes, “repugnant” to say about him; and then, surprise! behold him a “Mormon prophet or patriarch” immediately! Oh what evidence we get from him against Mormonism!
Grime in his bag and no gold—only husks
That are withered and old.
We do not consider that we tell you anything new by saying that the above W. S. is not a Mormon through any kind or connection, much less a “prophet or patriarch;” and consequently that his virtues or his failings are not the fruits of Mormonism, any more than that of Congregationalism or any other ism.
We know of no better pills to cleanse your slanderous illness from your stomach, and from your bones (if they are medicinal also) than your own pills again, which you have in the same corner of the previous story;—
“Not one word that is spoken for the truth, falls in vain. Tell the truth; work out the truth; testify for the truth,—and leave the consequence to God.”
“Our first duty to truth is to believe it; our next duty is to submit to it.”
And despite testifying constantly, you never provide space to the truthful testimonies of those you accuse. Nevertheless, “we testify” wherever we can; and according to your counsel “we leave the consequence to God.” Since you love lies rather than the “truth,” you cannot blame us for leaving you in the hand of that God against whom you fight so stubbornly,—his “truth” and his own: for,—
Stiff-necked aggressive villain—defamer,
Of lies you are spokesman;
You are ensnared, are fallen,
Are trapped, muddle-headed man!
From now on be yourself just as consistent, and leave us and our religion in the hand of the same God; for it is him we serve, and to his judgment-seat we are responsible, thanks be for that, and not to the court of the one-sided and persecuting Times. We heard much mention of some “minister” who preached “obey my commandments but not my examples.” But we did not know for certain that “thou art the man” until we had read the counsels you gave, and compared them with your slanderous deeds. Your continual and increasing false accusations verify your own motto, which follows:—
“That which is good, can expect to get better; and that which is bad, fear to get worse; for wickedness, virtue, and time, never stand still.”
You also verify that which the Preacher says, chap. viii, ver. 11. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” What greater evil can you do than to falsely accuse a religion, and persecute the children of God? “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye,” will be proved true in your own fate unless you repent, as sure as those in truth are those you falsely accuse. May the gracious God allow you time to repent, is our prayer, if in your ignorance you do all this; if not, may it be done as seemeth him good in his sight.
THIS one also has learned the old trick nearly as well as the Times, and its columns constantly pour some shameful slime on her neighbors because of their religion. But she is as much wiser than the Times as she is older. She has released occasional little pieces in defense of her accusations against us, so that she can claim some kind of right of being two-sided; while, at the same time, she intends to kill two birds with the same stone by so doing; and while she was doing that she was just behind the curtain loading her heavier cannons to attack us. It was very Starry fairness to publish a challenge, as H. Tegai did to J. D., to come to the field, namely the field of the Star, and then refuse space for the defense!!! Who else of the children of Gomer have been treated like this in a publication that professes to be free? Yet, this is not the first time for her to play the Yankee trick with the Mormons. In the same issue she confessed that she purposefully left out very interesting things to provide space for others to malign us and misrepresent us wholly without provocation, namely the false story of the “Lectures of Dowlais,” &c. You editors of Wales! what is the cause that nearly all of you have the bellyache at once? Why bark so much at a religion so unknown to you? What did any of us do to stir you like wolves from your holes? Say, if you can, what is the cause? If we are guilty, why do you not publish that, then, instead of publishing lies about us from one year to the next? Would you not, we wonder, publish some transgression against us, if you knew of one? Your eagerness to publish false accusations, proves that you cannot find truthful things to harm us.
What reasonable man can find worthy words to show the atrocity, the slander, and the sinfulness of that article that appeared in the Star of Gomer for November, under the title of “Proclamation of the Latter-day Saints to their Compatriots!” Was it not bad enough to publish lies about us under pseudonyms, and no names at all, and then this last and ungodly deed of forging our names? Having the audacity to publish such slanderous rubbish in our own names!! That has really done it. This is worse than publishing that “Profession of Faith” a while back. If the Saints had some proclamation, I wonder if it would get to appear? Oh no, it would not. Well, in the name of reason, is a filthy fake-proclamation, forging the name of an entire party of religionists, better with respect to influencing the public, or sweeter to the taste of the publisher! What if people believed that that proclamation is what it professes to be, namely belonging to the “Saints?” Who would come to listen to them? and who would come to listen to the Baptists either, if some wicked man forged the name of their party to falsely portray them as much as this proclamation does us? Why is it not considered that our religion is just as good and just as dear in our sight, as is yours to you? Again, we say, do as you please, for God is on our side despite all the ugly howling of all the wolves!
“Lately from the Mormons.”—We understand from letters received lately from the first company of the Mormons, that they have reached in a safe and comfortable condition the edges of the great Salt Lake, where they have settled for a while, and their cattle and their flocks are feasting on the lucious grass, and the pure waters, which are so typical of those parts. They made a new way from the Omaha Indians to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, which will no doubt greatly facilitate the way for other immigrants who come after them from the United States. This is to the north of the Oregon trail—and more direct—they have built strong bridges over the main rivers. Opening this trail is evidence of hard work and much suffering. After they reached beyond Grand Island, they had plenty of wild cattle, to strengthen the fibre of these brave men. They came into the midst of about ten thousand at once, or as one writer counted, “that there were eight or ten million pounds of beef there.” [A very abundant and cheap market for the exiled children of God in the wilderness!] When the railway is made from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, no doubt the government, or whoever does it, will have better overseers and workers from among the Mormons, than they can get from anyone else—the strong sons of constant persecution, those who overcame and gave no heed to all obstruction and danger as things of naught. A new printing press is on its way to them.
“O. B. H.”
This is very sweet news to the children of Zion throughout the world, and to the Welsh also. We give thanks to their sustainer for his great tenderness toward them. Behold the firstfruits have reached the grainery; what can hinder the main crop? Nothing on the earth, or under the earth, we say, while they keep the law of Zion! Neither let the Welsh think that they have arrived beyond the need for assistance. Oh no, but now when they are beginning to settle in a country so new, under so many disadvantages, at the cost of using up their goods, their money, and their clothes, &c.—now, I say, is the greatest need for assistance in order to repair, to get building materials, clothes, seed to put in the ground, and the necessary things to work the land, and carry on with the various vocations necessary to be mutually beneficial. Consider how advantageous and lovely it will be to arrive in a country where everything necessary is available, different from going as they did to a place where there is nothing of the kind except what they themselves established. Let this cause us to be sympathetic with them, until we will all “long pull a strong pull, and a pull altogether,” now, for their sakes—the work that they have done, and for the benefit that we expect from the fruit of their hard labor and sufferings. We are very confident that we will be able to fulfill our promise to them in the next Conference. What do you say, children of Zion? If you are all of the same mind, we shall not be disappointed.
We understand that many other thousands of Saints are on their journey from the states toward California, like doves flying to their windows. There is now more earnest and successful searching into the principles of Mormonism throughout the states than ever before. This last testimony, namely the departure of the Saints from their midst, in addition to the voice of “the blood of holy prophets and apostles and saints,” is having a strange influence throughout the land, and shows that God earnestly wishes “to do his work, his strange work,” and he wishes to gather his children together “to their rooms for a small moment, until the calamity has passed.” Not everyone understands the signs of the times in this age of light, any more than they did in the days of Noah, or in the days of the destruction of Jerusalem, for not everyone is going to the place which God has prepared to be a place of deliverance from the judgments of the last days, any more than everyone went into the ark—or else everyone would go from Jerusalem to the mountains. Oh no, no one but those Saints understood through the Spirit of revelation for themselves where their deliverance would be. By this also is seen the great blessing to be had, yes, the absolute necessity there is for receiving divine revelations and more in our age, as in all other ages in which God does his work. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing [in this age any more than before], but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Listen to their voice, and harken to their call, so that we will inherit not only temporal deliverance, and delightful rest from all oppression and hunger, but also so that we will receive our holy endowment in the temples of our Lord, so that we will be made fit through the perfecting of our understanding and our sanc-tification to enjoy His beneficent association—patriarchs and prophets, together with the blessed heavenly family; and so that we will receive an abundant entrance into the joy of our Lord when he comes to his glory in his saints. This is the way to reach the mark. Dear Saints, run this race speedily, and you will enjoy, step by step, “the payment of the prize.”
We anxiously await from now to the end of this year for the good news from our presidents about the opening of the way, and instructions for us to journey out to join them; for, no doubt they watch over us also. Hail! yes, call, we say with all our hearts.
SEEK first the kingdom of our God,
Not earthly wealth or pride;
Let this best treasure be your bond;
All else is dross beside.
‘Tis better for the soul of man,
Than all the world’s excess,
To serve the purpose of our Lord,
And in this find success.
This is a treasure which will last,
Man knows not its extent—
To gain the Zion of our God,
Where saintly days are spent.
With songs of Moses and the Lamb,
All fears will be released;
New wine may freely be imbibed,
In Jesus’s wedding feast.
WE are pleased to inform you that all the accounts that reach us, not only from every part of Wales, but also from England, Scotland, America, and everywhere the gospel is being preached, give evidence of rapid and sustained growth of this divine work; and that there is not only a large increase in numbers, but also an increase in unity, zeal, and holiness is evident among the Saints, and a continual and more abundant enjoyment of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. We have not read of so much persecution and opposition anywhere as there is in our country in these days. Despite that, do not be disheartened, dear brothers and sisters, for our mighty God is on our side, and is presiding over all that must be in order for us to complete our task, of warning our nation, and inviting it from the grasp of destruction in a short time. Thanks be to our God that we know what it is that we are about, and that we know that our labor will be crowned with success, yes, with a thorough victory, if we bravely maintain confidence in our profession for yet a small moment. Lift up your heads, and look at the “signs of the times!” Listen closely to the news! It is the sound of wars here, and the shedding of the blood of men by the thousands is heard from afar! Famines, pestilence, and diseases, are circulating around the world:—markets of the world, and their richest merchants will find themselves worse than worthless with but a few hours of warning;—and the greatest hearts of the world will shake and shudder from fear from what they expect;—food rising in cost, and the wages dropping, together with many other things showing that our world is in confusion—that the judgments of God are quickly following on the heels of his servants and their godly mission for the last time; and everything, we say, testifies to those to whom “it is given to know the signs of the times,” that the time of their “deliverance is nigh.” We thank our Savior that we know of the place of refuge, where God provides full deliverence for his children against all evil; and we shall strive to complete our task quickly, so that we will be ready to go when the important invitation sounds in our ears, namely “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Let us remember that we are strangers and wayfarers here, and those who are striving for a better land, and let us take comfort.
MERTHYR.—It is too great a task for us to be able to inform you how many were baptized here last month, for many are baptized night and day, and at times as many as ten in a week; but this we will say, that we remember hardly a meeting of the Saints in a long time that did not receive some in. And further we say, that the number of this branch is at, if not over, 600 faithful and zealous members, and great is the joy that is in their really should) for causing among other things some unusual excitement here, and causing more investigation than ever into the doctrine that we preach; and not only those who profess no religion, but also those who do, yes, and those who have been respected leaders and preachers are coming near, and are listening, and believing, and obeying, and are saying they would not take the world for their conversion. May others hasten to do likewise, we say.
DOWLAIS.—The truth is growing here; and the tumult has subsided like summer thunder, and it brings sweet showers in its wake, to the joy of the Saints, and additions to their numbers nearly every week. This, like everything else, proves that the false prophets are those who prophesy that the Mormons have received the home stroke, &c, for we assure you that she is more alive and glorious than ever. We thank her author for this.
CARDIFF.—Eight were baptized here during the past month, with good signs for more; and we are very glad to hear that the Saints are unanimously more energetic than they have ever been. We hope they will take care as if before the teeth of the lion.
ABERDARE.—This branch is scraping the moss away from itself, and we expect to see it soon blossoming like the green branch in the summer. Two were added to their number this week. Hosts will come, for there is yet room.
ABERSYCHAN.—After beating for so long on this adamantine stone, it has finally broken into splinters. Nineteen were baptized here in the same week, and 24 in fewer than that number of days, and according to all the signs there are hosts at the door; and the Saints are happily enjoying the blessings of the children of God according to the promises of Jesus Christ, and are gaining strong and varied testimonies that God and his work are the same as they were in former days. Among others who were baptized here, there is a tavernkeeper and his family, who gave an example of his honesty and his desire to serve God, by taking down his sign immediately, saying, that he would not try to serve God and Bacchus, and that a religion as glorious as this one deserves every sacrifice in its cause. Here is one example to prove that in his religion there is strength and influence, although not of the same nature as our accusers say. Although our church rules do not absolutely command this, yet it is an example worthy of emulation when this or any other business prevents a man from worshipping God. May the Lord reward this brother an hundredfold, we say. Among the host of instruments that God allows to exist to purify and perfect the patience of his children, there is near here some surly, old, Pharisaic tailor who is very busy, yes, often before finishing dressing in the morning in following after some of the weak and newly baptized, especially the women, and challenging them to perform miracles, &c. But finally, the old tailor met his match very nicely! He intruded like this into the house of a woman who had been baptized the day before, and he asked her to cast the devil out of him! But another man who happened to be there at the time asked the old tailor if he claimed to be a child of God? “Yes sir,” said the tailor very stubbornly, “for over 17 years.” “Well,” said the other, being much more reasonable, “it is very strange that an old child of God like yourself is seeking such a thing from a child who is not as many hours old as you are in years, is it not!” The next thing that was seen of the old tailor was his tail dragging behind him into his hole. And if he is heard coming out again on the same business, you will know who he is, and more of his story. It is surprising that his brethren have not taught him better manners!
BLAENAU GWENT.—Five were baptized here recently, and the work is going forward quite successfully. There was some man here, and the same man has been in other branches, who professed to be a member with the Saints in Scotland, and who crept into the meetings, and into the homes of the Saints, asking cunning questions, and trying to trap them into giving some topics for him to write lies about them to the world; but he was caught in his treachery. Do not believe every spirit that rushes into your midst, even though they come at times very flatteringly like this one; but test them properly before they have part in your love-feasts. They are spots and blemishes, coming in to spy on your freedom, so they can devour you in the presence of the world. Do not give sacred things to the dogs. There is no freedom for anyone to come to the church of God except through the door, namely baptism, and those who come some other way, are considered thieves and robbers now as before.
NANTYGLO.—Five were baptized here recently, and this sister branch has already developed breasts, and has received the honor of nursing brave and useful sons, which have taken their good seed to several parts of the country, and it is sprouting wonderfully, promising an abundant harvest. On may they go.
PENYCAE.—Two were baptized recently, one of whom was a respected deacon, and of great influence with the Baptists for years; and there will be no end to his thanks, for he has chosen the better part, if he continues faithful in it.
VICTORIA.—Six have been baptized here since the Conference, two of which again were from the Baptists! one with the Wesleyans, besides more that believe.
TREDEGAR.—Two were baptized here last week, and we hope that those are but the firstfruits of the second crop in this populous place. You Saints, be careful of your conduct, that there be nothing in you to prevent the honest in heart from coming to the family of God, for “woe to those by whom the offence cometh.”
BLAENAVON.—Two have been baptized, and several are at the door here, and if they had the advantages that are to be had in other places, they would come in. We trust that the Conference president will succeed in getting a zealous and diligent elder to go there before long, who can properly impart the word of truth to those who are dying from lack of knowledge about the plan of God to save man.
PONTYBEREM.—Four have been added to the numbers of the Saints here recently, one of which was 91 years of age. Elder H. Williams, and the other preachers, greatly praise the noble and honest investigation of the inhabitants of these environs. Not only did they come to listen attentively, but they carefully searched the scriptures themselves, and great is their joy when they discover that the promises of Jesus Christ are for them to enjoy the spiritual gifts, and the blessed association of his Holy Spirit as before. Several others have promised to obey the conditions of the gospel before long. The Saints are very grateful to the masters and overseers of these works for their kindness to them, and their freedom to worship God, as others have, and for their not believing, as some do, all the tales that are brought to them by gossiping men, for the purpose of persecuting them out of the country. We pray for the God of the Saints to repay them an hundredfold for their kindness to his children.
CWMAMAN.—Elders J. Griffiths and R. Davies earnestly beseech help in preaching in these environs. The call is so great and earnest that they hardly know where to go first, and it is increasing more and more. Although only two were baptized there during the past month, yet according to the present signs, those are but the firstfruits of an abundant harvest of souls for the church of God. The masters and overseers here are also greatly praised by the Saints.
LLANELLI.—We are continually informed of baptisms here, and 4 1 have been baptized since the Conference. Almost all of these have been carefully searching among the religions of the age for the true religion, and they have been, for the most part, members with the Baptists and the Independents for years, and with hardly a blemish on their character; nevertheless, as soon as they became true disciples to him who said, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake,” even their brethren fulfill this prophecy by persecuting them, especially their former pastors, who fed on them instead of feeding them; and especially a minister of the Baptists, by the name of James Spencer, is trying to devour those who feed him richly! He sees that he will not get any more of their fleece, otherwise he would not be so eager to tear their skin: but no one fears the length of his teeth, for they are rotten. Is it not a clear sign of the remarkable blindness of men like these, that they think to keep honest and reasonable men under their clutches in the darkness, by maligning those who bring them to light, while having so many facts to prove that his persecution has the entirely opposite effect? Very often we are asked, “In the name of reason, what is the cause for the Baptists everywhere being so terribly bloody to the Saints, more than everyone else, and insisting on being at the forefront in all persecution?” We have an answer to give to that before long, but it would be too long here.
We are pleased to report that all the Saints are united despite everything, in fervent love toward their God and his work, and happily enjoying of the “the children’s bread,” that their increase is so great in godly wisdom, and all godliness. We say to the Saints of Llanelli, for their comfort, that their “Balaam” has returned to his old place of cursing, but he is not able to curse Israel one bit. He, poor wretch, has died away, as has been the case and will be the case with every shooting star that has cut across the orbits of the planets; his sparks are not seen, and his odor has been blown away. You heard true that his backbone was broken under the hammer of the bailiff!
CWMBYCHAN AND BRYN.—We have heard from several that some large multitude was baptized here recently, and all the preachers are very busy at their work. Perhaps this is the reason why the president has not had sufficient time as to inform us for a long time about their number or their state.
CARMARTHEN.—This branch is blossoming anew, and the number of Saints has increased through the baptism during the past two weeks of four. Elder B. Jones tells us from there that scores of others there believe this gospel, with hopeful signs for an increase soon, especially in the surrounding areas for several miles, where there is a great call for preaching, and an attentive hearing. They have secured a convenient hall in the town, where there is continual preaching to a crowd of noble listeners. They wish for a portion of the prayers of the Saints, especially their mother branch in Merthyr, and I say Amen.
PEMBROKESHIRE.—The work is on a continual increase throughout this County. Elder J. Morris reports that he has often received uncivil and hateful opposition, especially when baptizing. Even when administering this godly ordinance attacks were made on his person, and stones were thrown at them while in the water, &c, yes, this was done by those who professed religion, among which were even some of our friends the Baptists! And had it not been for the kindness of some unbelievers, it would have been worse for the Saints! The Saints wish to acknowledge the defense of the gentlemen of the country, chiefly Mr. Owens, with gratitude. And who would not give thanks for freedom to worship God, when those who profess religion attempt to prevent them, and sometimes compel them to go for miles in the night secretly to have a quiet setting in which to administer one of the ordinances of the house of God! In what pagan country is anything similar to this to be found, not to mention that it is among the “Christians” of enlightened Wales? Great is the patience of our God; we are grateful that everything is under his care, and that all will turn for the good in the end.
LLANYBYDDER AND BRECHFA.—Several have been baptized in these places lately, especially in the latter; and among others, some deacons of the Baptists, and some elders of the Calvinists, until there are there now 25 who have all obtained, and who continue to have edifying testimonies from God of their acceptance before him. There is a great call for additional preaching in the environs, and several have decided to take up their cross, and follow Jesus through all scorn and obstacles. Our dear brother, elder T. Jeremy, has been very zealous and successful, together with elder T. Harris, and others, and God is blessing their labor, to the comfort and edification of the Saints, and he is bringing godly light to the eyes of the world. They have caused anew a wondrous searching into the scriptures throughout those areas. T. H. says, as proof of this, that the people said it is difficult to find clean houses wherever the Saints go, because the old dusty Bibles that had been closed up about their houses for a long time are opened and handled busily, “to see if they can find in them the strange and wondrous scriptures the Saints are reading from their Bibles!” Well, people who cause searching of the scriptures are not so bad, even though they are “Saints!” May the searching increase, and we do not fear with respect to an increase of the Saints where there is honesty. The commotion is among the old as well as others; for example read the following: “There was some man selling spectacles out that way, and he was urged to go to the places where the Saints were preaching, since there was hardly any need for spectacles except where the people were searching in their Bibles because of their excitement.” For his own benefit it would be good for the salesman to hasten, lest the Saintifying enlighten their eyes so they are able to read without spectacles, if they obey it. We are reminded of what was done to “Dark Daniel” according to his own testimony, namely that he could see the candle on the table clearly the first time the ordinance was administered to him! And may his pitiful fate be a warning for all to refrain from mocking and falsely portraying the work of God!
We are sorry to hear of the alarming accident that happened to brother Jeremy through a gunshot, which wounded his head so seriously, that those present said that he was beyond treatment. We were very happy to hear also that he was so full of faith and trust in his heavenly Father and his treatment, so that he wanted nothing else, and that the only call that was to be had from his mouth was for the elders of the church. This is a fact to prove the divinity of his religion when in dangerous and dire circumstances; would he have done this, had he not believed he would be healed through the oil and the laying on of hands? This is not the first time for him to see that God is true to his promise. He was administered to in the presence of a crowd by elder Thomas Harris, and although not all at once, and although contrary to the expectations of the onlookers, yet he received healing to a great extent, and he is improving quickly after that. We thank our heavenly Father, and we pray continually for him.
COUNTIES OF THE NORTH.—Our dear and hardworking brother, elder A. Evans, informs us of more joyful news than we have space to publish here concerning the growth of this divine work throughout the North. Though there is no miraculous growth in their midst, yet some are getting baptized frequently. Some were baptized lately in new places also. The Saints are unusually faithful and determined to go forward through all contempt and obstacles until they achieve excellence in Jesus Christ. We expect to be able to aid our brethren of the North after this Conference by sending a host of gifted preachers from the South to plant their vineyards.
SINCE no other issue of the Prophet is to come out this year, we earnestly beseech all the distributors to settle up their accounts for the year for the other books, as well as the Prophet, by the Conference.
N.B. We would be glad to buy back our own books, namely the following, and pay the full price for them, if they are clean, that is the Old Religion Anew, the Reply, the Scales, the Proclamation, and no. 1, 7, 8 of the Prophet. Whoever has them, let him send them here, and he shall have the money, or other books, in their place. Not every author will do this, nor does this wonderfully increasing demand for our books testify that our religion is in decline in the least!
*** We have books of Welsh Hymns, bound, 6p. each. *** Review of the Lecture of the Rev. E. Roberts in the Isaf Chapel, Merthyr, will appear in the next, or as a treatise as soon as it can be
*** Those who wish to have back issues of the Prophet, or the Millennial Star, send here without delay.
IT is intended to hold the above Conference in the Cymreigyddion Hall in Merthyr, Sunday and Monday, December the 26th and 27th, that is the first days after Christmas day.
*** Visitors from America are expected at the Conference, and we earnestly beseech all the Saints to strive to fulfill by that time the promise we made to assist the Saints who are in the wilderness.
We expect that the various presidents throughout Wales will take care of this.