“1848,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 1–16.
WE have great pleasure in greeting our readers through the Prophet at the beginning of the year 1848. And our desire will not be less than before, nor our devotion, nor our zeal to benefit them, nor shall we tire of imploring the grantor of all good gifts to bless them temporally and spiritually. Each year as it follows on the heels of the other is more replete with wonders and changes ever since the establishment of the church in 1830. Great have been the commotion and the changes among the kingdoms of the world!—the moral earthquakes that have shaken societies, and have completely overthrown the organizations founded on human wisdom. And the spirit of prophecy teaches us that all this is just the beginning of trials and struggle, and they will increase, and pestilence, famines, and revolutions will follow on the heels of the missionaries of the “dispensation of the fulness of the gospel,” until the Son of Man sets his feet on the Mount of Olives.
The best time to treasure historical knowledge is when such things are being fulfilled. Of necessity, the history of the church for the coming year will contain many important, beneficial, and interesting, if not incomparable facts. The situation of the “twelve” leaders, the church in the wilderness, and the establishment of the “ensign” to all nations are among the wonders of the past ages. Zion, having bled through all her pores, and for over seventeen years having nearly drowned in the deluge of oppression and tribulation, has at last planted the banners of freedom on the tops of the mountains, and sent her missionaries throughout the world to invite the wretched of the nations to a fulness of joy. The foundation of the strongest empire that has ever been on our earth has been set in the place the holy prophets have foreseen for centuries. A more hopeful year has never dawned on the church than the year 1848. The church has wandered in a strange land for a long time. Strangers, foreigners, and enemies have encompassed it on all sides. State officials without mercy have scourged her to satisfy their passions. Fanatical priests of Babylon, and slanderous gentile editors, have persecuted her with their slime and their hatred, like Spanish bloodhounds on the heels of the innocent natives of the forest. But, thanks to the Head of the church, who comforts her, her deliverance has come at last; safe, they have gathered themselves to a place of refuge, from which neither all the armies of perdition, nor authorities, nor the principalities of darkness can chase them. Fearlessly, we record this prophecy in public columns, namely that the church will never again leave its home in the valley of the mountains, even if the world and hell camped against its walls. No matter what happens among the gentiles, or however many empires cease to be-or however many of the elements they enrage as if head-to-head to destroy each other, or whatever may be; the strong defenses of the daughter of Zion have been chosen by inspiration; and the islands will flee, the mountains will jump-the hills will leap like lambs-the stars will fall, and the heavenly bodies will shoot out of their orbits, before the strong towers of Zion are overthrown.
Now a campaign toward Zion such as has never before been seen is expected on our earth. The rich as well as the poor from every nation, country, and clime, are desirous to greet a redeemed land, where the banners of truth and freedom wave victoriously and delightfully above a peaceful, happy, and holy people.
The gathering and building of Zion will contain a field sufficiently broad where the zeal, bravery, and virtues of the most generous can operate. The wise, distinguished, and brave people of the age among every nation and land will understand that the God of heaven has at last indicated to them a land and a blessed and permanent home. It is the inheritance of the meek, and the refuge of the oppressed.
The tumultuous, and suffering, yes, the pitiful, and threatening situation of the world now testifies, that this is the only way there can be a Jubilee for all the pure in heart. Nothing less than one that brings temporal salvation, yes, present and spiritual, can satisfy the present needs of the countless wretched of our world! For the past six thousand years, no doubt such banners as these have never before waved in such a hallowed environment in our world. The course for neverending glory and joy has been opened and paved by deity. All are invited to run along it-and no doubt countless thousands will achieve the lofty goal and payment of the prize. Everlasting crowns shine in the distance. Tin will no longer deceive our eyes. No, but the great reality of all the protections at that time will each one of the blessed family feel over his head. Tried and faithful people will run the course-and they shall win the prize, and they shall return to their earthly brethren in godly chariots, dressed in shining robes, and immortality, to invite the sons of men to the glorious campaign. The heavenly excellent ones will already have, at that time, possessed the crown, and “yet there is room!”
The walls of Babylon are already shaking to their foundations, and the hearts of its kings and their subjects are weakening from fear and the dread of the things that are hanging over their heads, and without hope for deliverance. But also the sound of the broken shackles of their beguiled can be heard here and there sounding like the golden bells of the great Jubilee after them. The pure in heart are gathering. Their homeland has been indicated by the finger of God. Angels of heaven have been sent to gather the righteous, and to harvest this land which is ripening quickly for the judgments and plagues of the Judge of the whole earth. Rejoice heaven, and be happy, oh earth, for the wise understand and prepare for their rooms until the wrath is past. But the wicked do not understand, and fall worse and worse to wickedness, like the ox to the slaughter, or the bird to the net. The history of these times, of which 1848 is the center point, teaches experience and wisdom to the future ages. Whoever does this and understands, will enjoy the goodness of the Lord, and will continue on his course to the higher spheres in the world to come.
Behold the Prophet of the Jubilee, or the Star of the Saints, appearing again in the atmosphere of Wales, at the beginning of the year 1848, and offering its ray of light of the coming Jubilee to light the footsteps of its readers onward towards the source of light, namely the Sun of Righteousness. In it will be an account of the great deeds of God through his children in these wondrous days in Zion and its branches throughout the world, things the hearts of the Saints thirst to hear—things that will perfect their unity, and will increase their knowledge. The remarkable growth of the Saints in Wales, while practically every other sect is decaying and weakening, merits our attention, and encourages us to strive to instruct them in the glorious principles, although new and strange, that pertain to the family of Zion. Through the help of the Saints, through their faith and their prayers, we are confident that the Prophet for 1848, will contain more new and old things to benefit them than ever before, and we are confident that, through their efforts, hundreds more will be able to read it, and receive the benefit it aims to do for all. The increase in its circulation already in the face of so many obstacles, together with the countless testimonies we have received from various places of its usefulness, heartens us to publish it, and to pray for it to be a means under the blessing of our Lord to bless our dear fellow nation.
UNDER this title, the “Reverend” Editor of the Revivalist took care, to make room in the December issue, for the following; and no doubt his spectacles through long practice with strong taste, draw his attention first to all the filthiest and most lying tales in every little paper against “Mormonism.”
“The Ottaway Free Trader gives the following account with assurance of its truth:-’It appears that the prophet Strang needs a house, and he decided that his followers get to build it; and after calling them together, he said, if they would build the house for him, that the Lord would authorize him to promise them an uncommon gift. The house was built immediately, and the gift was requested: the prophet took them to the church, and after going through several ceremonies, of washing feet, anointing the head with oil that smelled funny, he took them to a dark room, and when they were all there, all their heads were shining as if with the brightness of the sun, and great was their joy; but the prophet William suspected a deceitful trick, and he took some of the oil, and found out that it was nothing but oil and phosphorus mixed. He availed himself of the first opportunity to expose the deceit before all the brotherhood. Strang did not deny it, rather he admitted the whole deceit, and he preached a sermon to justify the deceit, and to prove that all the miracles of Moses and Jesus Christ were accomplished the same way, through natural means. William broke off all relations with him, but Strang was snug in his house despite that.’”
Now, Mr. Rees, why would you not say what was the “assurance” your reporter gave you of the truth of the above story? Your assertion is the assurance. Remember, even though any assertion of any blemish against the Saints is sufficient “assurance” of it to cause you to believe it and to publish it, yet not all your readers are of that mind; actually no one is except those who like yourself love lies rather than the truth. The next thing expected from your hand is, either to prove there is a connection between the aforementioned deceit with Mormonism, or we expect you to confess, if there remains one grain of honesty in your bosom by now, that it is jealousy for the religion of your neighbors that has caused you to falsely accuse them again this time, and that because your disciples practically by the dozens are getting fed up with your empty husks and your loud cries, and are embracing “Mormonism.” Ouch! ouch, as for “this insignificant, innocuous, little thing” as this wise Editor said “all one need do is to pretend not to see it and it will die of its own accord;” even that “illiterate” thing is such a threatening monster to the craft, and the popularity of the Reverend, that he not only considers it dangerous for him to publish its defenses, but that he is obligated to publish all lies about it that reach his grasp from far and near! Did you perhaps have a look through the wrong end of your magnifiers when it appeared so small and innocuous to your synagogue, Mr. Rees? It was probably because you turned your lenses the wrong way that you changed your opinion of it, and your behavior towards it so impulsively and thoroughly. Well, take care that your lenses are in the proper vanes this time, then; otherwise your readers will think that you are a “cock of the smoke,” or that Chameleon is the appropriate name for that which gives you such a bellyache; and not Mormonism. If so, you lose your vindictive purpose.
Again, what if we were to categorically deny that the above was not a “Mormon miracle,” and there is no more connection between the aforementioned “Strang,” or the aforementioned “William” and Mormonism, than there is between Mr. Rees and Mormonism;—than there is between the miracle of “Newmarket” and Mormonism! What would you say, Sir, if we were to say that you know that the above persons have no kind of connection with the Latter-day Saints? Was that not published throughout Wales over a year ago, from one end to the other, and how could you not know? What if we were to challenge you to prove that Mormonism has anything to do with the above, any more than with the Independents? What would you say? You would have to become as mute as that man became who was deprived of his “wedding garment,” despite exposing your shame.
Despite how deceitful and ungodly is the anointing of this “Strang” (if the story is true) his endowment is not much more inconsistent than that of the Sectarians! The latter receive their endowment in their academies without anointing and without (divine) right, and the former through anonting with phosphoric oil in the darkness. Query! Which of the two is the brighter? This is a case of the “pot calling the kettle black!”
Strang and William Smith are called Mormons, by the sectarians, in the same sense that the Turks call everyone Christian who live within the boundaries of a Christian country. They do not have any other basis to link them with the “Latter-day Saints.”
Since Mr. Rees is ransacking the Newspapers of the world so diligently for, and with such enjoyment to find a story of a “Mormon miracle,” we feel a bit of craving to please him [for he will be very pleased to hear that miracles are being performed, of course!] by translating the following story as a sample of the many we could quote and declare the powerful deeds of the Spirit of God among his people, and in fulfillment of the promises of His Son, Jesus Christ. Most assuredly it will be just as easy to “assure” the truthfulness of the following accounts to the Reverend Editor as it was for the preceding; besides, there is no need to go so far to inquire after the latter as for the former; and so there is no danger for them to change so much in their translation. Here are some stories for you, Mr. Rees, straight from the source, from the mouths of eyewitnesses, and which are published in the exact same place, and are irrefutable. Yes, here are some public miracles for you after shouting for them.
(Quoted from the Millennial Star, Dec. 1, 1847.)
“Wood Mill Street, Dunfermline, Nov. 8, 1847.
“Dear Brother Spencer,—
“By means of this letter I wish to tell you how the Lord is working with us here by confirming the word with signs, which follow them that believe.
“On the 29th day of September, a brother came to me in a prayer meeting, who had burned his arm terribly, by helping to put out a fire, about 12 years ago; he was in great pain,-he wished for me to administer to him the ordinance of anointing with oil, and the laying on of hands in the name of the Lord. See James v, 14, &c. In the administration the pain left him completely, and his arm has been completely well since that time. Again, on the 6th of October, he brought his wife to me, who had been struck with a fit of the palsy about ten months ago, through which she had entirely lost the power of her speech. I anointed her, and I laid hands upon her in the name of the Lord, offering a prayer; and the woman received her speech immediately; and since then she has been speaking as clearly and understandably as ever, and rejoicing in the work of the Lord. Again, on the 11th of the same month, I was called on to visit a brother who had been afflicted with a sore sickness, and with blindness. He was living in the town of Oakley, from 4 to 5 miles from Dunfermline. I was first told about him by brother Brown, and nearly all his sickness had left him when he administered to him, except that he still remained blind. Brother Brown and the son of brother Mackinley, (for that was the name of the sick man), came with me to his house; when the son saw the blindness of his father, he told him, thinking to comfort him, “well, father, you can hardly expect to be anything but blind since you are so old.” (His age is 73.) I answered that I did not believe in such a doctrine as that; and I would not believe it at least until I could see what the Lord had in his store-house for him. I asked the sick man if he believed that God could bless the appointed means so that his sight would be restored to him? He answered that he believed. Then I anointed his eyes with oil, and I laid hands on him and prayed in the name of the Lord; and the result was, that the night before I left his house, he received his sight. And I left him greatly rejoicing in the salvation of God in his behalf. Again, Nov. 8th, I was called to visit another brother, that was struck stone blind. When I arrived at his abode, the house was full of people, and he was in his bed. I pushed forward to the side of his bed, and I asked him if he wanted me to administer the church ordinance to him? He said he did. Then I turned to the onlookers, and I said, “When the Saints obey the commandments of the Son of God in the administration of his ordinances, they are accused of trying to work miracles. I showed that our duty is to pray according to the plan set up by Jesus Christ for the sick; that it was not less of an obligation on them than on others, which if they agreed to do until the Lord answered us by healing the sick, it would be a great blessing for him, and glory to God, and not to any man. This alone is our purpose.” They all knelt to pray, and after rising I anointed the eyes of the blind man with oil, and then his head; elder Huggar laid his hands with me on his head, and as soon as we had finished administering and took our hands from his head, he received his sight as before. At this I turned to the crowd and I addressed them emphatically and soberly; I called on them to see, and to consider, and recognize the power of God thankfully for his goodness. I said, “Behold the power of God, and who of you can deny it, or doubt it.” And all were amazed and did not utter a word of objection. Now, tell this to the nations of the earth,-yes, tell it to the kings and the great men of the 19th century,-yes, let the hireling priests of “this enlightened age” understand, and they will know with certainty that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the most high God, and that God in fact gave to him, and others through him, the holy priesthood, and the lawful right to properly administer the ordinances of His kingdom, and that the power of God is going forth with his servants to the nations of the world, and that he is hastening to bring out the honest in their principles from among the various families of great Babylon to his own church.
“I am, your brother in the everlasting covenant,
“WILLIAM ATHOLL MC. MASTER.”
Now, Mr. Rees! Yes, now Editors of Wales; you who are so eager to publish the “Mormon miracles,” as you call every bit of lying trash; here are some true things to gild your columns! You, those who insist that God be glorified, publish this to His glory, and acknowledge his faithfulness in fulfilling the promises of his beloved Son to his own, and return to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and your eyes will be opened, and you will understand more of the revelation of his power than this. Yes, you yourselves may be the means, and it will be sweeter to you to be instruments to bless than to falsely accuse your fellowmen, we hope.
“THE above feast took place in Carusi’s Saloon, in the city of Washington, U.S., October 28, and an excellent feast it was also. We will have several complimentary comments about it tomorrow. At present we simply report that ladies of all the various denominations throughout the entire city had gathered there, led by the mayor and the clergy, hand in hand. Among the gentle ladies was the venerable Mrs. Madison, wife of the late President Madison, Mrs. Polk, (wife of the current President of the United States), wife of Nobleman M. Comb, and hosts of others of the most influential, most respected, and the finest of the capital city, all energetically united in this generous and praiseworthy work; and when the diligent efforts of these gentle ladies are made known with precision, together with their contributions and their generosity to the Mormons who are outcasts in the western wilderness, wherever there is a heart to feel and a recognition of true charity and generosity, there will their memory of this deed be as cheering as the sunshine of a summer morning.”—New York Herald.
“We consider the above tea party as one of the most praiseworthy things, and as one of the most hopeful signs for the Saints, that have ever taken place on the continent. The wives of two Presidents of the United States acting so zealously and successfully on behalf of the Saints, despite being subjects of the same government that cruelly exiled them from their country to the woods, totally without cause! These, together with the widow of the late and famous Macomb, who was commander over all the armies of the country, deserve much praise, and their names can be found wherever this gospel is preached. They dared, despite the many obstacles, to come to the field boldly and effectively to show their sympathy for the oppressed, not only in word, but also through their generous contributions to the Saints, sufferers of incomparable persecutions, which are rapidly attracting the attention and sympathy of humanitarians throughout the world. Neither will the influence of this praiseworthy example end with this tea party; but hopeful signs are already seen that it, together with other things, is having an influence on other ladies in the greatest cities of the country; and these sweet streams will flow from every city, and town, and state, we are confident, to satisfy the needs of those people, to whom the birds of the heavens by the thousands offered themselves as sustenance, together with wild animals of the forest, through divine command: when no human arm, or anyone’s hand were open to sustain them or save them from starvation. We are very willing to name this deed as true benevolence, although the Saints were brought to this state of suffering by inhuman mobs; and although the government should punish them, and restore the Saints to their possessions; yet, through the above act, these ladies show, together with their co-workers, just as Pontius Pilate showed by washing his hands, at the exhortation of his wife, that they have no part or portion in this bloody oppression on the Saints. We are confident that the time is not far when the British ladies will show—her Majesty leading them—their disapproval of these wicked persecutions through acts, which will be like pearls in their crowns. Not without strong foundations have we formed a respectful and high opinion of the generous and benevolent character of her Majesty. When the authorities of our country come to a proper consideration of the growing influence of the thousands of British Saints with their sights set on Oregon, no doubt their defense and their generosities will set a deathly rebuke to the ardent and degenerate persecutions that flow now and again from the pens of the prejudiced authors, and the hireling priests.”—Millennial Star.
“Hyde Park, Council Bluffs, Nation
“Pottawattomie, Oct. 7, 1847.
“DEAR BROTHER SPENCER,-My family and I are enjoying excellent health. There is hardly anyone sick in the camp at present, neither throughout practically all our numerous settlements. Our crops are more fruitful than ever. There has been no frost until now; and our Indian corn, and our Buckwheat, will ripen before it comes according to the signs. We have a great abundance of a variety of vegetables. Our herds and our animals are all fat; and peace and unity reign without exception in our midst within and without. Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“We are daily expecting the return of President Brigham Young, &c. They have established their location in the vicinity of the Salt Lake, and Utah Lake, on the east side. At least that is what I have heard. But, when they return here, you shall have the account officially and fully; and also concerning emigration. I do not feel authorized to direct till I see them.
“I think sometimes that the council will send me back to Britain, but these are my thoughts; perhaps another will come, or you will remain.
“The ‘Mormon battalion’ is returning from California. A few have arrived, and the rest are on their way.
“May the powerful hand of the Almighty keep you and all the churches in Britain for good, is the prayer of your brother in the New Covenant,
O. HYDE.” (Millennial Star).
Now, you dear Saints throughout Wales, here is the news that you have waited long to hear! Behold the place, yes, the refuge for deliverance has been found, the one which from now on will be the centerpoint for all the children of Zion from every nation, tongue, and people, to gather to-who is ready to get under way? Not who is desirous is the question, rather who are those blessed ones who have been so just and paid their debts to the world? Who has been faithful in warning everyone they could; yes, who is innocent of everyone’s blood? Those who can expect payment of the reward. Let us awake, and let us prepare ourselves with haste.
“YESTERDAY we had the advantage of chatting with a person who had come directly from Council Bluffs, who informed us of the arrival there, on the day he left, of a messenger who had been sent before the Mormon twelve, who were on their return journey from the Salt Lake. They had sent a small group before them to the Bluff twenty days earlier, for the purpose of arranging for carriages and provisions to meet them, since they had left everything they could by the Salt Lake. Our informant tells us that the Mormons have marked their primary gathering place half way between the Salt Lake and Lake Eutah, in California, on the banks of the river that connects the above waters. The distance between the lakes is about 60 miles-an exceptionally fruitful and lovely valley stretching the entire length. There they have laid the foundations of a city, and they have already begun to build it. They are in the middle of the Indian tribes, namely the Blackfeet, Utahs and the Crows, who are peaceful and very favorable to the settlement of the Mormons in their midst. The lead Mormon company which started from the Bluffs arrived in June as far as the Green River, over 200 miles beyond the South Pass, through the Rocky Mountains, by the end of July. They traveled toward there freely and without obstruction, and they drove forward quickly toward their new dwelling place.”—St. Louis Republican.
The remarkable love of the uncivilized Indians, especially the above tribes, toward the Saints, fulfills the prophecy that says, “The jealousy of Ephraim [namely these Indians] will depart,” when the “fulness of the gospel” [namely the Book of Mormon] is brought into their midst. The Blackfeet are called the “Arabs of America,” because of their cruelty to everyone, but now the Saints consider them as well as the others, not as slaves, rather as brothers, yes, as heirs of the covenants and the endowments.
THIS Conference was held in Merthyr, Sunday and Monday, the 26th and 27th of December. The morning of the first day the Hall was overflowing with listeners, many having come from the different Counties of the South and North to the Conference. Capt. Jones was chosen as President; W. Davies from Rhymni, and E. Edwards, Merthyr, as Scribes. After the meeting was begun in the usual manner by the President, he set out the business of the Conference, and after a warm greeting on several matters pertaining to the different areas of the church, he called on the Presidents of the different branches to represent them, which was done as follows:-
[table showing branch number; president name; number of elders, priests, teachers, deacons; number of baptisms since July; total].
All the Representatives testified together that all the Saints are without exception in unity, brotherly love, zealous and faithful: and that not only have we increased seven hundred and seventy six, in the last five months, but that they are increasing in gifts, good deeds, and in all godliness excellently, and they have better hopes for success in the gospel in the future than ever. There was not from among the lot one accusation against anyone, nor one unpleasant matter to bring before the conference from anywhere. Thanks be to God for such unity and faithfulness. Among who else is such to be had in our country, or in the world, in this tumultuous time? The following places were established as branches of the conference, and the following pesons to preside over them:-Bryn, Thomas Pugh; Cyfyng, William Davies; Cwmaman, John Griffiths; Pont Yates, Howell Williams; Brechfa, David Jeremy. Several were called to the different offices of the priesthood, especially in the distant branches.
President Orson Spencer, recently from America, visited the Conference, and taught in the different meetings through the two days many heavenly principles, interesting counsels with respect to the different duties of the different quorums throughout the church, especially about the necessity of obeying the priesthood; that through so doing the greatest influence of the Spirit of God is to be had to strengthen us and comfort us on our journey, and that in this manner will we be able to benefit our fellow nation the most. He elaborated skillfully and gloriously on the gathering together in Zion as a refuge from the things that come on the ungodly, and to have the more abundant privileges of the kingdom of God. He persuaded the Saints to reflect again on that, since there is nearly a daily expectation for more detailed information about it, together with the manner and the itinerary, together with the best time to emigrate. He proved clearly the superiority of a gospel that brings godly revelations to its subjects over the form of religion that has not its power, and many other beneficial and goodly principles were explained by President Spencer, for which the size of our little Prophet will not allow space at present.
President Jones gave a detailed accounting of the sum of money received to assist the Saints who are outcasts in the American wilderness, and the way it was sent to them, and he said that there was a notice in the Millennial Star, together with and through letters in his possession, that every penny had been presented for those righteous and worthy purposes. He showed that he had published 22 volumes of various sizes and contents, containing 850,000 pages in all, 12-fold, and that over a hundred pounds of the money owed for them is now owed to him from the various branches, and he and President Spencer earnestly exhorted all the Saints to be faithful in distributing the publications and paying for them. Over l22 were collected in one meeting to fulfill our commitment to the Saints that are in the wilderness, and that made up the required sum.
We must leave out the eloquent and beneficial lectures of Elders A. Evans, Thomas Pugh, Robert Evans, &c., &c, for lack of space, despite how sweet they are. During the conference more principles were taught, and also more glorious than ever before; and judging from the attentive listening of all the crowds throughout the long and overflowing meetings, joy and a desire for divine wisdom concerning the things of God were perceived, cheerfully smiling on every face until the end of the conference. It is unquestionable that the Spirit of the God whose work this is rested on his children there in abundance, and that they went away saying they were glad to have been there.
May the beneficial impressions made by all the work of this lovely conference bear fruit after many days, and give birth to their proper fruits, namely eternal life to the Saints, and glory to God, is the prayer of your servants in the eternal gospel,
EDWARD EDWARDS. } Scribes.
IT is with great pleasure that we inform the Saints throughout Wales, that the aforementioned pledge to aid our exiled brothers and sisters who are in the western desert, was fulfilled in the last conference here. We cannot find words to express our gratitude for their generosity, their compassion, and their love for the afflicted children of Zion. Great will be the gratitude of the sufferers when they enjoy the comforts that you have provided for them-great will be your reward no doubt in the kingdom of God, when the King says—”Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
All the gifts were sent with President Spencer, and the public acknowledgement of that will be seen in the Millennial Star. He will send them to the camp the first opportunity, and no doubt prompt acknowledgement of that will be had from President Young, so that all will see that the law of justice presides in all the spheres of the Saints. Again, we express our thanks for our dear brethren, to the Welsh Saints, for their great faithfulness; and we earnestly beseech the God of the Saints to bless them an hundredfold for that.
UNKNOWN compatriot—I call you “unknown” although I am aware of your name as a man, and I am aware of the character you have as a professor and defender of the unchanging order of the Son of God for the salvation of mankind, namely that of deceiver, false prophet, and one of the toads of the bottomless pit, &c. I am confident that you will not mind my being so bold as to greet you in these few lines. I am a constant reader of your small monthly publication called Prophet of the Jubilee, or Star of the Saints.
I supposed that I had arrived at the best religion in the world, until I began to listen to, and converse with some of your brethren, together with reading your sundry publications. But now I am without a religion. The Bible has been taken completely from me, the only standard I thought I had that would shatter all the strongholds of the other Sectarians into small pieces. But to my great surprise, I have come to see my mistake, and also to discover by reading your publication and others of the Sectarians, that some of the founders of the Sectarians, such as John Wesley, and others, were of the same opinion as that held by the old sect of the Nazarenes, about the Church of God, its gifts, and its officials, which was and is everywhere spoken against. Therefore, I suppose that to present information of that to their old brethren, who love their principles, would tend to diminish their prejudice, rather than to increase it; thus I was inclined to put at your service another testimony, later than that of John Wesley for the kingdom of Christ with respect to its gifts and officials, namely that of Peter Jones, of Liverpool (Peter the Bard), in his poem on the unity of the body of the church, which was well received by everyone, especially the Bards who sang his praise.
“You eagerly pierce through him;
Everything inside him is honey.”
A part of this is as follows:—
“God has a holy, fair Church;
Yes, a true and exquisite Church
In the world (not one without a yoke)
With visible members.
The body of Christ through belief and baptism;
Brethren, confessors of one faith.
A favorite work of an effective call
Will bring them to a worthy right.
One Holy Spirit, comforter,
Is among the Saints to unite them.
He gave them several offices,
For their benefit truly to improve them.
One of privilege beneath his honor,
And another that exceeds it.
Some have more public work,
And some lesser in station.
Gifts, offices are to them,
Of benefit, of different kinds:
But of one body despite a hundred gifts,
Of wondrous men, they will be.
One Christ in every sadness,
One prosperous Lord still,
From an excellent river they drink,
One Spirit will they all receive.
There are strong, gifted men,
And shining saints in the Church of the LORD.
Worthy pillars, Apostles,
In height, and their joyful radiance;
Prophets and their earnest tune,
Of fine sort, and Teachers;
Healthful countenance, gift of healing,
And talkative tongues;
Governors, brave men;
No Elders were found wanting.
They are servants duly promoted
In the house by the Father.
Not all are of staunch purposes,
Excellent and renowned men.
All have their work, but not every man,
Who is a worker is a preacher,
Perhaps the one is not a president,
Nor the other an elder;
Nevertheless, they are all parts,
Beloved members are they,
Of the body of Christ who grieved over them
From pain and treachery on the hill.”
I do not doubt that it will be a pleasure for many of the Saints to see these lines in the Prophet, and for many others also who have not yet joined with you; but whatever of that, here they are at your service to do with them according to your wisdom. Much success to you and all the faithful Saints in Christ Jesus.
I am, your well-wisher,
Harlech, October 26, 1847. WILLIAM PUGH.
No doubt it will be sweet to the lips of the Saints to suck the honey of Peter the Bard through the Prophet, although it flowed through the pipes of our Calvinistic friends: for like the industrious bee the Saints suck honey from all substance, yes, even from the rock at times; truth is their honey, come from where it may. Nevertheless, that of Peter the Bard tastes more delicious because of the personal acquaintance we have had with him for so long; and who of his Calvinistic brethren will say that his honey is growing bitter in the hive of Mormonism? Who of the readers of the bard will not see that Mormonism was his muse? Who can prove that the true muse, if given her freedom, is ever otherwise?
We are not surprised that a man of the experience, sense, and understanding of our correspondent perceives consistency, and is sufficiently human and free to acknowledge his love for truths which are so self-evident as those of Mormonism; but, the greatest wonder is that anyone, especially of his old brethren, who all claim to be the frontrunners in striving for the truth, fails to perceive, or delays in embracing a plan that is so full of blessed truths as that of the Latter-day Saints.—ED.
THOMAS Harries has been excommunicated from the church of the Saints, by consent of the Glamorgan Conference Committee, which was held Jan. 11th, in Merthyr.
A policeman near Aberaeron arrested Thomas Harries, when he was standing before a large crowd to preach, on the accusation of stealing a Welsh and English Dictionary; and then he was imprisoned. Jan. the 4th, he was sentenced to suffer two months of prison, without hard labor. The disciplinary rules of the Saints excommunicate from their association all transgressors of the laws of the land, in the emphatic words that follow:—“He who steals shall be excommunicated, and he shall be delivered up to the law of the land.”
Many testimonies were brought forward at the trial to prove the excellent character of the prisoner, until the time that the Judge told the jury, that he did not acknowledge the transgression as stealing unless it was deliberate. He enlarged greatly on the excellent character of the prisoner; and when, after long waiting and contending, while several other trials continued, the jury said that he was guilty, the Judge asked again whether they were sure they were all of that opinion? The unexpected verdict caused considerable surprise and sympathy throughout the place.
We do not say the verdict was unjust, according to what the jury knew; yet, after carefully examining all the considerations of the matter, we believe that it was an error. It would have been easy for him to put the book in his pocket by mistake instead of his Bible, when the two were on the table to end an argument his opposers had brought before him; and just as easy was it for some blackguard to put the book in his pocket without his knowing it. The fact proven at the trial that T. H. did not know the book was in his pocket until he arrived at a house about three miles from there, and his admitted surprise at taking a dictionary out of his pocket thinking he was pulling out his Bible, together with the fact that he announced at the time that it was not his, and that he paid a woman to return it to its owner at the time-all this, and much else that could be said, teaches us to believe that he did not take the book intentionally. It is said that he denied having the book, and it is true that he denied that he stole it; yet, he did not deny it, rather he admitted that the book was in his possession. Not at the request of the owner did the policeman go after him, for he had not said that the thing was deliberate; rather it was some professed persecutor of the doctrine that Harries preached, by the name of Morgans, who came to the house soon after Harries had gone away, and who asked to see the dictionary, and before they had hardly searched for it—”Oh!” said he, “you can be sure that it was the Saint who stole it, &c.” This Morgans went out to fetch the policeman at once, and after he had returned with him, and questioned the owner at length, he had some hint of admission that the book was lost, and that likely it had been stolen. At this the policeman rushed out, even though the entire family begged him not to arrest Harries, for they expected that he would surely bring the book back. But, it was all in vain: the policeman went after Harries, and took him to prison in the most public way. It had been only a short time since that policeman had been restored to his office, from which he had been deprived for something; and this was his first prey of this kind, to prove his faithfulness to the government, and to win fame. Why in the world did that Morgans come in immediately to inquire after the book? Who cannot see that Harries had behaved through it all, exactly like a man would do who found the book in his pocket unexpectedly? for it does not appear that the behavior of the man who was mentioned, nor the policeman, is very much like men whose only business was to find out the truth, and to punish the guilty fairly and without tricks. Every praise is due the chief magistrate for his attempt in every possible way to get the prisoner free from the condemnation of intent in the act; but that is what a visiting preacher can expect when men prejudiced against his religion sit in judgment on him.
Let it be understood that Thomas Harries is not being excommunicated for intentional theft; but because of his neglect for the honor of his religion under these dangerous circumstances, which were known to him. He should have turned back the minute he realized that another man’s property was in his possession, and not allow his enemies to have the chance to accuse him of theft, while he had left the book in the hands of that woman to return it. He has fallen into great difficulty, despite through whom or in what manner it came about; and it is obvious that he has demonstrated considerable carelessness for the honor of the ministry that was entrusted to him through the circumstance. Let each of us take a lesson from this sad tale, to be watchful over our pockets and our characters, every step of our journey through this perverse generation. There are no doubt hundreds of things more similar to intentional theft than the above that have been allowed to go unnoticed in our country, yet the Saints should not think they will receive the same kind of mercy that others receive. This is the first transgression proved in any way against any of the Saints, since we have been in the country, and we hope that this is the last. There is much watching of our footsteps to trip us up, so that no one of the Saints can die without someone striving to try to prove that something in the religion caused the death. A post mortem examination was held for a man here lately, who had suffered from a liver complaint for two years. The Saints, in obedience to the scriptural commandment (see James v, 14) had been administering the holy ordinance of anointing with oil and praying for him; and the enmity of some is so great toward the religion of Christ, that they tried to prove its followers were murderers; yes, on the profession of their obedience to it; thus it was here, and we are grateful to the doctors for recognizing that it was not the holy ordinance that caused his death; would not this slanderous people accuse the Son of God himself of murder for administering such ordinances? Lately the Editor of the Carmarthen Journal dared to publish about one old man who died that he was a “victim of the wicked faith;” that is, for obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ faithfully. Lately also a sister near Brechfa died of smallpox, testifying on her death bed of her peace with God, and her desire to go to her heavenly Father, and her thankfulness for having the true religion, &c. It was spread through the country on the wings of the breeze that she was repenting for having obeyed the doctrine of the Saints, and that she was leaving them, &c., completely contrary to the truth and to the statement of her mother. Here also, some showed such enmity to the religion of Christ as to say that the holy ordinance was the cause of her death. A most nosey policeman came forward, and tried his best to sound important, by asserting that the oil was poisonous, but he failed completely this time; what will they not do next? Dear Saints, be watchful.