“1846,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 1–28.
DEAR READER,—Behold the beginning of a new era of our age, yea, the most remarkable which has ever been, the most wondrous in its preparations, the most goodly in its deeds, and the most glorious in its effects of every previous age. Once more the golden keys of heaven have been entrusted to men for them to open all treasures, to unlock all mysteries and for the clarification of all errors in the midst of mankind. Already the doors of eternity can be seen opening on their rusty hinges, its hidden pearls and the treasures old and new are once again starting to shine before the eyes of men as in the days of the Lord! Let the inhabitants of the earth rejoice, and let every Welshman give a hearkening ear to the good news of great joy that is sounded through this last trumpet.
My excuse for bringing this new and strange “PROPHET” into your midst is that I know that he has much true, glorious and beneficial news to set before your eyes; news that is worthy of every man’s consideration; things that bring light, knowledge and joy to everyone who accepts them and a pure benefit to all. There is in him no inclination to harm anyone, rather his heart is a bright flame of love to every man, especially to the benefitting of his brothers and sisters of the same blood.
He can deceive no one, for he carries guileless scales always—logic in one hand, and the divine, infallible standard of the holy book itself in the other—as a sure rule to weigh each statement that he brings before you; and whosoever writes “Mene, Mene, Tekel,” on his forehead without being found “wanting” in these true scales, does an injustice to himself, refuses the good things of heaven, angelic manna and tasty morsels from the table above—which he offers to bring as tasty dishes from the best markets of heaven and earth and place them on your table every new moon for as little as three pence each!
Even though it is strange, it is true enough that every prophet who has ever been from the least unto the great Prophet himself, had hosts of enemies; but we are confident that nobody, even those who hate the name of every one of the prophetic family, will pour out his ire before a paper prophet; and since the anger of the world refuses to allow anyone of this name to live, it is better to have a paper one than to be without one. One need only look into their history to see that the more truth they prophesied, the more frequent and cruel were their enemies while they were alive; but upon dying at their hands, each one of the prophets in his turn, killed off all his enemies—not as Samson, rather in that their children and their children’s children became more acquainted with the work of godly martyrs after their fathers had killed them; yes, out of respect for them they adorned their graves and martyred anyone who said a word scornfully about their memory; and at the same instant, they “fulfilled the measure of their fathers” by martyring the more godly of their own contemporaries. Oh, strange traditional blindness of every previous age; yet it would surprise me if this age is any better than the others. But do not shut your doors on this last one who comes to defend the character and teachings of his forefathers; for the most truthful Prophet who ever was, said that he who accepts a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive the reward of a prophet.
No prophet has ever striven on behalf of truth more than this one shall strive, according to his ability and his advantages, and he takes pride somewhat in the latter also, because of his link with the source from whence his elder brothers drew the sweet streams which made their vineyards fruitful and green, and which shall yet adorn the tops of the mountains of Wales until they blossom down to the bottom of the vales like the garden of paradise and drip honeycombs from each flower to all who accept him for their use.
His testimony is not to be refused as heresy just because Tradition and all her servants, Prejudice and her thousand tongues declare that it is to be so; for this is exactly what they said concerning his brothers before, yea, concerning every one of this godly family, as it is written, “Blessed are ye when men shall say all manner of evil against you and persecute you, for so persecuted they the prophets before you.” Nothing has to be true just because the majority says it is; if that were the case, it was not true that the earth was turning in the time of Galileo, the philosopher, for he was the only one in his day who believed that it was turning. And despite all his greatness and wisdom, Prejudice threw him into prison for saying that. The truthfulness of your PROPHET shall depend not upon the witness of Prejudice, but shall venture forth amongst you as an enemy to her and all her seed, and on the authority of his mission and the strength of his great bow and his own godly shield shall attack her castles, and pursue all her giants into the land of oblivion, setting the prisoners free.
I AM written about in the roll call of the books, and in the fulness of times I visit you. My mission—oh, wonder of wonders—is good news. It is a mission of peace that I offer to every Welshman who will hear me. Something new and strange has been wrought on the earth in these latter days!—something very few of you have understood yet, because it has not been put before you, although it is the greatest wonder of the age; it is an object that will cause astonishment to the world and will be a subject of rejoicing to the family of heaven and all the inhabitants of the earth; yea, temporal and spiritual happiness and the eternal glory of all members of the human race which are now, or are yet to be born, are inextricably and obeying them. My mission is more valuable than the pearls of Ceylon or the gold of India and all the treasures of the earth. In a word, the Universe and all its fulness are but foolishness in comparison to it. It is not to be had from princes or kings of the earth; it does not exist in the palaces for the great people; it is useless to penetrate into the depths of the libraries of the theologians to search for it, for it is not there. The ignorant wisdom of the philosophers, soothsayers and wise men of the world can understand nothing concerning it, nor discover its pedigree or its abode. Its ways, to all human wisdom, how untraceable they are! Thanks be to its Author for hiding from the wise and great men and revealing once again to the poor things of the world, the art of arts and the generating cause of every good effect. The Almighty has revealed to our earth the great axis upon which turn all the moral wheels of heaven and earth that have ever been, that are now, and that shall come.
It is true that many of the wise, gifted and perceptive men have brought out many good inventions, fine artifices and almost miraculous machines in this enlightened age so that the world today quickly enjoys the effects of their penetrating minds, their profound achievements, their untiring study; but when the greater effects of the object to which I refer are enjoyed, all the philosophers of Greece and Rome, the theologians of the age, and the wise men of the world should throw away all their excellencies as useless things at its feet, so great shall they prize it.
Great are the commotion, the stir and the agitation which our world is thrown into at times, when the astronomers say that they have seen through their great telescopes now and then some planet jumping from darkness to be hurtled through the starry worlds in their high orbits until one might think that they could see the family of the firmament dancing with joy, keeping holiday with the harp and dance, in welcoming the coming of their sister to add to their innumerable host. But the light of all the planets shall hide in the planetary depths under the eternal eclipse, like things of the past, before the divine fervor of the glorious, shining world which I intend to show as it shines in its resplendence and essential glory. By now I think I can prophesy that there is a desire in the mind of the reader to ask, “What is this new and remarkable light?” I answer that it is a pearl, yea, the pearl of pearls, the pearl that raised those who possessed it from the depths of poverty and greatest distress to the fulness and the greatest wealth. It is a noble lady who took some of the darkest prisons and placed them in the finest palaces that the world possessed; she saved some from the flooding streams of the drowning element as thousands sank around them into the depths of eternity! She embraced others in the flames, carrying them lovingly at her breast without singeing the hair of their heads. In a word, she does every good deed to all who receive her, and those who love her need lack for no heavenly or earthly goodness. And is this pearl not above price? Who would not wish to have it, yea, even if it cost all they possess? I should like to hear of everyone earnestly seeking after it; that would show a brave and inquiring spirit. But I sense that the formal beliefs of Tradition are so strong and the bonds of Prejudice so firm about the souls of hosts of people, even in Wales, that they lock up their minds like a kernel in a shell; they do not believe that it is possible for them to have such things in this age. There is an old saying that it is easy to get a man to believe what he wants to, but it does not hold true in this matter. This news is too good to be true in the views of some, and that is because their teachers have no knowledge of it, because they know not the way to reach it. Since it is your benefit, readers, that is in view, would it not be better sooner rather than later for you to enjoy the things of which you have been deprived? But although this news is so beneficial and reasonable, I do not doubt that there will be varied opinions of it, as of every other new and good thing. It will appear incredible and erroneous to some, true and constant to others; unnecessary in the view of one, essential in the view of another. One will say, “It is all evil deceit,” and another will say, “It is the best news we have ever heard.” There is nothing about which there are more different opinions at first sight than these things; nor is there anything, I dare say, that will give greater contentment to all who come to a knowledge of their authenticity. They will be sought after at the cost of every other thing when their value is understood; and after once possessing them properly, one’s life would be given as a voluntary sacrifice for them, so greatly would they be loved; and if I could describe one thousandth part of their worth, it would not be too much for kings to give their crowns, nor emperors their thrones for them. Oh, dear reader, are you now ready to hear what they are and to be fair with yourself by searching into them as for hidden treasures? If so, gather your wandering thoughts, quiet every traditional passion, and I shall say what they are. After that gather together your strongest reasons to gainsay them, if you can, on grounds of reason or scripture. Do not wonder at her. She is a regal lady from above, wondrously beautiful and of royal blood and divine pedigree—this is she; and MORMONISM she is called, in disrespect, by all her ignorant enemies. And there is no one who maligns her except those who know her not. MORMONISM, as she is called, even though she is so badly spoken of, brings in her hand the keys of heaven, the ladder of old father Jacob, the staff of God (that which was given to Moses), the foresight of prophets, the shield of Paul, the sword of Peter, the helm of salvation, the eternal gospel from the bosom of God to our earth, by his sending some of the heavenly family to us. Fear not, reader; it is true enough that pure angels from the third heaven landed on our earth in the nineteenth century; and this is their mission—to restore this valuable mission to us. This is the good news to which we refer, and who shall not rejoice in it? Now I have said it, and you know what it is; do not reject my testimony, for it is true, and time shall bear it out. Now let this important testimony be weighed in the proper scales, that is logic and scripture; for I am certain that it will hold the weight according to my promise. I admit that to say that such messengers visit our earth in this age is an unpopular statement—that it is contrary to the beliefs of the country and considered unscriptural by the general commentaries; but that of necessity does not prove it so; and only to hold it up in the face of the proper and scriptural mirror, all the brass doors of tradition are opened, the iron-like chains of prejudice are broken like threads of wool; it shall disperse the thick, black darkness until it shines supreme in the midst of his firmament; it shall break the rock-like hardness of the Pharisaic hearts of this age until streams of joy and knowledge flow into those who are honest in heart. Only to have a fair chance, it will drive away before it the opposing mountains like chaff before the hurricane; yea, it shall march in an abundance of divine strength, trampling down everything that stands in opposition like the fine dust of the scales. And concerning this subject, here in the book of books appears its pedigree, here shine its small pearls, speckling the pages like diamonds amidst the stones of the seashore. If one does not believe, after scrutinizing the divine words in the book of God, that angels are to visit our earth as late as these days, it is vain for such a person to spend words in maintaining his belief in anything it says; on the other hand, if the truthfulness of the holy book is acknowledged, I am certain to prove this statement through more than two or three, yea, through more than ten witnesses.
IT IS completely illogical to deny angelic ministry nowadays, while admitting that it was reasonable for angels to come to men in former times, such as to the patriarchs and the prophets—to eat and drink with Abraham, Lot, the wife of Manoah, &c., without proving that a gulf has been formed, so that they cannot come, or some other proofs in this matter. I have yet to see one of those who deny this truth offer any proof or justification, except that they are not necessary; and since they do not come to them, they cannot come to anyone else; and they cry, “Deceivers,” “false prophets,” “poo poo!” This is the only voice of Tradition, like the hunter’s horn—always the same tune, until all the hunting dogs have learned it; or like the story of the parrot—what he hears everyone saying, he says too. It is admitted also that an angel came to Zacharias, Mary, and many other servants of God, in former times. Who but an angel gave John the message to go out and baptize? and why can an angel not do the same thing in this age? They admit that those who professed this at that time were truthful and godly people, and their profession of this quite reasonable, with no case for anyone to say otherwise; but this is the question, why can it not be as reasonable for the same thing to occur in our day? Does time change the logical truth of one age into blasphemous heresy in another age? Oh no, logic is the same in every age; but there are some who prefer practical tradition to human logic. How unreasonable to condemn and kill the Latter-day Saints because they receive heavenly visitors; and in the same instant to adorn the graves of saints of former days, who were killed for the same thing! but, they say, they were telling the truth, but you do not receive visitations as they did. Well, how can this be proven? the assertion is not sufficient to withstand the reasonable testimony of hundreds. Besides, did not the contemporaries of the early saints say the same thing? They were the deceivers at that time, each in his lifetime; and the others who had died ages ago were the truthful ones, although they professed the same thing! And who condemns us more for professing angelic ministry, than those who a few years ago believed and professed the same thing, yes, and even prayed publicly for it? It is only a few years since hundreds said they heard heavenly choirs singing hallelujah in the sky, above their meetings, from Beddgelert to the ends of the principality; and I do not doubt that the same story would be believed if it were told on Bala Green; but let no one else dare profess such a thing. I have heard preachers asserting from the pulpits to hundreds, that angels bring blessings from heaven now, and associate with the occasional old lady in her cottage, &c; but, if others profess the same thing, woe betide them: “all deceit,” they say, And when they are asked how profession of the thing can be deceit in the one case, without being so in the other, “Oh, we do not think (they say) that we see angels with our physical eyes, rather it is some mysterious apparition,” like the “still, small voice:” and is this not folly of the most foolish kind, indeed, a contradiction? Who ever saw an angel, and yet did not see it? And how could anyone see an angel except with his eyes? This is how saints saw them in former times; they would look into their eyes, speak to them, eat at the same table, walk hand-in-hand with them, and sometimes struggle with them until they had proof of their strength. There is a race now living which testifies to the truth of this, since they will not eat “the thigh joint” in memory of the injury sustained by their father in his struggle with an angel; and although others did not see them at the time, that does not prove that they were not there, but rather that angelic ministry is a gift of God; and if they were not there, how could they see them? If they did not see them, they were deceivers for asserting that! Oh no, it was not some witchcraft that the early saints practiced, any more than we do; it was angels they saw when they said they did, that is persons from other worlds, of various degrees; and the reason others did not see them was that the veil had not been lifted from their eyes through receiving that gift; and that, perhaps, because they were not as godly as the others, or because the particular angel’s message was not for them personally. It is questionable whether any angel would dare reveal himself to anyone without permission; and even then, it is doubtful whether he would be allowed to appear to anyone except the one he is sent to, because “they are dutiful servants.” They are subject to laws in their circles, and they do not come on paltry, unnecessary errands, to satisfy the eyes or the whims of men. It is seen that it is a contradiction for one to see an angel, and yet not see him, but to see him mysteriously without his physical eyes.
It is illogical to deny angelic ministry in this age; and those who deny it show themselves to be evil men, for they admit that those who were guilty of the same denial were evil men in every previous age. I do not suppose that the Saints ever professed to have seen an angel without receiving the same condemnation; and the greater the zeal for the religion of the fathers, the longer the faces, the more frequent the synagogue meetings, the longer the false prayers, and the harsher the verdict always. What gave rise to greater wrath among the false prophets and the false teachers against the patriarchs, the prophets, and the saints in every age, than this? The enemies regard this as a blasphemy against their God, and an insult to the religion of their fathers; it is easier for them to swallow a camel than to believe this, and there was nothing to be done but kill them if they would not be silent about their angels, their revelations, and indeed everything they themselves did not possess. If they would join with them in “denying its power,” they would happily walk hand-in-hand with them; but, “we cannot but speak the things we have seen, and heard and felt” is the defense of God’s missionaries in every age, even if speaking them should cost them their lives. So it was with Zacharias; he was killed in the temple. It was the angels’ message to the shepherds which aroused Herod’s jealousy, prompting the cruel killing of hundreds of innocent babies. When Stephen said that he had seen Jesus Christ sitting on his Father’s right hand, stones were showered on his head. The religious men of the time listened to Paul tell his story quite happily, until he said he had seen an angel, and that was enough; that was the end of his life as far as they were concerned; they swore they would eat no food until he was killed. The multitudes listened quite happily to Christ until he performed a miracle, or referred to his being sent from another world; and as soon as the words came from his pure lips, everyone had a stone in his hand. Had they been asked if they believed the prophets, they would have said they were willing to die in defense of their godly fathers; and when this generation is asked, were they not evil men, despite their great profession of faith? Oh yes, they say, worse than their fathers. For what? Was it not for disbelieving their godly contemporaries, and persecuting them? Well, dear reader, beware lest “thou be the man” who “fills the measure of thy fathers” in this age; if it be so, “how shalt thou escape the judgment of hell?” Although there are so many examples in the scriptures that prove how unreasonable it is to persecute for this thing, yet so do the children after their fathers, and their children’s children after them. “Oh that they were wise, that they understood this!”
It is illogical for those who profess to be children of God in one age, to deny the ministering of God’s angels to his children in another age, and to profess that he is unchanging! He is no respecter of persons, but in every age the righteous are acceptable to him; for logic tells us that such an assertion is a contradiction, and as impossible as it would be for an earthly father who had a number of sons serving him here and there throughout the world, to visit or send messengers to the one and never to send word or message to the others who served him just the same. Such a father would be a respecter of persons in everyone’s view; so then must be the other, if he does not send his angels with the message to the younger brothers in this age, as he did to their older brothers in former times. This is the language of reason. But, they say, by now, if we were as godly as our older brothers, we too would have the company of angels as did they. And indeed, we must admit this now or get into worse confusion: if this is admitted, it would be the end of the argument, by recognizing that angelic ministry is logical in this age; for it was the logic of the matter that was in question, not the fact.
Enough has been said for now to prove that it is not the logic, but the tradition of the age which denies the coming of angels in our time: and logic in every way, if given a fair chance, proves the consistency of the statement; and every logical thinker will believe consistent testimony about the coming of an angel to our earth, now as before, and will act accordingly.
Next, we shall weigh this statement on the scriptural scales: if it is found wanting there, beware—we do not wish anyone to believe it; but, on the other hand, if the weight bears up in this correct scales, I am confident that everyone will be pleased to believe and accept it.
THE FIRST witness to prove that an angel was to come to our earth, as late as this age, was John. When he was on the isle of Patmos, “on the Lord’s day,” and “in the Spirit,” about the year A.D. 96, “the Lord showed unto him the things that should be thereafter.” And the most notable thing was the strange “beast” which was to rise up, and “war against the saints, until he overcame them,” by killing them. Then the kingdom of God, namely the apostolic church, would go to the wilderness for a time, and times, and half a time, in which season God would not authorize servants to do work for him. Even though there might be in the world a certain number of good, gifted, moral, God-fearing men who would worship him the best they could, and acceptably in his eyes according to the light they had received, this does not prove that even the best of them would be servants sent from God, which they could not be unless they were sent by God; “for no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron,” namely, through some kind of revelation. Paul agrees with this—”How shall they preach, except they be sent?”—that is, by God, of course. And since God did not send a message to our ancestors before they died, they are not under condemnation as if they had refused a message from God through his messengers.
And after the whole world has been in the confused and divided situation described by John, for that space of time, it is shown to him (in Rev. xiv, 6) that God would send an angel to restore that which had been lost, namely the right or effective authority to preach the eternal gospel—not a new gospel, but a new dispensation to preach the old gospel, which is the laws of the kingdom of God. In this way would they receive the authority, not only to restore and to administer the ordinances of his house, but to authorize others to do likewise. The necessity for this must be recognized, in order for the great work of the latter days to be fulfilled. It must also be recognized that it is impossible even for the Almighty himself, and I say this with the greatest respect, ever to send a servant to do anything for him, without revealing this to him in one way or another. He had several ways of sending servants, from the beginning of the world; through his own voice, by sending his Son, or through his angels. He has the right to choose his own way, and his own time; and although his ways do not always please men, he will act according to his own counsel and purpose though all the people of the world oppose him. It was through sending an angel that John says this great work would start; and since all the theologians and wise men of earlier times, for centuries, from what we hear of them, deny that an angel came on such a mission to them, it is useless for us, or any of their successors, to claim otherwise. Let us await, then, the fulfillment of this valuable prophecy, and let us be prepared to receive it. We know that there are many different opinions among men about this remarkable prophecy, as about almost every other one. Some say it refers to the Bible Society; others, as appropriately, that it is to the Missionary Society, or the air balloons, &c. It would take too long to trace men’s fertile imaginations on this subject; and since everyone follows his own commentator, I shall follow John himself. An angel is what John says; and to say anything different is, according to my interpretation, “to add to the words of the book of this prophecy.” There is solid evidence of the state of deterioration the world would be in up until this time, in the fact of an angel coming from heaven on such a mission; and either the necessity for it must be recognized or else the angel comes on an unnecessary errand. If the ones who dwelt on the earth had either the pure gospel, or the right to minister it, then it would be unnecessary for an angel to bring them from heaven something they already possessed. Each is free to choose the explanation he wishes.
Something else that is obvious in this prophecy is the time this angel would come. The same message informs us—”For the hour of his judgment is come,” that is, after the eternal gospel this angel presented to men was preached “unto them that dwell on the earth; and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people:” not after some other doctrines were preached to the whole world, but this gospel brought by this angel at this time. Ver. 8 also proves that it would be accomplished as late as our time, since the next angel says, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city.” Every Protestant we have seen agrees that this is the “mother whore of all the earth,” as she is called; and everyone knows that she has not yet fallen, but is gathering strength as if she were going to live for eternity; but there was not much time between the coming of the angel mentioned with the eternal gospel and the fall of Babylon—only enough time for the inhabitants of the earth to hear, to understand, to believe, and to obey the message, not from the mouth of the angel, but from the mouths of men; for it has been God’s custom to “put this treasure (the gospel) in earthen vessels,” in every previous age. This is John’s testimony about the coming of an angel in the latter times. If no other witness were available, this statement weighs fully on the scriptural scales, as well as the logical one. But in order to give a clearer explanation of the matter, see Matt, xxiv, 31, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they [the angels] shall gather together his elect, from the four winds.” “His elect,” I venture to say, are the wandering Jews; and I shall prove this later. “To gather them together.” To which place, I wonder, except to the land that God vowed through an oath to give to their fathers. Not to the sky—not to another planet—not to any earth other than this one; for it is here that the “Son of Man,” their Messiah, will come to be King over them forever. He will come on the clouds of heaven, and all his saints with him. Neither he nor they will remain on the clouds of heaven, but those will be their chariots to come “to reign with him on the EARTH,” “for a thousand years.” This is the testimony of the Son of God himself on the subject, and it is stated more clearly in verse 14—”And THIS gospel of the kingdom SHALL BE PREACHED [this could not be done without divine authority, which could not be obtained without revelation through an angel, or in some manner] in all the whole world, FOR A WITNESS, and then shall the end come.” This is further proof that he does not refer here to the dispensation he gave to the apostles, for it was not for a witness at the end that they preached it, and there could be no consistency in that for some 1800 years, since the end has not come yet; for it is of the end of this deformed and sinful world that he speaks, and that in response to a question from his disciples seen in ver. 3. Nor is ver. 34 any obstacle to this; if it is thought to be, ver. 33 removes it instantly, with one word, “when ye shall see these things,” that is, you who will be living in that age in which they take place—when ye shall see them, your age shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled. But, to be brief, let us compare these two reliable witnesses with each other. “And this gospel,” says Christ; “the eternal gospel,” says John. “Shall be preached,” says Christ, i.e., I shall give the right through revelation to do that; “And I saw an angel,” says John. “To preach,” “for a witness, and then shall the end come,” says the one; “the hour of his judgment is come,” says the other. It can be seen that the two agree word for word, to prove that there are promises in the book of God about the coming of angels as late as our time. If anyone has any further objection to that, let it be between him and the Bible; I have proved it there, as I promised; and if it were not for fear of being too lengthy, I would bring several other witnesses to prove the same thing. But for the time being, let us proceed to look into the same accurate mirror in order to see what kind of persons the angels are. Since so much mention is made of them, if we can only get to know them better, and understand their nature, their composition, and their work, perhaps that will be a means of eliminating some of the opposition created by prejudice against them, and making men willing for angels to come into our midst from time to time, to deliver their message, and return in peace. Or else, let us take warning from what happened in the days of Lot; for “the same way also that it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” No doubt poor Lot committed unpardonable sin in the eyes of the Sodomites, by mentioning that angels were coming to the earth; but if the profession of such a thing made them act cruelly towards him, they became even worse when their eyes forced them to believe in angelic ministry. They tried to destroy them! Strange, is it not, that they did not believe after seeing? Not so strange, either, when we consider that the eyes are not the best guides to find God; rather faith, from reliable testimony, is the means which He provided. “PREACHING Christ crucified” was the apostolic way, and not proclaiming themselves great miraculous doctors to the world.
FROM what we understand from the Scriptures, there are three, if not more, types of angels. 1. The archangels Paul and Judas speak of, namely the highest in authority and the strongest in power. 2. The angels, or those early saints who were resurrected, and consequently are corporeal beings, or like Enoch or Elijah, were translated. There is mention in Gen. xviii of angels eating and drinking with Abraham and Lot; and they did not just pretend to eat, otherwise where did the calf, the cakes, and the milk go? 3. The angels which are called “ministering spirits;” and if one were to search carefully, perhaps it could be proven that this third category of spiritual beings comprises two groups in the heavenly realms. The Psalmist says that God created man “a little lower than the angels:” let this be linked with what Paul says in the proper translation—”Who maketh [or sendeth] his ministering spirits, his angels [messengers], a flame, or in flames of fire.” Such would make up the fourth class of angels. There is further proof that one class of angels eats, from what Paul says—”Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby have some entertained angels unawares.” It is said also in the Psalms, that man eats the bread of angels. The risen Christ ate bread, and fish roasted on a fire he himself had lit on the seashore. If he had not flesh and bones, why did he say to Thomas, “Reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and thy finger into the print of the nails,” &c? What is clearer in the Bible, than that the angelic beings have flesh and bones, eat and drink like men, and with men; and if here, then why not at home?—although we cannot describe their food there. The saying “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” does not contradict this; for there is a big difference between saying “flesh and blood,” and saying “flesh and bones:” and it is this difference that confuses the minds of many. And however small one thinks the difference between them is, it is as great as between Christ resurrected and Christ before he died, yes, as much as there will be between “this mortal” and “immortality.” And since such persons exist, why would it be illogical for them to associate with men now as before?
From these examples, and others that could be noted, it is seen that there are resurrected angelic beings—that it is they who come on errands from God to man, and spirits ministering to spirits. John fell at the feet of one angel, about to worship him, but the angel told him, “See thou do it not; I am thy FELLOW-SERVANT, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” One might think from these words, especially the English version of them—”One of thy brethren the prophets,” that this angel could be godly old Daniel, or one of the prophets who was resurrected with Christ.
Satan says that the angels are the guardians of the saints; and even he would not dare lie to the Son of God. He says—”He shall give his angels charge over thee, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” It seems to me, from detailed searches of the Scriptures, that the angels, when God has saints on earth who are worthy of it, stay on earth with them, to protect them from harm, if they recognize and listen to their voice. There are several witnesses that prove this, such as Isaiah, Abraham, &c, as well as the enemies of the Lord, such as Hagar, Balaam, and others, who bear witness to this. We can see that they recognize the authority and the offices of angels on the earth to a great extent. But, of all the mysteries pertaining to angels, I think that their influence on men, without their seeing them or hearing them, is the most incomprehensible mystery in the opinion of this age. Some deny this, because they cannot comprehend it; and there is another group of men who go to the opposite extreme of inconsistency, saying that some things are “mysteries to be believed, but not to be comprehended”—that it is presumptuous of men to look into them, or to express their opinion on them; and it is too great a task for me to show which of the two groups is the more illogical. But I know of nothing that God has ever revealed, that he does not wish men to understand. What other purpose did he have in revealing it? No heavenly or earthly creature can arrive at more knowledge on the right path than God, who is the source of light and knowledge, wishes him to have; “Who will have all men come unto the knowledge of the truth;” yes, step by step, “until (man) be filled with all the fulness of God.”
But to return. How do angels have such a mysterious influence on the minds of men? This is the question of many who already understand the profound mysteries of the philosophy, astrology, and philology of this age, to a large extent. Their ignorance of this proves that proper research is unknown to them.
To shed light on this I refer first to the ladder that Jacob saw, with one end placed on the earth, the other end reaching to the heavens, and the angels of God descending and ascending along it. Also the dream of Pharaoh, and Joseph’s interpretation of it. How could he be sure of his interpretation unless there was some association between Pharaoh’s angel and Joseph’s angel? Also, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar about the great idol gone from his mind by the time he awoke. Through that mysterious association between their angels, Daniel was able to bring to light not only the idol, but also its interpretation. Daniel says—”There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets,” not by coming from heaven to reveal the dream and its interpretation, but by sending his angels, “his ministering spirits,” to explain the mystery to them. We find that the wise men from the east “were warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod.” And after they had gone away, “behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.” These examples are sufficient to prove that spirit ministers to spirit, and so we dream revelations because good or bad angels reveal to our spirits what to dream; and this is one way which heaven and its hosts have to mingle with the inhabitants of the earth!
“Some men’s sins are open beforehand,” before they themselves go before the Judge, “going before to judgment:” because they did not receive forgiveness for them before they died; “and some men they follow after.” “Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” It is obvious that this is done because spirits from God report all we do. “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” “And there are three that bear record in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one.” No wonder, then, that the sins of some go before them to judgment—that we must give an account in the judgment “for every act which we do in the flesh, whether it be good or bad;” for it all amounts to this:—Our blood, which is our life—our spirit, which is immortal—and the water, in which we are baptized “for the remission of sins,” all testify to God of our acts in the flesh, and “the angels of our presence” are the messengers who testify that to him; and we are rewarded, or punished, accordingly. The sins of the ungodly follow after them before the judgment; and since their “summer is ended, and the harvest of their souls is past,” they receive “for every transgression full payment.”
The angels come in and through the authority of God, as is obvious in the account of Jacob wrestling with God. “And when Jacob was left alone, there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day;” but when he prevailed not, he inquired “the name of the man;” so he called “the name of the place Peniel, the face of God.” This is also confirmed by the coming of “the Captain of the Lord’s host” to Joshua, and his revealing to him precisely the way to take Jericho, its fate, and everything it was essential for him to know in order to fulfill the work of the Lord. To prove this even more clearly, read the testimony of John on the isle of Patmos—”The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto HIM [Jesus Christ], to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by HIS ANGEL, unto his servant John.” This has now been clearly enough proven; but perhaps it will be said that there are some who do not dream at all, and others who have bad dreams. We can acknowledge that also as being consistent with what has been said. There are some men who do not believe in God, angels or spirits. Others believe the one thing and the other, but do not behave according to their belief. There are evil and good spirits that deal with man’s spirit asleep and awake, and that influence him to the extent that he allows them; but they have no power over him, except through persuasion. They are completely opposite to each other in their effects, with the exception of times when the evil one assumes the form of an “angel of light.” With regard to man’s ability to withstand them, before they get too strong of hold on him, the Apostle says, “Try the spirits whether they are of God.” “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Let everyone do thus, so as not to sadden the spirit of God.
HAVING proved in such detail, in the previous treatise, the existence, offices, and influences of angels and spirits on men, let us proceed to refer the reader to some promises given to us by God, through his servants, that such ministerings would be received, through such beings, yes, even “in these latter days.” Read Acts ii, 17, 18. Even though it is so clearly stated here, nearly everyone explains that this refers to the day of Pentecost; yes, even though Peter says the opposite—even though God says that it is “in the last days;” and so says Joel ii, 28—”and it shall come to pass after THAT.” Read the previous verses, and it will be seen that the prophet is referring to the great work that would be done on earth (ver. 21), when the children of Zion would rejoice (ver. 23). After restoring to the Jews the possession of their country (ver. 27)—when Christ would reign in the midst of Israel temporally and spiritually, after their LAST restoration from their last dispersal, which would be because they “refused to listen to the voice of the Holy One of Israel,” which is proved in these words—”And my people shall NEVER be ashamed.” After that, Joel says, the above prophecy will be fulfilled; and if only he will look at the words, no logical person can think that they were fulfilled at that time; “for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be DELIVERANCE, as the Lord hath said” (ver. 32). What DELIVERANCE was there at that time? Was it not the complete opposite of deliverance that there was then, and up to now? “Behold, I leave your house desolate,” says Christ. It was a scattering at that time; it will be a deliverance at that time to which Joel, Peter, and God refer; namely, “In the last days”—”Before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come” (ver. 31)—”I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions,” &c.
The angels are the instruments God uses to gather his elect to those places which he has prepared for them for their deliverance, when the “vials” of his wrath shall be poured onto the ungodly, before he comes to reign on the earth with his saints for a thousand years. The angels are the soldiers of heaven, to report the things which men do, and which God chooses for them to do; it is they who will gather his wheat into his storehouse, before he burns “the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And this will be done by influencing them in the manner stated, namely through giving to them revelations, the spirit of prophecy, &c. It is these who bottle “the prayers of the saints” in “golden vials” and take them before the throne! By now, it can be seen that angelic ministry is not only as logical and scriptural in this age as in any previous age, but is more necessary, because of the greater work God will do on earth. Oh, how useful they are! How merciful is gracious God to send them “in this dispensation of the fulness of times,” in which “HE WILL GATHER TOGETHER in one all things in Jesus Christ.” Let us thank him for such heavenly blessings. Let no one be found in this age “filling up the measure of their fathers,” yes, those fathers whom they condemned for refusing these things in earlier times. And should not the testimony of those who are alive now, yes, hundreds of the elect of the earth, who know in fact that pure angels have come to our earth in this age, have some effect in persuading men to believe this? They cannot all have been deceived in what their eyes saw, their ears heard, their hands felt, and which they know for themselves. If we have been deceived in this, our reason, our ears and our eyes have been deceived. And if this is deception now, it would be the same as claiming that the whole story about such strange things as happened in the earlier times was deception; and I am prepared to be deceived to believe the scriptures, as were the saints in former times; and the more the better of such deceit. Thus shall we be deceived into their company in the end, and that is my wish. We cannot deceive others in this; for if they obey the same heavenly order, it will prove itself to be true to all who are honest in their principles, in every corner of the earth; indeed, it has already, and is doing so to hundreds now in Wales, by conferring heavenly blessings and spiritual gifts on them; not so that they might believe, but, as before, after they have believed and obeyed, to strengthen, sanctify, and perfect them. And whoever experiences the principles of “Mormonism,” as it is called, “shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” It will prove itself to be divine truth, “eternal gospel,” “the power of God unto salvation;” and this is why I said that it cannot deceive anybody. Do not fear it, reader; prove it; and I guarantee that, if your purpose is honest, you will never regret it. Having prepared the way, by removing the previous obstacles, I think you are anxious to ask, To whom did that angel appear? I in turn ask, does the truth of the story depend on the character of the person to whom he appeared? If so, if I said he appeared to Mohammed, the whole Christian world would reject him. If it were to the Pope of Rome, would the Protestants believe that? Or, if the angel had come with this message to one of the most prominent, godly men of the highest character, who leads some sect now, perhaps that party would believe; but I have no doubt that all the others would reject him and his testimony as deception, and they would say all manner of evil about his character and that of his followers. That would cause such animosity and jealousy towards them that they would kill them, if they could. If they were asked why they do that, their answer would be, “They deserve to die; they deceive the minds of the weak, and they as good as say that no one is right but they; we cannot bear for anyone to insult in any way the religions given to us by our godly fathers, who died in godliness believing them!” Could not the children of all fathers in every age and country defend their religions as appropriately as this? We have heard as good a reason as that from the Hindus for worshipping Juggernaut! “Oh no,” they say, “it is the religion of the Bible that we have; not idolatry.” But there is a great difference between professing and believing the religion of the Bible, for the religion of the Bible is angelic ministry in every age of the world. In fact, neither the accuracy nor the usefulness of this phenomenon depends very much on the character given by popular opinion to the person who had the great honor of witnessing it; for it is God who chooses his instruments, and it was the lowliest of the earth that he chose in former times, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of men.” The glory of his name and the good of mankind are his purpose.
Since I have been acquainted for years with that person who had the sublime honor of being an instrument in God’s hand, to establish his kingdom on earth in these latter days; having heard the story from his own lips; having seen his conduct and his behavior; having associated with him in private and in public, and with his family members on their peaceful hearth; having been at his side in the midst of riotous mobs of cruel enemies who sought his life, because of this testimony; having been with him in jail for the forty-seventh time he was imprisoned for his beliefs; having heard his testimony in the depths of the prison, behind the strong doors, where he was thrown on the accusation of treason against the government for preaching from Dan. ii, 44. Since, as I say, I know that he, without judge or jury, sealed with his blood the testimony about an angel bringing this message to him: since I heard this from his lips in his last hour, how can I doubt it? Hundreds of cruel men, most of them drunk, came having blackened their faces before rushing on him, and killed him and his brother there, without one examination of his case according to the law of the land. Hundreds of bullets were shot at them through the windows and the door. Four went through him, and the same number through his brother; and I know that they died as martyrs, completely innocent of all the accusations against them that are spread the length and breadth of the world. If persecution, killing, and spinning lies in every age are the work of the devil and his instruments, against what sort of men will they fight? “If a kingdom be divided against itself, it cannot stand.” So says every reasonable man. Since I have had all these advantages, and understand the importance of this thing to a great extent, is it not a sin for me not to open the eyes of my compatriots to these new, strange, divine, and beneficial truths? I shall give, then, a brief summary this time, and at greater length next time, of the manner, the way and the time Joseph Smith received this great honor. Do not wonder, reader; for that is his name: or, “old Joe Smith, the false prophet, the evil, presumptuous, foolish, crafty cheat,” &c, &c, as he is called by the enemies of truth and the numerous family of prejudice. The less well they know him, the greater their animosity toward him; and indeed, I was much the same, until I was forced to believe, through careful research and association with him, that he was not the evil man I had imagined him to be. And I am answerable for the truth of the following story, even if all the theologians and wise men of Wales should speak against it. I challenge the whole age to gainsay my witness, according to the scriptures and the laws of common testimony.
JOSEPH SMITH was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, state of Vermont, in the United States of America, on the 23rd of December, 1805. When he was ten years old, his parents with their family moved to Palmyra, in the state of New York. They resided in this county about eleven years; the latter part of the time in the town of Manchester. They were farmers by occupation. Joseph’s advantages, and consequently his knowledge of the different branches of learning, were exceedingly small, amounting only to being able to read, write, and do a little arithmetic. Between the ages of fourteen and fifteen, he began to seriously reflect upon the necessity of preparing for his future state of existence; but how to do so was a question as yet undetermined to his satisfaction in his own mind. It seemed to him to be a question of infinite importance, insofar as the salvation of his soul depended upon a correct understanding of it. If he could not find the right way to it, then he saw that it would be impossible for him to walk in it, except by chance—venturing toward the just Judge, and resting all he had on chance. This was something that he was unwilling to do. If he inquired with the various religious denominations, each would refer him to their own particular tenets, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” He discovered they had many things which were in direct opposition to one another. It seemed reasonable to him that God would organize only one way to be saved; and consequently, he could not believe that of all the different churches in the world any but one was the true church of God, and that one would have to be built on the same foundation, believe the same doctrine, practice the same ordinances, be bound in the same Spirit, and bring forth the same fruit as the early church, before God would approve it in this age. And since he could not rely on such changing and different foundations for eternal life, he determined to search the scriptures carefully and without bias. He continued in this manner for a period of time, believing what he read. In the midst of the various wonderful truths which studded its pages, and delighted his heart, hardly one caught his attention more than the following:—”If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given to him.” It is difficult to describe what joy this valuable promise caused him, when he saw that it was the privilege of all men to ask, yes, and with the certainty of receiving from God the knowledge that was so essential in order to walk uprightly in the way of truth, and put an end to the difficult argument which was in his thoughts. This was like a light shining forth in a dark place, to guide him to the path he wished to tread; and consequently, he decided to retire to a secret place in the woods, a little way from his father’s house, to pray to God to fulfill this valuable promise, and show him which of all the denominations was the church of Jesus Christ. After kneeling there, and beginning the important task of calling on the Lord with all his heart, he was tempted (apparently) by the powers of darkness, in many ways, to think that his prayer was not being heard, and that such a thing is not to be had now; but he continued more and more fervently to seek for deliverance, until the darkness began to disperse from his mind, and he was able to pray as if in the strength of the Spirit, and in unwavering faith. While continuing to pour out his soul to God in this way for an answer to his prayer, he soon saw a light shining wondrously in the sky above him; he strove even more to pray, and the light was descending gradually towards him, and as it drew near, it increased in brilliance and magnitude so that, by the time it reached the tops of the trees, the wood seemed to be illuminated in a brilliant and glorious manner around him. At first he expected to see the boughs and the leaves being scorched around him. But since it did not have that effect on them, he was encouraged to be able to withstand the brilliance. It continued thus to descend slowly, until it reached the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came upon him, it produced strange sensations throughout his whole system, and immediately his mind was caught away from the objects with which he was surrounded, as in a heavenly vision. He saw two glorious personages, who resembled each other in their features or likeness. They told him his sins were forgiven. He was informed upon the matters about which he was inquiring, and which had caused him such mental anguish—that all the religious denominations in the country believed imperfect doctrines, to a greater or a lesser degree, and that consequently God did not acknowledge any of them as his church; even though many of them were zealous, conscientious, God-fearing men, fleeing evil, and worshipping him according to the light which they had. He was commanded not to join any of them. He received a promise that the true doctrine—the fulness of the gospel, should, at some future time, be restored to him; and after these things, the vision disappeared, leaving his mind overflowing with indescribable peace and joy. Some time after having received these divine manifestations, his mind was overtaken somewhat by the desires of youth, of which he afterwards sincerely repented before God.
ON the 21st of September, 1823, it pleased the merciful and gracious God not only to hear, but also to answer the prayers of Joseph Smith. Having retired to rest, as usual, his mind was set in fervent prayer, and the earnest desire of his soul was to have the fellowship of some divine messenger who would announce to him his acceptance with God, and unfold to him the principles of the religion of Christ, according to the promise he had received in the former vision. While he persisted thus before the throne of God, endeavoring to exercise faith in the promises which were so sweet to his soul, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room. The first sight was as if the house were filled with consuming fire! Such a sudden appearance of a light so bright occasioned a shock to his whole body; but it was soon followed by such joy and rapture that he desired with all his heart to associate with the cause of it. Thereupon, a glorious personage appeared before him. And notwithstanding the brightness of the light which filled the room, some divine rays of an even more intense and glorious light again surrounded this personage! Though his countenance was as lightning, yet love and innocence were so clearly marked on it that every fear was banished from the mind, and the soul was pervaded by its image. His stature was a little above the common size of men in this age: his garment was as white as snow, and had the appearance of being without any manner of seam. This luminous being spoke to him, saying he was an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, that his prayers were heard, and also to bring him the good tidings of great joy; namely, that the time was at hand for the Lord to fulfill the covenant which he had made with ancient Israel, concerning their posterity;—that the great, wondrous, and strange work God had promised to fulfill on the earth, as a preparation for the second coming of the Messiah, was about to commence; and also, that the time was at hand for the gospel to be preached in its fulness to all the nations, that a people might be prepared in holiness and faith to be worthy of enjoying his glorious resting place, in his victorious reign on the new and restored earth.
He was also informed that he was chosen and called, to be an instrument in God’s hand to bring forth the wondrous work of this glorious dispensation. It was made manifest to him that the “American Indians” were a remnant of Israel; that when they first came to the continent they were a people of beautiful and pleasant aspect, possessing a knowledge of the only true God, enjoying his favor, and receiving peculiar blessings from his hand; that the prophets and inspired writers among them had written an account of the most remarkable of God’s dispensations to them, from age to age, for many generations, until they were overcome by the judgments of God for their wickedness, and the greatest part of them were destroyed; but that the records which contained their history (through the commandment of God to one of their last prophets) had been hidden, to protect them from the wicked men who sought to destroy them. He said these records contained many divine revelations, pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom; as well as prophecies about the remarkable, glorious and dreadful things which would be fulfilled in the last days. And it was so that God could fulfill his promises to his ancients who wrote the records, and accomplish his purpose in their restitution, &c, that these records were to be brought forth. If he were faithful, he would have the privilege of being an instrument in bringing these holy mysteries to the light. He gave him a solemn warning to remember always to do everything for the glory of God. These records would not be entrusted to anyone who sought his own aggrandizement, glory and benefit through them. After advising him to live righteously, to be of upright principle in the service of God, and showing him many things past and to come, too numerous to mention here, the angel departed, and the light and glory of God withdrew with him, leaving Joseph’s mind calm and joyous, to ponder the things he had heard and seen. But before morning, the vision was twice repeated, instructing him further and in greater detail concerning the great and wondrous work God was about to perform on earth.
In the morning, he went out to his work as usual; but soon the vision was repeated once again, and the angel appeared before him; and having been informed by the previous visions concerning the place where the records were hidden, he was commanded to go there forthwith to view them. Immediately, leaving his tasks, he went to the place where he was instructed.
I shall give a brief description of that place where the records lay, in the words of a gentleman by the name of Oliver Cowdery, who subsequently visited the spot. “On the east side of the common road which leads from the town of Palmyra, Wayne County, to Candandaigua, Ontario County, in the state of New York (U.S.A.), about four miles before reaching the little town of Manchester, there is a large hill—I say large, because it is as large as, if not larger than, any in those environs.” After giving a detailed description of the hill, he adds—”It was near the top of it, on the east side, that the [aforementioned] records were found. When I visited the spot in 1830, there were several trees growing there, enough to provide shade from the heat of summer, but not so numerous as to prevent grass from growing. How deep in the earth the records were hidden it is difficult to say; but from the fact that they had been some fourteen hundred years lying there, on the side of a hill so steep, it could be imagined that they were several feet below the surface when they were put there, since it is natural for the surface to wear away, more or less, in that length of time; although it would not wear as much near the summit as lower down, perhaps. In this place a hole had been dug. A stone with a smooth upper surface filled the bottom; around its edges was a sort of cement in which were placed erect four thin stones along the outer edges of the lower stone. All of them when placed like this formed a box, and the corners were filled carefully with cement so that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. The inner surfaces of the other stones were also smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to protect the chest from the arrows of the enemies. From the bottom of the box, resting on the breastplate, arose three pillars composed of the same cement as was in the sides. Upon these three pillars lay the records. This box was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat and the upper crowning. When Mr. Smith visited the place on the morning of the 22nd of September, 1823, the upper surface of the stone was visible, but its sides were concealed by soil and grass; so it is evident that, although it is not known how deep they were hidden in the first place, the time had been sufficient for the earth to be worn away from them and bring them into view. When once directed, it was easy for him to find them, although they were not so remarkable as to draw the attention of anyone passing by. After reaching the spot with some effort, he lifted the uppermost stone and, to his great surprise, his eyes beheld the wondrous contents of the box. As he gazed upon this sacred treasure, marveling and pondering upon what he had previously heard from the angel, behold, the angel of the Lord, who had appeared to him before, stood before him, and his soul was filled with rejoicing as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the glory of the Lord shone around him, and rested upon him. When he was in this blessed state, gazing at the glorious scene before him, the angel said to him, “Look!” and as the angel spoke, he beheld the prince of darkness surrounded by his innumerable host. After these had passed from his sight, the angel spoke further, saying, “All this was shown to you—the good and the evil, the holy and the impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness—that you may know the two powers, and not be overcome by evil. Behold, whatsoever enticeth and leadeth to good and to do good is of God, and whatsoever doth not is of that wicked one: it is he that filleth the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness and blaspheme God; you see from henceforth that his ways are to destruction, but the ways of holiness are peace and rest. You cannot at this time obtain these records, for the commandment of God is strict concerning them. Thou must see them before obtaining for the sake of profiting from them, nor for self-glory; but they were sealed by the prayer of faith, because of the knowledge they contain; and they are of no worth to anyone, except for the knowledge they contain. They will reveal the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people who formerly lived on this land.”
[To be continued.]
SINCE there has been so much shouting for a sign in these days, although we no more than our elder brothers profess to give a sign of ourselves to anyone, we hope that everyone will be satisfied with the remarkable sign that was given by the angel; and here it is—”When they begin to hear that God has shown you these things, the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow; they will proclaim and publish stories and lying accusations about you to destroy your reputation, and also will seek to take your life without cause, and as a result they will persecute those who believe in the same organization. The discovery of the records shall cause those pure of heart to rejoice and the wicked and jealous to rage; with the one it shall be had in honor and respect, and with the other in reproach and contempt.” A clear enough sign for anyone, is it not? It shows the character of every man according to his actions. What man with his eyes open can doubt the truth of this clear prophecy, published to the world before its fulfillment? If there is such a one to be had, let him believe his own ears testifying the literal fulfillment of it, when they are filled to overflowing with the lying, foolish and unfounded stories that he may hear, not only from the pulpits, but from there to the ends of the country. And if he does not believe his ears, he may believe his own eyes, we hope, when he reads the false accusations, contrary assertions, and concocted lies that were published, and that are now published from time to time, in the publications of those who “profess the truth.” Amongst others, not the least are the Star of Gomer, the Times, the Baptist, the Educator, &c. Due to the multifarious testimony of these enemies, one must admit the divinity of the above prophecy. If this plan were not from God, I do not think that wicked men would take so much trouble to distort it and to make so many men of straw so different from one another, calling them all Mormonism, for the sake of the pleasure that they have in plaguing and mocking their own work. It is sad to say, indeed, that such people have polluted even the Welsh press, staining its fine vestment, and that through it they have filled high positions in the hosts of hell in order to fulfill the above prophecy, and to place obstructions in the way of their compatriots who are searching for the truth, so that they can bind them, poor things, tighter to their prejudiced beliefs and keep them in darkness. But lest there be any disbeliever in the country who still doubts the fulfillment of this clear prophecy, we refer him to issues of the True Baptist for the last two or three years, and I venture to say if he is satisfied with facts, he shall there have a sufficiency in order to remove every jot of doubt concerning the truth of that which the angel prophesied. But lest anyone think that we are without feeling and ungrateful for the least good deed that may be done for us, we thank those people very greatly; yea, they are worthy of the consideration of all lovers of the truth, for their hard work and their faithfulness, for spending so much money and taking so much trouble in such good work as to set the people straight, for showing publicly, and admitting so sincerely who they are; “for by their fruits shall ye know them.” And it is pleasant to say that their diligence has already been crowned with success until complete satisfaction, I think, is given to everyone who is satisfied with facts concerning the divinity of the above prophecy and of our religion, as well as of many of the prophecies of Christ such as, “Blessed are ye when men shall say all manner of evil against you;” “Ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you,” &c. And have they not labored hard to fulfill the scripture that says, “All who live justly in Christ shall suffer persecution.” And anyone who is not satisfied with their former efforts to fulfill the above prophecy, shall have to be dissatisfied; for it is sad that these “workers of iniquity” shall destroy their characters, and trouble their minds any longer; and in thinking that success in their work costs them their immortal souls, it would be tragic to try to get them to kick against the divine pricks and the work of God; for, though Christ has said, “It must needs be that offenses come,” he says also, “woe unto those through whom they come.” And who would not pity these persecutors in the face of what follows—”It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea, than he should offend one of these little ones.” They are poor wretches, the children of darkness; it is sad that they have chosen the ways of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who preferred the reward of injustice. “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end.” The many proofs which they have already given of the divinity of Mormonism (since the word of people like these about it is praise for it) are too good to be lost; and since one cannot expect their bitter source to continue spewing out such floods any longer, we shall give to the readers through the mouth of the PROPHET a taste of them now and again, arranged so that they might understand their composition and their effects on the intellect. And the first one to be brought before the judgment seat is the professed general of the army. Since his bravery and diligence in this army are far beyond that of many of his friends, he should be first. When he fought on the other side of the fence, he changed his name as often as the chameleon changes its color. But by now his face is like flint. Since judgment concerning bad deeds is not effected soon, his heart has grown bold in doing evil. But the old saying is true that “Murder will out;” so he at last signs himself “W. R. Davies” from Dowlais, in the March issue of the Baptist, substantiating the stories of which we now have testimonies in our possession; these shall come out in their time in order to prove those of Davies completely false, although he has published them before under various pen names. He fears that someone has forgotten them by now and brings them out a second time in sweet tidbits. I suppose that he could not manufacture new lies that were as terrible, but he had to have something to say. But thanks to him, he has come into the trap now; he shall be placed under the spectacles of the PROPHET from time to time. It will not be so easy to shut the mouth of a Prophet as it was to shut the mouth of the press from defending us. It will be seen now who has the truth.
We do not wish to squabble with corrupt men like these, since preaching Christ crucified is our work, although that to these men is a stumbling block and foolishness. Like their brothers formerly, they seek a sign and human wisdom. But after being silent for years, we owe it to the public to defend the truth now, so that their evil may be exposed to everyone who loves the truth. We did not intend the following things to be published to the world any more than the hundreds of other blessings that are enjoyed in our midst; for we do not expect those who deny the scriptures so arrogantly to believe such things. But the foolishness and enmity of Satan and his tools become obvious in their work, in their publishing, and in their so terrible distortion. The defense of the truth shows forth their lies and the great deeds of God. Men find it difficult to believe, of those who profess to be children of God, without mentioning their claim to be shepherds of the flock of gentle Jesus, that anyone in Wales could be so wicked, so cruel, so unprincipled and lying as to weave such a web of false accusations about others, so foolish as what follows because of a difference of opinion concerning religion. It is important to accuse such people of being guilty of fabricating known lies with the purpose of deceiving, and of satisfying their evil passions; but they have published them in the face of light, knowledge, judgment and Judge, and every other thing that should fill them with horror and fright in thinking about such work. Their consciences must have been seared with a hot iron when they published such things in the face of scores and hundreds of witnesses who know that they are lies. And anyone who doubts the corrupt depths of humanity may have sufficient proof of that to his sorrow and surprise by reading the Baptist for the month of March, page 111, as follows:—
A MIRACLE! A MIRACLE! AT LAST!
I confess that we have never before seen a treatise half as large as this published, especially in a periodical that professes to be religious, but not more than one statement of it was truth, in some corner or another. If anyone else has seen such a thing, we would like to know about it; but from our part we think, no matter how much “Quick in Water” its author, mocks the miracles of God, this treatise is a miracle of his own! His wrath must have been full and overflowing before he started, because not even the first word is true. “The SATANISTS professed,” says he. And who are these “Satanists” in his opinion? Do not be angry with him, dear reader, for those whom he calls “Satanists” are none other than the Saints of the Almighty God. And worse still, it is a man who professes to be a minister of the gospel with the Baptists who has called us by this name! Let even Dowlais be ashamed in seeing a man who professes to be a servant of God climbing into their pulpits, and in a foolish and blasphemous “fair,” teaching his fellow travelers towards wise judgment “not to call” those who worship the God of heaven and believe in Christ according to the scriptures “Saints, rather call them (says he) Latter-day Satanists.” Oh, humanity, what shame on you! His name—no need to ask; who does not know that it is the Rev. W. R. Davies who is the father of this name? Does not his “speech condemn him?” Let him deny it if he can; or then let him be ashamed. “Satanists” is it, sir? He kills two birds, besides himself, with this one stone. He fulfills the prophecy of the angel fully, and he proves true the old saying, “A thief calls thief first.” Satan shouts Satanists first; and the most impudent servants of Beelzebub shout Beelzebub first, even at the Son of God himself. We do not place that name on him, but “his own mouth condemneth him.” “The SATANISTS professed many of their miracles,” says this “Quick in Water.” Well, count, reader, here is the first lie in this terrible heap. The Saints have never professed that they have done miracles up to now. “And they deceived a lot of people.” This is the second lie, without offering any proof of it. “Oh, unlearned little men, without any religion, without anything good,” says he. This is the third already. “They sought to charm a nasty little group of the dregs of Merthyr to follow them.” If this is true, we take pride in it, for it proves our similarity to our brothers, saints of the former days. The hypocrites and deists of that age said about them also that they were the “filth of the world and the offscouring of all things.” Yet again he says, “They carried on their deceit quite well until the praiseworthy apostle came.” This is the fourth lie, because up to now not one apostle has come into their midst, and there is not and never has been anyone claiming to have the office of this name in their midst in Wales. This also is one of the bugaboos of Mr. Davies of Dowlais; and it is a surprise how he mocks it after making it! It is a pity that this man did not know now that principled and reasonable men ignore him and despise him and his lies; and so then, be quiet, for shame! “Here to be strengthened in the faith and to sell a sort of pamphlet, the most foolish that has ever been seen, beneath the notice of every man in his senses,” says he. His work in taking so much notice of it proves him out of his senses then, according to his own admission. But hear more of his wisdom,—”This was published by some little creature.” Who would not be proud of being reviled by Mr. Davies? “This treatise asserts the ability of the Satanists to work miracles.” This is at least the fifth lie. I wonder whether he knows the difference between God and man. “To speak with the fairies, &c.” That is the sixth. Are there not thousands of our treatises throughout Wales now showing to everyone who reads them the presumption of this reverend gentleman asserting such things? What will he not say? Who can believe such a man as this? No one who loves the truth, I believe! It is futile to attempt to notice all his foolish and erroneous assertions now. But let us compare his story of the misfortune that befell a man by the name of William Hughes, Collier’s Row, with a testimony of the man himself, and others who saw what happened.
QUICK IN WATER says: “He is one of the Satanists. He broke a LITTLE bone in his leg at work. Dr. Davies was sent to him, and he put it back in its place and bound it up, &c. Then he was followed in a visit by the praiseworthy apostle and a large group of the Satanists with him, and they pulled the bandage free, and the apostle set his hand on the place pretending to pray.” This is not only the seventh and the eighth, but quite a blasphemy also. “And the Satanists assert, in the strongest way possible, that they saw the swelling die down and disappear under his hand, &c.” His is a confession as strong as the testimony of eyewitnesses that the swelling died down, is it not!! Who knew better than they whether what they said was true or not when their eyes testified to that? What reason would they have to assert that, had it not been so? Who would believe them when they saw differently, were it not the truth? Behold the prejudice and illogic of this slanderer, denying without any foundation, while he admits that the testimony of a “group” of eyewitnesses proves the healing a fact. Oh, foolishness! “These things [says he] were proclaimed throughout the whole area.” Yes, by a host of our enemies, and hardly any two of them gave the same account. Would they have done all this if there were not something to it? And who was distorting and condemning but those who professed to believe the Bible, a book that is full of such happenings. But here is the strongest admission of the truth of the matter by the storyteller himself:—”He said in leaving the man that he should come to the prayer meeting the following day to show himself, that he had been completely healed.” I do not claim that all this is true, but the teller of the tale proves too much against himself, to the point of showing that the man had been completely healed; otherwise, no one with his eyes open would tell him to come to the prayer meeting the following day over a mile away!! We thank him for this. And did the injured person himself and his brothers at his side not know better than a disbeliever from somewhere over in Dowlais? “The following day [says he] Dr. Davies called with the intention of seeing the man, and to his great surprise he found him far worse than expected with his leg swollen; and he was in great pain, &c.” Now reader, count the lies if you can, for there is the same number of them as there are words in the assertion. There is not so much as one syllable of it true! But let us see even further—”The doctor failed to understand how things could be like this; but to his surprise in looking at the leg, he saw that some fool had opened the bandage that he had placed about it the previous day, and this had caused everything that was noted; and after questioning, the sufferer admitted everything, and the silly wretch is not healed to this day.” Here is more counting work, and every word of his assertions adds one more lie to the shameful list, as is seen through reading the testimonies of unbiased and truthful eyewitnesses. Let us compare the one with the other, and then let the reader form his own opinion concerning this slander as he wishes. And if he does not admit the wondrous fulfillment of the prophecy of the angel previously noted, the divinity of Mormonism, he shall have more proofs of that in the next issue.
Behold a copy of the letter that was sent to the Editors of the Baptist, but which they refused to print:—
“To the Editors of the BAPTIST.”
“Sirs:—Since you have published in the March issue of the Baptist the correspondence of some man who calls himself ‘Quick in Water,’ concerning the misfortune that befell a man by the name of William Hughes, Collier’s Row, when, as your writer says, ‘he broke a little bone in his leg,’ and since he has deceived you and the public for giving a distortion of that circumstance, we would beg you to be fair with your publication and its readers by also providing space in one of your next issues for the following testimonies given by eyewitnesses of the happening.
“Here first is the testimony of William Hughes himself:—”On Saturday, January the 18th, a great weight fell on me in the Cyfarthfa coal mine; and after I was freed from underneath it by others, it was found that two bones of my left leg had been broken in the fall. I was taken to my house, and Dr. Allday (who works for the mine), came and put them in their place with splints, &c, around it, and went away leaving me in very great pain. In the evening one of the elders of the Church of which I am a member, came and anointed my leg with holy oil, and placed hands on me and prayed for the Lord to take away the pain, &c. And I testify, in words of soberness, that I had complete relief from my pain immediately and continued without pain. The afternoon of the following Tuesday, another Elder, Capt. Jones, came by himself to visit me; then various of my neighbors, who disbelieved our faith, came in. At my wish he administered this ordinance to me according to the scriptures, i.e.,—‘Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,’ &c. And I testify sincerely before God and men, that I immediately, yes, when his hands were still on me, received great healing from the Lord, and not from man; I pulled away the splints and everything, and within five minutes I jumped from the bed to the floor in the sight of all, praising God for his goodness. Some of our enemies were listening in the next room, and when they heard our joy, they came in and believed that I was healed through the power of God. And no matter how strange it may seem, it is true enough that the other leg is painful when I walk, and the broken leg without pain. I walked about within three days. The following Thursday Capt. Jones came to visit me again, since he was starting out to the north. The following day (Friday) I saw Dr. Davies coming to the house, and in great haste I bound the splints in their place and lay on the bed lest he should find fault with me. After looking at my leg he said that he was greatly surprised that the swelling had gone down and that it was getting better so well. He said also that it had been broken on the ankle in addition to two bones in the shin; and if it continued to improve so well, I could get up soon. After he went away, I threw the splint away and got up from bed. On the fifth day the doctor came again, but he did not see me because I had gone away from home. I used a stick for some days in going about, not because of the weakness of my leg, but because of the weakness of my faith, which was clearly proved by my leaving it at home without any inconvenience. I failed to find work; and since we are poor people, my wife went against my will to the relieving officer for help. In the meantime there was no small commotion throughout the neighborhood, and many unfounded stories were spread concerning the matter on the wings of the wind; some asserting that the bones had not been broken; others testifying that they had seen them and felt them broken; some asserted that I had not gotten better, but worse, and that the doctors wanted to cut my leg off, &c: and perhaps it was on some of these bases that your reporter wrote his account. As an example of the lies that were told concerning me, the following shall suffice:—A man came to a neighbor’s house within forty yards of my house, and started his story concerning this matter; that what had been said about the healing of the injured person was a lie, that he had seen the injured person himself today—that he was on his back in his bed worse by far, and that the doctors were about to amputate his leg, &c. My wife was there at the time listening, although he did not know; and since she had seen me return to my house from work already, she came to fetch me to confront him; but that man understood immediately and went away as quickly as he could, and I after him.—I would not seek this favor from you if it were not that you have provided space to that distorted correspondence; and I can have dozens of true witnesses to prove the above story true.”
WILLIAM X HUGHES, HANNAH X HUGHES.
HUGH X JONES,
“We testify that the above story is true, to the utmost of our knowledge. We know that William Hughes’s leg was broken; we also heard the doctor say on the spot that the two bones were broken completely; and although we do not profess or believe in the faith of the Latter-day Saints, yet what we felt with our hands and saw with our eyes, we testify to it to give truth a fair chance.”
THOMAS X DAFYDD, RICHARD X HUGH,
JAMES X HARRIS, WILLIAM X DAVIES.
“I also testify that William Hughes broke his leg, because of what I felt and saw I testify unto my friends.”
EDW. T. EDWARDS, DAVID X JENKINS,
DAVID X VAUGHAN, CATHERINE X THOMAS.
THERE is a race of rascals—passionate
Others like witches, far worse thing,
Pre-judge us in their pleading.
They glory in being arid—in harrying,
In obstructing the valid!
It’s their disgrace they cannot win
Their war against our doctrine.
Let all their stalwarts come with plans—bitterly,
To beat the Mormons:
To injure, yet to no effect,
Our faith stands firm and perfect.
Their failure strives in fury—but flounders;
In a feeble hurry!
We raise the cross in our age
And win—we have the advantage!
RHYDYBONT : PRINTED BY JOHN JONES.