“1847,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 69–84.
The “Hater of Deceit” Proved a Lover, a Maker, and a Publisher, of “Deceit” Himself
IN the May issue of the Revivalist, pg. 144, &c., is seen a lengthy essay under the title, “The Mormons are Deceivers,” composed by someone who calls himself, “Hater of Deceit, from Blackwood.” Although for any thoughtful man the writing throughout contains sufficient proofs that its author is deserving of the character we have given him, still we shall glean some of the ears of corn from his labor, to show more clearly the kind of harvest that one can expect, together with the filth of the field that produces such cabbages. The first leap the splendid author takes to attempt to prove that close to 1500 of his fellowmen in Wales, not counting hundreds of thousands of others, are deserving of the above heavy accusation is to shout with all his might from the top of the crag, “False,” and he continues to shout “false” no fewer than four times in his beginning to battle. On this axis he bases all his preliminary false accusations, as if he had already won the battle without firing a shot! Is it a small thing in his sight to condemn without proof that religion on which so many rest their souls? If so, this proves how little it would matter to him for others to do the same with his own religion.
The “Mormons are Deceivers”
Because, is it? Because what, I wonder? Is it because they are deceivers? But slowly does it, you swift galloper, first prove that, and then we shall have reason to thank you; but until you can do so, it would be just as appropriate for us to shout, “because you are a deceiver, yes, so is everyone else.” Having founded his aerial castle on the word “because,” he piles up a heap of false accusations instead of stones, and he fuses them together with lying liquid instead of mortar, and so, it is no wonder that they collapse in confusion, and bury him in their ruins, for it is said that he who digs a pit for his neighbor will fall into it himself. Making his bed in the minds of his readers (as does the pig in the dungheap), he sings the old tune of every deceiver, namely that the whole thing is “not out of envy for the Saints,” rather out of “love for his fellow nation,” lest they be deceived, &c. But by their fruits shall we judge him, regardless of that; and let the reader judge from the following examples of his guileless and loving sentences! whether he is a hater, or a lover and deviser of deceit and false accusations. “They claim to be able to work miracles, &c,” says he. If he has followed them to the extent of being able to have the advantage of understanding their deceit, as he claims he has, he must also understand that those are deliberate and totally unfounded false accusations; or, whether he has or not, he has been caught lying in this matter, and he ought to try to gain a better understanding of what the Saints believe, before daring to proclaim it to the world. Is he so thickheaded, I wonder, that he does not see the great difference between the profession of worshipping that God who was formerly admitted as the author of miracles, and who is still admitted as unchanging, which is the same as admitting that he (not men) works miracles now, and that men claim miraculous power?
Let him understand the difference there is between his assertion and the truth. Love for what compelled him to do this, I wonder? He says also that he saw them failing to heal one small child, and he offers that as proof of their deceit! According to that logic, he condemns all the apostles because they failed to cast the devil out of that man! Yes, he proves that Paul was a deceiver half again as bad as the Saints, because he failed to heal two that we know of, if not more, namely Trophimus and Timotheus. Oh, poor thing! here you have proved yourself so much a “hater of deceit,” that you have reasoned yourself into a deceitful deist, and placed the Saints on the list of the apostles. We thank you for placing us in such company. Further on, you admit that the Saints imitate the apostles, through their obedience to the godly rites of anointing with oil, the laying on of hands, &c. But what deceit is in that, any more than the general claim that every denomination makes about the other apostolic rites? You suggest that it was deceit for the mother to try to get the elder to anoint her child to heal him; all right, we shall attribute the “deceit” to James, and let it be between you and him, for it was he who instructed, chap. v, ver. 14,—“Is there any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church, and they will anoint him with oil,” &c. Here you are, like every other deist, head to head with an apostle, by scorning the Saints for obeying him! Now, is it the Saints, or you, who are the deceiver professing a form of godliness, but denying its power? You blame the anointer, for asking the mother if her faith was strong enough for the child to be healed. What deceit could there be in that, without admitting that there was as much deceit in Jesus Christ, when he asked the same thing to those blind men,—“Believe ye that I am able to do this?” he said, Mat. ix, 27–30. “According to thy faith be it unto you,” he said. To another, Luke xviii, 42, he says also, “THY FAITH (not my faith, but thy own faith) hath saved thee.” Further, Paul did not dare to tell the lame man in Lystra to walk, until after “stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed.” No wonder you call the elder a deceiver like them, since he used the same words.
“The elder drank some of the oil himself,” you say. Well done! very careful indeed, lest there be some harm in it to the child. As for the “pouring” on the child’s head, that was a bit of a slip of the tongue, like “Daniel the Blind” who says that the oil ran all over his clothes, when in fact, they meant to say, or ought to have said, anointing with a fingertip. What deceit is in this again? Since trying to get to grips with the deceit is our work, so that we can correct it, we shall look astutely, for until now Mr. “Hater of Deceit” has failed to reveal to us anything except his own sectarian deceit. “Having prayed the prayer of faith, he said that the child was healed,” you say. Well, would he be so foolish as to say that, unless the child was healed? What good would it do? Would not everyone see that it was not true? Here is an acknowledgement of the power of God sealing their obedience to his ordinances by healing the sick. Very good, Sir. You acknowledge also, reluctantly, that “perhaps he was” well. That you saw him sick the following Wednesday is not any proof that he could not have gotten better three times in the meantime. Furthermore, had he not gotten better, whose failing would it be, the anointer’s? If so, it was Paul’s failing that he did not heal Trophimus and Timotheus, yes, Jesus Christ’s failing, says your logic, for not healing the eyes of the blind man the first time he put clay on them; thus you still couple the elder with apostolic company, and he should be very grateful to you for the honor you give him. After scrutinizing the example, and failing to see anything similar to deceit of the Saints, now we shall show clearly the deceit and its promoters, like this,—“I saw them fail in their attempts to heal the sick,” says he. Compare this with the testimony that he admits the mother gave to him. She says she believed, and her reason was that her other child had been healed by the elder’s using the same means. If the testimony of the mother is true, which he does not attempt to disprove either, (and how can he?) then the deceit is seen clearly; yes, here is the deceit, and the great bogeyman he refers to, but with this difference at the same time, that Mr. “Hater of Deceit” is its father, and to him also is attributed the lying deceit. Thanks to you, Mr. Deceiver, for showing yourself so publicly, so that we may be saved from you!
“The Spirit of Prophecy”
As for the “Dark Daniel,” you mention, read his story which we have published already, and you shall see your persecuting partner like “Haman hanging from his own gallows,” so that every lover of the truth will loathe him and his evil tricks; and it is true that more of his acquaintances joined with the Saints, than before his pranks, accordingly. All things work together for the good of truth. Next, our author mocks the Saints for professing the “Spirit of Prophecy.” But let us go slowly here again, until we scrutinize his own rule, in order to see whether it is the deniers or the professors of the spirit of prophecy who deserve the verdict of deceivers. We ask, what is the “Spirit of Prophecy?” John answers, Rev. xix, 10, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy.” How can anyone claim the one and deny the other, then, without contradicting himself, or John? Paul says in 1 Cor. xii, 3, “And no one can say (i.e., testimony, or knowing) that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Jesus Christ says in John xvii, 3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” Thus, the denial of the “spirit of prophecy” is sufficient to prove the ignorance of the denier of Jesus Christ, and by that his unfamiliarity with God, for no one cometh unto the Father but by me, says Christ. Thus the denier proves his own spirit of prophecy without Christ, without God in the world, yes, without anything except for hypocritical deceit to this point! Doubt the logic of those scriptures if you can, or take back your mocking assertions, Sir. By now, here we are about to hang this atheist with his own rope, having already unwittingly brought all his sympathizers and supporters onto the same scaffold! Pity the “Reverends” who have published their own sentence in their ‘Revivalist.,’ I wonder if they would not revive were their readers to let go of the cord from around their necks once again? For our part, we cannot release them, and neither can the Bible, until either they admit the spirit of prophecy, or cease to climb to their pulpits to shout out with long and hypocritical faces, that the Mormons are deceivers, and that they are the ones who are witnesses of Jesus, servants of God, &c. Asserting the latter, and denying the former, has to be a complete contradiction! I wonder whether the Reverend Editor will be ashamed ever again to claim to be a servant of Jesus Christ, until he gains the indispensable qualifications for so being, namely that “Spirit of Prophecy” that is so much denied? We turn again to Mr. “Hater of Deceit,”—“The Saints claim that they know things that have been, that are, and that will come,” he says. Well, they do not thereby, claim anything except that which their faithful forerunner promised them in accordance with their need, John xvi, 13. He promised, “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come (namely the Holy Ghost, namely, the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’) he will guide you into all truth.” Further, “and he will shew you things to come.” If this does not contain a promise of knowledge of “things that have been, that are, and that will come,” it is all suggested in the following: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Again, he says, “The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” Why, Sir, do you not allow it the same freedom to reveal what it desires to the Saints now as before? Answer, whoever can! By the sacred volume we venture to challenge all our readers to answer why! Up to now the ‘hater of deceit’ admits the profession of the Saints scripturally, and by his own denial he is proven a denier of the scriptures! because remember that it is the profession, and the denial of the Spirit of Prophecy that is in question so far. Next, we shall note his refutations, and what are they? Only his assertions, which have already been proven unworthy of belief. In order to catch him in his own net, we shall admit even that, and we shall get some one (out of hundreds of thousands) prophesying that a certain number would be baptized at some specified time. In the same breath he admits that six of the number had been baptized. Very good, is it not! Could he himself foretell so much truth, I wonder? The omens are bad now. And if one were to come forward, what better proof would that be that the “Mormons are deceivers,” than proving him a deceiver would be proof that all the Independents were deceivers? Or would not the same logic prove that every column in the Revivalist was slanderous false accusations because of those columns that he filled thus! That would be twisted logic, would it not? again, here is his best logic to prove the Saints false prophets. Bear in mind as well that not even Paul claimed prophetic perfection; rather, “we know in part, and we prophesy in part,” he says. The Holy Ghost was not imperfect, but his own stubborn spirit fought against the divine influences, because of the corruption of humanity, and this is what equally numbs the increase of his understanding of the other; and that was the extent of the correctness of his prophecies. Still I do not think that any of the Saints would tell him that they had prophesied anything similar. If they had, it is the first we have heard of such a thing; and despite questioning everyone, almost, we failed to find a foundation for his assertions, or that such a man had been in the church of Blackwood, Victoria, or any other place, unless he lives in Dowlais, the factory in which such nets are made cheaply.
With respect to Elder Jones, whose name you take lightly, this is only one in those environs, and he will deny it to the extreme, that he knows of the least foundation for your assertions. As for that ‘W. Thomas,’ who makes such an effort to ‘clarify the deception’; may he go forward, poor thing, as quickly as he can; he is striving to clarify his own deception as are you. We expect to see him coming with his deceit at his tail, or like a shooting star through the atmosphere of the Revivalist as soon as he can be caught, in accordance with the common practice of those we excommunicate. It is surprising how they flash one after another through the religious chronicles of our ‘religious age,’ everyone out of Hove for their fellow nation,’ of course! But rub your eyes, readers, and you will see where they have all gone. All like shooting stars into the depths of the universe in the midst of the things that have been, leaving behind them nothing but a foul smell to stain their remembrance; and thus will it be again. Everything we are told by the existence of such a man as that W. F., contains like the Almanacs, ‘some truth and some lies’ about his remarkable success, so that the Saints cannot ‘deceive’ anyone else there; it is true for the most part; because they have not tried to ‘deceive;’ their religion did not ‘deceive’ anyone there, and furthermore, it is impossible for it to deceive anyone there, or in any other area; because it is its own proof of its truthfulness to every honest man who tries it out fairly and without prejudice, as dozens of the Saints will testify even in Blackwood to your face, Sir, and to the Mr. Thomas you mention: and what are your assertions in the face of more than ten to one experienced and acceptable witnesses? But still, in the syntactic meaning that you give to your assertion, it is an untruth known to you Sir, because you and your neighbors should know that the Saints have baptized more in the time since you and your partner have been persecuting them than ever before! Do you not know that they have baptized five recently in a period shorter than that number of days, besides many at other times? And why do you dare to proclaim that they cannot get ‘ANYONE in that area?’ Yes, to the face of all your neighbors who know better, or should! Therefore, you two cannot deceive anyone to stop them from obeying the truth; that’s all; and then you take revenge through the Revivalist, do you not? worse still, you do all that out of ‘love’ as well!! Keep everyone from such ‘love,’ as from a dragon’s poison! Or on with it until it stirs all honest men and lovers of the truth to prove it and embrace it more and more; because there is no danger that you can deceive any of their kind. Another example of your untruthful deceit is your assertion ‘that the Saints when they baptize someone, call a council and prophesy to what office God called him.’ We challenge you to prove that for once somewhere! You cannot. But we do not have to disprove it; our rules, which we have already published in Welsh, and which are before the public, prove that our preachers are not called upon except in our conferences; and then not by the prophesying you mention. If you have ever been with the Saints (which is greatly doubted) you must know better than your assertion. In the name of truth whither did you exile your logic when misrepresenting your fellow men like this? prove your love by calling it back.
Obvious Deceptive Reasoning
As for the T. Smith who you say was ordained a priest immediately, it is as true as the others of your assertions; instead of getting drunk and being excommunicated after two months, as you say, that was not for as many years as that! And instead of being called and ordained ‘immediately,’ he was not called nor was he ordained for two-and-a-half years after his baptism! Was it not ‘jealousy’ of them that compelled you to do this, Sir? Who will believe you! There are hundreds who will testify to this throughout these environs to the present day. But, if he had been called as soon as you say, would his sin that he committed afterwards prove his previous unsuitability? If so, your logic condemns even Jesus Christ for calling Peter or Judas; certainly the crime of the one shows the deceit of their calling like the other! Here you are, having placed Jesus Christ worse than the Saints because he called two such men! Weigh the preachers of other denominations in the scales in which you weigh T. Smith, and he will get considerable company, yes, not only Peter and Judas, but also David, Solomon, Lot, Noah, and Adam. Still further, register ‘Lucifer, the morning Star,’ on the same list as those. Strange company, is it not? Was every one of them evil before sinning? If not, how will he whom you name be proven unsuitable then? We thank you unanimously for admitting the temperance of our rules, by admitting that we do not allow membership to a drunkard, much less an office in our moral and pure church. Rather strict rules, are they not? I wonder whether our discipline is not as severe against other sins? And so where is the deceit? We ask again: but still in vain. It is so easy for deceivers to shout ‘deceit,’ ‘false prophets,’ ‘false teachers,’ ‘fanatics of the town’: thus it is for you. You stand by your fruits, you who have been proven guilty of what you accuse the innocent of. Next he depicts a church meeting of the Saints on Sunday afternoon; we shall strive to get hold of the deceit in that thing then. He admits that the priest began the meeting by reading and praying; if that is deceit, all religious people are as much deceivers as the Saints. This is the first time a man who dares to call himself a ‘hater of deceit,’ teaches us that reading the Bible and praying are deceit. Still, this must be deceit, because he says that it is ‘obvious that EVERYTHING they (the Saints) have anything to do with is deceit!’ According to this logic the Reverend editor who published this is proven a deceiver, at every meeting he holds. You do not blame them more than others for ‘striving to color [the truths they believe] in the most beautiful way to attract their listeners to love them’; for this is their privilege as well as the privilege of others, ‘after threatening them terribly, because they love the darkness instead of the light, which they were showing to them,’ he says. Here is a correct admittance of the light: what darkness do they warn one to beware of? Not traditional darkness, because their presence there proved that unnecessary; what else but transgressions against the sacred rule they read at the beginning of the meeting, where they warned to beware of them! Very good again, remembering that you admit all this out of jealousy. What deceit is there in exhorting people not to sin! Paul exhorts Timothy to be instant in season and out of season, to preach, reprove, rebuke, &c, because he foresaw the time when they would not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts would they heap to themselves [not sent by God through the Spirit of Prophecy, &c] teachers. Since their ears were itching from the truth, they turn their ears away [as does Mr. ‘Hater of Deceit,’] unto the fables, namely such fables as you and other sectarians publish out of ‘love,’ alias HATE, for the truth. Now, Sir, we ask, and you will answer the truth for your conscience, if Paul were your neighbor in Blackwood, then, could he portray you more accurately, do you think? Despite denying the prophecies of your contemporaries, you must admit the truthfulness and most detailed fulfillment of Paul’s, on your own condition. Where does the deceit meet?
[To be continued.]
“Mother’s Gift,” or the First Catechism for the Children of the Saints
WHAT is man?—The race of God.
Who is Jesus Christ?—Our brother.
What is man in his beginning?—A helpless baby.
What is he in his stature?—One of the sons of God.
What is he in his moral perfection?—Like unto Christ; and Christ is like unto God: and they are all one society.
How many lives does a man have?—He shall live in three lives.
What is the first?—Spiritual life.
What is the second?—Temporal life.
What is the third?—One that is immortal and eternal.
How did he begin to live in the first?—He was conceived and born of God.
How did he begin to live in the second?—He was conceived and born of the flesh.
How shall he begin to live in the third?—Through resurrection from the dead.
What is his eternal destiny?—To be in the image of God, and with him.
What is man like without revelation?—Like a ship in the fog without rudder or compass.
What is he like when he receives divine revelations?—Like a lamp full of light; he shows the truth of all things.
What is the Spirit of man?—The candle of God.
How is it lit?—By the Spirit of God.
How many Gods are there?—”There are many lords, and many gods, but to us there is but one God.”
How many heavens are there?—They are without number.
Where will the heaven of the Saints be?—On the earth; and on every perfect star and planet.
Briefly, what is Mormonism?—A plan of divine truths.
How old is it?—There is no beginning of days or end of its life span.
What is its destiny?—To fill the earth and the heaven with knowledge and perfect love.
Who is Joseph Smith?—He is the brother of Jesus Christ.
Where did his authority come from?—From the third heaven through angels.
What was he sent to do?—To establish the everlasting kingdom of God, preach the gospel of peace, and to announce the dawn of the great Jubilee to all that believe.
What success will his mission have?—General success, until the knowledge of the Lord covers the world, as the waters cover the sea.
What if men try to oppose him?—They will not succeed; rather they will be like the fine dust on the scales.
Why is that?—Because the great and powerful God has awakened as if from the sleep of ages to do his work.
What are all the political forms of the world?—The great idol that Nebuchadnezzar saw.
What are the religious forms of this world?—That spiritual Babylon that John saw (when he was on the isle of Patmos,) which was full of blasphemous names.
WHICH was held in the Cymreigyddion Hall, Sunday, and Monday, the 18th and 19th of April, as follows:—
At half past ten o’clock in the morning unanimously elected president was Capt. Jones, who had begun the Conference as usual, by singing praise and praying, and he addressed the crowd warmly, expounding on the importance and godliness of the glorious work that was entrusted to us; and he showed the great difference that exists between the human plans and the perfect plan of the kingdom of God. He proved that men are equal to their wisdom that the former have composed and perfected; but, that this latter plan is to perfect men; or that the one perfects its subjects, and the others are perfected by their imperfect subjects! That the latter is as unreasonable as it would be for man to try to raise himself from off the floor,—only according to the wisdom they possess can anything be expected from men,—no one can organize a plan to perfect himself, or consequently perfect another better than himself, any more than the stream rise any higher than its source. According to this reasoning, the president showed that Mormonism was established on a divine foundation, and that that life and power were in all its veins, its sinews, and its joints, from its head to its foot; and that it benefits everyone through, and according to the correct understanding of it and the correct use of it. At that time president F. D. Richards came in from America, besides J. Holliday, Kendall, Webb, and others from England, and they found the hall filled with cheerful and handsome listeners. The president called on the representatives of all the branches to report their numbers, their condition, &c, which was done as follows:—Number of branches in the Glamorgan conference is 18; Elders 34; Priests 48; Teachers 38; Deacons 17. Baptized since the previous conference (3rd and 4th of last January) 220. The total represented in this conference now is 965. The presidents showed that the situation and condition of their branches were comfortable, successful, and hopeful; and that all, nearly without exception, were in unity, love, and the bond of peace, and enjoying gifts and comfort of the Holy Ghost according to their faithfulness and their diligence. After that Brother Richards addressed the meeting briefly and comprehensively in English, and the morning meeting ended with prayer and singing.
At 2 o’clock there was a church meeting for the Saints only, and the Hall was very full of them. Three who had been baptized were received into the church, and then the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was administered to the numerous company, who delighted themselves in the enjoyment of the love of Christ in their hopes, and in the happiness of the Holy Ghost. Brother Richards explained the purposes and usefulness of the ordinances, and exhorted the Saints to unity, faithfulness, and love. He showed the goodness of God toward his Saints in America, through wondrous deliverances from the hand of their enemies,—miraculously feeding them in the wilderness, and comforting them in all persecution; and the president addressed the meeting on the same topic in Welsh, and he ended the meeting with prayer.
The evening meeting was begun by elder Thomas Pugh. The president addressed the numerous crowd, inviting them to obey the eternal gospel with haste; he was followed by Thomas Pugh on the nature and offices of the apostolic church, &c. Then Brother Richards pointed out who are the children of Abraham, according to those who follow in the footsteps of their father Abraham, who are of the faith of Abraham, and who carry out the works of Abraham; that Abraham left his home to look for a country, but that no one else had done that except for the Saints. Abraham and his family were led by divine revelations, so it is with the Saints: the former suffered every affliction; and through faith, which was proved through works, expected a ‘country,’ namely the place of rest which is yet to come for the people of God. All religionists except for the Saints expect an imaginary heaven, ‘beyond the bounds of time and space.’ He went into more detail on the similarity of the ‘Latter-day Saints,’ to Abraham and his seed, and that they will imitate him more and more, until they can sit with Abraham, father of the faithful, in the kingdom of God, namely the blessed place of rest on the earth, and that he died in hope of enjoying. After him the president interpreted the greater part, making additions and exhorting the listeners to prove our plan in an honest and unbiased manner, since that is how God would prove it truthful to their satisfaction. He thanked the crowd lovingly for their gentleness and their cheerfulness during the day, and he persuaded the Saints to live spotlessly before the world, to strive in every way to spread the truth, and to do good to all, especially to the family of faith. Brother Richards ended the day’s labor by asking God to bless them.
Monday at half past ten the Hall was overflowing with people, and the president and Brother Richards spent the meeting showing the scriptural way of calling and ordaining to the different church offices—the duties, and the necessity for the different offices like before; God would not pour out his judgments upon the world now before sending his servants to warn them and to offer them safety. Then two were called to be elders in the Merthyr branch, one in Dowlais, one in Penydarren, one in Rhymni, and one in Risca. Twelve were called to be priests in Merthyr, three in Rhymni, two in Carmarthen, three in Cardiff, one in Cwmbach, and one in Cwmbychan. Teachers—three in Merthyr, one in Rhymni, two in Cardiff, two in Carmarthen, one in Cwmbach, one in Llanybydder, and one in Penydarren. Deacons,—Rhymni one, Cardiff two. In Dowlais, six were called to be priests, four to be Teachers, and two to be Deacons. Then brother Richards ended the meeting by praying.
At half past two o’clock the Hall was full again, and in this meeting the majority of the officers that had been called were ordained, and it was agreed that the rest would be ordained in their respective branches; the president counseled and warned those persons emphatically to respect the proper use of their valuable offices, with an eye on the coming day of reckoning; he exhorted them to open their mouths in wisdom, and for all they do to stem truly from love toward, and a desire to benefit men; but for them to refrain from arguing with stubborn men, or to debate about words or ungodly questions; and he sincerely beseeched all the Saints to pray for them. Then president Holliday, from Bath, and after him president Kendall, from Bristol, addressed the meeting, and after them, elder Webb; after that the last two sang a hymn in remembrance of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and their godliness, and the meeting was brought to a close with a prayer by elder Henshaw.
At half past six elder Thomas Pugh preached in Welsh, Brother Richards in English, and the president after him in Welsh, and all with great power and persuasion; and it was clear by the attentive listening, and everyone’s cheerfulness, that they received pleasure, light, and happiness of the heavenly Comforter.
Thus this lovely and useful Conference ended under the blessing of God, to open the eyes of many to see the glory of the kingdom of God, and to strengthen the Saints in the holiest faith; we have never seen more signs of unity, brotherly love, and a determination to go forward through all persecutions and obstacles, until reaching the supreme achievement in Christ Jesus. May the gracious Lord strengthen all of us to continue faithful, until we arrive in the company and glory of all the faithful with our Father in the kingdom of God, is our prayer through Jesus Christ. Amen.
WILLIAM DAVIES, } Scribes.
Parable of the Tree that Bears Nine Kinds of Fruit!
ONE day a certain wealthy vinedresser (a) visited his vineyard (b) in a distant country, and he planted some wondrous plant (c) that he had brought with him, which had become a tree that bore nine (d) kinds of excellent fruit. He chose, (e) and taught (f) his servants (g), how to tend and look after it so that nothing would harm it. He had brought a few (h) of each one of the fruits with him, so that his servants, and some of the people of the vineyard, could taste them; and then he went back (i) to the distant land. His servants, after tasting the fruits, and understanding that they were excellent and healthful nourishment, as well as medicinal for every illness, endeavored day and night to tend the plant according to the instructions they had received. Their diligence was crowned with such remarkable success that numerous verdant branches sprouted forth, and it was enshrouded with beautiful sweet flowers; and in the first summer the tree was overladen with fruits like the one the vinedresser had brought at first. Soon its fame spread throughout the vineyard, and the people journeyed from every direction seeking the fruits. The servants took many of the plants to other parts, and everywhere they were planted (if treated according to the directions of the vinedresser) the same kinds of fruits were brought forth; nothing less, and nothing different; and to everyone’s surprise, it bore fruit on the tops of the most rocky mountains as well as in the lushest valleys, in the frozen poles as well as in the torrid Zone; in short, it was never seen without a single one of the nine fruits.
There was a certain oppressor (k) who had come from a distant land a long time ago, who claimed a certain right to the vineyard, and many of the people believed him and served him; but not one of those kinds of fruit grew on their trees, which caused his servants to complain to the oppressor, because the excellence of the fruits of the others brought nearly all the people of the vineyard to their markets, and that hope for their own profit was fading. Upon hearing this, the oppressor promised that he would journey to a distant land for a plant (l) just as good, if not better, than those they had; and when he returned, and planted it, and the time came for it to bear fruit, some fruits were seen on it that were similar to the others; but to their disappointment, behold they were deadly poison (m) to everyone that tasted them. The oppressor, and his servants, became more and more jealous of the others because of this, and because they were too proud to ask them for the plants, they attacked them, and killed them, thinking they could get the tree and its fruits, and that everyone would come to them to buy afterwards (n). But to their surprise, and the great loss of all the people of the vineyard, not one of the earlier fruits grew on the tree after that, because they had not been taught by the vinedresser or his servants how to tend it; and soon its branches withered, its freshness dried up, and trunk rotted (o), and all the people hungered for the fruits for a long time, and there was none to be had (p).
In the meantime, the tree of the oppressor grew very large, and instead of fruits, all the unclean birds of the land overburdened its branches, making it their nesting place, and preying on everyone who came that way. At last, one of the eagles (q) of the oppressor, who was much better than the others, taking pity on the sufferers, got hold of some ancient book (r) written by the servants of the vinedresser, describing the old tree, and its toothsome fruits, which created a desire in him to get a tree similar to it, but nowhere could he find a plant to get started. In the end, as he was gazing down from his nest on the corpses of the multitudes who had died around the trunk of the tree, he saw there some green suckers growing from the roots of the tree, and he thought he could, with the directions in the ancient book, nurture one of those to become a fruitful tree; but he knew that his life was in danger if the other birds understood his objective, and through cunning, he succeeded in getting a sucker, and fled with it, and planted it in the furthermost part of the vineyard, and it grew to be a strong tree. Others, upon seeing his success with his tree, ventured to do the same, and were as successful as he. In time, suckers grew from those suckers, which he planted in a like manner, until those trees were very numerous through the vineyard; and although they were quite similar to the old tree at first glance, yet not one of the nine kinds of fruit was growing on them anywhere, although each one claimed that his tree was of the same species as the fruitful tree. Since there was a severe famine throughout all the land, when the people heard that there were so many fruitful trees in their midst, they gathered to them in multitudes, shouting for fruit, so they would not die of hunger. At this, the birds stretched their heads over their nests, and in a voice like the voice of men they persuaded the people, saying, “Oh, the primitive fruits are no longer necessary. It is true that nine kinds of fruit grew on it in the beginning, and their only purpose was to show that such a tree had existed [!], and the only comfort you can have now is to journey to our trees when you feel hungry, and look at them more stedfastly the more the hunger pangs tighten your stomach; and we shall read from this ancient book the story of the feasts that men enjoyed from the fruits of the primitive tree, for faith is everything that is required to keep you alive without nourishment, just believe the story without enjoying, and journey here to look and listen. What! can you not live on the strength of imagination! for after arriving in the far country you shall have those nine kinds of fruits (s)” In this manner they deceived multitudes to journey to them, and though weakening and starving, the children followed after their fathers to the death, until their bones could be seen whitening across the face of the earth around these trees.
But the most sensible (t) of the people opposed them, saying that they were deceiving them, and that the groans of the dead, together with the excruciating pains of hunger on their own bowels, were proven facts that they could not live without enjoying the fruits of the tree themselves; and since they claimed that such fruits did not grow on the tree now, they could not believe that such a tree had ever existed, or borne the nine kinds of fruit their ancient book described; for (said they) the inseparable connections with which the chief naturalist tied every effect to its own cause, together with examples of all the other trees of the vineyard, bearing the same fruits now as they bore at that time, prove your foolishness in claiming that you have that tree now, while yet denying its fruits. This caused pitched battles between these factions. All the armies of the former united against the latter, although not infrequently they killed each other, and flooded the vineyard with the blood of their beguiled. The whole vineyard was in this sorrowful condition for a long period of time. Finally, the vinedresser took pity on their wretched state; and since the end of the harvest was drawing nigh, when he intended to possess the entire vineyard himself after putting it in order, he threw the oppressor into prison, together with all his servants who sided with him, and he sent one of his servants (u) from the distant country with a plant like unto the first, so that those who wished could eat of its fruit, so that all would not die of hunger before it came. The servant planted it in a lovely and secret glade, he chose and taught those assigned to him (v), and he set them to watch over, and to tend the tree carefully (for he knew that there was deadly enmity between him and all the unclean birds), and he returned home. Through the faithfulness of the servants to do everything as they were commanded, this tree brought forth an abundant harvest of exactly the same fruits as the nine kinds that grew on the original one. The joyful news went as if on the wings of the wind among the people, and great was the gathering there to seek after the fruits, and all who came feasted on them without money and without a price. But when the oppressor heard this, it frightened him greatly, for he knew perfectly well that that tree could not be obtained from anyone except the vinedresser, and he also understood that his time was short (w) to rule over the vineyard. At this he remembered the trick that had succeeded in destroying the said tree before, and he stirred up his servants to persecute the others. He told them to persuade the people that the fruits did not grow on their tree, but that their claims were lies. He also told them to persuade those who had tasted of them already, that they were the poisoned fruit that grew on his old tree, and to warn everyone they could not to believe them, or to associate with them, because it was nearly impossible to get anyone to leave them once they had tasted of the fruits, &c, (y). And in this manner his lies succeeded until he killed the earliest servants* who had looked after the tree; but to his great disappointment and that of his servants, the tree had taken root so deep, that a number of plants from it had transplanted themselves across the vineyard, and were bearing the fruits so abundantly, that hosts of those who denied the existence of the primitive tree, together with some of the wisest and most honest of the others, defended them, so they could not succeed; for these cruel enemies, like the other tree, were those who received much gold, silver, respect, a luxurious world, and colorful garments, from the other trees. They foresaw that their hope for profit would fade if the people got to taste the fruits; and also, when the wind blew from one of these trees toward their trees, it struck them with such a blast, that their leaves drooped, their branches shook, so they could not support the birds that nested in them; and since the people did not gather there to be plundered, some of the birds fell to the ground, together with their nests, and they could no longer fly, but they chewed the bark in their rage. Seeing by this that this would be their own fate before long, the other birds of prey became even more angry, and they all joined together in a mighty campaign to get revenge on the servants of the vinedresser and their followers; and although they had always been hostile before, they made peace with our old mother-family at last, in this last place of battle, and they succeeded in forcing all those who did not obey them to gather to their trees, and they refused the fruits (but they did not kill anyone), and they went away in a large group in many ships across the great sea , and they returned to their nests, and great was the rejoicing throughout the land because of their victory. They sent gifts of joy to each other for having got rid of their enemies, and they boasted that they would have all the prey in their clutches before long§. Suddenly, they were frightened amidst their rejoicing by the roaring of thunder, lightning, and the sound of a terrible storm. The vineyard shook, the hills danced in fear, and the entire vineyard swayed like a drunken man. The sun was dressed in sackcloth of hair as mourning apparel, and all the elements were mixed up, like soup in a vat, which they boiled, and all the trees of the vineyard, together with the unclean birds and their beguiled ones, which was heard from afar like the crackling of brambles under a pot, and they snarled at each other, shouting, “Oh, that we had listened to the voice of the servants of the vinedresser! Oh, that we had partaken of their fruits, so we could live eternally! But the summer has ended, our harvest of believing your enchantment is over; you promised us peace, but O! now we are being punished in this flame!” At this, behold the vinedresser himself, and his innumerable retinue, come in aerial chariots of fire, setting fire in the eastern corner, which spread quickly and annihilated on the right and on the left everything before it, like dry stubble, so that all that was understood of this horrible massacre was groaning and crying aloud. And this scene was closed up by the loud sound of a trumpet from the midst of the chariots, declaring, “And the smoke of their punishment will rise up forever and ever.”** And it echoed like the sound of harps through the atmosphere, “Rejoice because of it in the heavens, and your holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you.” And they all joined in the chorus, “Just thou art, O Lord, King of the saints; for they have spilled the blood of saints and the prophets.” He that reads, let him consider this parable! In order to understand the parable, read the following references:—
(a) Jesus Christ, see Isaiah 5, 1–7; Mat. 20, 1; 21, 28; Luke 13, 6–8. (b) The earth. (c) The gospel. (d) The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. (e) John 15, 16. (f) Mat. 28, 20. (g) The apostles, &c. (h) The miracles that Christ himself did before establishing his kingdom, (i) His ascension into heaven. (k) The devil enemy, Mat. 13, 25. (l) The Church of Rome. (m) False miracles, Mat. 24, 24; Rev. 13, 13, 14. (n) Those who killed the successors of the apostles. (o) When divine authority was taken from the earth, and the church went into the wilderness, Rev. 12, 5, 6. (p) The famine for the gospel through the “dark ages,” Amos 8, 11, 12. (q) The first who opposed the church of Rome, and established his own church. (r) The New Testament. The suckers are all the daughters of the “old mother,” and their daughters, Rev. 13, 18. (s) All who deny the necessity of the nine kinds of gifts of the Holy Ghost throughout the world, and claim their commission from the book, and that the purpose of the gifts was to prove the truth of Christianity: see the Baptist, the Star of Gomer, and the Revivalist, &c, and then 1 Tim. 4, 1, 2; 2 Tim. 3, 1–9; and 4, 3, 4; Judas 4, 10, 12, 19. (t) The atheists opposed sectarianism, 2 Peter 2, 11, “because of those that blaspheme the way of truth.” (u) The angel that John saw bringing the everlasting gospel back to the earth, Rev. 14, 6. (v) Joseph Smith, &c. (w) Rev. 12, 12. (y) All who plot, who publish, who preach, or who deliver, any of the “thousand and one” unfounded tales, and the false accusations that flood the country about the Saints. * Those godly martyrs in the Carthage jail, and dozens of other innocent Saints on the continent, The blast that has begun, and is increasing more and more so the excellence of truth will be understood. The withering of their leaves, the shaking of their churches, and their rottenness, have become too obvious to hide any longer. Their decay is so rapid in America, and their judgments are increasing, until they hold meetings of fasting and prayer to try to freshen their trees of powder, yes, when the innocent blood of the martyrs of Jesus is dripping from their hands! And in Britain, the blast is more harmful on their followers than on the potatoes. They begin to see that some “part of a hand” has written “Mene tekel” on their trees deeper than the bark, yet they shout, they fast, they pray after a fashion, and then they become enraged to curse, persecute, and falsely accuse the children of God for their religion! But the greater the withering of the tree the more they chew the bark. Oh yes, the rottenness is too clear to deny, and even the Baptist for once is sufficiently honest to admit it: see the February issue, pg. 69,—“The wind [the Holy Ghost] blows wherever it wants,” says this persecutor: and so it is, but the signs are very poor if it chose to blow on him ever since we have known anything about him. “This saying is entirely descriptive of the Spirit of grace in these days. It shows [to him] that the churches of the saints, for the most part throughout the world, especially Britain and America, have angered the Spirit away [which spirit? when? how did he know that, when he impudently denies the need for the Holy Ghost, by denying its gifts!], and the Almighty says (says he), ‘I go, and I shall not return to my place until they acknowledge their fault:’ [but all the signs and threats of God are completely opposite. “The destroyer of the gentiles is on his way,”—”And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,”—“When they shall say peace, peace, then sudden destruction cometh upon them,” says the Bible,] under this sentence (he admits that) corruption is being nurtured in the home, (the ‘tree’) truth is multiplying, and love of many is growing cold;” i.e., many are leaving his tree, and enjoying the fruits of the good tree, which he calls poisonous; but this is no wonder, for evil is the good, darkness is the light, and truth is the worst lie, according to his intrepretative rules toward us continually. Here he suggests that persecuting churches such as his are worthy of the character of Saints; while on the other hand, he admits that grave flowers have crowned the other denominations besides his own, and he shows that the Wesleyans, despite the labor of close to ten thousand preachers, have diminished over one hundred and fifty last year. His portrayal of the churches of the “Saints” is not true, for instead of becoming empty, and angering the Holy Ghost, the comforter in their churches is more fervent than ever, and more fruitful. Though they do not have one preacher for every hundred of those who are diminishing, or hardly a chapel that they can go to comfortably, or a house, or an audience, if they can prevent it, despite it all the Holy Ghost frequently crowns their labor with success at something over two hundred per month. The foregoing confession proves their disappointment, in spite of all their effort, in the plan they made some time ago to receive the Spirit, and no wonder either, for they are not willing to come down to God’s plan to get it, as the Saints have received him, and they will be deprived of that also, we suppose, as the Editor confesses, “until they acknowledge their fault.” Thus the sooner the better for him, to do so and call back the shameful false accusations that he has published about the Saints. The Saints fleeing to Zion. § Rev. 11, 10; Psalm 11, 6; 68, 2; 110, 5, 6; Isaiah 9, 18—20; 13, 6–9; 24, 6, 17, 21, 22; Jer. 30, 23, 24; Zeph. 3, 8; Mat. 4 , ; 2 Thes. 1, 8–11; II Rev. 19, 23. Rev. 18, 20, 24; ** Rev. 16, 5, 6, 7.
ONE was baptized, and others have promised to obey soon, despite how much that Daniel the Blind has kicked against us; but it is hard for him to kick against the pricks of God now. We heard that he is in very bad condition, and no one can understand what illness he has. He drinks a lot of cold water, saying that he hears his bowels on fire, and he asks others to pour cold water on his body, which was done for hours and days. He would rush out of his house from the heat of the supposed fire from within, and he would run to lie in a pool of water in order to cool down. We heard that the doctor said that he did not know what in the world is wrong with him. We would request all the Saints to pray that he might be brought to the right path out of the snare of the devil.