“1846,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 85–112.
WHO really, would expect it? But it is true enough, nevertheless. All the commentators we have seen, Sprinklers and Immersionists, Episcopal and Nonconformist, Protestant and Catholic—all, we say, are with us! “Barnes is not with you,” says someone, “nor Lewis, nor Phillips, nor Jenkins from Hengoed, nor Henry, nor Scott, these notables.” Yes they are; Oh, they are!
Barnes, what do you say, then, about our subject, of BAPTIZING FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS? Our opponents maintain now that it is not in order to receive forgiveness that is meant by Peter’s phrase in Acts ii, 38; what do you say? You are valued by the measure of the “two-and-a-half thousand” among the Independents of South Wales. Your word is important, for us to be able to present it to them on behalf of our doctrine. Come, dear Barnes, bring the truth out to your disciples.
BARNES: “For the forgiveness of sins. Not only the sin of crucifying the Messiah, but every sin. [So say we also.] There is nothing in baptism itself that can wash away sin. [True every word. There is nothing in baptism itself. You know that the words italicized for emphasis are yours.] That was done [namely washing away sin] by the forgiving mercy of God through Christ’s atonement. [Very good again. By that mercy, and through that Atonement, we say also.] But baptism is indicative of willingness to receive forgiveness in that way [True again! For no one willing to receive forgiveness “in that way”—God’s way, comes out of the water without it], and is a solemn proclamation of our conviction that there is no other way to forgiveness. He who comes to be baptized, comes with a professed conviction that he is a sinner, that there is no form of mercy except in the gospel, and with a professed willingness to fall in with the conditions of salvation, and to accept it as it is offered through Jesus Christ. [Thank you very much, reverend sir! You proclaim here that he who is baptized professes all this; that is what we proclaim too. You proclaim that no one ever truly fulfills all this, without receiving forgiveness too: so do we. Others from Wales say on this subject that it is a remission of sins as a dispensation that is meant in the text; you say the same thing as we do, that receiving personal forgiveness of sins, namely “all sins” is the meaning. Baptism by immersion (remember your commentary on Rom. vi, 4) is what you have corresponding with forgiveness of all sins, by God’s mercy through Christ’s atonement. That is the baptism of the gospel, namely this gospel which is preached by us, and us alone. We are in this, as are, of course, your 2500 Welsh receivers, true Barnesians; and you, along with them, on the other hand, true Mormons, in principle.] My commentary on Matt. iii, 6, is that John’s baptism “is a solemn ordinance, signifying their cleansing from their former sins, and their purification for the particular service of Jehovah.” [Yes, it was a solemn ordinance. If it signified a fact, and that fact was a cleansing from their sins; it signified forgiveness, unless you, Albert Barnes, maintain that sins are clean without forgiveness. Now, if their baptism signified “their cleansing” through forgiveness, when, pray, did they receive the forgiveness? You will not say, I know, that it was before the baptism; and if you say after the baptism, I would ask, How long after it? For it was their own “cleansing” that was signified, which would be pure deceit, if they did not receive forgiveness. You can see that you are a pure Mormon here too on this clear subject.]
You say again on the same page—”He administered this rite of baptism, or washing, to signify the cleansing from their sins.” [All of the same drift, proving that your considered opinion is Mormonism, or forgiveness corresponding with, or through, baptism.]
Matthew Henry, you say a word about this too.
HENRY: “By thus professing their faith in Him, they received forgiveness of their sins, and they partook of the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.” [Yes, yes; “let each of you be baptized for forgiveness:” which you and we interpret as “they received forgiveness,” is the word. All one again! Who can deny this subject any more? Over fifteen hundred of yours have been published, received, presumably, and revered as the best gospel. They will accept your teaching, no doubt, from us too now. It is of no importance from whom they receive it; receiving it pure with its heavenly authority is the main thing.]
Now, both of you, Barnes from Philadelphia, and Henry from Caerleon, listen to one thing now. One Evan Griffiths, a respectable man from Swansea, has had a mission and strong support from the Welsh, to proclaim this doctrine under your name, Matthew Henry; and one Thomas Rees, another respectable man from Llanelli, has had a mission and support from the Welsh, to proclaim this doctrine under your name, Albert Barnes; but we receive neither a mission nor strong support from the same Welsh people, to proclaim the same doctrine under the name of one Simon Peter, a great preacher, greater than you two, you know, from Jerusalem, in Palestine. If it were possible to get you two to the next conference meeting of this respectable denomination, we would set this knotty problem before you; namely, why is “baptism for the forgiveness of sins” proclaimed to be sweet truths under your names by two of their own preachers, while the same truth precisely is bitter heresy under the name of Simon Peter by our preachers.
Here is the state of the parties now on the important subject of forgiveness of sins through baptism:—Simon Peter, Matthew Henry, Albert Barnes, Evan Griffiths, Thomas Rees, all the Mormons and the Campbellites—against all Independents, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, apart from the supporters of the said Henry and Barnes.
All the Baptists are with us!! We have the great commission according to Mark, beginning with—”Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;” and according to Matthew—”Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” &c. According to Mark—”He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” It is the same commission that is given, we say, by the two of them, in different words. “They are the same,” say all of the Immersionists too. “They are the same,” said the Sprinklers, too, recently. “They are the same,” says Dr. Edward Williams, and Evans from Trewen, and Dr. Wardlaw, and Mr. Ewing, and Mr. Munro, and all the others, as we mentioned, who have written on this commission, until recently. All the old sprinklers are with us on the subject.
THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS.—”The two commissions are the same,” says Dr. Gale, the Immersionist, and his brethren, Mr. Dore, Dr. Gill, Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Stennett, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Ivimy, Mr. Booth, Mr. A. Fuller, Dr. Ryland, and Mr. Jenkins of Hengoed, and Mr. Evans of Rhuddlan. Yes, “They are the same,” says the famous Dr. Carson.
But what of that? says someone. This is what, gentle reader, that Christ set all these things in the commission:—
1. Go ye into all the world, and teach all nations, and preach the gospel to every creature;
2. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and he that believeth and is baptized will be saved;
3. These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover;
4. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Is the commission to “Go and preach” to stand until the end of the world? Is the commission to “Baptize them,” to stand until the end of the world? Is the commission “He that believeth and is baptized,” to stand until the end of the world? And is not the other part that is in the middle of the same commission to stand until the end of the world? If the first clause, namely the “Go and preach,” and the last clause, namely “I am with you,” are to stand until the end of the world, are not the parts which are in the middle of the commission to stand until the end of the world? And are those parts not “these signs that shall follow?” Is that not a commission? And are you all, the learned men named, by saying first that the commission of the two evangelists is the same commission, and by saying secondly that the “unto the end of the world” that is in the commission, is until the end of this dispensation, that is until judgment, are you not, in effect, Mormons in principle? You say true that the commission is still in force; consequently, you are thus bound to admit, by your own definition, that the signs that are mentioned in it also remain in force. But what have you done with these signs? Where did you lose them? Yes, why do you not preach the middle of the commission, as well as the first clause, and the last clause? It does not pay to shy away from an answer; the country makes its own interpretation.
Now have you heard the message? No news matches this before! Caerleon’s mighty HENRY, and BARNES of U. S. shore—They were true Presbyterians, that is the story told; But now as is recounted both men are Mormons bold.
And Evan Griffiths also as Mormon is half-won,
He Griffiths was of Swansea, the Independents’ son:
If not, why are we praising, though pained by deed and din,
A creature who was Mormon, a Saint, beneath his skin?
WE believe that the whole human race is subject to suffer punishment because of the transgression of our first parents, i.e., death, or the separation of body and spirit eternally and unconditionally. “From the dust thou camest, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But, their seed, apart from those who have sinned, is not under the other punishment which belongs to the transgression, namely the exile of its spirit for eternity from the presence of God, without ever being able to restore itself; for God is the great covenantor (the covenant of multiplication) for the spiritual side, as Adam is for the earthly side, which was the only covenant transgressed in the garden. “For the soul that sins, shall die” for eternity. We do not believe that a just God, who is Father of the spirits, sends sinful spirits into contact with the earthly temples, neither that he exiles those spirits from his presence, when they suffer the punishment for Adam’s transgression, namely the separation of spirit and body, in their infancy, or before they actively sin. But we do believe that those spirits “return to God, who gave them” to the bodies in the beginning.
We believe that it is only through the sufferings, death, resurrection, and intercession of Jesus Christ, that each one of the human race will be restored completely and without exception, from the exile or separation of body and spirit because of Adam’s transgression, and that every one will have that restoration or resurrection, the worst who was ever on our earth, as well as the best, and that entirely unconditionally. No one’s resurrection depends in any way on anything he may do for good or ill.
The best man who ever was, as well as the worst, came under this punishment, in the same completely unconditional manner, without will or power in the matter; and, consequently, the one comes as unconditionally as the other, completely free of it, as Paul says in Rom. v, 18—”Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life,” which is reconnecting the body and the spirit. “For as in Adam all die [that is the separation of body and spirit], even so in Christ shall all be made alive [or the body and spirit shall be restored].” In this sense, we believe in “universal atonement,” unconditional and without one exception. Through this atonement will be resurrected every body that was ever made of the soil of this earthly valley, and it will be possessed by its own spirit. It was as proof of this that Jesus Christ said, in John xii, 32—“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” “For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.” After this complete, unconditional, and universal salvation, from all of the effects and consequences of Adam’s transgression, through Christ’s atonement, the human race will enjoy perfect happiness, and an endless eternity in which to enjoy it, unless they are guilty of actual sins; for they will have suffered the punishment for Adam’s transgression by dying, and had salvation or restoration, because Jesus Christ destroyed him who had the power of death, despoiled death and the grave, by “becoming death to death, and an end to the grave”—rising as conqueror of everything, with the keys of hell and death at his belt. Everyone will be able to enjoy the presence of his Father in glory and neverending elevation, i.e., if—yes, note, if they themselves are not found to be personal transgressors against some law that was given to them.
We believe that babies are incapable of knowing the difference between good and evil, of obeying or disobeying any law; consequently, that God gave them no law; and where there is no law, there is no sin, “for lawlessness is sin;” so they are without sin, and if they die in their infancy, they shall inherit eternal life.
WE said in the previous chapter that there are more witnesses to prove the Book of Mormon than there are to prove the New Testament. No reasonable person will think, because there are greater proofs of the one, that that diminishes the other at all.
Witnesses to the New Testament.
Witnesses to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Six eyewitnesses, who wrote in their time, eighteen hundred years ago, that they and their brethren had performed miracles.
Not so much as one living witness who was healed in the days of the apostles;—it all rests on the testimony of the six.
The six witnesses of the New Testament are dead, so we cannot cross-examine their testimony.
Not so much as one impartial witness outside the church, to the fact that miracles were performed in the days of the apostles.
Three hundred thousand eyewitnesses to the fact that miracles are being performed in the present time.
There are thousands who testify in our day, that they themselves have received health, without relying at all on hearsay evidence.
Tens of thousands of witnesses to the Book of Mormon who are alive today, are reasonable beings, yes, are Welsh, some hundreds of them, so that they can be cross-examined.
Hundreds of thousands of reliable witnesses who testify that God performs miracles in these days through his servants.
Now, is it not obvious that there are more witnesses to the truth of the Book of Mormon, than remain now to the New Testament? Although there are sufficient to prove the one true, at present there exist more for the other. And does not reason teach us to judge according to witnesses about the matter? So, if one of them is believed, both must be believed. There are several, even among those who profess to be impartial scholars in our time, who assert that no one saw the gold plates, &c, except Joseph Smith; indeed, in Merthyr recently, some people preached from chapel to chapel against this book, when they had never seen it; and when an offer was made to put them straight on the subject, they confessed that they were not telling the stories as truth, but as local legends. The following testimonies are printed in the Book of Mormon; and yet, a man recently published a little anonymous essay, full of unfounded tales, and amongst other lies he announced that no one saw the plates, except Joseph Smith—yes, he asserts this when the Book of Mormon had been in his hands, and contradicts him completely. We give the testimony of the following people in addition, because they are as impartial and incontestable as it is possible to be; for they were considered truthful, honest men of high character by their acquaintances until the time they saw these things and testified about them to the world—yes, several of them at the time were good enough to hold high positions in the sectarian churches: and yet, their actions in viewing and testifying about the gold plates in question, caused them to be cast out as wrongdoers, as Christ says—“They shall put you out of the synagogues.” Even so, no one has been able, nor will be able either, to disprove their testimony: none of them has ever denied it, as Peter and others did, even under duress: but some of them sealed the truth of it with their blood, when they were martyred because of it; they were offered their lives to deny it, but they did not accept deliverance, “that they might obtain a better resurrection.”
“Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which had the appearance of gold: as many of the leaves as Mr. Smith has translated we did handle with our hands, and we saw the engravings thereon, which had the appearance of ancient and curious workmanship. This we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us those plates, that we have seen and hefted them, and know of a surety that he has got them. We give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
“CHRISTIAN WHITMER, JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.,
“HIRAM PAGE, JOHN WHITMER,
“PETER WHITMER JR., HYRUM SMITH,
“JACOB WHITMER SAMUEL H. SMITH.”
What reasonable man will continue to doubt the truth of the Book of Mormon? What book in the world produces more witnesses of its truthfulness? And would not such testimony be admissible in every court, in every land? And yet, these are not the only ones who are in its favor; out of many, we put before you for the time being the testimony of three other acceptable men of that country, who could not possibly have been deceived, or deceived others either.
“We make it known, with words of soberness, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, who shall see this work, that we, through the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record [the Book of Mormon], which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of Babel. We know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a certain surety that these things are true. We also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; for they have been shown to us by the power of God, and not of man. And we also declare, with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and laid the plates before our eyes, that we beheld and saw them and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld them. We therefore bear record that these things are true, and they are marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of them; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things, knowing that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall be rid of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, to dwell with him eternally. And the glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, who are one God. Amen.
“OLIVER COWDERY, MARTIN HARRIS.”
IN the year 1829, Mr. Smith and Mr. Cowdery, having learned the correct mode of baptism from the teachings of Christ to the Nephites, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, had a great desire to be baptized; but knowing of no one who had the necessary authority to administer that sacred and important ordinance, they prayed fervently to the Lord to show them how the necessary authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel was to be restored; and behold an angel of the Lord stood before them! and, laying his hands upon their heads, he ordained them, and commanded them to baptize each other, which they did. This strange circumstance may seem incredible in the eyes of present-day prejudice. But this is not the first time that the Lord has made exceptions to the established laws of the gospel. If one believes the scriptures, it was in a not dissimilar fashion that John the Baptist was sent out to baptize; neither he nor any other of God’s servants ever went forth to baptize, nor to do anything else in his name, without being sent by him, through some means or other. John says, “He that sent me to baptize with water, he said unto me.” This is his testimony; not only that someone sent him, but proof too that it was some real prophet who sent him, because he foretold to him,—“Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” John, together with the fulfillment of this prophecy about Christ, testifies that it was some prophet of God who sent him. And since there was no prophet of God on earth at that time, nor had been, as far as we know, for some one hundred and fifty years at least, was it not perhaps some angel from God, “who had been of his brethren the prophets,” who ordained him also to baptize? If so, what is unreasonable about sending an angel in the same manner again? It is obvious, from what follows, that the Levites did not possess the authority to baptize, nor did the priests. John i, 25—”And they [the priests and the Levites, for the Jews in general] asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?” There is an admission here that Elias baptized with authority, and that Christ would do so, as well as that other prophet, whoever he was. They also confessed that they themselves had no authority to baptize; and so they could not have sent John, even though he was of their lineage, the son of a prophet. Who sent him, then? Ver. 6 gives a satisfactory answer—“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” And since God had no servant on earth who had the right to ordain John, he doubtless sent an angel to ordain him, as he did in these latter days to Joseph Smith, and for all we know, the angel may have baptized John, yes, with his own hands; for it is not likely that he would send him to baptize, without first being baptized himself. God alone has the right to make exceptions, and to do as he wishes; and thus did he do of necessity at the establishment of every previous dispensation, as well as this latest one; and did not the religious leaders of those ages oppose such exceptions, just as these things are now opposed?
But, to continue with the story, after the restoration of divine authority to men in this manner, in the year 1830, a large edition of the Book of Mormon first appeared to the world in print. And, as some began to peruse it carefully, the Spirit of the Lord bore witness to their spirits that it was true, and, being obedient to its requirements, they repented before God, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and they were immersed in water, for the remission of their sins; after which, by the commandment of God, hands were laid upon them, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. On the sixth day of April, 1830, in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, state of New York, United States of America, the Church of Jesus Christ of “Latter-day Saints” was established. Some were called through revelation and the spirit of prophecy; and, having been ordained, they went about preaching and bearing testimony of these things, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And, although they themselves were the weak things of the earth, yet they were strengthened by the Holy Ghost, becoming the means whereby many were brought to repent and forsake their evil ways, and were baptized in water confessing their sins, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and they saw visions and prophesied; devils were cast out, and the sick were healed through the prayer of faith and the laying on of hands. Thus the preaching of the gospel increased greatly, and the Lord worked with them as before, by confirming the preaching of the word, through the signs following those who had already believed the word. Miracles do not precede the word, but follow after it. Thus God raised up witnesses to bear testimony of his name, and lay the foundation of his kingdom in these last days; and he does not leave himself without a witness now, but pours out his Spirit abundantly on those who obey him. And, although there were only six in this church at that time, they went about to preach as they were commanded, testifying to the things they had seen and heard, and the people believed them, obeyed the gospel, and received the Holy Ghost, in every place they went. Some of those who were ordained went to the states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, &c; and Joseph Smith went to Upper Canada, and had great success, so much so that the numbers of the Saints were over a thousand before the end of that year. In some places the leaders, the wise men, and the preachers obeyed the call, and entire congregations were converted and baptized. By now, harsh persecution arose against them, for jealous pastors were losing their sheep: they started to preach against them, plan and publish untrue stories about their characters, such as saying that Joseph Smith professed to be able to perform miracles, &c. The cause of this was that he placed his hands on the head of, and prayed over, sick people who were almost dying, and they were soon restored to health; although Joseph Smith did not claim any power of his own to perform miracles, any more than do any others of the Saints, merely that God found us worthy of being instruments in His hand.
IT is evident that our Bible, and every one of the prophets almost, show that a book like the Book of Mormon would appear, and that as recently as our age; and if it is not this one, let it be searched for until it is found, or let the book that testifies about it be denied; but I prefer to believe them both.
Again, listen to the testimony of the Psalmist about this gathering, and the way it would begin, in Psalm lxxxv,—”Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” What causes this i s—“Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give [to Israel] that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” David has foreseen that God’s wrath would turn away from Jacob, that they would be restored, and that the glory of God would shine upon them; and this is how the work will start—”Truth shall spring out of the earth,” &c. In another place, David says that God’s law is what he means by truth—“Thy law is the truth.” It is even clearer in Psalm cli—“Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.” Christ confirms this too—”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The law, word, and commandments of God are truth. Then David says—“Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness [knowledge and power to administer the law] shall look down from heaven,” and shall go before the face of Israel, to set its feet on the way of righteousness.
I think every man will admit the consistency there is among all these witnesses, proving that the stick of Ephraim [The Book of Mormon] is to be taken from the earth. Let us hear the testimony of Isaiah on this too, chap. xlv—“Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” It is seen in chap. xxix, that the book is to come from the earth, ver. 1—“Woe,” and at the side of the page more reasonably also, “O Ariel, Ariel!” Ver. 4—“And thou [Ariel, which signifies light, or the lion of God] shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” “Ariel, the city where David dwelt,” signifies that the people from there will possess the light of the Spirit of God, and will be brought down low into the dust. “And thy voice shall be out of the ground,” which is not possible, unless their words have been written and hidden in the earth, and revealed afterwards; then it could be, because people could read and understand them, as it is said—“And thy voice shall be out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” By now I think we have plenty of proofs that the stick of Joseph is to be taken from the earth, in the country where Ephraim dwells; that the American Indians are the seed of Ephraim; and that God would put the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah together.
Next, we shall prove that this is the ensign he will set up for the nations [as Isaiah says], when God sends out his servants, because heaven drops down justice, that is it gives the right and the power to administer the laws of righteousness. See Isaiah, chap. xi, 12—”And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Some commentators tell us that this prophecy refers to the time of Christ’s first coming, and the proof they offer is ver. 1—”And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of its roots.” One need only read the chapter without bias to see that the prophet was not referring to the first coming, but to the second coming of Christ, otherwise what can be understood by ver. 4—”And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked”? It is said that it is in his second coming that he will do this, namely “When he comes on the clouds of heaven, with all his holy angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If his first coming is meant, how can this be reconciled with ver. 6—“The wolf also shall dwell with the Lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;” &c, when the enmity of all the beasts of the forest, birds of the air, and fish of the sea shall depart? That has not yet been accomplished, by a long way. But they say that that is not to be understood literally; it must be inspired, to show men of those tendencies. Well, that only leads to even worse difficulties; for men have not become so either. Ver. 9 shows when this prophecy will be fulfilled—“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” What is to be made of this, I wonder, if this is a reference to his first coming? It is strange how stubborn some men are about their crooked paths, and their own beliefs; for they prefer to distort the words of God than to change their view on an old subject. But it is obvious that the prophet was referring, yes, was saying in clear words, that it was in the latter days that this would be fulfilled—“When the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people,” then “he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel [were they not dispersed at his first coming?] and gather together [at this time] the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Ver. 13—“The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off.” But at that time Judah was cut off by his adversaries, namely the Romans. “Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim,” at this time, “but they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west.” Read also chap. xlix, to prove this thorough restoration, and the way it will be begun, more clearly. Here the prophet shows the glory of the work of the latter days, and its unusual success. Ver. 22—“Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring their sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” Chap. lxvi, 18,—“For it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a SIGN among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations [to show this sign], to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have they seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.”
The statement in question, that is that God will set up a standard to the people when this wondrous restoration begins, is now beyond any question. It is also evident that the sign he will give is when the stick of Judah is joined to the stick of Ephraim, namely the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and they “would become one in his hand.” And how shall this be a sign to the people, unless they see them, and understand what they are? or as Paul says, “And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” And I ask, who shall send them but God? And how he shall send them without revealing that to them, I cannot imagine; and it is not possible for any man to answer either, for that is impossible. Then it is seen who are not servants of God, according to their own admission; for “their own mouth condemneth them, and their own lips testify against them;” and so we leave the deniers of revelation to plead their mission in the face of impossibility. But the scriptures show that God would send servants to show this sign, to the Gentiles first, and then to the Jews, and “declare his glory among them,” and after the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, “then all Israel shall be saved,” as Paul says.
Jeremiah proves this even more clearly in chap. xvi, 14—“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” One more witness to prove that God would send servants to carry his ensign unto all the people, so that no one may be left in doubt, and that is Isaiah xviii, 3—“All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.” An ensign is the banner of an army, ship, or nation, by which it is recognized from afar. It is essential that there be officers in every government, authorized to act in their various functions under this ensign. The officers who carry the ensign are called by various names; sometimes cornets, sometimes ensigns, and standard bearers. When Isaiah says that “God will set up his ensign to the nations, and will set a sign to the people,” it is evident that it refers to his work in going to make some thing other than what existed before, and that there would be inscribed on that thing certain symbols, through the seeing and understanding of which the people would know that those who bore and defended this ensign were officers in the kingdom of God. This ensign would be a sign to the people that those soldiers who bore it had been sent from God, to declare his glory in their midst, to fish and hunt the children of Israel from the mountains, the hills, and the holes of the rocks, and gather them back to their country. Through these fishers and hunters will he assemble the outcasts of Israel [that is, the ten tribes], and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four coiners of the earth.
We could bring more testimonies similar to the previous ones, but we have brought enough already to prove the following statements incontrovertible:—
1. We have proved that the “stick of Ephraim” contained great things of God’s law to Ephraim.
2. That the seed of Ephraim is in America. We have also proved from the scriptures, not only that that “sacred book” was hidden in the earth, but that it would be revealed again through the power of God in America, when God would make “their seed known among the nations.” And who of all the historians of the world could say that the American Indians are the seed of Ephraim, unless God had revealed it?
3. That the work which would be done as recently as our age would be this, “for in the latter days you shall understand this.” Also, that it would be the beginning of the restoration of the tribes of Israel to their country.
4. That it was by joining these two sticks or books together, that God would set up his ensign to the nations, and that this is the sign he gives to the people that the great and glorious work of the latter days is about to begin.
5. That God will use men to carry this ensign, by preaching the contents of the books, and by men believing and obeying them.
I ask, What unbiased man can believe, in the face of such a host of truthful witnesses, and of indisputable proofs, that the BOOK OF MORMON is not the “stick of Ephraim,” and “this sacred book?”—that this is not the “ensign,” and the “sign” which were referred to? And what man who believes the prophets, and allows reason, and admits facts as sufficient proofs, can deny that the Latter-day Saints, who have been sent by a dispensation from God, and bear this ensign to the people, through every affliction, scorn, and persecution, are these “fishers and hunters,” who “declare his glory among the Gentiles,” and who will be instruments in the hand of God to gather the dispersed of Judah, and assemble the outcasts of Israel from the four corners of the earth?
Whoever doubts these remarkable facts any longer, would doubt if someone arose from the dead to relate them to him! And it is probably to this work that the prophet is referring when he says—“Behold I work a work among this people, saith the Lord; and although men declare the thing to them, even so they will not believe.” Referring to this Isaiah says—“Behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Therefore, dear reader, beware lest you be carried away with the current to oppose it before you know what you are doing. But of what use is the Book of Mormon if it were true? say the opposers. I answer, that it is a great task to describe all its usefulness; but I shall note some of its virtues:—
1. It contains historical information about a large part of the world, which was previously hidden from the other part.
2. It reveals the origin of the American Indians, something unknown to the world for ages.
3. It contains important prophecies, which will be fulfilled in this age, and are consequently relevant to everyone who dwells on the earth.
4. It sheds a great deal of light and clarity on those doctrines about which there is so much difference of opinion among religious believers.
5. It deals a mortal blow to atheism, because it is in many ways incontrovertible evidence of the divinity of the holy scriptures, as the scriptures also bear witness to its truth. And for the testimony of living witnesses to its truthfulness, I refer the reader to the testimony of the eleven already published, who testify that it was translated through the power of God: we also refer to the thousands who have obeyed the teaching it contains, who have received knowledge from the truthful God. May the great works of God in our midst bear witness to its truthfulness; and if that is not satisfactory, there are abundant proofs in itself; or else, if you are not satisfied after that, gentle reader, “come and see” if it is true, obey the teaching it contains, and thus you like others shall end the argument forever, to your endless benefit and joy, by receiving the fulfillment of its valuable promises.
To all of his fellow-craftsmen, showing the best way to defend their craft, and to silence the “Latter-day Saints.”
GENTLEMEN,—You are nearly all well aware, by now, of those men who turn the world upside down, namely the Latter-day Saints, having come into our midst, and that they teach things that are not appropriate for us Sectarians to receive. They have come not only to Merthyr and its environs, but thence to the frontiers of Wales; and, I regret to say, there is not one county or scarcely a parish throughout the south and the north, without some of them preaching there, and the people running to listen to them in their hundreds and thousands, so that there is talk of hardly anything else throughout the country but the Saints and the potato blight. Is it not high time for us all to unite, dear fellow-craftsmen, to call a committee to organize some measures to silence them? If we allow them to continue like this, they will disgrace our great goddess, who sits upon her scarlet stallion, with her golden cup in her hand; her magnificence will be despised, her worshipers will leave her temples to the mole and the bats, they will go after these people, and alas! the hope of our profit will fade. Now, dear brethren, since such a harmful medium is at our door, awake, and arm yourselves for the battle. I shall tell you some of the tricks of these old Saints, so that you may see their deceit, and take up arms against them. They cunningly plot to entice, not only our listeners, but our most faithful members, and several of our gifted preachers, leading them astray off the old smooth, popular, and comfortable road, on which our godly fathers walked many years ago.
In the first place, in their great ignorance, they are foolish enough to teach people to believe the scriptures as they are written, to believe the prophets’ interpretation of their prophecies, and the parable-teller’s explanation of his parable, &c. So they greatly insult the spirituality of our theologians and our learned rabbis; and worse still, they despise that glorious title which is so notable on the forehead of our great goddess, namely “Mystery.” They teach the people, having torn the veil of mystery from their eyes, that they should listen to their reason when reading the scriptures. They keep to that commandment that says—“Be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master, and all ye are brethren.” They say that all the glorious names, and the many titles, which are the foundation of our honor and wealth, are blasphemies, and that our goddess is “full of names of blasphemy.” They say as Paul did, that “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but, that God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence.” Those Saints know no better than to believe these scriptures literally, rejecting our pastors, and claiming that our sheep are not a true flock, and leading them astray from our folds. Who has heard of such obvious deceit as this since the days of the apostles? If we left them alone, our honor and respect would very soon end, and our comfortable living, and all our profits too; yes, his grace the archbishop would be on a level with his grace the laborer! Was that not the endeavor of the old apostles many years ago, when my father and his fellow-craftsmen made such a bold stand against them at Ephesus? These dullards say, as they did, that there is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” and one Spirit leading them all to the unity of the faith. By taking these words literally, they prove that there is only one true, perfect plan, or church to God, all agreeing, holding to that form of doctrine to which the apostles of old held, and that they all must unite under the name of “SAINTS.” Here again they undermine our many plans, endangering our craft. And what man is there among you, but what knows that among the titles and venerable names which belong to our goddess are, Catholicism, Episcopalianism, Calvinism, Methodism, Wesleyanism, Waldensism, Baptistism, Puseyism, and hundreds of other sects, about which no one else has dared say anything scornful? It is admitted that all of these have their different lords, faiths, baptisms, and different spirits, all contributing to improving our craft, and decorating the magnificent temples of our great goddess, whom almost all the world worships. But neither are those all the heresies of these Saints. They go on deeper and deeper in their deception, teaching the people to believe that the same ordinances are needed in the church now as previously, and persuading them to pray for that Holy Spirit which imparted the spiritual gifts, and temporal blessings, urging them to strive for “that faith which was once given to the saints,” and that it is the privilege of everyone who complies with the one plan to receive knowledge of the truth, and certainty of his acceptance by God, as Christ promised them. They promise that God will give them the Spirit of prophecy, revelations, visions, and gifts of healing, &c, as he himself wills it, for the benefit and edifying of their church, and to perfect them for the fulfillment of their duties, &c. We could overlook every other folly on their part, if it were not for this last; but this is a greater danger to our craft than anything, yes, absolutely intolerable; for once the people come to obey their plan, and obtain the blessings, it is a fruitless task to try to attract them back to us, and through those things are clearly shown the great difference among all the branches of our craft and the original principles that were taught to the saints. The veil is rent by these people, exposing all our mysteries. It is strange that the people do not see how much we excel over them in brotherly love! Our goddess, and all her worshipers, allow freedom for everyone to go his own way, and we can greet with hail, fellows well met, all our various forms, yes, we go hand in hand with all who are satisfied with a pretence of godliness, or some form of it, if they deny its strength, that is the spiritual gifts, and God’s power. You know well, brethren, that those were the greatest enemies and the worst poison ever given to our goddess. The examples of our brave fathers in days gone by should stir us to emulate them in bravery against this common enemy. We remember that they cast that Daniel into the lions’ den, for believing in visions and ministering of angels. Our general, Herod, killed hundreds of little children, because God announced that a king of the Jews would come there. Did they not stone Stephen too as soon as he spoke such blasphemy as saying that he saw heaven opening, and Jesus seated there? Paul (my father’s old enemy) was imprisoned and martyred, along with all his brethren, for testifying that they had had visions, and the gifts. In short, my fellow-craftsmen, you see that our fathers, in any age on earth, have never tolerated anyone having spiritual gifts and revelations from God. And who among you cannot see that this would tear the veil off all our mysteries, and would show our trickery and our schemes, yes, would completely undermine in time all our babel-forms, and would fill the earth, not with sects and opinions, but with light and a knowledge of the TRUTH. Woe betide us, brethren, consider! I could tell you much more of the folly of these Saints, and their dreadful delusions, but I trust you all see by now how dangerous they are to the whole plan, and, consequently, to our craft. You also know the cost, the trouble, and the great pain our godly and learned fathers had, after they martyred those old deceivers, Paul, Peter, and their followers, and what dedication there was among all the Demetrius family, and all their friends, to improve and change, mold and adorn the Christian religion, until at length they made it suit the taste of the world, so that the world in its present state loves it greatly. The kings and the queens glory in it; the nobles and the priests fatten and enrich themselves from it; the sons and daughters of our church are adorned with gold and silver, decked with fine linen, purple, and scarlet; and are their silky, satiny, costly robes not a credit to our religion, an adornment to our temples, apart from bringing great profit to our craft? Our worshipers too, from among the great of the world, come in their chariots, and tread on tapestry, and trade in gold, silver, and pearls, yes have grown rich, not in animals alone, but at the cost of the bodies and souls of the poor who are dying of need before their eyes, until all the world has drunk from the golden cup which is in the hand of our great goddess. And now, fellow-craftsmen, will you stand by while these old Saints disrespect us, and speak against all this greatness and magnificence? Shall they be allowed to annihilate all this glory, after all the trouble and cost of bringing religion to its present perfection? Shall uneducated men such as these go around the country to say that all this is not the Christian religion, saying that if our religion were genuine, the world would hate it, and that we would be hated by everyone because of it, as they are hated by all for their religion? They say that the words spoken by Christ—“Blessed are ye when all shall say all manner of evil against you, and persecute you for the sake of my gospel, for in the like manner did they to the prophets which were before you; but woe unto you, when the world shall speak well of you”—they say that is in force now. Who does not know that a complete change has taken place in that? There you are, gentlemen, you see that if the founders of the Christian religion had been wise enough to do as we have done, that is to smooth and modify gradually in order to adorn the religion, what a great benefit it would have been, what painful sufferings it would have saved them, and what tremendous success they would have had; for, if they had done thus, the world would not hate the religion, but everyone would unite in sending the gospel throughout the whole world. But now, after almost all the world has come to walk hand in hand with the gospel for many ages, in unity and brotherly love, here come these mischievous men to disturb us, endeavoring to bring back the old apostolic faith, which the world in every age hated so much, and I hope they will hate it again! And I am not without hope, if we, gentlemen, are all faithful to each other and to our craft, that the world will hate them and their religion now too; and as encouragement to you, and praise to the brave ones among you who have fought against them, I will say that we have already succeeded in getting many of our old followers to hate them and their religion; but even so, they are succeeding, so that we are all in great danger! This is the reason, Sirs, for my writing this Epistle to you, in order to stir your faithful minds into devising some scheme to silence them, for I must now admit that I do not know what to do to them; every device of mine has failed; they carry on through all obstacles; and if I admit the truth to you, our craft has been severely hit by them in places. None of the measures we have arranged up until now, even though we have carried them out bravely too, has been any more effective than those ropes were in binding Samson. This little, insignificant, young church has been persecuted from its infancy, with every sort of lies, slander, false accusations, and stories of every shape and form our American fellow-craftsmen could invent, but all to no avail; it still rose steadily upward through it all. They drove them from one state to the next, burning their houses over their heads, flogging them, and robbing them of their possessions, their lands, and their animals, yes, of everything they owned. They tied some of them to stakes, promising them every reward and respect if they would renounce this false religion; but they raised their hands toward heaven, as they died under their hands, and testified that their religion was the truth; yes, scores of them, men, women, and children, have sealed its truth with their blood! The roar of our most frightful cannons and guns have failed to frighten them. The edge of our swords cannot separate them from it. They prefer to endure prisons, and every scorn, and pain, than to leave it! The more you oppose them, the more they succeed still! Were over two hundred of their homes not burned last year by fellow-craftsmen in America, even though they had exiled them four times before? We thought we would put an end to them when we killed their fraudulent leaders in jail, but we were disappointed in that too, since their assassination brought more success to the deceit than anything we had done before. Our American brethren, after failing to disperse them in one way, have exiled them by the thousands, the old and the young, men and women, noble and common indiscriminately, at the cost of all they owned, beyond the Rocky Mountains; but they prefer that to leaving their deceit, and it is impossible for us to win anyone back from the deceit. Plan, dear brethren, some device that will prevent them from enticing more of our worshipers. We said from the start that it was so poor and so small that it was not worthy of our notice; and yet we could not smother it. Again, it was declared to be such a large, dreadful, dangerous deceit; even so the people ran after it in droves. The writers of England did their best, by publishing everything that was heard against it, as well as inventing many a skillful story of their own, but despite everything these people succeed by the thousands there every year; and we fear greatly that that is how they will succeed in Wales, if you cannot invent some new device, better than anything we have so far. It is pointless for us to publish the lies and those old stories about that Joseph Smith, for they have caused the people to look into his story more; and these Saints have published the other side of it in Welsh. Have not the Baptist, the Star of Gomer, the Times, the Revivalist, the Educator, and the Treasury from Carmarthen, yes, almost every publication throughout Wales, been publishing with all their might every story about them, and yet the people are not satisfied without hearing them; and some of them, alas, in their great zeal for our craft, have said too much bad about them, so that the unbiased people are coming to understand our trickery as soon as they hear some of them preaching.
It is folly for us to expect to defeat them either by preaching from the pulpits against them, for the most hot-headed among us have given that a fair trial in every place the tricksters have been. We follow on their heels to every new community, and warn the people against them, and say that they will trick them out of their possessions, remembering to tell those stories about the walking on the water in America, raising the dead, moving mountains, and the like; but it is all to no avail, because the people believe them in almost every place they preach.
Does not the failure of our praiseworthy brother from Dowlais, despite his hard work and his diligence for years, speaking throughout the south against them, with many of his faithful brethren, giving them every bad name they could invent, such as “Satanists,” “devilish men,” “sorcerers,” “Deists,” “Atheists,” “Chartists,” &c, prove to us that we cannot succeed in that way? Was one of our most skillful craftsmen with the Methodists not in the Pwllheli quarterly meeting, in front of some ten thousand people, accusing them unsparingly of every sort of deception, in their absence? But it made no difference, the people in droves despised him for his unfairness and his false reasoning in being capable of condemning men in their absence, because of the false accusations he brought against them. We must change our weapons, now, friends; the people are too wise for those old worn-out ones to have any effect in a free country, and especially in a country where there is so much enlightenment.
The best device we had was warning the people not to listen to them, but to take our word, and condemn them before hearing them. We thought we would surely succeed in that way, but we have been disappointed in this too; although we warned them not to, the people still went to listen to them. Have we not excommunicated several from our churches, as an example to others, because they listened to them? but that does not frighten the people any more. The Calvinists excluded one innocent lad from Liverpool for listening to them, and that was enough at the time. But, the trick is old by now; our listeners will not be enslaved by us in this enlightened age, as in the old days, for they still want old Paul’s advice, namely, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
We have tried my father’s old plan, of shouting, “Great is the City of the Ephesians! Great is the mystery of the great Goddess who sits upon the scarlet stallion, with her golden cup in her hand;” but to no avail. We have also shouted from the pulpits that it is the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things, that become Saints, and even so they go to them. We announced that they were dying out here, and dying out there, but they are flourishing. We have often preached their funeral sermon, and have prophesied on the graves where we thought they still lay, but they rose up under our hands, and to our surprise and dismay they are more alive than ever! And now, idle and cheerless fellow-craftsmen, we begin to fear that they will live, after we have died, and gone to the land of oblivion, if you cannot devise some new way to hamper their progress. What shall we do? Do not despair; but let us rally against them again. I wish every one of you who is ardent for the craft, to give this important matter your consideration, and meet us all in Caersalem Hall at the first opportunity, in order to devise some other new way to persecute the Saints; and until then keep all the religious publications full of every sort of libelous stories about them, without allowing them space to defend themselves properly; and persuade the people not to read their books for anything! Be faithful, and we shall succeed yet. Oh, if only I could achieve my aim, so that I could sleep peacefully!
I am, your dissatisfied fellow-craftsman,
Diana’s Square, Silver-smith Street,
SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON ON THE MIRACLES, in order to enlighten the Public, and show the Deceit of the Creatures who call themselves “Latter-day Saints.” By W. R. DAVIES, Dowlais.
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 78.]
ON page 6, William asserts that no one has been healed through those he calls Satanists; and Davies says also, on page 9, that no sign was seen among them. And do the two of them not admit, Mr. Judge, on page 20 of the same essay, that “men testify that they have received health THROUGH THEM?” HOW shall we believe any one of you? You must be contradicting one another. “Oh,” says the judge, “it is only a few who testify thus.” But how few? Are there not two or three, if so, is it not in the mouths of two or three witnesses that every word shall be established? And so, Sir, you admit that those whom you call Satanists are servants of God! You admit yourself false in the same sentence, by accusing these men of “taking it upon themselves to heal the sick,” and in the next line you admit that someone else received health through them; and from whom would they receive it but from God? Why do you contradict yourself like this in the same breath, Sir? Do you not know the difference between accusing men of taking it upon themselves to do miracles, and their being instruments in the hand of God for that? You show up worse and worse the more you are cross-examined. “Wait,” says the Judge, frightened by now, “those witnesses must be destroyed, and how shall I do it? It were best for me to admit that.” “Shout out that they are evil men” says Davies in his ear. “Yes, that’s it.” “Harlot shouts harlot first,” says the proverb; but no matter what, in a tight spot. “They are but a few and evil,” says the judge, at the top of his voice. “But what proves them evil?” say his friends; “a witness of this, again.” Is it their testimony that proves this? Worse still; we almost believe that those who said that the apostles were “few and evil” for the same testimony, were brothers of yours; and if you were to admit the truth, the few would rise to hundreds of witnesses at least, yes in Merthyr, in Wales.
But do you, Sir, have as many proofs that you are a servant of God, as you have admitted that these Satanists, as you call them, have, and those proofs miraculous ones, like theirs? How can you have someone who testifies to receiving health from God through you, when you deny and mock the ways laid down for that, saying that they are not needed, and calling those who profess them “a foul mob?” We must abhor the anti-apostolic assertions of you three, and search, for ourselves, according to Paul’s command. “Prove all things,” he said; so we have proved the Baptist and your false accusations in it, in the face of the truth, in the face of reason, in your own faces, and found them (borrowing your own words to describe them) “a pack of the most terrible and fearsome lies that any evil man, or the sons or daughters of perdition, have claimed in any age of this world.”
Behold more of your preacher’s deceit; for after claiming that we do not lay hands on the sick, and saying afterwards that we do, he says—”With the object of attempting to hide their shame over this matter, they place the blame on the faith of whoever is under their hands.” And with the object of hiding what, does he assert that to profess apostleship is deceit and “devilish presumption” and that the conditions of the most wanton harlots, and the most villainous thieves in the cellars of Pont-y-storehouse are innocent, yes, even the foul deeds of Dic Tamar and his like, when they are compared with those of the Satanists, pale from sight, and that they are not a thousandth part as purple and scarlet as those of the “praiseworthy apostle,” and his brother, namely “the prophet of perdition.” Here is another example of Davisism versus Apostleship. The one justifies its devotees, that is harlots and thieves; and the other, through their faith, receives gifts of God, the one ransacks the vocabulary of Dic Tamar, and from the cellars of Pont-y-storehouse as far as Billingsgate, and for bad enough names to give to the character of men who defend the apostolic truth,—while they are praying and exhorting others to pray for him, and exerting themselves to save souls from his deadly claws. Ought this not to be testimony enough to the world that “the apostle and his brother” to whom he refers, are good men, before they be condemned in front of the judge who justifies harlots and thieves? We remember that a thief and murderer was chosen ahead of the innocent before now. “Birds of a feather flock together.” One expects to see Davisism flourishing in the cellars of Pont-y-storehouse from now on. Their speech accuses them now; and it is quite likely that their bullies will defend their hall when a candle is brought in to search their pack. But let us leave those dear friends with one another, and let us show what Apostleship says about faith being necessary to be healed. “Has Little Maggie no faith? Did she receive a strong hip in place of the withered one? I expect to see her next time without her crutch; but in the same way, if I meet her, do not talk of a miracle, for shame’s sake, &c,” says this reverend. Come with us, reader, to one of the streets of Phillippi to see the unchristianity of this man in a reflection. There comes Paul on one side; there is Mr. Davies crossing the road to him, with a mocking smile on his face. “Well, you great old deceiver,” says he, “you, claiming to heal the sick! Why would you not heal your own dear disciples? When you are asked to heal the disbelievers, you start to preach that Carpenter’s Son to them, excusing yourself, as you did with that lame man, that you could not heal him until you had looked closely, and seen that he had faith to be healed. Has Timothy no faith? Did he receive a strong body instead of the “frequent weakness” he had? I expect to see him next time without his weakness, a strong and active lad: but in the same way, if I meet him on one of the streets of Ephesus (for I shall go there in haste to sell my mocking sermon against you), do not talk of a miracle, for shame’s sake.” Don’t run away, at that, Mr. Davies. Who but an apostle of Davisism is seen (according to this own logic), persecuting and reviling Paul on the beach in Miletum, and reproaching him for going away on the ship, leaving Trophimus, his dear brother and fellow-official, sick in the midst of pagans, though he was needed so much in the ministry. “There, you’re caught, Paul, in your deceit,” say you. “Do you not profess to heal all the sick where you walk? But now we see that your claims are nothing but a pack of lies.” But away with Paul to the ship, despite their mockery; and after reaching Rome, he writes to Timothy, “I left Trophimus sick in Miletum.” There, sir, you have placed your fist on Paul’s mouth; and it is in vain for you to pretend hypocritically that you preach his gospel any longer! And hear the sentence on you—”Though we, (though Mr. Davies of Dowlais), or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
[To be continued.]
THE signs of the times, and the strange and incredible things that are taking place on the western continent these days, demonstrate that the last ray of the blazing star of American liberty is about to be extinguished, under a jet-black veil, on the western horizon.
The official documents from Illinois announce that the General of the President’s Army, Justice Douglas, members of the Senate, and many other officials who hold high positions in the state, as well as the citizens of Hancock County, have given the choice to over three hundred thousand subjects of the American government, the citizens of Nauvoo, of being either martyred unmercifully in their homes, or robbed of their houses, their lands, their possessions, and exiled at their own cost, beyond the Rocky Mountains; yes, they force them to go this year, ready or not! Instead of defending innocent and peaceful citizens in the enjoyment of their possessions, their liberty, and their rights, we see a nation becoming a mob, the judges, the governors, and the leaders consulting together, against the Lord, against the church of his Christ, and his assembled people, encouraging inhuman banditti to rob them, and eventually to exile them, through a public admission that the government has neither the power nor the will to defend the Mormons, as they call them, from the violence and oppression of their enemies. Of the two evils here, the Saints chose exile instead of being killed. Despite it all the persecution of their enemies did not cease; but while their hands are still dripping with the blood of godly prophets and saints, whom they killed without cause, without defense, and without inquiry, they thirst again for the blood of the other leaders; they plan false accusations against innocent men, yes, even when they were preparing for their exile, with the aim of dragging them, like their brethren before them, to the Carthage slaughter-house. Their decision was that they could not live in their midst, or depart from their midst alive. And there has been great commotion throughout the country to try to mobilize a sufficiently numerous mob, to attack the Saints, and kill them when they began their journey to the desert! But they were disappointed in this. Thanks to Him who has his eternal arms under them! We are pleased to announce that the leaders left Nauvoo before the mob expected, and so they have escaped from the lions’ mouths, and from the clutches of those bears, and hundreds of their brethren with them, for the last time, we hope, after many years of persecution, prison, and the wrath of their enemies. The remainder of the Saints intend to leave from Nauvoo this summer, and may their God be with them, to comfort and defend them.
This remarkable and general exile brings about the strangest and most peculiar, most glorious and terrible period that has been, not only in the history of the church, but probably in the world, since God’s people came out of Egypt in the days of Moses. This appears to be a literal and direct fulfillment of old and recent prophecies. The Book of Mormon says—”At that day when the Gentiles shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them, saith the Father.” Now, what more could that nation do, to prove that they rejected the “fulness of the gospel,” namely the Book of Mormon, than they have done? Can one crime be named of which they are not guilty as a nation? Have they not robbed the Saints of tens of thousands of acres of land, which they had bought from them, and for which they had paid them their money, by letting a mob persecute and torment them, until many were killed, and others were exiled three times, at the cost of almost all they owned, and letting their enemies take possession of their lands and property in Missouri after that; yes, to this day, without trying to restore them to them! Are they not guilty of shedding innocent blood, since they let thousands of murderers and plunderers of the Saints go completely free and unrebuked in their midst? And do they not still continue to chase and drive them out with unending persecution? Are they not exiling them now, the old grey-haired man and the active one alike, the defenseless mother as well as her innocent children, yes, all unsparingly, beyond the Rocky Mountains? Is it not the nation, the government, and not some individuals, who are doing all this, yes, in the land of the free, in this “enlightened age!” while boasting of being a republic, the kingdom of freedom, a refuge and an asylum to the oppressed, inviting the exiles of Poland, the slaves of the European tyrants, and all the oppressed of the world to them, promising protection to all, and professing, bringing contempt and scorn on Christianity, in the eyes of the world’s pagan kingdoms, that they are CHRISTIANS ! ! And are they not, as a nation, guilty of all this, and much more, since they have the ability to defend, and yet refuse to do so? If the committing of all these cruelties does not prove their rejection of the “fulness of the gospel,” we do not know what more they can do to “fulfill the measure of their iniquity,” and fit them for judgment! Does their cup not run over? And then, is the time not at hand for the Lord to take the “fulness of his gospel” from among that perverse nation? Is not the exile of the Saints to the western desert, among the remnant of Joseph, for the purpose of fitting the wicked to judgment, and saving the righteous? Are they not thus commanded to “go to their chambers, and hide for a little moment, until the persecution and indignation be past,” so that God may fulfill his threats to their persecutors? How could the gospel be taken from among the nation, while the priesthood and the Saints remained in their midst? After the exile of the gospel from among the nations, “then,” says the Book of Mormon, “will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people; O house of Israel, I will bring my gospel unto you, and ye shall come unto knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.” Has perhaps the awaited time already come to take the gospel to the remnant of Israel? The signs of the times, and the fulfillment of clear prophecies, demonstrate that the happy day is about to dawn. Then raise your heads, you Saints, and rejoice, for the time of your deliverance is nigh. The thing that you have been praying a great deal for, and waiting patiently for, is already at the door; be ready to meet it. Yet, it will take some considerable time for all of the Saints to emigrate from all the states of that cruel nation. The Saints who are in the eastern states are emigrating by sea, past Cape Horn, to California. S. Brannan has already left in a ship, from New York, and over two hundred of the Saints with him, loaded with all the provisions essential to settle in that western paradise; and many other shiploads of the Saints are preparing to leave shortly from there, and from the ports of the other states. All this bears witness to everyone that the religion of the Saints is such that they prefer to lose their possessions, their country, and their lives, than to lose it! Are they not evil people who are so Pharoah-like in their persecution? Do they persecute people better, or worse, than themselves? Are they not fulfilling notable prophecies in this, which were made among them many years ago? And do these not stare them in the face now when they fulfill them? Who can deny them, then, or save these people when what has already been declared to them comes upon them? Now the trumpet sounds loud and long—“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,” for it is the blood of saints and prophets that they have spilt. “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
OUR subscribers will be pleased to read the following letter from John Taylor, one of the twelve apostles, which was received from him recently, and which shows how they are getting on in their exile from their country. The following is an extract from the letter:—
“We started from Sugar Creek Bottom, and we continued traveling slowly, in consequence of bad roads and cold and inclement weather until the 25th of April, when we arrived at the west fork of the Grand River, about 160 miles from Nauvoo, and about 15 miles from the state of Missouri. At this place we made an encampment, and commenced ploughing the earth, and building some log-houses for the accommodation of our brethren who should come after us. We left men to take care of the farm, and we went on to this place which is called Mount Pisgah, and we established another farm on the same principle as we had the first. This place is situated about 40 miles to the north of the first farm; it is beautifully situated, abundance of wood and water being convenient. We calculate to start from here in a few days, for Council Bluffs, and from there to the Rocky Mountains, i.e., the twelve, their families, and such men as they shall select. I have been at Nauvoo on business lately; the place has altered very much. ‘Civilization and its consequences are making rapid strides, and the people have become much better Christians.’ They have made a ten-pin alley opposite the temple; groggeries are already plentiful, and at night one can hear unruly drunkards yelling and cursing through the streets, things of which there was no sign when we were there. Our brethren are trying to sell their possessions, though at very low prices. The Saints are moving to the west as rapidly as they can, with everyone desirous to be first. On my journey back from Nauvoo I passed over eight hundred wagons, besides large droves of cattle, and numerous herds of sheep, moving slowly and happily away from their captivity, much like Israel from Egypt centuries ago; and in the midst of all their difficulties, the Saints are rejoicing, looking forward, and lifting up their heads, for the time of their deliverance is nigh. All are united and working together to carry forward this great work, through the help of God, come whatever obstacles may come. The two lower floors of the temple are finished, and they look beautiful and very elegant. While standing in the baptismal font, gazing at all the fine work that surrounded me, and the excellence of this great edifice; as I walked through the rooms one by one, to take one last look perhaps at the structure whose completion was the desire of my soul for several years, so as to worship God therein; when I recall the great efforts of the Saints, under every disadvantage, to build it, and now being forced without cause to leave it, as well as their homes, their lands, and their possessions, in the hands of their enemies;—some feelings too peculiar to describe, were I permitted, filled my breast. But off I went, under the burden of my cares, for our oppressors have no place in their breast for compassion.—Brothers Hyde and Woodruff are on their way to this place from Nauvoo.—Remember me affectionately to all the Saints and our friends.
“Yours in the everlasting covenant,
HOWEVER harsh the brashness——of the sects,
Daily and relentless,
Doing their worst, remorseless
Truth beats those who slander us.
Truth’s name will be long-famed;——let all foes
Of this be well-minded:
It sees them, when life’s ended,
Earth-bound and sound ‘midst the dead.